A $3 Billion Dollar Wasteland is Not What Alabama Needs
Over the past several years nearly everyone in Alabama has heard about the many plans and attempts to build new prisons. We, the now- 23,000+ men, women, and (far too many) children incarcerated in the Alabama Department of Corrections have heard about these new prisons too.
We know that the public does not want them. We know that the Alabama Legislature refused to budget them. We know that families who have been extorted, lost loved ones, or don’t know when their loved ones are coming home don’t want them. We also know that the residents of Brierfield and Tallassee, many college students, and thousands of other Alabamians don’t want them either. I can safely say that all 23,000 of us and our families, who are ALL struggling to survive in these death camps, don’t want them either.
Yet, despite this overwhelming public opposition, private prison corporations have signed contracts to build them anyway. What is really going on? Why are corporations and publicly elected officials willing to defy public sentiment and build them anyway? And, why are they willing to invest so much money into a prison system that is already in a deadly crisis?
We all know that we should follow the money on this one but not just the money changing hands in the secret contracts. No, the real money to follow will be after the prisons are complete. The collect calls, medical co-pays, the fees, usury prices for canteens purchases, incentive packages, and cheap tablets the ADOC is rolling out. These are the associated industries that use tax dollars to build the complexes but then exploit them for every bloodsucking penny they can collect as ransom from families. And let’s not forget the biggest prize of them all: the free labor and the factories that will produce hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods and services every year. These profit motives render the dissent of citizens as irrelevant.
It is this greed that is causing so many problems, claiming so many lives and contributing to the public health crisis we are facing because we have an outdated ideology running an outdated prison system.
From a humanitarian perspective, the ADOC was a failed institution before COVID-19 hit. Since the pandemic arrived, everything has gotten worse. For those of us living the nightmare, we don’t see how new prisons that will house more people for the next 30 years will make anything better. We haven’t heard how the new prisons plan to deal with the existing problems. Nor have we heard how the new prisons will help us deal with the traumas we are experiencing in the current system. From a practical standpoint, all we can see from the inside is how these new facilities are nothing more than our next death camps; the places they’ll send us to die over the next 30 years. We do not want a $3 billion dollar casket. No New Prisons !!!
We reach these conclusions based on what we are witnessing, experiencing and living through on a day-to-day basis. Under Commissioner Jefferson Dunn’s leadership and his “culture of violence”, the ADOC is now the murder capital of the entire State of Alabama, and the murder capital over all prison systems in the nation. It was not like this before he arrived, and there were at least 6 thousand more people in the system in 2015 than there are now. Commissioner Dunn’s officers are routinely on the news for sexually assaulting or beating men and women to death. There are also weekly news reports of officers arrested for attempting to bring drugs into the prisons, drug overdose deaths, suicides, etc. Alabama’s prisons are so infested with drugs, that drug overdose deaths are now deemed “natural causes” on death certificates.
The U.S. Department of Justice states in a July 2020 Investigation Report that Commissioner Jefferson Dunn maintains control of the ADOC through a “culture of violence.” Every single person in ADOC custody has been harmed by this “culture of violence.” Our concern is that this “culture of violence” is transferable, and building new prisons will only transfer a humanitarian crisis into the new communities instead of solving historic, systemic, racial and cultural problems that have plagued the Alabama prison system since after the Civil War.
Since October 2019, ADOC correctional officers have beaten at least four men to death and gassed a fifth person to death. At the same time, the ADOC leads the nation in homicide rates, while ranking among national leaders in suicide, drug overdose, and COVID-19 death rates in its prisons. This is what a “culture of violence” and corruption will get you. The Alabama Department of Corrections is a place where death occurs frequently. New prisons won’t solve these old problems.
On January 30, 2021, correctional officers beat two men so severely that they had to be ambulance and air-lifted to a hospital just to save their lives. One week later, on February 8-9, in a 12-hour span two more lives were cut short by the “culture of violence.” A third person, over 70 years old and posing absolutely no threat to society whatsoever, died as well.
All of this leads to a great amount of trauma, stress, and other challenges associated with living in an environment like this every day. Many of us are released back into society carrying these invisible and untreated injuries with us. We have yet to see how the $3 billion dollar prison plan will address these longstanding and traumatic injuries.
There are also additional problems that three new prisons will bring to their new communities. For example,
• Officer Matthew Moore, 50, was a serial rapist employed by ADOC for over a decade. Moore was convinced on multiple counts in Georgia, including aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, and aggravated assault after kidnapping and raping several women. Authorities also state they have DNA evidence implicating Moore in additional sex crimes in Alabama and Florida.
• Over 70 correctional officers arrested for drug trafficking or other attempts to transport illegal contraband throughout Alabama communities and into a prison
• In 2014, the US DOJ found that over a 20-year period, at least half of all correctional officers who worked at Tutwiler Women’s Prison sexually assaulted the women incarcerated there. No criminal charges were filed and not a single officer was arrested. Many of these sexual predators will be roaming around the new communities undetected.
In addition, there are public health issues that routinely emanate from the prisons: ADOC’s abysmal health and safety record, including its Covid-19 response; frequent outbreaks of hepatitis, tuberculosis, and scabies. We are awaiting word of how these new prisons are being designed to deal with pandemics, epidemics, and other widespread infections that threaten closed populations. We don’t see any plan to protect our lives or the lives of those in the communities where we reside in today’s prisons, and we don’t see one in the plans for tomorrow’s prisons either.
The State of Alabama does not need new prisons to address its current prison crisis; instead, Alabama needs to identify the laws, policies and practices that led to the crisis. This starts with historical facts that connect the prison system to the institution of slavery, especially Article 1, Sec. 32 of the Alabama Constitution of 1901 . Article 1, Section 32 of the Alabama Constitution contains the provision that created an exception to the complete abolition of slavery, by preserving slavery as punishment for crime. This new form of slavery would be managed and ran by the prison system. Following passage of this law, Alabama prisons began filling up with Black bodies and became work camps under slave-like conditions for people convicted of a crime.
Then there is Alabama’s habitual felony offender act , a law that has been used to fill up Alabama prisons to the point where we now have the most overcrowded, underfunded, and corrupt system in the nation. Historical data evidences a need for social and racial justice in the Alabama Criminal Justice system, especially with the death penalty being disproportionately used against poor Black people, and the fact that over 70% of all people sentenced to life without parole under the habitual offender law are Black. These and other historical issues extend beyond the prison walls and must be addressed by the Alabama Legislature. This includes removing funds from ADOC’s budget and redirecting those funds towards healing, rebuilding, and rehabilitating those injured by the current system.
Neither Governor Ivey nor any other state leader can show us proof of any improvements made to the ADOC over the past 30 years that justify committing an additional 3 billion dollars to the system for another 30 years. However, the arc of human history shows unequivocally the ability of human beings to evolve, get better and reach higher stages of evolution in life if given the resources and a chance. So why are we going backwards by building new prisons before we first invest in people?
An Inside Perspective on Governor Kay Ivey’s plan to build new prisons.
Today, December 2, 2020, is International Abolish Slavery Day, and oh my! did it start with a bang. This date is historically important in America because of its historic practices of slavery and due to the fact that the 13th Amendment to the United States continues to have an exception clause that legalizes slavery and Involuntary servitude as punishment for crime.
Over the past several years, many incarcerated organizers, activists, artists and scholars in US prisons have worked to highlight not only the slavery exception clause in the 13th Amendment, but also the institutions this Amendment is responsible for creating (the network of Departments of Corrections around the country.
We’ve also fought the inhumane, barbaric practices that are carried out in these institutions, such police brutality, systemic and institutional racism, human warehousing, human trafficking, selling children to private detention, forced labor, and financial exploitation.
We’ve also fought to build awareness about and bring changes to the laws like the Black Codes, Vagrancy laws, the school-to-prison pipeline, the 1994 Crime Bill, the Prison Litigation Reform Act, and the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, as these are slave laws used to keep the plantations full.
The highpoint to date of this 2020 activism was undoubtedly the October 26-30, 2020, P.L.U.S. Party Initiative #FreeThe13. This four-day virtual panel discussion broke down the history of the institution of slavery and then put it back together for people to understand in its current rendition.
Immediately following the #FreeThe13th event, Free Alabama Movement, in conjunction with Be Frank for Justice, collaborated around hosting an “Abolish Slavery Alabama” day in Alabama on Sunday, December 6, 2020, at a former slave depot in Montgomery, Alabama, to mark not only the exception clause in the 13th Amendment, but also similar slave language in Art. 1, sec. 32 of the Alabama Constitution of 1901. December 6, was chosen because this is the day in 1865, that this Amendment was ratified.
