11 April, 2011

Show Your Support with a Click

Readers who follow the news on FreeByronCase.com have known for several months that my petition for relief from the US Supreme Court was denied without hearing. Although dispiriting, it wasn't much of a surprise. Only one of every hundred petitions is even looked at by the justices, the rest are rubber-stamped by clerks. The Court's denial was not necessarily based on the merits of my arguments; I likely just didn't have the lucky number. Most people would be appalled to know how closely justice in the United States resembles a coin toss, a game of roulette, or, sometimes, Powerball.

The big question has since been the obvious one: What now? A couple of options remain for me, in the pursuit of my stolen freedom, and while I have plans for them both, I cannot bring them to fruition without help.

The option I can tell you about right now is executive clemency. Clemency is a discretionary act by a state's governor, invoked, among many other possible reasons, to provide relief in cases of innocence or dubious guilt, when all other remedies have been exhausted. One of the forms that clemency can take is a pardon, which not only wipes out a conviction but restores voting rights, the right to run for public office, and the right to serve on a jury. There is no court involvement in the clemency process — the state's parole department advises on the matter, then it is entirely the governor's decision.

My supporters have begun collecting signatures in an online petition that asks Governor Jay Nixon to grant me a full pardon. Your signature to the petition, indicating a belief that my convictions for murder and armed criminal action are (at best) unjust or (at worst) egregious sins, could mean the difference between my freedom and a life wasted behind a lethal electric fence. Please visit The Petition Site. Tell Missouri's Governor Nixon that, based on the evidence of my innocence, you support my application for pardon. Then share the petition's URL with someone you know. The courts may have failed, but the people can still prevail.

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Byron does not have Internet access. Pariahblog.com posts are sent from his cell by way of a secure service especially for prisoners' use. We do read him your comments, however, and he enjoys hearing your thoughts very much.