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Philemon Ross #1194525
My name is Philemon Ross. I’m seeking legal assistance in pursuit of my freedom. I was convicted of 1st degree murder in 2006. I was sentenced to 38 years in prison. At the time of the crime I was 16 years old and charged as an adult. My then court appointed lawyer – a juvenile and domestic attorney – who never handled a criminal case, let alone a murder charge, was appointed to represent me at trial.
Three witnesses testified that I committed the crime. Two were admitted crackheads who had been using crack prior to the crime. However, none testified that they actually saw me shoot the victim. The star witness who was pregnant at the time and smoking crack, admitted that she lied to police about her whereabouts and knowledge of the crime. She was then charged with frivolous charges and arrested. Her accounts of what happened changed and she agreed to testify against me. The third witness was another 16 year old from my neighborhood who was involved in the crime and fled the scene after the crime took place. Days later after talking to his father who was a correctional officer (at the prison I ended up at a year later) called Crime Stoppers to report his knowledge of the crime, seeking compensation for his knowledge. This young man was never investigated as a suspect in the crime or charged with the crime, as long as he agreed to testify against me.
Despite having an alibi for my whereabouts during the time of the crime, and having people willingly testify on my behalf, my trial lawyer advised me that wouldn’t be the best defense. Despite the murder weapon being found in the possession of my brother, who was a suspect that was wanted in connection with a capital murder and armed robbery that happened 2 months after my incarceration, despite his being willing to testify at my trial, that the murder weapon found in his possession that was used in the crime I was charged with wasn’t mine, that he didn’t get it from me and that I never handled the weapon. My lawyer advised me that that would be the best defense for me but it would hurt my brother who was already charged with capital murder and robbery. She told me if I testified on my behalf that that gun was his and that I never possessed it, he would then be charged with another murder.
Me being a loving brother, not wanting my brother to get in more trouble, went along with the advice of my inexperienced lawyer. I have maintained my innocence for 13 years, I’m now seeking my liberty. I don’t know where to go from here, any and all help will be greatly appreciated.
Michael Slocum #A713-120
From Me To You
Artist – Mario, Song – Let Me Love You.
“A cover never tells the quality of a book, you only learn about it when you open it up and begin reading!”
I’m accustomed to letting the divine things in my life come to me, but I’m stepping outside of my circumference in pursuit of a genuine companionship. Searching for someone loyal, sweet, tender and driven to give me motivation and help guide me towards finding the better part of myself, along with bettering my life. Blessings show up in the oddest places, at inconvenient times, in all kinds of mysterious disguises. It would truly be a blessing if we built a bridge into one another’s world because it would grant me the opportunity to travel to a fruitful land of Milk-n-Honey with you, see if we can build something special and a chance to escape my reality. You never know where great conversations and chemistry might lead you too! One thing for certain if it’s pure, beneficial and makes you smile, why not embrace it and enjoy that feeling? I don’t want to miss out on a pleasant opportunity of meeting someone great and building a solid platform with. If you’re contemplating on giving us a chance, let’s make the most of our acquaintance for whatever it’s worth…
“Loyalty Is More Den Words, It’s A Lifestyle”
Erik Rankin #1506398
I’d like to say thank you to everybody who has reached out to me thus far and has made my incarceration a bit brighter. I always look forward to our daily mail call and hope to see an envelope bearing my name.
If you have tried to write me and I haven’t responded, it is due to the fact that I’ve been promoted to minimum custody and have been transferred to a prison up in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Any mail sent to the other facility eventually gets forwarded, however, I’ve seen mail get thrown away or not reach its recipient due to simple negligence on the officer’s part. Unfortunate as it is, it happens a lot in this particular State. I will always respond to anyone and everyone that contacts me and try to build a relationship.
Another problem is that this prison will photocopy only the front of an envelope and affix the letter to that copy. So any addresses written on the back get thrown away. A small annoyance, but a hindrance all the same.
Again I’d like to thank everyone who has wanted to get to know me and for also letting me into their lives as well. Snail mail is a dying art and with your help we can keep it alive.
