Archive for June 26th, 2012

26
Jun
12

message for the judge

It was left up to Stephen to break the news to James Prindle last Friday that he had been found guilty.

James had been transported back to the jail and it was apparently not worth the effort for the authorities to make arrangements so he could face his jury and hear their verdict for himself.

After James had a major meltdown at the news, he worked all weekend to memorize a statement he wished to make to the court when the verdict was read to him on Monday. James reasoned that at the very least, standing up and speaking for himself was a way to salvage a scrap of dignity from this travesty. But instead, he was treated like he was some kind of beast.

James was brought into the courtroom in leg shackles and handcuffs, and then he was seated in a chair, his wrists cuffed to the arms of the chair and his feet chained to the floor. He couldn’t stand up; the scene was reminiscent of movies in which a condemned man is strapped into an electric chair, completely immobilized.

“Will I be allowed to speak?” he asked the bailiff Ms. Stone.

“No.”

“What would happen if I tried?”

“We’d have to put you down,” she said.

So there was no statement from James. He was not allowed to face his jury, and he was not allowed to address the court. Roland Freisler* would have been proud.

We have no way of knowing whether judge and former prosecutor Bobby Carter will ever hear or acknowledge it, but here is the statement James had intended to present:

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Judge Carter,

The person who is speaking to you is not guilty. The true individual who committed this unspeakable act against my little sister is walking the streets free and I sit here being punished—possibly for the rest of my life—for an act I did not commit.

I understand the court has an obligation to the public, but its highest duty is for justice. How is it justice when an innocent child is convicted?

I also understand the prosecution has a job to do. But when a person is wrongfully convicted, what good is served to the community when the person who really assaulted my sister is walking the streets in freedom and I suffer with its loss?

My stepfather Jefferson got everything he wanted: me out of his life and he gets my mom all to himself. I’ve been hurt, abused, deserted, and abandoned by my family and it’s hard to accept this, and this verdict, when this is what I’ve lived since I was little.

I would never do what I am accused of doing to my sister. I loved her and I still love and miss my family. I am innocent and I pray that one day soon my innocence will be proved to everyone, most of all, to Jefferson Sanders.

۞

Groove of the Day 

Steve Via – The Audience Is Listening

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* Roland Freisler (1893-1945) was the chief judge in Nazi Germany between 1942 and 1945. Approximately 90% of all his proceedings ended with sentences of death or life imprisonment; more than 2,600 death sentences were handed down through Freisler’s court. In October 1939, Freisler introduced the concept of ‘precocious juvenile criminal’ in the “Juvenile Felons Decree”. This decree provided the legal basis for imposing the death penalty and penitentiary terms on juveniles for the first time in German legal history. The Nazi courts sentenced at least 72 German kids to death. It was all perfectly legal.

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