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)
Last night, Darrell Williams was found guilty of two of four counts of rape by instrumentation, and one count of sexual battery by a jury of his peers in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Williams was a major part of the 2010-11 Oklahoma State basketball team, and seemed to be hitting his stride when it was brought to a sudden halt as the charges were filed.
The case was largely considered a “He said, she said” case, and the jury took eight hours before delivering a verdict.
According to Samantha Vicent of the Daily O’Collegian, there is an appeal process, but it is rare for the appeal to be granted. Vicent said:
“Ch. 18 of Criminal Procedure states he can file an appeal w/the Court of Criminal Appeals within 90 days. It says all appeals shall be taken by “petition for writ of certiorari”, meaning he’ll ask the SC to review the decision. However, it is rare for a judge to grant one. He can also appeal under the Post-Conviction Relief statite, but that’s stricter.”
Regional media covered the story, but national media soon picked up on it, including national columnist Gregg Doyel tweeting a story link:
@GreggDoyelCBS: Ok State basketball player convicted of rape. His immediate response was … wow.
@GreggDoyelCBS: If I’m on that jury, and I convicted a guy with zero physical evidence, and he reacts like THAT? I’m terrified.
This evening, a Facebook page entitled “Free Darrell Williams” was started, and already has around 50 likes after being active for only about half an hour.
A post on the Facebook page by the administrator says:
I have been in contact with Bishop Grant of the Rainbow Push organization. If everyone will send an email maybe we can get somewhere. The email is email@example.com We are willing to do whatever we can to get him free. Please invite friends and post things about Darrell. He needs to know he has an army behind him.
Though the verdict has been given and the dust seemed to be settling, it seems there could be more to this story.
The Daily O’Collegian will continue to monitor any developments, as well as keep tabs on any file for an appeal by Williams and/or his attorney.
***UPDATE (12:57 AM, July, 25, 2012)***
A Twitter account has also been started affiliated with the Facebook page under the handle @FreeDarrell. It has 149 followers since being created at 11:55 PM.
***UPDATE (1:02 PM, July 25, 2012)***
The Williams supporters’ social network pages are gaining steam very quickly.
The twitter page, started around midnight last night, just hit 500 followers, and has gained exposure with former OSU receiver Justin Blackmon endorsing. They also reached out to former quarterback Brandon Weeden, and Rev. Al Sharpton.
The Facebook page that was created late last night has also hit 313 “Likes”, and have posted that the group will have a prayer meeting at the Payne County Courthouse on August 1st.
Both of the pages have also stated that if Williams is not free by Monday, they will be protesting at the courthouse.
***UPDATE (1:53 PM, July 26, 2012)***
Support for Williams has hit the ground running. As of right now, the @FreeDarrell Twitter has amassed 1,040 followers since it started just after midnight on Wednesday morning. The Free Darrell Williams Facebook page is currently at 694 “Likes”, and the administrators behind the pages also started a petition on change.org for Williams. It currently has 887 signatures since being started yesterday.
We are closely monitoring the current situation here at the Daily O’Collegian Newspaper, and will continue to provide updates on any new developments.
It’s June 5th, and I’m already tired of hearing about Deron Williams’ upcoming decision that is destined to doom at least one of the two teams involved; the New Jersey Nets and the Dallas Mavericks.
As you know from prior posts and basically everywhere unless you live under a rock, Williams is the All Star point guard and centerpiece of New Jersey’s team, and if he leaves would have a Cleveland post-LeBron type wreckage.
Dallas scrapped a championship team to aim at the 2012 offseason in hopes of landing the superstar who played high school ball only ten minutes away in The Colony.
Williams will have to decide between the hometown that has basically placed their future upon his shoulders (without his permission), and Jay Z’s franchise that will head to Brooklyn, and hopes to have Williams as the face of their new beginning.
It’s deeper than that though. Dallas has an incredible opportunity, but how much weight do they have to throw around?
Right now, their pitch is “Come play with Dirk Nowitzki for a few years, one of the best players in the league and a guy who’s already won a ring”, but past that there isn’t much.
They have an advantage too. Williams is Dallas. He has it tattooed on his arm. He grew up on the north side of the city since he was at least 8 years old.
His family still lives there, but his brother just graduated from high school Sunday night. The brother attended TCHS as well, and Williams was in section 207, sporting a Texas Rangers cap with his wife and kids.
His brother played basketball at TC. He’s a 5’9 speedy point guard, ranked the No. 63 player in Texas by MaxPreps. But he isn’t going to college just yet.
Little bro is taking advantage of a loophole that some players do. He’s attending a private school for a fifth year of high school ball, to further develop his skills and hope for a few more inches of height before heading to a college campus.
Secondhand reports around town say that he will be doing this in New Jersey (I wonder why?), but plenty of Dallas-area schools offer the extra eligibility as well.
Williams’ decision obviously effects where his brother will play his 5th year of ball at, as I doubt the brother will head to New Jersey if Williams isn’t playing there.
Is it a done deal that Williams will be staying in Jersey and housing his little brother for a year, or is it something little bro has been told to say while the All Star decides what he wants to do?
And more importantly, is his brother’s high school career something that is influencing Williams’ decision?
