July 2016


On June 28, 2016 I got a letter from the Georgia Innocence Project telling me of the testing results. The evidence was found by two college students in summer 2015 at the District Attorney office in a box. They found a manila envelope with a white robe belt and a black tie that was used to tie up the victim.

The State has been saying for 36 years that all evidence had been destroyed. In 2011 court hearing, I was arguing that there was semen evidence found on the victim’s bath robe that didn't belong to me. The State stated in court that they determined that the semen evidence belonged to the victim’s husband. (In trial this semen belonged to Johnny Gates…) I was arguing the white male blond pubic hair that was found in the State court 2011. Said that the hair belong to the victim husband.

Last year December 2015 the State said that they had this evidence in 2003, when we (my lawyers Ronald J. Tabak, George H.Kendall, Gary Parker, Laura Fernandez and I). were trying to find any evidence from the crime. The State fought really hard to get the court to end this fight, but my lawyers would not back down; only fight harder. The state, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Columbus Police Department, the District Attorney office, all said that the evidence had been destroyed that nothing is left.

The test result from the evidence that was found last year in the District Attorney office:
“There is a mixed sample of DNA that came from at least three individuals. We have requested the raw DNA data from the GBI, so that a defense expert can review it. The GBI report also says that due to the complexity of the mixtures, the DNA profiles obtained from the items are not eligible for entry into the DNA database.”

I never believed that they would come out and say that this is not Johnny Gates’ DNA. Not after all these years of fighting me and saying that it is me. But they do know that it is not that of me. If I had been white or had money I would have been set free already, but poor and black? No justice... No knew court date has been set yet.

June 2016

Just another day in hell. Health is not good as it used to be. All these years are wearing me down. I’m 60 years old now and still fighting for my freedom. I know that I keep going over this, but Jesus said “keep on knocking on the door until they open the door,” It seems like they want to close the door back in my face every time.
Me, a poor black man, who at the time (1976) could not read or write, who walked around with names and addresses of his mother, sisters and brother in his pocket.

In 1977 you had so much going on in Columbus, GA. You had the stocking strangler, who was raping white females and killed them. You had other crimes going on also. The District Attorney Office and the Columbus Police Apartment were under so much pressure to make arrest and get a conviction. The KKK talked of marching in black neighborhoods, talked of lynching blacks. There was no way Johnny Lee Gates was going to get a fair trial. I grew up watching blacks being killed by white police officials. Watched them kneel down by the body and plant a weapon and get away with it.

I was arrested for this crime. I was not allowed to call a lawyer or to call family members. I was showed pictures of the crime and of the victim, being told what “I did” over and over while being threatened, calling me boy, nigger over and over again. Making me confess to it. But the confession didn’t match the crime. The first person charged for this crime was a white male. A witness saw a white male running from the crime at the victim’s apartment. Witnesses saw him a the mortuary foundling the victim’s body. This white male was arrested and charged with the crime after he’d confessed to it. A middle class white male. He was allowed to go home and come back when he wanted. He was allowed to stop interview when he wanted. Even though the police officials strongly believed he was guilty of the crime, the District Attorney Office let him go and dropped all charges against him.

In 1976, or a year before, black Columbus police officers were marching in protesting against racism and injustice in Columbus. All of them was fired. It was taking all the way to the United State Supreme Court.

Go in any state of the US, ask any army man who has been to fort Benning. He would tell you about Columbus Georgia, the racism and the system there. The District Office pick the judge, hear the case, how to pick the jury. Controlling the public defender’s Office. Back then, a black person who was charged with a crime against a white person, he was going to get an all-white jury or so close to it, that if one black or two blacks sitting in that jury, were intimidated by the whites in that room and would be pressured to vote the way they want them to…

In 2003, in Judge John D. Allen court room, we had a hearing to try to find out what happened to all of the evidence in the crime. The Columbus Police Department, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the District Attorney Office, they all got on the witness stand and it was said that all evidence was destroyed in 1978 and that there was no evidence to be found.
In 2003 the trial started that ended in a mistrial. I ended up with life without parole. In that deal my lawyers can’t take part in my case anymore. They thought that I was going to lay down like a good dog. I didn’t. I learned what I could and kept on fighting. In 2011 Judge Allen room, the District Attorney told the court that they had determined that the semen evidence was found on the victim’s bathrobe belonged to the victim’s husband. The jury didn’t hear it and the defense didn’t know.

