David Wong in Hong Kong (copyrighted by Linda Boonyuen Owens)

David Wong in Hong Kong (copyrighted by Linda Boonyuen Owens)

CHINESE IMMIGRANT DAVID WONG DEPORTED AFTER BEING CLEARED OF 1986 MURDER: The First Statements Released By David Wong And His Supporters About His August 2005 Deportation

David Wong, a Chinese immigrant wrongly convicted of murder in 1987 in New York, is finally free after being deported in August 2005 to Hong Kong. His supporters on the David Wong Support Committee are issuing their first public statement along with a statement by David Wong, which is available in full at www.freedavidwong.org

Justice was not served in David's case because the United States deported David Wong without allowing him to stay in the United States or to spend a single day of freedom with his supporters. In December 2004, the murder case against David was finally dropped after extensive proof that a prison guard coached an inmate to lie about the 1987 murder and that the real killer was someone else who held a grudge against the victim. The case was an extraordinary example of individuals working together to overturn the wrongful conviction of an immigrant who did not receive a fair trial. As Fei Yeung, spokesperson of the David Wong Support Committee and David's niece, said, "David Wong's conviction was overturned thanks to hundreds of supporters. The criminal justice system pinned the murder on an innocent Chinese immigrant and without the hard work of the community, David would still be in prison today for something he did not commit." It is an inspiring example of what community activism can accomplish.

Nothing can make up for the dozen years that David was wrongly imprisoned. Mr. Wong has filed a lawsuit seeking some compensation for the wrongful conviction and how the main witness was coached by a prison guard to lie. New York state is opposing David's lawsuit and it is unclear whether or how much the courts might ultimately award.

David Wong is well-known for inspiring hundreds to uncover a large body of evidence that he was wrongly convicted in 1987. Although the evidence was uncovered in 2001, it took the justice system until 2004 for an appellate court to overrule a trial court and overturn the murder conviction. From December 2004 to August 2005, federal immigration authorities at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained David near Buffalo, New York and refused to release him pending his deportation. David is now in Hong Kong.

An excerpt of David's statement says "I am presently happy and comfortable at home and enjoying time with my mom, my two sisters and their families. I would like to thank all my friends, supporters, relatives in the U.S., and the People's Republic of China Consulate in New York for making my freedom and homecoming a reality."

David's supporters have held rallies, fundraiser banquets, and produced a documentary video on the case. In June 2005, supporters held a celebration dinner in New York City. The web site about the case is at www.freedavidwong.org