Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Writing to Governor Cuomo: An Excellent Example from a Supporter in NYC

Again, I urge everyone, particularly NY residents, to write to Governor Andrew Cuomo requesting a meeting with myself and investigator Doug Walters. The ultimate goal would be for the governor to pardon Shane.


As an example, here is a wonderful letter to Governor Cuomo written by Alice Wagner, of NYC, a longtime supporter of The Opus 30 Mission. I am very grateful to Alice for taking the time to compose this thoughtful and eloquent letter.

Dear Governor Cuomo,

I have been a New York resident for over 45 years.  I have been fortunate to see both your father and you fight for equality and justice in every aspect of NY State Community and Commerce.  During your term in office I have seen the passing of Gay marriage rights, your continued fight to improve school curriculum, raise the minimum wage, and decrease the amount of unwarranted random street arrests.

I have recently been made aware of another example of inequality and miscarriage of justice within the NY Bronx Judicial system.  For the past 22 years Shane Watson has been serving a prison sentence, for a crime, for which there is substantial evidence, he did not commit.  Over the last 12 years, Will Duchon and Opus 30 Mission, their Legal Council and a professional investigator, have discovered a great many discrepancies in the case and more than a sufficient amount of reasonable doubt that Mr. Watson committed the crime for which he has been imprisoned.    The investigator in his summary report shows that there was limited to no investigative process, no physical evidence obtained, and that the witness investigation was weak and improperly handled and in one case legally recanted by affidavit.

Based on this information, it seems very clear that there is not only reasonable doubt that Mr. Watson committed this crime but an enormity of overwhelming doubt that he should have ever been arrested for this crime in the first place.  And yet his legal team and supporters have been thwarted at every turn by the Bronx Court System, denying him even a new trial.  Shane Watson has spent the last 22 years of his life imprisoned for a crime for which it has not been adequately proven he committed.  His options for appeal continue to diminish and the financial toll it has taken and continues to take to get someone to listen to his case is devastating.

I have always viewed your administration as one of reason and fairness with a determination to right the injustices imposed on those who do not always have the support of the system on their side.  It is very clear that there has been a miscarriage of justice in this case and I fear that this happens more than we would like to think in a system that needs repair.  As a citizen of New York City and a constituent of the State of New York, I ask that you review this case and pardon Shane Watson, righting an extreme wrong perpetrated upon him by the Bronx legal system.


Alice Wagner 

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