Hand written note from Jermane Scott, May 2016 ‘I place the remainder of my life in your hands’ Please Help me
The Ringleader or The Scapegoat
To strengthen the Prosecutors case against me he devised a story that I was some kind of Ringleader over Mike and Terry. The truth is they were just two young guys that I hung out with from time to time (and very rarely at that). They weren’t my friends, I wasn’t their friend but we knew of each other by passing, through mutual acquaintances. In fact one such mutual acquaintance was Mike/Terrys Aunt who plays an important role throughout my trial. The Aunt lied under oath throughout the trial I can only guess to save her own skin and that of her nephews making out all sorts of lies to incriminate me and to clear herself, Mike and Terry of any wrong doings. I knew Mike/Terry through her. The Aunt (an adult may I add) and I regularly smoked weed together, she even on occasion purchased weed from me (via the street gang) and she regularly opened her home up to the neighbourhood kids as a place they could go to smoke weed (the only reason I went round there was on nights the weather was bad and her home was a place I could smoke in comfort). The Aunt was an adult who happily opened her home up for others to use as a ‘smoke house’. All information the prosecutor very handily forgot to mention to the Jury when portraying this Aunt as a ‘reliable and trustworthy’ witness. It is via this Aunt that I occasionally came into contact with Mike and Terry. That is as far as our ‘friendship’ my involvement with Mike and Terry went. I certainly was no ‘ringleader’ and I certainly didn’t ‘hang out’ with them on a frequent basis like the prosecutor/Aunt made out to the Jury that I did. The prosecutor/Aunt made out to the Jury I was the 2 State Star Witnesses Leader and they were both heavily influenced by ME (in fact he made them both sound like innocent bystanders). Supposedly they took my direction because I was the oldest. Now to back this theory up the prosecutor needed proof. He clearly hadn’t asked all the neighbourhood kids who frequented Mr Thomas home (and Mike and Terry themselves) about my lead over Mike and Terry because if he had he would have known none of the neighbourhood boys who hung out at Mr Thomas had ever seen me at Mr Thomas home before alone OR with Mike and Terry and would have no doubt told him that Mike and Terry had NO LEADER. So how could the prosecutor get his theory to stand? He asked the Aunt (who has previously been mentioned in this website because it was SHE who previously told the courts she was frightened of me after I had supposedly told her I had killed Mr Thomas – the same Aunt who supposedly was so frightened of me the next day she leant me the use her car to take her nephew to the mall to use the stolen credit card and asked us both to purchase goods on it for her children’s Christmas presents – not actions of a woman who is supposedly frightened of me. The same Aunt who escaped charges of fraud even though she herself happily and eagerly wanted to use the stolen credit for her own benefit). The prosecutor asked the Aunt to testify in court that Mike and Terry regularly hung out with me (was this coerced testimony in exchange for no further charges to be made against the Aunt due to her involvement with that credit card or maybe even her own use of drugs and allowing children to smoke drugs in her home?). In fact as far as the Aunt is concerned (and I have included a copy of her testimony below as proof) she goes on record under oath as claiming ‘yes Jermane was like the leader and they (Mike and Terry) were like the followers…..’ This as she well knows is rubbish. And to prove this lady lied under oath, that she lied by saying I regularly hung out with Mike and Terry and that I was their ‘leader’ Mike himself contradicts everything his Aunt has just said in court by telling the court the following about what type of friend I was to Mike and Terry. Again I have included actual court transcript below to show you the exact moment Mike contradicts his Aunts claims that we regularly hung out or that I had any hold/leadership or influence over them at all. So, why did that Aunt say that? Whose idea was it for her to lie under oath? What did she gain from it? And why was it allowed to stand up in court to prove I was something that I wasn’t. Her testimony even though it was proven to be false was allowed to stand. Her false testimony was allowed to be heard by the Jury and used as evidence against me – to make me seem to be something I clearly wasn’t.