In 2015 two college students went to the District Attorney Office and looked into a box. They found evidence from the crime. The Georgia Innocence Project came on my case wanting to do DNA-testing on this evidence that was found. In August hearing the District Attorney asked for 60 days delay. They got it. In December the District Attorney Office told the judge that they had this evidence in 2003 and that they gave it to the court, that it was docket by the court clerk. All is violation of the law. Both state and federal. But being a poor black man… who cares, who gives a damn?
Man-made justice is hell on earth. You can’t trust no one. Life is what it is for a black man. Welcome to my hell…

If you would like to write me, you can go to www.jpay.com, sign up and get on my email list that we have now in Georgia prison system. My ID# is 385231


April 2016


As told before, I had a hearing set for Tuesday, August 25th 2015. I had filed an extraordinary motion for a new trial. Instead, on newly discovered evidence, the Georgia Innocence Project took my case, after interns, Catherine O’Neill and Bryan Reines, went to the district attorney’s office on July 30th 2015, to review the case file. They expected to find documents saying the evidence in the case had been destroyed or to find nothing at all. Either way, the case would be closed for them. While digging through a box, they found a lumpy manila envelope and peered inside at pieces of black and white fabric. Writing on the outside said the envelope contained a bathrobe belt and neckties.
G.I.P. filed an amended motion asking the judge in the case to allow testing for DNA. The assistant district attorney Brad Bickerstaff asked for a 60 day delay since the amended motion was filed a week before the August 25th hearing and the judge granted his request.

The motion for extraordinary motion for a new trial was filed by me in 2010.  In 2011 court hearing I showed the court evidence that was not known to the defense; confession of a white male, witnesses whom could place him running away from the crime, others placed him at the mortuary, foundling the victim’s body. Police officers, who mentioned they had no doubts that this person had commit the crime and that this person knew  what he was talking about, when he confessed.
In 2002 a hearing was held to try to find any evidence from the crime. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Columbus Police Department and the District Attorney all said that all evidence was destroyed. Lawyers even asked for the belt and neckties. It was told they were destroyed too. Judge Allen even stated in court any evidence shown up after this case, someone will answer for it.

Life without parole, I was on my own to fight for myself . In 2011 I brought the semen evidence. Semen that was found on the bath robe the victim was wearing. The semen was tested in 1976. The semen blood type was in the B-blood group. My blood is the O-blood group. The jury never heard this. Why not? When you have someone charged with rape? It seems to me that, you want to give the jury every piece of evidence, unless you know it doesn’t match.
You got a white woman that has been raped, killed, in the south, 1976. Charging a black man with the crime, get an all-white jury and make them believe everything. Every piece of evidence match pointed to me. They own the Public Defender office, whom gave me no defense at all.

In 2011 hearing, pointing out the semen on the bathrobe and blood type. The assistant district attorney said to the court that they were determined that the semen on the bathrobe belonged to the husband. The defense wasn’t told of this. The D.A. withhold this from the defense with doing trial in 1977. Doing this trial, everything pointed to me. That alone is a Brady violation. The police, the state acted in bad faith. Now December 2015 court hearing, while asking for DNA testing on the bathrobe-belt and neckties, assistant district attorney Brad Bickerstaff said in court that they had this evidence in 2002 and that they gave in to the clerk. So, again another violation of law Brady US Maryland 373 US 83, 835 CT 1194 (1963) a powerful case.
I’m not nervous and I have no reason to be, because I’m not guilty. Forty years ago I was sentenced to die because I was black. I’m still black and not much has changed over the years. A black man is guilty when he’s first charged with a crime and it takes too much to undo the injustice that was done to a black man…

January 2016

Judge orders DNA tests on 1976 rape, murder evidence

October 2015

In the past everyone wanted me to give up pursuing my fight to go back in court for my freedom. God doesn't help those that give up. Picking up your cross means to me, to pursue your dreams, your goal. Imagine what life would have been if Jesus had given up, not allowing his suffering and death on the cross?

This evidence that was found, may not be enough. I'm still pushing all my issues that I have been challenging in the court. My #1 issue is my indictment.

I was charged with murder, armed robbery and rape. I was sentenced for all three, 20 years for rape, 20 years for armed robbery and death sentence for murder.
They say a gun was used. But I was never charged or indicted for a gun, nor possession of a fire arm during commission of a crime, nor aggravated assault. The essential element; I was not indicted on any of them, so my indictment is defective. It must be thrown out, meaning overturn my conviction and the state can not use the same evidence in trial and to re-indict me.

Georgia law says every essential element of the crime must be charged. A lesser included offense must be charged to support a greater crime charged which is not there.
Lawyers over here don't like nor don't want to challenge arrest warrants or indictments; most cases that be over turned were filed by inmates, not lawyers.

