Sunday, June 08, 2008

June 5, 2008 - Percy walks again

Dear Sis~
Today they chained Percy up and carted him off to Greensville for his June 10th appointment with the executioner. Percy was totally oblivious as to where he was going, and why, but he became agitated when the lieutenant confiscated his beloved, ever-present orange knit cap. I bought the cap for him some time ago and he's worn it, 24/7, ever since, until it's become a filthy and raggedy tangle of knitting, but one he clings to like a security blanket. This is the fourth time Percy has made the journey to Greensville, a trip 99% of people do not return from alive, so he's already living on borrowed time. Your guess is as good as mine whether Percy will survive this time; it is totally up to the discretion of Gov. Kaine, who has his own political considerations since he's on Obama's short list for the vice presidential slot. I don't want to believe he will allow this profoundly insane man to be put down like a dog, but my experience with the system makes it difficult to be optimistic...
On a more sanguine note, a couple of days ago they suddenly transferred Daryl Atkins to population in another prison, releasing him from death row. Daryl is the Atkins the US Supreme Court's 2002 decision in Atkins v Virginia, where the Court held it unconstitutional to execute mentally retarded defendants. In the six years since then, Virginia has re-sentenced Daryl to death two more times, and both times the courts have vacated the new death sentence. About 6 months ago, at a hearing which uncovered a lot of corrupt actions by the original detectives and prosecutor, including the suborning of perjury at the original trial, a trial judge threw out the death sentence and imposed a life sentence, but the state immediately appealed that action. So, either the state lost its appeal, or they withdrew it, fearing that further litigation would only uncover more dirt by the original prosecutors. At any rate, after 10 years on the row, Daryl is now gone, serving life at Wallens Ridge, a maximum security joint up in the mountains. It is exceptionally rare in Virginia for a condemned prisoner to get his death sentence reduced and Daryl was very lucky. Daryl is a very low-key, mild mannered, unassuming and happy-go-lucky sort of guy who will blend into prison life without incident, and society will never hear from him again...
I've got legal work to do, Sis, so I'm signing off.
Love, Bill

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