What About Josh?
In Pursuit Of Justice
What does it say about the American Judicial system when a state can mind game a 17 year old boy (Joshua Stump) into a 2nd degree murder / 75 year plea bargain when all the boy did was refuse to go back with a friend (Robert Anderson) to steal a car?
†††† Robert went back alone, got into a shoot out, killed one resident, wounded another, and was mortally wounded in the process. Now, how, without completing due process or bearing the burden of proof did the State of Oklahoma managed to slip this one by Josh who was 190 yards away when the shooting started?
†††† For several months, they screamed for the death penalty (even though as more facts came to light they knew they couldnít get it). The defense lawyers from the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System (OIDS) failed to file a motion for a change of venue, so when the case was ready to go into trial they ended up with a biased jury, nurtured by several erroneous newspaper articles.
†††† To make matters worse OIDS ran out of funds ,were unable to appropriate anymore at that time and could not get the specialists (DNA, Blood Splatter, Ballistic etc.), to come to trial and present their findings . The DA who was aware of OIDSís problem and whose star witness made a drastic change in testimony still knew how to counterpunch by offering a second degree murder and a 75 yr. plea bargain. However if he wanted to take the 1st degree murder to jury he was looking at the death penalty or life without parole.
The defense lawyers neglected to inform Joshua about the financial problems. They did manage to tell him that if he took the 75 yrs. that he would probably do 7-9 yrs (if he didnít have to defend himself along the way) and that was the best deal he was going to get. If you were 17 and as misinformed as this young man was, what would you do?
†††† Now, some six years later, Oklahoma has the nerve to try this again. Because this young man was successful in defending himself in a everyday prison scenario which is hurt or be hurt, they think Josh should plead for 5 more years.
†††† Once again, using their mind game tactics, the State of Oklahoma are willing to run this extra 5 years concurrent with the 75 years that he didnít deserve in the first place. The other option provides by the State dictates that he can take it to a jury.
†††† However the State tells him heĎs looking at 10 to Life if he goes that route.
†††† Is that the way that America spells Justice?
†††† Are you really innocent until proven guilty?
†††† Does it cost more of your life to dare exercise your rights?
†††† Is this what the forefathers had in mind?
†††† Yes, What about Josh?
†††† Right the wrong Oklahoma.
†††† For those of you who have been following the What About Josh letters and wrote it off as just another grieving mother, Yes you are right , it is a grieving mother, but itís still the truth. . If we have your fax number, please read the following documentation. If not, please reply by email or fax and we will provide the documentation if you would like.
†††† There has been an update since this last letter was written.
†††† On August 21st at 10 am the Assault and Battering case against Joshua Stump was dismissed, leaving only one injustice (the biggest one) to deal with. We are making substantial progress and we thank all the people who have aided in this effort to Right the Wrong.