August 2015

Georgia inmate asks for new DNA testing in decades-old case.
By KATE BRUMBACK - Associated Press - Tuesday, August 25, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia man who has spent nearly 40 years in prison for the rape and killing of a young German woman in her apartment has consistently maintained his innocence and is asking a judge to allow new DNA testing in the decades-old case.

Johnny Lee Gates, 59, was convicted of murder, rape and robbery in the slaying of 19-year-old Katharina Wright in the apartment she shared with her husband, a soldier at nearby Fort Benning. They had been married six months and had moved to Columbus just weeks before the killing, said Christina Cribbs, a lawyer for Gates.

Wright's husband found her body on the afternoon of Nov. 30, 1976. Her hands were bound with the white belt from her bathrobe, and black neckties were used to gag her and to cover her eyes. She had been shot once in the head.

Gates was arrested in January 1977 on unrelated charges. A police informant told investigators he had let Gates borrow his gun in November 1976 and that Gates later told him he shot Wright using the gun, according to court documents.

Gates signed a written confession and confessed in an interview videotaped at Wright's apartment, according to a new motion filed by lawyers from the Innocence Project to request new DNA testing. Gates told police he posed as someone from the gas company to get into the apartment and then had sex with Wright, took $480 in cash from her, tied her up and shot her when she said she could identify him, the motion said.

Gates was convicted and sentenced to death in August 1977. His sentence was later changed to life in prison without parole because he was found to be intellectually disabled. Execution of the intellectually disabled is prohibited by federal and state law.

The Innocence Project lawyers contend not only that Gates' confession was false, but that he wasn't at Wright's apartment on the afternoon in question. They say his intellectual disability made it easy for investigators to get him to confess to the crime. There are also inconsistencies in the case, a confession by another man and other problematic evidence, they said.

Gates has maintained his innocence in filings with the court over the years, many of them including citations of specific sections of Georgia law and handwritten in neat capital letters.
He reached out to the Georgia Innocence Project in 2006 seeking help with his case. But the organization said it was unable to help because it only handles cases where there is DNA evidence, the lawyers said. Columbus police, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Muscogee County district attorney's office said there was no physical evidence to test, the lawyers said.
Gates reached out again this year and the organization's lawyers said they decided to see if they could track down evidence in the case or any records of the destruction of evidence.

Interns Catherine O'Neill, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Bryan Reines, a senior at Emory University, went to the district attorney's office on July 30 to review the case file. They expected to find documents saying the evidence in the case had been destroyed or to find nothing at all - either way, the case would be closed for them.

While digging through a box, Reines found a lumpy manila envelope and peered inside at pieces of white and black fabric. Writing on the outside said the envelope contained a bathrobe belt and neckties.
Recognizing they had likely found physical evidence, they took photos and then sealed the envelope without touching the contents. Cribbs and Aimee Maxwell, their supervisors at the innocence project, scrambled to get in touch with Gates' most recent lawyers, who said he had an upcoming hearing on a motion he had filed himself.

Cribbs and Maxwell filed an amended motion asking the judge in the case to allow testing for DNA they say would likely have rubbed off on the items while the killer was tying up Wright. At the scheduled hearing Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Brad Bickerstaff asked for a 60-day delay since the amended motion was filed last week, and the judge granted his request.
Asked why the district attorney's office had said the evidence in the case wasn't available when the belt and neckties were in its possession, Bickerstaff said it is biological evidence from the case that is no longer available and those objects aren't biological evidence. It appears the belt and neckties were exhibits used at trial, he said.

O'Neill and Reines, who were both at the hearing, said they were excited to have found something that might help, but they said Cribbs and Maxwell cautioned them against getting too optimistic.
"It's easy to get carried away and imagine this amazing outcome that all started with something unexpectedly found in a DA's box, but we have to be aware that there's still the potential that it might not make a difference," O'Neill said.

Even if the judge does allow the DNA testing, there's a long road ahead that could go in many directions, Cribbs said.

November 2014

The extra ordinary motion for a new trial on new discovered evidence has been pending in superior court since 2010. Last hearing was May 2011. The Judge has retired in 2013. On February 2014 chief Judge in Columbus Georgia, reassigned my case back to retired Judge John D. Allen to see my case through and to rule. He hasn't done so. I had put faith in Judge Allen because he seemed to see through the facts, saw an innocent man in his court room, wanting to undo injustice. I fear that he too was gotten made to back off of my case. Cases less than mine, do get a break. Not me. Life without parole is truly cruelty. Having to spend the rest of your life here..., it's a hell hole. Nothing to look forward to but death. Many times I say 'fuck life, I'm ready to die, for what am I living for?'
You get nothing, not even family.

