A prison letter from Richard Flood
Inhuman conditions in women's prisons
On behalf of myself, my family, and our legal defense
team, I would like to express our sincere and deeply held gratitude and
appreciation for your continued support (See Aug.-Sept. and Nov. 2002 N&Ls).
On April 25, 2003, in a 3-0 ruling, the Appelate Court (Third District) of Illinois issued an order reversing my conviction and sentence based upon a legal technicality, namely, that there is a likelihood that the jury was swayed by inadmissible evidence, and remanding the case for a new trial. Now we must wait 21 days to see if the State files a petition for rehearing or an intent to seek review by the Supreme Court. If the State does neither, then seven days after the 21-day period I will return to the county jail.
We have made the first successful step towards my release from custody. This is nonetheless a bittersweet victory, inasmuch as, had getting out of jail been my main point, I would have accepted the State's original "deal" and been home in December 2001.
We still have a ways to go, as evidenced by the Appelate Court's ruling, in particular their refusal to vindicate and release me outright based upon our insufficiency of evidence claim. Their finding is illogical and exposes an inherent contradiction. It credits the State's theory of the case on the one hand as it pertains to my use of force in defending my wife and myself from attack against multiple armed assailants under the influence of illicit drugs, as to one assailant, and rejects the same theory as to the other assailant.
The State's version of the incident directly conflicts with ours, and therefore, if I were acquitted of the charges related to one assailant, it stands to reason that our version was deemed more credible. How then does the Appelate Court, and the jury for that matter, turn around and credit the State's version of the same incident with regards to the other assailant?
Further, in reversing and remanding the entire case on said legal technicality, the Appelate Court stated that it "need not reach Richard's remaining arguments on appeal," namely, the trial judge's and State's blatant misconduct, vindictiveness, and political bias openly displayed throughout this ordeal. All of that has been conveniently wiped off the slate, as if it had never happened. In effect, the State gets another bite at the apple, and the opportunity to better conceal their animus towards me during this exercise in futility.
It stands to reason that if and when I am remanded for a new trial, the State will attempt to negotiate another "deal" in exchange for a guilty plea, such as "time served," which is the same type of unscrupulous deal the State offered to Aaron Patterson, while knowing beforehand that George Ryan was set to pardon him for a double murder he did not commit.
My family and friends want me home and couldn't care less whether or not the State vindicates me. I am left contemplating whether or not standing upon principle alone equates to all that we have to endure for even a semblance of true justice.
Still, none of those cops, judges or lawyers were present at that gas station on the time and date in question. I was, and I know in my mind and heart that my only intentions were to protect my wife and get her out of harm's way. I believe that I was well within my natural rights as a human being. Further, regardless of my previous record, I also believe that I was within my legal rights as a citizen.
However, it appears that a former political prisoner and revolutionary activist doesn't enjoy these rights in the U.S. Perhaps I should humble myself, take the deal, and then try to get a pardon from some scandal-plagued governor.
In solidarity, Richard Flood
Published by News and Letters Committees