Thursday, June 18, 2009

Why March for the Wrongly Convicted on 27 June

In states across the nation, people will march to raise awareness for wrongful convicitons. Here are some thoughts from Joel, Todd's younger brother, as Joel reflects on the upcoming march and what it means to someone with a loved one wrongly incarcerated. Joel has visited Todd in prison well over 200 times. He speaks with Todd daily, and they write each other regularly.

A little over two years ago (March 26, 2007) the following passage appeared in a letter my brother sent to me from prison, “These words appear on the page of their own volition, with no apparent means of scribing, written, as they are, by a ghost. What else do we call a consciousness that continues on after it has been separated from the life that once contained it?”

In a way, I have become a medium, communicating with a ghost, as it were, at regular intervals. Like many ghosts, my ghost is confined to a limited space - trapped in a purgatorial state, existing somewhere between this world and the next. I see my ghost twice a week, just outside a small ghost town near Pueblo, in a small grey room, in a dull grey building designated as a warehouse for uncouth spirits. Some of the ghosts there will get a chance at what all ghosts’ desire – a chance at resurrection. Others won’t.

Once a family member becomes a ghost, the irreconcilability of their still vibrant soul restricted to a dreadfully limited existence forces the medium to become a voice for their spirit. You realize that your actions become theirs, and your ability to advocate for their needs is your ghost’s only means of haunting the world from which they have been forcibly detached. To that end, I’m excited about being able to take part in the freedom march next week. Anytime I feel like I’m able to support my brother helps me to feel a little better about the current position we find ourselves in. Thanks ahead of time for anyone who is able to march with us. We’ll be marching for a population that can’t, the ghosts that exist just outside our cities and rarely get the chance to have their voices heard from within the confinement of purgatory.

Remember to check out the details on the Freedom March nationally at in Colorado at


Marcia McGuire said...

Awesome. Brother love. Pure love.

Joel is a shining example of how a sibling truly loves and supports. Joel and Todd are fortunate to have one another. As parents, both of you must be very proud. Through the hardship, genuine love always triumphs.

Fortunate. A strong family unit is rare these days.


Doc said...

When the book finally comes out, I'll be in line to buy a copy, just for the quality of the prose.

Doc said...

When the book finally comes out, I'll be in line to buy a copy, just for the quality of the prose.