Joan Treppa

Writer, Mother, and Public Speaker in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Joan Treppa

Writer, Mother, and Public Speaker in Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Citizen Advocate: Supporter of six innocent men.

My introduction to wrongful convictions came about when I read a book in 2009 called, The Monfils Conspiracy. It talked about six paper mill workers wrongfully convicted of murder in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, in 1995. Putting aside any conclusions I had of guilt or innocence, my initial impression was that they had been bullied, much like I was as a young girl.

Although their experience was far worse than mine, their rights, like mine, had been violated. After delving into specific details of the case, it became apparent that they were unfairly targeted despite evidence that pointed to their innocence. They had families, homes and job security. What's more, they had alibis and no prior history of violence. They were victims of an ambitious prosecutor, a police force pressured into solving the case, and a community consumed by vengeance and fear.

Bringing attention to this case was necessary. One of the six had been freed (exonerated) by a federal judge citing no credible evidence, and even though the six men were tried together in a joint trial, the other five still remain behind bars.

I became their voice, their honesty, their justice...things I once longed for...a voice that eventually compelled a sympathetic attorney to bring this case back to the attention of the courts.

In October of 2014, a motion to request an evidentiary hearing for one of the men, Keith Kutska, was filed. That motion was granted by the original trial judge, and a hearing was held in July of 2015. Its purpose was to ask for a new trial for Kutska. However, that request was denied by this same judge. So a new motion was filed in the WI Court of Appeals. That motion was also denied on January 28,2016. The next petition has been sent to the WI Supreme Court. That appeal is pending...

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