(New York, July 26, 2017) - After a year incarcerated at the notorious Rikers Island jail for a shooting multiple witnesses and the victim said he did not commit, Pedro Hernandez, 17, will be freed tomorrow on $100,000 bail paid by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.
Hernandez, an honor student just months from attending college, was arrested last year and accused of shooting a fellow teen. Hernandez endured repeated pressure to accept a guilty plea agreement, but expressed his desire to prove his innocence in court. He still awaits a trial.
“No one should disappear into a jail as notorious as Rikers Island simply because they can’t afford bail,” said Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights President Kerry Kennedy. “The clear injustice of Pedro Hernandez’s situation breaks my heart, as it should the hearts of all New Yorkers who desire an effective justice system.”
The decision to post bail for Hernandez comes as part of a larger campaign by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights to reform the inefficient and unjust pre-trial detention policies in New York that led to the 2015 suicide of Kalief Browder and the victimization of countless others.
The work of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights in this case is made possible by the support of the Fund II Foundation. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights will continue to seek justice for Hernandez and advocate for much needed reforms to ensure no New Yorker will ever remain in jail simply because they can not afford to purchase their freedom.
About Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Led by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. We work alongside local activists to ensure lasting positive change in governments and corporations. Our team includes leading attorneys, advocates, and leaders in business and government united by a commitment to social justice.