First, I’d like to say we are so very appreciative that your organization was willing to shine a spotlight on Jerrin Hickman’s case (“Justice for Jerrin,” EW 6/9). Eugene Weekly is the only news media outlet that was willing to publish an article (from the center), which included any consideration or mention of his family. For that, we are thankful! I’ve been told by many family members, friends, supporters and others who took the time to read the article, that it is very well written.
I agree with their opinions, it is well done. However, there is one thing that continues to be a problem for me: the ski mask. It was a distraction, a diversion, used by prosecutor Rod Underhill to shift attention away from a major hurdle for him in the case — the gun. Underhill said in his opening statement, “I cannot put the gun in Mr. Hickman’s hand.”
The bigger question now is, how and why did the Oregon Supreme Court reinstate the ruling overturned by the Oregon Court of Appeals? This is a very relevant topic for discussion. Moreover, when I consider the statement made by this judicial body in 2020 about how they intend to review their biases where people of color are the subject, and make corrections, and do better going forward — Jerrin fits their exact definition, yet he remains convicted and in prison.
I’ll close by saying Jerrin has three pending actions: his appeal being managed by attorney Jed Peterson; a complaint against Underhill with the Oregon State Bar Association; and a petition under the Recovery After Misconduct Act of 2022.
At some point, enough will be done to get Jerrin released from prison, get his life back and get his return to his family and friends.
Terri (Miller) Hickman
Jerrin Hickman’s mother