My name is John Herring, you may publish my D.O.C. number should you elect, that someone should want to contact me directly.
I read the letter to you from a female, who, was “unjustly sentenced,” I empathize with her: as she is only a pebble in the road paved by a system of seemingly corrupt judges (not all judges) and public defenders, who, do not have to practice law in the traditional sense, This was poiniantly made in the movie ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. One’s fate is seemingly already sealed when he or she enters a Mississippi courtroom as defendants; a trial or pleas hearing is merely a formality to the guise of fairness.
It would also seem the state appeals and supreme courts are more of the same, as you have a 98% conviction rate in Mississippi, and a 1% chance of winning on appeal to its higher courts.
Part of the problem, in my opinion, is that our loved ones and others, choose to not get involved in the simplicity of our democratic duty, in the process of electing people, who, do not have a vested interest in using legislation to exact special favors and/or financial gain. Only, that the sentiment or will of the people, all the people, with accordance of the U.S. Constitution, has been advanced. Clearly, in the case of the Scott sisters and a host of other’s has the sentiment and/or will of the people been ignored.
I disagree with laying the sole blame of injustice at the door step of the wealthy because just as the republican ‘right’ has enacted a campaign to repeal Obama Care, the legislators and/or others, who, claim to be advocates of justice and fairness guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution can campaign to repeal Mississippi’s truth-in-sentencing laws or move to recall the multi-term senator and congressmen/women who, lie in our faces, won’t return our calls once elected, or simply duty to protect us from such a blatant disregard for our basic rights and human compassion.
Personally I haven’t always been a prisoner, none of us have. I was a hard-working twenty-something year old African-American with a salaried 50k a year job, company paid insurance, a 401k plan being matched dollar-for-dollar by my former employer, a master mason, with No criminal record ever, and a great credit score.
I could complain about how I was convicted of a crime (armed robbery) that never happened, only two (2) months after I had to bury my wife, who, died from cancer, on my 28th birthday, or about how my one-time state senator, Nolan Mettetal, also a former family friend, admitted after examining my paper work, that I was “railroaded” but he failed to make good on his promise to go to the Governor because as he put it, “too many people are involved.”
However, I dare not complain because no one will listen, nor act on it. Not the media thirsty N.A.A.C.P, who, seemingly only wait for the camera to show-up, step out and make a speech, then step back into obscurity.
I think it is really sad that only a handful cares about how Mississippi gets away, time and again with the most generic form of public defense (defenders) who, only perpetuate the kangaroo style court system. I think people should come together and elect new and different public officials, who, believe in justice for both victims of crimes and the people accused of committing them. How long will the public continue to be tricked, bamboozled and run amuck, how long will Dr. King’s dream continue to be over shadowed by this nightmare that continues to embarrass Mississippi.
Ready for Change
John Herring #108298
374 Stennis Industrial Park Rd.
Dekalb, Ms. 393280