Slavery and slave like practices must end in Alabama. When people who work for free are still charged a medical co-pay, charged to use the phone, charged court costs and filing fees to challenge their convictions, and continue to accruechild support arrears, all while working 12-14 hours for free, then something isn’t right. Especially when their labor is generating billions of dollars in goods and services, all of which is flowing to Montgomery, Alabama, and unaccounted for. These industries must STOP $$$Its time to FREE ALABAMA.
The vast majority of people that are charged with a crime have no knowledge of the law or the court procedures, therefore they are appointed an attorney- paid for by the same people seeking to convict you. In most instances, these court appointed attorneys are given a flat rate payment, have a case load of paying clients and no incentive to fight for their court appointed clients. In fact they persuade most clients to plead guilty regardless of the evidence.
However, that is not the worst part, as once a person is convicted and sent to prison, they have absolutely no counsel. You become your own attorney and you are expected to know the law, court procedures, time limitations and the protocol for writing legal documents.
It is documented that a person’s lack of knowledge and skills in Court Proceedings is no excuse.
It’s odd that these people really expect a common person to know and understand the law when it takes lawyers, judges, district attorneys, and etc. 6 to 8 years of school to learn the basics of the law. As, even after they complete school many still don’t know enough to be successful in their practice- it takes experience in the court room to actually be competent enough to be labeled successful at it.
So how in the Hell can it logically be expected of everyday Men, Women and Children – many without a high school education – know what it takes to win in a court room?
By the time he/she learns enough to defend themself and understand the level of comprehension it takes to be successful in most cases, it’s too late due to deadlines to file a proper petition.
A lawyer is supposedly appointed to represent you in order to defend or protect your rights but really they are appointed to keep you in the blind to the evil plot the judicial system is laying out against you and your life. I speak from first hand observations and experience, as I’m a living witness to how it works.
The actions or lack of proper actions by my -and thousands of others- Court Appointed Attorney contributed to my Wrongful Conviction. Then continued improper actions lead to myself-and thousands of others- being Procedurally Barred from adequate Appellate Reviews.
This is a sad and tragic reality for far to many people- Tricked into a Slave System then expected to know how to correct it, in a set limit of time.
It’s a Set-up …by design and scheme. …
We can sit back and allow it to continue or We can Organize then create OUTREACH STREET LAW / LIFE SKILLS PROGRAMS in our Communities. With an Educational Curriculum that teaches Our Children the laws and procedures before they come into contact with the Legal System-As statistics verify that millions of them will in their lifetime.
A Curriculum that informs and teaches about:
1. History of the US Constitution
2. What is the Law?
a. United State Code Service
b. Code of 1975
c. Procedural Law
3. Rules of Court:
a. Criminal Procedures
c. Appellate Procedure
d. Post Conviction Procedure
e. Civil Procedures
4. Habeas Corpus/ 2254 U.S.C.S Petition
5. Certificate of Appealability (COA )
6. Writ of Certiorari/ US SUPREME COURT
This is just a suggested curriculum, based on HALIFAX COUNTY (Where I learned and observed the results). If you choose to accept or follow this curriculum or not– we NEED Men and Women, in our Community, with the knowledge and skills to create some kind of programs that counter the IGNORANCE OF THE LAW Set Up.
KNOWLEDGE is the only remedy to this Systems IGNORANCE OF THE LAW. .IS NO EXCUSE sickness.
FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT AVERS…
The ADOC’s practice of Housing men and women in a system that is over 190% its designed capacity is a willful disregard for the health, safety and security of over 25,000 Incarcerated Citizens. This practice is a violation of Humane and Constitutional standards. —– To properly reduce Overcrowding down to Constitutional standards would afford thousands of Fathers, Mothers, Sons and Daughters an opportunity to rebuild their lives. And for those still in the prison system, it would reduce the congestion inside the dormitories, reduce the level of violence and spread of diseases. Overall it would contribute to a more sanitary and humane living environment.
