----- Original Message -----
From: Doug Tjapkes
Sent: Friday, August 05, 2005 4:45 PM
Subject: requests for help
We receive so many requests for assistance, and so many of them sound alike, that one might get tempted to become hardened to the situation of those behind bars. I submit, however, that this one will touch you. I'll summarize the rather lengthy letter on behalf of Mr. Virgil L Evans, #087660, who is in the Mound Correctional Facility in Detroit.
At the age of 93 he is the oldest prisoner within general population in the MDOC. He has been fighting his case since the age of 54 and proclaims his innocence. In fact, in a live line-up two much younger men were identified as the actual killers.
Since his incarceration he has lost everyone except a son, whom we have not been able to locate.
He is affectionately called "Pops" by the men in prison.
In the 70s he survived colon cancer, and suffers from glaucoma and asthma. In January of this year, due to poor medical attention weeks before, they had to do an arterial bypass, due to the fact that he had contracted gangrene.
After requesting several times to go to the hospital, a nice guard on watch told Pops that he would have to fall out. So that's what he did. His cellie told them that Pops fell out and they sent him to Harper Hospital. He returned to Mound the first week in February, where they refused to follow the doctors' instructions. After receiving a hand-written SOS, I contacted the warden. Pops was thrown in segregation due to the fact that he woke up in the middle of the night and put on two sets of uniforms to keep warm, which is against prison policy. His legs and feet were extremely swollen as they took away his pillows to keep his feet elevated per doctors' orders.
They have now given him a wheelchair. He is severely underweight and failing in spirit. His spirit and quest for freedom have been an inspiration to all within the MDOC. He's extremely alert, but has a hard time with his eyes. He's very honest and open about his life, never any drug use or alcohol. They should pay him for all of the men he has led down a righteous path since he's been down.
Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, that's why our prison system is in such great financial shape here in Michigan. We take pride in keeping these "threats to society" behind bars. Those of you on this list who reside in Michigan may want to send a note of thanks to your favorite lawmaker. We wouldn't want this man in his 90s to spend his final days with loved ones.