My name is Will Duchon. I live in Stratford, CT.

In 2003 I encountered Mr. Shane Watson, who is currently serving a 25 year to life sentence for second-degree murder. After careful review of the case transcripts, police reports, trial transcripts and other documentation, it became clear to me that Shane is not guilty of this crime. His case is an example of flawed "eyewitness" testimony, an incredibly flimsy prosecution, and essentially a travesty of justice. Shane is 50 years old, and has been in prison since 1993.

I followed up my suspicions about the case with Dr. Jennifer Dysart, currently a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC. Her SUMMARY confirmed my suspicions.

Along with some dedicated friends from Pleasantville Presbyterian Church in Pleasantville, NY, Monroe Congregational Church in Monroe, CT, the fine attorney Robert Boyle of New York City, and our dedicated investigator Doug Walters of Chicago, I am seeking to have Shane's conviction overturned so that ultimately, he will be free to enjoy his life.

This blog is simply a way to share Shane's story as well as new and current information regarding his case. I encourage you to read the posts that describe the details of his case. It is also an opportunity to learn about how flawed the criminal justice system is.

For details of the Shane Watson case, please read the SUMMARY by our investigator, Doug Walters.

Thank you for visiting.

Shane Watson's mailing address:

Mr. Shane Watson

93A 9384

PO Box 8

Otisville, NY 10963

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Jeffrey Deskovic & The Slow Wheels of Justice

Jeffrey Deskovic

In 1990, 16 year-old Jeffrey Deskovic was convicted of the rape and murder of Angela Correa, a 15-year old student at Peekskill High School in NY.  After seven hours of police interrogation (during which no parent or attorney was present) and the persuasive power of fear and fabricated evidence, Deskovic confessed to the crime despite his innocence. He was sentenced to 15 years to life, and spent 16 years in prison. The Innocence Project finally put an end to Deskovic’s saga, proving through DNA testing that Deskovic was not the perpetrator. The DNA evidence eventually led to the conviction of another man.

Using funds from a settlement, Deskovic admirably set up The Deskovic Foundation for Justice, based in the Bronx, NY. The Foundation provides counsel to wrongfully convicted persons, and also advocates for legislative changes to help prevent future wrongful convictions.

In 2012, we appealed to The Deskovic Foundation for assistance in Shane Watson’s case of wrongful conviction. I spoke to someone in the office about the case and was told that their office would follow up on it.

On February 22 of this year, Shane received a letter from The Deskovic Foundation. The letter claimed that the organization was “swamped with requests for help while also having a limited staff.” The letter thanked Shane for his patience, and asked for several documents pertaining to the case, such as the appellate brief, police reports, and a questionnaire.  The letter concluded with an underlined sentence in bold type: we have not yet decided to accept your case.

The work of The Deskovic Foundation for Justice is admirable, as is the work of The Innocence Project, The Exoneration Initiative (which has provided paralegal assistance to us) and other similar organizations working on behalf of the wrongfully convicted. What is startling is that this letter from The Deskovic Foundation took five years to be generated. If we were to proceed with applying for assistance from The Deskovic Foundation, it would easily be another two years before any substantial action on Shane’s behalf would take place. That’s two more years in prison, added onto the twenty-three Shane has already spent behind bars.

Fortunately, our case is now in the hands of the Federal Court and we are not in need of further legal assistance. When Shane sent a copy of the Deskovic Foundation letter to me his words were “Praise God for where we’re at!” Indeed.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Hopeful Words and Thoughts from Shane

A letter arrived from Shane today. As usual, the letter began with a question: "How are you doing and feeling today?"
Next were the words "Praise Him!"

Shane went on to write: "(Attorney Robert) Boyle just sent me a copy of his response to the (Bronx) DA's December 28 letter (about) the order of the Court. So, the habeas corpus motion is now fully briefed, and (Robert Boyle) expects it will take the judge at least a couple of months to write a decision. Praise God for our Constitutional rights! I am feeling real good about it and feel that the Federal Court will not do us like the State Court. Amen!"

In other words, the Federal Court is now fully prepared to make a decision regarding our motion to overturn the State Court decision which denied Shane's release or a new trial.

Shane's letter concluded: "Give everyone my love and tell them to prepare to see me in the flesh real soon. Amen!" This was followed by a passage from the book of Romans, chapter 4: "...even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist."

A few days ago I sent a letter to Shane and included copies of comments made on the petition that has been circulating on his behalf. I am sure that Shane's spirits will be lifted once he reads them.  Thanks to all those who took the time to sign the petition and add their positive comments. If you have not signed the petition and would like to, just CLICK HERE.

If you would like to send a letter or note to Shane, the mailing address is:

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

Image result for hope

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Petition for Justice

As of today, Shane Watson's case is in the hands of a Federal Judge. In an effort to show support for Shane, our friend Alice Wagner of NYC created a CHANGE.ORG petition.  The petition is designed to demonstrate to the Bronx District Attorney's office just how strongly we feel that Shane's conviction be overturned, or at the very least, he receive a NEW trial, based upon the newly discovered evidence we have gathered over the past 12 years.

Please SIGN and SHARE
 this link with as many people as possible. 

Many thanks,

Will Duchon
The Opus 30 Mission

Monday, November 14, 2016

Happy Birthday Shane

Shane Watson's 51st birthday is
 November 21.

This will be the 24th birthday Shane has "celebrated" while in prison.

Here are three ways to send Shane your good wishes:

1) Send a birthday card: 
Mr. Shane Watson
c/o Otisville Correctional Facility
PO Box 8
Otisville, NY 10963

2) Write a message to Shane on
 The Opus 30 Mission Facebook Page which I will send to Shane in a letter.

