Not a Hurdle – Another Letter to the Parole Board Asking them to Keep a Murderer in Prison Again

A little background. I wrote a letter last year and appeared at Wideman’s Parole (Clemency) hearing. He was set free. Of course, in less than a year, he violated the terms of his freedom and is again asking for parole. The following is my letter arguing against that parole.

June 20, 2018

Dr. C T WrightChairman

Arizona Board of Executive Clemency

Re: Jacob Wideman

ADC No. 070340

To the Board:

I always tried to explain to my daughters, when they were younger and starting to date, that they needed to understand that the boy that they were going out with would be on his best behavior. “Stay vigilant” I would tell them and “watch his behavior over time.” I tried to explain that one of the truths I learned about humans, through hundreds if not thousands of direct and cross-examinations, is that people, everyone, will eventually, reveal themselves whether through word or deed. “If, on the second or third date,” I would say, “he does something that makes you stop for a second and think ‘that was odd, that was not how he acted last week‘ the chances are that he just revealed a piece of who he really is, at his core. Do not say ‘huh?’ and then file it away as an aberration. Remember that moment and be guided by it. Because that is who he really is, he simply dropped his guard.”

In the end, it is not something one can teach. This is one of those “life lessons” we all have to learn on our own, usually by making a mistake misjudging someone’s character and/or intention only to end up being disappointed, or worse. We all react to that miscue the same way, “Damn, I should have known. Looking back, I should have known.

These “life lessons” never end. We learn them, maybe every day. In the collective, much to my dismay, the prior Board of Executive Clemency learned this lesson when they released Mr. Wideman, only to see him returned to prison like a bad dollar bill to its treasury.

We should have known.

Lesson learned.

Homer Simpson, that paradigm of lowbrow humor and the occasional philosophical gem, once muttered:

I guess some people never change…

Or, they quickly change and then

quickly change back.

A truth spoken as clear as if it were made by the Homer he is named after. In a nutshell, this is the lesson I had tried to teach my daughters, but my words failed. Fortunately, a cartoon writer’s words did not.

This is the truth before the Board today. No one changes and if they do, they quickly change back.

Which is exactly why once released, once set free with comparatively minimal restrictions on his behavior, once sent to the bosom of the woman he said he loved, a woman with innocent children who lost the war between their mother’s carnal desire and their love and need for her, Mr. Wideman failed. He could not follow the rules.

He failed because that is who Mr. Wideman is. That is who he was. That is who he always will be. A self-obsessed, possessed and narcissistic man who cannot even bring himself to admit why he committed the murder of a slumbering 16-year-old child in 1986; other than to say he was experiencing teenage angst and needed an emotional release, oh, and a getaway car.

Wideman’s attorneys tried to explain this inexplicable act by hiring a gun to shoot out a psychological diagnosis, any diagnosis to hang a hat on. Two hours after meeting Mr. Wideman, he did. He came up with TLS, a defense attorney’s wet-dream diagnosis. This is a disease with no definitive beginning and no definitive end. All they can say is he does not have it now, which is stupid because neither do I nor do you. Does that mean we had TLS as a teenager? Of course not. Its absence in Mr. Wideman means just that, and nothing more.

So, go ahead, ignore the fact that this man is sociopathic enough to seduce his therapists, marrying two of them regardless of the consequences to their lives and careers because to Mr. Wideman, the value of their lives pale in comparison to his dream to be as free, again, as he was on the day he chose to kill a 16-year-old boy.

So, go ahead and ignore the fact that Mr. Wideman cannot even follow a simple rule, one that would allow him to follow through on a promise made on his wedding day that he would always be with his wife and her children and that he would take care of them as only a convicted felon can, until death did part them. A promise made, people betrayed. Yet more lives in his wake.

Ignore the fact that he cannot even give a credible explanation for his murderous behavior if for no other reason than to give the Kane’s minds at a little bit of ease, rather than his own. He cannot do it because it is not in him.

Ignore the fact that he flip-flops religions, searching, hoping to find the one true religion that will convince the Board that he has really changed. I am a Christian now, a Jew, a New Age Spiritual man. Which one makes the better impression?

And ignore the fact that he cannot even follow the simplest of rules when given the choice of following the rule or putting his own freedom to chance.

That choice, to not follow the rule when most any sane person would, was a choice made for Mr. Wideman maybe at birth, who knows?

Ignore the rules. I cannot follow them.

Wideman is what he is and what he is, is dangerous.

Oh, you will see a changed Mr. Wideman at the hearing, I am sure. He will have an explanation for his breach of the rules, softly spoken with a sincere look on his sad round face fixing the same gaze into the camera that bamboozled the last Board. He will speak softly and bow his head, as if he were the victim in this case, asking for another chance to prove his righteous character after explaining how sorry, how so very sorry, he is for making a mistake. We all make mistakes, don’t we? Don’t we all deserve a second chance? I miss my wife. I screwed up.

But Mr. Wideman is not referring to the “mistake” of murdering a child in his sleep. No! What he is sorry for is the mistake that cost him his long sought, and carefully planned for freedom.

Is it really a mistake if the rules do not apply to you?

But in the end, when the hearing camera turns off, when he is no longer primping for his lawyers or manipulating his wife, he will change back to who he really is at heart. And if you cannot, with 100% certainty, tell the world who Mr. Wideman really is when he is alone in his cell or free on the streets, if you don’t really KNOW, then you cannot vote “yes.”

I guess some people never change…

Or, they quickly change and then

quickly change back.

 

Very truly yours,

Daniel J Marco

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About daniel marco

For 23 years I practiced criminal defense. Then, on October 17, 2010, two men murdered my son. They were arrested a month later. It is a death penalty case. So I am coping not only with my son's death, but doubt about the purpose of my entire professional career.
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3 Responses to Not a Hurdle – Another Letter to the Parole Board Asking them to Keep a Murderer in Prison Again

  1. Sally A. Davis says:

    Another eloquent response to a tragic situation. Keep up the good work Dan.

  2. Sandy Kane says:

    Dan,
    You are truly incredible. Words cannot fully express how much our family appreciates your support in keeping this sociopath locked up where he belongs, preventing him from murdering another human being like he did to Eric.

    Sandy Kane

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