Stories of convicts

About us

About us

In Ukraine, for ten years there has been no procedure for correcting judicial errors, reviewing criminal sentences of those, who are sentenced to the maximum penalty (execution, life imprisonment). This is the most discriminated category of people. They were convicted by regional courts of first instance and had no right of appeal (reviewing of judgments by a higher court), and were convicted by the Criminal Procedure Code as amended in 1961, which was punishable with great human rights violations. We collect life stories of the people, who were convicted without the right to review sentences. The evidences of their guilt are based on confessions, given under torture, and which they refused in court. However, the evidences of the defense and the arguments of innocence of these people wasn’t investigated neither by detectives, nor by court, so people continue to sit in jail unfairly and are slowly dying.

In any civilized country in the world there is a procedure of correcting judicial errors and reviewing verdicts, that raise reasonable doubts about their fairness. Ukraine establishes itself as a civilized, democratic country, while according to the statistics of judicial practice, there is less than one percent of acquittals, while in European countries, in the United States, this percentage reaches 20-25 percent. It can be safely said, that 3-4 percent of people, who are sentenced to life imprisonment, serving sentences for other people’s crimes. The qualification of more than 10 percent of crimes is clearly exaggerated and the punishment doesn’t correspond to the gravity of the offence and the actual circumstances of the event. The draft Law №3078, as it was called, the “Bill of Last Hope” has the task of starting the process of restoring justice in the fights for lives of people, who are sentenced to life imprisonment by doubtful verdicts.

Oleksandr Ostrohliad

Vice-Rector of Research Work at King Danylo University – Ukraine.

Yevhen Zakharov

Director of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group – Ukraine.

Andrii Didenko

Program coordinator of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group – Ukraine.

Vitalii Musiienko

Law Office of Stephen Pidgeon PS – USA.

Ivan Tobilko

Jurisprudence, volunteer, Christian – USA.

Dmytro Degtyaryov

Web developer – Ukraine.

Stanislav Kasprov

Director publishing house “Smirna”

Stephen Pidgeon

Human rights activist, licensed attorney

Yuriy Kutsan

Videographer/editor, Christian – Ukraine

Iryna Klymova

Artist, art critic. From 2008 to the present, she is the head of the Sholom-Aleichem Museum (branch of the Kyiv History Museum). Author of numerous articles dedicated to fine arts, creativity of Ukrainian artists. Organizes and participates in numerous cultural, educational and educational projects.

Oleg Vasiur

Chaplain of prison ministry – Ukraine

Vasyl I. Pechko