3) Do both!

Monday, October 31, 2016

A True Patriot

Shane Watson's most recent letter dated October 22, 2016 provided a refreshing bit of inspiration, as his letters often do. As I write this we are just eight days away from the presidential election. November 8 will conclude what has been a national embarrassment. This endless presidential campaign has been a race to the bottom, filled with ugliness, ignorance and arrogance on a level that is stunning. Through the mechanization of the national political game, United States citizens are presented with a choice between two candidates totally lacking vision and imagination, totally out of touch with the anxiety and soul-sickness that has infected our culture. So be it.

In light of all this, and in passing, Shane wrote about the decision regarding his liberty which is now squarely in the hands of Federal Judge Paul Engelmayer. a judge for the Federal District Court of Southern New York. Judge Engelmayer is reviewing our appeal of the atrocious decision made by Judge Richard Price in New York State Court back in 2014, denying Shane a new trial as well as denying an overturning of Shane's 1993 conviction. According to our attorney, Robert Boyle of NYC, being granted a review by Judge Engelmayer was "a big win". I hope so.

In his letter, Shane writes "I truly believe that Judge Engelmayer will do the right thing and restore our faith in the justice system." 

He went on to write about the hearing in Judge Price' courtroom: "The way Judge Price (handled the hearing) was unbelievable to hear about, let alone sit through it and witness. Not in our great country!"

That final sentence hit me like a cannonball. "Not in our great country!" Here was a man whose liberty has been wrongfully denied for over twenty-two years courtesy of sloppy police work and a non-investigation by a NYPD detective, convicted of a crime he did not commit based upon flimsy and coerced eyewitness identification, since recanted. Despite this, Shane has faith in the justice system eventually getting it right. Why? Because he believes that's what happens in "our great country."

Five words handwritten in a letter: "Not in our great country!". How much more weight they carry than the millions of disingenuous words and babble spoken by Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Write to the Conviction Integrity Unit

DA Darcel Clark has received funding in the amount of $469,000 for a Conviction Integrity Unit. At the same time, the DA's office is arguing against our Federal motion to overturn Shane's conviction. This is an example of a well-meaning office abiding by procedure. 

Perhaps a letter from YOU to DA Clark ( Attention: Conviction Integrity Unit) will persuade her office NOT to oppose our motion to have Shane's conviction overturned. Justice is long overdue (22 years + now). 

The address:

The Office of the Bronx County District Attorney
Attention: Conviction Integrity Unit
198 E. 161st Street
Bronx, New York 10451

Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark presides over a meeting of bureau chiefs on Aug 1.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Conviction Integrity Unit/ Thoughts from Shane

Several months ago I wrote to Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark, asking that she take a look at Shane's case in light of the new evidence we have gathered. I mentioned the success of the Conviction Review Unit in Brooklyn, the initiative of Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson. Since the formation of the CRU in 2014, at least 20 wrongfully convicted individuals have been exonerated. Ms. Clark took office as Bronx DA in January of this year, vowing to "breathe new life into the Bronx District Attorney's Office". It seemed timely then, to bring Shane's case of wrongful conviction to her attention.

Today I received a letter from the DA's office. The letter was addressed to our attorney, Robert Boyle: I was sent a copy of the letter as was Terry Leroy, an activist based in Woodstock, NY (Terry is the co-founder of the Haitian People's Support Project) whom I met at a Martin Luther King Jr. rally last January. Terry has since become a supporter of The Opus 30 Mission.

The letter was written by Mr. Seth Steed, of the "Conviction Integrity Unit" of the Bronx DA's office. Mr. Steed stated that his office is aware of our pending appeal hearing before the US Court of Appeals regarding Shane's case. Accordingly, the CIU will not get involved in reviewing Shane's case until the litigation of the Federal hearing has been completed. Obviously, our hope is that the Federal hearing will result in Shane's conviction being vacated, in which case there will be no need for the CIU to look at Shane's case.

The good news in this:
1) The Bronx DA's office has a Conviction Integrity Unit which presumably will undo the scourge of wrongful convictions.
2) In the event that our Federal hearing is unsuccessful, (God forbid), the CIU will at least provide another option for gaining justice for Shane Watson.

In the meantime, we await Shane's Federal hearing and are very hopeful that the Federal Court will see through the many holes in Shane's conviction.

I also received a letter from Shane today. In my most recent letter to him, I asked Shane if he knew David McCallum, the subject of the excellent documentary "Fight for Justice: David + Me" . McCallum spent 29 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of kidnapping and murder. He was exonerated in 2014. McCallum was released from Otisville Correctional Facility, the same unit where Shane currently is imprisoned. Shane did not know David personally, since Shane was at Fishkill Correctional in 2014, something I should have realized. Shane did say that he wanted Ray Klonsky ( the filmmaker and friend of David McCallum) to read his habeas corpus petition. I've reached out to Mr. Klonsky through the film's Facebook page but have not had a reply.

In my last letter I joked about winning Powerball and what I'd do with all the millions. Shane replied that I was "right on point" about that, and he would do the same (travel, help out a lot of people, and buy a small house on the beach) but that his house "would have to be a little bigger than mine". He also said that he would start some kind of foundation.

Shane wrote that the administration at Otisville is "the worst" of all the facilities he's been in. His mail is overly scrutinized (I had sent him some data from our Facebook page listing his followers and "likes", but this was confiscated by the Otisville administration. He also told me that one of the guards purposely makes Shane walk through a metal detector even though the guard is aware that Shane has a metal rod in one of his legs. Petty things.) Despite this, Shane ended his letter on a positive note: "All of the good news and favorable decisions have come since being here (Otisville) so I can't complain."