In the first section Mike is being questioned about how often he saw Terry after the murder took place. He goes on to say he and Terry didn’t speak that much after the murder even though only moments before he told the Jury he and Terry were together ‘all the time’. He tells the court that after the murder he and Terry didn’t talk about the murder at all. He put it out of his mind to ‘try and forget it’ Now this strikes me as very odd because for the ones of you who have read my website in full will know that Mike and Terry have made it their mission during this trial to portray to the Jury and Judge that Mr Thomas was their ‘very dear friend’ and that they were such good friends with him and were very sad about his death. Now if you had been witness to your ‘good friends’ murder (as they claim to have been) could you just put it out of your mind and ‘try and forget about it’ and not talk to your best/close friend who also witnessed such a ‘frightening’ ordeal. These 2 boys who claimed they were ‘frightened’ and sad about what they had seen – yet they calmly ‘forget about it’, don’t talk to each other about it only days after it happened (acted like it didn’t happen). I find that odd and completely contradictory of their previous testimonies regarding how fond they were of Mr Thomas and how much of a good friend he was to them both. Also you will see that Mike is questioned regarding how often I ‘hung out’ with him and Terry too. Here Mike confirms that after I went to the Mall with them (which I admit to doing and have always admitted to doing) we never hung out again because we had no need too. The truth actually is Mike went to the Mall with me TWICE that day to use his ‘good friends’ stolen credit card – Mike even goes so far as to admit that after he witnessed Mr Thomas murder (supposedly me murdering his very dear friend) he was very frightened of me (he had testified to this previously) yet here is admitting he wasn’t too frightened that it didn’t stop him coming to the Mall with me TWICE, using (his ‘good friend’) Mr Thomas credit card (TWICE) and purchasing stolen goods on it TWICE (only 24 hours previously supposedly being witness to his murder). In fact Mike goes on to admit that he went to work straight after this shopping spree. We went to that Mall (unbeknown to me at the time) less than 24 hours after they had witnessed their dear friend Mr Thomas being murdered, yet Mike can calmly go to the Mall less than 24 hours later TWICE and use his ‘dear friends’ credit card both times after witnessing his ‘dear friends’ death AND go to work like nothing had happened? On the 1st trip to the Mall it was just me, Mike and Keith (see website for further details relating to Keith). On the 2nd trip to the Mall (which we only did due to the Aunt wanting us to go for her benefit) me, Mike, Terry and Hashim went to the Mall – neither Mike OR Terry showed NO remorse, fear or sadness in their behaviour and happily and eagerly used that credit card. These were boys who told the court they were sad and frightened about their ‘good friend’ Mr Thomas’s death and what they had both witnessed. Mikes past testimony of being frightened, scared of me and so sad about the loss of his friend Mr Thomas doesn’t match his story here. In fact whilst we were going to the Mall, whilst at the Mall and whilst both of us used that credit card not once did Mike mention what he had just witnessed, nor did he show any sadness or fear. Also Mike/Terry failed to mention that I saw both of them the very next day (after the Mall) briefly in a car. At that point too neither looked/acted frightened/sad or remorseful. They looked to me bearing in mind I had NO IDEA at this point that Mr Thomas was dead (I didn’t even know who Mr Thomas was at this point) or that they had been witness to such a horrific event to be acting like their normal selves. We exchanged a quick ‘Whats Up’ and I carried on my business as did they. Nothing unusual, nothing out the ordinary in their behaviour and nothing to alert me to the life changing, complete chaos and nightmare which was about to come crashing down on me that ended my life forever.
TO completely contradict his Aunts early statement that I was their ‘leader’ Mike goes on to admit that before this trip to the Mall with me we ‘kicked it before this happened but NOT A LOT’. Then it goes onto mention an incident involving Mike and Terry in 1995. I will be writing further information about this incident in a future blog. This incident in 1995 has absolutely nothing to do with me but all to do with Mike and Terry and their previous convictions for robbery (may I remind you I have NO prior convictions or criminal record). And finally the last comment made regarding my friendship with Mike and Terry. Here Mike completely contradicts everything his Aunt has earlier testified. He is asked out right by the cops and the Defence counsel ‘who hangs with you besides terry and Jermane’? And Mikes reply then and now to the defence was its ‘Just me and Terry’ and the defence asked him to clarify that ‘who are you tight with, you just tight with Terry’? And Mike answers truthfully and says ‘Yeah only person I hang around’! And THAT proves the Aunt lied under oath and the prosecutor allowed it to happen knowing full well it was a complete lie. I was NOT their ring leader. They were NOT my followers and I had NO influence over either of them.