Slavery is alive and well in Georgia prison system. You get punished for being late for detail with a fine and hole time, loss of visitation, even refuse to go to detail is punished. Yet they refuse to pay inmates. Georgia and the Southern states have and keep long numbers of prisoners. The state has them working for free and get paid by companies for their slave labory. It's good business to have people like me. They want us to lay down behave, be good boys. I won't lay down. I will fight till the day I die. hat more can they do to me? Kill me, hell bring it on. I won't be said, nor fear it.

Life doesn't seem real to me. Life is teaching us to be heartless. I don't even cry or shed a tear anymore. I didn't cry on my brothers' death, aunts, uncles, nephews or nieces. It doesn't hurt anymore inside me. Nothing seems real anymore.

Within two years all level 5 prisons in Georgia will be '23 and 1'-lock down camps. So, locked in your cell 23 hours a day. People as myself, no-trouble makers, will be locked down too, because of life without parole sentence. They can't make money of us. So, locked down, because you are not good for a damn thing. All about that money. In a couple of days I turn 59 years old. Almost 38 years in prison. A long damn time for sure. What's next?? No one truly cares in the world...

Johnny

January 2014


On October 31, 2013 Superior Court judge John D. Allen stepped down, retired, without ruling on my case (extraordinary motion for a new trial). This motion is saying to the court that the defense as discovered new evidence that is so material that it would have produced a different verdict.

What new evidence was discovered? One is a white male whom had confessed to the crime and the police had arrested this guy, charged him with the crime. A white female witness whom lived downstairs in the apartment where the crime happened at. She had seen a white male with blond hair running away from upstairs and away from the apartment. She gave police this information. Then number of witnesses at the mortuary witness him there touch observing him. He ran out into the parking lot to his truck. He was arrested, charged with the crime. He confessed to the crime. The police said they had no doubt that he had committed the crime because of his confession matched the crime. When they reviewed all evidence. He also admitted to touching fondling the victim body, face, breasts, stomach, vagina, etc. He gave both head and pubic hair for the police had found white male blond hair that was not the victims’. They were not looking for a black man at all. This white male was allowed to go home to come back. Something that a black man could never do in the south. He even took a polygraph examination. The white suspect stated to the police that he knew that he would fail the test because he would be nervous. He also stated that while at the funeral home he felt her breasts, stomach, vagina area, neck face. He stated that he didn’t know why he did this. Also told the police that nothing could be proved unless police found the pistol that was used. To this very day the pistol hasn’t been found at all.

During my trial I was the only black person in the courtroom besides one female reporter Mrs. Dec Amstrong. If you ever watched an old movie of the 50’s, where a black man is on trial for rape, murder of a white female, then you know what my trial was about. The all-white jury, the D.A. Office, they were totally in control of Columbus Georgia. The jury pool is always made up of people the D.A. knows, church members, club members, as well as the public defender, controlled by the D.A. Office. Back then, an old white man, who called me ‘boy’ throughout the whole trial William S. Cain, sr. ; he would not object to an all-white jury, even though he knew it was not legal at all. If he had objected, it would be ground for new trial. But by him not objecting to it, the courts said it was legal; allowing my conviction to stay. He and other lawyers in Columbus Georgia agreed with the D.A. Office not to challenge the make-up jury pool, nor asked to have a case moved to another town to be sure of a fair trial. This secret deal is only to hurt blacks on trial for crime against white people.

Getting new lawyers wasn’t easy. The courts ruled that my trial lawyers did a great job; yet anyone could tell you he was ineffective assistance of counsel. He could not name one person he talked to for my defense. He didn’t challenge state evidence. He never told me of any evidence. Nothing at all. I won’t lie, for years I wanted to see William Cain in any court room. I wanted to kill him; then I could die for murder if I did. His death… But God changed my heart; I have no ill will for anyone. I’m in prison, not because of the crime, but because I had an ineffective lawyer. Me being a nigger in the south, I never knew of any evidence before my trial, nor while doing my trial, only years after. The white suspect has been at different funeral homes, taking pictures of young white blond female bodies and fondling them. Police next began to develop a theory that the victim had been sexually assaulted after being shot. Suggesting that the crime committed was not rape, but necrophilia. The reinvestigation established that he had a prior history of molesting corpses of young white females at local funeral homes. Investigations found further support of this version of the crime from the medical examiner, Dr. Webber, who told the police that the victim could have been sexually assaulted after being shot and the heart could have beaten several minutes even though. There was probably no brain activity; this would account for the bleeding in the victim’s vagina.

