---Here's my letter - How about yours?
Honorable Michigan State Parole Board,
I am writing to you in the hopes that you will revisit your recent decision to deny parole for William J. Hetherington. Also, I apologize if I may in advance for my rather lengthy letter.
William J. Hetherington has been incarcerated in Michigan prisons for over 20 years for the alleged crime of ‘spousal rape’. Coincidently, in 1986, he became the first man “convicted” under this new law. A law that was created, in my opinion, for no other reason than to vilify men in a court of law with no hope of fair and equal treatment under said laws. But that is not really at issue here. And even now, 20 years later, he is still incarcerated well beyond that of a ‘normal’ rapist all based upon the “he said – she said” model that has been proven time and time again to be the case when a divorce is in process.
In reviewing the parole hearing notes, your notes, it is clearly evident that William does not accept guilt for a crime that he believes he did not commit. Furthermore, it is quite clear that based upon your own notations, he does not propose a threat upon society, has bettered himself in many ways, has medical issues that require a specialty physician, and has been virtually a model prisoner. Under normal circumstances, these points alone would garner a pedophile or dare I say murderer, a chance to continue on with his life outside of a cell…
Yet you continue to deny this man parole. The question remains, why? For what reason are you denying this man his right to reasonable due process? Incarceration is supposedly used for two reasons, punishment and rehabilitation. Reverting back to your notations once again, it is apparent that the sole reason is that the "prisoner denies the offense".
Rehabilitation can only beget in the event of acceptance of guilt, for which William categorically denies to this day, over 20 years later. Since when is release from incarceration upon completing the ‘required’ amount of time dependent upon ones admission of guilt?
Punishment on the other hand should fit the crime should it not? If not, it should at least fit the guidelines set forth by the law in and of itself, should it not? The state of Michigan stipulates that the sentence for ‘spousal rape” is to be set at 1 to 10 years incarceration. Yet, without showing just cause, the judge sentenced him to 15 to 30 years which is more than twice that of the average convicted rapist in Michigan.
As for the case itself, there are so many discrepancies; it boggles the mind when attempting to understand how this man was found guilty. I would dare to imply that it is that of made-for-TV movie on Lifetime. I would like to highlight a few indicators that I believe had merit alone to question the validity of this case and apparent gross miscarriage of justice. To whit;
- Hetherington, a Vietnam Veteran, was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force, received a National Defense Service Medal, and had no police record of any sort.
- Linda Hetherington is not and has never been a battered wife. She herself, under oath, testified that he had never beaten her in their 16 years of marriage.
- Hetherington has always maintained his innocence. As previously stated, this case was a he-said-she-said case during a custody battle; he claims that they had consensual sex, she claims it was rape. The presiding judge used Michigan's new Rape Shield Law to prohibit cross-examination of Linda.
- For which if cross examination had been allowed, the fact that Linda had on two other separate occasions, made claims of rape against William only to rescind these claims later. Under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, “a person has a right to face their accuser”. If one cannot question the validity and/or the possibility of serial false accusations, how is one to get a just and fair trial? Rhetorical, of course.
- No physical evidence of rape was produced at the trial. A pelvic examination of Linda at the hospital three hours after the alleged offense showed no evidence of injury or forced penetration. Only her words were enough for this man to be found guilty of the heinous crime of rape.
- The court-designated psychologist who examined Hetherington, Dr. Harold S. Sommerschield, Ph.D., concluded: "This is not a man who would force himself sexually or hostilely on another individual, as this would be foreign to his personality dynamics. ... His histrionic personality ... would substantiate his explanation of what has occurred in regards to the relationship with his ex-wife."
- Evidential photographs of the alleged victim were never disclosed to the defense and were incorrectly handled. Specifically, ten years after conviction, Jeff Feldman, under the Freedom of Information Act, obtained copies of the five photographs taken of Linda by police at the alleged crime scene immediately after the alleged offense. The photographs were in a locker in a police garage.
- The rape case was coincidentally prosecuted simultaneously with the custody case. This action alone put William in the middle of a ‘rock and a hard place’. Since the divorce court had frozen all his (their) assets, he had no money to hire a lawyer or to even make bond. Yet, because of his listed assets, the criminal court ruled that he was not indigent (or poor enough) and refused to provide him with a court appointed lawyer.
