We are the family of Zachariah Anderson and we're asking for your help to raise money for legal expenses.
On March 22, 2023, Zachariah Anderson was wrongfully convicted on several charges in Kenosha, Wisconsin; he is currently facing a possible life sentence in prison. We won't go into all of the details here, as the trial was already highly publicized and we hope that, if you have watched it, you came to the same conclusion: his guilty verdict was a miscarriage of justice. What we're arguing here isn't unprecedented or unique--this is a tragedy that happens far more frequently than anyone might suspect.
According to the National Registry of Exonerations, the rate of wrongful convictions in the U.S. is estimated to be somewhere between 2% and 10%. With a prison population of about 2.3 million, there could be anywhere between 46,000 to 230,000 innocent people incarcerated. Proven innocent people have served more than 23,950 years in prison so far. According to wrongly convicted statistics, official misconduct is the cause of wrongful convictions in 31% of murder exonerations (Source: Criminal Legal News). Wrongful convictions statistics show false accusations are present in 70% of wrongful convictions (Source: Death Penalty Org). False accusations, along with perjury, were present in 101 of the 143 exonerations in 2019--that's 70.6%!
Media coverage of crime contributes to wrongful convictions in two capacities. First, prejudicial media narratives play on public emotions, putting pressure on police investigators to apprehend a suspect; this can lead to rushed investigations and tunnel vision. Sometimes the puzzle pieces don't fit, but if the investigators have been slanted toward a suspect, they force everything to fit to fulfill their duty to apprehend. Second, once a person has been charged with a crime, pre-trial publicity can lead to trial by media. As jurors are selected from the local public that is exposed to these publications, pre-trial publicity can become a serious issue when the material is prejudicial. Ultimately, news media sensationalizes or dramatizes crimes to entertain their viewers; this negatively impacts the right to a fair trial.
Zach, unfortunately, faced all of these setbacks. From the day of his arrest, local media coverage slanted the story with bias, only reporting information that lent itself to his guilt. Because Zach was implicated in the missing person's case immediately, there was never an unbiased police investigation or media reporting; he was connected as the face opposite the missing person since day one and he was tried and convicted in the court of public opinion long before his jury trial.
Zach is not a perfect man in any way; no one has ever or will ever claim this. But he is a good man that has been unjustifiably assailed by our justice system, as too many have. In the meantime, devastatingly, there is still another man missing that was robbed of his own resolution the moment Zach was falsely implicated. If an investigation and conviction still leaves more questions than answers, then justice has not been served.
Our campaign funding will go toward legal expenses necessary to investigate the truth of the matter and find closure for ALL victims involved. We welcome and appreciate each and every donation, big or small.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said it best: “Justice is served when a guilty man is convicted, and an innocent man is not.”
If you want to continue receiving updates on the status of Zach's case, please feel free to join and follow our social media pages.