Petition: Exonerate Vernon T. Bateman!

“I do want to say that I’m sorry to Vernon… I just want them to let him go. I want them to let him out of jail.”alleged victim in 2003

In 1998, Vernon T. Bateman was erroneously charged by the State of Indiana and convicted of rape, criminal deviant conduct, and confinement. At the age of 18, Bateman was given two 30-year and two 10-year sentences. Because they were to be served consecutively, the state essentially sentenced him to life in prison. After 25 years of incarceration, the misconduct and outright lies that led to his wrongful conviction started unraveling to such an extent that he was freed from captivity. In addition to the alleged victim, her brother, and many others calling for his freedom, the organized pressure from the public helped Vernon secure his release, but not his freedom.

After his freedom from a physical prison in 2023, Bateman immediately entered another form of prison. Despite the overwhelming evidence proving his innocence and confirming the corruption behind his initial conviction, Bateman still lives under house arrest with severe—and costly—restrictions. He is still not able to live as a free man. This is an injustice to him, the alleged victim, and our community. We demand his immediate, full exoneration. Bateman should not have to continue to pay for a crime he did not commit! (For more information and additional details, read this article).

Bateman, now 44-years-old, spent over two decades fighting against a system that imprisoned him for a crime he didn’t commit. With the help of the community, we will help him finish this struggle and begin to live his life as a free and fully exonerated man. Please sign and share this petition to demand his full exoneration immediately. A wrongful conviction of one is a wrongful conviction of all—we can’t let go, we must continue to show up on the side of justice!

We, the undersigned, demand that Vernon T. Bateman be immediately exonerated:

Initial signatories:
* Affiliation listed for identification purposes only

  1. Leon Benson, Author and Exoneree
  2. Petey McGee, Actor
  3. IDOC Watch
  4. Kinsey Bussell, Marion County Reentry Coalition Associate
  5. Jesse Brown, Indianapolis City Councilor District 13; Central Indiana DSA Member
  6. Indianapolis Liberation Center
  7. Van Horn Ventures LLC
  8. Soroya Garner, Soroya Garner Law
  9. Hampton Institute
  10. Pastor Denell Howard, Hovey Street Church of Christ
  11. Free Shaka Shakur
  12. Wildstyle Paschall, Community Advocate
  13. Wilson Art Lab
  14. Party for Socialism and Liberation – Indianapolis
  15. Courier Creative LLC
  16. ANSWER Indiana
  17. Nichelle M. Hayes, Founding Director of the Center for Black Literature & Culture; CEO of Hayes Consulting
  18. Nicole Emery, CEO Noble Owl
  19. Community Food Box Project
  20. Doris Jones, Co-Coordinator and Founder, Hope Packages
  21. Kwame Shakur, Black Liberation Party
  22. MiCare Home Health Services, LLC

Sign the petition and help free Vernon T. Bateman!

