My friend Jimmy has a bulls-eye on his back. And it’s his own fault!
Jimmy is one of the most unusual prisoners I’ve met. He sees it as his Christian duty to help the government, even though he’s been in prison for the past 30 years. His sentence, one of those amazingly unfair determinations by a judge: 50 to 200 years!
I’ve written about this before, but let me review this story with you again.
In 1989 he cooperated with law enforcement officials in a bribery investigation within the prison system actually involving a deputy warden. As a result of this daring activity, both state and federal convictions were obtained! As you can well imagine, his life wasn’t worth much after that. He was an enemy to both prisoners and corrections officers.
But that didn’t stop him.
In years following that, he continued to provide law enforcement with information leading to many arrests, on charges like auto theft, stolen property, and a multi-million dollar phone fraud scheme with the MDOC. Thanks to Jimmy’s work, I’m told there was recovery of a substantial amount of narcotics. Besides that, several Detroit area fugitives were nabbed and a Detroit homicide was solved!
Jimmy has never asked for anything in return. He believed this was his duty, as a Christian and as a concerned citizen. He had messed up once in his life. Now he was going to pay back to society, even though he might never get out.
Things changed, however, in 2006, when he again helped authorities in a murder case. This time, even though he didn’t ask for it, the state assured him that they would do their best to get him resentenced, so that he could look forward to eventual freedom. He did his part. Thanks to him, the state got a conviction on first degree murder. But then, Pure Michigan reneged. “Nah, I don’t think so.” Hicks could just remain behind bars. They got what they wanted.
There are a couple of obvious problems here. The most serious one is that Hicks has a target on his back. He is disliked by inmates and staff. Several years ago someone tried to poison him by dropping poison into his cappuccino. Earlier this year, two thugs entered his cell and slashed him up pretty good. He required a lot of stitches, and he injured his back when he fell to the floor. By this time we had paired up Jimmy with a great criminal defense attorney, who has been working his hardest to get more protection, and better yet, to obtain a commutation of his sentence so he can live in safer environment. All to no avail.
The other problem is apparent lack of protection. For all he’s done, the state should be watching out for him. It ain’t happening. This week Jimmy was assaulted again! Not seriously injured this time, but fearing for his life, and obviously not being very well protected.
We have been in communication with the very Prosecutor who put Jimmy away (now retired), and, if you can believe this, he wrote a three-page letter to the Michigan Parole Board seeking Jimmy’s freedom!
What’s it going to take to get the state’s attention?