Richard “Daiji” Rojem
Okay, I'm just gonna jump right in!
My name is Richard Norman Rojem, Jr. I'm a 64 year old white guy, originally from Detroit, Michigan. An ordained layperson in Soto Zen Buddhism. An honorably discharged USAF vet. A vegetarian when the OKDoC permits, hungry when they do not.
I'm also a death sentenced prisoner - having been tried and convicted and sentenced to death for the kidnapping, rape and murder of my 7 year old former stepdaughter in 1984.
I wasn't going to mention that. That inspires anger and disgust.
Not a lot of people are lining up to help or assist or even talk to guys with a case like this case.
At the same time, I'm also brutally honest with myself and others and not mentioning that is just unfair to you.
I am, and most importantly, an innocent man.
I have been on Oklahoma's death row since July of 1985.
I have had 2 resentencing trials.
I have submitted to 3 rounds of DNA testing over 22 years and not once have the results shown me to be the perpetrator of this crime. Not once! The most recent was just completed - "touch" DNA testing, arguably the most sensitive DNA testing available.
The lead appellate attorney assigned to my case recently stated, "... we risked your innocence/guilt doing this. The State was convinced it would come back showing your guilt." I replied that we risked nothing.
John Prime famously wrote that, " ... a question ain't really a question when you know the answer too it".
I knew the answer.
I risked nothing.
However, in reality - yeah, once - roll the dice and see what happens.
Twice, well, the odds of getting caught become greater. Much greater.
Three times, then the odds of getting caught become astronomical!
No innocent man does that.
So, I'm not at all shy about talking about this. Not at all. It's all public record, so lying about it is really kinda stupid. It's all right there.
I just question the need to discuss it here.
Some might find it too disturbing.
And, maybe it is, maybe it should be - thing is, this is how Oklahoma gets away with stuff just like this: nobody wants to talk about it, nobody wants to get involved, nobody wants to seriously help a guy like me because nobody wants to risk lending their credibility to helping a guy with a case like this and be wrong
The most important thing here and what should concern the public the most is that the "good guys" in this case, in their zeal to arrest and convict someone in order to make the public feel safe in their homes - overlooked the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 7 year old child.
Where's the justice that Layla deserves?
This isn't just about me. This is about all of us.
If this can happen to me...
This can happen to you.
May you all be well and safe.
May you all happily look after yourselves.
With my palms pressed together,