I just added almost four hundred spam comments to the digital circular file, (including this gem–”If my problem was a Death Star, this article is a photon torpedo.”–someone doesn’t know their Wars from their Trek) so if you’re trying to make any legitimate replies to one of my posts, I’m sorry, but I probably just deleted it. Go ahead and try again if you like. I’m sorry that so many people feel the need to be assholes.
Work on current recording projects has been on a bit of an hiatus lately due to the recent holiday here in the States (our American Thanksgiving) and a family tragedy. My Husband the Fantastic Guitarist and I plan to get back to work on my upcoming album, “[untitled]“, this coming weekend. My next session with Barry Childs-Helton is either tomorrow or next Wednesday–I need to check my calendar, to which I do not currently have access. Either way, keep an eye on the studio Facebook page for more information as it becomes available.
I feel very strongly about this issue. So strongly, in fact, that I’m going to re-post this from my Facebook so that both of the people who read my blog can hopefully continue the signal boost. This is absolutely real.
The following is copied from the Facebook of a good friend of mine.
Please take a moment to read through this note; it is very important, but I warn you, it is disturbing.
A good friend and former student of mine has lived a nightmare since 1987 and it is possible that the man who killed his wife could be released from prison after having only served 5 years of his sentence. The parole hearing is scheduled for June 7, 2011.
If you are so inclined to join me in writing a letter to the parole board on Michael Woods’ behalf, I know he would be eternally grateful. I am including the email that Michael sent me this morning (his letter to the parole board) as well as a copy of the letter I will be sending. If you want to use my letter as a template and build from that, feel free to do so. Of course, if you don’t want to write a letter, I completely respect that decision. Writing a letter like this is a very personal decision and while I am asking for your help in doing what I consider to be the right thing, I understand that many of you do not know Michael and may not want to get involved. But if you do want to help bring a bit of peace to a very broken heart, here is a way to help.
Please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you for reading this. Feel free to repost this if you want. The more letters the parole board receives, the better. But please note the deadline of 6/7/11 is fast approaching.
Letters should be addressed to:
Huntsville Board of Parole & Pardons
2730 Aberdeen, Huntsville, TX 77340
The inmate’s information is:
Joseph Scott Hatley, TDCJ ID 01505796, D.O.B. 9/20/1965, 6ft 0 in 277 lbs., Murder- 7/28/1987, Injury to a Disabled Individual- 12/24/2005, Byrd Prison unit/diagnostic intake facility, 21 Farm Rd. 247, Huntsville, TX 77320
Peace be to Susan Woods. Her suffering is over. Now let the living find peace as well.
Peace to us all – Beth
The letter from Michael:
To Whom It May Concern: My name is Michael Woods. A monster named Joseph Scott Hatley murdered my wife. Susan Jeanette Atkins Woods was beautiful, gentle, and a decent woman of 30 years. The rights of the victim seem unimportant as compared to his.
From what I can gather, this is what happened; after a violent struggle he bound, violated, raped, sodomized, and tortured my wife. Then he drowned her in the bathtub and removed as much evidence as he knew how. Afterward he drank beer, smoked cigarettes, and went through her belongings taking her valuables and weekly pay. The following year he was arrested in Nevada for armed robbery but his prints were not compared to the ones on the crime scene from my wife’s murder. Two decades later when a cold case detective caught up with him he was in jail for a sexual attack on a wheelchair-bound woman, his wife, on Christmas Eve. He got one of the best lawyers in Texas, and by supplying information about drug dealers he managed to get a plea bargain deal. He was sentenced to the reduced charges of Homicide and Assault on a Handicapped Individual. The court gave him 30 years but he only has to serve 10 and may get parole as soon as 6-7-2011.
He got away with murder for almost 20 years and by pleading out he avoided the testimony of a girl he raped and threatened to kill when she was 16. He is suspected of other crimes committed when he was a trucker but the authorities won’t release information about ongoing cases. He is a large, cruel, heartless predator and has not changed in the last two decades; it is not likely a few years in a transitional institution have rehabilitated him.
It is entirely possible this monster could be released back into society in less time than a drunk driver or music downloader would serve. He doesn’t even have to register as a sex offender. For the sake of women and children he needs to be separated from society. Please write to the powers that be and stop this animal from hurting anyone else.
Huntsville Board of Parole & Pardons2730 AberdeenHuntsville, TX 77340
Joseph Scott Hatley TDCJ ID 01505796 D.O.B. 9/20/1965 6ft 0 in 277 lbs. Murder- 7/28/1987Injury to a Disabled Individual- 12/24/ 2005Byrd Prison unit/diagnostic intake facility21 Farm Rd. 247 Huntsville TX. 77320
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Elizabeth Ann Lykins and I am writing in reference to the upcoming parole hearing of Joseph Scott Hatley, TDCJ ID 01505796, D.O.B. 9/20/1965, 6ft 0 in, 277 lbs., incarcerated for Murder- 7/28/1987, and Injury to a Disabled Individual- 12/24/ 2005, Byrd Prison unit/diagnostic intake facility, 21 Farm Rd. 247, Huntsville TX., 77320.
I ask that the parole board not grant early release to Mr. Hatley.
I am a friend and former professor of Michael Woods, husband of Susan Jeanette Atkins Woods, murder victim of Joseph Scott Hatley. I have watched over the past few years as Michael has put his life back together again and I want to call attention to the collateral victims involved in a homicide. Mr. Hatley not only killed Susan Woods, but he robbed her entire family of their peace of mind and well being. I do not know any of Susan’s other family members, but I can only imagine the pain and suffering they have had to endure. If this man were to be granted parole, what small measure of peace and stability these people have been able to carve for themselves would be shattered. No amount of jail time served could ever bring Susan back, but it can bring peace to the living.
Given Mr. Hatley’s multiple offenses, and the suspicion of his involvement in other crimes, it would not only be a justice to the families of his victims, but also a protection to the community to keep him segregated from the rest of society. A person capable of the cold-blooded rape, torture, and murder of another human being, and the assault of a disabled person demonstrates a disregard for humanity that cannot possibly be rehabilitated in such a short period of time. Plus, it is a slap in the face of a family who has already suffered from the death of a loved one to release her killer in less time than a person would serve if incarcerated for pirating a movie. That thought alone cheapens our society’s idea of human life and sends a subliminal message to the public at large that movies are more precious than a living, breathing human being. I firmly believe that this is not the message that would intentionally be conveyed, but as a college professor who teaches students how to persuade a target audience into believing a story, I know that in the long run, this would be the outcome. The message that our priorities are out of order is a very strong one that will have a lasting effect on the underpinnings of our society, possibly leading to more people who view human life as a cheap, disposable thing and that taking it has no major consequences.
I also understand that our prisons in this country are overflowing and that financial considerations play a role in early release decisions. I beg you to consider the heinous nature of Mr. Hatley’s crimes when making this decision. Would it make sense to release a convicted rapist and killer, over someone who’s crime did not involve taking another person’s life? If a person who is capable of doing what Mr. Hatley did, can we, in good conscious, allow him to be free, where the temptation to act as a predator again will certainly rear its ugly head?
For these reasons, I reiterate my position that Joseph Scott Hatley should not be considered for early release and should be held for his full term of sentence.
Elizabeth A Lykins