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Thursday, June 16, 2011

My letter to Pat Lykos

The next post is still in progress, so I'm putting up a letter I mailed off yesterday. Yep, a good old-fashioned, snail-mail missive, written on actual paper and mailed with a stamp! This one is to Pat Lykos, the Harris County D.A.

Although I wouldn't recommend copying it exactly, please feel free to use this as a base for your own letter! Make a few changes and send it off. Lykos has, in recent history, demanded and received justice for men who have been wrongfully incarcerated. Let's ask her to take a personal interest in Carlos Coy's case!
It doesn't matter if you're not from Harris County, or even from Texas. Justice belongs to all Americans, and must be protected by them all.

South Park Mexican has a huge following in the Armed Forces. Yeah, I saw you peeking.
For those of you in the military, please feel free to mention that in your letter. You're out there on the front lines defending our freedom, you should be able to expect the same from us here at home.

Now, an E-mail would be easier, no one's denying that. But an actual, physical letter in the mail box has a much greater impact. First of all, it shows someone cared enough to write it, print it out, pay for a stamp, and walk it to the mailbox. It may not seem like a huge effort, but when was the last time you've done it? Exactly. Plus, it has to be read or it sits in the office, taking up actual space until someone reads it. Those of you who hate clutter understand what I'm talking about. The letter screams to be read!

Third, it won't be thrown away because the D.A.'s office wants to know what people out there are thinking! It's an elected post, so she has to stay in touch with what her constituents want. Lykos herself may not read the letter at first, but the more her staffers tell her "Hey, we got another Coy letter today." The more likely she is to review the case.

You don't have to have perfect grammar, spelling, and a silver tongue for your letter to be effective. Be polite, explain why you think Coy's trial should be overturned or re-done, and above all be brief! A short letter is more likely to be read and passed on. There's no need to send eighty pages of legal-sounding crap. Put a lot of thought into eight lines and it will be perfect.

I don't know if the Rap underground has ever organized to make their voices heard by the Criminal Justice System before. This could be an historic campaign; wouldn't you like to be a part of it?

Pat Lykos' address.

District Attorney Pat Lykos
1201 Franklin
suite 600
Houston, Tx 77002

Remember to include your address in the upper left-hand corner of the back of the envelope; the post office won't deliver it without a return address.

Here's my letter:

Madame District Attorney,
I'm writing to respectfully ask that you take a look at the case of Carlos Coy, TDCJ #01110642. He was convicted of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child during the administration of Chuck Rosenthal(2002), a time of rampant corruption and seemingly guaranteed conviction, no matter what the evidence.

Key figures and institutions involved in his case have been investigated for faulty or unfair procedures between 2001-2008. I'm not a lawyer so I'm not sure how to remedy what I believe to be a miscarriage of justice; I would like to know that his case has at least been reviewed for Brady violations, and hopefully that will lead to a new trial. I would appeal to the Innocence Project, but there was no DNA evidence used to convict him. If you need physical evidence to prove innocence, why was Mr. Coy found guilty without any?

His was a fairly high-profile case and I'm sure you've gotten letters about it before. A public investigation would be very much appreciated by his supporters, myself included. Looking into the problems plaguing the Harris County Criminal Justice System during Rosenthal's time as D.A. can be very depressing, but I am hopeful because I see that your actions towards the falsely convicted have been both swift and compassionate.

Me, my address, blah blah blah

Don't forget to put your address under your name, on the off chance they actually respond to these letters.
Some things to note:

I don't try to make myself sound smarter than I am. I'm an average citizen, not a lawyer.

No threats. I don't want to be charged in Harris County for ANYTHING!

Don't be afraid to use words like 'respectfully' and 'please'. I'm writing to someone I don't know, and I want her to understand my tone.

I explain WHY I want what I want. FREE SPM is a great slogan, but it doesn't explain WHY.

Alright, you've read mine, now go write your own! One letter from you could be the difference between Coy attending his daughter's Qinceanera, and Coy missing the birth of his grandchildren. Your opinion is important, go make it known!!


Angela Niño said...

What about starting a campaign on Change.org?

Incandesio said...

Angela Niño: I'm not personally a big fan of internet petitions, but if someone wanted to put the work in, and make sure it eventually found it's way into the hands of someone who could make a change, I say go for it!

salvadorboy13 said...

have you ever tried writing to 60 minutes, or dateline, or shows of that nature? I think if they did a piece on this case it would be HUGE.