Now, there has been semen found on the victim’s bath robe as well as in the victim’s vagina and also white male blond hair. There was never anything mentioned about semen evidence that was found, nor that white male hair was found. So, why is that? Semen evidence is the most important evidence of the crime. ‘The smoking gun.’

I was arrested on January 30, 1977 for two counts of armed robbery. That same day, I was also charged with another white female murder Mrs. Ann Whitman. Then the rape, robbery, murder of Mrs. Wright. Listening to my sorry racial ass Lawyer who meant me no good; he got me to plead guilty to two counts of armed robbery, sentence 2 to 12 years.  Then to plead guilty to voluntary man slaughter, 20 years. Me, not knowing the law, trusting the lawyer, the state used those cases against me to sure the jury would sentence me to death.

I was given other lawyers. All just went through the normal motions; not caring whether I’m innocent or not. Most felt I was guilty, so no one fought to prove my innocence.
I have now bypassed the Georgia Supreme Court appealing to the Federal District Court. Georgia is delaying my case. The Superior Court Judge John D. Allen, would not rule to allow an investigator to come look for lost evidence free of charge. At first he agreed to it, but later nothing happened. The ex-D.A. would not touch my case after May 2011. May 2011 hearing the D.A. Office admit to holding more evidence, when I brought up the semen evidence. They said in court on record that they had determined that semen on the house coat belonged to the husband. Also the blond hair was the husband’s. But there is no record of that. So again new discovered evidence they hold back on. Everything does establish my innocence very much.

Turning 58 on November 20, prison life is still hell. Just surviving from day to day, for prison system is more rough and more dangerous than the most violent city-town. Only the strongest will survive, that’s for sure.
Christmas was just another day. No special meal. I didn’t get what I wanted; freedom. But life goes on, that’s for sure. I do get very frustrated at times. Get pissed like when my case was in 11th circuit court of appeals. The court rules that it doesn’t matter that I didn’t have blacks on my jury. Outcome would have been the same. Then they rule that a white death row inmate should get a new trial, because he didn’t have a female on his jury. Again doors close in my face, yet watching the door open for others with issues less important than mine. So, I came to believe that I’m not here because of the crime, but because I’m a poor nigger. They love killing niggers in the south; it’s called modern day lynching. When the tea party does get in control of this country, it all will come to light for sure. Often I wish that I never came off death row. Execution would have been better than suffering in prison the rest of your life. Each day passing by, by not knowing you’re going to get a knife in your back, get robbed or caught in the middle of a war gangs is throughout the system. The food is so bad; a dog wouldn’t eat it. Often old and spoiled. You get sick, however you have to pay $ 5.00 just to see someone. Then pay for medical too. The only things they care of is, how much money they can make of an inmate in every way. Hell can’t be much worse than this, that’s for sure…!

Peace,

Johnny
 
 

March 2013

Hi, my last day in court was May 2011. It is now 2013, two years later.
The court had allowed 60 days to find physical evidence suitable for DNA-testing. At that time the NAACP had asked the judge to let them have someone to search for the physical evidence. But days later, the NAACP backed away from it. Then Mr. James L. Trainum in Washington DC -an ex-police officer- offered to come look for the physical evidence. However, to this day, the judge never signed the court order to allow him to search for the evidence. My case is bigger than the judge or me. The District Attorney, the Columbus Police and Georgia Bureau of Investigation, know there was never ever any physical evidence that point to me. The District Attorney never introduced new physical evidence at all. During my trial they never mentioned to the jury, the judge or me that they had a rape kit. They also didn’t mention that semen was found on the victim bath robe, or that they found white male blond hair.
Why?
Being black, the hair could not be mine. The semen that was found on the victim’s bath robe; tests showed that it belong to the B-group blood type. My blood type is O. The rape-kit is the semen that was found inside the victim, the most important piece of evidence of this crime and the most important source to who did this crime. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation received the rape kit from Columbus police. They, the G.B.I., says they only test the fluid to see if it was spermatozoa and not the blood type of the semen; the most important piece of evidence. But you test the semen off the bath robe, which is harder to do. The result of the bath robe, which is B-group, not O-group. They didn’t they tell my lawyer, nor me, nor the court? They didn’t make this known at all.
Why?
Because it is the key part of the case; if they let known about the semen that was found, they should have made known the blood type of that semen. Then the jury would have doubts about me being the person who committed this crime. In that case, no way, the D.A. could have convinced the jury that I raped the victim, because my blood type is O (while the semen blood type showed B). So they had to hide it from me, my lawyer, the court, etc. The police said they had found 6 right hand finger prints on a heater cover, but never brought this piece of evidence into court. No physical evidence was ever brought into court.
Why?
Because it was easy to frame a nigger in the 70’s. No evidence pointed to me. Why me? More so the questions is, why a black man? In 1977 there was a high crime rate going on in Columbus. Whites are being killed. The police, the D.A., they were all under a lot of pressure to make an arrest. Black men were being arrested from any crime there was. Also, your chance of getting an all-white jury was 100%. The chance of getting a death sentence for killing a white person is 100% also. The public defense lawyer is owned by the D.A. He is a redneck racist. Careless about you, makes deals with the D.A. Call you ‘boy’ throughout the trial. The state doesn’t put up physical evidence. No one questions that. That’s how I end up on Death Row. Now it seems all the physical evidence was destroyed in 1979.
Why?
Because they didn’t want an outsider to come look for it. After having no longer a public defender lawyer and knowing that I would get a lawyer out of state and that the truth would come out that Johnny Lee Gates is innocent. Groups against injustice are afraid to take my case; even Georgia Innocence Project. The reason is because there is no DNA-evidence. There were two important cases from Columbus, Georgia. My case and that of the stocking strangler case; they both deal with rape and murder of white females. The other was blessed with a good lawyer; the court allowed him to look for the physical evidence that the state said had been destroyed, like they say about the evidence in my case. His lawyer finds the rape kit and it was tested. DNA-testing proved he was innocent of that crime. So, it was a mistake on their part. Sure they won’t make that mistake with me. The judge is under pressure to drop my case. The D.A. said in court that the state didn’t get my side copy of a white guy confession to the crime. That, in itself, is a strong -even legal- ground to order a new trial. But being black, poor, no strong support outside it is a fight of my own.

The road is hard, rough and dangerous, but it’s all I have to get up for. Prison is hell. We just came off from a week and a half lockdown. Two gangs at war. It started at one prison and spread. You have to survive from day to day. You don’t have time to look, dream, or think about the future. Getting through the day is all you can do.

April 2011

I was transferred on January 27 to Macon State Prison. Then on January 28, I was taken to the Columbus County Jail to have my February 1st Court date. My hearing on extraordinary motion for a new trial and DNA testing. The judge heard and listened and will set another court date soon, to hear more. I will send him (the court) more exhibits to show that new discovered evidence would help to prove my innocense.
I do feel good about everything and am looking forward to going back, because the judge is truly listening and wants more exhibits.
I'm well, doing okay. Just taking one day at a time. I'm closer to Columbus, but this prison is worst then Hays. But I'm alright and will be alright, as I'm just living one day at a time.
My next court date is set for 19th of May 2011, at 10.00 a.m. I don't know how things are going to turn out. I can only hope and pray for the best. I do know that I stand alone in the belly of the beast.
I had settle out of court for life without parole, agreeing that I had all my constitutional rights, that I was not giving them up, to keep fighting my conviction. Just a few days ago I found out my lawyers lied to me and tricked me saying the DA agreed that I have all my constitution rights if I accepted the life without parole.

January 2011

Finally some positive news. I'm going to court before the same judge, on February 1st, 2011, at 12:30 pm on the 7th floor, Judge John D. Allen.
1. Extra ordinary motion for a new trial
2. Motion requesting DNA testing
3. Motion to compel court order
4. Motion to vacate and set aside verdict
5. Motion for evidentiary hearing and facts
This is what I wanted. I must now ready myself for this hearing for this is my big chance to turn things around, win my freedom or a new trial, or cut my sentence. Finally the door has now been reopened for me by the will of God...
I will let you know what happened in court for sure. This is a hearing on all my motions. I must prove to the judge that I should have all these things, to be set free.

May 2010

Another day in the belly of the beast of this southern Georgia prison. I’m still waking up each morning with a strong will to fight for my freedom. I just mailed to Columbus GA Superior Court my legal motions and briefs, hoping the Court will give me another day in court.
There’s no such thing as justice. Not in this country, nor in the world. It is one of human greater mythic words. If you think it’s not, then you tell John the Baptist, tell Jesus Christ, tell the black man, black people. You hear of terrible crimes in the world (what a tragedy). The world doesn’t know that black Americans are essentially people of tragedy. Tragedy, irony and paradox have been the core of our existence. It’s impossible for white Americans to see black men in a tragic light.