To further prove that Mike and Terry had no ring leader nor did they need one because they were both very capable even at that age to have previous juvenile convictions of robbery (a crime they committed together with no help from a third party). I will be writing a blog very shortly on evidence surrounding Mike and Terry which has never been seen before. Evidence my defence counsel tried to get heard in court as proof that these 2 State Star Witnesses were unreliable witnesses and should never have been allowed to testify due to their own past history of criminal activity (involving a crime very similar to this one only 12 months prior this murder) and to prove the Prosecutors theory that I was their ‘ringleader’ to be utter nonsense however the Judge decided (like all the defence evidence I had) NOT to allow this evidence to be heard, why? Who knows. These 2 boys had previous, they were tight, they had NO ring leader and they already had a reputation amongst their neighbourhood friends as ‘trouble makers’ and ‘untrustworthy’. These were 2 boys the prosecutor made out to the Jury were scared and vulnerable boys who befriended a troublesome older boy (me) who led them astray and they were innocent bystanders whilst I murdered and robbed their dear friend. They have an Aunt (who the prosecutor has presented to the court as a ‘reliable’ law abiding citizen) who informs the Jury I am nothing but trouble, I admitted to her supposedly I murdered him and she and her nephews were so scared of me (we now know that is ALL untrue). The truth about the 2 State Star Witnesses is A LOT more shocking and they were no nothing like the Prosecutor (or their Aunt) portrayed them as being. And if the Judge had allowed my Defence Counsel to present evidence to prove the Prosecutors witnesses to be nothing but trouble makers and criminals themselves I firmly believe I would not be sitting here today in this cell. To be continued…………
NB: Please note that Mike received NO charges (of any kind) for his obvious involvement in using that stolen credit card. He received NO fraud charges (I did). The Aunt received NO charges (of any kind) for her obvious involvement in the use of that credit card (she did willingly know about it, willingly asked her nephew and myself to purchase good on it for her benefit/use and willingly allowed us to use her car to get to the Mall in exchange for us to ‘fill up the tank’ using that credit card). She too received NO Fraud charges (I did).
Hello World, Can you hear me? Written By Jermane Scott
A blog about the REAL life of Solitary Confinement by an inmate living that life right at this moment in time
Hello World, can you hear me? By Jermane Scott
Do you REALLY know what it’s like to live in solitary confinement? Do the films where A-List Hollywood stars appear in some prison movie REALLY capture the mundane nothingness that stretches out for miles and miles? And is the emotional torture and deprivation really captured on screen? And maybe you’re in agreement with thousands of people in this world that the inmates in solitary confinement deserve everything they get and are subjected to on a daily, hourly and every minute basis. I’m not here to get into that debate. All I’m here to do is to tell you what it’s REALLY like to live your life in Solitary conditions. Do I deserve this treatment? NO – I don’t believe any human being deserves THIS life for a long period of time with no end in sight, with no way redeeming one self and with no regards to rehabilitation. I’ve been rehabilitated years ago – I’m still here!
I have been in prison now wrongfully convicted of a murder for 20 years. I came to prison as just a young 19 year old boy. I am now nearly 39 years old. I have been in Solitary Confinement or some form of High Max Security for over a decade now. The Movies portray only the ‘crazy’ or the ‘serial killers’ to be in Solitary Confinement for long stretches of time (or for life) but that is the movies – that’s not real. The reality is Solitary Confinement is used as a punishment for long stretches of time for any inmate regardless of their crime or misdemeanour whilst in the prison system. And the time frame of these stretches can vary from 1 year or in my case over a decade. The Movies are wrong – it’s NOT a place for the crazies to be kept – it’s a place where inmates are put for punishment for whatever misdemeanour they happened to be involved in. And they are put there for a very very long time. Once you’re in it is VERY hard to get out again. Rehabilitation means NOTHING in solitary. Solitary Confinement is a form of punishment (or as I believe a form of torture) and it’s not a week long punishment it is for years if not forever. The rules of how to get out of solitary are simple. Behave, do as you’re told, keep your head down, don’t complain about anything and be quiet and then ‘maybe’ we will let you out. I have lived by these rules now for over a decade and STILL I’m here in this small blank cold concrete cell. When will my stay in Solitary end? I don’t know, no one tells me anything. I have played by the rules; I have met all my targets set. Yet I’m still here waiting for my punishment to end……Maybe you’re wondering why I was put into solitary the first place, well I was young, fresh into the prison system with a chip on my shoulder about being found guilty for a crime I didn’t commit. I was angry by being let down by the Justice System, my so called ‘friends’ who betrayed me, my family for abandoning me and for realising for the first time that the truth does NOT prevail! I had an altercation with another inmate in those first few years. It was so long ago it feels like another life. A fight broke out and I defended myself as did he. No one died in that fight I would like to point out. I got punished and put here a decade ago. What happened to him? I have no idea. No one tells me anything remember. After years of being in solitary I was due to have my security level decreased slightly (although to still remain in solitary but with a few more privileges). Unfortunately one day my cell door and another inmates cell door was very mysteriously and accidentally (the prison have since informed me) left unlocked (when all inmate doors should have been safely locked for ‘lock down’). This inmate left his cell and entered my cell. He came for me and attacked me in my cell, unprovoked. The result of that? MY stay in Solitary was extended and my security level decrease denied. What happened to that other inmate? Who knows, no one tells me anything. Fast forward 5 or 6 years later my final security level decrease is now up for review again. If I pass this security level I am out of high security and on my first footing back into mass population prison. I can only hope this time no doors are left unlocked and I am at last allowed to leave this hell hole and return to mass population prison to carry out my Life sentence for a murder I did not commit. I went into Solitary Confinement as a young man with a chip on his shoulder – I leave an adult with many emotional scars from the experiences from the dark depths of despair I have endured during my time in this small concrete cell. It goes for something when a person sees mass population prison as a place of heaven (a place they long to go to) compared to the dark tortuous conditions of long term Solitary Confinement.
Days start like any other in solitary. With nothingness. No reason to wake up. No reason to even take that first breath. I get up though, every day I get up. Every day I get off this concrete slab that is called a bed and stretch. My bed…I am 6ft 4 and the bed is 5ft 8 inches long (give or take). It is a concrete slab with nothing more than a thin mattress to support my back. I have not lay down and stretched in 20 years now. I have issues with my back due to this. I exercise in my cell every day to elevate the pain in my back and shoulders and to keep my muscles active and alive. The feelings I get from my daily exercise remind me I am human and not a caged animal like I feel I am. I say this about the bed but even if I had a nice big bed I couldn’t sleep. I haven’t slept now in nearly a decade. Sure I sleep every night but that sleep is broken up every single night by the noise of this solitary confinement unit. The noise is deafening and grates to your very core. I have not had a moments silence in 20 years. Due to this being solitary the guards do checks of each cell/inmate every 30 minutes and that’s 24 hours a day every day. Therefore sleep is NOT an option for anyone in solitary. No one in solitary truly sleeps. We are all sleep deprived. Each Cell block door is SLAMMED shut every 30 minutes and then on top of that a flashlight is shone in your face while you sleep until you open your eyes -throughout each and every night. So if the noise doesn’t wake you of other inmates cries, screams, shouts then the guards slamming the doors and shining a flashlight in your face every 30 minutes WILL! Sleep by day maybe? Not a chance, this routine/noise happens 24 hours a day with no rest bite. We are all so very tired here. Maybe some fresh air will do me some good? No, there is no such thing as fresh air for me. I am allowed 1 hour out of my cell everyday day (bar 2 days a week when all inmates are forced into their cells for 24 hours a day for what is called ‘none movement days’ – what purpose this is for is anyone’s guess). My 60 minutes a day out of my cell is not as pleasant as it sounds. Don’t let that 60 minutes deceive you – what that actually means is that I am taken from my cell and put in another cell with big glass windows separating me from fresh air. Outside recreation is no better and is nothing more than a cage a dog couldn’t even exercise in. That’s the physical deprivation we face daily on top of the sleep deprivation. We don’t eat much better either. The quality of the food goes without saying. Let’s say this – IF I ever get out of prison I will NEVER eat mashed potato or Mac n Cheese EVER AGAIN. It’s not the quality that deprives me it’s the portion sizes. We are grown men living on portion sizes designed for young children. Due to our solitary existence ‘treats’ and food parcels are not allowed. We have no extra luxury food on top of these meals – there is NO alternative or other ways to fill the empty churning hunger we feel daily. I can’t talk about food right now – if I do I will start to daydream about food I long to eat and that sets off long deep rumblings of food cravings that can last for hours. And then we move on to our emotional deprivation. O where to start….I have not had any form of physical contact with another human being in over a decade now. I have not held a person’s hand, received a hug or even looked into another human beings eyes (and seen kindness or love) in a decade. I LONG to see a smile. I LONG to touch someone’s hand. You DON’T make eye contact in prison. I stare at my photos of my loved ones, I look into their eyes on these pictures and wish I could be looking at their faces for real. If I have a visitor (which I do not because I have no family and the only person I know lives thousands of miles away) I am in another glass box with glass separating me from them. I have not received any form of physical contact with another human being in a decade and that has scarred me more than anything thrown at me in my life so far. The emotional scars are deep and I fear they will never be healed. We try to find comfort by looking at our family/loved ones pictures/photos BUT even that is tainted in here. We are not allowed to put our pictures over our beds (which denies us the ability and that small little slice of bliss of lying in bed staring at happy faces and daydreaming we were with them) because staff have complained they are ‘offended’ by having to ‘look at inmates pictures/photos’ each time they do their routine checks through our cell doors. So even that innocent and pleasurable moment has been denied us. Our cell walls remain bare, cold, grey and miserable. Another way for us to receive some form of emotional support is via communication with our loved ones yet that too is a weapon used against us. We can