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.
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.
I 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.