[News] North Carolina Justice - By Eddie Hatcher, American Indian Political Prisoner

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Sat Jan 10 11:44:09 EST 2004

North Carolina Justice
Syndicated by Eddie Hatcher, Native American Political Prisoner
© 2004

Nineteen years. What is nineteen years? How much is 19 years of life worth? 
Rephrase - how much is 19 years of your life worth? Whatever your answer 
may be, it’s not enough.

What if you had to include in the 19 years, things like living through 19 
years under the strongman racist tactics of prison guards; dictating every 
single move you make; constantly badgering you; talking down to you; 
threatening you; destroying what few personal items you may have; forced to 
eat slop you wouldn’t feed your dog; all of this, day after day after day, 
for 19 straight years. Nineteen years of living in a real modern day 
torture chamber. Now, back to the third question, how much is 19 years of 
this worth? The answer remains - not enough. Millions! Tens of millions! 
Hundreds of millions! What?

Well, the state of North Carolina, if it’s governed by anyone with the 
least bit of decency, the least bit of integrity, the faintest whisper of 
Godliness, the smallest tiddle of their mother’s raisings, should open the 
state’s checkbook and begin writing all of the zeroes it can, to follow the 
largest digit to pay Darrell Hunt. Still, the state of NC could never 
reimburse Darrell for the hell, the vile, unimaginable hell this state has 
forced him to endure.

In 1984 Debbie Sykes, a copy editor for The Winston-Salem Journal and only 
25 years old, was raped and killed. Darrell was quickly picked up and 
charged even though there was no evidence whatsoever implicating Darrell to 
the crime. Racist attitudes being what they are in NC, especially in a city 
like Winston-Salem, it was not a difficult process for Forsyth County 
Prosecutor Tom Keith to get a conviction against Darrell. He was sentenced 
to life in prison, all alone proclaiming his innocence.

The NC Court of Appeals found some Prosecutorial Misconduct in his trial, 
albeit refusing to call it that, and gave Darrell a new trial. This time, 
the trial was moved to an even more redneck locale, Catawba County, home of 
Hickory, NC. Prosecutor Tom Keith, not wanting to take any chance for an 
acquittal, dreamed up a new, bizarre scenario claiming before God and the 
jury that Darrell had had two accomplices, thus, the reason there was no 
physical evidence linking Darrell to the crime. The jury quickly swallowed 
that larger than life turd and again, convicted Darrell. He was sentence to 
Life still proclaiming his innocence.

I know Darrell. We were housed at SCI back in 1991. It didn’t take a brain 
surgeon to know this man was innocent. It was written all over him. He 
appeared innocent, was innocent, but what makes this so disgusting is that 
Prosecutor Tom Keith knew as well Darrell was innocent.

In 1994 with the arrival of DNA Darrell filed to have the semen found in 
Sykes to be tested with his DNA. After lengthy and countless court battles 
where NC judges adamantly fought to block the DNA tests, the test was 
finally allowed and guess what? The semen found, the only semen found, in 
Sykes was without a doubt not Darrell Hunt’s. Since 1994, practically ten 
years now, even while knowing Darrell’s DNA was no match, Prosecutor Tom 
Keith fought tooth and nail to keep Darrell in prison.  Now, according to 
Keith, Darrell was not the one who raped Sykes, he just murdered her. For 
ten years Keith and the NC government placed obstacle upon obstacle in 
Darrell’s path, constantly putting up roadblocks, these racist, debased 
judges, refusing to allow the semen DNA to be checked against the state’s 
database. Eventually, just recently, the test finally happened and a match 
was found.

The match led to a man who Winston-Salem police had suspected in a rape in 
1985, the year after Sykes’ murder.  This past week the suspect was 
arrested for the rape and murder of Sykes, and upon his arrest he willingly 
admitted that Darrell was not even present when he raped and killed Sykes. 
You’d think Keith and judges across this state would be breaking their 
necks to get to the courthouse to order Darrell’s release. But the opposite 
ruled. Now, Keith said just because the suspect said Darrell had nothing to 
do with Sykes’ murder didn’t make it true. You may need to read that 
sentence again then think of all the so-called confessions Keith has jumped 
on in his career.

Being the forthright, upstanding man that he is, Keith submitted and agreed 
to Darrell’s release on Christmas Eve, stating, “He would have been up for 
parole in a few months anyway.”  He would continue to investigate until the 
February hearing to determine whether to re-try Darrell. But, Keith must 
have done a Christmas Day investigation as just days later Keith now wishes 
to meet and talk with Darrell about how sometimes mistakes are made.
No, no, no, Keith doesn’t need to talk with Darrell, somebody, like God, 
needs to talk to Keith. God needs to visit this evil, inquisition man in 
his sleep, knock him from his bed and explain the difference between a 
mistake and an outright malicious, spiteful, racist act like knowingly 
doing all of this to Darrell. He needs to understand how he used his office 
of public trust to obsessively seek out and slaughter an innocent man. God 
needs to tell him his children will suffer his evil. Then God needs to 
visit these judges and remind them of all the years they rubberstamped 
Keith’s sickening, destructive behavior and tell them they will now suffer 
the fate they allowed.

Are we suppose to be expected to have faith or respect for the judicial 
system in this state (not that I do, but there are some)? Are we suppose to 
have respect for these thieves who crept in the night like common street 
thugs to steal 20 years of Darrell’s life? I think not. Only when these 
very culprits have been beaten into the dirt and equally treated, mauled, 
badgered, will the justice minded people of NC ever consider giving the 
slightest semblance of respect to the so-called judicial system in NC. Just 
us, the NC motto.

Eddie Hatcher
PO Box 215
Maury, NC 28554

To learn more about Eddie and his case, write to Eddie; email the Justice 
for Eddie Hatcher Campaign at 
<http://us.f407.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=eddie_hatcher@hotmail.com&YY=90006&order=down&sort=date&pos=0&view=a&head=b>eddie_hatcher at hotmail.com 
or write us at

Justice for Eddie Hatcher Campaign
PO Box 381627
Cambridge, MA 02238-1627
<http://us.f407.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=eddie_hatcher@hotmail.com&YY=90006&order=down&sort=date&pos=0&view=a&head=b>eddie_hatcher at hotmail.com

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