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This fundraiser ended on 02/18/12

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Our legal rights are being eroded away. There isn't any legal definition of what constitutes either a speedy trail or excessive bail.

December 15, 2011 was the 220th anniversary of the passage of the Bill of Rights.

This web site was created because of abuses by our present legal system of two significant rights granted to the citizens of the United States of America.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted

I have a friend Armando Castilleja who has been charged with criminal offenses based only on testimony of his alleged victim. Since this is a pending case I have to be careful not to include information which may be construed as trying to influence either the court or any potential witnesses.

There is no forensic evidence, no corroborating testimony or no other witness's to support the accusations made against him. His friends and supporters who know Armando and Mary his wife of thirty-two years believe him to be innocent of all the allegations made against him.

Armando is Hispanic about 53 years of age. He has lived in the same small town in Texas all of his life. He holds a degree in finance. He has worked for the same employer since 1997. His employer holds him in such high regards they have kept his job open for him until his legal matters have been settled. My friend has been incarcerated since early August 2011. His bail is set at $290,000. We need to raise at least $29,000 immediately to pay the bond company. He also needs help with his attorney fees.

For a working man I consider his bail to be excessive. He doesn't even have a trial date scheduled and may not have for six months to a year depending of the number of other cases now pending in this court. He has exhausted all of his financial resources.

My friend is not a flight risk. In addition to working full time, he was also helping to care for his invalid mother on the weekends. He doesn't have a passport or the financial means to be a risk to the court. He continues to proclaim his innocence and looks forward to having his name cleared by a jury of his peers. He is an active member of his church and has held a number of important responsibilities over the years.

I am asking for your support to help my friend. I am optimistic there are enough concerned people who agree our legal system is not working as our founding fathers had hoped. Our legal rights are slowly being eroded away. There isn't any legal definition of what constitutes either a speedy trail or excessive bail. Every citizen is at the mercy of the particular court and judge assigned to a case.

If you have any doubt innocent people aren't arrested, charged, tried, and sentenced consider this information from the Innocent Project:

As of November 2011, 280 people previously convicted of serious crimes in the United States had been exonerated by DNA testing since 1989, seventeen of whom had been sentenced to death. Almost all (99%) of the convictions proven to be false were of males, with minority groups also disproportionately represented (approximately 70%).

The state of Texas is home to more DNA based exoneration's than any other state in the nation. The statistics below represent a small snapshot of what we have learned from each of the cases to date.

Number of DNA Exonerations: 44
Average Number of Years Incarcerated*: 13.5
Number of DNA Exonerations Prior to 2001+: 7
Number of DNA Exonerations Since 2001+: 37
Leading Cause of Wrongful Convictions: Flawed Eyewitness Identifications
Percentage of Cases involving an Eyewitness ID Error*: 80%

My goal is to raise enough money by January 25th to pay his bail bond of $29,000 so my friend can return to work and care for his invalid mother once again. As of now we have successfully raised nearly $10,000.

Anything you can donate will help. If there is anything left after paying his legal fees and expenses, the remainder will be donated to a church or to a charity.

Please note: Many people have asked if they may send a donation by mail. Certainly!

Please send checks payable to:
Mary Castilleja

Contact me for the mailing address

Thank you for your donations, support and most importantly prayers. We do believe in miracles and we pray for one each day.

God Bless you.

The friends and supporters of Armando Castilleja

Ken & Cheryl Vanderhorst, Walt and Linda Teixeira Derek Cazier

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
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