Aug. 18, 2020

The Problem With Innocence

From Dances With Thugs by Joseph Dickey (author's profile)


The Problem with Innocence 8/8/20

I was watching AGT (America's Got Talent) several weeks ago and they had a man on there who had spent 37 YEARS in prison for something he did not do. Everyone, including myself, was crying when he got finished with his performance and it really hit home for me. I don't think I have 37 years in me to fight this. Sometimes I don't know if I have another week in me. Then something hit me about how everyone was reacting to his story. Where were all these people with love, tears and support for 37 years while he was rotting away in prison? I will admit that I am a little...OK very cynical because of my experiences, but...I want to share with you the great "Catch 22" of being innocent in prison: No one cares until you prove your innocence but you cannot prove your innocence until someone cares. Welcome to Catch 22 Hell.

As a Jailhouse Lawyer (which I had to become), I understand there are several facts which contribute to the apathy people have toward prisoners and clams of innocence.

1) For some reason a large percentage of prisoners make this claim. Nothing makes me madder than someone lying about their innocence because it just adds to the erroneous belief that all inmates lie about their part in their alleged crimes.

2) Society honestly believes the justice system works and if you were innocent they would let you out. Let me digress for a second and share something with you which you will find hard to believe. Habeas Corpus is the "writ" or motion in which you attack your conviction. It is how you "undo" a conviction which is against the U.S. Constitution. However, actual innocence is NOT a valid "stand alone" claim in a Habeas Petition and the fact you are innocent is not enough (on its own) to get you out of prison. Don't believe me? Research this. The "system" says that the U.S. Constitution only guarantees a fair process and if the "process" was considered fair even proof of your innocence will NOT get you out of prison. Crazy isn't it.

3) This may be bias to say but most lawyers do not give a sh** about their clients unless they have lots of money. Then the question is, do they care about the clients then or their money?

In closing I ask you: What would you do if you were innocent and in prison? I could use the advice as I am very weary. As always, thanks for reading my blog.

Joseph Dickey 25345-001
USP Yazoo City
P.O. Box 5000
Yazoo City, MS 39194


Replies (4) Replies feed

tevans Posted 10 months ago. ✓ Mailed 9 months, 3 weeks ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing! I finished the transcription for your post. I am so sorry about your situation and hope you find justice. I guess for me I would fight and educate myself as much as I could to prove my innocence til I couldn't fight anymore. I saw the same AGT show with that gentleman and it was so sad. I don't know the back story of how he was able to prove his innocence, but it would appear he never gave up. If you don't fight for yourself, no one else will. This goes for both inside and outside of prison. I wish you luck and hope you have the will power to keep forging ahead to prove your innocence!!

Joseph Dickey Posted 9 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

tifflou8 Posted 9 months ago. ✓ Mailed 8 months, 1 week ago   Favorite
Reply ID CU3Y


Thank you for the comment. I do have the will power to fight for my innocence. Just last week I received more evidence of my innocence. I know I am going home one day.
Sorry it takes so long to tell you thanks but I have to get my replies mailed to me.


tevans Posted 8 months, 4 weeks ago. ✓ Mailed 8 months, 1 week ago   Favorite
That is great news!! I was on TV last night watching Archie's story about how he was freed after 40 years of prison time for a crime he didn't commit. His story is now touching so many peoples' lives through his singing. Gotta keep the faith and fight for your innocence!! Teri

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