by Jay B. Van Story
February 16, 2005

Progress continues to be made in the struggle for justice in my case. Last month, the Texas Innocence Network filed a new petition for my pardon, one that will allow me to be freed from false imprisonment if it is granted, while the Innocence Network continues to fight my illegal conviction.

On another front, Huntsville, Texas attorney David P. O'Neil is currently preparing to file a habeas corpus petition raising multiple issues, including actual innocence and severe prosecutorial misconduct. Mr. O'Neil and his law partner Sean Buckley were instrumental in securing the December 2004 release and exoneration of John Michael Harvey, who is from Fort Worth, Texas (Tarrant County). Harvey had been falsely imprisoned for well over a decade on a false charge of sexual assault of a child. 

Mr. O'Neil was also instrumental in securing the release and exoneration of Robert Coney, who had been falsely imprisoned in Texas for over 40 years on false charges of robbery and murder. 

I couldn't ask for a more conscientious, hard-working, dedicated attorney than David P. O'Neil. He comes highly recommended. 

Dr. Martin Luther King said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Barry Scheck, the Director of the Innocence Project in New York, NY recently said, concerning the false conviction of Kenneth Moon of El Paso, Texas on a false rape charge, "It can happen to anybody. There but for the grace of God go any of us." Mr. Moon was exonerated and freed recently when DNA tests proved his innocence. 

If enough people speak out about injustice when they see it, justice can prevail. Please help make a difference. Please write a letter of support for my pardon to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. It will help tremendously, whether it is a lengthy or short letter. Please simply write, in your own words, how you feel about the evidence of innocence in my case, whether or not you feel I should be pardoned and freed, and how you feel about truth, justice and fairness. 

Please include my name, Jay B. Van Story, and "TDCJ #477649" in your letter.
Please address it to:

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
8610 Shoal Creek Blvd.
Austin, TX 78711

and mail it to:

Jared Tyler, Deputy Director
Texas Innocence Network
University of Houston Law Center
100 Law Center
Houston, TX 77204-6060

If you prefer, you can email your letter to Jared Tyler at jptyler@central.uh.edu

Please also help by distributing the articles about my struggle for justice and my plea for support to as many other fair-minded people and organizations as you can, by mail, email, fax., or other means. 

The list of supporters continues to grow! I would like to offer sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone who has offered their encouragement, support and assistance. It has sustained me through this difficult ordeal, and it has convinced me that most people sincerely believe in truth, justice and fairness. 

In particular, I would like to thank: 

- my mother and step-father, Juana Jay and Terry Sires of Lubbock, Texas 
- my father and step-mother, John D. and Janet Van story of Lubbock, Texas 
- A.C., the alleged victim in my case, who really is my strongest supporter 

- my brother and sister-in-law, John David and Mary Van Story of Duncanville, Texas 
- my cousin Linda Savoie of Tucson, Arizona 
- my cousin Saundra Melton of Norco, California 
- my Aunt Beatrice Perez of Princeton, Louisiana 
- David R. Dow, University of Houston Law Professor and the Director of the Texas Innocence Network at the University of Houston Law Center 
- Jared P. Tyler, the Deputy Director of the Texas Innocence Network 
- Jules Cabeen, Kevin McCalpin, Misty Barnett, and other University of Houston law students with the Texas Innocence Network who have worked on my case 
- Karen Hamilton, the gatekeeper at the Texas Innocence Network, and a former prison guard 
- David P. O'Neil, my Huntsville, Texas attorney 
- Richard "Racehorse" Haynes, Houston, Texas attorney
- Roderique S. Hobson, Lubbock, Texas attorney
- Roy E. Greenwood, Austin, Texas attorney
- David Botsford, Austin, Texas attorney 
- Michael Charlton, Houston, Texas attorney 
- David A. Schulman, Austin, Texas attorney 
- Claudia Whitman, the Executive Director of the National Death Row Assistance Network of Equal Justice USA in Hyattsville, Maryland 
- Laird Carlson, the publisher and webmaster of Cell Door Magazine in Mancos, Colorado
- Rod P. Kee, the Director of the Innocent Inmates Association of Ohio, Inc. in Olmsted Falls, Ohio 
- Douglas J. Tjapkes, the Director of INNOCENT! in Muskegon, Michigan
- Dr. Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, an advisor at INNOCENT! 
- Shawn van Mastright, the webmaster of Innocence Denied in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Laura Rawls, a prisoner rights activist in Big Spring, Texas 
- Jane Ballard of Broken Chain Ministries in Gainesville, Florida 
- Paula Gouchenour of Pen Pal Prison Ministry in Charleston, South Carolina 
- Roxy Sherrock of Moratorium Now! of Equal Justice USA in Hyattsville, Maryland 
- Dr. Wilson Beebe, the Director of Amicus Curiae Foundation in Windsor, California
- Phyllis Riect and others at Coalition for Prisoners' Rights in Santa Fe, New Mexico 
- Anne Rose-Pierce of "...after seventeen years..." in Portland, Oregon
- Chaplain Bill of Worldwide Prison Ministry in Cleveland, Ohio 
- Rev. Thomas J. Parnell of International Prison Ministry in Eight Miles, Alabama 
- Ray Hill of The Prison Show on KPFT-FM in Houston, Texas 
- Roxanne Greschner, the Asst. Editor of The Justice Xpress in Occidental, California 
- Elizabeth Dede of The Prison & Jail Project in Americus, Georgia
- Dianne Molvia of the Wisconsin Innocence Project at the University of Wisconsin in Madisonville, Wisconsin 
- Paula Jacobs and others at Human Rights Watch in New York and Los Angeles
- Eddie Taylor and others at Fortune Society in New York, NY
- The American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Laura, Saroj and others at Prisons Foundation in Washington, D.C. 
- Jim and Judy Fullingim of Jim Fullingim Ministries in Lubbock, Texas 
- Bill Hubbard, the chief investigator of the D.A. in Taos, New Mexico, and the former identification police sergeant in Lubbock, Texas 
- Gib E. Slaugenhaupt, a pen pal in Clairion, Pennsylvania
- W. Jeroen, a pen pal in Nymegen, Holland 
- Christopher Ochoa, a friend in Madisonville, Wisconsin who used to be falsely imprisoned with me on the Wynne unit 
- Mrs. Anderson and others at Justice Watch in Cincinnati, Ohio
- The 8th Day Center for Justice in Chicago, Illinois 
- Nancy at Hope and Help Prison Ministry in Ft. Collins, Colorado 
- Rev. John Musgrave and others at Apostolic Faith Church in Portland, Oregon 
- Doug, Joy, Melanie and others at Life Lines Ministry in Cave Junction, Oregon 
- The Poetry Wall volunteers at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York, NY
- Chaplain Ray and others at International Prison Ministry in Dallas, Texas
- Mildred and others at Exodus Prison Ministry in Lubbock, Texas 
- The more than 30 fellow prisoners here on the Wynne Unit who have written letters of support for my pardon to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles 
- All others who have written letters of support

I am truly blessed! I am truly fortunate! Thank you so much! 

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