Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Clemency Video

Vernon’s new legal team presented a clemency video to Maryland’s Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. today. Click on this link to see the video.

Or you can type this url into your browser: http://www.savevernonevans.org/ClemencyVideo.html

The video presents compelling evidence as to why the Governor should grant Vernon clemency, including:

(1) That Vernon was not the shooter, and is thus not eligible for the death penalty in Maryland. (The only eye witness to the crime never testified at Vernon’s trial.)

(2) That Vernon grew up in a dysfunctional family, suffered from severe physical and sexual abuse as a child, and attempted suicide at the age of 10. (These facts would have played an important role during his sentencing trial.)

Because of Vernon’s original incompetent court appointed attorney, the evidence in this video has never been presented to a jury.

The video also details the supportive role Vernon has played and continues to play in his children’s lives, the care he provided to fellow inmates who were HIV positive, and the role Vernon has played in shaping the career paths of students at Mt. St. Mary’s University in Maryland.

When you finish the video, if you want to send a message to Vernon, you can write to MeetVernon@Gmail.com and I’ll mail him your comments. If you want to write to any of the other people who appear in the video, including his mother, father, sisters, sons, daughter, or Professor Conway, you can email them to MeetVernon@Gmail.com as well, and I’ll do my best to deliver them to the right people.

Most importantly please call, write, or email Governor Ehrlich to request he grant Vernon clemency. If you live in Maryland, you can also write a letter to the editor to your local paper.

Office of the Governor
Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.
State House
Annapolis, Maryland 21401-1925

410.974.3901 (p)
410.974.3275 (f)

Toll Free 1.800.811.8336
TDD 410.333.3098
MD Relay 1.800.735.2258

http://www.gov.state.md.us/mail/

22 Comments:

Blogger ShotOfCourage said...

I think it's commendable that Mr. Jordan has chosen to devote himself to righteous causes and being a productive member of his incarcerated community. Then again, not much else to do in prison. If I had 24 hours a day without interuption or any of the responsibilities of a law abiding citizen, husband and father, I would hope I could muster up the energy to be the slightest bit helpful to my community.

Are we to credit Mr. Jordan for time served and his selfless duties toward his fellow inmates and release him from his sentence? I wholeheartedly doubt it. Rather than credit him for his current behavior, chalk it up to the duty of a man who has taken more from society than he has contributed. If only his good behavior could bring back the lives of his two victims. That would be something.

Let us not forget the true victims in this case. Mr. Jordan not being one of them.

2/01/2006  
Blogger El Capitan Habla said...

The comments of the ones that insist on taking anger out on you are laughable - I hope you see it. Rather than thoughtful statements, or at least presenting cohesive thoughts, they are intent on taking delight in the most serious process our legal system employs. It is a ridiculous position to take, and when something goes horribly wrong in their own lives, I hope they remember that they are only reaping the benefits of their actions here.

That being said, I don't know much about your case, and I don't know if you are an innocent or guilty man, but I do realize it is not my job or place to judge you at all. That is left up to legal authorities, and to your personal religious beliefs.

I wish you the best possible solution, and that you are at peace soon, no matter what the outcome is.

2/01/2006  
Blogger Virginia Simmons said...

It might be possible to take 'shotofcourage' comments more seriously if he had bothered to look up any facts at all, such as, say, Vernon’s name.

2/01/2006  
Blogger Daydreamer of Oz said...

I'm just curious as to why his traumatic childhood has anything to do with it if you are maintaining that he's not guilty.....

2/02/2006  
Blogger john said...

to daydreamer of oz An interesting point you make. Those who are violently abused in childhood, our development period, can be less able to defend themselves as adults. An adult who is a victim of child abuse as Vernon was,can maybe more easily be persuaded to "show remorse" when he had perhaps not done anything,in order to obey his lawyer who basically persuaded Vernon to lie(?) and plead guilty. Without interventive group therapy for serious child abuse such a person can be easily manipulated against their interests. In your heart of hearts, do you imagine that had Vernon had a very expensive private lawyer that that lawyer would have told his client to plead guilt and remorse ??!! I think his state appointed lawyer wanted to get rid of the Vernon Evans case as quickly as possible so they could get on with more lucrative private work.....??

