Essie Manns: We’re Fighting for You

Essie Manns is the grandmother of DeVaughn Hall, currently incarcerated at Red Onion State prison. Essie lives in Roanoke, Virginia, a 4 hours drive from the prison. She cannot drive long distances, but she gets rides from her friends and family as often as she can to go and visit DeVaughn in prison. For her audio postcard, Essie recorded a Sunday with the family. She took the recorder to church, and then returned home for a fish fry with their whole extended family.

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About DeVaughn’s Case: DeVaughn was charged with Carjacking and Robbery when he was 19 years old. The car in question was recovered a few days later with no damage, and no one was seriously injured in the incident. Devaughn has maintained his innocence to this day. His family could not afford a lawyer. He was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison. He has now been in prison for ten years. He is twenty-nine years old, and his release date is 2034. The state of Virginia abolished parole in 1994, so as of now, he has no chance for parole.  His first and middle name were spelled wrong in his court records, and continue to be spelled wrong with the Virginia Department of Corrections. His mother and grandmother have been fighting for ten years to get the correct spelling of his name on record.