Happy 24th Birthday – 13 Months To Freedom

It’s been 4 and a half years since Alexander was taken from us and more than 3 since I set up this blog. After much difficult “soul searching” I’ve decided to remove or redact the names of the key players involved in these events. I’ve also removed the references to the location.

I’ve realized that my anger toward those I felt were responsible for my sons unprecedented punishment, while justified by most peoples standards, was in large part a response of a father who loves his son and felt extremely helpless to protect him from pain and suffering unjustly. I do feel very strongly that Alexanders constitutional rights were trampled on and I think the criminal justice system in this country is in deep peril but it’s the ENTIRE system which is to blame – not one or two individuals in some small town USA.

Every word I ever typed here was from the heart and – while it was written by an angry father who has since came to terms with the situation – if I had it to write over again the main premise wouldn’t change. Indigents are treated differently – and wind up pulling much more time than do those charged and convicted of crimes who can afford to pay. That seems to make sense – after all. But … does it really? Is it possible that a larger percentage of criminals can afford to pay simply because – they’re criminals? I feel personally that this issue is one of the most egregious and long term problems facing our country.


Fact: 60% of those currently incarcerated in the United States are serving time for non-violent offenses.


My son, like his father before him and his father’s-father, is a survivor. While I will go to my grave feeling that justice wasn’t served in this case I’ll also expire knowing my son can carry the heaviest of loads through the toughest of terrains.

Alex has grown up substantially these past four and a half years – both physically as well as mentally. His mother and I take turns visiting with him at least every couple of months and we both enjoy talking with him when he calls us. He’s tired of being locked away but it’s actually that anxiousness to be free again which plays a large role in that weariness to drudge forward.

During all this time he’s spent locked away – he’s only had 1 infraction. He’s played by all the rules, gotten his GED – and held a steady job while incarcerated. He’s become a reader – especially of political conspiracy and law. BIG books  – the kind you can prop a door open with. lol.

10442915_656212317794311_82I remember the first time he beat me playing mario – the first time he beat me shooting baskets, and I now remember the first time he challenged me in a political debate. Who won is still up for interpretation as all things political are – but he managed to make me see the validity of his point of view and he did it in a very intelligent and thought provoking manner – which is in itself a win for him.

All those events – those mile markers of losing to my son as he progressed through childhood and now early manhood –  left me bewildered in the most amazing way – just like the day his mother and I first brought him home. He was such an amazing baby – child, and now ……. young man.

I hope I never stop losing to him.


Alexander just turned 24 on the 3rd. He has slightly more than 13 months remaining at the time of this writing. He is scheduled to be released in July of next year but I haven’t lost hope that someone else out there – in a position of influence – can help bring him home ahead of that schedule. Someone who can also see the importance of Alex learning what is perhaps the most important lesson of them all — and that is, when you keep your nose clean and you play by the rules and you do what’s expected of you, good things can happen. It’s a lesson I desperately want him to learn – because he’s been good, and he’s suffered enough. And because he has earned it.

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The Old Man and The Bottle Caps

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Something to Believe In

I went to visit Alex yesterday (6/24). We sat down outside at a concrete picnic table underneath the shade of a cloth umbrella as the heat of the day kept us lubricated. About an hour into the visit I heard Alex say the name ‘Bob’ and as I looked up I saw an older gentleman walking across the yard headed our way. In his left hand were two clear drum liners (large industrial trash bags) and I watched the man as Alex began to tell me about him.

He said that he had worked with Bob briefly in the clothes house, but Bob missed his custodial duties and opted to return to collecting the prisons trash and recyclables even though it was about a 60% reduction in pay and somewhat of an increase in responsibility. It’s also a lackluster prison career, one that’s afforded little prestige, if that’s even possible.