  1. Eric Butler aka MOBFAM E, Artist
  2. Dr. Curry Malott, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
  3. Nasreen Khan, Teacher
  4. Kolleen Schoen-Bunch, Homemaker
  5. Rebecca Clark, Marketing Manager
  6. Donnell Franklyn, ybOrdinary Clothing
  7. Mahasin Ameen, Librarian
  8. Benjamin Tracy, Software Developer
  9. Jay Grillo, Documentarian
  10. Angela Jenkins, Love Works LLC
  11. Derek R. Ford, DePauw University
  12. Joe Clemons, Defense Committee For The Pendleton 2
  13. Nelreca Dixon, Chef
  14. Stanley Patton, Longtime Friend
  15. Leonard White, Photographer
  16. Joshua Williams, Chauffeur
  17. Nicole Dickerson
  18. Caira Davis
  19. Dr. Crystallee Crain, Prevention at the Intersections
  20. Darian Franklyn, Teacher
  21. LaTresa Hood, Table Games Supervisor
  22. Dr. Melina McConatha, Lincoln University
  23. Velita Spence
  24. Jeffrey Whitehurst, Bike Messenger
  25. Pat Burke, Systems Administrator
  26. Treymain Lewis, Forklift Operator
  27. Dekie Davis, Chef
  28. Allison Thomas Snoddy, Grad Student: Social Psych and Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  29. Sylvester Johnson, Business Owner
  30. Stephen Lane, Librarian
  31. Chessa Johnson, Student
  32. Graham Marshall, Engineer
  33. Venessa collins, Warehouse Worker
  34. Cassandra Morris, Librarian
  35. Zack Bunnell, Artist
  36. Aubrey Whiteman, Indianapolis Liberation Center
  37. Tray Fullenkamp, Harm Redux
  38. Patricia Mattingly, Speech Language Pathologist
  39. Alina Velazquez, Nurse
  40. Bridget O’Reilly, Indianapolis Liberation Center
  41. Peyton Hall, Ironworker
  42. Alexander Geragotelis, Scientist
  43. Teresa Sayers, Disabled
  44. Tasneem Nada, Student
  45. Dekie Davis, Chef
  46. Jason Jones, Social Worker
  47. M. A. Coleman, Teacher
  48. Riley Park, ANSWER Indiana
  49. Naomi Ishaq
  50. Cecilia Gomez, Social Work
  51. Karma Johnson, Outreach
  52. Madeleine West
  53. Jad Rea, Librarian
  54. Darnell Walker, 5 Ps Merchant Services
  55. Oliver Armour, Business Owner
  56. Shalonda McGee
  57. Jim Sanders, Citizen, Musician, and Retired Engineer
  58. Alyssa Storrs, Teacher
  59. Imani Jones, Community Worker
  60. J. Lane Banister, Teacher
  61. Lathosha Clark, Actress, Bombshell Baddies
  62. Justin Rhodes, Artist
  63. Sabeina Harris, IT Project Manager
  64. Hannah Evans, Researcher; Spingtide Research Institute
  65. Desmond Nunnery, Sports Management
  66. Destiny Glover, PSL Indianapolis
  67. Jim Morris, Social Worker
  68. Chino Abia, Business Owner
  69. Quinton Taylor, Referee
  70. Shallun Culp, Steelworker
  71. Dortanian Franklyn, Truck Driver
  72. Nicholas Greven, IDOC Watch
  73. Eric Jones Jr., Underdawg Talk LLC
  74. Charles McGill, Hovey Street Church
  75. Kimberly Franklyn
  76. LaTonya Brown, Business Owner
  77. TaShima Wilson, Healthcare
  78. Brandon Christle, Artist
  79. Dieter Cantu, Education
  80. Bryce Stockslager, PhD Student
  81. Miah Nickerson
  82. Cahelia Johnson, Court Clerk
  83. Tauron Butler, Compliance Analyst
  84. Ken Rogers, Auditor
  85. Everland Wells, Librarian
  86. Adonnis Goings, Revenue Cycle Management
  87. Christina Smith, Community Advocate
  88. Attallah Goings, Teacher
  89. Siriayled Garcia, Sales
  90. Korey Yancy, Railroad
  91. Tonya Henry, Loan Officer
  92. Melissa Jude, Management & Grief Educator
  93. William Dou, Worker
  94. Mary Mattingly, Administrator
  95. Toby Raab, Unemployed
  96. Esmeralda Aguero, Tech
  97. Tyler Saito, Citizen
  98. DeJanae Harges, Student
  99. Barry McCain
  100. Keta Franklin
  101. Deborah Banks
  102. Liam Bonner, Director of Development
  103. Shanti Williams, Audit
  104. Esmeralda González, Community member
  105. Cambria York, Theatrical technician, IATSE local 30
  106. Marcus Ford, Coach
  107. Tonjaleya Pitts, DSP
  108. Tiffany Stallworth, Writer/author
  109. Marlon Colquitt, Retired
  110. Hector Albizu, General Manager, Clover