One thing is for sure, only time will tell, but don’t expect an answer any time soon.
Until then, I’ll definitely be naming any other factors that make anything close to sense.
- Brendon Morris
In Stillwater, there is a mixed fan base of both Thunder and Mavericks fans, so James and I like to add coverage every once in awhile.
Tonight, the NBA Lottery will go down, and neither OKC nor Dallas are eligible. The Thunder probably won’t even be watching, as their team is in a pretty good position right now and doesn’t really have a gap to fill or a need to trade up to a top spot.
But Cuban and the rest of the Dallas fan base? They’ll not only be watching, but they’ll be studying every move made.
Why? It’s simple. Deron Williams.
The New Jersey Nets have a 1 in 4 chance of getting that coveted top pick when the draft rolls around, and if that 25% chance strikes oil then there could be a major swing in what this summer’s offseason will hold.
It’s no secret that Williams is a free agent, and will garner the most attention this offseason from teams looking for a franchise point guard. It’s also no secret that the Illinois alum is a Dallas native, playing his high school ball at The Colony High School just north east of uptown.
Long story short, it’s very likely that Williams has been entertaining the idea of playing in his hometown, and Mark Cuban is obviously thinking the same thing as he stripped his 2011 championship team down to nothing to make a run at D-Will.
So what does tonight have to do with that situation?
It’s actually pretty simple. Williams wants to win, he’s said that forever. If New Jersey (er, Brooklyn?) doesn’t make an obvious attempt to make the 22-44 team into a contender, it’s likely that their point guard throws up a peace sign as he departs.
But if New Jersey lands a top 3 or 4 pick tonight, that could be just what Williams needs to see. In that Top 4, you have Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, and Thomas Robinson. Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist and Robinson have all shown strong play at the forward position, and if any are on the board when New Jersey goes on the clock, you can guarantee they’d take them.
Another scenario? Well, there’s a man in Orlando named Dwight Howard who may (or may not) want out. Would New Jersey dish out a Top 3 pick plus a few players for the best center in the league?
What Dallas fans are rooting for is to see New Jersey get left out in the cold, somewhere preferably out of the Top 5 of the draft.
If that happens, you’ll see the Deron Williams sweepstakes hit full-swing as soon as the Larry O’Brien trophy is hoisted into the air.
Ever since the Dallas Mavericks hoisted the trophy last June, they’ve been looking forward.
Not in a “Next season we’ll do it all again” way, but in a “2012-13 will be our year” way. Though they never came out and said that, it’s obvious.
The goal was simple,bring Deron Williams and Dwight Howard to Dallas or bust.
Howard said a few months ago that he’d decline his player option and stay in Orlando, so it’s time for Mavs owner Mark Cuban to go to plan B.
Williams hasn’t announced his intentions for next season yet, but considering his status as Dallas’ prodigal son since he played high school basketball in north Dallas at The Colony High School, it seems likely he’ll be playing in the American Airlines Center.
Just ask him. When his New Jersey Nets visited Dallas about a month ago, he was very complimentary of everything having to do with the Mavericks.
But he won’t be enough. Not in today’s NBA.
Back in the glory days when I was growing up, one star was enough to win a title. Then they quickly moved through the two-star teams and jumped straight to the three-star studded circuses.
Dirk will play for Dallas as long as he wants to. If he gets to about 60 years old and wants to play in a wheelchair, Cuban will let him, and he should. So there’s one star.
Deron Williams makes two. Is that enough to win a title? It’s possible. They did it last year with Dirk and three or four guys that added together to create another collective star player. But if they want to be a legitimate contender, they will need to make one of two moves.
Number 1: Trade for Amar’e Stoudemire
With the recent events of the NBA Playoffs, Stoudemire has solidified himself as a headache in New York. The team has been better without him, but he’s still Amar’e Stoudemire, the same guy who torched the Mavericks while Stoudemire was in Phoenix a few years ago.
Not only would a trade unload cap space that would allow the Mavs to give Williams the most lucrative offer possible, but it would also free up space to surround them with younger players. Not to mention, Stoudemire in Dallas seems right. It’s a low-pressure situation. He would be seen as the third scorer on the team, and he was named to a few All Star rosters in that situation with the Suns.
Number 2: Go after a big-man free agent
There are a few out there, but none are the franchise center that the Mavericks are looking for. The closest player to that is Roy Hibbert, but the Indiana Pacers will be making a hard run at him, and Hibbert has no ties to Dallas so it would be a big gamble that would possibly end in them missing on everyone if they wait too long on him and end up losing.
I like the route that the Miami Heat went by signing a solid SF/PF player in Chris Bosh. Players that fit this mold in this year’s free agent class are numerous. My favorite is former Kansas State star Michael Beasley. Beasley was drafted by the Heat, but eventually ended up in Minnesota when LeBron James and Bosh made their way to South Beach.
Beasley’s a typical player you’d expect out of a team coached by Frank Martin. Physical, 6’10 power forward that isn’t afraid to bang with anyone, and could play PF with Dirk at the center, or move over to Small Forward and pick up the team’s best big player on the opposing team.
Either way, it’s certainly going to be an interesting off-season for Dallas fans. Buckle up your seat belts and keep the aspirin close. Headaches will be abundant as you wait and worry.