Nothing can be more hurtful and psychologically traumatizing then for a mother or grandmother to find themselves dealing with the battles associated with wrongful conviction. The battle is normally a long depressing fight where that many hours are spent each day begging people to get involved with standing against injustice. There are thousands locked behind the walls of U.S. prisons that are innocent people, however those families and friends that are faced with wrongful conviction have yet to learn how to mobilize and work in unity. It has been the approach of families and friends of those that have been wrongful convicted to ONLY focus on there own plight not realizing that systematic injustice is no accident, its created by over zealous prosecutors, abusive cops, judges that ignore the law and a entire system that ignore compelling evidence to benefit the accused. In Chicago we have witness the Jon Burge torture scandal, in Mississippi the affects of a pathologist Dr. Steven Hayne that lied to aid prosecutors, the Rampart Scandal in California, and other systematic scandals that have led to men and women being incarcerated inside U.S. prisons despite being innocent.
Sorry!, these are not fights in which individuals can win absent groups of people that are demanding justice. A individual fight amounts to additional injustice. While we slept police and prosecutors were working to ensure that what you are attempting to expose remains hid or ignored. While you ate lunch or dinner some one else was victimized by the criminal justice system. The fight must be to hold elected officials accountable to implement safeguards that can best protect the accused. This has been a slow fight of accomplishments mainly because those in the U.S. have not learned to fight as a group and to "SPOTLIGHT" cases that are in best position to open the doors for many. Yes! its hard to be standing on a battle field screaming justice for someone else while your love one also sits behind a prison wall, but until the abolitionist movements for justice set aside its conflicts and disagreements these injustices will only rack up more tears and heart breaks for many across this country. It literally makes no common sense that we cannot mobilize groups to Mississippi, Indiana, Texas, Florida...and to many different States to shut down the normal daily operations of government in those States in the name of justice. We have been ineffective in mobilization because we must target cases to mobilize around and target elected officials to act by introducing legislation for men and women that sit behind prison walls that are innocent and who rightfully should be heard. Government answer toward injustice has not been to hold elected officials and the criminal justice system responsible, however to dish out millions of tax payer dollars in court settlement to individuals that have spent decades behind prison walls, providing NO psychological treatment for the men and women when they have been released...only your tax dollars.
Cheryle-Abul Husn the grandmother of Martin Anthony Villalon Jr., a boy arrested in connection with a drive by shooting in Indiana and receives a 60 year sentence as the result of ineffective assistance of legal counsel. The grandmother is heart-broken at the possibility that her grandson who was sent to prison as a youth offender may never get out of prison alive. The grandmother is 100 percent convinced that Martin did not commit this crime. However because of procedural arguments it has dim his spotlight on his innocence. She has spent all of her income to attempt to get her grandson out of prison and is shocked at the possibility that now her grandson will now have to legally represent himself and he knows nothing whatsoever of the law.
Kids all across America are placed in this position and when it occur, they are legally held accountable to know the rules of the court in which many do not know. They are held responsible to know how to file legal briefs in which many no nothing about. These are kids in which many never completed high school and cannot complete their education because inside prison they are not provided with educational programs. In most cases many are provided outdated legal materials and told to draft documents they have never even heard of. The petitions amount to a "Letter" pleading to a group of judge's that are called "Justices". In that letter that is construed as a petition in most cases the youth can only say...I am innocent without citing legal arguments. Nine out of ten times the letters are denied by the group of justices because the kid knew not how to include sound legal arguments before the court. Lawyers all across this country clearly have witness this and clearly know this exist, but remain to NOT call for reforms in this area of the law. 14 and 15 year old kids convicted of crimes and held legally responsible by their 19th or 20th birthday to file a sound document before the Supreme court if they are not fortunate to have their convictions overturn at the Appellate court level. Kids that have grew up behind prison walls are told to file constitutional sound petitions for "Post-Conviction Relief" at age 21 or 22 when provided outdated legal materials by prison officials that often contribute in citing outdated law and statutory guidelines to give the petition jurisdiction to be heard before a certain court.
In U.S. prisons it is against rules of prison officials for other inmates to assist with the filing of legal documents. The term that was once used "Jail house lawyer" cannot be used today in a effective term because inmates are placed in segregation all across this country for helping someone that needed their assistance with the filing of a legal document to ensure that "inmate" does not miss deadlines before a certain court. We must fight for changes and fight for them now. Kids should not be held accountable for knowing the law that they have never been taught.
Martin, sits inside the Wabash Correctional Center in Indiana while the grandmother is faced with this realitythat her grandson could die behind the walls of a prison. She is reaching out to Lawyers, law students, or any one that can aid her grandson to continue his fight for justice. Lawyers or law students will you consider helping or will you ignore? It is hurtful to me that this grandmother is hurting and seems to not have any one that is willing to reach out to her to help her grandson. As I once set inside a Illinois prison for 28 years while innocent I often wondered what morally sounded people can honestly sleep at night knowing that a innocent kid sits inside a prison. If it was not for my mother Virginia Clements continued efforts to help me, I would still be in prison. Her price for my release was stress and cancer. She died 2 and ahalf years ago. People, especially lawyers and law students please just don't read this posting, help this family to receive justice.
I can be contacted at 847-276-1382 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will connect you with the family of Martin if you are willing to help.