Sherrell Towns
                  On Death Row in Illinois

Dear Reader,

It is my hope that through the establishment of a solid line of communication, therefrom, will develop an inexpressible comfort of feeling safe to communicate our thoughts and feelings, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words. But to speak from the heart with truth and sincerity.

I am presently incarcerated at the Pontiac Correctional Center,death row.

My name is Sherrell Towns. I don't have much to offer other than my time, thoughts and feelings, and a commitment to be authentic in each capacity.

I seek friendship which,among other things, is about understanding and trying to balance your life harmoniously with another persons life, it's being open to change,growth and challenges.

We must accept one anothers friendship on equal terms otherwise, we have no friendship. But,moreso,a dictatorship. Such a position does not make for good relations, it leads to resentfulness on the one hand,and self righteousness on the other, which are neither constructive nor productive.

It is important and to the interest of us both that we meet on the same level. This is so because a meeting of the mind will have to precede any advancment of the establishment of a trusting, and mutually rewarding relationship.

The question is whether we will be able to overcome the malicious efforts and forces that divide us and be able to put group interest before personal petty prejudices and preconceived notion

We owe each other a duty of honest conversation about all those things that unite and divide us and a promise that we will open ourselves to the possibility that, in reasoning together, we may change each other for the better, If you wish to correspond, it would be my gratitude to hear from you. Please contact me.

Sherrell Towns# B20513
Box 99
Pontiac,IL 61764


November, 1999

Dear Professor:

Law school is the educational institution where students acquire the knowledge and skills to zealously and competently represent individuals in the civil and criminal justice system. During law school, students learn that one of the important aspects of the legal profession is to provide pro bono representation to indigent individuals. I would appreciate it very much if you would permit me to benifit from knowledge and skills that your students have acquired while attending law school.

I am twenty seven years old and am a resident of East St.Louis,IL. In or about March 1995, I was convicted of multiple murder. The prosecution alleged that me and two co-defendants murdered five men while attempting to rob a trailer court in Eagle Park, Madison County, Illinois. The jury found me guilty and I was given the death penalty. I am presently incarcerated at the Pontiac, Illinois Penitentiary.

I am innocent of the charges that were filed against me. I did not receive a fair trial. Some of the prosecution witnesses had prior felony convictions, had been involved in drugs or made inconsistent statements, the prosecution presented finger print evidence. The prosecution's expert witness, however, admitted that a finger print analysis can be subjective.

The late Thurgood Marshall, retired Justice of the Supreme Court, believed that the death penalty is cruel and inhuman treatment. He felt that the death penalty was not appropriate in a civilized society. He reasoned that life in prison was Just as effective as the death penalty in deterring crime and satisfying society's need for revenge. If my case is not overturned on appeal, my sentence should be changed to life in prison in the Interest of justice.

I am presently appealing the sentence. My case was not thoroughly investigated prior to the initial trial. I need assistance investigating my case. Other cases have shown that thorough investigation is critical. Two years ago, I read about David Protess, a professor in the Journalism Department of Northwestern University, Professor Protess arid three journalism students investigated the facts and circumstances surrounding the arrest and conviction of three men who were convicted of murder. The three men had been incarcerated for eighteen years in an Illinois prison, before Professor Protess and the students investigated the case. As a result of the investigation and assistance provided by Professor Protess, the three men were freed.  This is the kind of investigation that I need to assist me in my effort to overturn my conviction.  I therefore, request that you assist me in my appeal.

Thank you for your attention in this matter

Sherrell Towns

                                               Write Sherrell directly at:
                            Sherrell Towns
                              P.O. BOX 99
                           Pontiac,IL 61764

              The CCADP offers free webpages to Death Row Inmates in the U.S.A.
                                               Contact us for more information.

This page was last updated April 23, 2000     Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty          This page is maintained and updated by Dave Parkinson and Tracy Lamourie