James H. Gresham (born October 14, 1934 in Selma, Alabama), is a soul singer and writer. BMI list 14 songs to his credit. He wrote and produced records in Los Angeles in the 1960s. He also played in Rosey Grier's band, and wrote and produced records for Rosey's record label "Tac-Ful". He has appeared on shows with the late Wilson Pickett, Joe Tex, and many other "Soul Greats".
As of October 2008, he is in his 16th year of incarceration in a United States Federal Prison. He is serving a 30-year sentence without chance of parole. Gresham was convicted for his involvement with a group of Marielitos that were sponsored out into his neighborhood in 1980 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), following the Mariel Boat Lift. They were convicted of conspiracy to traffic cocaine. He was given the 30-year sentence in the same courthouse where, at the age of 18, he took the Navy oath. Jimmy Gresham was a first time and a non-violent offender.
"Free Jimmy Gresham"
There is a movement that claims that he wasn't given a fair trial, and has been seeking his release since 2004. The movement claims to have proven that the United States government used "officially sanctioned" perjury to convict him. This evidence has been documented and presented to the Federal Court in Pensacola, Florida and to the US Attorney in Northern Florida, Gregory Miller and his First Assistant US Attorney Thomas F. Kirwin.
The evidence presented has never been examined on its merits. Since the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act was passed in 1996, a federal inmate only gets one chance at relief through a "habeas corpus" motion. Gresham has, for the most part, had to represent himself against the charges.
His one chance at a successful habeas corpus motion was ruled untimely (late). There is a procedure for obtaining a second habeas corpus motion, but it is almost never given.
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 does not apply only to terrorist or death penalty cases: all federal prisoners are held to this same standard.