A Cry For Help

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is James M. Bullock and my home has been Powhatan Correction Center for the last 16 years.  First let me tell you of my story.  I have been in prison since 1982; doing a total sentence of 154 years for robberies and malicious wounding plus gun usage on top of that I did have a parole violation because of those crimes.  Since then I have had four parole hearings in 93, 96, 97 and 98.  My residence has been here at Powhatan Correctional Center for the last 10 years.  All of this time, I am thinking and preparing myself for the return to society, as an abiding member of society.  Doing my stay here I have become a model prisoner knowing that it would help doing my parole hearing and since then my way of thinking had totally changed.

Each year I came up in front the board with sincerity, honesty and the hope from God that they too would see the difference n me.  Yet after each hearing there was a mandatory waiting period; each time it took a little more time for them to decide my fate.  In 93 it took them only a week to denial me my freedom, along with a “three year deferral”; so once again my hopes were tested, yet never my heart… I knew along with the warden the officers and the inmates that I had live for 20 years knew I had changed.  My next parole hearing was in 96 with a good chance that I would indeed make it this time.  They took a little longer to make their decision and it once again came up “denial” because of the “serious nature of the crime” for what I had done.

I can never change the past, I hold regrets, sorry and pain for my actions as long as I live; if I could change back the hands of time you would never know my name or I would never be hear now… praying that someone would listen to my plea and hear what is truly in my heart.  So things began to look good for me in 1998; my heart was filling with joy… I prayed to the almighty to please let them look at the man and not boy who once existed but has now long gone.  The first week of my parole hearing was great!!  It was the first week of June things appeared so good that I knew parole was inevitable; that I began ordering copies of my medical records to take with me home.  Everything was in order; I had a place that would take me in (STEP UP INC. of Norfolk, whom had written the parole board with recommendation on my behalf).  They would help me find a job, in the printing field since that what I been doing for the last 10 years or training for another position.

Bottom line they would help me whatever it took.  All of this was than presented to the parole board, all of my certificates, letters and awards that I had earned and worked hard for; over the past years.  Yet this time was different, one week past than two, than a month past and no decision was made from the board; finally in August of 98 they came to their decision “denial” but unlike the last 3 times I had only to wait until next year, I was devastated.  I had worked so hard to turn my life around, couldn’t they see the changes in me.  I would grateful for the fact that at least they gave me one year to wait instead of three.  I took a deep breathe; help my head up and prayed to the almighty to just give me a chance, to just let me show them, my family and society that I have indeed changed.  Determine to believe injustice and honesty and that I would never give up my hope.

Than I received a letter stamped “Legal Update” from Richmond, the Correctional Department Legal Office.  These updates are sent to inmates all the time I have them back10 years, before I came here to Powhatan.  But this one was different from the rest; my heart stop beating as I read the words that stabbed me until I felt numb… the words stated that a MISTAKE HAD BEEN CORRECTED; the correction was as follows that I would not go before the parole board until the year 2040… as my mind tried to grasp the words… it went on to say that they were applying a law that went in affect on July 1, 1982.  Words cannot say what I felt… how could they do that to me… without a hearing or review they totally changed my sentence from life to death?!!!!  They said the mistake was made with every update (even though they had two clerks checking behind each other to verify that all information was correct.)  So now they are saying to me that for 20 years and countless updates that I had in my belongings and after countless Clerks (over the 20 years) that had check and recheck that it was a mistake and that they now can apply this law to me and not have to answer to anyone.  All these years of hope and striving to be the best I could be, allowing me to hold on to the fact that one day I would be released… Gone all gone my questions to you is… can the do this to me?  It was not my fault that they over look this law (if it is truly a law) without first… having a review or hearing on such a harden matter.  I had been paying for my mistakes for 20 years… All I have gone thru is left unnoticed while they can changed there mistakes with a few words and it is okay.  I was not given life in prison, nor was I given a death sentence… yet I somehow ended up with one.

I have spent a quarter of my life in prison and do not want to die here.  I have never killed anyone stabbed anyone; my crimes were burglary and robbery.  Yet in correcting their mistake it now destroys any chance of me ever getting out alive.  I have written to many agencies, which say I have a really good case… but for one reason (resources… or the time to pull up my case) no one is willing to take that time.  But one agency actual told me that they did not want to take on the system.  If they can’t fight for us… who will…? Who has the time and the will to fight a just case for the people that are deal unfair hands and have to live with other people mistakes?  There has to be someone willing to stand with me and fight for my rights.

I am 44 years now and by the time 2040 come I will be 84 years old and due to health complication and the changes in my good time credit the year now becomes 2048.  I need a car… a heart… someone to listen to me… some of the agencies I have talked with tell me that a lot of research must be done… and are unable to go into a court room on my behalf.  That is what I truly need… someone to stand up in court and fight for my freedom… and to fight for justice.  If I had the money to do so; without a doubt I would not be free or wouldn’t be written you with my plea of injustice.  Understand me… when I say this…I am not making excuses for what I had done in the past… There is no justification for my behavior; I cannot change or give back what I have taken from those I have offended.  But I have given a quarter of my life for my mistakes.  I am asking for help… no that the wrong word… I am praying that some agency, school or lawyers would understand my plea and find it in there heart to help me.  Most agencies for the past two years have stated that since I am in prison that there is nothing anyone can do.  Yet I will not give up hope… I will not give up my faith for fairness or my fight for justice.  My question to you is… can you help me… can you take the time to look into my case… There is unfairness here… I just need someone to help me to prove it.  Or to aim me in the direction I need to be. I am truly desperate and need help.  Thank you for listening to, and for taking the time to hear my cry for help.

James M Bullock #1052430

Greensville Correctional Center

901 Corrections Way
Jarratt, VA 23870-9614

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