I watched as Bob disappeared behind one building and then another, making his way over to the visitation area where Alex and I were seated. As we continued to talk my eyes remained fixed on Bob because I could tell that this fella held a favorable spot in my young son’s mind. Thin, early to mid 60ish, neatly dressed and wearing his hair in the 1960’s style of “dove tail” I was very interested to learn of his story and why Alex held this man in such high esteem. When I asked Alex for the man’s story he told me that 22 year old Bob had murdered his wife and lover when he came home and found them in bed together. The court had sentenced Bob to 50 years with no possibility of parole.

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FreeAlexander Welcomes the Support of R.I.F.T. Reaching Behind Bars

Thanks to a simple facebook message, we are thrilled to bring R.I.F.T. Reaching Behind Bars organization on board the freealexander.org campaign to bring Alexander home. Their facebook page can be found here and their website is here. The organizations Founder/Executive Director Leann Sowell has been very helpful in communicating her willingness to get involved and bring comfort and hope to our son. Thank you. Your support means a lot to those of us who love and miss Alexander.

Anonymous Email from a FreeAlexander Visitor

I received an email from a Haywood county citizen this morning who wishes to remain anonymous. I thought I would share the body of the email here for you to read:

I am so glad that you are fighting back! God bless you! I want to help but signing something and putting my name out there can bring hardship on me and my family.This case needs more media exposiour. Like “Good morning America”! It was said on Good morning america just this morning that a young mans brain is not fully developed til they are 24 years of age but yet this state considers them a legal adult at 16 go figure the stupidity! Your son should have never seen the inside of a prison! They should have offered your son a program that would help him undestand his behaviour and learn that what he done was unexceptable for the most part i have seen my self meth dealors that kill people every day with there drugs walk out of that court room free.It is my thought that YES your son damaged a grave site of a loved one that has a lot of pull in this county and they meant to set an example! I feel in my heart that we need to work together to free your son. I to have had to fight this county to keep my son out of prison for non vilent crimes (driving on revoke) in this county if you dont have enough money to fight nor the ASS behind you to fight you will not win. It is all about the money that you can put into the system and the trade offs that are done behind closed doors bare in mind its someones career that is at stake in this county not justice! Some of the laws that are still on the books of this state are out dated this state is behind time and it has been told to me that Haywood county is one of the most corrupted counties in this state. ITs all abut who knows who and who knows what on whom! YOU GOT TO GET SOMETHING ON THEM AND HEY WILL FREE YOUR SON!!!!! Your son ws an outsider here and thats why they fried him with out batting an eye!( no roots to the county no voters to answer too!)

Jennifer and I took the baby to see Alexander a couple of weekends ago. He looks good, matter of fact, he looks the best I’ve ever seen him. He’s been working out and getting a lot of sun. He’s currently reading The Hunger Games and Criminal Justice: A brief introduction as well as Blacks Law Dictionary.

I miss him so much.

Recent Supreme Court Ruling is a big win for Alexander

Ineffective Assitance of Counsel Ruling by Supreme Court could pave the way to relief for Alexander

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/21/justice/scotus-plea-bargains/?hpt=us_c2

This is a huge ruling, especially considering Alexander was afforded no plea bargain whatsoever. That information coupled with the fact that Alexander’s attorney didn’t even bother to secure concurrent or at least partial concurrent sentencing considering the grave consequences makes this, in my opinion, an open and shut case of ineffective assistance of counsel which is what this new ruling addresses:

The Court: Where, under state law, claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel must be raised in an initial-review collateral proceeding, a procedural default will not bar a federal habeas court from hearing a substantial claim of ineffective assistance at trial if, in the initial-review collateral proceeding, there was no counsel or counsel in that proceeding was ineffective.

more here: http://jurist.org/paperchase/2012/03/supreme-court-rules-on-ineffective-assistance-of-counsel-claim.php

Defense Attorney Bill Jones, considered to be the best criminal defense attorney in haywood county, could surely have done a better job at representing my son considering the severity of the charges. He did not. Neither did Alexander’s probation revocation attorney Pam Smith, who proved less effective than Jones at doing her job and even downright biased against Alex’s best interest. (as always, digital court transcripts are available upon request)

The attorney I spoke to in Charlotte a few months ago, Charles Oldham, told me that he would pursue Alexander’s case in federal court via habeas corpus. In the above quote please notice the passage “a procedural default will not bar a federal habeas court from hearing a substantial claim of ineffective assistance at trial.” That means that no matter what, if Alexander and/or his attorney were to bring about the charge of ineffective assistance of counsel, which is obvious, the court would be required by law to hear the case and rule upon it’s merits.