2/03/2006  
Blogger Blue said...

John,

HOw do you then explain all the people who also had abusive & traumatic childhoods but who make better CHOICES & choose not to kill people?

2/04/2006  
Blogger Daydreamer of Oz said...

John,
I clearly don't see that as the issue as Virginia said, ('These facts would have played an important role during his sentencing trial.)' If he's not guilty, why should he be sentenced? Sort of reminds me of kids that will say they didn't do it BUT they had a really good reason for doing it and they should therefore not be in trouble either way.

2/04/2006  
Blogger Blue said...

aaahhhhh hedging ur bets!?!?!?!?

2/04/2006  
Blogger john said...

To bluebolt
1) I maintain that childhood abuse can weaken an adult's ability to defend him/herself adequately and be vulnerable to manipulation which seems to be the case in Vernon's case seen as legal manipulation. You will not hear this because you seem super anxious to see him executed whether he is innocent or not. His case was not fairly conducted. He should be given another trial in the light of the evidence of witnesses who said he was not the killer. These witnesses were not included at his trial. That is not fair.
2) Clearly you have zero knowledge of psychodynamics and projection an area you should research before making sweeping statements. Not only was I a victim and originally a patient for 5 years in group psychotherapy at St Bartholomews Hospital in London, but I am now a qualified and practising psychologist. A victim of serious childhood abuse will project without interventive therapy. How they project depends on a variety of social experiences and factors and many violent criminals have traumatic backgrounds that do not provide the foundation for living skills that you may have. Your question is rather like why do many victims of abuse try to or do commit suicide. I have already answered that question in a previous blog.

2/05/2006  
Blogger john said...

Daydreamer The point I am making is that a victim of serious childhood abuse and I am making the assumption that you agree that child rape and beatings are serious abuse which happened to vernon, means the adult does not know where the hell he is or whom he can trust when he becomes an adult. Such a person can be easily persuaded to lie by a (bad) lawyer and say he is guilty when he is not and witnesses said he is not and those witnesses were excluded from his trial. That is not fair.
I can well believe that vernon did not know who to trust and did what the lawyer told him to do which was to show "remorse" and say that he was guilty whether he was innocent or not. That was evidently not in his interests. Another point for bluebolt is that if psychodynamics is so easy and simple to understand then why do hospital-run psychotherapy groups last typically between 3 and 5 years and sometimes longer?

2/05/2006  
Blogger john said...

one further point is that heroin addiction, and other forms of drug taking, are not infrequently seen in childhood abused patients who try to blot out the intolerable pain of child abuse. It could be argued that Vernon's addiction to heroin is further evidence of the trauma he suffered of sexual and physical abuse as a child and the depth of damage that those abuses caused him. All victims of serious long term child abuse suffer, and suffer terribly. "Trust" goes out of the window. Please do not mis understand my words. I am putting these statements into the context of Vernon's evident inability to adequately defend himself that I believe could have led him to "choose" to follow his (bad) legal advice at the original trial. "bluebolts" question of why all child abused adult victims do not kill is another matter. You will have to be patient because this is a highly complex area but I will try to give you an answer in short. I state that this is a general explanation and I am not saying that Vernon killed anyone. Intense anger (at long term serious child abuse), when suppressed and not expressed verbally can produce a variety of symptoms. For example,for many medical conditions there can be a psychosomatic equivalent. A child victim can have a suppressed immune system or any number of nervous afflictions even nervous heart conditions. The list is endless. These can disappear after psychotherapy because these "defenses" are not needed anymore. A victim can manifest any number of psychological defenses. And they can try to blot out the pain with drugs, alchohol etc.with its attendant problems.(self-sabotage) And they can commit or attempt suicide. Known as "Killing the wrong person." "Nice" people turn the anger inwards, "nasty" people turn it outwards. But what is "nasty" if the person has been taught by their abusing parents that violence is the normal way to express themselves? Without an interventive process they do not have the defense of altruism that you may have. If you had been raped and beaten over all your development period you would have a different view of the world. More so if you could not keep that anger expression purely verbal. Being "allowed" to be angry verbally is not every victim's facility yet without being able to express intense parental anger at rape and mental torture, there is no learning process. No way to move forward. Victims are locked in intense emotional pain. We can learn from such intense emotion pain but only if we are given the chance to do so which occurs in psychotherapy groups. These are not chat groups. They are hard work and very painful as intense memories are brought to the surface. There is not sufficient space here to cover all the points but I hope I have answered your question in part and given you food for thought. All victims will project. How they project depends on whether they have been given "fight" or not, and that is another subject all on its own.

