A Mother’s Day Letter from Daughter to Mom in Arkansas Prison
By Bridgette Jones
Bridgette Jones is the daughter of our client Belynda Goff who was convicted of murdering her husband in 1997. Goff, who steadfastly maintains her innocence, has been in prison for more than 20 years and has to spend yet another Mother’s Day in prison without her loved ones.
I want to wish you a happy Mother’s Day. Every time this holiday comes around I cannot help but think of you and how much you mean to me, to all of us. My brothers and I are who we are today because of you.
You have been a pillar of strength for us during this nightmare. This tragic injustice has affected us all. Every holiday ripped away, every moment we long to share with you we cannot because you were wrongfully stolen from our lives and forced to endure a punishment for a crime you did not commit.
Hold your head high this Mother’s Day and know that you are loved.
Though we cannot always be physically close, I depend on our frequent phone calls to hear you laugh, to guide me, and just so I can tell you we are all here for you! We are working and striving toward the day when you will be freed. When it is publicly acknowledged that there is absolutely no evidence tying you to this crime. That your trial was a travesty from the get-go. That the DNA evidence that could have led to your freedom suspiciously disappeared while in the custody of the police
Your integrity has never wavered. You are a woman of character and strength that I admire in every possible way. I realize this holiday is difficult for you but know that we are celebrating you! My hope is that other mothers who may be facing similar circumstances have the strength to persevere, to fight the good fight, and know there are virtuous people out there that are taking a stand against wrongful convictions.
Hold your head high this Mother’s Day and know that you are loved. Know that you are not alone. Know that I will spend my last breath fighting until you are free.
Today, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed Senate Bill 423, which clarifies that individuals who were convicted by way of a guilty plea, Alford plea or plea of nolo contendere (no contest) to petition the courts for post-conviction DNA testing or review on the basis of newly discovered non-DNA evidence.