Lawrence, KS – According to the statement, a court date has been set for Rontarus Washington Jr. or Monday, Feb. 8 and community members are demanding justice be served. Washington is held in the Douglas Co. Jail for almost 6 years without a conviction, which is a violation of his right to a speedy trial under both the U.S. and Kansas Constitutions.
In July of 2020, Washington was released on bond after hundred of community members organized to demand justice and raise money to reunite Washington with his family. It said though there is a severe lack of evidence, a history of prosecutorial error and the State did not convict Washington during a jury trial in 2019, his case has not been dismissed yet.
Despite taking a public position on the mishandling of Washington’s case during her campaign, the newly elected DA Valdez has been silent on taking a final stance on Washington’s innocence.
The time Washington wrongfully spent in ail took away more than his freedom, it said it took away his family, friends and aspirations as well. The group said Washington’s experience has also had a deep impact on his mental health and wellbeing.