Saturday, February 24, 2018

Remembering Leonore Walters

Leonore and Doug Walters, 2015

I learned today that Leonore Walters, the wife of our friend Doug Walters, died peacefully at home on February 13. Doug is the "angel" who took on the investigative work for Shane Watson's case and whose efforts made it possible for us to file motions in State and Federal Court. His tireless and passionate dedication to seeing justice prevail in Shane's case has been an inspiration to everyone involved in our efforts.

I first met Leonore several years ago when we brought Shane's case to the State Court in the Bronx. Leonore attended the hearings and was very committed to the case. She had a gentle presence, and shared our frustration regarding the atrocious spectacle that unfolded under Judge Richard Price's (sleepy) oversight. A year or so later I once again visited with Leonore and Doug in Chicago. It was clear to me that Leonore's cognitive abilities had diminished, yet she was kind and had a genuine interest and concern for the case and for Shane and his family.

In a conversation with Doug a couple of weeks ago I learned that Leonore had been in a nursing home before the decision was made to bring her back home for hospice care. The Alzheimer's had set in solidly. True to his nature, Doug devoted all of his energies to making sure that Leonore was comfortable and cared for.

As Shane wrote, Leonore was "a true blessing to so many people."Despite dealing with her own debilitating struggles, Leonore remained genuinely devoted to Shane as a person, and to his case, and for this I am very grateful. We lift up Doug and his daughter Elizabeth during the days ahead, that they may be comforted and strengthened.

Will Duchon

Monday, February 5, 2018

Justice Denied, Again (February 5, 2018)

After reviewing our motion for a new trial or exoneration for Shane Watson (filed over one year ago) the Federal magistrate handed down its decision: motion denied.  According to our attorney Robert Boyle of NYC, our motion was a “longshot” to begin with, since granting the motion would essentially mean that “the Federal magistrate would be overturning the decision of State Court (Judge Richard Price), and this is extremely unlikely.” State Judge Richard Price famously slept through portions of the hearings back in 2013, and concluded his written decision with highly critical comments directed towards Robert Boyle. Those hearings were also characterized by the zealous and contemptuous behavior of two assistants to the DA’s office. As our investigator Doug Walters remarked today in our phone conversation, “those prosecutors consider court proceedings to be a game, with the ultimate goal being winning, not attaining justice.”

I know that my friend Shane is deeply distressed and disappointed by this decision, given the obvious flaws and basic flimsiness of the case against him to begin with.


 FILING AN OBJECTION: Attorney Robert Boyle will file an objection to the Federal magistrate’s decision, as is his right. This objection will once again outline the new evidence we have gathered in support of Shane’s innocence, and argue the findings of the State Court’s (outrageous) ruling. This objection must be filed by March 29, 2018.

    PAROLE: Shane is scheduled for his first hearing before the Parole Board in June of this year, having served 25 years. Incredibly, even had the Federal Court granted our motion, this would have been appealed by the Bronx District Attorney’s office, and this appeal would take another two years before being decided. This means that in theory, Shane could be released from prison by the Parole Board sooner than had our motion been granted. According to Robert Boyle, the Parole Board rarely grants parole on the first hearing in a homicide case, but it is not completely out of the question. Shane has an exemplary disciplinary record in prison, was moved from a maximum-security prison to a medium security prison, has been on the “honor block” (a section of the prison designated for exceptional inmates), and has a lot of external support.


Letters of support for Shane’s release written to the Parole Board are critical, however must be worded correctly with an awareness of what the Parole Board “likes” to hear. (A claim of “innocence” is a no-no, apparently). Details will be provided shortly. In the meantime, please keep Shane, his wife Paula and their children Diane and Zion in your prayers.

Will Duchon
Stratford, CT
February 5, 2018

Friday, November 17, 2017

Happy 52nd Birthday, Shane

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 is Shane’s 52nd birthday. It is also the 24th birthday Shane has spent wrongfully imprisoned.

This year, we are hopeful that this will be Shane’s final birthday spent behind bars at Otisville Correctional. We continue to await good news from the Federal Court regarding Shane’s exoneration, or at least receiving a new trial, given that we have new and compelling evidence of his innocence.

 The truth is that Shane’s case should never have gone to trial to begin with back in 1993, since there was no evidence of his guilt. Instead a sloppy non-investigation and the coerced testimony of very reluctant “eyewitnesses” cost Shane 24 years of his freedom.

As always, Shane remains hopeful and continues to inspire me with his courage.

If you’d like to send Shane a card and/or a note, it would certainly lift his spirits:

Mr. Shane Watson
DIN 93A9384
c/o Otisville Correctional Facility
PO Box 8
Otisville, NY 10963

NOTE: envelopes MUST include a return address or they will not be delivered. Also, no food is permitted to be sent.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Letter from Prison

This is a letter from Robert Moore, an inmate at Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone, NY. 
Robert is serving an 18-year sentence.

