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Is This The Face of a Killer?
David Wilson is innocent.
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.
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?