 



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We exist

waynesville DA bonfoeyI was contacted this morning via email from the freealexander.org website contact form by a gentleman claiming that his own son had been processed through the same Waynesville nc/Haywood County nc court, with many of the same players as Alexander. I gave him a call and we talked for upwards of an hour. His son is pulling 10 years in state prison for a similar circumstance: Underage and guilty of adolescent mischief. The fella said that his son was afforded NO concurrent sentencing, just like Alexander. He was promised a deal by the assistant DA, Taylor Reid, but as soon as DISTRICT ATTORNEY MIKE BONFOEY entered the courtroom, that punishment was doubled to 10 years because they went back on their deal of offering concurrent sentencing. I find it absolutely disturbing that DA Bonfoey insists on destroying the lives of these young people in order to re-balance his dismal bottom line. My advice to Bonfoey would be to stop allowing deals AND concurrent sentencing to people like William Russell who raped a baby for 3 years, or Steven Yow who burned the Barberville Baptist Chruch fellowship hall to the ground causing 2 million in damages. He worked with those guys …. he afforded BOTH of them concurrent sentencing resulting in piss poor wrist slaps.

I know what you’re doing … I’ve known for some time now. I have the stats to prove it too. Bureau of justice stats compiled, and currently being compiled, by a bureau statistician. As soon as he completes his research, I’m gonna use them to write a book filled with your name. Look for it.

One last note: I asked the fella who sent me the email how he found the website. He said “I did a google search for “Waynesville DA” …. our web presence is beginning to take root. Each evening I do a little more optimization of this website. I plug us into one more social bookmark, or submit to one more article directory, or I convert articles to RSS and sumbit them into syndication.

Once I publish this post, I’ll go and, as usual, ping the site to over 120 RPC2 sites.

We exist.

———-


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One Year Anniversary of FreeAlexander.org

One Year Anniversary - FreeAlexander.org - Waynesville ncToday, March 3, 2012, makes one full year that FreeAlexander.org has been online. During our initial year we’ve gathered 172 digitally verified signatures with AWESOME comments(thank you), implicated one waynesville nc judge who we now own with the #1 and #2 top spots in google, a #2 spot for the term ‘waynesville nc justice’, and were featured as a top spot on the WLOS nightly regional news. And we did it all without spending one thin dime on advertising or promotions. The upcoming year will find us working toward top rankings for our number one keyword [waynesville nc]. This year, unlike last, our expenditure will increase as we begin to spend for more and more advertising and priority placements.

I just renewed the domain FreeAlexander.org for two full years. For those hoping that it would simply go away you can forget it! I’ve even created an “insurance file” in case of an untimely demise on my part, with instructions to others, for keeping the domain alive. No matter what, my sons story will be heard, and those responsible will one day be judged accordingly.

If you experience any difficulties or encounter any errors on the site while visiting, please use the contact form and let me know. Thanks so much for your support and prayers. Alexander appreciates it, and so do those of us who love and miss him. Please use our share buttons to pass our site along to your friends. It means more than you will ever realize. -Dad

Judge XXXX XXXXXX & Others

Judge Mark E Powell

click for full size image

 

In the United States, it is the role of a judge to act as a neutral arbitrator between the prosecution and the defense. These are not the words of a neutral arbitrator:

Page 15 of the official, certified court transcript, lines 18-21:

“If I could I would send you to prison for every day possible. Trumpets aren’t going to blow. I would forget about you before I even got back to Henderson County.”

Those are the words of a man who is practicing judicial vindictiveness and it was directed toward my flesh and blood, and I personally witnessed it.

