By: Ruby Castillo
On August 11, 2011, in Morristown, New Jersey, the life of Kashif Hamza Hassan changed forever. This day after sundown, Kashif, his wife Nazish, and their two-year-old son were attacked by numerous shots fired.
Nazish died on the spot while Kashif covered his son’s stroller with his back to stop the bullets from hurting him. Even though this courageous husband and father survived, he required eight surgeries and extensive hours of therapy to recover.
What happened next can be a story taken from Hollywood, but unfortunately, it’s not. Kashif was charged with conspiracy and murder of his beloved wife and mother of his two children and found guilty. He was sentenced to life in prison.
It was a hot day when Kashif was forever locked behind bars. He still remembers the denial, shock, and numbness he felt when he saw himself for the first time in the infamous orange suit.
He entered New Jersey State Prison with a sense of helplessness, sadness, and confusion. With a broken heart, ambling and handcuffed, he discovered his cell and noticed his fellow inmates.
Although murderers, serial killers, rapists are Kashif’s constant companions, many innocent people are also behind these concrete walls.
According to InnocenceProject.org, being wrongfully incarcerated leads to severe adverse consequences for the accused and their families. And this was the case of Kashif and his two sons. They were devastated physically and mentally to cope with their new living situation.
Amazingly, Kashif found peace by focusing on controlling and changing his mindset. And that’s how this architect and structural engineer spend extended periods in the prison’s library, learning about cases like his.
The more cases he found, he understood how the legal system works. This activity soon became passion-filled with surprising facts that inspired him to turn his adverse situation into something productive.
As time passes, Kashif has earned several college degrees:
- Bachelor in Business
- Masters in Business
- Masters of Arts Organizational Management
- Masters in Criminal Justice
He also achieved diplomas in Advance Paralegal Studies in criminal, civil, family, business, real estate, wills, and trust laws.
One of Kashif Hamza Hassan’s favorite quotes from Oprah Winfrey is, “Helping others is the way we help ourselves.” That’s why, thanks to him, more than 147 prisoners have gained justice and freedom.
This outstanding man who has been wrongfully incarcerated has found his life’s goal. He wakes up every day thinking and missing his children. Still, he is thankful for everyday he is able to breathe and help people like him, who deserve a fulfilling and marvelous future.
These days Kashif Hamza Hassan is appealing his case, and confidently this time, it will be approved so that he can regain the freedom to meet and hug his sons.
The traumatic events Kashif has endured have made him more resilient. It’s his dream to open a non-profit organization to keep giving a second chance to those who experience injustice.
As Martin Luther King Jr. wisely said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”