The ADOC’s Economical policies and practices of compelling Incarcerated Citizens to provide labor with no compensation, while imposing various fines and fees upon them, is hyper-exploitative, unjust and amounts to prison slavery.—–It is discriminatory and exploitative to force Incarcerated people to work while prohibiting them from being compensated; yet imposing arbitrary fines and fees upon them. To work is an essential part of rehabilitation and learning to be responsible for self, as from the compensation one is able to provide for their needs. Therefore, ADOC’s Economical policy of Free Labor is counter productive to rehabilitation and is exploitative and demeaning.
The ADOC’s policy and practice of not affording those Incarcerated with meaningful Educational and Rehabilitation opportunities falls below the standards of human decency, as it perpetuates ignorance and exploitation. It has been empirically proven that the lack of Education is a primary driver for incarceration, therefore, Rehabilitation has to include a meaningful opportunity for Education programs.
WHY ALABAMA’S HABITUAL OFFENDERS LAW SHOULD BE REPEALED
In the spring of 1982, 22 year old Willie Simmons hadn’t been out of prison long and still hadn’t found a job. Bills had to be paid and Willie needed money. In this state of mind Willie saw a man standing in his yard as he walked down Daleville Avenue. Desperate, Willie accosted the man and after a brief conversation, Willie wrestled the man to the ground then took his wallet escaping with $9.
Willie was ultimately arrested and charged with Robbery 1st degree. Once Willie was convicted for taking the wallet, due to having 3 prior Theft convictions, Willie was sentenced to a Mandatory Life without Parole Sentence under Alabama’s newly enacted Habitual Offenders Statute. Thirty four (34 !!!!) years later, Willie Simmons is still languishing away in Alabama’s Department of Corrections.
FREE THE F.A.M. 3: Non Violent and Peaceful Demonstrations threatened ADOC’s “Violent Culture of Control” Policies
FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
P.O. BOX 186
NEW MARKET, AL 35761
“FREEDOM OR DEATH. AINT NUTHIN ELSE. . . STOP PLAYING WITH THE CONCEPT.” Dhati
Ever since solitary confinement came into existence, it has been used as a tool of repression.
While it is justified by corrections officials as necessary to protect prisoners and guards from violent super predators, all too often it is imposed on individuals, particularly prisoners of color, who threaten prison administrations in an altogether different way. Consistently, jailhouse lawyers and jailhouse doctors, who administer to the needs of their fellow prisoners behind bars, are placed in solitary confinement. They are joined by political prisoners from various civil rights and independence movements.”
And that’s exactly what Alabama is doing with their Solitary Confinement- using it to repress and torture anyone that speaks the words FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT. For exposing Alabama’s on going Human Rights violation James Pleasant, Robert Earl Council and Melvin Ray were targeted, singled out and labeled “threats to the security of the ADOC,” then placed in Solitary Confinement with indeterminate sentences.
At the time that these men made their decisions to address the ongoing Civil and Human Rights violations that were apparent in the ADOC, the prisons were historically overcrowded, there was a wave of violence brewing statewide throughout the prisons, living conditions were deplorable, food and healthcare we severely substandard and causing many illnesses and death, and the prison administrators, commissioners, and wardens were all refusing to respond and address the complaints.
Then, on January 1, 2014, under the banner of FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT, a Non-Violent and Peaceful Protest for Civil and Human Rights was launched at Holman Prison, as over 1000 men went on shutdown [work stoppage].
Three days later, on January 4, 2014, 1300 more at St. Clair Prison joined in. These demonstrations remained peaceful the entire time. ADOC officials acknowledged to the AP that these demonstrations were peaceful:
“On Saturday, Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett acknowledged to the Associated Press that since New Year’s Day, at least some prisoners have refused to work in kitchen and laundry areas and perform other jobs.”
“Corbett told the AP that the protests at the St. Clair and Holman Correctional facilities have been peaceful . . .”
Unfortunately for approximately 8 families with loved ones in ADOC, these peaceful ended too soon, because over the course of the next 14 months after the demonstrations ended, with no intervention or improvements from ADOC, approximately 8 men were killed. and hundreds more have been stabbed.
* Our beloved Lil Mook, Marquette Cummins, who came to prison at 17 lost his physical life on January 6, 2015, on the second day of the shutdown. His Spirit lives on and serves as a reminder to us all that we must bring these prisons to an end because they ccontinue to take life, yet give nothing of value in return.
