On March 24th, 1999, The American Criminal Justice System took away Leon
     Benson’s right to live as a free man. Despite the preponderance of evidence on
     his side and the jury’s inability to come to a conclusive decision, Leon was
     sentenced to sixty years in prison for a murder he did not commit.


        It is a story that is all too familiar in America. A young black man is targeted by
     law enforcement, presumed guilty, and put in the impossible position of having to
     defend himself with incredibly limited resources. For Leon, this event was taken
     to the extreme. For the past twenty three years, he has been spending the prime
     years of his life in Federal Prison in Indiana. Fortunately, his case has attracted a
     national outpouring of support, as many dedicated community leaders have
     vowed to never rest until this great injustice is undone. Leon’s strength in the
     face of this tragic fate has been inspired many, and he hopes to continue to be
     an inspiration as he fights for his freedom. As he said in one of the many poems
     he has written in prison, “The truth never dies, it is only rediscovered.”


        For what it’s worth, Leon has not let his time spent wrongfully imprisoned go to
     waste. Though his body has been locked up, his mind has been free to roam, as
     he has dedicated himself to writing powerful poetry and music, as well as helping
     to create motivational and educational programs to benefit his fellow prisoners.
     He has also worked closely with community activists to push for statewide prison
     reform to build a system that truly treats every citizen equally.


        Leon has been a key part of forming and running several programs in prison
     meant to create a better system for everyone. He was chosen to be a mentor for
     the staff created program “Band Of Brothers,” which taught realistic views of
     masculinity and helped individuals to become better members of their families
     and communities. He was tasked with facilitating group discussions and using
     his unique perspective to make sure that everyone got the most out of the
     program. He was also chosen to be a Counsel, Praise Team Leader, and
     Sermon Group Leader for the Congregation Yah-Yachin, a Hebrew Israelite
     spiritual & cultural community. In the face of innumerable challenges to his faith,
     Leon’s commitment to spiritual betterment has won him the praise and respect of
     his peers.


        Leon became an in demand educator, developing a course called “The Streets
     Don’t Love You Back,’ where he educated hundreds of participants about the
     perils of street life, and how to escape and find your higher purpose. He became
     a gifted public speaker, delivering over three hundred speeches that could be
     inspirational, comical, tragic, and uplifting at the same time.

        Always artistically inclined, prison allowed Leon to raise his creativity to new
     heights. He studied theatre, Shakespeare in particular, and took part in several

     productions. He also developed a program called “Poetic Justice,” in which he
     helped his fellow inmates to express themselves in words while learning about
     poem structure, style, and performance. Several of the poems went on to be
     published and were even acclaimed by academics and critics. He has
     collaborated with artists on the outside to turn his words into rap songs that
     challenge the status quo and inspire everyday people to take up the fight against

        While Leon’s fate is still undetermined, he has reason to believe that exoneration
     may be just around the corner. Public support is at an all time high and local
     media have taken notice, gradually pressuring the courts to do the right thing.
     Leon has already endured unimaginable trauma, but somehow he has
     persevered through it all and become stronger and more determined to fight for
     his freedom than ever before. He is living proof of one man’s ability to change
     the world.


Our Mission

Our Mission is clear.... Free Leon Benson. It is moraly wrong and cruel to sentence a man to serve a life sentence for a crime that he not only did not commit but also for a crime that was not proven beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, we will not stop fighting for Leon's freedom until he is home!

"The truth never dies…it is only re-discovered!"   ~Leon Benson

Our Vision

We want this injustice overturned. We want to see Leon Benson as a free man

We Need Your Support Today!

Quick Links
Email Leon Directly:

​GTL Connect Network

Write Leon directly:

Leon Benson # 995256​

Correctional Industrial Facility 

PO Box 600

Pendleton, IN 46064-9001

Email: vbuford06@yahoo.com

Phone: (248) 250-4529

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© 2023 The Free Leon Benson Campaign Team

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