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Is This The Face of a Killer?

Updated on June 19, 2013

David Wilson is innocent.

This man is my friend.
This man is my friend. | Source

The Judicial System Is Unfair.

I hesitate to ask you, “How can you judge?” Men and women sit in a jury, and are fed line after line that they believe is evidence, total honesty and absolutely correct, but are they in a position to truly understand this man? He is a father, and was a loving partner supporting his family, until one day he found himself in the wrong place at the right time for someone to frame him for murder. Yes I use the word “frame,” because that is what happened. Gangland related crime is about survival of the fittest, a battle for respect, wealth and honour. It is so easy to feel abandoned to the power of another person’s will, direction and rules; and I don’t just mean the will of another gang member, but the judicial system and the police are no better. “Find a man or woman to fit the crime, case solved” True, but lives are destroyed, and it is understood now that most of the parents of victims of crime do not wish to see another person suffer the angst of Death Row, or a life incarcerated. The somewhat misguided saying of “a life for a life” is no longer feasible. Tax payer’s money contributes towards the upkeep of men and women who are serving a life time in jail. The public are paying to support murderers, rapist and sex offenders, and it is costing hundreds of thousands of pounds every year to keep the jails running smoothly. We are told that many of these prisoners will be rehabilitated back into the community, but not it appears, if they are black. I do not support crime, and I do not support the death penalty either, but I do ask why I, friends and family pay our tax from hard earned money to support these institutions? It is also a documented fact that many of these long term inmates go insane, from having to live their lives abandoned by family, friends and all hope of ever being able to see the daylight again. Therefore, we can add medical costs to the ever increasing amounts to provide housing for these men and women. Really, I beg to differ because in many cases the truth is that these criminals are being housed in inhumane, cruel conditions that are putting pressure on the already overly subscribed prison system.

I have watched many prison documentaries, and they paint a somewhat unrealistic view of living conditions. They show well planned and executed views of prisoners interacting with one another. School room situations, where prisoners are working on their legal files and being supported by the prison system to help them become free men; they allow us to see the interaction of inmates on the recreation grounds, playing basketball, and keeping fit and healthy by lifting weights. Shouting and laughing with one another, and walking side by side into their “home.” The building in which they are housed, and yet their liberty, independence, and choices are stripped away from them, and they each wear the uniform of a convicted man.

At this stage I would like to point out that I do believe that such actions and deprivations are necessary when dealing with a convicted felon. A person who without any doubt is guilty of the crime that he is sentenced for; but how can we be so sure that they are guilty, if the original court system is biased in favour of “solving a crime?” I know of people, even a special friend, who has been on the receiving end of such crimes and almost lost their lives, and one who did lose her life to a hostage situation. I have personally been in the bank when a bank jobbery was taking place, with my child behind my back and a gun pointed directly at my head. These situations had solid witness testimonies, and the perpetrators where rightly convicted of their crimes, so it is not these type of situations that I am asking you to consider.

The love of a father for his child.

David's daughter is one of the reasons he is still fighting.
David's daughter is one of the reasons he is still fighting. | Source

The hand of fate.

Like many young men brought up on the streets of Chicago, David was no angel. He freely admits that he should have been incarcerated for some of his crimes, drug dealing, pick-pocketing, stealing and being loyal to a group of other loyal and mislead men. Why, because he had nowhere else to go? As a young boy he was abandoned by his mother for another man, he was brought up with street crime as his mentor, and his band of black brothers, his family. If it hadn't been that David’s uncle came and adopted him into his own home, David probably would not be with us today.

David and I met ten months ago when I decided to look for a pen pal. At first I had no notion of writing to an incarcerated man, and to be honest David was the last of four men that I choose to write to. I had read the information available within the Public Domain and knew that he was accused of Felony Murder. At that point I didn't understand the meaning of Felony Murder, and I knew nothing of the circumstances of his crime. I soon understood that Felony Murder was the term used to describe the killing of a person which happened while committing another crime, such as in a burglary. And yet I still don’t understand the system that for some, “Felony Murder” means life in prison, while for others, it means the lethal injection, following years of agonising waiting to be given the news that will end his life.

