I'd like to tell you about my friend John.
John's a neat guy. He's in prison but he has a conscience. He heard a fellow prisoner confessing to a murder, and decided that the authorities should know about this. He asked for nothing in return. He did it because it was the right thing to do.
But the State of Michigan chose to make this an even better situation. When a prosecutor learned that John's testimony could convict a suspected killer, an offer was made. If John would testify, and if the testimony proved to be effective, the State would do its best go get John re-sentenced. He's a lifer with no hope of release.
John's attorney was ecstatic. He encouraged him to cooperate. “This is a done deal,” he assured my friend.
Keep in mind that this was the State's idea. Not John's.
Well, John testified, and his words were effective. The state got a conviction on first degree murder.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that John is still behind bars. No one seems to remember the deal.
Cops, retired State Police personnel, former FBI personnel, and even the Assistant Prosecutor who put John away have taken his side. But no one is listening.
The Prosecutor's office now refuses to budge. The Judge expresses no interest. The Parole Board has ignored a plea for commutation.
Meanwhile, behind bars, the prisoners have learned that John was a snitch. Their activity involves things like tossing human feces at him and on his bed. He faces death threats.
But that doesn't seem to matter. The State got what it wanted from John.
Said Harold Geneen: It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises but only performance is reality.