Rest in Peace, Jesse Jerome Dean, Jr.

Along with Detention Watch Network, we are mourning the loss this month of Jesse Jerome Dean, Jr., a victim of entrapment by the federal government who served 30 years in prison on drug-trafficking charges and who consistently professed his innocence. He was recently imprisoned at the North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin until December 31st, 2020, and was then seized by ICE and held in immigration detention at the Calhoun County Jail until he died on February 5th. In their press release announcing his death, ICE misspelled his name.

“Despite […] very detailed showings of both my actual and legal innocence and the fraud that was perpetrated upon me and the court,” Jesse wrote in 2008, “I remain imprisoned; each and every court that has reviewed my claims has denied me relief, ignoring their own laws, the facts and the truth!” His full statement can be read here.

The North Lake Correctional Facility had already claimed at least two lives in the last year. Now another immigrant barely made it out of North Lake only to die a month later in ICE detention at a Michigan county jail. This terrible news comes as a reminder not only that shadow prisons like North Lake must be shut down, but that the entire immigrant detention apparatus of which North Lake is a part must be dismantled. #FreeThemAll