Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Some thoughts about this and that

Hey Guys, I´m back at U.C.I. while jail was a riot and a real head trip, time here is easier done. Its kind of a trade off. There I had this really great view. People always coming and going - the phone. Good canteen.

But, absolutely no privacy. Here I do. And you know we all need time to be alone. Out of sight. I´m around friends. If I choose to talk, I can. Got my T.V. A cold soda or two once a week - when I can afford !
I have a weakness for Coke Cola :)

And I will not miss the mental patients I was about at jail - with all their noise and bad smells !

As I write this, I´m still awaiting the states court´s decision. Which I do not expect to be in my favor. Oh, we showed more than enough testimony and errors to overturn my case. But, state judges are elected to office. I believe he will be more concerned with reelection than doing whats right. It ´s strange, isn´t it ? That a case would be decided on whether a man is innocent or guilty. But, that`s true reality. So I expect nothing there. However I do believe once it goes to Florida Supreme Court for review. I will get my case overturned. They do not have to worry about being reelected. So, can render a good - or fair decision.

Anyway, the two months at jail was a good break from routine and we got some good legal work done. Now we wait and see if it all pays off. This of course is just an update of where I am at.

On the other topics; as you may know two warrants were signed in Florida. Both got stays in the US Supreme Court, which holds all executions till that decision is reached. The issue - whether the drugs used to execute people are cruel and unusual punishment. I was surprised they accepted the issue. But glad it saved two lives - maybe more, for awhile longer. And as the saying goes: while still alive there is hope.

There is another issue which was heard recently, whether or not the length of time a man is held on death row - before execution - is cruel and unusual punishment. The justices said no. If a person wished they could have always dropped their appeals and been executed sooner ! Or that´s what it all comes down to. They did not mention - why - or how a person who is not guilty - would even consider such a stupid idea. In fact the whole ruling was stupid. To me that´s the same as saying - if a person outside has a bad life - and does not wish to grow old in such circumstances - go ahead and commit suicide. Yet suicide is illegal.

You would or should expect - from 9 highly educated men and women something more philosopical or enlighting. But then, what could they have said and still said no. That would of been an itelligent response. Not, not all the justices said nor ruled that way. Only the hard liners. Right wingers. But, this is what I´ve told people for many years. If Republican presidents got to appoint the majority of the US Supreme Court would be. They have done it now. And filled the federal appeals courts with their appointments also. I think we will now see much more harsh decisions. It makes it much harder to receive justice unless you are rich or influential - or a politican. Thats always been true though.

Now, as for Coleman in Virginia. His DNA tests came back positive. I´ve read and heard many say it´s blow to death penalty opponents. Not that much ! I don´t think so anyway. One bad test...when hundreds have been freed by DNA. Of course the state and pro death penalty people will use it to well see. But, its just one test. There are many that came back negative. Two weeks ago a man in Florida was cleared by DNA after 25 years in prison. So, don´t let one bad test get you down. Its just a matter of time before one test will show some innocent person was executed. I have absolutely no doubts its true. And whether an innocent man is executed or just lost 10 - 20 - 30 years of his life. It´s the same to me. You can´t give a 50 year old man back 25 - 30 years of their life. And how much has a person lost in that many years: a chance at a career, a family, travel, just living those lost years would and could of been. I mean isn´t that bad enough ? ! And on the reverse side. Living those years in prison.

And here´s the kicker ! When a person who´s had that much of their life stolen the state and politicians say, oh well too bad, but, we still don´t think you deserve any compensation or if compensated at all - it´s not much. No one is held responsible. No one pays for such crimes as false conviction and imprisonment. More or less the person is set free and told - deal with it.

To me, it says a lot more. It says there is something wrong with society itself and the system. If I were outside, just an average citizen and I read and saw this happen it would piss me off. I would want to know why ! I would want to know how this could happen to a person. I would want to know who was responsible ! And why this person was not at the very least compensated fairly. Then, I would want whatever part of the system that allows these things to happen - changed ! I think most of you guys understand this ! Maybe its part of why you guys fight - to change things. Question is why arent there more out side seeing this. Or do they see it and just say - not my problem ?

Anyway, just some thoughts to share with you. And a thought I´ve had for some time now. That being, maybe what´s needed is for groups to unite. To link up through the internets - via phone - whatever way. And speak with one very loud voice !

I know it could be difficult. But think on it. A few people make a difference - imagine if you had a few million voices at once ! As I said consider it there are among you - minds better than mine, to perhaps find a way to make such a thing possible.

Anyway, do not allow one setback to discourage you. That´s all it is in reality. Just one ! Its not the end of the story, not even a major scene ! Don´t allow the pro death penalty people make you think over wise. They tend to use whatever excuse they can to justify - injustice !

Its a long hard struggle. We´ll win some - lose some. But, in the end we will win the only victory which counts. The end of executions ! And thats what it´s all about.

Take care of yourselves and others when you can !
Till later
Sincerely
Average Joe !

1 Comments:

At 2:07 PM, Blogger ACLUNC said...

We thought some of your readers in the LA area might be interested in attending this conference. Perhaps you can post the below information somewhere on your site.


The Innocent

"I'm angry, but who should I be angry at? Am I angry at my lawyer or my D.A. or the judge? I'm not angry at any of them. They were just doing their job. Maybe I'm angry at the fact that I told the truth but still got found guilty and got 12 years. . . . I'm not going to let this get the best of me. I'm still going to do all the positive things I've been doing."
-- Arthur Carmona

The Exonerated

"I spent five years locked down in solitary confinement. They told me I'd never see regular life again. I figured I'd spent the rest of my life in prison. I use to think if I just got off death row, I'd consider myself lucky. But people didn't give up. They kept organizing, mobilizing, and educating...to fight back."
-- Ernest "Shujaa" Graham

The Faces of Wrongful Conviction
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