Imprisoned former entertainment mogul, Jimmy Rosemond aka Jimmy Henchman, says President Trump pardoned him and that he should be released. More than ten prominent celebrities and politicos support Rosemond, who today filed a motion saying his continued imprisonment violates the Constitution.
Jimmy Rosemond — known previously in the music industry as Jimmy Henchman — has filed a Habeas Corpus motion requesting release from prison after being given multiple life sentences for ordering murders as a kingpin of a massive crime ring. His lawyers contend that President Trump had given him a pardon and left office without releasing him and that his continued imprisonment violates the Constitution.
Jimmy Henchman continues to maintain his innocence after being tried four times, being sentenced to a total of nine consecutive life sentences, and being in federal custody since 2011.
Rosemond had a hung jury and his murder conviction was overturned by the Second Circuit Federal Court after it was revealed that the key government witness told prosecutors that “Rosemond never ordered him to commit a murder.” He told the government from the beginning—both in private meetings and at trial—that Rosemond “never told me to murder Lowell Fletcher” and “never mentioned killing Fletcher at all.”
According to court papers filed today in New York,
“On December 18, 2020, then-President Donald J. Trump commuted Rosemond’s sentence to the time he had already served. President Trump telephoned Jim Brown (the former NFL running back, actor, and criminal justice advocate) and his wife Monique Brown (the director of a leading social justice organization), two of the numerous people who have supported Jimmy Henchman’s years-long efforts to obtain clemency. According to the sworn declarations submitted by the Browns in support of this petition, President Trump said, in a room full of his staff, that he had “looked at everything” Rosemond submitted, that he “believe[d] you guys” (Rosemond and the Browns), and that Rosemond would be “home for Christmas.”
However, according to Rosemond’s lawyer Michael Rayfield, nothing happened. Rayfield told SOHH.com exclusively per 5WPR: “Unfortunately, the record of President Trump’s decision was never transmitted to the warden of the prison, and Jimmy is now being held in custody in violation of his constitutional rights.”
Rayfield continues to explain that President Trump’s act was “an irrevocable act of clemency” and that by publicly communicating the clemency decision “it can’t be reversed regardless of whether any record is delivered. Simply put, Jimmy is serving a sentence that no longer exists.”
The attorney is calling on President Biden to act on the commutation and is simultaneously seeking habeas corpus relief in federal court.
In the documentary film Unjust Justice executive produced by the late Michael K. Williams, journalist Don Sikorski followed the criminal charges and subsequent trial against James Rosemond. In a follow-up, Sikorski will release The Jimmy Rosemond Story, a companion podcast with an even deeper dive.
“You don’t have to be a legal scholar to see what’s wrong with Jimmy’s convictions. Prosecutors used every unethical method in the book to put him in prison. Jimmy’s case is the epitome of everything that’s wrong with the federal criminal justice system. It is a system where US Attorney’s have no oversight and can create compelling narratives, created by confidential informants with every reason to manufacture lies.”
Weldon Angelos, prison reform activist president of The Weldon Project/Mission Green said “Being an activist for Criminal Justice Reform and a person that was sentenced to 55 years in prison for a small amount of marijuana, I know Jimmy Rosemond deserves a second chance, and should not be sentenced to death by incarceration.
The problem is that there is no transparency in the process and it is DOJ-dominated, which is clearly broken. I hope that President Biden fixes the process and Congress passes the FIX Clemency Act because the pardon power was never meant to be so sparingly used. Clemency needs to be so normal, that pardon grants do not generate headlines.”
In January 2015, Rosemond began to seek clemency from the Obama Administration, and he continued those efforts after President Trump was elected. His clemency petition received overwhelming support from diverse sectors of society.
- Athletes, including Jim Brown (the Hall of Fame running back) and Mike Tyson (the former Heavyweight Champion);
- Politicians, including James McGreevy (the former governor of New Jersey), Dan Quart (a New York State Assemblyman), Inez Dickens (a New York State Assemblywoman), and Eric Perrodin (the former Mayor of Compton);
- Actors, including Michael K. Williams
- Musicians, including Wyclef Jean and Akon;
- Current and former prosecutors, including Brett Tolman (the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah) and J. Bruce Maffeo (a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York);
- Investigative journalists, including Donald J. Sikorski (who produced a documentary film series on Rosemond’s case);
- Numerous police officers, firefighters, and correctional officers; and
- A former judge, Justice Betty Williams (Supreme Court of New York).