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Latter-day Saint Naval Officer Shares Story of Wrongful Imprisonment

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Latter-day Saint naval officer Ridge Alkonis served 537 days in a Japanese prison after a medical emergency caused him to suddenly lose consciousness while driving, which resulted in the death of two people. 

Lt. Alkonis was denied legal counsel and not provided medical treatment for 26 days as he was forced to remain in solitary confinement. He sought to cooperate with the Japanese government and paid a large settlement to the victim’s family. For the Japanese criminal justice system, which places high value on genuine acts of remorse and restitution, such settlements often avert criminal prosecution. As the official proceedings concluded, Lt. Alkonis and his representation anticipated a three-year suspended sentence, considered the norm for cases like this.

Help #BringRidgeHome: Latter-day Saint Naval Officer Wrongfully Imprisoned in Japan

However, the judge claimed Lt. Alkonis was negligent and sentenced him to three years in prison. Through countless efforts, he was eventually transferred to the United States where he was released on parole on January 12, 2024. 

Lt. Alkonis, along with his friend and supporter Andrew Eubanks, sat down with Maurice Benard to discuss the experience. You can watch the full interview below. 

 

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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