David McCallum III
Listen to David McCallum III and Andrei Schiller-Chan on Australian Broadcasting National
David McCallum III spent 29 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He was sent to Rikers Island at the age of 16. Picture what happens in this period of 16 - 44 and perhaps it may give you a sense of what is taken unjustly. David sent Rubin Carter a letter, having discovered him though a journal article that Ken Klonsky and Rubin co-authored. From that point on Rubin and Ken became staunch advocates of his innocence and worked on his behalf for over 10 years, with David doing his part within the constraints he found himself.
It was through connecting with Rubin Hurricane Carter and Ken Klonsky that Andrei was able to bridge a friendship with David. Rubin, Ken, Oscar and the team worked furiously to get the DA of Brooklyn to review his case.
Finally, after a moving appeal from Rubin on his deathbed, David was exonerated in October 2014 on a Wednesday afternoon. Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson gave David his freedom as Willie Stuckey's mother sat beside him. David looks forward to a long and happy life. David's story is now a multi award winning documentary, David and Me, on Netflix.
We transcended racial prejudice, barbed wire, and wrongful conviction, and for me at least, being on the outside of jail walls, my life flourished because of David and our shared resilience to ignorance and love for unity. It is a beautiful thought that I might be able one day to repay the life he gifted me, although I'm sure he would downplay his role in this, it stands only as a testament to his humility in the face of all endured. I will achieve that goal through this company I created and hope that it can extend the yardstick of his voice and message, equal in measure to his inspiration, across borders of all kinds. David is never far from my mind, I would not be the same without him, and many others will say the same. Thank you for a life you have made so bright, David, and you did it all behind prison walls. – Andrei Schiller-Chan
Innocence International are fighting another case on behalf of Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns; you can watch their story on Netflix titled, The Confession Tapes - Parts One and Two. If you would like to get involved or help rally for their cause please visit their site and pledge your support: