I have received the first series of articles you wrote, published July 4.
I was surprised that there was such an interest in making public my recent
hospitalization. The reason why I was hospitalized on April 5 is because
on the evening of April 4 I ingested a combination of prescription drugs
in an attempt to end my life.
I didn’t think I would ever have to explain myself, but since the state
now seems intent in charging me criminally, it appears that keeping this a
private matter is no longer a possibility. What drove me to suicide? A
combination of factors.
I have been imprisoned 22 years and the soul crushing monotony, boredom,
institutional food, pervasive violence, 24 hour lights, near constant
noise, harsh treatment, myriad petty rules, lack of resources, loss of
potential, separation from family and friends, along with a raft of other
negativity, simply conspired to erode my will to live.
Combined with the overwhelming oppression of prison were thoughts about my
case and my chances for justice. It seems that every time exculpatory
facts are revealed, state agents respond by digging their heels in with
greater resolve. The state, with its infinite resources, tilts the playing
field so precipitously that a defendant with limited resources doesn’t
stand a chance. All I ever wanted is the right to present all of the facts
in my case to a jury of my peers, something our constitution fundamentally
affords. Why can’t I do that in Maine?
Prosecutor Bill Stokes implied that I should not be allowed to continue
appealing my case because I failed to make my case in previous efforts.
That’s the sort of flawed reasoning that drives me to distraction. Stokes’
office first argued against DNA testing and now it’s arguing to keep a
jury from ever hearing the results of that testing. His office also fought
to keep any discussion of alternate suspects from a jury. One of his
colleagues had potentially crucial forensic evidence incinerated before
the value of that hair and fiber could be ascertained. Why would a
prosecutor want to make evidence disappear? Logically, anyone who destroys
evidence or sanctions its destruction, clearly isn’t interested in truth
or justice. That no jury will ever benefit from the knowledge inherent in
that evidence creates frustration that weighs heavily on me.
Another source of frustration was also alluded to in one of your articles,
which stated that no other case in Maine has ever been litigated for so
long. The vast majority of that time has been wasted waiting for the state
to respond to motions, and for the courts to schedule hearings or make
decisions. As time goes by the torment of waiting worsens, diminishing any
hope for a return to a meaningful and productive life.
In Maine, a life sentence is a cruel and lingering death sentence that
eventually breeds despair and hopelessness. I have watched men grow old in
prison and I have been horrified by the thought of it. This is no place
for men weakened by age or disability. Given my prison experience, the
lack of control over my own life, the sense of frustration where
prosecutors and courts are concerned, it takes no great effort to
understand why I tried to end it all. Is it unreasonable to believe that
suicide may very well be a reasonable response to an intolerable