Letter to the Editor
I apologize for my poor writing skills. I never had much of a formal education or stability in school and its taken me more than two decades to get this legible through self education.
Also I would not bother you and others now, but I gave my word to a recently passed best friend, more of a brother who came into my life, wrote me at least twice a week, stood by me for almost 30 years, that I would do my best once again to tell an inconvenient truth.
Please understand. I'm not looking for a lawyer or any kind of legal advocate. After all this time its too late for me. I'm pushing 63 and feel as if I'm 163. Have Grand Mal Epilepsy, Lung and Heart disease. I've grown old in ways not seen in the real world.
Yes, you have heard it all before. I was once like you. I can't even begin to express the stark horror, what it feels like to be sentenced to eternal exile for crimes you never committed. All that said, I used to tell my friend I see little distinction - innocent or guilty, to be condemned is to be condemned. Only being innocent is a eye opening experience.
One thing I know without a doubt. There is absolutely no such thing as equal justice. All the more so for the poor and uneducated. I'm sorry I had to learn this the hard way. But perhaps my story will help you save a life.
So let's start off with a basic fact. Most, not all, but most people in prison are indeed guilty of their charges or in some facet of them. Such is why most, not all, take deals, guilt or fear. Such is why there is such high recidivism.
All that said, its also just as true that some individuals misuse our laws for reasons of their own and believe me those laws can be just as lethal as any physical weapon. Except such destructive words and allegations can't be traced to see how authentic they are or are not. How else can anyone explain a plea bargain of less than 10 years and then when you lose at trial a sentence of 132 years to a man close to 40?
So what do I mean by an inconvenient truth? I'm sorry to say that most people are as unwitting as sheep. I did say that I was sorry. Its a tragic truth when sane, normal individuals are only too willing to listen, believe, and follow without question. With no scientific or corroborating facts and only too willing to condemn and damn another on nothing more than hearsay and fear.
I know that I'm old and the world has changed but what in the world ever happened to the basic idea of the truth and nothing but the truth or of an equal and fair judicial system?
Yes, I know all this sounds familiar, perhaps I'm not the first to see how our modern courts seem more like the witch hunts and inquisitions of old.
Not to sound too curt, but how else can anyone explain a judge allowing a prosecuting attorney to use every legal technicality and manipulation to reduce an entire case down to one person's word against another? Or, during jury selection to ask: "Can you convict on hearsay only?"
I have thought on that. All the pre-jury selection forms and the selection itself are not about impartiality, but a jury selection that is looking for fear.
In retrospect its easy to see when the judge sent the jury out on the last day of trial to hold a motion hearing because we asked that the arrest report be put into evidence. I was told under the rules of impeachment they did not have to.
It took me years to learn enough to understand that what was said on the stand by their only witness and what that only witness put in the arrest report were very different and that they would not allow.
My point in all this is you can't win. I would not see another fall because they believe in the truth. No one cares.