It has been extremely cool to watch the preparations commencing for SPM's 'Day of Unity', and the release of The S.O.N. Dope House hosted a preliminary meeting on 8/24, and it looks like it went very well. There is video of some volunteers handing out flyers here.
I want to tell those of you who have just found the blog, and remind those of you who have been around awhile, that by advocating justice for Carlos Coy we are speaking out for the rights of every citizen. No matter your position on his guilt or innocence, a cursory examination of Coy's trial reveals disquieting truths about his case, and Harris County's justice system in general.
A few examples include how testimony changed during the trial itself in SPM Responds 8 ...testimony about the family of the accuser that never did make it's way into the criminal trial, but was laid out at the civil trial in SPM Responds 12 ...and questions about whether or not Coy was even physically capable of committing act he was convicted for in The Neverending Letter part 2
I believe that Coy is innocent, but I freely admit that I can't prove it.What can be proven, and one day, God willing, will be proven, is that his trial was not just. If the verdict is allowed to stand in this case, or in the many like it all over Texas, we're accepting that injustice is acceptable, as long as it gives us the illusion of safety. Please, add your voice to those already committed to saying no.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Anyone who has not been living under a rock for the past week probably knows that the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, was recently indicted for coercion and official oppression.
We’ve talked a little about Texas’s Grand Juries and how they work, as far as I understand it. You can see that here: http://www.spmaftermath.com/2013/05/grand-jury-rigged.html
Perry’s indictment presents a unique opportunity. He is a Republican, and a law’n order, throw-the-book-at-'em one at that. His politics are about where mine were a few years ago, and his supporters are the type of conservative right-wingers that reflexively support law enforcement. They are facing a conundrum; it’s likely that they will see these charges as politically motivated, which means that the system has failed.
The challenge will be to illustrate that this is not an example of the system being abused; Perry’s indictment is simply how the system works.
The excellent legal blog Popehat summed it up best:
my fortunate clients are the most outraged at how they are treated by the criminal justice system, and most prone to seeing conspiracies and vendettas, because they are new to it — they have not questioned the premise that the system's goal is justice. My clients who have lived difficult lives in hard neighborhoods don't see a conspiracy; they recognize incompetence and brutal indifference and injustice as features, not bugs. "Justice system" is a label, not a description. The furnace on a steam locomotive bound for San Francisco does not have a goal of reaching San Francisco; the furnace just burns what you throw into it to move the train along.”
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
The Michael Brown shooting is all over the news right now. Normally I would stay away from such a topical post, as SPM’s situation has little to do with a young man being gunned down, wrongly or not, by a police officer. However, a hashtag inspired by the post-mortem coverage piqued my interest.
If you don’t know what the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown hashtag is, this article has as good an explanation as any: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/08/11/after-michael-browns-killing-iftheygunnedmedown-shows-how-selfies-shape-history/
I don’t want to point out the intricacies of the trend so much as the general acceptance of this; that the media portrays what it pleases them to portray. You can chalk it up to fear-mongering, racism, or just an attempt to catch the attention of an already-jaded audience, but the truth is that ‘if it bleeds it leads; if it doesn’t bleed, well, maybe we’re not looking at it from the right angle.’
Friday, August 8, 2014
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Just a short post tonight; you may recall a prediction that the release of The S.O.N. would not be imminent until we began to see some Dope House advertising and media engagement. Well, it appears that may be happening now; @Officialjar, Dope House’s twitter account, released photos from a commercial they’re shooting here: http://instagram.com/p/rIeTfKuLLI/
@SPMlives, the new official SPM twitter account ran a contest last night: https://twitter.com/SPMLives/status/496816950165504001
...And you can find semi-regular updates at @Marimar568, Marisol Garay’s twitter, and Trey Coy’s twitter, @Screwstonskater.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
So, we talked a bit about Alfred Dewayne Brown’s conviction, and the acrobatic stunts pulled by the Grand Jury to facilitate it; I mentioned that the judge in his case was Mark Kent Ellis, who was also the judge in Carlos Coy’s case.
I do believe that this is significant; don't forget that his was the courtroom in which LaDondrell Montgomery was convicted of a crime that it would have been physically impossible to commit, Montgomery being a guest of the Harris County jail at the time.
It should also be pointed out, though, that when confronted with the found evidence, Ellis wrote to the Court of Criminal Appeals and recommended that Brown receive a new trial. It's possible he did this because he believed Brown to be innocent, but more likely because he realized that without that phone call being presented at the trial, the jury did not have all of the information necessary to find the truth.
There are a few pieces of information revealed by SPM that I feel are of similar importance, and it encourages me to think that Ellis is capable of revisiting previous convictions; if at some point it becomes possible to prove Coy’s assertion that the height of the bed would have made it physically impossible for him to have committed the crime he was convicted of, maybe Judge Ellis will be an ally and not a hurdle.
I would also like to point out the tireless work of journalist Lisa Falkenberg, bringing Alfred Brown’s case to light. If you stop by the Chronicle’s website to read these excellent articles, please let her know that you appreciate what she’s doing.