Nushawn Williams Verdict

This afternoon I received this email from OMSJ’s Clark Baker, about the Nushawn Williams Civil Commitment verdict in Buffalo:

Nushawn just called me – he said that the jury deliberated for 25 minutes before finding him guilty. I told him that there are a lot of constitutional problems with the law and that we will be involved in his appeal. He’s very down – says that his life is over. I told him to keep the faith and that I am confident that the decision will be overturned on one of many grounds.

Baron, David, Nancy, and Rodney worked very hard on this case. Nushawn’s conviction had nothing to do with HIV or your assistance. The public perception was just too much to overcome.

This is a sad but not unexpected decision. It’s easier to put him away than explain to their white neighbors why they released him into their white community. After thirty years, this is the first time I’ve ever blamed racism for a conviction. I hope to never see it again.

–Clark

 

Editor’s Note:  “Civil Commitment” is an Orwellian law outside the law that sets up psychiatrists (“of all people,” as Clark notes) to evaluate whether prisoners who have already completed their sentences in prison, should be released. If said group of psychiatrists gives the nod, then the prisoner (having served his entire sentence, as Nushawn has) must remain incarcerated for life. 

About Celia Farber

Celia Farber is a journalist, author, and editor based in New York City, who grew up in Sweden and New York City. Farber has written on a variety of subjects for SPIN, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Harper’s, Salon, New York Press, and many more. In 2008, Celia Farber won the Semmelweis International Society’s Clean Hands Award For Investigative Journalism.

Comments

  1. David says:

    Hi .. I have followed this case by the interest aroused .. If there is a victory that is being demonstrated by electron microscope photographs that mr. Williams has nothing in his blood .. But for society from the impact of this case that would not interest him free to get out of jail because they consider it a sexual predator .. It is a small victory for him, at least you know that no murderer has a virus in his blood and live long years .. I hope one day not too far from the truth we have all this ..

  2. David Crowe says:

    There’s not even justice for white folks if you’re HIV-positive.

  3. Edward Lieb says:

    This really sickens me. There is no justice. Maybe “just us white folks.”

  4. An even further sense of being “finished before you’ve started” which you thought not possible but, once again, found possible.

  5. karlonwheels says:

    Scary.

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