Before I write anything, I would like to express that I have no opinion on the Darrell Williams trial or verdict. This is simply an opinion on what the petition and support could do to help Darrell Williams’ situation, and nothing past that.
The people heading the @FreeDarrell twitter account and “Free Darrell Williams” Facebook page started a petition on change.org last night.
Here is the link: http://www.change.org/petitions/payne-county-suspend-darrell-williams-sentence-and-set-him-free?utm_campaign=share_button_modal&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=24770944
Currently, it has 923 signatures. That is 2,699 total accounts in support of Darrell Williams when you add together the signatures, follows on Twitter, and “likes” on Facebook, though I know most of those are duplicates as most people have both Facebook and Twitter.
I’ve been following closely and and giving updates on Twitter, and the most common response I’ve gotten is “That’s great and all, but will it accomplish anything?”
Disclaimer: All of this is a long shot, but this is what the exposure gained from the “Free Darrell Williams” movement COULD do. Doesn’t mean it will, just that it could.
Williams’ attorney has stated that she intends to file for an appeal on the case. The appeal goes to a higher court, and if they accept it, the case can be retried with new everything.
Where the petition, Twitter, and Facebook come in is that it gives the current situation exposure. There is a chance it could suspend sentencing, but the most major thing it can and already is doing is it puts the case on a national radar, and people are watching to see what happens.
At this pace, they would only be able to ignore it for so long. If you don’t know what I mean by that, search the story of Dewey Bozella.
So where it stands right now is exactly where we were when Darrell Williams was taken into custody post-verdict. Nothing has changed. It’s likely nothing will change as that’s how the legal system works, but every follower, signature, and “Like” raises the odds of anything happening by just a little bit more.
- Brendon Morris (@brendon_wm)