A death sentence vacated

First of all, let me express my most sincere thanks for the terrific work you do, bringing the injustices rampant within this country's capital cases out of the darkness and into the light of day. It is through the efforts of people such as yourselves that changes are being made in the way people view capital punishment.

On December 12, the Washington Supreme Court vacated my death sentence; overturned my aggravated first-degree murder conviction; and affirmed my conviction for felony murder in the first conviction. Once again, a higher court has decided that errors were made during the prosecution and death sentencing of an accused person.

In 1994, King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng sought to impose the death penalty in more murder cases than he had in his previous 15 years as a prosecuting attorney. Perhaps the fact that he was in the running (and lost, thank God) for governor of Washington had something to do with this. Once again, capital case defendants became political pawns to be used at the whim of government officials.

I was the only capital case defendant he filed for to actually be sentenced to death. How many millions of taxpayer dollars did he waste unnecessarily?

I appreciate the efforts of anti-death penalty activists. Whatever I can do to assist in your efforts to save the lives of prisoners sentenced to death and to help in the fight to abolish the death penalty, please do not hesitate to ask me.

The conditions of confinement and the treatment received by prisoners sentenced to death is not something I will ever wish on anyone. I'll never forget.

Michael Roberts,
Washington State Penitentiary
1313 N 13th Ave
Walla Walla, WA 99362