Our Readers' Opinions
September 16, 2011
Veira family: Give Edward a chance

Fri, Sept 16. 2011

Editor: We the immediate and extended family of Edward Veira will like to address those articles published in the Searchlight Newspaper on August 16, 2011, and September 9, 2011, which presented him as a violent convict and deportee, a threat to the Vincentian public, who might be deported to St. Vincent in the near future.{{more}}

We are fully aware of these authors’ efforts to assassinate the remaining aspects of his character, life and integrity, which we feel are an extremely malicious attempt by these cowardly, anonymous individuals trying to build a reputation for themselves by defaming Edward, without any justifiable cause for doing so.

The family will personally hold these authors responsible for jeopardizing his safety, if any harm should come to Edward Veira, if and when he returns to St. Vincent, as a result of their negative presentations of him.

Edward Veira, who had no previous criminal record, was at the tender age of 18 years when his misfortune beheld him; his naïve involvement with some friends became his worst nightmare, leading up to his imprisonment.

The allegations against him included robbery and rape. Our records reveal that he was beaten and brutalized into confession by the NYPD; even though he was not identified in a line up by either the victim or witness as a rapist.

Edward maintained his innocence with regard to the rape charges throughout his 21-year sentence. It was for this reason, upon his release on March 12, 2009, he was re-arrested for refusing to register as a Sex Offender, and was held for another 2 weeks, in which this charge was dropped, but due to a Clerk’s error in reporting to the Erie County Holding Center, he was held mistakenly and illegally imprisoned for an additional 28 months, which violated his Constitutional Rights as a Legal Immigrant of the United States of America.

While he was incarcerated, Edward attempted to reform himself by expanding his education. He was successful in completing his High School Diploma in 1988, earning an Associate Degree in Business Administration at Junior College of Albany in 1991. During the years of 1987-1994, he had acquired various Vocational School Certifications, particularly in Paralegal work and writing, Printing, Computer Typesetting, Draftsman Aide, Carpentry and Nutrition Aide. He volunteered to the Tutor for Literacy for Volunteers of America. He was an active Parishioner for many local Religious Centers. And because of this, he was highly recommended by his Lawyer at the time. He was even offered a position with a Law Firm as a Paralegal Intern at a prestigious Law Office in NYC. We truly believe Edward has served his time. He has reformed himself educationally, spiritually, and morally, cleansing himself of his past mistakes.

It’s now 23 years later. Why is it that the 29 other deportees scheduled to be returned soon, among whom have committed more severe crimes than Edward, are allowed to fit back into Vincentian society, unannounced and not ridiculed? Why is it that he is so highlighted and made infamous, when he has not committed any crimes in St. Vincent? Let us be careful not to pass judgment on him before giving him the right to prove himself worthy to dwell among us. Why not grant him the chance to become a productive citizen of St. Vincent who may even offer his skills and services to others?

Our sincere gratitude to those who have and will be assisting Edward’s family in various ways, and we would like to assure Commissioner Miller, and the Vincentian Public that he will not be a threat to anyone.

Edward Veira’s Family