Black men have always been seen as guilty of any crime, especially crimes against whites.
In the 90’s a white female screamed that a black man carjacked her car with her two children inside. A white mob went looking for black males, dragging blacks out of cars, homes, etc. It was a hoax. She drove her car into a lake killing her children.
A white male called the police saying his pregnant wife was shot and killed by a black man. A mob gathered, blacks were dragged from homes, cars, off the streets, beaten, etc. Another hoax. The husband killed his wife and shot himself. These two examples of many, just in the 90’s. Black man is accused, just by word or mouth.
In prisons, there are so many innocent people of every race, but black men outnumber all others. That’s my word. Justice fakes illusion of reality.

I was arrested in 1972 with an illegal arrest warrant. The indictments were not legal. Evidence, that was in my favour was destroyed and suppressed. All the courts never step into undoing the wrong. Of course not, it was a black man charged and sentenced to death. In their eyes, everything was right. Just kill the nigger. Has it been a white charge with this crime, he would have gotten off death row by a new trial. If it’s been a white crime against black, he would have been found not guilty. In case found guilty, on appeal he would have been found not guilty or got a mistrial. That’s the white men’s justice. Even the defence lawyers won’t touch, nor challenge it. If you say, you see blacks set free, after doing 10, 20, 30, 40 years in prison... Yes, in most cases white fearless college students take up the case as a class project. You call that justice? It is not. A man spent 30 years on death row in a southern state; only when a prosecution attorney was about to die from cancer confessed of the suppressed evident that proved a black man was not guilty. That’s justice?

Justice... myth to fight against, like the dummy the whites see me as. It would be even more of a tragedy for me to be as so many blacks have been taught; to be happy and be a good nigger. The belly of the beast won’t kill me nor destroy me. I’m above all that you throw at me. I refuse to be your slave, you have turned blacks against blacks, turned families against their owns’. But this man here can stand alone, sees through the myths, fake illusion you depicted. I won’t cut down or down size every black man or boy. They depicted him as a child or of pathos. This one man knows the fundamental truth is always one big white lie.

February 2010

This is a new year, yet nothing seems to change. Stabbing and killing still goes on in prison. Society is kept in the blind about most of what goes on in prison. January 29th, made 33 years that I’ve been locked up. Now it’s been 7 years that I’ve been off-death row. Being off is not a reason to celebrate. How can an innocent man celebrate when he is still locked up with a slower death sentence (life without parole)? You have a weaker voice now, less people listen, less people care. You are more alone than ever before. You find yourself not only fighting the system, but fighting against those who said “take care”. They want you to be silent. To be happy and make no noise at all. Yet they go home every day to family, loved ones, have children, celebrate holidays, etc.
I’m not seen as human, not supposed to have these things in my life. I should be like blacks in slavery time. Cattle that have no emotions, feelings, no means at all. I face discouragement every day from inmates whom given up on lawyers and others. But I refuse to listen to their voices. The struggle for me is not over. I’m not free at all. I’m still working on my case to get back in court. I have great issues. No lawyer is taking my case now. They don’t want to be the one to help, set a man free who deserves it. It doesn’t bother me. Jesus was left alone at his darkest moment, I guess this is mine...

I heard from a childhood friend a few months ago. It brought true joy to me she told me she believes in my innocence very much. Even while it was just a short note it meant a lot to me, to know someone out there in that cold heartless world does care.
One loses touch with emotions and feelings in prison so often. I have not and I will not. The beast if out to destroy everything a man is supposed to be. A man in Georgia prisons on visitation days are not allowed to hold a female hand. Not allowed to touch or share one quick hug or kiss. They block movie channels and magazines with females. Lock you down for talking to a female guard or staff member, but support gay homosexual activity. If you are caught, you will only end up a few days in the hole. I refuse to go down that road. A lot of guys got aids and are taking it back into the free world. I’m not against gays at all; I’m only speaking about the beast and the injustice which goes on inside it.

October 2009

Hello, here’s an update about what’s going on recently. I went to court last year. My motion was turned down. I came back to hell hole. I had to take up daily life.
This prison is turning crazier every day. Gangs growing. A lot of fights, stabbings and more stealing. The guys are so young, hard headed, and difficult to talk to. They won’t listen. I stay to myself more and more.
The 20th of November I will be 54 years old and still in prison. I do give thanks to God for allowing me to see this day and for keeping me safe. Yet, being locked up all these years hasn’t been easy. Being lonely isn’t a good feeling at all. There are passing days, weeks without mail. There’s no one to feel close to.

