In making a plea for parole for Mr. Adrian Heath, who began a three-year prison sentence for “Illegal Voting” in February of this year stemming from a much publicized case in 2012, Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson argued that the punishment far exceeded the crime.
Although uncommon for a Sheriff to publicly offer support for an individual convicted of a felony, in this matter it was necessary for Sheriff Henderson to express support in his letter to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles dated May 2, 2017, for a “man that has close family ties in Montgomery County, has demonstrated that he does respect the rule of law, and, most importantly, consulted with the State regulatory agency that provides oversight for voter laws and acted upon the advice given him, however poor or incorrect that advice may have been.” Sheriff Henderson expressed that “this act of prior consultation speaks to Mr. Heath’s intrinsic desire to obey all laws, even the ones he wished to challenge out of protest.”
What cannot be ignored is that the crime committed by Mr. Heath is a non-violent felony offense. The nature of the offense is a voter fraud crime and there is no indication that he has the proclivity to commit violent crimes or crimes of any nature upon his release. To that end, Sheriff Henderson states, “I wish to extend my appreciation for the members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for doing the right thing by granting parole to Mr. Heath and considering my plea on his behalf.”
It appears that, in this matter, Mr. Heath made a decision to challenge the charge against him while his co-defendants received probation. Mr. Heath decided to stand on his principals rather than admitting guilt. Clearly the Board agreed that Mr. Heath had suffered enough under the punishment of confinement, allowing him to complete his sentence under community supervision.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
#! CRIMINAL JUSTICE DR. CONROE, TX 77301
SHERIFF RAND HENDERSON
May 2, 2017
Members of the Texas Board of Pardons & Paroles/ via: Attorney Jay Wright
204 W Davis St. Conroe, TX 77301
RE: TDCJ-ID Inmate Adrian Heath #02125819
This correspondence is in support of the release to Parole supervision of Mr. Adrian Heath, who was convicted of the felony offense of “Illegal Voting” and is serving a sentence of confinement in the TDCJ Institutional Division. Mr. Heath is an acquaintance of mine and resident of Montgomery County, Texas, where I serve as the elected Sheriff. I ask for your consideration of the following facts and circumstances that I reflected upon and used to determine my decision to write to you:
• Mr. Heath has a spouse and close family ties in our community. He possesses a strong support system of friends who requested that I write to you.
• Mr. Heath exhausted all of his legal and judicial options and accepted his sentence. He has demonstrated to me that he does possess respect for the rule of law. It is my opinion that he will obey all conditions of Parole that are imposed upon him.
• Mr. Heath served time in the Montgomery County Jail as a detainee under my office’s supervision while awaiting transfer to the TDCJ-ID. He served this time as a model inmate and displayed a positive attitude with no issues related to discipline.
• The crime committed by Mr. Heath is a non-violent felony offense. The nature of the offense is a voter fraud crime and there is no indication that he has the proclivity to commit violent crimes or crimes of any nature upon his release from confinement, whether that release is Parole or after the full completion of his sentence.
• I reflected upon the fact that Mr. Heath consulted with a State regulatory agency that provides oversight for voter laws before he committed the crime for which he was convicted. He acted upon the advice given him, however poor or incorrect that advice may have been. I feel this act of prior consultation speaks to his intrinsic desire to obey all laws, even the one he wished to challenge out of protest.
• Mr. Heath had co-defendants in the commission of his crime. Those defendants received probation, but Mr. Heath chose to challenge the charge made against him. It is my assumption that doing so was a matter of stubborn principle rather than acting upon sound legal advice. His decision to stand upon his principals rather than admitting guilt likely led to his current state of confinement. He has served time in confinement and suffered through the arduous legal
process for many years. I feel that the amount of punishment already endured is sufficient for the crime commit ted.
It is with the interest of just ice that I pray you consider and grant Mr. Adrian Heath Parole for his offense of Illegal Voting committed against the State ofTexas.
Yours in Service,
Rand Henderson, Sheriff Montgomery County, Texas