We’ve begun a petition on the change.org website. Please follow this link and sign the petition. Thank you so much.
Tag Archive for injustice
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.
Ineffective Assitance of Counsel Ruling by Supreme Court could pave the way to relief for Alexander
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.
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.
Today, 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
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.
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
I’ve been in research mode most of this week. Learning about the system that has caused this injustice is paramount to finding a solution. I’ve been testing Alexander’s case against a few other cases in which the accused was given consecutive sentencing and subsequently appealed. In most instances if the accused was a first time offender the appellate court sided with the convicted, agreeing that consecutive sentencing should be reserved for repeat and violent offenders. I’ve tested Alex’s case against ohio_v_torres (click the link to download the case file yourself if you like). Torres was a man that ran over some children and then panicked, fleeing the scene. When police found him he lied and said he was innocent. He later admitted his guilt and the judge gave him consecutive sentencing. Torres appealed the ruling based on three points of contention: 1) He was a first time offender 2) By making the sentences consecutive the total combined time he would be incarcerated was above and beyond the actual maximum sentence that could be imposed and 3) It was a violation of his 6th amendment rights to have sentencing passed down by a sole judge rather than a jury, even though he entered a plea of guilty. Torres won his appeal.
The biggest landmark case concerning consecutive sentencing guidelines was Blakely vs. Washington in 2004. You can find the wiki page to this case here. The opening paragraph says quite a bit about the entire case:
Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004), held that, in the context of mandatory sentencing guidelines under state law, the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial prohibited judges from enhancing criminal sentences based on facts other than those decided by the jury or admitted by the defendant(such as deliberate cruelty as in a ‘hate crime’). The landmark nature of the case (for good or ill) was alluded to by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who “described the Court’s decision as a ‘Number 10 earthquake.’”
Blakely won his appeal.
Blakely also taught me a new term which I have under my cap: judicial vindictiveness: A judge is an impartial dispenser of justice or a neutral arbiter between the prosecutor and the defendant.
if I could I would send you to prison for every day possible. I would forget about you before I even got back to Henderson county – Judge Mark E Powell directed at Alexander on the day of sentencing
does that sound like a impartial dispenser of justice or a neutral arbiter to you? … plus, the judge gave no explanation as to why he was making the sentences all consecutive, even though Alexander was a first time offender convicted of a non-violent crime. According to my research this constitutes judicial vindictiveness. There are also factors which are currently coming into the light which may suggest prosecutorial impartiality.
I want to introduce you to a name that you will be reading quite a bit about in the coming days/weeks and months. Thomas H. Cohen. Mr. Cohen is a statistician with the Bureau of Justice and he has published a very interesting report “Who’s better at defending criminals? Does type of defense attorney matter in terms of producing favorable case outcomes” … it is Mr. Cohens conclusion that private attorneys vs. public defenders vs. court appointed counsel are all pretty much equal in conviction rate yet, the punishment rates of court appointed counsel skyrocket when compared to private and public defenders. His report goes into great detail and is available in .PDF format for you to download and read SSRN-id1876474
My next update will revolve around why that is the case. Why does court appointed counsel afford their clients more severe punishments than private attorneys or even public defenders. Think about it, very hard. My conclusions are going to reveal a trend in our current judicial system, a loophole of injustice, if you will … that even Mr. Cohen has yet to discover. We’ll dig into that in great depth, using Mr. Cohen’s report as statistical proof of my allegations, in my next blog entry.
Those that know me personally know that I’m never going to let go of this. Our son Alexander still faces 4-5 more years of unneeded, unwarranted and expensive incarceration. To those that don’t know me personally, to the new members of our audience here at htt://freealexander.org, to those just realizing that we are here, and those that are responsible for our sons misery … never presume that my apparent inactivity or silence means that I’ve forgotten what you’ve done to our son, or that it represents a fading away of this campaign. On the contrary … those are the times when I’m learning and preparing. That knowledge will one day free our son … and bring allegations of wrongdoing upon those responsible.
