In a desperate attempt to generate support and undo my complicated, wrongful conviction for robbing a Subway sandwich shop in 1993 in Cleveland, Ohio, a spark of creativity led me to write a letter last year to Subway’s corporate headquarters. The sandwich giant, a billion-dollar franchise, would respond to my letter, I figured, in the interest of appealing to the general public and rectifying an injustice.
My optimism, however, was deflated, knocked down like a Michael Strahan sack of Tom Brady. They never responded to my letter.
In March 1993, as a juvenile, I had walked into a Subway sandwich shop in Cleveland’s Buckeye Plaza with the intention of robbing the eatery. Nervous, however, I quickly lost my gall, and I exited the restaurant without placing an order.
Several days after the abandoned robbery attempt of the Subway in the Buckeye Plaza, I was arrested for robbing a pedestrian, a crime I did commit. When I arrived at the police station, I was told I was also being arrested for robbing a doughnut shop on a street where I hadn’t been in years, “Broadway Road.”
Shortly after my arrest, while being detained in the Cuyahoga county juvenile detention center, I was indicted for the two robberies. In addition to this, however, I was also indicted for allegedly robbing a Subway sandwich shop!
When I received my indictment for the Subway robbery, I instantly assumed it had something to do with the Subway in the Buckeye Plaza, which I never robbed. The Subway I was indicted for, however, was located on “Broadway Road,” the same street where the doughnut shop I never robbed is located.
Nevertheless, several months later, due to my complete ignorance of the
ways in which the criminal justice system functioned, I pled guilty to all of the above charges–that is, upon being coerced to do so by my court-appointed attorneys.
Approximately 25 years after pleading guilty to crimes I didn’t commit, while reading a portion of my Cleveland Police Department records, I learned the two suspects for the Broadway Road robberies were captured on video committing at least one of the robberies. Knowing I hadn’t committed either of the robberies, and fed up with being given unwarranted sentence continuances by Ohio’s parole board, I reached out to Subway’s corporate offices. I asked them to please assist me with trying to prove my innocence by helping me obtain the video footage of the Broadway Road robbery suspects. Helping disadvantaged, wrongfully convicted human beings, however, is beyond the scope of Subway’s willingness to engage the general public. They ignored my letter.
Subway’s ignoring my plea for assistance goes completely against the upstanding and righteous corporate image they project in their commercials and marketing campaigns. This, of course, does not come as a shock to me. Most billion-dollar franchises care very little about anything aside from generating annual profits. If Subway’s former spokesman, Michael Strahan, an NFL legend, is wrongfully incarcerated, Subway will probably ignore his injustice too.
Download a PDF copy of Looking for Justice from the Subway Food Chain.