I found Author Jean L. Capicotto on LinkedIn.com. Talk about a mother’s love. Her story about her daughter is incredible. She tells the story in “I Am With You Always: Challenging a Family’s Faith in a Time of Tragedy.”
It emphasizes the need for judicial, sentencing, and prison reform regarding those wrongly accused of crimes. It is a story of faith through not giving up with an ultimate victory and a chance to start over.
According to a March 14, 2018 Chicago Tribune report by John Grisham, between 2 and 10 percent of those imprisoned (an estimated 46,000 to 230,000), are wrongly jailed. He cites many contributing reasons including bad police work, prosecutorial misconduct, false confessions, faulty eyewitness identification, jailhouse snitches, bad lawyering, sleeping judges, and junk science.
Regan: Please give an overview of your story.
Capicotto: Our daughter Ann was a model citizen, never been in trouble and always cared for others.
She was innocent but somehow was accused, convicted, and sent to prison for 22 years to life with NO evidence. My book tells how our family dealt with this painful and agonizing ordeal with the help of God. It also tells of the corruption with the police and judicial system that went on during this whole situation. You will be involved with the determination and perseverance of my family to see what will happen next.
R: This is such an incredible story. How did you hang in there?
C: My husband and I did not have an easy time with this situation. She was only 20 years old when this happened. There were many times where we had some hope about the outcome of the many things to do with the case and then that hope was taken away. We kept hearing, “motion denied.” To this day, we wonder how you can convict someone on no evidence with maybe, possibly, and could have been reasoning being used for the case. We were very frustrated but never gave up. Fortunately, we were able to hire five lawyers to get us through and help us fight for our daughter’s freedom. We knew she was completely innocent and backed her 110 percent. We just kept the faith, kept fighting for our daughter’s innocence, prayed, and leaned on God for support. That’s how we got through this situation.
R: What is the main message you want the reader to come away with?
C: To have adults and children be aware of how important it is to make the right choices in life. If we don’t, we can always lean on God. He will help us and carry us through.
R: Are you or your daughter now involved with reform matters on this issue?
C: Right now, I am working on visiting the prisons to inspire the inmates and give them hope for the future when they will be free. I also would like to make the officials aware of ways to help the inmates instead of creating problems for them.
R: How is your daughter Ann doing nowadays?
C: We are very thankful to say that there is only a 1 percent chance of an appeal to be overturned and she got it! She has been out now for more than four years and is doing well. What she went through will, unfortunately, always be in her memory but she is very strong and handled it even better than we did. She met a great guy who did two tours overseas as a marine and is now a lawyer. He totally understands about police corruption and what can go on in the court system and he knows our daughter is innocent. She is working for a good company now and has her own company, too. She is also engaged to him and is planning a fall wedding. They both are very happy.
R: You’ve also written a Screenplay for the book. Will you try to get this made into a made-for-television movie?
C: People keep telling me “You have to make this into a T.V. movie because it will help so many people!” I agree and the screenplay is ready to go. I’m looking into it but I don’t have the money to do it. I wish I did. I will try to research it further.
R: Any upcoming book related events coming up for you?
C: I will present at the Faith Sellers Senior Center here at 10 a.m. on Thursday. I will also be at Pauline Books and Media at 243 King St. in Charleston at 10:30 a.m. on Monday. I am always looking for other places to present my book. Very soon, I will have a Facebook page that will give out information about my book.
Find Capicotto’s book on Amazon, go to: https://tinyurl.com/ybvsvtuy
Mary E. Regan, columnist, is a Publicist with her ProPublicist consultancy. Story ideas? Email Mary@ProPublicist.com.