“May 4, 2020
Edna Peirce Dixon
The Honorable R. David Proctor
Hugo L. Black United States Courthouse
1729 5th Avenue
North Birmingham, AL 35203
Dear Judge Proctor,
This letter is a follow-up to the email I sent last week. The email contained this link: http://chng.it/KvKG4h7D to a petition entitled: “Non-violent offender with devastating illness should be granted compassionate release.”
I helped prepare this petition on behalf of Robert M. Evans, Case # 5:08 cr 242-009. This petition now has nearly 1000 signers and has garnered a wealth of support from many quarters, including the leaders and members of the activist organization, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, FAMM.
Out of this network, Robert Evans’ wife (Jennifer), has finally found the supportive ear from United Freedom Coalition’s co-founders Ori Spado, Professor Coffie and Dr. Jordan Schaul and fellow advocates of their “Compassionate Freedom” movement. Through their effort and others Mrs. Evans, on behalf of Mr. Evans and their family, has a voice in several national media outlets.
Jennifer now has the platform to speak truth to power that would otherwise never be available to her. Since Jennifer has also received notice of your denial of her husband’s emergency petition for compassionate release, we have now ramped up our petition, strengthened our appeal and given it a new title: “Free Robert Evans NOW! Court denied emergency compassionate release during Covid-19.”
Your honor, I have read your denial of Robert Evans’ emergency petition for a compassionate release. The court was given strong compelling truthful facts about the seriousness of Mr. Evans’ medical needs and the inability of the BOP to provide those needs, and yet the court still denied his only chance for survival. This tells me that disregard for the innate value of human life is still part and parcel of the hypocrisy and corruption within the ranks of our Southeastern State and Federal court systems.
I am well aware of Robert Evans’ case and clearly see there is no balance whatsoever between the magnitude of his crime; his actual threat to public safety; the obscene life sentence for a non-violent crime, especially in comparison to others involved; and the monumental cost in human suffering and excessive strain on financial resources the court has chosen to heap upon this man and his family.
Then there’s the Constitutional issue of “cruel and unusual punishment” not to mention the hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars it costs to keep Mr. Evans and others like him even unto death in a Federal Medical Center as cash cows for the BOP.
Why am I speaking out? As a white, classically liberal, fiscally conservative southerner raised on the strong values of my Christian ancestors, I grew up in segregated Georgia in the 1940s and 50s. I know first-hand what fear and prejudice and the “good old boy” system looks like. I’ve seen the good, bad, and indifferent in all segments of the population. I mostly know how political pressure and social conditioning can make even well-meaning people of conscience act and react in ways that totally contradict our fundamental moral principles.
For most of my life I was as ignorant and complacent as the average American; I was too busy being a Registered Nurse, a wife, mother and grandmother to notice the rot that festered right under my nose – the corruption at every level of our political and criminal justice systems. In my old age, a twist of fate took me down a different path and shook my complacent spirit to the core. It was never my intention to become an activist, but the fact is, for people of conscience, once we know a wrong, we cannot unknow it. We are compelled to act, and when we have made an egregious error, we must follow a higher law and do what we can to rectify that error.
Your Honor, the die is cast now. Mr. Evans’ loyal, loving, and persistent wife has finally connected to the national media. All she has ever wanted is to bring her husband home so that she can personally take care of him and see that he gets the surgery and specialized care needed to remove the deep bone infection that is killing him. I know and God knows the BOP cannot and will not do what is required to save Robert Evans’ life. Now you know too, and soon, the rest of the world is going to know and will be watching.
So once again I implore you to reconsider; say the word that will bring justice and closure to this family and set an example we can all honor.
Edna Peirce Dixon, RN
(Advocate, Mother & Grandmother)
cc: Russell E. Penfield, U.S. Attorney
Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor
William P. Barr, Attorney General”