Free Zachariah Anderson

Campaign Created by: Solomon Anderson

The funds from this campaign will be received by Solomon Anderson.

Goal: USD $50,000
Raised: USD $ 37,732

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.

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Update #2
May 30, 2023
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Sentencing Brief:

First, we'd like to say thank you, again, to every person that has generously donated money, prayers, and concern; we're forever grateful.

Second, Zach's sentencing occurred on May 16, 2023 as scheduled. Unfortunately, no one in our family was allowed to speak on Zach's behalf at the sentencing, despite the fact that sentences are supposed to be individualized based on many factors, including the character of the defendant. Regardless, Zach handled the hearing with as much grace as anyone could have in that situation. He also was finally allowed to speak on his own behalf, which I have transcripted here (please skip all the blue text if you wish to keep reading past his statement):

"I don't want to go into all the details of the case. I got a lot of dispute about what was said, what was portrayed. I think the facts with a little more scrutiny tell a much different story than what the jury decided and I don't think that things played out fairly. I think that there's some things that are--not just from our side--questions outstanding for both sides and I don't think the court accomplished what it set out to do in any means if both sides are left with so many questions. And I don't think--without going into the case--I don't think we really got to the heart of the matter. What I can tell you is: I didn't kill anybody. What I can tell you is: I didn't stalk anybody. What I can tell you is: I didn't dispose of any corpse. It's really weird to be sentenced for or convicted for it and soon to be sentenced for it, but I didn't, judge. It kind of feels like there's no turning around on that now. I don't really know how to make a better statement of my opposition, but I disagree. I'm innocent. I don't know what you're going to decide. I don't know what you're all going to weigh. I don't even know how to represent my own character without having my family be able to testify on my behalf, but they do have some things that are relevant. I mean, even in this... even during the trial, there was a gentleman who tried to come up and talk to me. I think there was a comment about how everything has happened during the trial when he made that attempt. Nobody really knew who he was and I do know who he is; he's a man who I saved from assault in jail. He's actually related to one of the jailers and my heart went out to him because I know he appeared inebriated and I know he struggles and I know he was coming up here to talk to me because we got along so good. But those tiny little moments throughout somebody's life, nobody accounts for those. But what they do a really good job of is making up all of these things that they want you to believe when they can label you as a monster. I still didn't. It's still weird. I want to be remorseful and I am for the things that I did wrong. You're welcome to sentence me for everything that I did wrong just like the judge in South Dakota. The only thing that I disputed in that instance was whether or not I was coming back to Wisconsin with that, which the prosecution is now repeatedly made false statements about on their own assumptions hoping that everybody in this courtroom--everybody that's watching this--would buy. Oh yeah, he was bringing something back to Wisconsin. Not true. Was I caught with marijuana in my car? Yeah. Yeah, I was. Should I have? No. Did I bend the rules there? Broke them. Broke the rules. And when they said, hey, this is a problem, I said: 'Well, I did knowingly and I'll be held accountable for it.' That's it. And if I killed somebody, whatever that situation was, I can tell you in my own heart it wouldn't be intentional. But, I didn't at all. A guy I never met? I don't really know... I don't really know what this is but I didn't do it. I'm innocent, judge. Not 'not guilty.' I'm innocent."

Not having the ability to speak on his own behalf has weighed heavily on Zach the past three years, so it was a relief for him to finally be able to publicly speak the words: "I'm innocent." We get a lot of questions about why he didn't testify at his trial, and the most simple answer is because everyone has the right against forced self-incrimination, per the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The more complex answer is that it would not have benefited him at all. Not only does the prosecution then get the ability to try to further impeach his character and credibility, but nine times out of ten, no one believes what the defendant has to say anyway. A defendant's perceived credibility is already very low simply because they have charges brought against them and most people will dismiss their testimony as being perjured for their own benefit, even if they are 100% truthful. Due to these reasons, Zach's legal counsel advised against him taking the stand to provide his own testimony.

We did expect a life sentence to be issued at the hearing, per Wisconsin minimum sentencing guidelines. But, here is Zach's full sentence:

  • Count 1, Stalking: 2 years prison w/ 2 years extended supervision 
  • Count 2, Stalking: 2 years prison w/ 2 years extended supervision
  • Count 3, 1st Degree Intentional Homicide: Life in prison w/ eligibility for extended supervision after 40 years
  • Count 4: Hiding a Corpse: 6 years prison w/ 5 years extended supervision

All time is to be served consecutively, meaning Zach is sentenced to serve 50 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. He currently has served roughly 3 years of that sentence already while waiting for trial. 

On to Appeal:

As much as we are grief stricken about Zach's sentence, we are grateful to be past this inevitable hurdle. A motion for appeal cannot be filed until after sentencing, so now that we have crossed that bridge, he has officially filed for his appeal with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Here is an outline of the general process for an appeal:

  • Step 1: Filing the Notice of Appeal. 
    • Done. Notice filed 5/16/2023. 
  • Step 2: Hiring an Appellate Attorney
    • This is where we currently stand while we wait to see which route Zach wants to go with this. Zach has two options: 1) Hire private counsel or 2) Apply for a public appellate defender. Public defenders, although mostly free, can take several months to years to be appointed and Wisconsin is notoriously slow to appoint. Conversely, private counsel will prove to be the much quicker option to move on to Step 3, but generally the costs is upward of $150k+.
  • Step 3: Preparing the Record on Appeal.
  • Step 4: Researching and Writing Your Appeal.
  • Step 5: Oral Argument.

We expect that this entire process will take somewhere in the ballpark of 1-3 years, depending on whether he has to wait to be appointed a public defender; if he chooses that option, it could take several more years on top of that estimate. However, we have to take this one step at a time and remember that we are moving in the right direction. It's just not an easy thing to wait when an innocent man is wasting years of his life behind bars. 

Next Steps for GiveSendGo:

We will be making another update detailing our current goals and standing with the fund. Check back here soon!

Update #1
April 5, 2023
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First of all, thank you SO much to every single person that has prayed for our family or generously donated toward Zach's legal funds. Every day we feel more hopeful than the last and it is because of every person that has reached out and enveloped us with your kind presence. Every day we find more and more critical thinkers that were able to weigh the evidence logically and come to same conclusion of Zach's innocence; that is a blessing.

In the meantime, our fund for Zach is doing SO well! We've almost hit 10% of our total goal in less than 2 weeks! We have a meeting with Zach's legal team this Friday that will give us some clarity on next steps and ways we can start allocating that money to some of the investigations and appellate fees. We'll still be somewhat limited in the information we can release outside of what was presented already in the trial, but we will absolutely be providing further updates as we have them! 

Zach himself is hanging in there and has been expressing his gratitude daily for the support he (and the rest of the family) has received. He's still currently being held at the Kenosha County Pre-Trial Facility, and we expect he will remain there until after his sentencing on May 16th. Ourselves and others have been in communication with him daily, so he's also keeping his spirits up. He's already started to receive a lot of phone calls, emails, and letters from people around the world, so he's been keeping himself plenty busy trying to respond. He does want us to pass along the message that he will do his absolute best to reply to anyone that reaches out to him, but his time and resources are fairly limited, so please keep that in mind and do not take it personally if it takes some time to hear back from him. 


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