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Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Appeal

Admin Note: The following was recently posted on Thomas' Facebook page and not here at his request, however I have taken it upon myself to also post this here. I am sure there are many friends of Thomas' who do not utilise Facebook and would want to be able to help him in his appeal - Tracey


Well, it has come to this, formally: in June, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals shot down my final state appeal. They did so without comment, without bothering to address a single claim that I made in my writ of habeas corpus. When judges get consistently re-elected running on a "pro-prosecution" platform, this is what happens. Se la vie.

I had prepared for this eventuality, however, by convincing David Dow of the Texas Defender Service to agree to take on my case for the federal courts. Mr. Dow litigates very forcefully, and I was excited that I would finally have an attorney on my side who seemed interested in seeing me survive this ordeal. Those hopes were eviscerated when my federal judge denied Mr. Dow's appointment motion. I have heard several theories on why he did this, but I will leave such decisions for another time and place.

Mr. Dow did agree, however, to continue working on my case for one specific issue, that of "insufficiency of future dangerousness". He feels this issue is very strong for me. There are multiple facets to this argument, but I do not feel it is wise to telegraph my intentions in a broad forum such as this. It is the Office of the Attorney General with whom I contend, and I know for a fact that they have at least one watcher on my "friend" list.

That said, I can tell you that I am in dire need of some help. Between the date of my crime (Dec 2003) and the date of my arrest (Sep 05), I was a free man. I spent most of that time in Mexico, either in Monterrey, or a small town just north of there. According to the state, I am a "remorseless, asexual psychopath", who is so evil that I had to be sentenced to death to keep the other inmates in the Texas prison system safe. I am not joking: this was their argument for sending me to Death Row. One of the several ways of countering this drivel is to get affidavits from the people I had contact with in Mexico. These will show that I did not commit a single illegal act during my time down there, and this may help prove that what happened on December 10th, 2003 was an isolated act.

This seems a simple thing, and I have been telling my attorneys since my arrest to contact those people. Despite this, not a single attorney of mine chose to spend a portion of their fees following up on this. I thought about trying to raise some funds in the past for this purpose, but I always convinced myself that things would work out, one way or another. To be honest, I may have been a little too proud to go about with my hat in my hand. Maybe I was a little too shy. Whatever the reason, I was wrong: that "something" never arrived to save me, and I realized that if I want this thing done, I am going to have to do it myself.

The work that the TDS is going to do for me totals 25 thousand dollars. They have agreed to eat 15 thousand of this with inhouse grants, a very generous offer, considering they are under no obligation to even answer my letters. The remainder – ten thousand dollars - is going to have to be scrounged up by yours truly. These are to be the fees for the investigator. I balked a little, thinking that was excessively pricey, and was told that the problem was really the insurance: Mexico is, for all intents and purposes, being considered a war zone at present, due to the escalating cartel violence. Believe me. I am working on ways to minimize the risk for the investigator, by setting a meeting site in a secure environment. But none of what I may be able to accomplish on this front changes the fact that I do not have anywhere close to the funds I need.

This is a little interesting: most of us would be at a loss, were we forced to place a dollar value on our continued existence. I now know that my life has a concrete value: ten thousand dollars. (The weird thing is, I cannot decide if that is a rip-off or a bargain ... ) I should state that getting this money will not guarantee my survival; it will only give me my best shot, a shot that no one has bothered to take until now. This is my last appeal. I am being told by people who are experienced in these things that I could easily have a date in 2012. I get the picture that this means little to most of my mb6 readers which is why I am not going to post anything about this on that site. But you are supposed to be my "friends" here (whatever that means, in the digital context), so for those of you who would like to see my sentence changed to that of life in prison, I need your help now. This is the last hurrah, and I do not have a lot of time to get this together. I do appreciate all of the nice comments that you guys have left me over the years. They have uplifted me in a way I doubt I could ever put into words. That said, I cannot pay my attorneys with good vibrations. I am now in need of far more tangible forms of support. To that end, if you have a jar of pocket change laying about looking for a home, please consider sending some of it my way. I have no right or expectation to ask this of any of you, but I am pretty sure that if you were in my place, you would be doing exactly the same thing.

