22 Years: Innocent on Death Row!

NOTICE: This is a continuation of a fundraiser established in May, 2020. GoFundMe changed its payment processor, requiring us to set up a new page. $9,925 was raised from 137 donors on the previous page, which was identical to this one, except for some recent updates .

This fund raiser is managed by Abraham J. Bonowitz, a friend of Ahmad's living in Columbus, Ohio.


Imagine being isolated from the world for 22 years, and coming back into freedom with nothing but the clothes on your body with which to resume life. What would YOU do?  Could you use a hand up? That is what this is about.

Our goal is to raise $1000 for each year of Ahmad Issa's wrongful incarceration, for a total of $22,000. Ahmad has many needs to re-establish his life, but he most wants to be self-sufficient. Among other things, so far he was able to build a private bathroom in the space he was given to live in (see videos below!), and he hopes to buy a car so that he can be self-employed and sustain himself. You can help!

The Story:

Ahmad Issa spent 22 years incarcerated for a crime he did not commit. Most of that time was spent on Ohio's death row. Now he is free but without many resources, and living in a country he hardly knows and hasn't been to for 30 years. 

In 2018, Ahmad's conviction and death sentence were thrown out and the state was ordered to give him a new and fair trial. As often happens in cases such as this, prosecutors threatened him with another trial and the possibility of returning to death row. This is not an uncommon practice. Prosecutors use it to keep from having admit a mistake. 

However, prosecutors  gave Ahmad an option: Plead guilty to a (much) lesser offense, be  sentenced to time already served, and be freed immediately. Even though the actual killer admitted to the crime and is serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, as a Muslim immigrant in the current atmosphere, Ahmad chose not take any chances with another Hamilton County jury. 

Ahmad agreed to that offer, but because he was not a US citizen he also had to agree to be immediately deported to his home country of Jordan. 

There was one other catch: Because Ahmad agreed to plea guilty to a lesser offense, he would not be formally exonerated, and therefore he is not eligible for any compensation from the State of Ohio. Will you help Ahmad raise the start-up funds he needs to go into business for himself?

Ahmad Issa now lives with his brother in Zarqa, Jordan, just outside of Amman. Check the videos below - Ahmad shares the space he is living in and how he used some of the early funds from this effort to add a private bathroom to the space. He has looked for work, but in the era of COVID-19 he has not been successful. Ahmad knows he has what it takes to go into business for himself as an Uber driver, and he hopes to raise enough money to buy a vehicle and take care of other basic necessities of life. Please help!

Listing on Death Penalty Information Center Innocence Page  (Scroll down to 2019 releases) 
Read Ahmads story in his own words.
A news item.
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling.

Ahmad's Gratitude Video #1

Ahmad's Gratitude Video #2


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Abraham J. Bonowitz 
Columbus, OH
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