During the course of these conversations around December 6th, Amendment 4 was ratified by Alabama voters on November 4, 2020, which authorizes the Alabama Legislative Reference Service to, among other things, identify for removal all racist language from the Alabama Constitution. The Amendment 4 effort was led by Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform and sponsored by State Representative Marika Coleman.
This, of course, opened the door wide open to conversation about Art. 1, sec. 32 of the Alabama Constitution of 1901. The Paul Cuffee Abolitionist Center then stepped up as the sole fiscal sponsor for this event on December 6, 2020, making this event a reality in Alabama.
According to history, there is no language or law in the Alabama Constitution or criminal laws more racist, dehumanizing, debasing or debilitating than Article 1, sec. 32 of the Alabama Constitution:
Plain and simple, this is a slave law. After the Civil War ended, what must be understood is that slavery was never totally abolished. Instead, only a particular form of slavery was abolished — private ownership of slaves by ordinary citizens was banned. In its place, the 13th Amendment transferred slavery to the government under the criminal justice system.
When that was done, Black people went from representing less than appx 15% of people in US prisons prior to 1865, to over 90% less than 15 years later. Human beings in Alabama (just as in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and many other places) have been forced back into slavery in the Alabama prison system under the 13th Amendment and Article 1, sec. 32.
Since 2018, four States have removed slave language from their Constitution, with Utah and Nebraska being the most recent in 2020.
Free Alabama Movement has been waging a campaign against slavery and slave Plantation conditions in Alabama for some time now. For the most part, we have been alone in this slave state in this endeavor. None of the so-called human rights orgs. or the other lot have joined FAM’s call. Why? And, where are the Alabama organizations today, now that Art. 1, Sec. 32 and Amendment 4, are staring us all directly in the face?
The changes needed in the Alabama prison system start with the historically racist practice of slavery and involuntary servitude that are enshrined in the Alabama Constitution of 1901 Art. 1, sec. 32. Now is the time to remove not only the language from the the Alabama Constitution, but to also abolish the practice of Slavery, its institutions, and the laws used to uphold it.
Please join the call on Sunday, December 6, 2020, at Montgomery Plaza, from 3-5 pm, Cst to remove this racist language from the Alabama Constitution of 1901.
1. 2013-current. FAM was founded in 2013, and officially launched in August 2013.
2. January 1, 2014. Organized first multi-prison non-violent and peaceful work strikes, boycotts and protests in Alabama.
3. 2014-2019. January 2014, several FAM leaders and organizers were targeted by ADOC and placed into solitary confinement, including its founder Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun and co-founder Kinetik Justice Amun, both of whom remained in solitary confinement for the next 5 consecutive years. Despite FAM’s non-violent and peaceful organizing, FAM leaders were retaliated against, beaten, tortured, food poisoned, and arbitrarily denied basic constitutional and human rights, including mail, visits, phone calls, humane housing, deprived of natural light, and more. Even in the face of strong opposition and repression by the state, FAM was able to continue to move ahead in the struggle for Freedom.
4. 2014-2016. Conducted at least one multi-prison work strike every year in ADOC, plus the National Prison Strikes. After the initial strikes on January 1, 2014, all other Strikes, Boycotts and Protests were led by FAM from solitary confinement.
5. 2014-2018. Family members and supporters conducted over 20 protests outside multiple Alabama prisons and other locations, including in Clio Alabama, Donaldson CF, Holman CF, St. Clair CF, Limestone CF, Tutwiler CF, Kelly Ingram Park, Edmund Pettus Bridge, ADOC Headquarters, State Capitol, and the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles Headquarters (#ParoleWatch).
6. 2014 (currently being revised). Published book FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT (known as the “manifesto”) on January 2, 2014.
7. 2014- current. Created first multi-medium social media platforms as part of prison-led organizing strategy, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, WordPress blog, Blogtalk radio, and website.
8. 2014-current. Created Free Alabama Movement YouTube channel. Have since released over 200 exclusive exposè videos from inside ADOC. FAM’s bold and aggressive tactic of guerilla filming spawned a new era in the Prisoner/Enslaved-led Human Rights Movement. Incarcerated Activists all across the nation began using cellphones as a powerful weapon in the narrative around criminal justice reform, prison reform, and abolitionist freedom struggle.
9. 2014-2016. Created, produced, directed first-of-its-kind inside-led, underground Blogtalk radio show, “THE PEOPLE’S PLATFORM”.
10. 2014. Published “A Flicker Turns Into A Flame”
11. 2014. Drafted the “FREEDOM BILL”
12. 2014-current. FAM leaders and members have conducted over 100 media interviews from inside with outlets such as:
San Francisco Bay View New York Times LA Times BBC China NOW Wall Street Journal Al Jazerra America, Democracy Now, Roland Martin Montgomery Advertiser al.com Huffington Post
13. 2014-current. FAM has been featured in several short-documentaries, including two w/ HBO/Vice, and two w/ Al Jazerra.
14. 2014-2019 Hunger Strikes. State retaliation and abuse against FAM leaders led to hunger strikes that spread to multiple prisons over a span of 5 years, exposing ADOC as a barbaric and inhumane institution.
15. 2015. Published “Let The Crops Rot In The Field” and laid out “The Solution:FAM’s 6-Step Plan of Action 2015.” These documents and the plan outlined therein established the framework for building the infrastructure that led to the first nationwide, Inside-led national initiatives and actions based on work strikes, boycotts and protests. FAM’s infrastructure elevated the profiles and voices of Inside-led organizations nationwide and has hosted and facilitated the organizing of EVERY Inside-led national event since 2015.
16. 2015. Nationwide S-TO-P CAMPAIGN against McDonald’s, highlighting the school-to-prison pipeline.
17. 2015-2016. FAM led multiple peace initiatives under the Universal Peace and Unity Summit. Over this period of heightened violence, FAM was the only entity able to lead multiple successful peace accords in the tumultuous ADOC. FAM never had an incident of violence associated with any of its multiple work strikes and boycotts, and ADOC recorded its lowest levels of violence during FAM activities.
18. 2016. Historic September 9, 2016, 45th Anniversary Attica Rebellion Nationwide Prison Strike. Largest prison strike US history. Over 24 states and 30,000 freedom fighters.
19. 2013-2018. During the height of FAM organizing, ADOC saw the total prison population drop from appx. 30,000 to appx. 23,000, before rising again.
20. 2013-2018. During the height of FAM activism, the Alabama Parole Board created an emergency board and granted over 4000 paroles. The number of parole grants began to lessen in 2018, eventually recording record lows in 2020.
21. 2013-2019. As a result of FAM’s exposure of living conditions and intensive media coverage, two Alabama prisons closed (Holman and Draper).
22. 2015 and 2019. FAM witnessed two Governor-appointed Prison Reform/Oversight Committees that were created to address issues highlighted by FAM advocacy and exposure.
23. 2014-2016. FAM saw two conservative sentencing reform measures passed.
24. 2014-2016. FAM’s exposure of ADOC central to class-action litigation filed by Bryan Stevenson and EJI, Southern Poverty Law Centers, and Southern Center for Human Rights.
25. 2016. In an unpredictable and surprising action, in 2016, ADOC correctional officers at Holman CF adopted FAM’s strategy and led their own work strike, where they were protesting, among other issues, the same ADOC leadership and inhumane living conditions as highlighted by FAM. While not all issues were the same between FAM and the officers, the impact of FAM’s influence for change was undeniable.
26. 2016. FAM’s exposure of ADOC, pro se litigation, and advocacy work led to “first-of-its-kind” statewide investigation of all Alabama men’s prisons by the US Department of Justice. These investigations produced two separate reports, both of which found the ADOC to be violating the civil, human and constitutional rights of those serving time in ADOC custody.
27. 2017. An anonymous ADOC employee released a trove of over 1000 graphic, gory photos depicting violence and barbaric savagery inside ADOC. While a select few of these images were made public, many in the mainstream media withheld 800 of these photos, protecting ADOC and collaborating in their mutual interest.
28. 2018. Campaign to Redistribute The Pain 2018, a nationwide bi-monthly boycott of canteen, collect phone calls, visitation vending machines, and incentive packages.
29. 2018 National Prison Strike. Following FAM’s visionary approach to organizing prison labor nationally and relying on the infrastructure put in place leading to FAM’s historic September 9, 2016, 45th Anniversary Attica Rebellion Nationwide Prison Strike/Boycott/Protest, the 2018 Nationwide Prison Strike took place after the Lee County, South Carolina riots. FAM’s leadership and national Campaign to Redistribute The Pain 2018, spanning the entire year of 2018, were integral to the 2018 National Prison Strike. Since that first nationwide effort in 2016, FAM inspired at least 5 other inside-led national events.
30. 2012-2019. Assisted in filing over 250 excessive force, police brutality, ethics complaints, and Section 1983 civil class action lawsuits against ADOC officials.
31. 2014-2020. FAM’s advocacy and activism produced intensive media coverage that resulted in investigations, forced resignations, demotions and firings of at least one ADOC Commissioner (K. Thomas), Associate Commissioners G. Culliver and J. DeLoach), Wardens (Estes, Davenport, E. Evans, and others.
32. 2015-current. FAM’s advocacy and activism led ADOC to adopt policies requiring warden training and rotations. Results are negligible though due to a lack of accountability enforcement, although a few wardens have shown negative pattern behavior resulting in resignations or other forms of termination.
33. 2019. FAM’s hunger strikes exposed and led to the end of ADOC’s secretive and highly inhumane “bucket detail” and extortion schemes by officials at Limestone CF. FAM leaders caused the end of the 25+ year careers of Warden DeWayne Estes and Captain Patrick Robinson, and civil litigation.
34. 2015/2019. FAM jailhouse attorneys, who have filed pro se litigation on his behalf for years, uplifted the story of Willie “Fire Plug” Simmons on their WordPress blog. FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT’s network of activists and contacts who played a vital role in uncovering this story and facilitating Mr. Simmons’ access to press went uncredited when Mr. Simmons’ story exploded and went worldwide.
35. 2019. Launched #ParoleWatch2020 in response to the Charlie Graddick-led Bureau. FAM is the only organization in the State to conduct protests at the Bureau of Pardons and Paroles Headquarters. Graddick resigned effective November 31.
36. 2014-current. FAM’s influence over the course of 7 years has inspired the creation of or brought close collaboration with over 40 organizations, including Unheard Voices, Free Mississippi Movement, APSP, UHURU Movement, Free South Carolina Movement, Mississippi Southern Belles, Free Ohio Movement, FAM Queen Team, T.O.P.S., IWOC, JLS, United Black Family Scholarship Foundation, End Prison Slavery in Texas, Amend the 13th, Decarcerate Louisiana, NABPP, Faith In Action, The Plus Party, Be Frank 4 Justice, Abolish Slavery National Network, EPIC, Ida B. Wells, and many, many more.
37. 2020. Statewide host of August 22, 2020, National Day of Freedom and Justice events.
38. 2020. Co-Presenters for the Harvard Prison Divestment
39. 2020. Co-lead organizers for the October 26-30, 2020 Plus Party #FreeThe13th 5-Day Virtual Rally.
40. 2020. Host of the December 6, 2020, Abolish Slavery Alabama event, marking the 155 year anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment and the exception clause that allows slavery and involuntary Servitude to continue as punishment for crime.
41. 2021. On January 1, 2021, FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT is calling for a #30DayBlackout Boycott and Strike.
42. Our greatest accomplishment is the awareness, education and Spirit of Freedom that we were able to share with over 10,000 men in the ADOC; the tens of thousands of men and women behind cages, walls and fences in America who participated in the 2016 and 2018 nationwide strikes/boycotts/protests; and innumerable others we have impacted around the world. FAM’s banners have hung in four continents around the world, Europe, Africa, South America, and North America.
Special Thanks to the Ratcliff Family and the San Francisco Bay View Black Newspaper. As always, there are some people and organizations that rise above the rest and stand in such a way as to merit special consideration. For FAM, this honor goes to the Bay View and Mr. and Mrs. Ratcliff. We can’t even recount the many deeds or the many ways. All we can do is stand in awe, admiration, appreciate, respect and Love. ❤️
We are not done yet. . .
The price of Freedom comes at a great cost to Freedom Fighters behind the walls.
I know it’s the trendy term (Mass incarceration) but, in addition to understanding when this term appeared, you must understand two things about that misnomer.
The history: Mass incarceration did not exist as a description for the warehousing of bodies through prisons prior to 2010 and the publication of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Between the launch of twitter in 2007 and 2009, there were only 4 mentions of mass incarceration. Literally, it didn’t exist before that.
You need to know: 1- Mass incarceration is a misnomer that does not point out the racial and class aspects of the largest prison population to ever exist on planet earth. It implies that this phenomenon is applied equally across national demographics. A burden shared by all citizens. If that were true there would be over 5 million more “white” people in prisons right now. In reality, this is a textbook example of the fallacy of the average.
2- Mass incarceration is not a crime. There are no laws against mass incarceration. THERE ARE LAWS against slavery. Slavery can be abolished.
It’s true that Michelle Alexander advanced the understanding of our for-profit and race/class based criminal injustice system. What she didn’t do was label it correctly or offer the proper solution to the problem.
The answer to legalized slavery is not reform. It’s abolition. You can not FIX, REFORM, or REPAIR a crime against humanity. And that is exactly what we are dealing with. A crime against humanity called slavery. The same slavery we’ve always dealt with.
The differences between antebellum chattel slavery and modern 13TH amendment slavery is that A- You are not born a slave but you can certainly become a slave at any moment. Especially if you live in high crime, high poverty conditions. B- Today’s slaves are not owned by individuals. They are owned and operated by the state or private prisons and their shareholders.
Get your language right and your mind will follow.
Join us as we review the dynamics of slavery, past to present, and discuss 21st century abolition efforts to address the 13TH amendment.
#FreeThe13th is part of a national effort of activists and organizers from behind the confines of prison walls, to the community, committed to ending slavery and prison profiteering. Over the course of 4 days, speakers will examine the dynamics of slavery, review the implementation of processes to keep slavery active, and discuss next steps required to truly abolish slavery in America.
Get registered for the #FREE THE 13th Event as the conversation about the 13th Amendment and its connection to the continuation of the institution of slavery and the Abolitionist Movement to end slavery in America builds momentum.
I often think to myself… “A bunch of folks talmbout what they would have done if they were alive in the antebellum slavery period are straight up FOS. Full of it.”
You’re alive right now while slavery is legal and in practice. While a dozen states and growing are in the process of abolishing slavery through their constitutions. While the most racist president in modern history is demonizing and criminalizing entire groups based on race and class. While the largest caged population to ever exist on earth grows larger.
While they hunt and kill us in the streets. Brutalize us behind bars. Sell us like cattle through prison stocks and jail bonds.
I know you wouldn’t have done anything then because all you’re doing now is turning a blind eye and practicing willful ignorance.
This message isn’t for those who do, it’s for those who don’t and won’t. I see you. Punk ass. If you were around in 1860 you might be conspiring to get that Tubman bounty money.
When my wife told me that she had watched the documentary the 13th. She now better understand why I am still INCARCERATED in SIDE of ADOC. She now sees that IT’S not the crime that they say that I committed that has me INCARCERATED all these decades. And thousands of more men are in slavery,along with me. Yes, slavery people such as well as myself are TRAPPED into slavery through the courts systems, along with other agencies. HOUSING us worse than ANIMALS and working us SLAVES for nothing, while these different agency’s make billions of dollars off the backs of the SLAVES and our families who dare to stand by our sides and support us. These agencies are so corrupt that they even charge us SLAVES for medical treatments. They charge us SLAVES for disciplinaries. The very same items that our loved ONES use to have the privilege of sending us, we now must buy them from the agency. They have entrapped us into slavery with the new laws that our so called legislatures are passing TARGETING the black men of America. LOCKING us up for long periods of time. So many people are blind to these facts. Please I not only urge you to watch the documentary the 13th but I also beg you to. please don’t take my word for this and watch it for yourself please. Even if you don’t know anyone in prison, I promise you that someone who you love and care about is subject to fall victim to this SLAVES trade that is still operating strongly through the United State court systems. If you care anything about the future of our CHILDREN, PLEASE STAND with me and the OTHERS who are making the necessary sacrifices to change the way that we are being Mistreated and enslaved behind these plantation walls. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!
In the midst of the George Floyd protests for racial and social justice and a call for the end of police summary executions and murders of innocence, unarmed Black men and women with impunity, many people around the world were shocked when a Democratic prosecutor in Utah charged Black Lives Matter protestors under gang enhancement charges that carried a possible life sentence in prison for merely splashing paint across the steps and part of the street in front of the DA’s with red paint.
While these excessive ‘gang’ charges drew condemnation far and wide, this incident exposed a practice that many Black men know all too well, especially here in Alabama. But, unlike the prosecutor in Utah, who acknowledged that he doubts that anyone will spend even a day in jail for these charges that carry a life sentence, Black men in Alabama have not been so lucky.
In fact, hundreds of Black men in Alabama have been charged with gang-related capital murder offenses that carry the death penalty or life without parole. Although no one has ever received the death penalty under these statutes, hundreds are çurrently serving life without parole sentences after being prosecuted under these gang laws even though none of them were ever charged with actually being in any gang. Many others were originally overcharged with capital offense but ultimately had their charges reduced in plea deals.
HISTORYOF ALABAMA’S GANG LAWS
In 1992, the Alabama Legislature convened to address what was the considered to be a public outcry against gang violence. Among the issues of concern were “drive-by” shooting, where vehicles were being weaponized to carry out gang murders. These gang killings were also taking the lives of innocent children who were outside playing in their yards, or sitting inside their homes when these drive-by shootings were being carried out. In response, the Alabama Legislature added four new capital murder crimes to the Alabama criminal code that were now punishable by death or LWOP:
Over time and after years of these laws being on the books, we have learned that these laws have not been applied as intended. We’ve also learned that the uneven and disparate application of these laws have been applied almost exclusively to young Black men. The facts are undeniable. Alabama prosecutors are intentionally and systematically using gang laws to overcharge, wrongfully convict, and over sentence young Black men for capital murder where the only aggravating factor used to enhance their charges is the fact that they are Black. Excepting a few isolated instances, white people who commit the exact same crimes are not charges with capital murder.
SHIRLEY HENSON: Road Rage and Black Rage
Every fire has a spark.
The case that sparked the fire leading to the discovery of the racial discrimination in how these laws were being used was the road rage case involving a middle-class white woman named Shirley Henson. Ms. Henson was driving down an Alabama interstate when she got into an altercation with another driver over tailgating. When the driver of the other vehicle got out of her car to confront Ms. Henson, Ms. Henson retrieved her gun and shot through her window striking the woman in the face, killing her.
As shown above, under Alabama law, when a person inside a vehicle fires a weapon outside that vehicle and kills someone this is capital murder:
(18) Murder committed by or through the use of a deadly weapon fired or otherwise used within or from a vehicle.
Indeed, firing a weapon from inside a vehicle and killing someone outside that vehicle is exactly how a drive-by shooting is committed. But, Ms. Henson was not charged with a capital offense. Instead, she was charged with reckless murder.
This lesser charge was a revelation to Black men in Alabama because they, unlike Ms. Henson, were told that there crimes were capital based on the factual predicate that a weapon was fired from inside a vehicle that killed someone outside the vehicle or vice versa. This was a fact that, according to their prosecutors and defense attorneys, automatically rendered their cases capital.
Yet, here it was playing out on news stations all around the State that when a white women committed the exact same crime, with the exact same facts, she was not charged with a capital offense. Ultimately, Ms. Henson was famously convicted of road rage and spent appx. 10 years in prison before being released.
Young Black men, however, were receiving life without parole sentences, left to die in the Alabama prison system for the exact same offense.
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 575
While Shirley Henson, a middle classes white woman received the benefit of white privilege in the Alabama judicial system, Phillip Fondren, a young white male did not. Phillip Fondren was charged with capital murder after killing a man (Fondren claimed self-defense) in a domestic situation after an argument with his wife’s ex-boyfriend. A single gunshot was fired from Fondren’s vehicle:
After his conviction, Phillip’s mother, understanding the injustice done to her son, became a vocal activist, refusing to accept as fact that her son would spend the rest of his life in prison simply because he was charged under a statute that defined the crime and length of punishment based solely on the location of the parties when the crime occured. In order words, if Phillip had stepped outside of his truck and he and the victim were both standing in the driveway when the same fatal shot was fired, he would not have been subject to a capital offense or life without parole.
Phillip’s case and many others highlight the fact that gang affiliation and using the vehicle as an instrument of the crime (drive-by) are the elements that the Alabama Legislature intended to punish. These were the aggravating factors that enhanced the punishment. When those aggravating elements are absent, then what prosecutors are supposed to be punishing is a murder case.
Avoiding absurd results like this is the very reason why gang relation was a critical aspect of the original legislation. If there was no gang involvement or the vehicle was not being used to carry out the crime then there was no aggravating facts that would justify enhancing the charge to capital murder instead of regular murder.
This injustice compelled Ms. Fondren to start writing articles, reaching out to legislatures and taking other proactive actions, all of which ultimately lead to her understanding that her son had been charged under a gang-related statute even though his crime was not gang-related and he was not in a gang.
Her efforts lead the Alabama Legislature to passed a House Joint Resolution 575, which was signed by the Governor, all stating that the gang statute was being misapplied in Alabama inconsistent with their intent in passing the law in the first place.
PHYRRIC VICTORY AFTER THE JUDICIAL BRANCH GETS INVOLVED
The success of Ms. Fondren’s campaign was short-lived. After receiving the Resolution, the next step was to file a writ bringing Phillip’s case back to his court of conviction for sentencing relief. The court, however, refused to grant relief, contending that the Resolution did not have the effect of law. As such, all relief was denied.
Challenges to the Resolution went all the way to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Judicial Circuit, all to no avail. The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari review and any hope for obtaining relief based on the House Joint Resolution were dashed.
According to the judiciary the problem resided in the fact that the Alabama Legislature omitted certain language from the Bill that was voted on after it was enacted into Law, and the House Joint Resolution cannot be used as an amendment to supply that language.
See, the original Bill submitted to committee and voted on by both houses states specifically that the Bill was intended to punish gang-related drive-by activity. This language is also in the minutes of the debates and conversation about the Bill. But once the Bill was enacted into law, the “gang-related” language, somehow and for whatever reason was excluded. As a result of this snafu, hundreds of people have been wrongfully convicted and no one has been able to obtain relief. This is a travesty of justice.
OTHER CASES INVOLVING WHITE DEFENDANTS TREATED DIFFERENTLY AND MORE FAVORABLE THAN THOSE INVOLVING YOUNG BLACK MEN
Over the years, countless other instances of cases have surfaced involving facts where the defendants were treated differently based on the color of skin. In one the more egregious instances of white privilege, a white man named Steven Bedgood in Georgetown, Alabama, arrived home and noticed a truck leaving the direction of his residence. Upon realization that the truck was being driven by a burglar leaving his home, Mr. Bedgood retrieved a high-powered rifle and shot over 1/8 a mile down the road, striking the assumed burglar in the head, killing him instantly.
Under Alabama’s gang statute, this killing of another person inside a vehicle by shots fired from outside the vehicle is capital murder :
(17) Murder committed by or through the use of a deadly weapon while the victim is in a vehicle.
Unlike hundreds of young Black men before him, however, Mr. Bedgood was charged with manslaughter, a class C felony. Ultimately, Mr. Bedgood was convicted of the lesser included offense of criminally negligent homicide, a misdemeanor, and received 6 months suspended sentence, while each of the Black men mentioned above received life or life without parole. Absent intervention or change in the law, each of them will die in prison, while Mr. Bedgood never served a day in prison.
Oeatha Archie III, Brandon Johnson, Antwaun Phillips, and Jeremy Cattage are just a few of the young Black men who were charged with capital murder pursuant subsection (17), a circumstance where the victim was killed inside a vehicle by a gushot fired from outside that vehicle. Well-known activist and civil rights leader Pastor Kenneth Sharpron Glasgow and his codefendant are two Black men who are currently facing capital murder charges under this racially discriminatory law for a non-gang related offense where the vehicle was not used as a weapon to carry out the crime.
These Black men were all charged with capital murder and sentenced to Life or Life Without Parole even though they were not accused of being gang members or of committing a gang-related killing. The enhancement element in each of their cases was the the fact that they are Black.
Systemic racism and abuse at the hands of law enforcement takes on many forms, resulting in death by different means. While George Floyd met his death in the street, those who protested his death were charged under gang statutes that carry death-inducing life sentences. Prosecutors who routinely overcharge Black defendants are no less guilty that the officers who murdered George Floyd. The manner of death does not remove the certainty of it.
In Alabama, Black men are sentenced to death by incarceration for committing acts that when committed by white people sometimes doesn’t even result in a single day spent in jail. This need to change. The House Joint Resolution makes clear that their intent was to punish ONLY gang-related drive-by killings and/or those killings that uses a vehicle as an instrument of the crime, as a capital offense. Being Black is not a symbol for gang involvement, and being Black should no longer be countenanced as being an element of a crime. Prosecutors should not be allowed to punish Blackness; those who are currently charged or have already been wrongfully convicted as such deserve justice now.
By Brother Mika’il, a servant to the people and voice for freedom and justice.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 13, 2020
We had a brother, Tommy James Rogers, AIS 246679, go up for parole the other day with a 16 year clear record and multiple program completions, not to mention Mr. Rodgers is a first-offender who has never been in trouble before in his life or since. Nevertheless, his efforts to regain his freedom were denied by the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles.
