My name is Kea Banks. It has come to my attention that Judge Christine Arguello has recently been appointed to the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. I feel that I must write this letter to inform you of a great injustice that is taking place. It is a great miscarriage of justice when innocent men are allowed to sit in prison for crimes they did not commit. There are six men sitting in the prison camp at the federal correctional institution in Florence, Colorado. My father is one of these men. My uncle, two of my friends’ fathers, my Sunday-School superintendent, and a man I have known my whole life make up the rest of these men. You may think why this matter is relevant to me? It matters because the six men are innocent. They are innocent and Judge Arguello knows this. She did not allow evidence to be seen by the jury that would have proved the men not guilty. I went to my father’s trial, because I want to become an attorney. I want to make a difference. I want my life to mean something. I want to one day become a judge who executes fairness in truth.
Judge Arguello is in a very unique position. She is a minority, a female, a wife, and a mother. Myself I am a minority, I am female, and I hope to one day be a wife and mother. Perhaps I will be distinguished enough to be acknowledged for my contributions to society. Judge Arguello is not at all who I want to be, or an example of what I want to do with my life. I stated earlier that Judge Arguello is in a very unique position. She has reached a level of success that is not often afforded to women. She is a minority in a world that is very aware of racial difference. She has risen to a place that few are able to acquire. The place she has risen to only serves as a pedestal from which she will fall. She will fall because her foundation is not built on truth and honor. Rather it is built upon lies, secrets, and dishonor.
You may think that I am only writing this letter because my father is in prison. You may think that because I am his daughter I may not be able to see the situation clearly. Possibly I am too young and I do not understand how the system works. I assure you I understand perfectly fine. I see this situation as clearly as anyone is able too. If my father were guilty, I would be the first one to say he should go to prison. I believe that if you commit a crime you should go to prison, regardless of who you are. My father is not guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud, or mail fraud. He is guilty of having debt, but that is not a crime. Debt means you owe money. Yet somehow having debt has landed my father in prison. I do not understand how this is to teach the next generation to function. If because we have debt we could very well end up in prison, how will young people like myself take any risks.
Since my father has been railroaded at every turn, he no longer has a voice because he is in prison. I feel obligated to make sure as many people as possible know he did not do anything wrong. I mean if you knew your father or your husband or your daughter or son did not commit a crime would you not do everything you could to make that known? Could you live with yourself if it came to your attention there was an innocent man wrongfully imprisoned, and you did nothing about it. Prisoners do not have a voice. Even though our men know longer have a voice, my father has remained consistent in who he is and insistent that he is not guilty of the crimes for which he was prosecuted and convicted. The evidence shows that our men are not guilty. And still I ended up with my father going to prison the same day I found out I had been accepted into college. Still I ended up with my father missing an award ceremony for me for achieving a pleasing GPA in my first semester. My father has missed every occasion that takes place during the year. He has missed every single one at least once. No one can give back to me what I have lost. More importantly, no one can give back to my father what he has lost. I will not have a first day of college again. I will not have another 21st birthday. The academic honors I have received will not happen for the first time again. My father will never not know what it feels like to sleep on a steel shelf. He will never not know what is to have a dream and be punished for it. My family will always know that the system we call justice is so far beyond broken that it probably will never be able to be fixed.
All the sorrow and pain I am currently experiencing is because of Judge Christine Arguello. Every tear that has rolled down my face is because of her. If my father’s case had gone before a different judge, I am certain I would not be writing this letter to you now. However, no matter how much I wish Judge Arguello had not been the presiding judge over my father’s case, she still was. Judge Arguello has refused to acknowledge her faults and shortcomings. When a person fails to acknowledge where they have fallen short, they leave the door open to corruption. Because now they have to hide what they have done wrong. This is exactly what Judge Arguello has done. No judge in good standing or good faith who would think it acceptable that 200 transcript pages are missing from a trial over which they presided. Yet Judge Christine Arguello sees nothing wrong with this disturbing fact. A judge with nothing to hide would be very forthcoming in aiding to make sure the missing pages were produced. Not only would such a judge be forthcoming, they would also be swift in their pursuit of truth. I implore you to look into United States v. Banks for yourself. Should you find that I am right, I ask you to rescind your acceptance of Judge Christine Arguello into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.