Cynthia McKinney, a former U.S. Representative and current presidential candidate, has joined a campaign to win pardons for five wrongfully convicted death row inmates.

On Easter Sunday of 1993, inmates of the Lucasville, Ohio prison, including Siddique Abdullah Hasan, who had become Imam of the Muslim population since his initial conviction in 1984, and was within a year of becoming eligible for parole, staged a peaceful sit-in to protest the tuberculin skin test injection that was mandated by the warden for the entire prison population. Muslim are forbidden by their religion from voluntarily ingesting phenol, and alcoholic substance, so the test amounted to a violation of their Constitutional right to practice their religion. Several other groups of inmates decided to convert a peaceful protest into a full-scale uprising, out of anger about overcrowding, inadequate medical care, and brutality in the prison. The deaths of nine inmates and an officer ensued. Hasan was sentenced to death for the officer's murder even though the State conceded that they had no material evidence to prove he was guilty of any crime, and the State's star witness against Hasan has in two affidavits recanted his testimony and said the prosecution coerced him to lie in court.

Several witnesses agreed that Hasan had made courageous efforts to stop the violence and mediate among the inmate groups toward a peaceful end to the uprising, according to the Free Siddique Abdullah Hasan Coalition, headed up by Hasan's wife, Saadiqah.

McKinney has written the following letter to Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.

Dear Governor Strickland:

It was with great hope that many of us celebrated your election as Governor of Ohio.  It is always good to know that we have a man of conscience in elected office.  And now my best hopes for you have the opportunity to be realized in a very concrete way.  I am writing to ask that you please review the case of Siddique Abdullah Hasan.  I am sure you are aware of the reasons for this request:

1.      There was no eyewitness testimony that Hasan is the guilty party;

2.      There was no evidence linking Hasan to murder; and

3.      Hasan was not able to afford the type of defense required in a case of this magnitude, including the inability to pay expert witnesses.

For a man of conscience, it is not easy to do nothing in the face of injustice.  Indeed, Dr. King reminded us of this when he said, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Governor Strickland, I know you are the ultimate measure of a man and I encourage you to leave your mark for justice on this case.


/s/ Cynthia McKinney

(end of text of letter)

Hasan, in a statement on the Coalition web site, says, "There is no doubt that the effort to create the impression that I was the person responsible for the uprising, and the death of the prison guard, [comes from] the State's fear and hatred of my religion.

"This became evident when, during the course of my trial in Cincinnati, the State repeatedly focused on my race, religion and Islamic attire—all to create an atmosphere of racial prejudice and Islamophobia before a predominately white and Catholic jury."

The Hasans, the Free Hasan Coalition, and the Green Party are asking citizens to flood Governor Strickland's office with calls and letters requesting "general amnesty" for all those convicted in the uprising. The governor's contact information can be found at, and more information about the Lucasville Five case, in addition to a sample letter, can be found at Saadiqah Hasan is available for comment.

McKinney, who represented the 11th Congressional District of Georgia for six terms between 1993 and 2005, as a Democrat, has joined the Green Party, "accept[ing] and endors[ing] its Ten Key Values," and is seeking its nomination for President.

"The Green Party has a platform that our country and planet needs—from justice and peace at home and abroad, to bringing about universal access to health care; from enacting living wages and addressing climate change, to defending and expanding our civil rights, civil liberties, and more."

"[We] now have to do some things we've never done before in order to have some things we've never had before. I stand with [the Green Party], ready to help bring that about." McKinney writes in her response to the Green Party questionnaire.

More information about McKinney's presidential campaign can be found at, and, the web site of the Green Party.