  111. Odell Webb, Family, Black America
  112. Billy Scharfenberger Musician & Administrator
  113. Andrew McGuire, Organizer
  114. Love Lee, Student
  115. JoAnn McRae, School Counselor
  116. Brandi Metzger, Writer
  117. Mario Garcia, Amazon
  118. Zoe-Rose Dieguez, PSL Muncie
  119. Jasmine Ballard, Disabled
  120. Evan Gosnell, Clerk
  121. Allen Marin, Electrician
  122. Latonya Mitchell, Teacher
  123. Valerie Buford, Truth Never Dies Movement
  124. Katie Whiteman, Senior Operations Manager
  125. Lionel Walter, Cook
  126. Shirley Dickerson
  127. Sabrina Davis, Senior Store Manager
  128. Ayatallah Palmer, Indianapolis Liberation Center
  129. Eli Morey, Teacher
  130. Connika Spells, Hovey Street Church
  131. Miracle Colar, College Student
  132. Donna Franklyn, Mother
  133. Deaundre Baker, Writer, CDL Driver
  134. Toeshaneca Whitehead, Assistant General Manager
  135. DaVonna Patterson, Retiree
  136. Noah Mitchell, Manager
  137. Da’Yna Whitehead, Dental Assistant
  138. Hannah Milano, Field Service Engineer
  139. Madison McKay, Social Services Coordinator
  140. Mario Gaona, PSL
  141. Dani Abdullah, Social Worker
  142. Dawn Sherfield
  143. Seaira Ector-Comer, Beacon of Light Learning Academy
  144. America Banuelos, Democratic socialists of DePauw
  145. Derrick Darkis, DSP
  146. Deiyona Evans, HHA
  147. Wallace Lacy, Hovey Street Church
  148. Christian Carroll, Hovey Street Church
  149. Lashaunda Smith, Social Worker
  150. Rosie Thomas
  151. Cynthia M. Martin, Entrepreneur
  152. Ronald Counce, Hovey Street Church
  153. Louise Van Cleave, Nurse
  154. Carmen Butts-Lacy, Floor Associate
  155. Frantica Spann, Hovey Street Church
  156. Marlon Colquitt, Manager
  157. Meghanne Phillips, Parent
  158. Jovana’ Thomas, Medical Assistant
  159. Shayler Neal, Community Member
  160. Mikenzie Roberts, Behavioral Health Professional
  161. Ren Alexander, IDOC Watch
  162. Halcy Colquitt, Retired
  163. Nora Bateman, Maintenance Supervisor
  164. Denise Dye, Mortgage Loan Officer
  165. Daniel Brooks, Black Liberation Party
  166. Kasey Tennant, Homemaker
  167. Sharon Hickerson
  168. Shavonne Leggett, Licensed Barber
  169. David Evans
  170. Arnette Cherry, CNA
  171. Don Johnson ll
  172. Sam James, PSL Indianapolis
  173. Anna Savery
  174. Mae Rood, Citizen
  175. Joseph Neville, HVAC Specialist
  176. Terry Goings, Meat packing
  177. Jeremy Algate, Mulberry Therapeutic Services
  178. Maddie Boyd, Indianapolis Liberation Center
  179. Dominque Henderson, Artist
  180. Andy Willis, Artist
  181. Anne Laker, Grant Writer
  182. GiJeon Spence, Business Owner
  183. Lakeisha Woods, Social Worker
  184. Ten McFadden, Medical Field
  185. Deborah Smith, Pet Conveyors
  186. Sonia Coleman, Educator
  187. Jason Becraft, Middle Man Renovations
  188. Brelyn Flannelly, Communications
  189. Fabian Olan
  190. Tori Breeding
  191. Ozzie Kazarian, Academic Enrichment
  192. Donte Jenkins, Security professional
  193. Theona Hopkins, Childcare Teacher
  194. Kayla Bledsoe, Administrative Assistant
  195. Claire Kilbarger-Stumpff, Counselor
  196. Anna Ward, Social worker
  197. Adriana Cowdin, Executive Coach
  198. Diana Avila, Nonprofit
  199. Meagan Chaney, Data Entry
  200. Sean Watford, Coca Cola
  201. Chanel Footman, Broad Ripple High School
  202. Starika Floyd,
  203. Kyle Colbert, Union Representative
  204. Emilee Shannon, RN
  205. Jason Crews, Restaurant Owner
  206. Tara Felten, Central FL Jobs with Justice
  207. Summer Crouch, City of Indianapolis
  208. Jaden Montgomery, Law Student
  209. Jenarius Thurman, Teacher
  210. Jc Davis lll, Hovey Church of Christ
  211. Alicia Suarez, DePauw University
  212. Robyn Russell, Associate Director
  213. Antjuan Duson, Electrical Technician, Dysonslogistics
  214. Nyenlla Fontenot, Electrician
  215. Doris Preyer, Paralegal
  216. Claudia Navarro, School District Employee
  217. Brianna Lewis, Registered Nurse, Prison Lives Matter