Mr. Rodgers has shown the upmost remorse for his crime and it shows in his actions. After first graduating himself, Mr. Rodgers went on to serve as an intern for eight (8) years in one of the most dangerous program’s in the Alabama prison system, the TC program at St. Clair CF. Mr. Rodgers further served for eight (8) years as a Facilitator for the Long Distance Dads program, in addition to completing many other programs over the years of his incarceration. (See below)
Mr. Rodgers has also worked as a trustee in the store, kitchen stock room, and on the truck crew for a combined 8 years, all while leading by example and helping others learn from their mistakes as well. Mr. Rodgers has committed himself to serving as a positive example to others entering into Alabama’s prison system. However, the decision of the Parole Board to deny him parole further shows that even with an annual budget of over $600 million, taxpayers aren’t receiving any return on their investment in Education, Rehabilitation and corrections. Indeed, if a person is completing all of the programming available and still being denied parole, what is the incentive to others to even consider engaging in Positive behavior?
Please speak up for Mr. Rodgers, as anyone and everyone who knows him can and will vouch for his character, credibility and integrity without hesitation!
He has been an inspiration to young men like myself for years, always showing and teaching what is right and standing on that even when it is dangerous to do so!
Brothers like him and his situation are never made known to the public or taken into consideration because he will come out, teach, and represent what is right and be listened to, hence stopping the “womb to prison pipeline” in the hood; something the system of racism clearly doesn’t want.
Instead of releasing people who have demonstrated their willingness to be a positive influence once returned back to society, the ABPP has released a man who had a stabbing disciplinary as short as 6 months before parole. But this man with an impeccable record before and after his one and only criminal case in his life, who, after atoning and rehabilitating himself from his one and only mistake in life, gets no justice or opportunity at redemption!!!
What can we do to help?
Well, first we need to start a petition and make calls to the parole board and every office over it, all the way to the Governor in regards to him and others like him that have impeccable proof of rehabilitation and remorse but are still being denied parole anyway.
Second, we all must start documenting our own progress of rehabilitation to present before our peers in order for them to go to bat for us with proper ammunition. No one can help us if we don’t make ourselves candidates for help.
Then, we will have evidence and a leg to stand on in our fight for liberation. Those are really the best and most important things we can do at this point; we must stand up for self and each other, it must be documented and sent through the proper channels with the full support of the Movement on the street to bring about true results.
And please know that what is going on here in Alabama with the Bureau of Pardons and Paroles is going on in most other states around the country. Texas, Ohio, Mississippi and Oklahoma, just to name a few, all have a history of this too. Denying people parole for reasons like nature of the offense is simply a way to keep the prisons full and to keep making profits off of these human warehouses and slave labor ppantatu. There are orgs introducing legislation that encourages transparency in the parole process. When people are denied, the board should explain to them what they can do to work toward going home and set out a clear parole criteria, instead of citing static, arbitrary reasons.
The current methods of denying parole for any reason or for no legit reason at all, creates feelings of hopelessness and doesn’t encourage people to want to stay on the right path, especially if they feel like they won’t make it home anyway. Thus, fighting for changes like FAM’s 12 DEMANDS is the type of legislation and change we should be pushing for.
Cases like this one should be the evidence and ammunition to make it happen. Let’s make it happen today. 🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️
Re-posted from the page of the one and only Max Prathas, the Abolitionist that the enslaved trusts
What’s Really Real?
The fight against intangibles and ideals historically lacks one simple but crucial factor. The fact that the 13th amendment never abolished slavery. It was legalized instead under state actors. There’s entire best selling books that break it all down and oddly, never mention the transfer from personal chattel slavery to state convict leasing, and finally, to the modern warehousing of bodies. Many and varied are the explanations in our heads for currently having the largest prison population ever seen on earth. A narrative which fills that void where “Slavery Never Ended” should be instead.
Harvard professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad astutely observed that the 13th amendment exception clause has never received the adequate academic scrutiny it deserves. And that is it in a nutshell. Maybe, those studying slavery, will act like they heard.
I’ve listened to entire panels of highly esteemed academics and constitutional experts in grandiose halls discuss the 13th amendment on its anniversaries and never once mention the infamous exception clause. One time, an elderly gentleman from Jailhouse Lawyers Speaks stood up in the audience and asked about the exception as loud and as clear as could be. With living examples of the amendments sections. It was embarrassing to see the responses and sad to know how long they’ve gone without asking any new questions.
To date, 25 other states adopted their own twisted remixed diction of the pro slavery language found in the amendments description. As was intended, many came long after the civil war had ended. Even though all those states used/use convict lease systems in these incidents, it’s supposed to be just a crazy coincidence.
Legal slavery is not an intangible. It’s not an ideal. It’s not what people think and feel. It’s a real thing we suffer from every day which is written into the constitution and exploited nationwide. And it pains me inside to say it was made that way. But Slavery can be Abolished.
Just do a little research and you’ll see multiple court cases in places where slavery or slave like conditions in prisons was challenged by an inmates appeal and the court threw up the 13TH amendment like Captain America’s mighty shield. “It says right here, slavery and involuntary servitude is allowed, sooo… case closed. Appeal denied. Sorry. At least you tried.”
Even the NCAA grabbed a vibranium copy of the 13th to ward off college players who generate billions in revenue. So, don’t tell me what they never knew. They know, and now you do too.
You can test the truth of every word I say. Laws exist in reality and affect us every single day. Enforced by guns ready to be fired with as much force as is legally required. Punishable by incarceration or execution. By gas, chemicals, or electrocution. A simple traffic ticket violation can end with cops calling a hearse. Tax evasion means prison with potential death or worse. Just walking down the street with sagging pants and underwear showing (for men only) in some counties is punishable by 6 months in jail time and/or a $1,000 fine.
Try and resist the fascist fashion police and you may end up deceased just like Ervin Edwards in Louisiana. Or broken and brutalized like high school sophomore Jonathan Villarreal as was graphically described by his parents.
Muricans like to consider themselves a just and fair society. Generous and compassionate. It isn’t, and they are not, but neither do 99.9% of rappers have as much as they claim that they’ve got. Thinking you hear coins clinking never filled anyone’s purse and following desert mirages never quenched anyone’s thirst. I guess, like the present president, everyone thinks the laws of attraction works.
As someone who spends all their time finding ways to change the public’s mind, let me chime in with this advice albeit unsolicited.
if you want to combat pink power, It’s easier and more permanent to remove pro slavery language from a states constitution using a voter initiative.
Segregation Forever was created by former Alabama Governor George Wallace, when vowing to restrict Black people from entering state institutions. Today that same agenda is advanced by another Alabama Governor, Kay Ivey, who is refusing to release Black and poor White people from the segregation of the Alabama prison system, a state State institution where segregation is carried out by enslavement.
Author: David Files
On Thursday 9-3-20, Governor Ivey once again stood behind her podium still stained and scarred by the sins of Alabama’s past represented by the confederate flag. As she stood there talking, the same two words, “Segregation Forever”, once declared by a former racist Governor, stil echoes throughout her speech. The similiarities of Wallace’s declaration of “Segregation Forever” and Ivey’s determined actions to build new prisons is clear.
I remember just a few short years ago when Governor Bentley resigned as Governor and Ms. Kay Ivey took over the Governor’s seat. Ivey’s message back then was clear, simple and refreshing to the citizens of Alabama who were embarassed after Bentley’s escapades.
Governor Ivey vowed to clean up the mess. Ivey made promises to end corrupt Government actions and to clean up Alabama. At first nobody gave Ivey a chance at actually being elected Governor, much less even running for office. However, the “Clean Up Alabama” slogan provided the needed momentum to elect Kay Ivey as Governor.
Since being elected, Ivey no longer means to clean up, but instead to cover-up the Alabama mess. Ivey was able to convince the Alabama Legislature to give her complete authority in selecting Charlie Graddick as the Director of Pardons and Paroles. Ivey fooled the Legislature, but she was unable to fool the citizens of Alabama, who saw a power hungry, fascist dictator in the making as they voted down Ivey’s attempt to obtain complete Authority in appointing School Board members.
Gov. Ivey, just because you lead the near worst state in Education in America, doesn’t mean that we all are stupid.
Governor Ivey deliberately allowed the prison crisis to fall below a constitutional standards. Today, Ivey and every member of Government standing with her in these proposals of new prisons represent the meaning of a “Swamp”. The misuse, misappropriation and abuse of funds, unaccounted for amounts of money, a Criminal Justice System in desperate need of reform, a highly suspicious private company contract to build prisons and a skyrocketing ADOC budget, which happens to be the most corrupt department in America, is ridiculous.
With all of these facts staring Gov. Ivey in the face, she continues to blantantly lie to the citizens of Alabama by assuring them new prison facilities will fix the problem. It’s actually rather embarassing that Gov. Ivey and her cohorts stand up there thinking that what they are saying makes any kind of sense. The only thing that Gov. Ivey ever said that still rings true today is “it’s time to clean up the mess in Alabama”. The very first step of that process Governor Ivey, is your immediate resignation as Governor.
