My name is Henry Gorham; I am 45 yrs. old Black man.  I was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia.  I have been in prison going into my 29th straight years for charges I was falsely accused, charged and convicted of from a prison riot I had no involvement in...

The gist of my plea is to seek legal assistance professional or a good law student.  I am grateful to any help that are rendering to my plight in obtaining my release from incarceration.

Please allow me to give you a brief history on my past injustices and reason I'm still incarcerated illegal.  In 1975 I were convicted by an all white prejudice jury in Chesapeake Virginia and given 25 years for an robbery, the only evidence against me was I were black and had a scare on my face.  I was also convicted in Portsmouth Virginia an given ten (10) years in 1975 for a robbery I had knowledge of but didn't give up information or testify against a friend, so I were charged and sentence for the crime.  The above two (2) convictions caused my four (4) year probation to be revoked.  I enter the prisoner system at the age of 18 with a total of 39 years.  I had no formal education at the time.

In 1985 while in the corrupt state Virginia Penitentiary, I was within a year of being consider to be released on parole.  In April of 1985 a riot took place in the prison due to the abuse of prisoner, prisoner were constantly being beaten and having their food took as a way of intimidation and controlling their behavior.

On the morning of April 18th, 1985 while prisoner was going to breakfast that morning I were still in my cell in bed, everyone knew it were going to be problems even the administration whom did not take heed to the grapevine talk of a riot that morning.

All I was considering was I was within months of being released and it was best to stay in my room.  However, where the 15 minutes attack and assault was over, several guards had been assaulted and stabbed.

Inmates was picked and locked up at Ramadon, where they were in the yard or not, whoever a guard didn't like or had problems with in the past had his opportunity to get even with on this day.  Approximately 75 inmates were looked up for investigation...Mainly as a scapegoat.

I was one of the many that was placed on investigation by the state police.  Three months later the state police cleared me from the investigation, stating that I had no involvement in these assaults.

Two of the prisoner's that were found to be involved, I had had problems with them in the past, apparently they were upset and four (4) months later they were so desperate for revenge against me they told the administration they would testify and give name's of other involved.  By the administration being desperate to avoid the many lawsuits from the guards that got assaulted, they agree with those two (2) inmates, if they testify they will give them good time and transfer them out of state to a safe place.

Months later I was indicted and sent warrants of three (3) assaults through the mail.  One assault was dismissed and I was given twenty (20) years each on the other ones, a total of 40 year's, for a crime I never committed.  Even the guards whom I were convicted of assaulting knew me for years said they couldn't say it was me because a mask was on the person.

These two inmate's Robert Smith and Carlton Langford that testified/lied on me was my enemy of the past, they also testified on 8 or 9 more prisoners they were afraid of and didn't like.  There's no human way possible these two prisoners could be in 9 or 10 different part of the prison to see every assault they testified to, couple with their on admission they assaulted guards also.  They plead guilty and admitted they were involved, so how could they possible do their crime and witness 10 other people's with mask on during crimes at the same time?

Once I had been convicted, the corrupt Virginia department of corrections sent me out to various prisons all across the country and destroyed most of my legal material preventing me to appeal and missing the 21 days time limitation to get back in court.

Inmate Robert Smith later submitted an legal notarized affidavit to the Governor of Virginia, the Director of department of corrections, my attorney and the court's, that I did not have no involvement in the assaults, he admitted he lied on several prisoner that were convicted Just for the "good time" and other payments of favor's he received.

With the recanted testimony of Smith and the state police investigation report the court still refuse to let my appeal in due to no fault of mine but my incompetent drug addictive attorney, whom was also corrupt and a worker of the district attorney.  This lawyer intentionally let 21 days expire.  His mistake shouldn't cause me to spend my life and die in prison for a crime I never committed.

Every lawyer in Richmond Virginia knew the department was corrupted from the Director whom was selling transfers to less security institutional, to the guards who were the biggest drugs seller in the prison.  The two guards that lied against me was drugs dealer whom I had ripped off in the past.  Robert Smith was an serial rapist whom had four life sentence, no consciousness or nothing to lose by lying on me, this man had be convicted of 50+ crimes and stated 50 on the stand.  Needless to say, he was caught in several major lies on the stand which should have cleared me of these bogus crimes.

I now have legal documents to prove my innocent, but the problem is the court won't consider it or entertain it due to my attorney incompetent in intentionally allowing my 21 days time limitation past.

I seek any and all assistance or advice to obtain my release, for my other entire sentence is completed, the mention bogus charges are the only thing preventing me from my family.  Please Help!!

Respectfully Yours,

Henry Gorham


Henry Gorham #106110
Red Onion State Prison
P.O. Box 1900
Pound, Virginia  24279
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© Copyright 2003 Henry Gorham

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