In Memory of Wiley E. Bridgeman (1954-2021)


On June 27, 2021 Wiley Bridgeman got his wings. A devastating loss for his devoted brother Kwame Ajamu who was steadfastly by his side through decades of wrongful incarceration and through the joys and sorrows of life after exoneration. Wiley will be deeply be missed by the Witness to Innocence family and all who knew him. We will forever remember his humble graciousness, his sagacious poetry and his warm smile.


By way of remembering Wiley and paying tribute to him, we share the following article he wrote in 2016 as well as an opportunity to urge Ohio legislators to abolish the death penalty.


Social Advantage or Social Il

The new Plight for Social Freedom


Story by: Wiley E. Bridgeman


“You can push me into a corner but you cannot shut out the light”


Have you ever poised the question to yourself that, ‘if given the opportunity to present a value for change, would you present that value even though you had no review nor debate to test its’ worthiness?’


I am a closet member of The Witness To Innocence Org. and time and time again I have seen my brothers and sisters of this great public reaction vehicle meet issues that were seeming invisible for proofs that stood a possible crime to pursue and made diligent investigation until the gist of the matter bore fruit for resolution. But that’s why they entitle this organization, Witness To Innocence!


Today, being a Writer and a Philanthropist, I have somewhat taken the golden observation atypical to Witness To Innocence that astound the public with the righteous weld for justice against the death penalty and the surrounding legislation, (upon my own considerations), to a broader scope where the elements to discern are beyond the crime and its’ elements to the very nature, in our rapidly advancing industrial world, where their fabrications were birth and their atrocious realities grew flight: BIG BUSINESS CONTROL.


Today, in our now quiet ghetto hoods where once was the competition from small business, remain the skeleton derelicts as well as the bare, unkept lots. This in itself says nothing. But once you look at how the people from these strickened neighborhoods live day by day you may be as curious as I am to wonder just what the living for the people of these areas really means. Since there isn’t any more corner stores or haberdasheries it is obvious they must go further to secure their needs, which more times than many mean that they must have more capital. What isn’t known is whether or not there was a need for the big business comprisement that serve the people or whether a plan to control the people by a strategy as devastating as ‘devide and conquer’ exists.


To devoid social freedom is to entice social reaction, and if that devoiding element factor says that the ease prevalent must be redesigned, then you have created a situation that will expand to a ‘hoped gain of wealth to endure, and no one can say where the mind will settle for that rough challenge to be appeased.


By now you may wonder what the interest in the death penalty as social ill corroborates. Myself I wonder why this factor began that adds fuel to a very sore fire.


The world of people are not beings that will do without and not attempt to gain. No, people will try everything at their means to secure their peace, and should it come to securing peace after havoc, you can be sure people are not beyond that.


American history shows you the broken home, poor education, abuse, criminal records; even acts against authority as fabric of the dilemma laden. And in each case the find shown the behavior was relational. Years and years of diligent and conscientious study has been made to cure the causes for these reactions before crime has the opportunity to become. The Strain volumes are quite explicit what the mind have evolved and how that pressure became the dominant vehicle. They have genius who even developed treatment for the Strain. But today a new monster has arisen and it effectively has caused a new poverty and there is no Strain theory to discern to adjust to its’ claw.


“SOCIAL CONDITIONS ‘CAN’ BIRTH SOCIAL DEGENERATION”


The former social monster, the death penalty, is to me a convenient label to attach to the sore who seek and must conform to obtain. Like entrapment, they appear to be that one heinously defined and easily made the definition that that character would/could be entitled; thus, a new victim heavily marred. The big businesses continue to expand throughout the ghettos’ however. Hospitals that offer service new to understand, closing out housing areas as well as small businesses with building structures that end leisure freedom vie their duty. The parking lot need that took away playground room and public parks had to be pushed into areas already permeated or too poor for healthy enjoyment. And the people themselves must find placement for their living that is both a challenge to their finances and a weight for their comfort. Today the homeless reality has inexplainable numbers.


We must ban together to see the death penalty acquitted, just as seriously as we must ban together to see an end to the elements that [may] cause one to exist. My information shown another state in favor of abolishing this monster from their sentencing table. Florida. Why not try to see if Big Business can relocate to neutral terrain where people will not be pushed into dire situations. “It is just as important to end the pressures that [can] entice a horror, just as it is for that horror to have no destiny.”