Monday, September 15, 2008

Thank You, Readers and Supporters. Update on Mechele

Hey everyone,

As many of you probably know, 48 Hours reran their segment on Mechele this weekend. I actually did not know what was going on until I saw that the hits on this site had jumped from around the usual of 75/day to 1300 within an hour! As of this writing, we've had over 5000 page loads this month, most of them coming from interest following 48 Hours.

Thank you to everyone who wrote in and commented with your support. It means so much to all of us in the middle of this crazy situation. We've been a little overwhelmed by the surprise outpouring, so I apologize that we have not been replying personally to all the fabulous comments. I have to say that reading them often brings tears to my eyes. I'm sending them all off to Mechele today. Thank you. Thank you.

I finally talked to Mechele yesterday after weeks of just missing each other. It is challenging for all of us when these shows are aired, but we are also grateful that it brings like-minded folks together with us to help us support Mechele in her journey to freedom. I think, as many others have voiced, that it is a story in need of telling, not only from the perspective of one woman and her family, but from the perspective of keeping our justice system to the ideals set forth in the beginning of our country. Namely, innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

I know in the beginning we talked about Mechele actually writing in to the blog and we have not done this yet. The reason we have not is that she is just not ready. She has been considering it and even told me at one point to start posting her letters to me. However, not only are those personal letters, but I am very cautious, as is Colin, and we want to make sure nothing could be used against her. Hence, the reason for the semi-silence. I may post a story she wrote to me that is not directly related to the case. We discussed this yesterday and agreed it might be a good way for her to connect without feeling intimidated by the whole process of writing to the world from jail. Some of us friends are also looking into writing up her story from the perspective her innocence (since that is really not the dominant story out there now) and submitting it to Justice Denied (The Magazine for theWrongly Convicted), who has graciously linked to us on their site.

Thank you to everyone who has sent books to Mechele. Since the inception of this blog in April, people have graciously sent her 53 items from Amazon. That is so wonderful. Thank you. Thank you.

Just to let you know what else is going on for her right now, in addition to reading, coloring, and drawing, Mechele has also been training dogs through a special program at Hiland and she has a job sewing uniforms. She is able to make a special order from a catalog in October, since it is her birthday month, and she plans to get a TV. Depending on how the appeal process goes, there are a number of different possible scenarios for when Mechele might be free. It is our greatest hope that she can be home next summer, even if it is just for awaiting a new trial. Please keep your thoughts and prayers focused on this goal so that it, or something better, can come into being for her.

Keep the faith!


Grace said...

I am glad she gets to work with animals. I will focus my prayers and thoughts on her being able to be home next summer (or something better!) as you ask. Thanks for keeping us updated.


Calamity's Child said...

I thought I read somewhere that Mechele liked to knit. Is she allowed to receive yarn and/or knitting needles? I know fall always makes me want to knit and it's very soothing to me.

Mechele's Friends said...

Thanks both! I think she does like to knit, but I doubt she can have that stuff.

Grace said...

Elsewhere today an anecdote, about a conversation the writer had with a legislative assistant, caught my eye.

S/he told this person that when a constituent called the office, the Representative assumed that 1,000 people held the same view. And if someone wrote a personal letter, the Representative assumed 10,000 people held the same view.

I hope it is obvious why I pass that along to you.

I did a little blogging about Mechele myself last night, striving to be factual, though not concealing my own bias.

I quickly received a comment to the effect that the case certainly did sound like "a mess" and that my concern for Mechele and her family was very understandable. I am sure I would already have received more such comments had I a more expansive network of "friends" but I like to keep it simple.)

Of course, I am assuming that others drawing attention - of a different sort than the media did - to your friends' circumstance is in your view a positive thing. Otherwise I would keep quiet about it.

Mechele's Friends said...

Thanks so much, Grace! I really appreciate it and so does Mechele. I could not find your blog. Would you care to share a link?

Grace said...

You should be able to find it now, just click on me. It's a new one.

Grace said...

How is everyone doing?

I'm literally interested in everyone: Mechele, Colin, daughter, and you two (it is two?), this blog's operators.

I also have a question re. letters.

I realize I am not supposed to try to get the women to riot. Blatant things likethat! But, is it OK to allude to future freedom, vindication, etc? In general, I'm wondering what is allowed in the letters, the Hiland site explicates only so far. I figure you would know.

Thanks, Grace

Mechele's Friends said...

Oh, you're so sweet, Grace. Thanks for asking. We seem to be in a waiting period right now. It seems to me that there is stuff happening, happening, happening, and then not much we can do. Just waiting on appeal stuff right now. All of us are just doing our best to move forward and keep our spirits high.

Certainly the family has challenges, but they have good support, too. I'm always amazed at the graceful way in which the Linehans have handled this throughout. Everyone misses Mechele.

As far as the letters go, I write all the time about her getting out and being free and to imagine the things we will do together. I make plans with her. That seems to be AOK. I send her everything on this blog, including the comments. But yes, it's good to be careful, knowing that everything she receives, writes, or says on the phone is kept in records and can be given to the prosecution. So, of course, legal ways to be free only. :D

Thanks so much for your ongoing support, Grace!

Grace said...

Ok, that helps a lot. No nail file in the banana bread, got it.

Mechele's Friends said...

You got it. LOL!