If I have reached anyone out there over the years, now is the time to return the favor. I have set up a Paypal account for this end, which you can find by touching on THIS link. If you prefer more old school methods, you can also reach me by mailing to my Dad's PO Box at:

Kent Whitaker
PO Box 2046
Sugar Land, TX 77487-2046

I would greatly appreciate any help in any amount. Really, from the bottom of my cold missing heart: thank you. I will keep you guys updates on this as the weeks go by.

Until then, I’m out
-TBW



© Copyright 2010 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

9 comments:

D Ruelas said...

I have answered to Thomas's very difficult petition (difficult, because, I know him and know this is not easy for him to do!!)and have made a deposit to his account through his dad. I believe if we all have in our heart to donate, with whatever amount we can (some may be able to help with a few dollars, others with more)we can come up with the amount he needs. As I said on facebook...if each of us would just once put ourselves in his position...what kind of response would we wish to have? His webpage and facebook is the only means he has to reach people. I believe many feel, as I do, that Thomas is a life worth saving, a life that could give much if his life is spared, even if this means life sentence without parole. He has done so much on DR with his fellow inmates. Will you, readers and friends, just sit and enjoy his entries until his date comes, or will you begin moving from your comfortable position and do something in participation to try to save his life? Many say his entries have opened your eyes and miss them when he has not written in a long time. Others have actually thanked him for what he has written...well...now is the time to show that you really appreciate him. Show him he is actually a valuable human being worth saving!! I would invite you to TWO things: 1) if you have not signed the petition TO HIS FAVOR (not to write such ugly things that some have written...which thankfully have been cut out!!) I invite you to take the time to do so (don't wait until an execution date comes) and motivate other friends of yours to do so also! 2) PLEASE DONATE!! I know that we can ALL give something. Sacrifice once of your whims or comodity expenses for once and use it to help Thomas! Don't wait to say: "He was such an intelligent and great guy...such a good writer." Donate so you can possibly say: "He CONTINUES being such a great and kind hearted and caring guy, and I helped save his life!"
I can tell you personally and with knowledge that Thomas IS a great, kind hearted, caring guy and he IS WORTH SAVING! I have had the privilege to know him personally and visit him frequently. Yes...he committed a terrible act, made a terrible choice for which he is paying terrible consequences, but he has a loving FATHER, and a loving father who BOTH have forgiven him and continue loving him and have stood by his side all of this time.
I want to personally thank each and every one of you who has already donated and who will donate in the near future.

Ilaria Violet said...

I have donated, of course.
Does anyone knows if he's raised something already?

Lucas said...

Hi.. i am reading mb6 for a long time and i am shocked that this whole story could becoming so quick to an end. I have made a deposit and i hope a lot of other people will do the same... @Tracey, good idea that you have posted this on mb6 and tell Thomas that we take also care of him, not just the guys from facebook..;) regards from europe

D Ruelas said...

Thank you, Ilaria and Lucas for donating and caring for Thomas. I hope your example will be followed by many. I am visiting Thomas tomorrow and plan to let him know there ARE people who care for him (I will give him your message, Lucas!) God bless you both.

Ilaria Violet said...

Yes it's all starting to become very sad...
Thomas should have received the book I sent him, "The warrior of light" by Paulo Coelho... Anyone of you know this book? I read it and found it very ENLIGHTENING. :)

D Ruelas said...

As I mentioned to you, I visited Thomas today. He asked me to send all who are supporting him with donations for his upcoming appeal expeneses his utmost gratitude.
Ilaria: he says he has not yet received a book from you and has not heard from you in quite a while.

Ilaria Violet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

Dear Ilaria, Andrew here, a fellow visitor to this site and correspondent to Thomas. You are not alone with the mail delivery problems. Thomas and I lost contact with each other for over a year simply because communication broke down and both of us assumed that the other had stopped writing. You should try sending Thomas letters via JPAY -

https://www.jpay.com/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fdefault.aspx

This is an Inmates Services website via which you can also write to him, almost like email; they print out your mail and then deliver it to his cell within two days. This has proved to be somewhat more reliable and is a lot quicker for you, as well as cheaper. You'll have to buy 'virtual online stamps' on the site with a credit card and you'll need to enter his inmate number - 00999522. Good luck !

Ilaria Violet said...

Andrew, thank you... but I wrote him via JPay since last year, and most of the letters were "lost"... From february I finally got his letter in September and then nothing again :(

I wrote twice to the Ombudsman office but they didn't seemed to care much :/