Then we have the appeal system, and what a state of affairs that is. Some people are given an attorney from the onset to support them and file appeal for a re-trial, whilst many others, David included, cannot find an attorney willing to assist him with his appeal. Of course, if a man has money or his family can afford a private attorney, he is one of the lucky ones with a good chance of seeing his freedom again. I spoke to a very well known attorney in Madison, Wisconsin, who telephoned me late into the evening and listened to David’s case. He informed me that although new evidence had come to place, and a new sworn affidavit had been submitted, David’s case, like so many other cases was a “closed case,” and sadly his advice was “don’t waste your money petitioning for retrial on your own, as many as ninety per-cent of cases are thrown out of court without an attorney to present the case, and especially true of trials held in the Milwaukee court system. It may not be the advice that you wish to hear, but you only really have the choice to follow the system.” Follow the system, what a farce, which means that David has evidence that completely over turns his crime, and yet he may if he is lucky, get parole in 2015. If he is denied his parole, he could possibly be looking at a release date of 2025. Now here is where I have the most problems; David is innocent of the crime of “Felony Murder,” and he has already spent fifteen years of his life living as he so aptly puts it “living in the belly of the beast.” The attorney further went on to advise “you will find many an unscrupulous attorney to fight your case, usually asking for in excess of $50,000, but take my advice and save yourself the heartache.” There is a system in Wisconsin operated by the Wisconsin Innocence Programme, but for them to be in a position to help David, they would need to see new DNA evidence, which he does not have. It would appear that a newly signed affidavit is simply not enough.

It is not only the family of victims that have to suffer, and their stories are well documented. We often hear, “we have lost our loved ones, and will never see them again. We will never share the magic of grandchildren or watch our children grow up into beautiful people,” and it doesn't stop there because the prosecution attorneys are well versed in the art of emotional blackmail, anything to win a case and line their ever growing fat wallets. But wait a moment, David has missed fifteen years of his children growing up, his family have all but turned their backs on him, as the time goes on and his memory fades in their minds. He has two grandchildren that he has never met, and he hasn't been able to protect and advise his children of the fears and tribulations of a world that is so diverse in problems. He has forgotten what it is like to love, and make love to a woman, or be in a position to provide a comfortable, safe and secure home for his children. He has no freedom, no choices and cannot even find time to be alone, all these things we ‘free’ people take for granted. He spends endless hours alone, when he has been promised rehabilitation. He is a witness to the mistreatment of others that share his cell block and he himself knows that if speaks out to help his fellow inmates, it will soon be time when the attention is focused on him, and his chance of parole will be re-considered! Recently, he spent ninety days in the hole. Not for assaulting another inmate or Correctional Officer, but he disobeyed an order. The order was that after taking recreation on an extremely hot day, he was to empty the ice bucket before returning to his cell. David suffers with Multiple Sclerosis and took a small cup of ice to help with his symptoms of “overheating” before he emptied the ice bucket. He takes medication for his condition, and the nurse’s office is fully aware of his illness, which is well documented on his file, after he was diagnosed in 2006. Ironically, the female Correctional Officer on duty that day had allowed David to take ice on prior occasions without any problem at all. Maybe she was having an off day, but David is the one that paid the unfair price. I have spoken regularly with his social worker and the head of health care on his behalf. David has recently been advised by his podiatrist to purchase his own gym shoes to help support his feet, and relieve some of his MS symptoms. The written recommendation is with the nursing care manager who told me yesterday, that “it will ultimately depend on security if they allow him the shoes that I intend to send him.” Once again we have a typical example of “jobs worth,” the right hand doesn’t understand what the left hand is doing.