Its truly sad that Gov. Ivey would have the nerve and lack of respect as a woman participating in racism, wearing blackface, to proudly proclaim that the 13th Amendment gives her Authority to warehouse and enslave human beings.
The fact is 53% of the prison population is Black, while only 27% of the Alabama population is Black. It seems to be a proud accomplishment of her Authority to warehouse and enslave Blacks in over half of your prisons while Black people only make up a little over a quarter of your state’s population. Thank you for enlightening us even more of your racist agenda Gov. Ivey. This is a perfect example of your “Segregation Forever” campaign to build new prisons.
Governor Ivey took a tragic incident from a “non-violent” parolee named Jimmy Spencer, who sadly killed 3 innocent people while on parole, and continues to hold that tragedy against the rest of us unjustly, while denying us our deserving chance back into society. So now we hold the racist acts of past Governor’s against you Kay Ivey, because you have not only failed to prove that you are not like them, but instead have actually shown striking similiarities. There is a passage of Scripture which reads: Do not Judge others lest you yourself be Judged. It is one of my personal favorites. Today the only acceptable “Segregated” thing in Alabama is You, Kay Ivey, from the office of Governor of the State of Alabama.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) report of the unconstitutional conditions in Alabama prisons is well documented and publicized. “Alabama prisons: DOJ finds ‘frequent’ excessive force against inmates” https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/5496089002
The levels of corruption inside the ADOC, which is disturbing and unacceptable, absolutely cannot be fixed by new buildings. By this assumption and plan of Governor Ivey’s that new prisons is the answer, when it is obviously impossible, raises serious questions of how far the levels of corruption actually reach in Alabama’s system. By proposing a plan indebting Alabama citizens for decades, that doesn’t fix the problem and can only be a solution to ease the DOJ investigation for fear of what may actually be discovered. In light of the DOJ report and their recommendations, the blatant responses from Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, Governor Kay Ivey, and Commissioner Jeff Dunn can only mean one thing: If someone is doing something to the best of their ability and it is unconstitutional, then common sense would say they would gladly receive the assistance of the ones able to correct it.
Otherwise, as true in Alabama, if the operation is illegal in the first place and you are attempting to manipulate the ones telling you how to correct it, this can mean one only one thing:applying common sense, the “Alabama problem does not needs an Alabama solution”. It is no coincidence that this happens to be Gov. Ivey’s slogan used repeatedly concerning the unconstitutional prison crises. The blatantly incompetent responses by the leaders in position in Alabama in response to the DOJ reports is revealing. If you simply place yourself in the Governor’s position and look at the situation as a whole knowing of the corruption, what action would you take? Its simple. I too would propose the new mega-prisons, and welcome the DOJ lawsuit. By doing this I would tie up the lawsuit in court through vigorous litigation for the next two years until I get the prisons built. Then present to the federal court the solution in the form of the new prisons that temporarily relieves the problem of overcrowding and get the lawsuit dismissed. This way, I’ve accomplished the building of new prisons and relieved the burden of the DOJ investigation at the same time, while also expanding the operation of mass incarceration and enslavement.
This tactic currently in process in Alabama only kicks the can of needed and past-due reform, while also enslaving Alabama citizens to foot the bill of over 2.9 billion dollars over the next 30 years. So, what does it cost to cover up the corruption in Alabama? The answer is in the details of Gov. Ivey’s proposal to build new prisons. The fact that recent Governor’s in Alabama’s past have either been disgraced or convicted of corrupt practices serves as a reminder that the corruption hasn’t stopped.
If there are any allegations of corruption, racism and the desire the continue the enslavement of Black and poor white people for perpetuity that Governor Ivey’s office would like to disprove to the citizens of Alabama, we ask that you would open the books to every state agency and department, as well as all supervisors and ranking officials, and invite a Federal audit to investigate all transactions of funds and taxpayer money, fully transparent to the citizens of Alabama and media outlets since you have been Governor.
Furthermore you should release all Parole consideration records along with the criteria and guidelines used in denying the paroles. Along with an Executive Order promising that any and all corruption discovered in any capacity will be fully prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, including your own. This seems like a reasonable request to make of those sworn to uphold the law and abide by the Constitution, who so eagerly wish to enter into a 30 year $ 2.9 billion dollar debt to the citizens of Alabama.
It is the sincere Hope and Prayer of all who see through the scheme of building new prisons that the information in this publication be exposed to everyone. By accomplishing this, everyone needs to pressure lawmakers to prevent the Governor from taking this fascist, racist and unacceptable action. If lawmakers cannot prevent this action, then articles of impeachment should be proposed and pushed forward to remove a Governor for overstepping her Authority in attempting to indebt the citizens of Alabama.
ITS TIME TO CLEAN UP THE MESS IN MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA !!!!
Exposing a system of slavery when slavery was thought to be abolished Author: David Files Contributors: Toree Jones, Brian Chiarizio
UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION Amendment 13
Sec. 1. [Slavery prohibited.]
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Sec. 2. [Power to enforce amendment.]
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The thirteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several states by the thirty-eighth congress, on the 1st of February, 1865, and was declared in a proclamation of the secretary of state, dated the 18th of December, 1865, to have been ratified by the legislatures of twenty-seven of the thirty-six states, viz.: Illinois, Rhode Island, Michigan, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, Maine, Kansas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Nevada, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, Tennessee, Arkansas, Connecticut, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia.
What you are about to read will be shocking to some, lived through by many, and unbelievable to others. The informaton in this Newsletter is true and completely factual. It is with full intention to open the eyes of the public and expose the State of Alabama for its corruption, racist ideology, and prejudicial practices. The Alabama Crimnal Justice System was built upon racist ideology. For proof of this fact you should look no futher than the U.S. Constitution Amendment 13 and understand the mindset of that era especially in southern slave states following the Civil War.
In the not so distant past it was the State of Alabama and Governor George Wallace who sadly led the efforts to continue segregation and suppression of African American Civil Rights. In 1978 Charlie Graddick was elected as the Attorney General and proudly served under Governor Wallace. Unfortunately today in 2020 the name of the Governor may have changed but the same racist ideology hasn’t. It is well documented of acting Governor Kay Ivey’s shameful, unacceptable, and racist act of wearing blackface. Governor Ivey was reluctant to come forward and offer an apology for her actions. When she did she asked for forgiveness and to be given another chance denouncing her past. Yet Governor Ivey refuses to miss an opportunity to express her wishes to build 3 new mega prisons. Not only has the Governor’s office kept a racist ideology which is evident by the Governor’s seal still bearing the Confederate flag. It runs rampant throughout the Criminal Justice System. Governor Ivey named Charlie Graddick, former Attorney General under Wallace’s regime, as the Director of Alabama’s Board of Pardons and Parole in 2019. Im sure Graddick is proud to sign his name on documents that still bare images of racism such as the rebel flag which not coincidentally is still to this day proudly displayed on the seal of Alabama’s Board of Pardons and Parole.
In the ’80’s as Alabama’s acting Attoney General Graddick made statements such as “he should have went in there and shot every one of them” referring to Alabama inmates at St. Clair prison. This remark was to then prison Commissioner Freddie Smith who chose to negotiate with the inmates during an uprising concerning inhumane living conditions at the prison. Currently as Director of the Parole Board Charlie Graddick has stated “that no inmate in the Alabama prisons have been rehabilitated”. This quote proves and establishes a prejudicial opinion that cannot go unnoticed any longer. During Graddicks’s tenure as Attorney General in the ’80’s he enacted policies such as the “habitual offender’s act”, the “446 act” abolishing good time that was earned from good behavior by inmates, and established the victims rights organization. This organization known today as VOCAL is allowed to protest and speak against an inmate making parole with no ties whatsoever to the inmate.
At a parole hearing in Alabama the inmate is not allowed to attend. If the inmate has no family at the hearing or is unable to afford an attorney to speak on his behalf at the hearing he will have no voice to speak for his cause at his own parole hearing. Meanwhile VOCAL is granted the opportunity to speak against the inmate even if no victim of the inmate is present to protest. Furthermore Prosecutor’s and the Attorney General’s office are given free reign to basically re-try the case the inmate is serving time for. Often presenting the decision to grant parole would be to find the inmate not gulty of the crime itself. Keep in mind the inmate is not in attendance. The prejudicial practices of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole will be further dissected and exposed later in this Newsletter.
The United States Department of Justice ( DOJ ) has found the Alabama Prison System unconstitutional for its overcrowded population, horrible living conditions, and violence at an all-time high. Recently the DOJ also uncovered corruption within the ADOC’s I&I division, intelligence and investigations. This division of ADOC is responsible for investigating violence etc. within the prisons and staff. The DOJ uncovered I&I’s attempts to coverup instances of officers assaulting inmates. These instances haven’t just begun. This type of corrupt behavior has become the norm amongst ADOC. So far at least four arrests have been made as a result of this discovery and no doubt more should be coming soon. The DOJ has repeatedly given Governor Ivey opportunity to fix the prison crisis. However Ivey refuses to find a solution and instead insists on building 3 new mega prisons.
