- Published on Thursday, 16 December 2010 05:23
- Written by Advocates For Ajay
Dear Family, Friends and Well Wishers:
Happy holidays to you in this season of thanksgiving and celebration. May you and your families experience the love and joy of the season throughout the coming New Year.
I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am for your love, support and kindness this past year. Thank you very much for your letters and gifts, your attendance at the marches and press conferences, and for signing the petition of support. In spite of the difficulty, we are making progress in exposing the unfairness in the Yolo County Justice System.
The months of October, November and December are especially hard for me because of the holidays -- when families spend time with their loved ones. Being separated from my wife Peggy and children, Kishan and Jahnu, whom I miss so much, is painful but even more so during the holidays. I often feel despondent sitting here in my tiny cement cell - so alone - and there are times when I feel my despondency will overtake me. Yet over and over again God rescues me. With God’s help and your love and support I always find my way back to hope.
I’ve been incarcerated now for one and a half years. The days are very challenging mentally, physically and emotionally. There is not one day that goes by that I don't reflect on the wasted time, money, burdened lives and crushed spirits caused by one accuser's false allegations and a failed justice system. The accuser’s allegations did not have any merit yet the prosecution got their convictions. How did this happen? The Davis Vanguard, an internet news source, has been reporting on the Yolo County DA's "Cash for Convictions" program that motivates its prosecutors to overcharge defendants, zealously pursue weak cases and sentence those convicted to harsh and lengthy sentences. It’s all about money, personal agendas and devaluing life, not about justice or public safety. Now, it is up to us to make the needed changes to our broken justice system. To quote Mahatma Ghandi , “Be the change you want to be in the world.”
Writing to you is always difficult not only because of the nature of my conviction, but because I want to openly discuss the details with you. But with a pending appeal, I have to practice restraint and caution. The challenge is how do you prove a negative – something that never happened? The prep work for the appeal process is currently at its peak. My appellate attorney and a team of advocates are accomplishing a tremendous amount of work. The filing of my appeal has been delayed because the trial record for the appeal is missing some important documents and must be "settled". The filing is now expected to be early 2011.
I am still not allowed to have contact visits with my sons, which is unbelievably difficult and unnecessarily cruel. Also, last July we lost our cat Kaya who was 14 ½ years old and our dog Raja who was almost 15. They were more than loving pets, they were like our children giving us so much while asking so little in return. We miss them dearly! I am trying to make the best of my situation, though, and have been volunteering to teach mathematics to some of my fellow inmates and have also been working as an education clerk. This has been gratifying as there are so many here who are in need of help but resources are limited.
It’s bewildering how tragedy brings us to journey to a place we wouldn’t otherwise ever discover…it’s that place…that deep side of our inner self where we learn not just about the world but about ourselves. In life, we sometimes endure so much pain and suffering but, I try to remind myself that our inner strength is that spirit living within us.
You have all been a tremendous blessing to my family and me. Thank you so much for all that you’ve done. I sincerely ask that you continue to give your support by either signing the petition on Change.org; educating the public about the gross miscarriage of justice that is taking place in the Yolo County District Attorney’s office; keeping the public and media aware of my case via advocatesforajay.com; participating in peaceful marches; and/or writing me at your convenience. Your letters help sustain me.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and may your home always be a refuge for your family’s love and a harbor for your deepest prayer.