The year 2012 was a difficult year for me, for many reasons. One of the reasons was that my mother died. She died before Mother's Day 2012, so this will be the third that I cannot wish her a happy Mother's Day.
Even when my mother was alive, Mother's Day meant something different to me than most people. I've noticed that most (not all, but most) of the people who fight stubbornly to free loved ones are mothers. On Mother's Day, therefore, I find myself thinking of those who have lost children for crimes they did not commit.
It seems inappropriate to wish them a happy Mother's Day as their children languish in prison, or lie in a grave, for crimes they did not commit. Furthermore, it seems insensitive to merely ignore them for fear of not having the right words. I therefore want to take this opportunity to offer my best wishes to some of those mothers, to those I have worked with and continue to work with.
I offer my best wishes to Evelyn Case. Her son Byron is serving two life sentences without possibility of parole for a murder he did not commit. Byron's petition to Governor Nixon for an absolute pardon is here. My two letters to Governor Nixon in support of that petition are here and here. My book on the case is here. The free PDF version is here. Byron's case is gaining some traction, but I'll discuss that no further here.
I offer my best wishes to Pat Ledford. Her son Michael is serving 50 years without the possibility of parole for a murder he did not commit. Michael's petition to Governor McDonnell, which I prepared with the help of his mother, is here. Michael's case is gaining some traction, but I'll discuss that no further here.
I offer my best wishes to Brenda Johnson. Her son Preston Hughes III was executed for a crime he did not commit. Preston's application for Writ of Habeas Corpus, which I prepared, is here. I continue to work with Brenda on her son's case, but I'll discuss that no further here.
I also offer my best wishes to Alice Jackson. Her teenage daughter, Monalisa Espinosa, was murdered. The case remains unsolved. Last year I was contacted by Victor Jackson. Victor and I have built a working relationship that has led to some new discoveries in several cases of interest to us both.
On this Mother's Day, 2013, I offer my best wishes to Evelyn Case, Pat Ledford, Brenda Johnson, and Alice Jackson.