If you are viewing this page, you obviously see me as more than the sum total of my worse mistakes and, for that, I am grateful. How are you? My name is Gerald Byrd, although I prefer to be called “Kwesi,” my African name given to me through my religious tradition (“Ifa,” a traditional African religion from the Yoruba people of Southwestern Nigeria). It is my hope that our interaction is mutually enriching. I am appreciative of the fact that you have taken time to consider interaction with me. I have uncovered so much about myself during my incarceration that I would love to share with the world and hopefully this is an opportunity to share with you. I am looking forward to correspondence with you.
MDOC Number: 682089
SID Number: 2753746T
Name: GERALD ANTHONY-DECELL BYRD
Racial Identification: Black
Height: 6′ 1″
Weight: 145 lbs.
Date of Birth: 11/21/1987 (33)
General background information I grew up in Detroit, Michigan, raised by my grandparents. The oldest of my mother’s five children, I was at times a father figure for them. My father was killed when I was 2 years old by his father. Due to a strained relationship between my mother and my father’s family, I have no relationship with my father’s family. My grandparents were hardworking and instilled a great work ethic in me. I grew up reading books from a public library. My grandfather encouraged my brothers and I to read. I was a decent student in school and was placed in Honors class in high school, maintaining a 3.1 G.P.A. And then adolescent experimentation with marijuana began and along came its accompanying academic decline. I managed to graduate with a 1.9 G.P.A. and made a short-lived effort at enrolling in Wayne County Community College. Having been constructively fired from a valet parking job and feeling the harsh reality of adult responsibilities, I opted to take the costly short cut to financial stability, i.e., drug-dealing. While selling drugs I encountered some people that would forever change the course of my life. A man’s dislike led him to provoke me to kill him in Self-defense, after trying to reason with the man.
Case background I am convicted of 2nd Degree Murder and Felony Firearm, Felonious Assault and I’m serving a 25.5 – 45-year sentence of which I have served 13 years, 10 months. As it stands now, I am currently preparing my federal habeas corpus petition raising two issues alleging violations of my 6th Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel under United States v. Cronic, 466 U.S. 648 (1984) and Cuyler v. Sullivan, 446 U.S. 335 (1980). The claims arise from my trial counsel representing me during a Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea Hearing where he did not argue the motion at all, only denying the allegations of pressuring me into pleading guilty that the motion was premised on. I also have an actual innocence challenge to a prior conviction that was used to enhance my sentencing guidelines on my 2nd Degree Murder sentence. If successful, I will be able to get resentenced.
I am a thoughtful, hardworking, and ambitious man. I am very analytical, and I am honest about my feelings towards people and things. I embrace the fact that emotions are not solely the province of women and that men have them and accepting that is not effeminate. I am principled and I am very critical of myself when I deviate from my principles. I am creative and love opportunities to express that creativity. I believe that I am very useful in many regards and believe that friends and family have the right to use me, but they also have an accompanying duty not to misuse me. I love to write, i.e., legal writing, articles, poetry, and essays. I love to help people. My interests are African culture & spirituality and Law. My ambition is to become a licensed attorney when released and primarily handle civil rights cases and criminal appeals. I also want to help bring about criminal justice and prison reform through initiative petitions and working with lawmakers.
I am currently being housed at Lakeland Correctional Facility, 141 First Street, Coldwater,Michigan 49036. You can contact me at that address usingmy name & prison # (Gerald Byrd#682089) or, the most convenient and preferred way, through www.jpay.com using theirmessage system which allows us to send and receive messages to people. Just register anduse my name and number to add me to your list tosend me messages
I am seeking to establish quality friendships. I am also seeking to obtain education, i.e., Associates Degree in Social Science and Paralegal Certificate Course, so Tuition assistance would be helpful. I welcome spiritual guidance and counseling as well as mentorship, even from people of other faiths as long as they are as accepting of Ifa as I am other religious beliefs. As I am seeking friendship, I welcome phone conversation, JPay messaging, letters, book reading. Most importantly, I want to establish genuine friendship and gain more accessibility to the free world.