Sunday, December 21, 2014

Inmates Have Rights

I'll start this week's post by returning to the Scapular story. I do this even though the situation is far from resolved. The retaliation continues, another piece of legal mail was opened, read and given to me via regular mail. Like I have said before I have an open appeal and my legal mail should be privileged. This means opened in my presence, the contents visually screened for contraband, then handed over to me. Again, they did not do this. Although it looks like all of the documents contained in this envelope were there, how could I be sure? I am tired of being put at a legal disadvantage by these bullies. Another much more minor annoyance is my regular mail has been showing up at different housing units all over the compound causing a few days delay of my holiday greetings from my family and friends. Not earth shattering but annoying and very very petty.

So far the staff at Butner Low has seized my IPod classic that was given to me by judge's order to review hundreds of hours of evidence. It has hundreds of hours of recordings made by Tommy (Hiccups) McLaughlin and other paid rats of the FBI. And although they took it before last fourth of July I have not been given any indication of what their course of action might be. If any of the recorded conversations could have helped in my appeal it is not too late to be used. Next, as you know, they put me in the SHU for wearing my scapular. Then they took my telephone away for six months for imaginary dust bunnies. They also took my legal mail right out of the envelope. Follow so far?

Then (and this is new) the warden, the captain and my case manager ransacked my room and plundered more of my confidential legal work in the form of CDs and DVDs given to me by the US Attorney's Office as part of my discovery in preparation for my trial and appeals. Now we know that wasting taxpayer money is what our government excels at but to see this--over half a million dollars worth of annual salary crawling around my cube looking for dirt and legal work is simply ridiculous. Why do we have corrections officers? Four days later when I asked the case manager for my legal work or a voucher for said legal work she stated that she was supposed to give the legal work back to me on Friday but she just got too busy. She then lead me to a shared conference room where my important legal work was strewn all over. Again, I had no way to tell what if anything was missing. I gathered my discovery and left.

When the same people are in charge of your legal rights, religion, how and where you can pray, food, healthcare, good-time, halfway house, family visits, outside communication, how far away from your home they hold you, and inspect parts of your body that you won't even reveal to your spouse… when men have that total control over other men the bush for abuse is ripe even for the best among them. Many of those practices are necessary but many are pure mistreatment and with no independent agency to oversee this conduct the abuse becomes common, natural, normal especially for the administrators whose infinite power goes unchallenged by their subordinates as well as the inmates who just take the abuse in silence. This treatment of ones captors is barbaric by any standard but the fact that it is so commonplace in the UNITED STATES Federal Prison System makes it all the more repulsive.

Precautions must be taken to ensure that every prisoner's constitutional, religious, legal and institutional rights are protected; that control of the inmates is dispersed among multiple agencies to guarantee an agenda benefitting the public and inmates, not the egos and pensions of the BOP hierarchy. The time for change and to keep prisoners and the public safe from the injustice of tyrants, or the most dangerous offenders is upon us. We must see that the mentally ill are placed in their own secure settings where there is hope that they may regain their mental capabilities; not in general population where they are left to get sicker and sicker. We again must step forward when the system is corrupt and badly broken like a festering wound. It must be cleaned, rehabilitated and displayed as an example of the true justice and compassion that a great nation like ours can establish. The answer to justice, religion, race and sexism is true equality for all.

I'll get back to my own tale as soon as something new develops. I should be getting the answer to my phone appeal soon. Check out the John Marzulli post coming soon.

Stay tuned to As the Tyrants Roll.

Stronger today than yesterday.


1 comment:

EddieG said...

They can't take seeing how a real man acts and have to resort to their childish pranks!