Trumpets are going to blow Mark E Powell. Sooner or later, they will blow and you will answer to the REAL judge, Jesus Christ, who taught of mercy and compassion, two words you are NOT familiar with. Your egregious and downright disturbing court ruling has directly lead to my sons continued captivity.

FreeAlexander.org now ranks before even Judgepedia for the search term Judge Mark E Powell, holding the #1 and #2 spots for his online identity. ANYONE searching for him, will see what’s he done to my son.

Here’s a list of others who will soon be joining the judge at the top:

Judge Mark Letts, the judge who revoked Alexander’s probation without even a mention of concurrent sentencing, basically condemning our son to 6-8 years in prison. This guy had a chance to do the right thing and he failed.

District Attorney Mike Bonfoey, a corrupt district attorney who presides over a number of counties in western nc. It’s Bonfoey that refuses to admit the mistake and pick up the phone on my sons behalf.

Defense Attorney Bill Jones, Alexanders original court appointed attorney, considered the best in the county, and for good reasons: He’s Bonfoeys pet attorney, he himself cutting his teeth in the jackson county DA’s office, a county ruled over by DA Bonfoey. Between the two, they are exploiting a loophole in the justice system that allows hardened criminals guilty of violent crimes to escape with minimal punishment, while indigents like my son are scalded.

Defense Attorney Pam Smith, Alexanders court appointed revokation attorney and the worst example of a defense attorney I’ve ever witnessed. Her performance on behalf of my son was beyond pathetic, bordering on criminal. She didn’t speak a single word on Alexanders behalf, on the contrary, throwing him under the bus from the first word she spoke, painting him to the court as a drug addict in need of prison time. The transcript of her ridiculous performance is available for download.

Assistant District Attorney Taylor Reid, the prosecuting DA on the day of the plea hearing.

These observations of the aforementioned people are based on those people’s JOB PERFORMANCES while performing their duties beneath the colors of the flag of North Carolina. There is no personal assumptions about the character or personalities of those parties expressed or implied. I am well within my rights according to our constitution to express disdain toward public officials and even private attorneys who’s job performances are sub par and unacceptable. If you’re one of the aforementioned and don’t like the fact that your name is included here, then you’re really gonna hate the book I’m working on.

Google AdWords Campaign Launch 2/23/12

February 6th marked 2 years since Alexander was taken from us. He left Waynesville nc on february 12th 2010 and as of today,  February 23rd 2012 the governing body of Haywood County refuses to admit their mistake. In an attempt to bring more recognition of this case to people county, state and nation wide I have instituted a Google AdWords campaign with the cross hairs aimed directly at Waynesville NC. Thanks to the generosity of our FreeAlexnder.org web host, we have been granted a free $100 voucher to entice us into taking advantage of the quality Google service. I’ve set the campaign to target select areas of the southeast. On average the term Waynesville NC is searched for 9,900 times per month and that is an EXACT search phrase. When the scope is loosened to include broad type matches such as waynesville nc rentals, or waynesville nc vacation, or waynesville nc corrupt officials that sell justice to the highest bidder, etc etc, that number jumps to 74,000 searches per month. The google adwords campaign will put us in the right hand column of businesses on related search pages that pay for clicks to their website. I’ve chosen the keyword targets of [waynesville nc] & [injustice] & [judicial injustice]. I’ve set the daily spending limit to $10 … If you can’t tell already my writing style since targeting waynesville nc has changed dramatically. If you perform a keyword search of this exact post you’re reading, you’ll find that it has a keyword density for the search term waynesville nc of 3% …. exactly what google expects when ranking websites for keyword matches, which will eventually move us up in the organic search results. As the blog posts and web pages are added over the coming weeks and months using this new SEO tactic, the entire sites keyword density for that particular search term, waynesville nc, will creep higher and higher until it achieves 3% sitewide. As each post and page is created, the meta content such as the title attribute, the description and especially the dedicated blog post keywords will be injected manually and will also reflect our eagerness to begin ranking for our search term: WAYNESVILLE NC