September 26, 2017

Dear Reader,

I would like to start this letter thanking you for taking the time to read it. I am also thanking anyone for a response and for supporting my case in any way.

I am currently incarcerated in the Upstate Correctional Facility, charged with Attempted  Murder and
Assault 1 from an incident that transpired on January 19, 2014 in Wyandanch, Long Island, NY. I was on my way home from a night out with my spouse. I stopped at a gas station on Straight Path and while looking into my car's trunk a known drug addict creeped up behind me, removed a three-foot pipe from his sweat pants and hit me in the back of my head. The whole incident was captured on the gas station's video system. He continued the attack by swinging the pipe 6 or 7 more times. I protected myself and fought back.

I went to trial in Suffolk County and was found guilty because I did not retreat. I was sentenced to 18 years. I appealed my conviction and was denied. I am now petitioning the Federal Court by way of habeas corpus. I am not familiar with the Federal process, but I am in contact with a post-conviction lawyer who is willing to take on my case. His name is Robert J. Boyle, and his office is located at 277 Broadway in New York City. Mr. Boyle is requesting $2500 as a retainer fee in order to start working on my case, so I am asking anyone who can help to please do so .

In the last 45 months I have learned that "rehabilitation" means "to purchase back with interest." I know that I am worth more in society than I am in prison. I was a good father, step-father, brother, uncle, and friend. My relationships have been destroyed because time has a way of destroying.

Every day I say to myself "this is not the end of my story." I'm reaching out on faith that there is someone somewhere who is willing to step up and help a person known for helping others. I thank you in advance for any response and support.

Robert Moore
# 15-0195
c/o Upstate Correctional Facility
PO Box 2001
Malone, NY 12953

Contributions towards Robert's legal fees can be made at GoGetFunded

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Phone Call from Upstate Correctional Facility

My phone rang at 5:51 PM. The caller ID read "Garden City, NY".  It was  Robert Moore's friend, who asked if I'd like to speak to Robert. Of course I said yes.

Robert was calling from Upstate Correctional Facility, obviously. His voice was energized as he greeted me. He went on to thank me for the work on his behalf and told me several times how much he appreciates my advocating on his behalf. He also told me that he and his family and friends are spreading word of the GoGetFunding page we've set up in order to raise the $3000 necessary for our attorney to be retained and take on Robert's case in earnest. We are seeking an appeal of Robert's 2014 conviction and want to have his 18 year prison sentence vacated.

This was the first phone call I've ever received from prison. In all the years of working on Shane Watson's behalf, Shane and I have never spoken by phone, only in actual visits.

Phone service companies benefit nicely from the hyper-incarceration which exists in the US. According to

Prison phone contracts are based on a "commission" model, where the phone service provider pays a commission (kickback) to the contracting government agency, such as a state prison system or county jail. These kickbacks inflate the costs of prison and jail phone calls, which in the vast majority of cases are paid not by prisoners but by their family members. 

NY State prisons do not take a "kickback", to their credit. 

Here are current prices for a 15-minute prison call in NY State: 

Cost of a 15-minute Intrastate Call

Same state$0.72$0.72$0.72

Detailed rates

Same state0.048/min0.048/min0.048/min

Phone service providers

Data current as of 2017-2018

Will Duchon
July 27, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

Updates on Shane & Robert

Paula and Shane Watson
Shane Watson continues to wait expectantly for a positive decision from the Federal Court about his case. The best result, of course, would be for the Court to vacate Shane's conviction and set a release date. Thanks to the many supporters of Shane Watson through the years we have arrived at this point, after a long road, the longest road being that traveled by Shane himself.

I never want to overlook the generosity and passionate dedication to Shane's case as demonstrated by Doug Walters. Doug currently resides in Chicago with his wife Leonore, who is experiencing debilitating physical issues at this time. Doug did the legwork for the investigation into Shane's case, and did it voluntarily, completely unpaid. This involved trips to the Bronx, interviewing people connected to the case, interviewing (or at least trying to) detectives that "worked" the case initially, visits to Shane in prison, and more. We also are very grateful to our attorney Robert Boyle of NYC, as well as the donated assistance of Rebecca Freedman of The Exoneration Initiative.

At this writing, Shane is in his 24th year of incarceration.

Robert Moore, who is serving an 18 year sentence at Upstate Correctional Facility (wrongfully) is maintaining a positive outlook, under the circumstances. Mr. Moore was convicted of assault and attempted murder in 2015, as a result of being violently attacked while stopped at a BP gas station in Long Island.

The Opus 30 Mission has taken up Mr. Moore's case, details of which can be found on our GoGetFunding page. We are raising funds ($3000) in order for Mr. Moore to retain the services of Robert Boyle, our attorney, for an appeal. I urge you to read Robert's story, and share it.

Remembering Leonore Walters

Leonore and Doug Walters, 2015 I learned today that Leonore Walters, the wife of our friend Doug Walters, died peacefully at home on F...