Merry Christmas to my son Alexander. I just paid a programmer to install 300 .EDU backlinks to http://freealexander.org … Backlinks, and especially highly trusted .EDU (educational) site links, are the trusted indicators google looks for when deciding how to rank a website for certain “keywords” which the programmer installs as he’s going through the process.
One of the things the programmer asks for in order to perform this task is which set of 3 keywords I want to go after. In order to determine the [exact] number of searches a month a certain keyword receives as well as the level of competition is very simple using a tool called “google keyword tool” …. I used the tool to determine the 3 keywords I want to pursue and here they are:
injustice which gets 22,200 global and 6,600 local searches per month and is low competition.
justice which according to google is “low” competition although no keyword with 673,000 global & 368,000 local searches per month can be very easy to rank for. It would be nice to snag just a small portion though.
And finally, the trump card: waynesville nc: This keyword receives 9,900 unique and exact searches per month. The competition factor is very, VERY low. My biggest competition there will be the mountaineer newspaper and waynesvillelive … maybe some of the real estate sites …. so it’s ‘weak’ ,,, an easy target … and with these big boy backlinks, is a sitting duck. A top five or better ranking for that keyword is gonna position freealexander squarely in front of every tourist that has plans to visit the town of waynesville. If just a third of them click our link, that’s over 3,000 unique visits per month at the expense and to the detriment of waynesville nc.
It will take John 3-6 days to complete the process. In my experience within a week of his completion freealexander will completely drop off the radar for a short time, perhaps as little as a few days to upwards of a week. Then the slingshot effect which happens immediately and represents google resetting with all the data it’s spiders collected over the previous weeks crawls. Once that reset occurs and the algorithms begin to reflect the new data, we will re-emerge in our new position(s). Considering the weakness of the competition for our chosen keywords and considering the high quality of .EDU backlinks in such great quantity … we may very well own the top spot or be very near it, at which point our traffic will begin to pick up substantially.
I want to make it clear here that I have no animosity toward the actual town itself. It’s a gorgeous Mayberryesque town that I honestly miss (really miss the rec center). But behind closed doors things are happening there in the judicial system that need to be addressed. Bringing negative attention to the corruption in the courthouse there is my way of hurling boulders over the fence and making sure that Alexander Brown is a name that will stir memories of regret for every single big shot da/lawyer/judge that took part in the live skinning of my son, for years to come. The more links I add … the more faxes I send …. the more news stories that are published, nationwide, the more signatures we get with damning comments, the bigger those boulders will become. And they won’t subside until Alex is home. His return to freedom will end this, which is also a point I want to make perfectly clear. His freedom is the brass ring here … anything less is unacceptable.
We are approaching two years now since our son was taken from us. As the coming weeks and months expire this campaign will intensify until phones and fax machines ring on a constant basis on behalf of Alex. Two years is enough. I’ll consider further imprisonment beyond the first week in february 2012 an act of aggression and hostility by the once great state of north carolina at the request of haywood county. If June 3 of next year, Alex’s 22nd birthday, comes and goes and he remains in prison, I’m going to sue the state of north carolina and the county of haywood in federal court for pain and suffering. And it won’t cost me one thin dime …
This is what I do … this is what I’ve become. This is as real as it gets.
Seven months and $1,000 of church donated money was totally wasted on the attorney that was hired on Alexander’s behalf. Ms. Jennifer Foster, an Ahseville, NC based lawyer, proved to be a terrible selection, a selection which I take most of the responsibility for. The one thing Ms. Foster did do during that time was to secure the ‘discovery file’ pertaining to Alex’s case, a file his mother and I could not have taken possession of without her assistance. I had high hopes for the relationship but it proved fruitless in the end. The last I heard from her she was demonstrating with the occupy movement and had been locked up herself for giving a magistrate a few candid pieces of her mind.
What the District Attorney failed to mention is that there were 3 boys charged with the crime, yet Alexander was the only one that was held accountable for repaying $14,000 in restitution, according to the official transcript which you can download here Official Transcript 6_2_08 if you would like to read the full text. This is the official court issued transcript from 6.2.08 in which Judge Mark E Powell was presiding, assistant DA Taylor Reid prosecuting and court appointed Bill Jones representing Alexander.
