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Tonight's special guest is Eileen Siple from Bel Air, Maryland, here to discuss the case of child abuse victim and neighbor Robert (Bob) Richardson who shot his predator father when he was 16 and has been serving a sentence for the killing since he was 18. There's a movement to re-open the well-known case with new legal representation and a newly established defense fund has been formed to support the cause. Bob's story is one of survival. He survived the long illness and eventual death of his mother when he was only 10 years old, as well as the subsequent loss of much of his support system, as those supports were systematically cut off from the young boy by his father. He survived years of abuse and horror at the hands of his father, a man who was known to abuse drugs and alcohol. After his arrest, Bob survived 10 months in isolation (24 hour lockdown) and more than a year of segregation (23 hour lockdown) within an adult jail setting, denied any form of counseling, education, or rehabilitation. This isolation eventually led to a desperate need to escape the confines of his incarceration in the jail, and weighed heavily into Bob's decision to take a plea deal. Bob pleaded guilty to manslaughter and a gun charge. The "justice" system continued its abuse of Bob by ignoring the court recommendation, which was part of that plea deal, that Bob serve his sentence in the Youthful Offender program at Patuxent Institution in Jessup, Maryland. Instead, the DOC has sent Bob to an adult prison in Hagerstown. But this is also a story of how strangers, from all over the world and from all walks of life, have come together to love a boy that they have never met - a boy that has not known this type of unconditional love for a very long time.
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It's good to talk.