Also, at the same time that these peaceful demonstrations were concluding, the US DOJ issued a report detail the two-decades long horror story that emanated from Julia Tutwiler Women’s Prison in Wetumpka, AL.
According to the report, which was completed after a long investigation, the women confined at Tutwiler had been raped, impregnated, sexually assaulted, abused and exploited for sex for over two decades. Children were born. Children were aborted. Women were beaten and raped, and it was estimated that at least 1/3 of the ENTIRE corrections staff had been involved in the abuses. In that time, less than 10 officers has been prosecuted, and the most time handed out was 6 months, with one officer getting 5 days.
Now, approximately 14 months later, and exclusively for organizing a “non-violent and peaceful protest”, these three men, Robert Earl Council, James Pleasant, and Melvin Ray, have all been labelled a “security threat”. In addition, F.A.M. and the family members and supporters, including those who had lost a loved one to the violence and who were supporting F.A.M.’s call for an end to the violence, were also labelled as a security threat.
Under ADOC rules, violence such as riots, assaults, destroying property, etc., all fall under security threats. In fact, under ADOC rules, a person who commits a murder while in ADOC custody must serve 30 [months] in solitary confinement. Yet, the people who are trying to stop this avoidable and senseless loss of life are subjected to indefinitely periods of solitary confinement. In other words, if any member of the F.A.M. 3 were guilty of committing a murder, they could look to be released from segregation in a definite period of time of 30 months, but for engaging in peaceful protests against the conditions that lead to violence and murder, these men became “security threats.”
Not a single ADOC rules prohibits “Non-Violent and Peaceful” demonstrations. In fact, the right to peacefully assemble is guaranteed and protected by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In response to the protests, in light of the conditions that were exposed by F.A.M. on social media like YouTube and Facebook, Gov. Bentley and Sen. Cam Ward created a Prison Reform Task Force and have since verified EVERY issue that F.A.M. complained of.
Additionally, EJI followed the demonstrations by filing a lawsuit about the violence at St. Clair, were hundreds of people have been assaulted, including one person by the warden, Carter Davenport, who has since been reassigned to another prison (he was a Captain at Tutwiler during the rapes, etc.). The SPLC has filed a lawsuit on the healthcare against ADOC after the demonstrations.
When Gov. Bentley, Sen. Cam Ward, Chief Justice Roy Moore, Attn General Luther Strange and other state officials acknowledged the problems within ADOC that were exposed by F.A.M., THEY were not labelled security threats. When al.com confirmed that Warden Davenport was the root of the violence at St. Clair they were not labelled a security threat. When the US DOJ reported on the abuses at Tutwiler, they were not labelled a security threat.
But when the people who live in the violence, the very people who are forced to live in the inhumane and uncivil conditions complain about the violence with -non-violent and peaceful protests”, they are labelled a threat to security, even where the violence levels, understaffing, and decrepit conditions show that there is NO SECURITY TO THREATEN, and certainly none to threaten with “Non-Violent and Peaceful Protests!!!
Join F.A.M. as we demand answers from ADOC and other Alabama officials about why these men are being punished for complaining about these ongoing civil and human rights violations.
Remember Young Brother Rocrast Mack.
“STOP THE VIOLENCE, WARDEN DAVENPORT MUST GO”
“Another officer approached Mr. Mack and ordered him to get on the ground. Witnesses saw Mr. Mack comply with these orders and quickly get on his knees and place his hands on his head. Soon after, at least five other officers, including Lieutenant Michael Smith, arrived at the scene after responding to a call for back-up.
Even though Mr. Mack was on his knees and subdued, witnesses report that officers violently assaulted Mr. Mack. Officers beat Mr. Mack with batons and fists, striking his head, face, and body.
The correctional officer who initially got Mr. Mack to submit to arrest tried to intervene and attempted to pull the officers off of Mr. Mack and put himself between Mr. Mack and the assaulting officers. This officer was threatened by other guards and forced to retreat. Lieutenant Smith was heard to say that the guards were going to kill Mr. Mack.”