Anand Jon Alexander was a rising star in the fashion industry in 2007 when he was arrested and ultimately convicted of one count of rape and many counts of lesser sexual offenses. Although there were no injuries on anyone and he had no history of violence, he was sentenced to 59 years to life in prison.
He has spent over 13 years in prison and barely survived a racial hate crime stabbing in 2019. He is suing the State of California for an undisclosed amount.
Attorney Tim Milner explained that he has been a lawyer for 40 years and usually tends to shy away from scandalous sex cases, but this was an exceptional case. “This man is innocent,” he said. “He also had one of the worst trials that I’ve seen.” He noted that he has done at least 80 trials and “this guy did not get a fair shake.”
Also joining is Amy Povah, from the CAN-DO foundation.
Amy Povah herself served nine years in prison before President Bill Clinton commuted her sentence—a 24-year sentence for conspiracy charges in a high profile MDMA (Ecstasy) case dating back to 1989. She now serves as an advocate for mostly federal clemency cases.
She was involved in the three most recent commutations by President Trump.
“What concerns me about Anand,” she said, is that “clemency is about mercy. So many people receive clemency who are not innocent… The sentence he received is so disproportionate to a normal case with the same allegations. He was convicted on very thin evidence.”
One of the incarcerated people on Anand Jon’s yard also joins the show to discuss conditions at Donavan under the specter of COVID-19.