Wednesday, November 29, 2006


A Mother's Plea

Last week, Joyce House, whose son Paul House has spent the last twenty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit, sent the following letter to Governor Phil Bredesen. With Joyce's permission we are reproducing the letter in its entirety here:

Governor Phil Bredesen,
I am writing concerning my son, Paul House, who has been on death row for twenty years for a crime that he did not commit.
At the time of his trial there wasn't DNA testing. He finally got a DNA test which proved that he didn't rape her - the semen belonged to her husband.
Two witnesses have come forward stating that the husband admitted that they got into an argument and he killed her. Four other witnesses have corroborated the details of their story in 2002.
The blood found on his jeans has been proven that it came from the vials of blood taken from the victim after her death. There were four vials of blood, only 2 1/2 vials can be accounted for now. Forensic experts have stated that the blood on the jeans is from those vials.
All evidence has been disputed. He won in the 6th Circuit (7-4) and the 6th Circuit sent it back and asked the state to do the right thing. They did nothing for two years, until four more judges were appointed, then they sent it back to the 6th Circuit stating they "respectfully decline." That wasn't right.
In June, the highest court in the country - the U.S. Supreme Court - stated that no jury in this country would have ruled against Paul if they had heard all the evidence. The actual quote is "no reasonable juror - viewing the record as a whole - would have lacked a reasonable doubt." When I heard that, I just knew Paul was coming home. I got his room ready, even made some of his favorite foods and put them in the freezer.
My son has M.S. and is desperately in need of medical treatment. I am still waiting for him to come home, but instead he is still sitting in prison, because the courts won't admit they have made a mistake. They just keep doing nothing.
I feel that Paul has received two death sentences. One, the state of Tennessee can rectify.
Not knowing where else to turn, I am asking you as the head of our state to step up and say "enough is enough" and grant Paul a full pardon.
Please, Governor Bredesen, do the right thing and give my son back to me, so he can be home for Christmas.
I'll be anxiously awaiting your reply.
Joyce House
* * *
You can all help get Joyce's son home for Christmas. Write to Governor Bredesen at:
Governor's Office
Tennessee State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243-0001
Tell him:
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has said that Paul House is not guilty
  • The lower courts have ignored the deadlines for their rulings
  • Paul House suffers from a degenerative illness and is getting sicker
  • Regardless of one's opinion about the death penalty, it is wrong to hold an innocent man on death row
  • Please issue a full pardon for Paul House

For more information about Paul House's case, click here, or attend the December TCASK Chapter meeting in your area, where we will be watching the 60 Minutes story on Paul House and writing to the Governor.

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