DA Pat Lykos,
This letter is about Carlos Coy, TDCJ #01110642I want him to be given a new trial.
There is evidence that his first trial was unfair, and it’s your job to give us justice.
Even if they only read the first line, Coy’s name jumps out at them. It’s stuck in their brain, and next time they hear or read something about him, they will think of my letter. They will not count how many letters about him they get, but they will know whether they’ve gotten several or just a few. I say ‘they’ because odds are that Lykos herself is not reading them. Some young intern in her office is probably stuck with that job, and at the end of the day he or she turns in a list of what the letters were about. Carlos Coy’s name needs to appear frequently on that list.
I clearly say that I want him to have a new trial. They’re not going to let him out without either a new trial or some kind of new evidence , and I think a new trial is more likely. That shows that I grasp the legal system well enough to know that they won’t just ‘free SPM’, and that I’m asking for something that’s completely reasonable.
I try to offer a reason for her to investigate. In this case, I state my belief that his trial was unfair. As a voter, that’s reason enough for me to complain. As an elected official, it should (in theory) be enough to prompt Pat Lykos to look into the trial.
Now that you’ve got a basic letter like this, you might want to add stuff; Decide which point it supports, and put it underneath that line. Under the ‘what I want’ line, consider writing about how Coy has affected your life; what has he done that makes you care enough to act?
Under ‘why I want it’, back up your suspicions with fact. I usually mention things I have uncovered like the possibility of Brady violations, which means that the prosecutors have illegally hidden evidence; Batson violations, which is when prosecutors dismiss jurors because of their race; the possibility of an inappropriate relationship between Coy’s Defense lawyer and the prosecutors.
I swear on the blog because I swear when I talk, but I don’t swear in my letters. I don’t know how Lykos feels about people saying ‘fuck’, and I don’t want her to discount what I’m saying because of my language.
You can start your letter with ‘dear’ or not. You can call her ‘The Honorable’ or not. There is no magical formula, no exact balance of words you have to achieve before your letter becomes ‘good’. Write sincerely and with confidence that your voice is worth hearing.