Wesam Zumut by Lara Zumut

This petition has been created on behalf of my brother Wesam Zumot that involves him in a story that took a turn for the worse. Many times we hear the phrase, “in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” This has basically been the story of my brother Wesam’s life. During the times when my brother was not incarcerated, he was working hard to support his family. He comes from a cultural background where respect and loving people were his biggest strengths.

That all changed when, one day, my brother was physically attacked by a group of 5 people in a vehicle. This was for no reason but to attack him and take his life away. The instinct that my brother had at that moment was to protect himself through self-defense. This happened during the time my brother was working at night, and he was driving home alone in the late evening. He was followed, and then stopped due to this unforeseen moment. He was being shot at. The person that was shooting at my brother was shot due to my brother being scared, and he killed him. The gun had flown out of his hand, and he drove away, petrified by the situation. The gun was never to be found, and there was no evidence. Because of this, he was charged with first degree murder. He was not seen as a young man defending himself. He has been sentenced to 25 years for gun possession and another 20 years for murder. He has been incarcerated since the year 2002 and has not been given the opportunity to have parole. Our judicial system has failed him, neglecting his situation of self-defense and basing his sentence on no substantial evidence. The sentence was based on the idea that he caused this on his own and intended to take someone’s life.

He has spent most of his life in prison based on half of a story that was not presented factually. This has resulted in a heartbroken family and has distressed my parents throughout the years. I was getting threats that my life would be over, not even realizing what was happening to me. We had to get up and move to a place where we could live and be free from this happening to us. Until this day, we will always fight for my brother’s innocence and to support him throughout this terrible journey. The case that was made is flawed and unethical. Lawyers have taken advantage of our situation to ask for thousands of dollars to work on this case that should not have come to this. We constantly hear about innocent people being incarcerated for years and years while they are sitting in a jail cell hating themselves, feeling left alone, when deep down they knew they were defending themselves.

I stand with my brother, and I have supported him through the many changes he has made and the wonderful approach he has taken, regardless of his situation. Wesam’s conduct and spirits alone should be looked at as a reason to stand with me and help me bring justice to my brother’s life. I pray and ask for the help of others to help our family. Please take the time to spread the word and sign this petition. This may not be a huge part of your life, but it is a huge part of mine. I will always fight for his justice, and I pray that he is given at least a chance to live a life that should have been lived. A life where he is not incarcerated for something he did defending himself. This is his life! This petition is to give him a chance to truly defend himself with the truth, and the truth only.

Thank you for your support.