Sunday, June 13, 2010

Contacting Kareema

In my last my last post, The Troublesome Case of Lamont Reese, I invited you to join me as we investigate the case of Kareema Kimbrough. It seems one of the first things we need to do is contact Kareema and see if she is even interested in our help. If she is, we will be able to create an initial contact list of people to talk to. Hopefully, those contacts will lead to documents which we can review. First things first however.

I took it upon myself to contact her. I did so using an online service call JPay. For $0.42 per page, I sent her a one page letter. The letter will be printed somewhere on the Texas side of the transaction, and delivered to her tomorrow or the next day.

She may have difficulty contacting me. I'm guessing she is not allowed access to the internet or email. I'm reluctant at this point to give out my home address so that she can snail mail me. I have given out my home address to an inmate before, but that's not my starting point. I provided my phone number instead.

Inmates are frequently allowed to place pre-paid calls. Those receiving the calls will be informed it's from an inmate and will have to affirmatively accept the call before either party can hear the other. The phone rates for inmates, however, are substantially higher than they are for those of us on the outside, and inmates have very little money. Typically, I will provide an inmate money to cover the cost of the phone calls, but that too has to be arranged.

No matter how you try to work it, the bit-rate between anyone on the outside and anyone on the inside is very low.

I include below the body of my introductory letter. Please don't  take offense if I was willing to share my phone number with a convicted murderer but not willing to share it with you. I'll let you know if and when I get a response.
Ms. Kareema Kimbrough,

I am interested in the issue of wrongful convictions. I have nearly completed my second book in a planned series of ten books intended to improve our jury pool. I call the series The Skeptical Juror. I host a blog by that name as well.

I have been reviewing each of the 450+ executions in Texas since the state re-instituted the death penalty. I am paying particular attention to those cases where I believe the person executed may have been factually innocent. I took special note of the case of Lamont Reese recently primarily due to the plea made by Michael Toney back in 2004. (I was saddened to learn that Michael was exonerated only to die in a car crash a month after his release.)

Compared to the other cases I have looked into, there is very little information to be found on the internet regarding Lamont Reese. I have no way of knowing, therefore, whether or not he was factually innocent. His case, however, has the telltale markings of a wrongful conviction.

Normally I would simply report on such cases and move on. There is not much I can do once a person has been executed. Lamont's case is different than most, however. His case is your case. If he was factually innocent, then so too must you be. And that is why I write.

If you would like me to look into your case with whatever feeble resources I can muster, I will do so. Understand that I am not an attorney, nor am I a private investigator, nor am I a journalist in a conventional sense. I am merely a citizen that has managed to help a couple people so far. I make no promises whatsoever. I offer only to look into your case if you would like me to do so, and only if you are willing to speak with me.

If you are interested, email me (or have a friend email me) at Alternatively, you can call me directly at ---.---.----.  That's in California, so I am two hours ahead of you. If you placed a call in the evening, there is a decent chance I would be at home to accept it.  Once we make initial contact, we can devise some reasonable means of communicating with one another.

[electronically signed]