Faith keeps Ben Spencer hopeful though wrongfully convicted
Ben Spencer has spent 22 Thanksgivings incarcerated in Texas state prisions and now waiting for a new trial in the Dallas county jail. Christmas and his birthday are approaching, but he depends on his faith to get him through the slowly moving wheels of the Texas Justice System. He truly believes that things will work themselves out.
He has spent over half of his life incarcerated for a crime he swears he did not commit. He shows no anger and is quiet and soft spoken. So far the Appeals Court has not ruled against him, though he wishes it would not take so long. A judge last year ruled that he thinks Spencer is innocent and recommended that the Appeals Courts give him a new trial. He is still waiting.
Spencer was convicted in March of 1987 for the robbery and killing of a Dallas Businessman , Jeffery Young. There was no physcical evidence linking Spencer to the crime . There is no DNA evidence to prove guilt or innocence . The testimony of three West Dallas Residents who swore they saw Spencer dump the car belonging to Young , in the neighborhood the night of the crime. Spencer believes they made up the story to collect the reward. A lighting expert has since studied the area and testified that with the darkness and the distances involved, it was inpossible to have recognized Spencer or anyone else that night. Last month the Appeals Court asked for more information. It will now be probally March or April before the judges rule.
Meanwhile Spencer waits at the Dallas County Jail, he asked to be secluded from general population in a single cell. he enjoys the quiet, passing his time reading the newspaper. On the one hour a day he is allowed to go outside, he stares at the Dallas skyline. He has been gone so long it is a beautiful scenery to him.
Does he ever let the thought enter his head that he may never be cleared? Of course he has , especially in Texas. Thats just reality here in a state that has the highest incerceration rate and execution rate in the nation.
Ben Spencer could increase his cahnces of being paroled if he confessed to the crime and showed remorse. "If that is the requirement for me to get out , I will just stay here the rest of my life.
He refuses to admit guilt to a crime he has sworn he did not commit from the the time he was incarcerated.