I am writing on behalf of a prisoner named William Peeples pin 109032 , who has been at the Vaiden location prison since 2004. He was given a 20-year term for rape and has served 17 years so far. Mr. Peeples has sent me an undated photocopy of an article titled Lum brings passion to prison reform, and in this article you expressed hope that with Mr. Burl Cain's appointment as the Prison Commissioner that Mississippi might see "rehabilitation rather than resignation." I note that you are a Christian and mention such an inconsistent treatment of prisoners in your state which is- in your words-- "one of the most Christian places in the world."
Mr. Peeples accepted Jesus as his savior after this crime was committed, and we were both baptized at the same time in our Baltimore Evangelical Christian Church in 2003. Since being incarcerated, Mr. Peeples has been a model prisoner and I know that his warden would concur as William has been entrusted to head up special projects in the prison and has been for years leading men to Christ through his Bible studies conducted there. I do know that William was not well represented at the time of sentencing as I know that he could not afford representation and was bullied into accepting a 20-year mandatory sentence or be sentenced to life. A couple years after William was in prison, Judge Gray Evans was working earnestly to get a sentence reduction but Judge Evans died before any further advocacy for Mr. Peeples could conclude. I will mention that Mr. Peeples turned himself in back in 2004 after consultation with me and church members. He could have continued living in anonymity in Maryland but did not.
I am impressed with your Hope Alliance and feel that at least you are someone I could write to petitioning for direction how to file this appeal with a parole board. Mr. Peeples has job skills and family in Mississippi. He would not be a fatality of the 70% recidivism. To use your own citation of Deuteronomy 25:2 " ...punishment must not be excessive." Seventeen years have already been served.
I live in Baltimore, a city deemed the worst place to live in America because of the killings and drugs and gangs that are out of control. It has gotten so bad that the Baltimore City DA Ms. Mosby has announced that she is not going to try drug cases anymore. She isn't going to try cases of what she calls petty crimes of drug possession or public urination or disorderly conduct. Criminals walk freely on the streets now making their drug deals. Murderers are given 10-year sentences, but my brother-in-Christ still wallows in your prison system. Mr. Peeples and I are in contact every month -- now for 17 years. He is a mature man in his 50s and not some kid with aimless values.
I am writing a similar letter to Mr. Burl Cain in the hopes that I can find favor with one of you.
1018 Jamieson Rd
Lutherville Md 21093
410 821 6666 landline
410 608 8505 C