2/05/2006  
Blogger john said...

To bluebolt I did miss a point of clarification of what I meant by projection ( there are many expressions of projection but I define in this context the projection to kill). You asked me to explain why all victims of serious child abuse do not kill. In all the many years I have been a psychologist I have never yet worked with a patient (who turns the anger inwards) who has not expressed suicidal feelings with their depression. Suicide is the angriest statement a person can make and the intensity of anger at childhood rape, exclusion, violence extreme cruelty and torture is intense enough to give rise to suicidal feelings in part to stop the pain and in part to express total rage. But to kill is to kill be it yourself or another person. Whether it is having suicidal feelings, attempting suicide or turning the anger outwards and killing someone else. The existence or absence of the defence of altruism can with other factors for example religious belief or mixed messages of sometimes loved sometimes abused determine whether the anger is projected outwards or inwards and to what degree but although I do not like generalising when it comes to people dynamics the sad fact is, that a significant number of seriously damaged child abuse victims feel like killing someone; themselves or others. They "all" do not actually do it but they can certainly feel like doing so. And that is an area that can be resolved in group therapy when expressed verbally, if the victim is given the chance to work in a group that is.

2/05/2006  
Blogger Blue said...

John

1. You have made a lot of assumptions without knowing anything about me, my history and the abuses perpetuated against me in my life.

2. Your psychobabble about anger turned either inwards or outwards would make some sense if the crimes perpetuated by Vernon were crimes of passion. If he had responded to an assault inappropriately because of his past then we wouldn't be having this debate. These were CONTRACT killings. He was paid. The crime was PREMEDITATED. Therefore any rationale of childhood abuse is arbitrary and irrelevant.

3. My issue is one of choice. Bad things happen to good people and vice versa in my patois: Shit happens. Everyone has choices. He had the choice to accept money to kill people or not. I'm not going into the drug addiction - I understand very well the numbing of pain. But you don't numb pain by killing other people. All that does is make more pain to be numbed.

My point is that everyone - regardless of the shit or lack thereof in their lives have CHOICES. Some people make bad choices - and when they get caught there are consequences. He did bad, got caught - take the consequences & stop crying ‘woe is me’. Accept that some people have bad shit happen but don’t make these choices. Some people have good lives and still make bad choices. Ultimately – he has lost the right to choose as a direct result of his past actions.

2/05/2006  
Blogger john said...

Bluebolt I had realised you had suffered by the way you first wrote. I am a well known psychologist which is why I went to the time and trouble of explaining projection and therapy to you. You asked me and I gave you that feedback. I would not have bothered if I had not identified you as a probable victim. If you now refer to the explanation as "psychbubble" then you are the loser. Samaritans would not agree with you and neither would psychiatrists. I offered you a way to therapy and you threw it back in my face carefully not "getting into" the difficult bits you did not like. By supporting the death penalty you are in a way a killer at heart which only serves to back up my statement that I have not yet met a serious child abuse victim who does not feel either suicidal (the most common)or feel like damaging someone else. Psychology can only help those who want to be helped. That is your choice.

2/06/2006  
Blogger john said...

Bluebolt Obviously you have not read my blog in a different section where I said that my brother was murdered by the same person who tried to kill me. (Knifed and headbeaten giving me epilepsy which is an ongoing problem) These crimes happened to me 40 years ago. I was then lucky enough (Vernon was not given this opportunity)a place as a patient on a hospital psychotherapy group for 5 years and I "chose," to use your word to go on to qualify as a psychologist and practice in the field. My attackers were my adoptive parents. What I tried to give you was not "psychobabble" but hard won insight. It's a pity you cannot hear the care I offered you.