A few weeks ago I accidently discovered that I’ve illegally been in prison for 33 years. This goes back to the first day of my arrest. The police officer had given an affidavit to a judge in order to get the judge to issue an arrest warrant for my arrest. This is illegal, because he swore that he knew to the best of his knowledge that I had committed these crimes. How did he know? Was he there? Who told him? Where did he get this information? He never gave the judge any answer to those questions. So, that makes the warrant for my arrest illegal, my trial illegal, conviction illegal, sentence to death illegal, being held in prison now illegal.
I hope that my lawyers will take up my case again and fight for my freedom and to clear my name because my fourth amendment rights had been violated totally.
Just imagine, state of Georgia tried to execute me, set dates for me to be executed, only because of my illegal arrest.
My life is taken away from me all these years by police, judges, D.A’s. All above the law. No one will go to prison, no one will say “I’m sorry”. They don’t give a damn at all. It’s just a game to them. Political game and I’m just a pawn in the games they play. The prison is just a business to make money out of inmates, out of their families, friends, who ever. They don’t care, except for the money.
Life, what’s life really about? Nothing seems real anymore. Everything is artificial, a delusion. This is a fucked up world and life. So I just got to be real. Have to keep staying strong. Survive the best I can. What else is there?

August 2008

Here, in the belly of the beast it is hot. Sweating day and night. Right now the prison is cutting back on everything. Less food, cutting back on soap and toothpaste from once a week to once every two weeks, one razor a week, one roll of toiletries a week, deodorant once a month. A prison soap doesn’t last 3 days. It’s a small bar, small tooth paste as well.
Now there are 2 men at a cell here, 8 men sleeping in the TV-room. The Georgia-prisons are over crowded. They don’t release anybody. Just pack them all in. It’s a business now, making money of inmates, charge inmates $ 5.00 each time for medical and dentist. Disciplinarians $ 4.00, also store prices raised.
A phone call is high as hell. When you first come to prison they take $ 1.00 each month.
So cutting back on everything, yet they say that they have no money. Accept cookouts for the officers, new ice boxes for them, etc.
This prison is close security; less movements, less things to do. They want to destroy your spiritually and mentally. They do succeed in it with a lot of guys; some turn gay, some lose mind, some care about nothing anymore. Lose faith, even in themselves. I’m still that wild lion which they can’t tame. A black warrior who’s awake each morning, ready for the battle again.
Pen pals help so much; they take you outside these walls, give you something to look forward to. Someone to talk to, share laughs with.
Life is still true hell in prison, where no one should ever want to come. Easy to get here into the belly of the beast but truly hell trying to get out. This is hell on earth, the more when you are innocent!

June 2008

In June 2008, I sent notice of appeal and my case appeal sit in the Georgia Supreme Court, it is still pending. I hope they will accept to hear my case (# S08H1599).

April 2008

Since I’m off death row, i haven’t stopped fighting for my freedom. Lawyers told me that all doors are closed for me. Yet, I’ve never been willing to accept that. Talking with other inmates, read law books for hours at a time. Got frustrated and mad at times. Often, when I thought I went forward, I got knocked backward or a U-turn. It seemed like it that the lawyers were right that all doors are closed to me. Still, didn’t want to give up.
January 2008. Another guy and myself came up with a total different way of looking at my case. All these years it has been handling about criminal law. The lawyers who worked on my case are criminal lawyers as well. They don’t meddle with civil action. I found cases and laws which deal with civil action. Also those which dealt with indictments. After looking at my own indictment, I found out that it is a void indictment. There’s no essential element in it, while they need it in order for the indictment to stand. No lawyer has ever challenged my indictment in court.

In January 2008 I filed a motion to arrest of void judgment with an affidavit. The court accepted my motion and set a hearing date for March 13, 2008 to the challenge. I was over excited that I was given a hearing.

By coincidence my pen pal from Holland and her husband were coming from abroad to USA for a vacation in that period and visit me at the same time. I was very pleased about that too. I was thrilled that I could finally meet them and that they were even able to join the hearing together with my sister and two other friends (since 27 and 30 years), to support me. The two visiting days were really great and wonderful. I enjoyed it so much. I didn’t had a visit since more over than 2 years. It felt so good to get my mind out of prison for couple of hours these days.

Unfortunately my March 13th hearing didn’t take place, because the D.A. didn’t gave the prison notice to have me transferred to court. Everyone was very disappointed and so was I. The judge set a new court date for April 30th, 2008. My friends were not there this time. I was alone again, like I was 32,5 years ago. However, I do believe that I did well. The judge denied all of my motion though. That wasn’t a surprise, because a superior court cannot rule on matters of law. Only the state supreme court and federal courts can rule on matters of law.

December 2007

I no longer wait for my lawyers. I've now decided to fight myself and try to get back in court.