|My name is Joyce Dove. I recently married an inmate in
a Texas prison. His name is Glenn Dove. My husband was a juvenile sentenced
to life for murder. He was 15 at the time of the crime. I have his transcripts,
and even though I am not a lawyer, the whole thing does not sit well with
me, and I have found many violations.
Here is a little of the story:
Glenn got arrested at age 15, back in 1981, for the murder of his aunt and her boyfriend. he was living with them at the time because the courts felt his mom could no longer take care of him. She was a widow with 6 kids. He was allowed to stay with his mom for the summers, and she said he was doing fine, even had a couple of part-time jobs. It was then Labor Day weekend and he was to go back to his aunt. He begged his mom not to take him back there, but she had no choice.
That's when it happened. No witnesses, no evidence. Glenn even called the police. They arrested him and placed him in juvenile.
He says they were thinking about letting him go for lack of evidence after a few months. His public defender in the meantime, was asking for help on the case. They assigned this lawyer who told my husband to write a letter from his cell about what happened that day. He did, he was just a kid following orders. The letter was confiscated and that is what they used against him. This is what they convicted him with. This lawyer became a district attorney right afterwards. We wonder if he was set up by his own court-appointed attorney. They probably knew he had aspirations of becoming a DA, and put him to the test and on the case to get a confession out of my husband.
They waited till he was 16 to certify him as an adult-6 months after his arrest.
Here are some things I am troubled by:
The warning magistrate, according to his own testimony in deposition, formed the opinion that my husband was five years behind other children his age.
Also, according to Section 51.09 Title 3, Texas Family Code, this letter should not have been admissible.
According to Murphy vs State " The State's intrusion into the attorney-client relationship violates a defendant's right to counsel when the defendant is prejudiced by the violation."
The letter was in an envelope addressed to the attorney.
Furthermore, according to Federal Law 18:5032, "Statements made by a juvenile prior to or during a transfer hearing under this section shall not be admissible at subsequent criminal prosecutions."
The head Juvenile Officer testified at the trial that the juveniles were not allowed to possess paper or pen unless given to them under orders of and attorney or judge. Glenn would not, or could not have written it unless his attorney told him to write that letter. Three different people claimed to have found that letter, all on their own. Whoever really found it assumed Glenn wrote it and put it in his file. But at trial, even an expert couldn't swear it was his handwriting.
A motion of denial of the right to a speedy trial was denied. There was a year between the initial arrest and trial, almost 6 months from the time has was re-charged as an adult. Glenn never waived that right. It was the state that asked for a continuance.
Glenn is Black. There were no Blacks on the jury. No minorities for that matter. Yet according to the Census Bureau that county in 1980 was 30% minority, 26% of those being Black or "other". His attorneys did not object! The one just asked the jury if they would be likely to find him to be guilty because he is Black. I don't know of anyone who would willingly admit to something like that.
One more thing-Glenn found out after the trial and sentencing was all over with that his public defenders were offered 45 years for a guilty plea. They never bothered to consult him even though at that point he had been certified as an adult.
The public defenders appealed the use of the letter. It was denied. I am in the process of getting those records. They deserted him, just sending him a letter saying they could no longer represent him due to lake of money. Glenn was 17 at that point. He was basically thrown to the dogs and left to fend for himself. He didn't find out till years later he could file on his own, but he didn't know how to go about it. It was not until I came along that someone has begun to look into things with him.
He is trying to get his juvenile records. They are not responding to him because he is incarcerated. They won't give them to me. But I have requested them based on the fact I have Power of Attorney and the Freedom of Information Act. I believe there is a wealth of information in those records, since they include the transcript from the trial they had to certify him as an adult. One thing Glenn told me is that when he saw a psychiatrist just before that trial, he was asked 3 questions: What day is it? What is the month? Who is president? My question is, does that constitute a psychiatric evaluation?
I do have all of his transcripts and other papers from adult court if you wish to see them.
The jury could have recommended anything from probation on up. He was given life. He has done 23 years. He was turned down for parole in the past because of fighting. Naturally he had to fight. He was a child and had to defend himself or the unspeakable would have happened. That was years ago. These past times it was due to the "nature of the crime". The nature of the crime is why he got the sentence he did. And they treated him like an adult. Children are never adults. And finally medical science is proving that. But I already knew, I've got 5 of them. All he needs is another chance. I truly believe he would make it. I don't believe for a minute he is a danger to society. I wouldn't have married him and have my kids exposed to him if he was.
All he kept saying is that he wanted to be with his mom. That is not an adult, that is a little boy.
He has matured into a man while in there, in my opinion surprisingly well. Imagine being a child thrown into an environment such as an adult prison. He has a wealth of support out here, and I have been in contact with many resources that will help him re-adjust.
Glenn and I appreciate anything you can do. Contact information: www.gdove.affordanet.com