Richard, 51

Meet Richard…

I write this piece for those incarcerated and to whoever reads this, to not lose hope. Try different avenues in fighting for your freedom. Though I am still incarcerated, the time is soon approaching that I will be reunited with my children and I will be able to go back home to Oregon. Do not ever stop fighting for your freedoms!

The Texas Dept of Justice, made up of District Attorneys across the state of Texas, is one of the most corrupt justice systems in the nation. Where other states are pushing justice reforms, Texas is making it easier to incarcerate its citizens and keep them behind bars.

For example: in my case, I was out of the state and I was accused of a serious crime. The witness stated that I was in Texas at a specific date, time and location, when, in fact, I was in the state of Oregon at a city council meeting. While in Oregon, I learned of the warrant for my arrest in Texas. The sheriff and the members of the city counsel were utterly astonished. To assist me, 19 members of the city council, including the sheriff and the county commissioner, who is an active sitting district court judge, wrote affidavits attesting that I was with them for three hours in the meeting, with no possibility of getting to Texas in less than 30 minutes to commit a crime.

When I went to Texas to answer for the warrant, I found that the court had appointed me with an attorney, without asking me if I needed one. I also found out that the District Attorney changed the indictment papers, removing the specific time, date and location of the crime. The court violated 64 constitutional amendments and 111 rules of the Texas code of criminal procedure to gain the conviction. Additionally, in violation of the Texas constitution, there was no grand jury indictment, thus committing fraud and having no jurisdiction over me in the case. Yet, despite having a hung jury, the judge, instead of declaring a mistrial, threw out the jury’s verdict and found me guilty, giving me 30 years without parole.

During my appeal process, I was appointed an appeal attorney, who would not consult with me. Eventually, the court of appeals denied the appeal and the discretionary review without even reviewing the evidence in the transcripts, accepting the state’s arguments. I filed a civil action against the officers of that court. They illegally convicted me after finding out from my daughter, that my court-reporter, ex-wife, extorted and bribed the judge, the two prosecutors, and my court appointed attorney. My daughter provided me with the proof, which were emails sent through Facebook to and from those involved in the conspiracy. Because I was able to prove conspiracy to a federal district court judge, the judge shut down the defendant’s motions to dismiss. We settled in court, in which I got $1.8 million in compensatory damages, $340,000 in punitive damages, and declarations from the defendants admitting that they were bribed and extorted by my ex-wife, who used the courts as a tool to retaliate against me because my children wanted to live with me in Oregon. The judge I sued also admitted widespread corruption in the courts across Texas.

The judge, prosecutors and court appointed attorneys were slapped on the wrist, and permanently disbarred, even though they clearly admitted their crimes. My ex-wife was arrested and charged with fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, bribery and extortion of public officials, and felony endangerment of a child.

Today, my children are in the care of their God-mother, anxiously awaiting my release. I supplemented my federal appeal with the new evidence, which was the declarations from those officers of the court, who emphatically declared that I was innocent. Since then, the Texas Attorney General’s office has made several offers to me, in the form of monetary awards, to not sue the state for wrongful prosecution and illegal imprisonment. Truth, they know I’m innocent, yet, there was no offer of my immediate release.

That was three years ago, and I am still waiting for the federal court of appeals to rule on my case for my innocence.  Because of COVID-19, as the court states, they are backlogged with cases because the court didn’t conviene for a long time. So, now it’s a waiting game.

I write this piece for those incarcerated and to whoever reads this, to not lose hope. Try different avenues in fighting for your freedom. Though I am still incarcerated, the time is soon approaching that I will be reunited with my children and I will be able to go back home to Oregon. Do not ever stop fighting for your freedoms!

I apologize for the length. I avoided too many specifics so that those who are incarcerated like me might use what I’ve done to assist them in fighting as I did, thus, keeping the promise of being free one day, alive.