Juvenile

written by Sean

I was 17 years old in juvenile hall and I had just been found guilty of a crime I did not commit and I knew they were trying to sentence me to JLWOP. The prosecutor, Alexander, had said so a few times in court, I believe the first time was at the first court hearing. Plus my then-lawyer, Clark, had explained it to me. I was scared. I was frustrated. I was angry. I had already been in juvenile hall for over a year for a crime I did not commit, they had just found me guilty of a serious crime that I did not commit, and then they were going to try to make me spend the rest of my life in prison. I was scared. I was afraid of being sentenced to LWOP. I was afraid of going to prison.

At the time I didn’t always feel like being good anymore. At the time in juvenile hall I was only one of a few kids who never got in trouble. I had already been on SR3 which was juvenile hall’s version of ad-seg (solitary) They did this to me when I first got there because of the crime they accused me of. I had done nothing wrong and they were punishing me. It showed me how much power they have. So I behaved myself. I followed the rules, I did what I was told. I did not deserve to be there and I was not going to act like the little criminals that did.I knew that acting out would only make my situation worse. Much worse. Not only would I suffer the initial punishment for bad behavior but I also knew it would be held against me. I knew I had to rise above the situation. That I could not allow it to take over. I had to be me.  For over 12 years I have continued to follow the rules.

Jim Clark just wasn’t a good lawyer. My current lawyer says that Clark doesn’t have the ability to deal with serious cases, he can’t grasp the complexities of everything. He also didn’t want to challenge the D.A. or the cops- it was like they were friends and Clark didn’t want to hurt their feelings. I didn’t want Clark as my lawyer, he refused to go to the judge to prove my innocence. He kept saying that once we show them my alibi they would change the times, it’s like he always knew what they would do (because it’s exactly what they did) And he knew. He knew they were going to lie and cheat and yet he did nothing to protect me because he didn’t want to hurt their feelings? He didn’t even object when they changed the times. I didn’t want him as my lawyer. He did nothing to protect me.

About Sean & Emelia

In 2003 Sean O'Brien was wrongfully convicted in El Dorado County, CA and sentenced to Life Without Parole at the age of 16. We have been friends since grade school and are now married. Sean and I move forward together with the knowledge of his innocence, our faith in God, and hope that he will rightfully regain his freedom. Until then we embrace our journey wherever it may take us, cherishing each moment we have together and staying true to ourselves. This blog is about the past we share, our fight for freedom, life as it exists for us, and our path toward the future, whatever that may hold. Thank you for allowing us to be heard. God bless.
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