Casey Fernau #165350
My first blog entry, really I feel selfish talking about myself but I guess you have to be interested to want to talk. I’m going to give a little background and speak freely, hopefully you can get a feel in 250 words or less that is.
So I have lived a fortunate life, I was raised by my mother who is amazing. I was able to travel a lot since she is a travel agent, that is something I still will do. I grew up on a family ranch but I will say I am a good mixture of country and city. I miss everything about life but there are things I will now do differently. I mean I have owned a house, been married, owned my own business, have a beautiful daughter, got divorced, robbed a couple banks and been to prison. Truly that’s a full circle! But I want to have a do-over and skip the last two.
Honestly, I’m a great guy. I made some poor choices but I can’t wait to live life free again and to share it with someone. The trick is I believe I can start that now from where I am. So if you’re still reading this you’re interested and that’s a good thing – hopefully you will take a chance and write, because you never know what may come out of this; a friendship, a confidante, a laugh, who knows…
I said what I could in 250 words, not it’s your turn, until next time.
Mahdi Ali #236437
I want to bring awareness to my story and incarceration. I’m in prison for triple homicide and currently serving three consecutive life sentences for a crime that occurred when I was 16 years old. For the past eight years and some odd months I have been fighting tooth and nail for my freedom.
I’m innocent, my conviction is based off contaminated D.N.A. evidence that has a mixture of the B.C.A. individual that was doing the testing on the D.N.A.
I also have time stamped video alibi of me picking a friend up from work place during the time of the crime. The State withheld this alibi evidence and my trial lawyer failed to discover it. I recently became aware of its existence after almost 9 years due to lack of resources. Keep in mind, I was only 16 and this was way over my head being a kid. My case was very high profile in Minnesota and the State took full advantage of my youth like a low hanging fruit to relieve themselves from the pressure.
I also want to highlight that I’m the only juvenile charged as an adult that’s still serving a sentence that’s equivalent to life without parole in Minnesota. About six years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled on a cruel and unusual punishment case prohibiting convicted juveniles from spending the rest of their lives behind bars. It was a nationwide ruling that gave myself and many others promising hope. Well after all is not promising as it seemed once the District Court denied me a promising outdate and the State Supreme Court upheld their ruling despite the U.S. Supreme Court saying otherwise.
It’s disappointing when you put up a fight and come up short. But it’s very painful and frustrating when your amendment rights get denied. There are many offenders across the nation and State of Minnesota who have been allegedly accused and convicted of similar, lesser and even worse crimes as juveniles. To be the only one denied by the Appellate Court and the Minnesota Supreme Court for some time back is very disheartening and unexplainable.
I have a dream, I have goals and aspirations that I truly believe will make the world a better place. I want to share my story and help save lives. I want to inspire hope and save as many youths as possible by showing them the proper way of developing into fine human beings through my story. Many urban areas in our cities are short of leaderships. Many of our youth slip away as the day goes by and find themselves in tragedy due to lack of leadership or simply leaders lacking the proper skills or just not being relatable enough.
I have 12 rounds of fight ahead of me before I accomplish my goals and aspirations which is why I’m reaching out for your help. Words are powerful and is all I’m left with at this stage of my life. I’m a restless fighter and a voiceless soul. I need a team or army who’s willing to help me fight and will fight for me to regain my freedom.
Nothing great ever accomplished came easy and as difficult as my life has already been, I don’t expect my dream and its journey to be less difficult. But I completely understand that it’s impossible to do it by myself which is why I need your help.
Please help shed light to my story. Help spread the words of my story to family, friends and all close ones. Please respond to my outreach and send encouraging words my way. It will help me sustain my drive.
Thanks truly and sincerely,
Mahdi H. Ali
Patrick Coyne #W108482
There is usually a stigma attached to ex-cons. Some people believe we are selfish, dangerous and cold people. I want to share a compliment I was given in hopes to shed some light on this misconception.
A girlfriend once told me that one of the things she loved about me was that I “love hard”. I was confused and asked if she meant “tough love”. She said “no”, as she laughed and then explained.