Governor Ivey in her state of the state address earlier this year mentioned the poosible takeover of the prison system by the Federal Government if Congress fails to pass a bill to build the 3 new mega prisons. Now acting Attorney General Steve Marshall has received recent media spotlight for defiantly stating that Alabama will not be bullied by the Department of Justice concerning its prisons and policies. By “being bullied” Marshall refers to the DOJ’s insistence that the ADOC correct the ongoing violations of its inmates constitutional rights against cruel and unusual punishment. Marshall states that Alabama will by no means enter into any agreement with federal officials to correct the ADOC’s conditions or actions. Marshall, the head law enforcement officer in the state, is sworn to enforce the law, which is what one may suppose he believes he is doing. What Marshall states, however, is that while “enforcing the law” he has no intentions of “abiding by the law” as set forth by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Alabama has been through this overcrowded, unconstitutional prison crises before. The result was a Federal takeover in 1976. The agenda of Alabama is the same now as back then, expanding their operation by building more prisons. Truthfully the problem isn’t about building new prisons. The real problem in Alabama lies deep in her roots. Still on the surface you find in the leaders in Alabama a certain racist undertone. As you begin to dig below the surface into the state’s past the soil becomes rich in racism. It stinks and the smell is unbearableof the sins of Alabama’s past. Yet its in that past where the Alabama Criminal Justice System was born. Also babies were born and raised in a culture whose ancestor’s fought for the Confederacy. They were taught to believe a certain way and over time that mindset is passed on. This truth is evident through numerous documented racial injustices in Alabama’s past. Whether it be Sheriff’s who were members of the ku klux klan and/or their deputies. Whether it was lawyers, prosecutors, judges, Attorney General’s, and even Governors who participate in corrupt, racist, and prejudicial practices.
As a white man I’ve always known about racism in Alabama’s history. I would hate to hear about it or see depictions in a movie portraying events that unfortunately did take place in Alabama. I’ve served over 18 years in prison and i’ve heard it said a million times how racist the Alabama Criminal Justice System is. Always my initial thought would be if its so racist and I’m white then why am I still locked up. It took me going through this experience of such corruption in my case where evidence was created against me, evidence dismissed that would help me, and witnesses produced to lie on me at trial. Over a decade later those witnesses came forward admitting they lied and were paid by the victim’s family. They gave statements and provided sworn affidavits yet I was denied without even a hearing on the issue when I filed a petition to the court. I knew the system was corrupt. In February 2020, I was denied parole and set off for 5 years. I meet all criteria and guidelines to make parole. Not only was I denied parole for 5 more years, the Attorny General, William Dill, who prosecuted my case was allowed to say whatever he wished at my parole hearing. He retried my case stating lies and adding anything he could to make sure I was denied parole. When my family gave me the news of what happened at my hearing I was upset though not surprised. When they told me that my daughter, who was only 14 months old at the time of the incident, was there and she was weeping at what that man stood up there and said about me I was completely devastated. What has taken me my entire incarceration in prison to eventually establish at least a talking relationship with my daughter was destroyed in 30 minutes by what that Attorney General William Dill said. My daughter gave birth to my Grandson over 3 years ago that I was in the process of making arrangements to visit. Since my hearing my daughter not only will not speak to me but my family as well. She thinks we have lied to her about what happened that night. William Dill’s position as Attorney General makes my daughter believe him because she like so many others believe that an Attorney General would not just lie. William Dill though has a history of prosecutorial misconduct since he prosecuted me. Now evidence exist of his corrupt ways of manipulating evidence and failure to produce exculpatory evidence in at least two other cases he prosecuted. State v. Moore 969 So. 2d 169 (2006)… State v. Martin 2017 Ala. Crim. App. Lexis 73 (December 15, 2017)…
Since then I’ve wondered how a system as this can do what they do to countless people and get away with it. The truth is its been happening well over 100 years. This system was not designed for me to be entrapped in. However now that I am I’m no longer a color I became a number. The system way back in 1865 was designed to lock up black men and poor white men after slavery was prohibited who were unable to hire an attorney to weave through the tangles of the Rules of Court especially in Post-Conviction procedures. Are there people who deserve to be in prison today? Absolutely. There are also many who are either innocent, made a mistake as a young man, or are victims themselves of corrupt and racist lawyers, investigators, prosecutors, judges, and an Appellate system rigged to ensure your conviction. Even further than ensuring a conviction the Alabama Parole Board has established a system of prejudicial practices with absolutely no oversight and no accountability. Having had this experience I’ve often thought how many of my fellow inmates, black and white, have experienced these prejudices.
The reason this system was designed and still in operation today is best described in one word, SLAVERY. What better way to camoflauge racism and slavery than mass incarceration. You pass legislature to enact bills that guarantee lenghty sentences for repeat offenders. You establish a prison system full of corruption that initiates violence and covers their tracks. You make it harder for those who are given opportunity back into society to succeed. Until recently it was virtually impossible for a convicted felon to obtain gainful employment. Though today it has improved, the struggle to survive much less be successful upon release is real.
The State of Alabama does not want to relieve the overcrowded prison system. Their desire is to further expand their operation. It worked in the late ’70’s and if this system is not exposed it will work again. The ADOC guidelines state that inmates at minimum- community and community work facilities will not be exploited for their labor. It states that inmates will earn at least the Federal rate of minimum wage. Nowhere does it state that inmates at work centers who work in the community shall only earn $2.00 a day wages. Yet thousands of men are exploited across Alabama who are required to work various jobs for $2.00 a day or risk disciplinary action and have their custody revoked and transferred back to a higher security facility. The ADOC website states that the Red Eagle Work Center is designed for inmates to integrate back into society before their release. It is this statement of hope that men at this facility take to heart along with their families. This concept is also used by ADOC officials who demand that you go to work or be written a disciplinary for refusing to work and transfer you to a level IV prison where chances of making parole drop considerably. The ADOC establishes a mindset of integrating back into society and being released to our families. While exploiting our labor under false pretenses that our release is evident. Instead we are denied parole for ridiculous reasons that are prejudicial and opioniated at best. I am currently incarcerated at Red Eagle in Montgomery, Alabama. Not only was I denied parole and set off for 5 more years, but the majority here just at this facility are done the same way. We are denied parole to live in society with our families. Yet fit to go to work in society for $2.00 a day on behalf of the state. This is how a state of slavery exist. This operation is hidden from the public eye. With no transparency or oversight it is unknown the amount of money the state is allowed to make by exploiting inmate labor through work contracts with cities, counties, various businesses and organizations. By only paying the inmate $2.00 a day the state keeps the remaining amount. Multiply that amount by at least 1,500 inmates, possibly more, who are under this treatment and it becomes clear why the Alabama prison system is overcrowded and looking to expand. How much money is the state making this way? Where does the money go? ADOC’s overall budget for fiscal year 2020 is an obscene $624 million dollars. Why aren’t the public allowed to see their tax dollars at work? Can anyone answer where is the money?
In the Code of Alabama Title 14, Chapter 8, Article 6 – wages; it outlines the states authority to withhold 40% of the inmate’s earnings at work release. Keep in mind that almost all violent offenders are barred from work release.
§ 14-8-6. Wages. The employer of an inmate involved in work release shall pay the inmate’s wages directly to the Department of Corrections. The department may adopt regulations concerning the disbursement of any earnings of the inmates involved in work release. The department is authorized to withhold from an inmate’s earnings the cost incident to the inmate’s confinement as the department shall deem appropriate and reasonable. In no event shall the withheld earnings exceed 40 percent of the earnings of the inmate. After all expenses have been deducted by the department, the remainder of the inmate’s earnings shall be credited to his or her account with the department. Upon his or her release all moneys being held by the department shall be paid over to the inmate. HISTORY:
Ala. Code § 14-8-6 is not unconstitutionally vague. Ala. Dep’t of Corr. v. Merritt, 74 So. 3d 1, 2010 Ala. Civ. App. LEXIS 291 (Ala. Civ. App. 2010), rev’d, 74 So. 3d 25, 2011 Ala. LEXIS 70 (Ala. 2011).
Work-release inmates’ action alleging that individual State agents improperly overcharged them for transportation costs or withheld more money than was authorized from their work-release earnings based upon misinterpretations of Ala. Code § 14-8-6 was not barred by the sovereign immunity clause of Ala. Const., art. I, § 14. However, because a judgment awarding refunds of the improperly collected money would have affected the financial status of the State treasury, the action for refunds could not have been maintained. Because the inmates could not have recovered damages in the action, the judgment was properly certified as final under Ala. R. Civ. P. 54(b) and, therefore, was reviewable by the appellate court. Ala. Dep’t of Corr. v. Merritt, 2010 Ala. Civ. App. LEXIS 172 (Ala. Civ. App. June 18, 2010), op. withdrawn, sub. op., 74 So. 3d 1, 2010 Ala. Civ. App. LEXIS 291 (Ala. Civ. App. 2010).
