April 7, 2022
To Whom It May Concern,
Over 2000 letters written this past year alone. I’ve been writing letters for over 5 years with little response. That speaks volumes. My situation should never happen in the United States. It should be stopped. Sadly, this is all too common.
I, David Annarelli, was assaulted and arrested inside my home during a severe mental health crisis in 2016. Unidentified police, with no training for this crisis, illegally entered my home at night via a backdoor without cause or warrant. NO CRIMES HAD BEEN COMMITTED! Instead of de-escalating, police deliberately escalated the crisis even after I voluntarily disarmed. Another officer, also admitting to not identifying himself and ignoring all non-lethal options, violently kicked open a door to my home and recklessly opened fire. Confused and afraid, I returned fire. Everyone survived without serious injury. I was falsely charged with malicious wounding then wrongly sentenced to 20 years in prison by the disgraced Judge Marc Long. FIVE TIMES the recommended 2-4 years. A 321% upward enhancement to cover up gross police errors.
FACTS about the defendant:
NO criminal record
NO history of violence
Documented mental health history
Documented traumatic brain injury
EVIDENCE of a wrongful conviction. False statements by police, prosecution and their career criminal “witness”. Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations. Policy and procedure violations. Police brutality. Abuse by jail and VDOC staff. Every legal option is being pursued. But Virginia is notorious for actively preventing justice and is American by geography only. #Vaisathreat
All of these details were dismissed and/or suppressed by the invalid Floyd County Court. Instead, Judge Long declared from the bench that I would “be made an example of”. Judge Long had a history of reprimands, unhinged behaviors and was twice investigated by the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission. In January 2020 his reign of terror ended. He was denied reappointment to the bench by the Virginia General Assembly. Not one case reviewed to undo the damages.
In 2020 the Virginia General Assembly instituted the “Marcus Alert” to stop police from murdering mental health sufferers in crisis, though now the law is “optional” and Virginia continues to inhumanely warehouse us in prisons. Other police reforms included: body camera, deescalation training, exhaustion of nonlethal options, more strict knock-and-announce procedures and warnings before discharging a weapon. Thousands of prisoners, including myself, were never afforded these common sense protocols at the time of their arrest. Virginia destroys lives. Even now Virginia denies us the justice due under new laws. Despotism denied.. When combined with the extreme judicial overreach and abuse of power by Judge Long and the lies of the corrupt prosecutor Branscom fo Floyd County, it would lead any reasonable American to conclude that I, David Annarelli’s case and many hundreds more, deserve immediate reviews. Sadly, Virginia has become a haven for right-wing extremists and Nazis.
Since the Orwellian sentence, I have pursued any and all paths to justice, enduring horrific abuses reported by ignored, and has been denied the fundamental right to challenge the false evidence and lies used against him by anti-American Trumpite zealots. Virginia is occupied. It allows its fanatical judges too much dangerous and unfettered discretion to only whimsically abide, or ignore, guidelines and laws. Virginia encourages its corrupt prosecutors to lie with impunity. This system of right-wing extremism posing as “Justice” must change now!
In my own words, from a concrete box designed solely to torture and harm humans, I have the following message for those who deserve change, and for those with the capacity to affect change by any means:
I’m told I am lucky to be alive. Another Virginia lie. Virginia allowed a judge to falsely claim he knew mire about mental health and TBIs than a specialist with 20+ years of experience who testified on my behalf. Virginia has allowed criminally inhumane abuses by its state employees, reports ignored at every report at every state office. Virginia allows prosecutors to lie on records to wrongfully convict people, and the state’s offices look the other way. “Lucky to be alive” – that is the lowest moral standard of justice imaginable!
David Annarelli is a father, musician, activist and contributing writer to the Prison Journalism Project.
write David at:
David J. Annarelli 1853637
Pocahontas State Correction Center
PO Box 578
Pocahontas, VA 24635