Page 8 lines 5-8, Mr. Taylor speaking: Admitted to having two or three other individuals with him also on that date. It’s my understanding the other two have also pled in this particular case also, Your Honor.
So two others pled guilty to this crime, yet … were not held accountable monetarily. What’s even more puzzling is the fact that the parties involved, the DA the judge and Jones, actually discussed this fact openly in court:
Page 8 lines 22-25, THE COURT: That restitution that you are asking for would be joint and several with anyone else? MR. TAYLOR: It would be, Your Honor, and it would be held jointly and severally with Mr. Samuel Lee Adams and Mr. Scott Alexander Jones.
(on a sidenote Samuel Lee Adams was charged with 3 counts of defacing a grave marker, BUT WAS AFFORDED CONCURRENT SENTENCING which resulted in a mere 6 month sentence. It has come to my understanding that during that 6 month stint in prison Adams racked up 9 infractions. To date Alexander has received NO infractions. This casts a clarity upon who the actual ring leader and trouble maker really was on the night in question)
Lets define “jointly and severally”> Under joint and several liability or all sums, a claimant may pursue an obligation against any one party as if they were jointly liable and it becomes the responsibility of the defendants to sort out their respective proportions of liability and payment. This means that if the claimant pursues one defendant and receives payment, that defendant must then pursue the other obligors for a contribution to their share of the liability.
In short terms, any one/two/three of the boys could have been, and still can be held liable for the monetary damages. To further extrapolate this point let’s read what Alex’s own attorney had to say in reference to jointly and severally:
Page 11 lines 12-18: We’ve also talked about extensively what joint and severally means, and that he could be stuck holding the whole bag for the entirety of what was done there, and he understands that, that you’re going to be looking at a hard road to hoe if you have to pay off all that by yourself, and he and I discussed that, and we actually think that’s what likely going to happen.
and to further implicate all 3 boys the judge also stated on page 17 lines 11-14:
These are the conditions of your supervised probation. First, you are to make restitution in the amount of $13,913 on behalf of Cable Monument, Craig Cable. That’s joint and several with Samuel Adams and Scott Jones.
???????? Why then is my son responsible for the entire $14,000? Am I missing something here?
In a despicable display of personal animosity, Judge powell then made the following statement which I personally witnessed:
Page 14 lines 17-21: THE COURT: Well, sir, maybe you expected I would yell at you. I’m not going to yell at you, but 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.
But, I digress. Let’s get back to the real reason Alexander was revoked: MONEY. I personally witnessed my son ask his probation officer “what if I took out a loan and paid the full amount”? Response: “YOU WOULDNT HAVE A WORRY IN THE WORLD”…….. END QUOTE
My sons probation was revoked not because he committed a crime, not because he busted out on a piss test, not because he didn’t have a GED or a job. His full sentence was activated because he couldn’t PAY THE MONEY. The money that the 3 boys should have shared liability equally for.
How much is 6-8 years of a young mans life worth? How much will it be worth to Alexander when he’s an old man laying on his deathbed to have those youthful years back? Fourteen thousand dollars? How many grave markers equals 6-8 of the best years of a persons life?
Your arguments are commendable from the perspective of a public official who knows little to nothing about the real world, DA Bonfoey. It’s a trait that you share with Judge powell when he asked in open court (page 20 lines 14-15):
THE COURT: Is this community really hurting for available employment?
Actually, we were/are in the middle of one of the worst recessions in our country’s history. Jobs are scarce, even for people without 11 felonies around their neck. Look out the window Judge. Come down from your throne and feel the need and anguish of reality that you normally cruise past in your black tinted mercedes benz.
In reality Mr. Bonfoey’s accounts of what and why these things happened pass the preliminary smell test. Upon further review, which I have provided here, it becomes painfully clear that he’s simply repeating what he see’s on paper, and not what has actually occurred (as I recall, he wasn’t present on the day of sentencing, but I was). I urge everyone to do some soul searching, and ask yourself to answer the following truthfully: “If this were one of my children, would I be content that they had been dealt with fairly”.