  218. Melody Watkins
  219. Zolo Azania, Jump Start Paralegal
  220. Seante Watkins, CNA
  221. Grace Bronson, Attorney
  222. Sheila Arnold, Transportation Industry
  223. Lisa Campbell, Transit Operator
  224. Courtney Juranovich, Mindset Coach
  225. Littlejohn Faulkner, FOCUS Initiatives LTD.
  226. Erin Marshall, Consultant
  227. Tamie Tatum, Justice Advocate
  228. Rosalind Goodman, IDOC Watch
  229. Grace Mitchell, Social Worker
  230. Whitney Wilson, Realtor
  231. Jasper Jones, Farmer
  232. Sandra Reiberg, Retired Educator, Indianapolis Public Schools
  233. Leon Bluitt, Son of Exoneree
  234. Johnny Garcia, Artist, Clear Truth
  235. Annette Davis, Homemaker
  236. Aaron Holman, Pest Control
  237. Katie Blum, Pharmacist
  238. Aaron Holman, Pest control
  239. Christal Silver, Best friend
  240. Valentina Bateman, Bold Big-Big Energy
  241. Kassy Ram, RN
  242. Lillian Gramza, Mental Health Worker
  243. Nicole Franczvai, Educator
  244. Ellis London Student
  245. Jacqueline Jones, Retired
  246. Kylie Krawulski, Engineer
  247. Nu’ Supreme, Customer Service
  248. Talesha Sandidge, Angels in the Rainbow
  249. Kevin Harris, Citizen
  250. Gayle Radwick, Librarian
  251. Kathy Slaughter, Social Worker
  252. Caroline Meehan, Teacher
  253. Teresa Engberg, Caretaker
  254. Donovan Scott, Worker
  255. Brendia Howard, Counselor, Hovey St. Church
  256. Mary Johnson, Circle K Kitchen Captain
  257. Doval Jordan, Construction
  258. Garrett Marshall, Pars
  259. D’Anthony Massey, OneAnt Publishing
  260. Derrick Richardson, The DrBarber Salon
  261. Rolonda Broome, Cashier
  262. Bobby Robinson, Mill Wright
  263. Emily Whiteman, Nurse
  264. Finch Windsor, Illustrator
  265. Nicole Nyquist, Ascension
  266. Mat Davis, Organizer, Defense Committee to Free the Pendleton 2
  267. Philip Heilman, Consulant
  268. Ty’Rhiana Davis, Student
  269. Channie Jones, Arts Administrator
  270. Brooke Marshall, Psychology
  271. Brelyn Flannelly, Writer
  272. Teyana Harrington, Financial Professional
  273. Tamara Pickett, Social Worker
  274. Jackie Kelly, Social Worker
  275. Teresa Sayers, Homemaker
  276. Terrance S., Network Administrator
  277. Brooke Llerena, University of Indianapolis
  278. Benjamin Morey, Homeman
  279. Dominique Merriweather, Criminal justice student
  280. Omarr Clark, Technician
  281. Anjalese Pinner, Licensed Esthetician
  282. Stacy Farr, Nursing home
  283. Sheryl Upshaw, Homemaker
  284. Jesus Briones Ramirez, Senior Software Engineer
  285. Jordan Smith, Bartender
  286. Kapri Briones, Education
  287. Jonathon Johnson, Mental health clinician
  288. Julio Gray, Accountant
  289. Megan Matthews, Therapist
  290. Maya La Croix, DePauw Student
  291. Jay’la Teasley, University Student
  292. Anish Madhusoodhanan, Engineer
  293. Colan Ruch, Civil Engineer
  294. Cristian Rebollar, Driver
  295. Arland Mcilrath, Warehouse Worker
  296. Martin Clinch, Graphic artist
  297. Lauren Brown , IMG – Support specialist
  298. Brooks Behr, Student at DePauw
  299. Mae Harmon, Student
  300. Marissa Kimmell, Sales
  301. Natalie Lazo
  302. Megan Floyd, Consultant
  303. Audrey Sanchez, LWW
  304. Hershey Kondeti, PhD student
  305. Brianna Cox, Nanny
  306. Anthony Tran, Software Developer
  307. George Williams, Pastor
  308. Zachary Patterson, Scholar-activist and community organizer
  309. Anna Hopson, Democratic Socialists of DePauw
  310. Emma Cash, Care Coordinator
  311. Alexander Whiteman, Software Engineer
  312. Maureen Davasse, Civil Engineer
  313. Warren Dukes, United Way
  314. Aidan Abney, Software Developer
  315. Sorcha McCarrey, Drama Teacher
  316. Eduardo Luna, Artist
  317. Catherine Haynes, Assistant General Manager
  318. Justice Valoura Fouse, Real Estate
  319. Wayne Kidd, Indy Hot Lamb
  320. Edith Conchas, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc.
  321. Tim Brunner, Engineer Hurco
  322. Jack Counce, Freelance Audio Engineer
