Monday, August 18, 2008
Dennis Fritz - Tabitha Pollock - A Rally For The Wrongfully Convicted
FIGHT FOR FREEDOM
On June 21, 2008, an outside rally was held in Harrah, Oklahoma for Raye Dawn Smith. She is now serving a 27 year sentence for the charge of Enabling—in that, she ‘should have known’ that her former husband was abusing her child Kelsey, which thereafter resulted in her death.
At a country-side park ( just minutes away from the prison where Raye Dawn is currently incarcerated ) people were arriving in carloads, to give their unyielding support for Raye Dawn’s declared innocence.
The keynote speakers, Dennis Fritz, author of Journey Toward Justice ( the co-companion book to John Grisham’s, The Innocent Man ), and Tabitha Pollock—along with her husband, Abe—were seen in and around the pavilion, greeting and meeting Ray Dawn’s family members and guests. Tabitha, who had also been once convicted for the same charge of Enabling, was outwardly expressive in showing her empathy, as she mingled throughout the now-crowded assembly of people in sharing her support.
The smell of grilled hotdogs permeated throughout the gathering, thus signaling everyone’s attention that this special day, would help to bring forth Raye Dawn’s long sought-after freedom. The building intensity of emotions could easily be felt, like a fast moving thunderstorm sweeping through on a once calm, cloudless day. Every word and mannerism expressed by the guests and family members, were powerfully focused on one thing, and one thing only—to bust open those prison gates that wrongfully restrained Ray Dawn Smith.
As the large populated crowd sat down at the picnic tables to enjoy their lunch, the rally began. Several members of Ray Dawn’s family—including her mother, Gayla, went to the front and poured their hearts out. The inner strength of their words brought tears to everyone’s eyes. Their outright determination bore the resemblance of a lit cherry bomb that was about to ignite. A true spiritual blessing from the holy spirit was being felt by everyone in attendance. It was almost like you could feel the overhead pavilion shaking from it’s very foundation.
Next to speak was Tabitha Pollock. The emotion in her voice could not hide the tremendous amount of pain and suffering that she had been through. As she told her story of the traumatic years she spent behind bars— in having to deal with the agony of her daughter’s death—her broken words pierced everyone’s heart like a horror story straight out-of-hell. Although tears were streaming down from her eyes, an enormous inner strength brought forth a renewed Raye-of-Hope, that one day, Raye Dawn Smith’s innocence would be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Her slowly spoken words reverberated the pent-up scars that extended to the depths of her soul. Her courage shined through like a brilliant light as she shifted from side to side. It was the first time that Tabitha had told her complete story in front of a group of people.
When she had finished, it was noticeably visible that a great burden had been lifted from her shaking, small-framed body. Everyone clapped and cheered with joy and happiness as she passed the microphone. God bless you, Tabitha!
The next speaker, Dennis Fritz, described his horrible account of having been wrongfully convicted for 12 years of 1st Degree Capital Murder. Mr. Fritz eloquently compared his nightmarish circumstances to that of Raye Dawn Smith’s plight for justice. In his straight forward and easy going manner, Dennis spoke of hope and divine intervention for Raye Dawn and her family. His inspiring words also brought forth a tremendous comfort and renewed hope, that Raye Dawn would be exonerated in the near future.
With all eyes glued upon him, Mr. Fritz further conveyed the many instances how the Lord had been there to help him throughout his wrongful conviction. Following a brief silence of inward thought, Dennis raised his head and said, “Raye Dawn will receive her freedom through her strong faith and belief in the Lord. At first, my prayers were all about asking the Lord to get me out of this situation. After entering prison, my prayers changed by giving thanks to the Lord for being in the actual process of opening those prison doors.
It was my full faith in the Lord that brought about my miracle of freedom.” One could easily see that strong feelings of faith, love, and determination were running through everyone’s minds. Thereafter, Mr. Fritz went to a designated area outside the pavilion and signed many books for the people standing in line.
Now, the time was at hand for the spectacular event—the releasing of the balloons! Hundreds of multi-colored balloons were SET FREE into the sky, as a commemoration to Raye Dawn’s upcoming day of FREEDOM. The expressions of glamour and celebration were on everyone’s faces, as the drifting balloons found their way to a freedom that would never end.
The rally ended with group photograph pictures. All of the family members and guests wore their purple Fight For Freedom Tee-shirts, that were being sold for donations. Right before each picture was taken, Mr. Fritz would count to 3 and everyone would yell as loud as they could—“FREEDOM.” Needless to say, countless pictures were taken. What a day to remember. It is that very memory that is still-framed in everyone’s mind—on that very special day— that will help to bring about that glorious DAY OF FREEDOM that WILL come to Raye Dawn Smith. Hallelulla!!!!!!
FOR PHOTOS CLICK HERE