Rafael Martinez was wrongfully sentenced to life in prison by the State of Massachusetts in 2011 for a murder he did not commit. His conviction lacked crucial evidence like DNA confirmation, forensics, eyewitnesses, or any direct physical connection to the crime. Before his conviction in April 2013, Rafael was a college student, a dedicated student athlete with aspirations to address pressing societal issues like race, equal job and education opportunities, and criminal justice reform, especially within his own community.
The case against Rafael began with a 2010 shooting in Lawrence, where a surveillance video showed a man near the crime scene, but the footage wasn't clear enough for a positive identification. Ten months later, an acquaintance identified Rafael after the video was released by the police. Subsequent analysis of the surveillance video and informant testimony have cast doubt on the Commonwealth's case. Despite maintaining his innocence throughout his ten-year incarceration at MCI-Norfolk, Rafael's petitions for a new trial have been denied twice.
Rafael Martinez was unjustly sentenced to life for a crime he did not commit, facing a lack of critical evidence. As a college student with no prior legal issues, he aspired to create positive change within his community. We invite you to take action and sign the petition by clicking here.