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One of our nominees for the 2014 Courageous Truth Award is someone we’ve been familiar with for quite a while.  LAPD Lt. Jim Gavin faced intense scrutiny and harsh criticism for actions he took to protect an innocent man.  See our earlier blog on the Bruce Lisker case here.

Jim Gavin entered the scene two decades after Lisker was wrongfully convicted.  Bruce filed an internal affairs complaint against the lead detective based on evidence that Bruce and his investigator had developed of the detective’s many lies and distortions. At the time, Gavin was Sergeant in the Internal Affairs Department and Lisker’s complaint landed on his desk.

After further digging into the Lisker case, Gavin stumbled across some disturbing findings pointing to Lisker’s innocence. In defiance of his superiors, Gavin gave the exculpatory evidence to the defense! Gavin did what he thought was right and he was punished for it.

Jim Gavin is an exceptional example of using personal power for good.  Often, self-preservation prevents us from standing up for what is right.  We are programmed to protect ourselves and our status.  Fortunately, Gavin valued his obligation to protect the innocent over his own interest.  If it weren’t for Gavin, it’s likely Lisker would still be serving his life in prison.  Thanks to Jim, Bruce is enjoying life as a free man.

We often wonder what Jim is doing now and if he would do it all over again.  The Innocence Matters’ team is eager to meet Jim, so we’re saving a seat for him at this year’s Courageous Truth Award.  Call us Jim!

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