Friday, June 02, 2006

Keeping Faith for Lamar Johnson

Friends (and friends I haven’t met yet)…

I’d like to direct those of you who are interested to a blog page I’ve set up for my friend of the last eight years, Lamar Johnson. Lamar is serving a life sentence, with no hope of parole, for a murder he didn’t commit. I’ve put up the short version of his case summary, at his request. Having followed his battle, both personal and legal, all this time; having received copies of all documents related to his legal fight, and knowing him well by this time – I believe fully in his innocence.

He’s an amazing person. His self-education in law alone is astonishing (and I have the opinion of those more knowledgeable than me on that that score) – but it is not the habit of the courts to pay heed to the legal arguments of the convicted.

He is 32 years old. He wants to go home.

I don’t ask that you believe me – or him. But if you are interested, the case summary is there. Please leave any comments you might have on that page. I am merely the typist for the site.

And thanks.


herhimnbryn said...

I will check in regularly. It was your original posts about this Gentleman that had me in tears.

LJ said...

Dear H.

Thank you.

Lamar is a different person from the man in "Would you see your brother's face"..

Easy enough to confuse the stories, I know. I wrote to a number of prisoners over a period of several years. Some rightly convicted - and two wrongly so.

It's interesting to me that people often think all prisoners assert their innocence to anyone who will listen. They don't. And when I asked Lamar if he wanted to discuss his case after he lost his first appeal, he sent me only the prosecution's summary of strongest evidence leading to conviction. No comment of his own at all. And I read it once, twice, in disbelief - and thought, "they set him up." And so I still believe.

LeRoi was guilty. He needed to be taken out of society when he was. But his subsequent treatment was unbelievable. A life spent in prison, with a death sentence looming IS punishment. And "we" on the other side of the bars, "we" who guard the convicted are supposed to be better than torturers and sadists. Or so I believe. And if we are not...what does that mean.

Rhetorical question. And one I ask myself all the time. How much better ARE we?

Thanks for your comment, H. - very much.