Ministers’ Conference to continue push for Kalvin Smith

Bishop Fulton

Ministers’ Conference to continue push for Kalvin Smith
November 23
08:30 2016



The Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity said the group will continue to fight for Kalvin Michael Smith to get him exonerated.

When asked about the release of Smith at a Nov. 15 weekly Ministers’ Conference meeting, the Rev. Alvin Carlisle, third vice president with the Conference, said, “We are definitely pleased that he has been released but are not satisfied with him still not being exonerated.  So we can’t take this as an opportunity to side step the struggle for his total exoneration.

“We are going to push for his name to be totally cleared and all the evidence to be presented in court,” Carlisle said.

Smith was released on Nov. 10 after spending almost 20 years in prison.

Ministers’ Conference President Bishop Todd L. Fulton added, “It just goes to show that our criminal justice system needs to be revamped.  It is a serpentine system and we are reliving everything that happened to Darryl Hunt and so many others who have served their time wrongfully and yet it’s still a fight to have him exonerated.

“There is no evidence that proves he is guilty, and the Chris Swecker files, which our potential governor has not read yet, and it’s disheartening. It shows that some think that life is cheap but black life is the cheapest of all life.

“We are hopeful and thankful for what has happened thus far with Kalvin being released, but we are hopeful and we are calling on Josh Stein [the apparent new N.C. attorney general] and we are calling on Roy Cooper [“our potential governor”] to do the right thing,” Fulton continued.

Carlisle was asked about the presidential and gubernatorial races, in which Republican Donald Trump won the presidency and Roy Cooper apparently won the governor’s race. He stated, “The conference is non- partisan and we definitely have been pushing people to get out and vote.  It’s always been our belief that when everyone votes, we get the right people in office.”

“We were very glad to see the way the local races went as far as the attorney general and governor. Both of those potential winners have said some things that we feel are going to be beneficial to the people of North Carolina.  I’m disappointed in the presidential election, but I look at it as a chance for  African-American people to network together and strengthen our own economy.”

Carlisle said the conference has had conversations with Stein concerning Smith, and Stein assured them that he would take a look at the case and see what he could do.

He said they will continue to exert pressure onto the attorney general and the governor to exonerate Smith once and for all.

Fulton said, “It’s a reality check for the African-American community, but it’s really nothing new.  It’s the same old agenda, and we see that Donald Trump represents a divided America.  He represents what part of America looks like and that is disrespect and bigotry.  He gives us a snapshot of what this country looks like divided.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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