receive emails/letters from our loved ones (and we too can write emails/letters in response) However our mail (emails/letters) frequently go missing, are not sent to our loved ones or we receive our mail delayed by days or weeks at a time. Loved ones receive partial letters and emails from us or none at all (even though we pass our mail to be sent to them). Phone calls are no better. They are highly priced, the phone system the prison chose is of bad quality and unreliable and our phone privileges are designed to make it impossible to stay in touch with our loved ones on a frequent basis. Some times for no reason the prison will allow us to make 5 to 8 calls a week (each phone call lasting 15 minutes) and yet other months for no reason the prison will only allow us 8 calls a month (that’s two 15 minute phone calls a week) and that includes any calls we want to make to our lawyers, loved ones etc. The big question for Solitary inmates is who do we call with our precious phone time? As someone wrongfully convicted (desperately trying to seek legal help) do I use my precious phone time to try and seek legal advice/counsel or do I use it on my loved ones just so I can hear their friendly voices telling me they love me which goes a long way in soothing me and making my days seem a little bit more bearable…. If the emotional deprivation doesn’t wear you down along with the sleep deprivation and the physical deprivation maybe the temperature of this prison will beat you. In the cold months the air con is turned up MAX. We are so cold here. We are given standard issue blankets and we wear those blankets in the cold winter months 24 hours a day. We do not receive extra layers of clothes in these months to keep us warm. And that air con is turned up just to add an extra bite of coldness. It was so cold in my cell last month that the carton of milk I receive each day arrived in a frozen block and stayed frozen the whole day long – undrinkable. And no we were not offered an alternative drink. In the summer months it gets hot here in Ohio. Our cells can be dripping with condensation from the steam coming from our bodies. It would be OK if that air con which seems to be a constant companion of mine in the winter months was put on but no it seems that in the summer months the prison likes to put on their heating system and leaves it on a tropical setting for quite a while. In the summer men in solitary boil alive in their cells. In the winter men in solitary literally turn to blocks of ice.
The endless days of nothingness does eventually take its toll. There have been days when I have been in such a state of depression for multiple reasons that the thought of taking my own life was contemplated. And trust me this isn’t an isolated thought. I went without having any outside support/contact or love for 19+ years and combine that with 24 hours a day isolation death seems more attractive than waking up every day to nothingness. And on top of that in MY case all for a crime I did not commit – something I didn’t even do put me in the prison system in the first place. My cries of ‘I AM INNOCENT’ were ignored in 1996 during the investigation, at my trial and all through my time in prison. No one can hear me. No one cares. Can you hear me? I have been in the grasp of that ‘black dog’ they call depression. That dark, lonely deep place that only the lost souls of this earth have ever visited. Solitary confinement is the daily systematic physiological torture that I and these other men face every hour of everyday with no ending in sight. We are human beings and the use of long term solitary confinement MUST end. We are a country that prides ourselves on not inflicting/condoning the use of tortuous methods on humans and animals – yet here I am – living proof that we do!
NB: Jermane wrote this inside his solitary confinement cell. It took him a while to write due to it unnerving him about having to write down his darkest feelings of despair. He didn’t want to ‘revisit his nightmares’ because at present he has support in his fight for freedom and dwelling on his past depression scares him. He wrote this though – he wrote this because he knows what he and many others endure on a daily basis is wrong and MUST END NOW.
Jermane was convicted and sentenced to LIFE without the chance of parole in 1996 as a 19 year old boy. He has always maintained his innocence and we are desperately fighting for his freedom and the right to a fair trial (which he was denied in 1996) to prove his innocence. ALL physical evidence proves Jermane is innocent of murder. If you are interested in supporting Jermane, reading more about his campaign/trial/the investigation or you think you can help Jermane please visit his website and follow his fight for Justice, Truth and Freedom via Twitter and Facebook.