Justice for Joe

Joe Bryan, falsely convicted and imprisoned for some 34 years, is my cousin. A lot of family and friends have prayed many years for justice to be served. But justice is not fully served till Joe is fully exonerated, the ankle bracelet is removed, the parole restrictions are scuttled and the real murderer is identified and convicted.

Thank you, Tommy Witherspoon of the Waco Tribune-Herald; Jessi Freud, Joe’s attorney, and many others at the Innocence Project of Texas; and numerous other people who assisted in this endeavor to secure “Justice for Joe Bryan.”

Irresponsibility and injustice still occur in our legal system. We as Texans require an overhaul of our legal system where facts, truth and justice are done in the name of God We Trust.

Take a moment and think about the many other Joes. What if you were one of them and your life had been ruined and wasted by a menagerie of incompetence and errors as was Joe Bryan’s? Is this the true face of America today?

In God We Trust to correct this injustice!

Bill Johnson, Waco

EDITOR’S NOTE: Former Clifton High School principal Joe Bryan was released from prison on parole this week after serving some 32 years for a murder he insists he did not commit. Bryan has never wavered in his innocence claims through two trials, multiple appeals and writ hearings at which the forensic expert who testified at Bryan’s trials in Bosque and Comanche counties admitted his conclusions were wrong.

Thank science

When we get through this pandemic, it will be science that we will have to thank. It will not be faith. Science has virtually ended so many diseases of the past through vaccines and other treatments. The same will be true here. And if we are objective, we will see that religion was an impediment, especially when we think of the fundamentalists who insisted on having members attend church amidst this viral crisis. These members no doubt went back out and spread COVID-19 among the community, including their unwitting friends and neighbors.

Hopefully we will remember that the Religious Right elected an incompetent buffoon who aided in the spread of this disease by doing nothing for almost three months. Yes, science is beautiful and saves lives. Religion is a poison that offers false promises and deception. And it is an impediment to progress and the saving of lives.

John Vickrey, Norman, Okla.

Nearer to God

These events of the last few weeks

Have given us a reason to pause,

And reflect on how this virus

Can expose our weaknesses and flaws.

These changes have affected our habits,

And altered most all of our days.

Thousands of humans are suffering.

Millions are asked to change their ways.

So, now we must be ever mindful,

To be vigilant and maybe stay inside.

It’s just hard to comprehend the magnitude

Of the numbers of lives that have died.

This question I ask is simple.

When will this outbreak end?

The answer is available to all —

Draw nearer to your God — AMEN.

Ben Hagins, Woodway

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