  323. Daniel Hodson, CSA
  324. Latifa Sutherland, Family Friend
  325. Caleb Lewis, Videographer
  326. Barbara Simpson, Education
  327. Sierra Nuckols, Community Food Box Project
  328. Sarah Pfohl, Assistant Professor, UIndy
  329. Saria Raine, Student
  330. Kathlyn Barnes, Retired
  331. Alaina Pacquette, Scientist
  332. Alona Anderson, Caregiver
  333. Mike Gaines, Conductor
  334. India Poole, CNA
  335. Latokia Moss, Administration
  336. Daniel Brooks, Black Liberation Party
  337. Rodney Jackson, Homeless Outreach
  338. Michelle Lewis, Accounting
  339. Wilfredo Ayes, Worker
  340. Meejin Jungemann, Doctoral Student
  341. Nikko Rocha, Nonviolent Medicaid Army
  342. Sikaia Ewing, Nail technician
  343. Lenita Maxie, HR Specialist
  344. Megan Lemons, SEO manager
  345. Cynthia Cazares, Teacher
  346. Scott Fitzpatrick, Target
  347. Ulyssa Hester, Indiana Task FORCE
  348. Melissa Hall, Medical IR Support
  349. Imani Willis-Henderson
  350. Eric Micco
  351. Daniel Hart
  352. Maya Jenkins
  353. Sarah Zuniga
  354. Isaac Aekerman
  355. Adam Henze
  356. Theodore Emerson
  357. Medley Byers
  358. Tai Hayden
  359. Allie Wilkerson
  360. Madison Teskey, Social Worker
  361. Leslie Samuel, Business Owner
  362. Jose Martinez, Not-For-Profit
  363. Rose Konare, Educator
  364. Mj Galloway, Student
  365. Moises Rivera, DePauw
  366. Omar Kanoute
  367. Emma Smith, Student
  368. LaPaul Laws, Maintenance Technician
  369. Dawud Quarles, Real Estate
  370. Jodi Lache, CASA Volunteer
  371. Sharon Hickerson, MiCare Home, LLC
  372. Jeanne Dubose, Customer Service Representative
  373. Taylor Lewandowski, Citizen
  374. Shamira Wilson, Farmer and Artist
  375. Elizabeth Wallin, Teacher
  376. Cheryl Lo, Self-Employed
  377. Ellery Diaz, Educator/Artist
  378. Sarah Wallace, Operations
  379. Michael Cavosie, Student
  380. Austin Long, Employment Specialist
  381. Coley Zeigler, Butler University
  382. John Stevenson, Dental Laboratory Technician
  383. Ziheng Jin, DePauw University Student
  384. Gabriel P., Cook
  385. Maysie Hayden, Citizen
  386. Matthew Isaac, Concerned Citizen
  387. Adam Roberts, Construction
  388. Demi Fadairo, Patient Care Technician
  389. Vincent Rodriguez, Law Student
  390. Steve Louis, BePawsitive
  391. Ashley Yong, Designer
  392. Jake Seymore, PSL Muncie
  393. Julie Tracy, Cybersecurity Consultant
  394. Danielle Way
  395. Red Moore
  396. Dena Eades
  397. Sarena Breeden
  398. Whit Hohman
  399. Veronica Ramos
  400. Jared Moore
  401. Kinsey Jent
  402. Abby Kepley
  403. Noah Ginn
  404. Delilah Harris
  405. Flannery Vaught
  406. Justin Balogh
  407. Miracle Williams
  408. Jordan Mattingly
  409. Bria Martin
  410. Autumn Buksar
  411. Kierstin Price
  412. Lily McClain
  413. Rachael Keown, Hideout Press
  414. Kiley Neal
  415. Nicole Gruszka, Coburn Place Housing Advocate
  416. Keli Foster, Kentucky Health Justice Network
  417. Rochy Steele
  418. Camille Savage
  419. Gabriel Pemberton
  420. Morgan Parrish
  421. Sunnih Flores
  422. Darrell Pirtle
  423. Alicia Scott
  424. Roberta Campbell
  425. John Nussman
  426. Marissa Sancrainte
  427. Marla Falcom
  428. Monica Morrison
  429. Jamie Lucca
  430. Susan Davis
  431. Alexis Karr
  432. Kathleen Consiglieri
  433. Jog Sherrill
  434. Sopnia Foster
  435. Catie Thomas
  436. Morgan Canada
  437. Julie Ghooray
  438. Therra Wilbrandt
  439. Alex Nussman
  440. Blake Brookshire, Physician
  441. Lee Eowanb
  442. Mobi Kaz
  443. Sose Sosmiehto
  444. Alygga White
  445. Joy Giddings
  446. Mary Haller
  447. Scott Cash
  448. Susan Heavizin
  449. Kelly Curry
  450. Tyler Buckner
  451. Kylie Baiuey
  452. Cyndy Flatt
  453. Allie Riklln
  454. Drea Toutebon, Entrepreneur
  455. Krysta Cantero, Behavioral Therapist
  456. Monica Magee, Caregiver

Featured photo: Vernon T. Bateman during an interview with PSL Indianapolis. Credit: Indianapolis Liberation Center.