Saturday, February 28, 2015

" ....a small taste of what Job must have felt like."

I have always been deeply impressed by the resilience Shane has been able to summon in the face of setbacks. This was evidenced once more after I read Shane's letter today, which he wrote on February 25. In the wake of his father's death and the denial of our recent motion to he Appellate Court, Shane has once again managed to see this setback as a path to another door opening somewhere. Once more, while I have found myself angry and frustrated at the total lack of logic and common sense these denials represent, Shane has managed to remain hopeful, but not without expressing his own frustration and disappointment. "I just go a small taste of what Job must have felt", writes Shane. He adds that "I know that there is another door by way of "gateway" federal habeas corpus, where the likes of Jabbar Collins, the late Hurricane Carter and also Willie Lopez finally saw justice. Rita Dave (from the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation) can tell you that Lopez's federal judge blasted his wrongful conviction as "rotten from Day One".

"One part of the city (Brooklyn) is standing up and correcting wrongful convictions, while the Bronx is still business as usual, by not wanting a Conviction Review Unit." Shane's observation raises an important point: the Bronx has its share of wrongful convictions on its hands and needs to be examined. At our motion hearings before sleepy Judge Richard Price in 2013, the inept and fumbling testimony of Detective Sevile Jones, the lead investigator on Shane's case, was frightening if one considers just how many OTHER individuals likely have been sent to prison based on malfeasance and a non-investigation on this detective's part.

In his letter Shane asks "How can this type of injustice take place in this great country? My father had a military (funeral) ceremony for his service to his country. Then his son is being done so wrong."

A reporter from the NY Times has taken some interest in Shane's case. A Columbia University student, Cameron Fegers, has also taken strong interest in the case and is planning a demonstration at Columbia to draw attention to Shane's case and its implications regarding the Bronx. This is encouraging, and may lead to "another door".

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