News 09.26.17

Brooklyn Suit-Maker Dresses the Wrongfully Convicted For What Lies Ahead

By Innocence Staff

Anthony Wright, Felipe Rodriguez, Johnnie Hincapie, and Everton Wagstaffe in their custom Bindle & Keep suits at the May 2017 Innocence Project gala.

A Brooklyn tailor is dedicating time and resources to provide custom-made suits for people who were wrongfully convicted and incarcerated.

Last January, Bindle & Keep founder Daniel Friedman pledged to dress clients of the Innocence Project upon their release from prison, celebrating their freedom and facilitating their transition back into the work force.

Carlos Sanchez served nearly 25 years in prison for a murder he maintains he did not commit before he was granted parole in January and released in May. While the Innocence Project continues the fight to secure his exoneration, Sanchez is adjusting to life on the outside. Last Sunday, he visited Friedman’s Brooklyn shop to be fitted for his own custom suit.

“I’ve never been measured for anything but a hem,” Sanchez told Fast Company. “Having a personal suit is not something you get in prison.”

Sanchez was only 17 when, after an eight-hour interrogation by police without a lawyer or guardian present, he signed a confession taking responsibility for the 1992 murder of his girlfriend. The confession was the only evidence linking him to the crime, and it was taken under circumstances now known to be associated with false confessions. The statement was also at odds with physical evidence collected in the case.

While incarcerated, Sanchez earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics through the Bard Prison Initiative. While being fitted for his new suit, Sanchez discussed his plans for the future with Friedman and Khalil Cumberbatch, with whom he served time in prison. Released more than seven years ago, Cumberbatch now works as the Associate Vice President of Policy for the Fortune Society, a nonprofit that helps formerly incarcerated individuals rebuild their lives.

Friedman told Fast Company that he wants to help Innocence Project clients not only to look their best, but also to feel their best as they face the new challenges that await them outside the prison walls.

Above all, Friedman said, “free men should feel like free men.”

Read the article here.

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  1. Doreen Giuliano says:

    Hi Daniel,
    We met when I came in with Anthony DiPippo from the Innocence Projects. We gave you the quick version of my son John Giuca’s wrongful incarceration. (13 years imprisoned.) I told my son all about your place and the generous gifts you are giving to men who have been in prison many many years for a crime they did not commit.

    I am sharing with you a tender moment I had with my son John, just telling him about the suits made him cry. (shhh don’t tell anyone, he will be embarrassed). LoL

    I couldn’t quite put my finger on what actually made John get teary eyed but I suspect your generosity and knowing there is still people who care. Its funny Daniel, how something as simple as a suit can reach the heart of a man. With John in wrinkly greens and hand-me downs year after year can take a toll on a man’s self esteem and bring them down internally. He is in a place where they degrade you everyday, beat and humiliate you to try and break you. Telling my John about you and what you are doing for these men who have been broken down got him so emotional. John said;

    “Daniel knows exactly what he is doing, he is helping build us back up again, I am a complete stranger to him and he wants to help me get up”,
    “How do I thank a man for that”?- John Giuca. ( That’s when he got teary eyed)

    Even though my son is still in prison, he visualizes himself in that suit, and what you’ve done for him, when you said, “tell him to come see me after he comes home,” was some added hope. And hope is all we’ve got.

    Sometimes people touch lives in ways they couldn’t imagine or are unaware of. This is one of those times.

    I thank you for you’re generosity and inspiration words.

    Doreen Giuliano.

Thanks for your comment

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