Hartford-Based Non-Profit Targets Inequities in the Justice System

American Justice Project campaigns to prevent wrongful conviction and incarceration while supporting those negatively impacted.

HARTFORD, Conn. - Hartok -- American Justice Project (AJP), a newly launched nonprofit, will provide support and advocacy for individuals caught up in the "Chokehold" – abusive tactics including overcharging, excessive bail, pretrial detention, and coerced plea bargains that deny defendants their Constitutional rights. AJP also supports Chokhold-impacted families, conducts research, and mounts campaigns to educate the public about these abuses.

AJP was born out of the #Justice4Dukes campaign after co-founder Christopher L. Dukes' high-profile criminal case was dismissed during pretrial when a wealth of incontrovertible evidence proved his innocence. After persistent defamation and discrimination by the State of Connecticut, the Hartford Police Department, and his former employer Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), Dukes founded AJP to prevent these injustices from harming others.

"God has been my refuge and strength throughout my entire life.  The Holy Spirit guides me through this desert of injustice, now exceeding six years" said Dukes, AJP's President. "God placed the right people, in the right places, at the right times, to help my beautiful children and me survive what many call a modern-day lynching. We must transform the unjust policies and systems that allow police, prosecutors, judges, and others to wield unchecked power with impunity. American Justice Project will end the chokehold they use to violate and deny the Constitutional freedoms of millions."

Later this year, the Connecticut Supreme Court will rule on Dukes' rightful and long overdue reinstatement to his CCSU job and retroactive compensation.

AJP seeks to collaborate with other justice organizations, such as the Innocence Project and Partners for Justice, to build a nationwide pre-trial support system. "We educate accused individuals, helping them identify elements of the Chokehold at play in their lives, and approach their fight for justice more effectively," says AJP co-founder Peter Little. "Our mission is to mitigate abuses of power, intimidation, and unwarranted incarceration - while working to dismantle the systems that perpetuate these injustices."

AJP is actively supporting individuals on their journeys through injustice. Recently, the organization helped Gordon Cole, Jr. navigate 12 wrongful charges stemming from overzealous prosecution and police misconduct. Collaborating with his family and supporters, AJP provided the documentation and evidence needed to reunite Mr. Cole with his loved ones after 15 months, and continues to combat the stigma of his dropped charges. Moved by his own experience, Mr. Cole is teaming up with AJP to champion justice and offer hope to the wrongfully accused.

Learn more about American Justice Project at www.americanjusticeproject.org.

Christopher Dukes and Peter Little are available for questions and comments.

Source: American Justice Project

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