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Family members and friends of Earnest Jackson's celebrate his birthday

They gathered at the Malcom X Memorial foundation in North Omaha.
Posted at 11:22 AM, Oct 23, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A tall cut-out of Earnest Jackson smiling stands in a room full of supporters at the Malcolm X Memorial foundation in north Omaha.

"This means that family is coming together. We're celebrating his birthday. Just to bring back the community awareness and get everyone involved again," said Brenda Jackson-Williams, Earnest's mother.

Jackson turned 42-years-old. Another birthday away from his loved ones. In 1999, at 17-years-old, he was convicted and sentenced for the first-degree murder of Larry Perry. Many supporters say he was wrongfully convicted.

"As a mother, it makes me very upset," said Jackson-Williams. "I do not like it at all. But, I cannot let my anger supersede the process that we're doing to get Earnest Jackson out."

After Jackson's conviction, Shalamar Cooperrider confessed to the shooting. He was acquitted on self-defense. Cooperrider told investigators that Jackson was not present when Perry was killed.

Just last year, in an emotional hearing at the capitol, Jackson was denied a pardon.

Nature Villegas with Stand in for Nebraska, an advocacy group has been working with the Jackson family for years. She's been working to have meetings about Jackson with Governor Pillen.

"I hope we can at least have a space to have this conversation and find out what we need to do," said Villegas.

Twenty-four years later, family and friends vow to forever fight for Earnest.

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