Convicted on faked evidence, inmate says
People of West Virginia wonder why the prison system is so overcrowded. Allow me to explain. I was sentenced to life with mercy in 1984. I was under the old sentence, which meant that I was to do 10 years and then be eligible for parole. I recently saw the parole board again. This was my 16th attempt to make parole. Sixteen times up and 16 denials. I have been in prison for 30 years, and I have never had the chance for parole.
I even had my case back in court because the West Virginia crime lab's serology division fabricated evidence. They used fabricated evidence to convict me, yet the parole board will not even acknowledge this. Neither will they consider this and grant me parole. I am one of many that have life with mercy, yet the parole board continues to deny us parole. If an uneducated convict can see the main problem of overcrowding, why can the elected officials not? Or perhaps they do but we are a cash cow to the same elected officials.
I am now 61 years old, and even after completing numerous programs, the parole board retries me every time I go before them. I am not the same person that I was 30 years ago. The parole board uses public sentiment against me. I am not even paroling to the area that the crime was committed in. Neither is anyone writing to the parole board against me. The parole board assumes that the public does not want me out. Of course, we all know what happens when someone assumes something.
I have tried numerous times to retain a lawyer, but it seems as if they are afraid to challenge the state. Plus I am indigent and cannot afford one, and pro bono is almost unheard of in these matters.
I and others need help from someone. Those of us who continue to get resentenced by the parole board need help.
The jury recommended mercy. Why won't the parole board show a little of that mercy?
Robert C. Shrout