This has me completely freaking out. For years I have seen case after case, law after law, be ruled on or be passed which addresses people being sentenced to long stretches of time when they are very young. But all of these have had one of two exceptions which made them not apply to me. Either, they have not applied to people with first degree aggravated murder, or they have not applied to people who were 18 or older when they were charged. Each time one of these have come out, I’ve freaked out with happiness, then become depressed once I learned the truth of the matter.
This one, however, seems to be the real thing. So I’m putting this request out there to all of you. This does not just affect me.
If you know of an attorney or nonprofit who is interested in helping incarcerated people who were sentenced to Buck Rodgers time when they were under 20 years old file a PRP for re-sentencing and/or help with arguing for a reduced sentence at the re-sentencing hearing, please send me their contact info.
I cannot stress how much of a game changer this is for those of us who have long since squared ourselves with dying in prison. It is every bit as hard to then revise that understanding. I may not die in prison. It’s gonna take me a while to wrap my mind around that.
In the mean time, I can’t afford to wait til I’ve processed all my feels around this before putting in for it. The Washington State Supreme Court may not have put a time bar on it, but there is always another case coming down the pipeline that may shut it down. Time, as never before, is the enemy.
At the same time I am freaking out about this amazing news, there are many people now sitting in the place I’ve been stuck in for years. People arrested at 21, sentenced to a massive amount of time, and just barely missed by this case. I don’t know what can be done to support them beyond asking people to get involved. Write an email to a Washington state elected official. Picket he Washington State Supreme Courthouse when the next case that may help them comes up. If you have stability in your life, find yourself an incarcerated pen pal with Buck Rodgers time, write them on the regular, and send them like 10 to 20 bucks a month. If you’re an attorney, take a few cases pro bono each year.
Incarceration is debilitating and these are things that we literally can’t do for ourselves.