Portrait of Mahatma Gandhi by Anand Jon featured at University of Southern California

Sacramento, California, April 8-10:
The ‘Reform-A-Nation’ panel held preliminary meetings with California legislators to discuss the epidemic of wrongful convictions and its potential solutions. The panel met with legislative teams from Governor Gavin Newsom, Senator Nancy Skinner, Senator Holly Mitchell, Assemblyman Ash Kalra, Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, and Assistant Majority Whip Assemblyman Rob Banta at the California State Capitol building in Sacramento.

The high profile panel that made the official visits included Los Angeles Attorney Timothy Milner (InternationalInnovators.org), prominent Beverly Hills businessman and activist, Rajendra and Sonal Vora (Vice President Jain Social Group International Federation), David Greenwald (founder of DavisVanguard.org), and Maggi Kahlon (V.P. AmericanJusticeAlliance.org).

Assemblyman Sawyer's recent audit of the CDCR1 has led to some positive side effects, including efforts to improve the quality and availability of effective programs, some of which involve the prisoners themselves coming up with their own ideas, such as the Awakenings initiative proposed at RJ Donovan. The assemblyman stated ‘this is just the start of a long process.’

Senator Skinner, a superstar in the area of criminal justice reform, notably authored SB1473 felony murder legislation in 2018 that former Governor Brown signed into law to make police misconduct and use of force records open to the public.

Besides the destruction of innocent people’s lives, the cost to society has been enormous, especially when law enforcement acts in bad faith and ends up costing millions to tax payers as seen from the Susan Mellen, Jamal Trulove, and Obie Anthony exonerations.

Assemblywoman Patty Lopez, who authored AB1909 described the prosecutorial misconduct in the Anand Jon Alexander case as ‘utterly shocking.’ In the process of successfully resolving all Anand Jon’s overlapping out-of-state (New York and Texas) between 2013 and 2018, it was uncovered that the Beverly Hills Police Department had withheld voluminous favorable evidence and the prosecutors used false evidence to wrongfully convict him in the initial Los Angeles trial (2008).

A few months ago, hosted by Dr. Amarjit Marwah at his historic Malibu estate, Amy Ralston Povah (founder candoclemency.org who was instrumental to involving Kim Kardashian and the president’s first act for prison reform), later joined by Obie Anthony (exoneree and founder of exoneratednation.org) and many more, launched the International Innovators of Justice campaign that took up reversing wrongful convictions like the Anand Jon Alexander case, as well as laid the groundwork for the prosecutorial misconduct commission.

While currently pending at the Federal District Courts for relief based on newly discovered and previously withheld evidence of factual innocence, as well as due process violations that include prosecutorial misconduct invoking racial bias and use of false evidence, the panel is urging Governor Newsom to commute Anand Jon Alexander's draconian 59 years to life sentence.

Mr. Alexander has no history of drugs or violence, not a scratch on anyone, and he passed a lie detector test to prove his innocence. Global influencers like Dr. Amarjit Marwah, Sant Chatwal, and Moishe Mana have all declared their support for the campaign.

An award winning fashion designer who was picked as ‘Who's Next in 2007?’ by Newsweek, Anand Jon Alexander's portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, donated by projectpaint.org, was featured at the UCLA festival ‘Call to End Mass Incarceration’ (www.calltoactionucla.com), connecting art and law thanks to UCLA Law School Dean, Jennifer L. Mnookin; UCLA Dean of Art School, Professor Alicia Virani; Professor Sharon Dolovich, supporting organizers/law students Ms. Delaram Kamalpour, and Bryonn Bain.

Equal Justice America representative Laura Jones personally hosted the art exhibit. Fresh off their meetings in Sacramento, some of the REFORM-A-NATION panelists met with Senator Holly Mitchell, actor Danny Glover, and Re:Store Justice at the UCLA festival to end mass incarceration. Senator Mitchell was part of the group of California Senators who had gone to India and has already been working alongside others like Senator Skinner towards ensuring accountability by law enforcement.

Coming full circle to pay it forward as the first beneficiary of Senator Skinner’s SB1437 law, the recently released from prison, Adnan Khan (founder and Co-Executive Director of Re:Store Justice) was present at the UCLA event and stated ‘I love this artwork besides the painting the quote is very powerful.’

The Art From the Inside booklet featured Mr Alexander's quote: ‘Growing up in India, I was a bit awkward about acknowledging Gandhi as a role model because he did not represent the cool alpha male six-packed, buffed ‘Heroes’ (Rambo, Terminator, Rocky) that was popular culture. However, when I was wrongfully convicted and struggled to get back on my feet and slowly made progress towards freedom - it was Mahatma Gandhi’s “AHISMA” (non-violence), Satyagraha and strategic patient dismantling of the Greatest/Colonial Empire in the world that inspired me. I enforce that indomitable will … what is not just fighting and dying for but worth living for. [As Gandhi said] ‘Even as a minority of one, the Truth is still the Truth.’

Contact info@internationalinnovators.org, ATTN Seth Gordon
Volunteers and Charity Donations Contact info@americanjusticealliance.org, ATTN Linda Najarro

Top photo: Projectpaint.org covered by photographer Peter Merts copyright California Arts Council 

Anand Jon Alexander with model Katya Konopatskaya at RJ Donovan correctional institution. April 13, 2019

Rajendra Vora and Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer; Rajendra & Sonal Vora, along with Maggi Kahlon and Tim Milner; Assemblyman Ash Kalra, Rajendra & Sonal Vora, and Maggi Kahlon

Laura Jones, Delaram Kamalpour, Adnan Khan, Sharon Dolovich and Rajendra Vora.

Panel Moderator Betsy Butler, Philip Melendez, Adnan Khan and others. 2: Actor Danny Glover and Rajendra Vora. 3: Rajendra Vora and Senator Holly Mitchell.

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