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.
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.