“Your love is like a warm wave that never crashes and trickles up shore. You make sure it’s always strong enough to carry me anywhere I go. You kiss me on the forehead to say good morning. I find a love note while you walk your dog. I know you get flustered when I’m indecisive in a crowded grocery store aisle. Just when I’m sure you hate me, I feel your arms wrap around me from behind. I must have looked funny clutching a snack in each hand. You kissed me on the neck and whispered, “I love you!” That’s what it means to love hard”.
I didn’t realize I was doing anything out of the ordinary. I guess after you’ve been deprived of affection for so long, you don’t want to waste a moment. So remember this if you find yourself worrying about the risk of an ex-con. He may be that but he may also “love hard” and be the sweetest and most caring man you’ll ever meet because of it.
Darnell Duett #R74587
Our world reacts in exact accordance to our mind and with the mindset I have today I’ve found ways to build a solid foundation with the bricks that others have thrown my way. So I’m a successful man looking for someone that’s more than anyone and as I write this I feel that I am acting within my purpose and when we act within our purpose, with our own divine conviction we are sure to receive our fair share of what’s just for us and all I ever wanted in this world was for someone to come into my life I can call my own. Regardless of her form, fit or fashion I can guarantee when push comes to shove she won’t be shoving alone.
King Victorious #70419937
Greetings to everyone out there in the world, hopefully your holidays were filled with joy and happiness and you’ve experienced it all with family and friends. But although the holiday season is behind us, there’s still another important holiday before us, where spreading love to family and friends is just as important as the holidays that just passed.
That’s right, I’m talking about February 14th, Valentine’s Day! You see, love is not a finite emotion, we don’t have only so much to share, our hearts create love as we need it. So even if you don’t have a significant other for this Valentine’s Day, you can still spread love to family and friends. Because here’s the thing; love and time are the only two things in all the world and all of life that cannot be bought, but only spent. Once it’s spent, there’s nothing we can do to bring that time back. So on February 14th remember to love one another!
When we enter a relationship, we don’t often think or see beyond the physical being. We are attracted to the body, face or personality. We may like what the person does or how they do it and want to be a part or that. We may even experience a pull from within that we can’t actually explain. But how often do we stop to consider the true depth of the person we are attracted to? There is a being before us who has a past, present, and future. There is a flesh and bones, hurts and scars, feelings, thoughts, and ideals. When we enter the world of another being, we must be willing to be apart of it all. When someone entrusts their heart to you they are giving you a piece of their soul. You cannot treat a soul casually. You must protect, nurture and handle it with care. Our interactions with one another go far beyond the face, body and hair. One other thing, we must consider when we enter someone’s heart, there is a heart and soul inside of us of which they will play a part.
Sean Smith #310221/000252298B
What do you do when you outgrow someone?
Firstly how do you know you’ve outgrown them? I think it would become painfully obvious because you and that person would no longer see eye to eye. You’d no longer share interests or goals. There’d be no desire to support the other in the pursuit of those goals…
What do you do?
I know you find a way to tell them how you feel, but, do you stop talking to them? Do you walk away?
What do you do when you’re the other person?
When you find that you’ve outgrown yourself…
Do you sever all ties with the person you once were? Well in my case, the person I’ve become is a direct result of the person I used to be.
The places I’ve been, things I’ve seen, done, they’re the bricks that make up my foundation, the database I draw from. I’m the new definition of the term “Living Buddha”.
I’ll be 55 this year. I’m a Black man. Meaning I’ve not only survived 25 years in America once, I did it twice!
I’ve done it while living in the worst environments. Using and dealing drugs, living by the gun, sleeping in bullpens and fighting for phone time.
They say we’re supposed to let go of these things. They hold us back. I don’t believe them. To me each brick houses a beautiful, priceless gem inside.
Turn my back on the people and places where I came from…Never!
Cause without them I am nothing, I accept the good, bad and the ugly…
Without these things I can not help myself nor my people to grow or heal.
So I reject them, they’ve been horribly wrong about everything else.
Don’t believe them.
They say, “Art imitates life”…WRONG!
Art does not imitate life. Everything on this planet is a created thing. A made thing, so everything is a work of art. Therefore art is life and I am an artist.
I am a bringer of life, I am “NEXT”!