by Zolo Agona Azania
i am facing the death penalty for the third time on the same case which was overturned twice. This death penalty case has been languishing in Indiana courts for more than 23 years. The case has been delayed largely because of serious mistakes made by the state prosecution. Why? Because the prosecutor continues to pursue the death penalty in a case that should’ve been properly resolved years ago. My defense does not involve DNA testing. The prosecution got vaught rigging two racist jury trials against me.
i was in court on Januaryt 21, 2005 for another pretrial hearing. The judge took my three different motions to dismiss the death sentence count under advisement before me made a ruling on them. The prosecutor conceded that the death penalty sentencing statute that existed in 1981 when i was arrested (the same law that i was convicted under in 1982) was declared unconsitutional! Isn’t that wonderful?! Now, why am i still in prison? Why haven’t i been released?
No, the trial court judge hasn’t made a ruling on my case yet. The United states Supreme Court has made several important decisions affecting death penalty cases (including the recent decision concerning juveniles). Why? Because the way many of the state courts and prosecuting attorneys were sentencing people with and without a jury was wrong, illegal and unconstitutional. The death penalty sentencing statute that existed in 1981 was repealed by the Indiana Legislature. They are the ones who changed the law that i was convicted under in 1982.
During the last court hearing in Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, the prosecutors argued that i should be sentenced under the 2002 death penalty statute. But how could that be so since the Indiana State Legislatures wrote in the actual statute exactly whom the new law applies to, and when it comes into effect? All of the penalties under the new law were increased. These sentences were nonexistent at time of offense, which makes a crime greater than when it was committed or imposes additionl punishment therefore.
Very truly yours,
Zolo Agona Azania
Mr Zolo Agona Azania #4969
Indiana State Reformatory
PO Box 30