Friday, September 10, 2010

PTSD as new evidence

Terrance J. Shaw, #138254
Oshkosh Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 3310
Oshkosh, WI 54903-3310

September 11, 2010

Attorney Bossard Parka Ltd.
King on fifth Street, Suite 334
505 King Street, Suite 334
Lacrosse, WI 54601

Dear Attorney Parks:
I am in my 28th year of serving a Life plus 20-year consecutive sentence from the Lacrosse County Circuit Court in 1982. I have "New Evidence" that wasn't known or in existence at tne time of my conviction and sentencing, and I believe it can overturn my conviction. I also believe there is a possibility of prosecutor (and his investigator's) misconduct. I would like to ask you to consider representing me, Mr Parka. The following is an overview of my “New Evidence."

After I was criminally sentenced in 1982 for the 1981 crime and was sent to prison, I have been diagnosed as having the Vietnam PTSD at ths time of the crime, trial and sentencing, but it wasn't known by me, my attorney, or the judge; but possibly the prosecutor and his investigator knew about it before trial and didn't bring it to the attention of the court. A simple investigation of interviewing my ex-wife, friends, neighbors and acquaintences, as to if they were questioned by the prosecutor's investigator about it, and if they told him about it, but the prosecutor never disclosed it, then they are guilty of suppression of evidence prior to trial.

Because of this unknovm/undisclosed evidence, the court in 1982 never ordered me to be sent to a mental Institution for the routine 90-day evaluation before trial, nor did the court order a presentence investigation to be done on me before sentencing me. Right when the jury brought back a guilty verdict, the judge thanked and dismissed the jury, then called me to the bench and sentenced me to Life plus 20-years to run consecutive. This unknown "New Evidence" could have possibly been discovered during a presentence investigation too. However, after I was in prison for several years I finally had occasion to be seen by a Psyc./MO, Dr. Richard Arnesan, at Columbia Correctional Institution (Cd) and he diagnosed me as suffering from the Vietnam PTSD at the time of my crime, trial, conviction and sentencing. Then Dr. Arnesan had me alert the Veteran's Administration and the VA sent their psychiatrist into the prison to evaluate me twice in the 1990s, and the VA psychiatrist also diagnosed me at both different evaluations, as suffering from the Vietnam PTSD, as well as a small handful of WDOC psychiatrists have subsequently also diagnosed me as suffering from the Vietnam PTSD also. About 10-years ago the WDOC psychiatrist put me on Prozac because of my Vietnam PTSD.

So I'm thinking that if it wasn't for the court neglecting to send me to the mental hospital for the routine 90-day evaluation before trial, plus the court neglecting to order a presentence investigation done on me before sentencing me, my Vietnam PTSD and the part it played in the acting out of my crime, would have been diagnosed and possibly been compassionately taken into consideration at sentencing so that the judge might have given me the Life plus 20-years to run concurrently instead of consecutively.
OR BETTER YET,, if the court had appropriately ordered a 90-day evaluation in the amental hospital before trial, like I believe thay are supposed to do in all capital cases, my Vietnam PTSD would have bean discovered and diagnosed before trial, so that I would have been able to plead as suffering from a diminished capacity, instead of pleading not guilty and taking it all the way to a jury trial and losing. Either way, I believe the court and/or “the system" screwed up. Now here I sit in prison 28-years later with this "New Factor/Evidence" that I want to bring to the court, when it should have been discovered before trial if the court, somebody, anybody, had me undergo the 90-day evaluation at the mental hospital before requiring a plea from me before trial.

Prior to the crime, I felt I was under attack, but I couldn't identify who the enemy was, so I took out my Vietnamese National Flag and pinned it to my living room wall and wouldn't let my wife take it clown. I loaded up all my guns and stationed them around the house, pulled the drapes, started wearing may jungle combat clothes, and sat rocking in my rocking chair with a loaded rifle across itry lap, drinking bourbon out of a milk glass, muttering paranoid self talk. I was suffering from the Vietnam PTSD bsfore the crime, but I didn't know what PTSD was. So it never came up at trial. However, I'm guessing the prosecutor's investigator uncovered tnat information while interviewing my ex-wife (.because she witnessed it all) and/or anybody who was a friend,neighbor or acquaintance who came into our house and saw my Vietnamese National Flag pinned to our living room wall.

So this is the "New Evidence/Factor" I have Mr. Parke. I mean if all these WDOC prison psychiatrists can diagnose my Vietnam PTSD, as well as 'the VA psychiatrist,after I was convicted and sent to prison in 1382 for the 1981 crime, then
it should have been discovered before I was required to enter a plea,if "the system”hadn't screwed up and neglected to send me to the mental hospital for the routine 90-day evaluation before trial. If you would agree to look into this for me, Mr. Parke, and possibly represent me, I can send you copies of everything I have as EXHIBITS from my confidential prison psychiatric file, as proof of everything I have to give you to prove my case. Look Mr. Parke,I've never had a felony or been in prison before, and this has devastated so many people on so many levels, besides just myself. I believe if this case were set right (in the interest of justice} by changing the criminal conviction (based on the NEW EVIDENCE) to a diminished capacity type of case instead, (in the interest of justice) because this is what it was/is, it would bring clarity and understancling to so many different people on so many different levels.

Before I close, Mr. Parke, I also want to add that I am eternally sorrowful for the pain/death of my 30-year old victim, her family, my family, the community and on so many other ripple-effect levels. I have gone through the Lacrosse Vietim-Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) back in 1992, but my Vietnam PTSD was not brought up at that time, since the main objective of VORP is not an appropriate place for me to bring it up. At that point in time I only wanted to help the family of my victim) by siraply admitting my guilt and expressing my deep sorrow.

The above is an overview of my issues and situation, Mr. ParKe. I have also enclosed a copy of my currently updated resume so you can see all the positive advancements that I've made for .myself while I've been in prison these past 28-years. Actually I've done even better for myself than my resume indicates, bacause when I first cane to prison in 1982 I didn’t even know my high school fractions, decimals and percents; but I studies hard to remedy my deficiencies and went on to the UW Madison- Extension to get 4 credits in Algebra and three credits in Accounting and went on to becomea GED math tutor in prispon for several years. Through correspondence source I also took and completed courses the one-year Raanussen Business College as well, plus several other correspondence courses that also aren't listed on my resume; either. I would really appreciate it if you would seriously consider represanting me with my case, Mr. Parka. I am eagerly waiting your raply. Good-Bye for now.
Terrance Shaw


  1. I worked with this guy a brief period. I would not be comfortable with him back in society. I'm sure he will never get out. I don't care what he's suffering from. He did the crime now do the time. Eye for an eye. He should be put to death.

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