What choices does David have now? He deserves to be able to re-claim his freedom, he should fight to save his sanity, and he does, like the gentleman that he is. He doesn’t complain about his situation, but he prays every day for a chance to prove his innocence. He complies with the men and women who bend his will, and think that they have the right to treat him as a murderer. He is strong, gentle, beautiful, intelligent and an inspiration to me. He stands 6’ 5” tall and makes me laugh when he says that the other inmates treat him with caution, and yet he referees the Friday basketball match. He makes me cry when he tells me “I believe in the right of my liberty, and never, ever think that I will not be released.” Sadly the truth is that unless we find an attorney, or the prison system is altered towards rehabilitation in the truest form, David may still be incarcerated until 2025.I write to David daily, and we speak four times a week, and what is obvious to me, is that this man has a huge heart to forgive. His situation now is one of "he is the victim" but who will come to his aid, at the moment his only answer which he believes in "is God?"

Please take my poll below and help me and others like me, to make a difference to the black man’s plight in the judicial system. Surely, in this day and age, with all the knowledge and resources at our finger tips, the colour of a person’s skin should not be able to dictate their innocence?

Please listen to these words.

What does the future hold for this man?

The look of hope,
The look of hope, | Source

Is It Fair?

Do you honestly believe that the judicial system the world over is fair?

See results


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    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Thank you so much for you lovely comment and support. David is strong but I know him well enough to understand how tough a challenge his life is at the moment. We will win eventually and I can't wait to see him hold his children in his arms again. xx

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Ruby, thank you so much for your love and support once again. David is a lovely man who has accepted his fate in the most generous way. It hurts him to be kept away from his loved ones, but we will win the battle in the end. xx

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      The judicial system is not the perfect system that many believe and unfortunately for this reason many innocent people find themselves in jail. Well written hub and I sure hope that there is a way that David can be helped. I'm sure the Lord is on his side. God bless you both.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Too many times a man is found not guilty after long years spent in prison. Many times we have only our heart to lead us. My hopeful prayer for you is that your wish come true and he will be released to be with his family and you, bcause i feel your compassion for him...

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Maria, I hear you sista and understand 100% what you are saying. Thank you for always supporting me and you know me better than anyone else on HP. I have to do what I have to do. I am so lucky to have you and I love you dearly, never forget that. xx


    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Nette,

      "I realize what a lot of negativity there is in the world and all around us, and how easy it is to become part of that negativity and to be sucked into it and become part of the chaos and confusion if one isn't very careful."

      (Eileen Caddy)

      Of all my friends, you have the biggest, most trusting heart. You are always in my thoughts and you are loved, Maria

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Mike, you are so right, no one can judge a persons face as to whether they are a killer or not; for goodness sake I am always being told that I look cross, and yet I would be one of the least cross people I know. The fact of the matter is, that people do make assumptions before fully understanding the facts, and that leaves us with a very unfair system in all of our courts world wide. Maybe it is time that we started to educate the younger generation not to judge from appearances, and as for the older generation, I doubt that we can influence them in any direction now. The system sucks, and will continue to do so until enough noise is made about those who are unfairly treated in all walks of life. Thank you for supporting this hub with your comment, I truly appreciate it.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      The features of a persons face are not an indicator of what is in a persons heart or mind. Generally it is the circumstances that he finds himself in that dictates the course of action. The justice system is filled with flaws, that does not mean that every case is a mistake or an injustice.

      In a world full of boulevards and promenades why traverse back alleys?

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Kims3003 firstly, thank you so much for taking the time to read my hub, others have read, but refrained from commenting, which is very sad. It takes a brave person to fight for what they believe to be correct, and David certainly has the strength to do that. Yes, we must all take our head out of the mire and see for ourselves what is happening in the prisons the world over. Thank you for you bravery leaving me a comment, it is truly appreciated by David and myself. Nette

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Many times I have thought many of things you have pointed out in your excellent hub. You have given me that added nudge to do my part in helping this to change.


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