Monday, October 1, 2007

Opening Day

Well it's been over 18 months now of researching and writing to come to this point. I have learned a great deal about the Criminal Justice system both in my own country and in the United States in that time. Like the majority of the population, I believed that the Criminal Justice system worked well, and only the "bad guys" went to prison - if someone was arrested and prosecuted they were probably guilty. The truth is much more complicated and unpleasant than that. The reality is that other factors such as socio-economic status, skin color and even sexual orientation are increasingly becoming the deciding factors on who is, and who is not convicted and incarcerated. It has been an eye-opening journey for me.

There are many problems and social injustices in our complex modern society, and it is far too easy to feel overwhelmed and become apathetic. That is exactly what has happened to many who no longer participate in the democratic process, and have instead turned their focus to other pursuits and distractions, becoming indifferent to the actions of government. There is an inherent danger in political apathy. When we do so we leave ourselves open to the abuse of our social systems by those who have agendas other than the best interests of the people.

We can't tackle all of societies problems, so we have to choose our battles.

This one is mine.

I first "met" Elizabeth Ramirez in March of 2006. I haven't (yet) met her in person, or even talked to her on the phone. Our sole means of communication has been by old-fashioned postal mail. At first I scoffed at her claims of innocence, but after a year of collecting documentation and reviewing all the facts of this case I am convinced beyond any shadow of doubt that she and her friends are completely innocent, and the alleged crimes never occurred.

We live in a world where we seem to be constantly bombarded with hype and empty rhetoric. In a society that is a "mile wide and an inch deep" (I'm working on the metric equivalent) Truth seems to have become an ever-increasingly plastic and negotiable reality, and profits more important than people. Increasingly we no longer live in a society, but rather an economy. Elizabeth and her 3 co-defendants are all staunch and unwavering believers in Truth. They refuse to negotiate or compromise their innocence for any reason, even when admitting to a crime they didn't commit could cut their time in prison by half. It is that commitment to Truth that has been a major factor in my motivation to advocate for them.

Please take the time to review our website and feel free to make any (constructive) criticisms or comments. At the very least I would ask that you think about their situation. If you would like to help out you can contact me at the emails provided on the Contacts page.


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