- A four page report submitted with a sworn statement dated January 8, 1998 by an acclaimed forensics photographer. John Valor, utilizing new and modern techniques, stated that the pictures of Linda showed no scratches, tape marks or abnormalities of any kind, absolute. Furthermore, he states that marks would have been identifiable and clearly visible if there had been any at all.
- This brings to the forefront an additional discrepancy that, under the law, if a witness (in this case a government witness) gives false testimony, a convicted prisoner should be entitled to a new trial, but William Hetherington has yet to receive one. In the least, the witness should be charged with perjury.
- The State of Michigan’s sentencing guideline for this new offense at the time was 1 to 10 years yet, without cause, the judge sentenced him to 15 to 30 years.
- At sentencing, the prosecutor, one Robert Weiss called Hetherington's alleged offense equivalent to "first degree murder" and maliciously accused William of beating Linda with no evidence to support his wildly false accusation. Coincidently yet again, Weiss was running for a judgeship, and observers sized up his prejudicial statements as grandstanding for support from the feminists and gender-baiters.
- Additionally, this particular point has all the components and indicators of William being ‘Nifonged’. A reference to the railroading of three innocent boys at Duke University by a rogue DA and a stripper and drug addict; Ms. Chrystal Gail Mangum.
- For more than 12 years, the court has refused to provide William with court transcripts. Of course, without funds, he was unable to purchase one. Thus, he was effectively denied his right of appeal, an inalienable right supposedly granted to all accused. And to this day, no appeal has ever been heard on the substance of this case.
No physical evidence, a Judges gross misconduct and political motivations, no legal representation, denied due process, denial of appeal, false testimonies, and blatant lies have kept this man in prison for over 20 years. All the while his estranged wife Linda walked away with custody of their three daughters, the marital home, and all marital assets. This achingly rings true to many men that find themselves in a bitter divorce and custody battle today.
For example, a few years later, a letter was sent to the parole board by Melissa Anne Suchy, who had babysitter for Linda. Suchy stated that Linda told her she made up the whole story about rape because she was pregnant from her boyfriend. And of course in true ‘victim speak’, she claimed that her boyfriend had pushed her to press rape charges, saying that “he wouldn't take care of the baby” if she didn’t "get rid of Hetherington."
Or course, Suchy's letter is justifiably considered hearsay, but it has the ring of truth considering the atmosphere created by the Domestic Violence and Divorce Industries. Yes, they are indeed part of an industry… A billion dollar industry.
It is my opinion that a good man's life has been sacrificed for no other reason but to show the women of Michigan that the new law is “tough on rape and DV”, nothing more. It mattered not if he was innocent or guilty. It matters not that his punishment has already exceeded that of a ‘real rapist’, threefold. The system must protect its own. And most certainly it must never-ever-ever admit its errors, let alone correct them.
Three innocent children have been denied their father, by the malicious feminists and their lackeys who have lobbied for such slight-of-hand laws that punish GOOD MEN for such ‘gray-area-rape’ similarly to that of a rape or murder committed by a stranger. In creating this law, GOOD MEN are denied the right to cross-examine his accuser and have solidified a system that states a woman never lies, must always be believed, contrary to evidence and similar serial accusations… And the man… well the man is always guilty, isn’t he.
Coming full circle, let me just state that regardless of his guilt or innocence, the constitutionality of his case is sorely lacking and errs on the side of false imprisonment without due process; a human rights issues if I ever saw one.
In closing, I urge you to take a serious look at William J. Hetherington’s case. More importantly, I urge you to re-evaluate your decision to deny bail yet again.
If you believe he is guilty, then he has completed his time. And if you believe that there are too many discrepancies to ignore this man’s plight, please do what is right and release him. Give him a chance to have a life; a chance to be a father, a chance for his children to know this man. At least as their father if not moreso, an innocent man.
I again urge my readers to write to the Michigan Parole Board at the following address.
Michigan Parole Board
C/o Executive Secretary
PO Box 30003
Lansing, MI 48909
Letters should mention Mr. Hetherington's name and his inmate number of 186155.
Mr. Hetherington likes copies of letters sent to the parole board to be mailed to him as well. His address follows:
William J. Hetherington #186155
Boyer Road Carson City Correctional Facilities
PO Box 5000
Carson City, MI 48811-5000.
Remember, this could happen to you!