Friday, September 2, 2016

Rodricus Crawford: Louisiana death row: Part 14: (Esther The Wonder Pig); Series in anticipation of his appeal set for Wednesday (September 7); What do miscarriages of justice - such as the one suffered by Rodricus Crawford - have to do with 'Esther The Wonder Pig'?


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I never imagined that I would write a post on The  Charles Smith Blog which asks the question: " What do miscarriages of justice  - such as the one suffered by Rodricus Crawford - have to do with Esther The Wonder Pig? If you would care to read the  following email which  I sent  earlier today to Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter, the 'parents' of 'Esther The Wonder Pig' you will hopefully get the point. Background: As Indigo books tells us: "In the summer of 2012, Steve Jenkins was contacted by an old friend about adopting a micro piglet. Though he knew his partner Derek wouldn't be enthusiastic, he agreed to take the adorable little pig anyway, thinking he could care for her himself. Little did he know, that decision would change his and Derek's lives forever.  It turned out there was nothing "micro" about Esther, and Steve and Derek had actually signed on to raise a full-sized commercial pig. Within three years, Tiny Esther grew to a whopping 600 pounds. After some real growing pains and a lot of pig-sized messes, it became clear that Esther needed much more space, so Steve and Derek made another life-changing decision: they bought a farm and opened the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, where they could care for Esther and other animals in need.  Funny, heartwarming, and utterly charming, Esther The Wonder Pig follows Steve and Derek's adventure--from reluctant pig parents to farm-owning advocates for animals."  (And Esther 'The Wonder Pig' has become an internet phenomenum and appears to have attracted millions of  supporters located all  over the world. HL);


Harold Levy Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;


Here is the letter:


"To Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter: Re:  ‘How Esther the Wonder Pig is changing lives,’ rebroadcast on  Thursday September 1, 2016.


Dear  Steve and Derek – and Esther! As you will see from the following letter, I was fascinated by the CBC documentary on ‘Esther The Wonder Pig.’ A good documentary makes you think – and, as you will see, this one really got me thinking. By way of introduction, I am Harold Levy – a retired  criminal lawyer and reporter from the Toronto Star who has spent most of his  life reporting miscarriages of justice. I am hoping that after reading this letter you will make it available to your Facebook  and other readers.  Now what do miscarriages of justice have to do with Esther The Wonder Pig? Read on!


This morning, (September 1, 2016) while driving, I heard  a replay of Anna-Maria Tremonti’s   excellent CBC interview with Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter, co-authors of  ‘Esther The Wonder Pig: Changing the world one heart at a time’;  At one point I became somewhat troubled by  the contents. That was when you  told Anna-Maria, “And what have we accomplished? When we do, I know for me, when I have those minutes to reflect on things, I scare myself, because so much has happened and so much is happening and I never in a million years thought that I would be controlling a Facebook page that reaches eight million people a week. Like, that just blows my mind that she's seen and known by that many people and that they care for her the way we do. Like, people are fiercely protective of her online and they're fiercely protective of Derek and I.”

It troubled me that a social media site about a pig  (granted that Esther  appears to be  a most exceptional pig)  is able to draw such phenomenal support, when it is hard – so terribly hard -   to get people to care about people who have been wrongfully convicted. To be more specific, I have joined with  a  group of people desperately trying to get  support for Rodricus Crawford – an utterly innocent Black  man in Louisana who is on death row after being sentenced to death for the alleged murder of his 1-year-son Roderius, who so clearly died of pneumonia, in the absence of any forensic evidence whatsoever  that he had been smothered to death by his father, as the prosecution alleged.  Our group  - including Marlene Belliveau,  a Nova Scotian  whose  innocent son was put through hell along with his family when pursued by the provincial  authorities in very similar circumstances - is supporting Rodricus and his family by trying to draw attention to Rodricus’ appeal which is set for Next Wednesday, September 7, 2016 by way of a  petition. In our wildest  dreams,  facing a towering wall of indifference, we could not possibly conceive of attracting millions of people to send a message to the District Attorney that unless the indictment is withdrawn, or the Supreme Court  of Louisiana intervenes, Rodricus Crawford, an innocent man who is grieving the death of his son will likely slaughtered  like a pig. On reflection, I think I am being unfair – and off base - by  thinking that you and hundreds of thousands of others are so focused on ‘Esther The Wonder Pig’  that  you do not care for fellow human beings. Indeed, you made me, and probably many other CBC listeners, sensitive to the needs of animals, and the lifestyle changes we can make that will  allow them to flourish and live together with us. So I  have decided to put you (Esther’s family) , and Esther’s  phenomenal number of  Facebook supporters,  and anyone else, such as those who heard the CBC interview,  to the test. If there are enough signatures, the petition,  housed on  the Web site ‘Color of Change’  could send a message to  District Attorney James Stewart  and the Judges of the Supreme Court of Louisiana  Court that their  actions will be closely scrutinized next Wednesday  (September 7) – a message which could  help save Rodricus Crawford’s  life.  And now for the moment of truth. Will you please sign the petition,  at the following link. (Anyone outside the U.S.A. can enter the digits 788206 in the box which calls for the  ZIP);

Thanks very much Steve and Derek. We  and Rodricus Crawford  and his family  would truly appreciate your help by making this letter available to your readers. 

Best wishes.

Harold Levy.

416 782 4122.;

Some useful links:

Further information about the Rodicrus Crawfor case  can be found on the supporter’s Facebook page at:

The ‘Esther The Wonder Pig” Facebook Page  can be found at:

Link to CBC the Current’s documentary  ‘Esther The Wonder Pig’ hosted by  Robyn  Bresnahan at:

The transcript of the CBC  radio documentary can be found at: