Jeff’s Voice; Capital Punishment

We’re off lockdown again, but for how long, who knows? I imagine you are as sick of hearing about lockdown as I am of living it. I’ve got a big complex about being locked down, especially considering that I haven’t violated any rules. It’s insult to injury, really, in every possible way.

The punishment of inmates – loss of privileges for something they didn’t do, or that they have no control over, actually creates the opposite of the desired effect.

Surely Administration can come to this realization if I can. Don’t lose sight of the fact that there is no due process in any of this, not even a hint of it. This style of blanket punishment is extremely volatile and more dangerous than the original reason for the lockdown. Especially for the safety of the guards here.

A large faction of the prison population already lives by the “nothing to lose” mentality, and for the most part, prisoners are given privileges as a measure to control them and promote SOME peace and order. So, when guys that already have nothing to lose are unjustly punished, by losing all, what incentive do they have to walk the line?

Anyway, enough with the lockdown dissent. I’ve deviated from what I intended to write about.

First and foremost; I’m doing okay and my family and friends seem to be doing okay, too.

My case is progressing slower than I’d like, but at least it is progressing in the right direction. Still, it’s a matter of “hurry up and wait.” I know this is a jaded attitude, but you hope for the best and expect the worst. Actually, to be really honest, my faith in the truth overrules the jaded mentality.

I’m not looking for special treatment, Rather, all I want is fair treatment. Hope springs eternal.

Hope springs eternal for many other reasons. It’s a brand new baseball season. Like all fans of the game, early spring is a wonderful time and full of expectations and possibilities. As they say, every team is in first place on Opening Day. I really hope the Red Sox do well this season. Since we finished in last place last season, there’s nowhere to go but up. I do have reasonably high hopes this year. Guess all of Sox Nation does since the club just gave a contract to one pitcher worth well over 200 million dollars over seven years. It must be nice to make that kind of money playing the game you love.

One day, when exoneration comes my way, as it should, since I am surely innocent, I hope to become a member of Witness to Innocence. Given the chance, I believe I’d do well speaking about the horrors, and, believe it or not, the decent times that you experience in an ordeal like mine. But not just to speak out on the legal reasons why and how the innocent are wrongfully convicted, but to also shine a light on the fundamental absurdity of capital punishment.

For instance, the process is so arbitrary. One jury will give a life sentence to a man for a crime far worse than a man that receives the death penalty. Or, for an almost identical crime, one gets life but the other death. And how many cases are the people who are paying attention seeing two or more defendants for a particular crime? I’ve lost count of the times that the actual killer will get a life sentence, but the other defendant will get death because they were present or somehow involved in the underlying felony, though they killed no one at all.

I get the Felony Murder Rule meaning, but how can it be justified that the actual murderer receives a mere life sentence?

Yep, that’s some real JUSTICE by the state. Oh, almost forgot, how many millionaires are on death row in America? And one more thing, Since I have been here, I have seen 12 men executed. Ten of those men were white but death row here is split squarely down the middle regarding race. I could stand on a soapbox all day about the utter ridiculousness of capital punishment. I haven’t even skimmed the surface of my ocean of reasoning on this topic.

Let me digress a bit here…I’d also like to be a witness to my experience of the humanity of a place like this. I’ve come to know that there are four types of condemned men here, so I assume (naturally) that it is universal for all of the hell holes. First you have the innocents, perhaps not as few and far between as people tend to think. I am sure I am not the only innocent here. Then there are the insane and/or mentally deficient. You have guys that are guilty of the crime, that made a terrible choice and are remorseful that likely if given a chance at freedom, would never break another law. Then, of course you’ve got the guys that the gallows were supposedly made for. The kind of guy that if given the opportunity, would do the exact same thing that they were convicted of, or worse. The kind who mock everything that is good and wear evil like a badge of honor.

But who am I to judge a persons worth or culpability when it comes to life or death? If you believe in God then you believe He is the spark of life. Logically, only He could and/or should snuff out the light of life, especially when it comes to judgment by fallible humans. So, if by nature man is fallible, then man’s legal process is too, right? Again, who am I to judge a man on the ultimate punishment? Let’s just leave it up to an imperfect legal process and twelve of our fallible peers.

Stepping off the soapbox again, for now.

 

About Lori Howard

I have long searched for my purpose in life and have come to realize that my calling is to advocate for the wrongfully convicted. I AM relentless.
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7 Responses to Jeff’s Voice; Capital Punishment

  1. Joyce Coute says:

    Hi Jeff I am the mom of a son in a similar situation as you. We have that hope for you as well as my son (Brian Peixoto) regarding The Almighty God of the universe and His ability to intervene on behalf of all those who have so gravely been misjudged. Living in God’s waiting room is difficult but there is a sure outcome in which He makes the crooked paths straight. Praying for peace and protection that only He can provide for you. amen Joyce

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  2. Lynne says:

    Please let Jeff know he is not forgotten. I hope for good news soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ‘Sending a note of encouragement to Jeff and to Lori Howard: Your tireless efforts to advocate for Jeff’s innocence are very important. I hope that Dr. Hayne’s testimony and acknowledgment of the Brady violations that prevented the truth to be known at trial will soon cause judicial action to free Jeff. My son, Charles Erickson, also has known death row inmates who were executed and agrees with Jeff that capital punishment sentencing seems to be quite arbitrary. Let us hope that both Jeff and “Charlie” will be free soon to advocate for other innocent people they have come to know while incarcerated following their wrongful convictions. ‘Bless Bruce Fischer and Injustice Anywhere for their support and for the terrific website, freecharleserickson.org, they created in their very active advocacy. Marianne Erickson, Charlie’s Mom

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    • Lori Howard says:

      Thank you kindly, Mrs. Erickson. I remember watching Charlie’s statement to police on YouTube and thinking that they should have thanked him for his time, and shown him the door. He knew nothing about the murder of Mr. Heitholt. It was unbelievable that he was charged based on that. Yes, ma’am, Bruce is one of my heroes. Here’s to freedom! Thank you, again! Lori

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  4. Joanne Alonzo-Gloria says:

    Just read your blog and will begin to follow as I myself unfortunately play a similar role as an aunt (more like a mother) for my nephew Quintin Alonzo who like you and many others has been wrongfully convicted! It’s been or 10 years we have been fighting his case and the one thing that never ceases to amaze me is the fractured system is the same everywhere and I wonder how in the world if we can see this how can others responsible for for life and death not see it??? How can there possibly such a indifference toward what the swore to follow. Know that you have many praying and lifting you and your family up that the true judge will make the wrong, right! Blessings #AndJustice4None #StandUp4Justice http://btententies.wix.com/and-justice-for-none

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  5. Luca Cheli says:

    The DR is probably just the extreme representation of the flaws of the system. Any human system has faults and any system faults should ban the death penalty even in absence of a refusal out of reasons of principle.
    But indeed DR is just the extreme representation of what is routinely accepted by the system, be it for a fine, a life sentence or a death one: error.
    Wrongful convictions are accepted as politically necessary in a “law and order” policy context.
    And this is not a jaded, but outright cynical mindset.

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