Convicting the Innocent

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Personal / Stories / Others‘ /
@ K. 2006 01 02

One thing I like about living among blue collar people is that, despite talking to few people of any kind, I have met more people of the kind movies could be made of than one would likely find among doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers … For example, I loved becoming friends with my matricide (previous post).

I know a fisherman I find interesting: he fishes Lake Jackson everyday, all day, and many a night, from shore. He fishes three or four lines at a time, all but one of them live bait that he lets sit while he casts and jigs one rod using an artificial lure. The first dozen times I saw him he was fishing a particular stretch of shore. There’s a broken plastic chair under a tree, screening him from much of the world at his back. Northward for a few hundred feet is marshy grass, southward a few hundred feet of sea wall, footing a restaurant parking lot. The water is shallow there: waist deep for a ways, then shoulder deep for a good way further. That stretch of shore, like much of Lake Jackson’s shoreline, used to be very weedy but no longer; not since the town stocked the lake with grass carp. The carp have eaten the hydrilla and the spatterdock and the cattails: everything, leaving only roots and stumps, all my wonderful habitat, bass hiding places, breeding grounds, ambush points … gone. Game fish will move to shallow water to spawn. Game fish will visit shallow water for a quick snack. But unless there are abundant hiding places — such as weeds — in the shallow water, game fish don’t ordinarily stay there long. I fished those same shallows when it was weedy; I’d seldom visited them when the water was bare: or “scenic” as the Sebring Chamber of Commerce likes to think of it. I’ll visit the area for a quick coulple of casts because it’s so convenient: the bit of shore closest (by road) to my house.

On occasion, with the right gear, one will catch a gigantic carp. Seeing this guy’s stringer I also now realize that respectable-sized bass also pay spot visits, apparently throughout the year.
another draft should smooth this out

This fellow’s name is Dan. He’s an adult, I don’t know how old, but not old, not in his sixties, maybe not in his fifties. With wavy blondish hair on the full side and a good build, he looks great casting his lure, lobbing a shiner or blue gill under a bobber, or throwing his cast net. His technique with the net is elaborate, and effective. He maintains a styrofoam bait well with a battery powered aerator, always chock full with bluegills, chubs, shiners … No minnows, his net having the same mesh as my cast net: too big for minnows.

Screened by his tree I could have passed him a hundred times without noticing him. But once I spotted him as I was casting lures from the sea wall, I now go out of my way to see if he’s there.

We talked, friendly enough, talk never interfering with fishing. Then I felt like I was intruding on him, stayed further away. I judged that not unlike me he liked best to be alone: alone with his fishing.

Periodically he’d be visited by his girl friend in her car. Periodically she’d come by, her work shift across the street ended, and he’d pack all his stuff up in minutes. Apparently they live in Arcadia, a good hike from here (and leveled by the hurricane).

The other day there was a knock at my door. Holy chaos, it was Dan. That’s right, it came back to me: talking about dipping shiners I’d told him that I had a whole tub full of shiner chum (pig food), told him where I lived, told him he was welcome to help himself.

I invite him in. He courteously leaves his cigarettes outside. And we chat. I guess he feels comfortable with me, because all of a sudden he tells me his life’s story.

He’d done time. Hard time. He’d been convicted of armed robbery.

It turns out that one of the people robbed hadn’t testified before or at the trial. Dan had been picked out of a lineup by one of the victims. But when the other victim was called, after Dan had been in jail for years, they were put face to face in a review of the trial.

“Can you positively identify the man who held a gun on you?”
“Yes I can.”
“Will you point him out here in the court room?”
“No. I can’t, because he’s not here.”

Now Dan still has to go back to jail while his release is arranged.

“Now you don’t hold anything against the state, do you son, for our little mistake?”

“No comment,” says Dan.

Dan likes to catch those carp. The law requires that they be released. (Though if I were Dan, what further should I have to do with the law?)

I saw Dan, I told him that I’d told his story, I showed him the above, and invited him to correct or expand. He accepted it as it is. Then I was myself in jail. Then the water level of the lakes is so low I haven’t seen him at all. I want to tell him what happened to me!

2016 08 12
Guy’s finally ordered out of jail after a false conviction, happens again and again. One thing I wish to point out, far from for the first time, that from the standpoint of ther terrorizing state, it doesn’t matter whether the incarcerated are guilty of anyting — was Jesus guilty of insurrection? yes and no — the power of the state to destroy individuals is till manifest. It doesn’t much matter who gets tortured on Calvary, those standing around are cowed.

Stories by Age by Theme by Others

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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