FAIRBANKS — The Episcopal Diocese of Alaska passed a unanimous resolution at its October statewide convention calling for “timely and overdue justice” for the four men serving time for the murder of John Hartman in 1997.
A press release issued by the convention secretary Barbara Learmonth states the diocese has also asked the governor to call for a review of the case.
Teenager John Hartman was badly beaten and left on a Fairbanks street the morning of Oct. 11, 1997. Hartman subsequently died of his injuries and four men — three of them Alaska Native — were arrested and convicted of his murder.
The men, known now as “the Fairbanks Four” are serving prison terms from 33 to 79 years. The case against the men is considered by many to be flawed, and accusations of racism and prosecutorial misconduct have been rampant.
New information came to light in 2013 when convicted murderer William Holmes confessed that it was he and three of his friends — not the Fairbanks Four — who had beaten Hartman that night. The Fairbanks Four have not been released from prison.