Alexandria, Virginia - The Global Liberty Alliance is reviewing a case of unlawful detention involving two American citizens and Maryland residents, Mr. Ronell Stephenson (38) and Mr. John Stephenson (29). John and Ronell have been wrongfully accused of very serious crimes in Ecuador. While some charges against them were dismissed a few years ago, the legal battle continues as the brothers seek to correct a manifest injustice so that they return to America.
"Based on our preliminary review of the court and police records, and discussions with counsel in Ecuador, this entire case since the onset has been a travesty of justice. The Stephenson brothers’ fundamental and due process rights have been repeatedly violated by Ecuadorean officials, particularly, but not exclusively, in Morona Santiago. Recent filings by the Ecuadorean defense team, and reviewed by GLA, raise even more troubling allegations about what may have transpired," said Jason Poblete, GLA President and Counsel in a letter to the U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador.
The Stephenson brothers are unjustly imprisoned in Ecuador’s notoriously dangerous prison system, where Reuters reported that just last month, over 100 prisoners were killed, of which over ten were reportedly decapitated. It was one of South America’s worst prison riots in recent history, and just a few months before that, the Stephenson brother lived it first-hand. The Stephenson brothers are in danger. The United States must press Ecuador to move with haste to review various defense counsel measures that exonerate the brothers and focus where it needs to be, on the true perpetrators who committed a brutal crime.
"Alleged witness tampering, destruction or loss of forensic evidence, false testimony and the inability to cross-examine witnesses, withholding exculpatory evidence, refusal or failure to conduct DNA tests, no translators at the trial, and obstruction of justice are some of the issues that have been brought to our attention," added Poblete. At the end of this post is letter to Ecuador's Ambassador to the United States requesting that her government takes concrete measures to ensure every effort is made to correct the problems in this case.
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