The Innocent Man is a beloved man in prison for a crime he did not commit. He was only months away from his college graduation, dream job, and wedding, but everything was stolen with a false accusation.
I asked the Innocent Man to write a blog post. Many people still pray for him and ask how he is doing. Faithful Christians visit him, send cards and letters, and help purchase items he needs. We’re very thankful for the ongoing love and support. Our family could not have walked this journey alone.
The pain has subsided from a stabbing wound to a constant throbbing, like a toothache. I haven’t blogged about it much because of the pain and because of the appeal underway. I also grew weary from the things Christians said when I talked about the agony of having him wrongfully imprisoned.
“Are you sure he’s innocent?”
“He should be like Paul and Silas. They rejoiced in their chains.”
“What if he really did it? The jury found him guilty.”
“Joseph was in jail. This is part of God’s plan.”
Yes, I know this is part of God’s plan. But walking in this is so very hard. When he was in country jail, the same jail that “accidentally” killed two inmates in the previous year and another a few months after his time there, I had to find a way to get insulin delivered to him for his diabetes, even though I live 1900 miles away. Then I had to listen to the jail’s lawyer tell me the Innocent Man couldn’t have four shots of insulin a day as prescribed by his doctor, because their policy was to only give two. I learned to buy socks and sweatshirts from special prison mail order catalogues. I learned to put money in his account so he can buy personal items like toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and an occasional snack.
We lived through the prison almost killing him. He fell into a diabetic coma, but the night guard was sound asleep. For 45 minutes prisoners tried to rouse the Innocent Man and the guard, but to no avail. We thank the Lord for sustaining his health and his life. I’m also thankful for the medical personnel that daily care for him, despite their many regulations that affect how they can perform their duties.
The Innocent Man continually trusts in the Lord and doesn’t allow the iron bars to imprison his soul.
A picture taken when I visited the summer of 2013. I thought this pic was a deal at $3.
I was wrong. At the time he made $.12 per hour, that’s the equivalent of someone
who earns $9.47 minimum wage in WA paying $236.75 for the picture.
The devotional from the day I visited.
LETTER FROM THE INNOCENT MAN:
January 20th, 2012, approximately 1:00pm, the jury came back into the courtroom. The verdict? “Guilty.”
My lawyers told me not to show any emotion. I lowered my head and began to cry as silently as I could. Absolute fear raced through my body. As I stood up to be handcuffed, I turned around to get a last glance of Mindy and the rest of my many friends and loved ones in attendance. I was told to turn around by the bailiffs as they walked me out of the courtroom.
My life was over. I wanted my life to be over. Jesus, please come! I had lost everything! I was going to prison! I can’t begin to describe the fear that consumed me.
On April 20, 2012, I was sentenced to eight years in prison. Before the judge announced my sentence, my lawyers had me sign papers to get my appeal started. I can remember the judge saying, “Mr. _________, you are an outstanding citizen, but I have to please the courts and the public…I hereby sentence you…”
They had asked me where I would like to be sent. I told them my choice, however, God wanted me somewhere else. On April 25, 2012, I arrived at Dxxx Correctional Institution. It was a cold, steel fortress – a maximum security prison. It’s where all inmates go after sentencing to be classified. You get evaluated, tested and they determine if you have any program or special needs.
On July 24, 2012, I moved to Sxxxx Correctional Institution. Fear still overwhelmed me. My prayers were without ceasing.
“Lord, please open us these doors.”
“Lord, please set me free.”
“Lord, please help me find fellowship.”
My prayers were about ME.
Still fighting fear and loneliness, I started a couple of Bible studies with different men. People started to notice that there was something different about me. Many, many times men and staff members made comments.
“Why are you always smiling?”
“Why are you so happy?”
“There’s something different about you.”
“You shouldn’t be in here, should you?”
“You don’t have to tell me why you’re in here, but I KNOW you’re innocent.”
The Lord was showing and teaching me something.
Daily I prayed for my freedom. “Lord, please open the doors.” I was still praying for ME.
I had several Bible studies going. I talked about the Lord Jesus to whoever would listen or with anyone who had questions. I was spiritually blessed when a man named Nick approached me with a question. “With all the bad things I have done, how could the Lord ever forgive me?”
I replied with tears flooding my eyes, “The Lord is in the business of forgiving sins.” We started reading the Scriptures together and I shared the Gospel with Him. The next day, they took Nick to segregation (the hole) for a rule violation. While Nick was in segregation he wrote me a letter telling me he had been reading the Bible everyday, all day, and that he had accepted Christ as his Savior. Praise God!
My prayers changed a little bit, but they were still about ME. When was God going to get me out of this awful place?
“Please, open the doors to my freedom.”