1201 Franklin Street,
Houston, Texas 77002-1923
The Honorable Mike Anderson
I’m writing to you today about the case of Carlos Coy, #908426.
One of the recent exonerees from Dallas, Steven Phillips, is being sued for a share of the compensation he received for his wrongful conviction. He was married before serving 24 years in prison for a string of sex crimes that he did not commit and his ex-wife, who stuck with him until 1992, wants a share of Philip’s compensation money.
I don’t know the details of the situation, but you can tell from the face of it that his conviction destroyed multiple lives. While it’s right that the state compensate him for the time he spent paying for someone else’s sins, what amount of money could possibly ‘fix’ the devastation it wrought on his family? How much would be enough for the forceful dissolution of a marriage?
Sir, when the justice system perpetuates injustice, innocent people suffer. Not just those that are falsely imprisoned, but their parents, their children, their spouses. Steven Phillips was lucky to be exonerated but he will never get back the years of his life spent in prison; he will never get back his son’s childhood. The wages his ex-wife spent to provide him with commissary money, the hours spent away from work and family in order to visit him are gone forever.
If he had been exonerated sooner, that damage would have been mitigated, if only slightly. I urge you, please, do not allow this to go on in Mr. Coy’s case. I truly believe that he will eventually receive a new trial and be exonerated; the only difference between it happening this year and ten years from now is the accumulated suffering of the innocent. His accuser testified in court that she wasn't sure what had happened, she really couldn't remember; Coy’s family does not have the luxury of being unsure if they've suffered or not.
Please, sir, investigate this trial; give us justice.
Me, my address, etc etc etc.