2/06/2006  
Blogger Blue said...

John,

I do not support the death penalty.

The point that I have been trying to make (apparently with little success) is that individuals have choices. All actions from infanthood on involve choices - its how we teach children as parents and in our schools. If you do the wrong thing there are consequences and natural outcomes.

If a person chooses to take a particular course of action in a place where the consequences are very well known, then that is THEIR CHOICE and the consequences are the natural outcome.

Regardless of whether you agree with the consequence - if an individual makes a choice (albeit a bad one) then natural justice indicates that they suffer it.

People who have suffered abuses in their lives have a tendency towards being empaths. To use the abuse as an excuse for the cold blooded decision to take money for lives does not fit this picture.

Again - these were not crimes of passion.

2/06/2006  
Blogger john said...

1) Perhaps Vernon did not commit the crimes. There is evidence he did not. And while there is any doubt at all, he most certainly should not be killed. Plenty of "criminals" have admitted crimes for which later it was found that they were innocent and they falsely admitted the crimes for psychological reasons. I have talked at length in Vernon's case about bad legal manipulation affecting Vernon for psychological reasons about which the Courts obviously now concur as his execution has been stayed.
Choices? I have talked at length too about psychological factors that affect the way people behave. I am in clinical practice and you are not I believe. If you are interested in learning more on the topic of psychological factors and individual behaviour I suggest you read a balance of medical text and studies on the subject. I won't suggest titles or you will no doubt accuse me of bias so I will leave you to decide if you want to learn more and read a selection of studies. I will say this. Perception changes with group psychotherapy. If you change perception you increase the choices victims have. People who once were at risk of suicide, for example, after therapy are no longer at risk. To kill is to kill,whether it is to kill self or others I told you that. Ooops I'm getting into "psychobabble" and you do not like that do you.

2/06/2006  
Blogger john said...

Oh and one valuable point about Vernon is that he was "taught" to use your word throughout his childhood that child rape and violence that was inflicted on him is the way to communicate. There is witness evidence he is innocent of what he is accused of, but even if he were not, such an upbringing doesn't exactly widen the range of "choices", does it? If you think it does, see a psychiatrist quickly ! It is a question of the degree of damage and the perceptions that damage created.

2/06/2006  
Blogger UnderCoverAnna said...

"I'm just curious as to why his traumatic childhood has anything to do with it if you are maintaining that he's not guilty....."

That is a complete misinterpretation of the facts. Traumata suffered in childhood are admissible as MITIGATING circumstances by the same law that allows the death penalty. So, if the prosecution (and you) insist on a person being eliminated on grounds of an existing law, the person to be killed has the right to present facts about his case that may lead to a reduced sentence.
Mitigating circumstances do not prove or deny guilt; and, in my opinion, either the law is followed in its entirety, or it is not followed at all.
In Mr. Evans' case, the law was not followed correctly because the mitigating circumstances were not presented to the court.

2/21/2006  
Blogger UnderCoverAnna said...

Alright, what I have learned so far from this discussion is, that some individuals believe that empathy, pity, and understanding is solely reserved for themselves. Others do not deserve any kindness. The hurt others have experienced is contrived, while only their own is real.

2/22/2006  
Blogger UnderCoverAnna said...

bluebolt said:

"HOw do you then explain all the people who also had abusive & traumatic childhoods but who make better CHOICES & choose not to kill people?"

How do You explain then that not all relatives who have lost loved ones to murder choose killing the murderes?

I don't think there is a single valid answer to these questions, except maybe that in both cases someone chooses to kill someone else.

2/22/2006  
Blogger UnderCoverAnna said...

John said:

"No way to move forward. Victims are locked in intense emotional pain. We can learn from such intense emotion pain but only if we are given the chance to do so which occurs in psychotherapy groups. ..."

Am I way off, if I notice some of these signs in the realtives of murder vicitims?

In a way, they seem to be locked up in their pain, too, unable to cope with their pain in another way than "hurting in return." They, too, seem not to move forward in their grieving process.

2/22/2006  

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