Knowing the information you just read in title 14-8-6 pertaining to wages there was no mention of inmate labor only being paid $2.00 a day. The overwhelming majority of inmates subjected to this treatment is violent offenders who have served large portions of their sentences and maintained a clear record for a specified time. It is these inmates who desperately yearn for their 2nd chance in society. So much so they are willing to fall for the deception portrayed in the description of facilities such as Red Eagle which states: This facility is designed to integrate inmates back into society before release. Governor Ivey always attempts to alleviate the overcrowding issue by enacting policies such as “mandatory release”. This policy excludes violent offenders and is designed for very short time sentences for minor non-violent offenses.
This policy may seem reasonable at face value. However the recidivism rate among that group is extraordinarily high. Studies prove that the recidivism rate among violent offenders who have served large portions of their sentences is extremely low. Do all violent offenders fit this category? No. But there are many that do, especially at Red Eagle. In fact we are trusted enough to be released to work in society without law enforcement supervision everyday. Governor Ivey portrays to protect the community from violent offenders. What she fails to admit is that she uses a class of violent offenders to achieve her plan. It is us, who make up that class, who are continuously overlooked in being released.
As you read Title 14-5-10 you begin to understand why.
§ 14-5-10. Hiring out of labor.
The Board of Corrections is hereby authorized to hire or lease convicts to any department, agency, board, bureau or commission of the state on such terms, conditions and at such prices as may be mutually agreed upon. Any department, agency, board, bureau or commission of the state is hereby authorized to contract with the board for the lease or hire of convicts upon such terms, conditions and at such price as may be mutually agreed upon. Any department, agency, board, bureau or commission of the state contracting with the board for the hire or lease of convicts is hereby authorized to expend any available funds necessary for carrying out the provisions of such contract.
What you just read was the legalization of a state slave trade. This group of inmates are barred from work release placement where they receive 60% of their earnings at a rate of the federal minimum wage. Its this group who is leased out to work and only paid $2.00 a day. You won’t find that fact written in the Code of Alabama. There are alot of men who have been locked up for many years, decades, at this facility who are very appreciative of those $2.00 a day. They come up for parole and time after time they are denied. Its sad that this practice is allowed to continue without allowing us our chance back in society. The wages issue is relevant. However we chose to accept it as a display of our successful integration back into society. All we lack now is the opportunity. The contracts mentioned in this article are unknown by the inmates concerning the amount of money the state makes a day from our labor. It is obvious that $2.00 a day is far less than 60% of the total.
Being denied parole after being allowed to work in society everyday is nothing short of corrupt intent to exploit labor. Obviously they cannot claim our denial for public safety concerns. The only explanation for our denial of parole is our role in the operation. SLAVERY. Who else in human history is exposed to hard labor, paid hardly anything, trusted to leave and then return, given opportunity to escape, treated harshly, held against their will, who deserve to be free other than slaves. Include Alabama inmates to that list. Governor Ivey stands behind that podium bearing the Governors seal emblazoned by the rebel flag as she continues to lie and deceive the citizens of Alabama. She asked to be forgiven when she got caught in her racist acts. Yet she runs an operation of slavery in Alabama absolutely refusing to give others the 2nd chance that she herself desires.
While it is true that incarcerated individuals may not have a “created liberty interest” in being granted parole as set forth in constitutional rights, they do have the right to fair consideration of the facts pertaining to the parole request. Notably, on the denial sheet are reasons #5, #7 and #13, which allow for less than understandable criteria requests to be met.
Reason #5 states that, “severity of present offense is high“. This reason is ambiguously vague to the point of promoting inconsistency. No criteria is set forth to gauge the severity of the offenses, save for the Criminal Code of Alabama created by the legislature. If the Criminal Code of the state does not bar an offense from consideration of parole, then obviously the severity be not too great as to rise to the level of ineligibility, otherwise the legislative body would have deemed so and voted such as to exclude the charged offense from consideration eligibility. Therefore, it can only be inferred that this reason for denial is based solely on opinion and not factual.
Reason #7 states, “negative input from stakeholders (i.e. victim, victims family, law enforcement)”. While it is completely understandable and natural to garner input and consideration of the feelings of an involved party in an incident, it would also only seem reasonable to assume also that, to some extent, involvement may infer a natural bias and partiality. Upon conviction and an incarceration period for a crime, a certain level of restitution has been made for an offense. Ones’ inability to accept recompense for an offense, and to harbor resentment or to long for revenge, rather than to desire for justice, may be so great as to render an involved individuals’ sentiments excessive or extreme. Some involved parties may never accept justice in a case, even long after the entire completion of a justly imposed sentence. Counter point to that, positive input from family members, members of the community, or even from the victims themselves, seem not to carry the same weight of consideration in the eyes of the Board as does negative input.
Reason #13 states, “release will depreciate seriousness of offense or promote disrespect for the law“. Once again, one could only assume that a duely elected legislative body is competent and capable of determining and imposing criteria for defining and punishing criminal offenses. Once these criteria have been approved and implemented, it would only seem to promote disrespect for the law if those policies and criteria were ignored. If such policy has been discussed, approved and implemented concerning the punishment of an offense and the criteria which must be fulfilled to meet eligibility for consideration for parole, then once the criteria is met, how could it possibly depreciate the seriousness of the offense or promote disrepect for the law by abiding in accordance with said law? This reason too falls short of factuality, fairness or meaningful and thoughtful parole consideration.
The denial of parole for these 3 reasons is unjustly prejudicial. Though the inmate meets all required criteria these reasons of denial that are beyond the inmate’s control to correct are used to keep the inmate incarcerated and enslaved.
The sore subject of the real foundational principles that our Criminal Justice System was founded on has been discussed before. However ever effort to expose it has either lost momentum, been bribed or brushed aside to silence. In my opinion those efforts lost traction because they began their fight at the U.S. Constitution. Don’t get me wrong, the 13th Amendment needs to be attacked. According to the 13th Amendment, however, they give the Authority over to individual states. Just like the states were given authority to enslave Black people over 200 years ago. The best tactic to Abolish slavery altogether and force a nationwide Criminal Justice Reform is to expose the individual state who relies on the 13th Amendment. There could never be a better candidate than the Home of Dixie, Alabama. With the DOJ pressuring Alabama concerning its prison system crises there is alot of disturbing discoveries being uncovered. If the shovels were tossed aside and a backhoe brought in to really start digging there will no doubt be some leaders sent to prison and an operation fully exposed. Im sure once this took place and those leaders were subjected to their own policies a reform would take place.
The uncovering of Alabama and its practices that have evolved to a level of sophisticated corruption sparked by racism, now driven by greed, and licensed by the U.S. Constitution Amendment 13. If you are familiar with the Bible, there is a parable taught by Jesus of the “return of the unclean sprit”. Alabama’s unrepented sins of the past have long ago returned and the seven evil spirits with it have infiltrated our Municipalities, Judges, Appellate Courts, Attorney General’s office, Congress, Parole Board, and the Governor’s Mansion. Its no coincidence that the birth of this enterprise began in the era of post Civil War and evolved to a more covert, undercover enterprise in the era following the Civil Rights Movement. That same spirit of hatred and racism that controlled the leaders of Alabama in 1865 was on full display through Governor George Wallace as he was so famously quoted as saying “Segregation today, Segregation tomorrow, Segregation Forever”. Following the Civil Rights Movement and the integration of our schools and businesses as Blacks and Whites were legally mandated to share public restrooms and water fountains. What could a man who so proudly proclaimed “Segregation Forever” do but further corrupt a Criminal Justice System to help segrgate society. It took Wallace a little time to gather like-minded and trusted officials in position to enact an evil scheme that would portray a system that is “tough on crime”. By dropping the “common law” standard which defines charges and criminal offenses. The Code of Alabama, formerly known as TItle 13 was repealed and replaced with what is now known as Title 13A.
TITLE 13 CRIMES AND OFFENSES [Repealed]
Annotations Editor’s Notes Acts 1977, No. 77-607, p. 812 adopted the Alabama Criminal Code which was later amended by Acts 1978, No. 78-770, p. 1110, and Acts 1979, No. 79-125, p. 230. All sections of Title 13 were repealed or transferred, and the Criminal Code has been designated as Title 13A.
TITLE 13A Criminal Code
Former statutory definition. Under former § 13-1-70, which generally followed the old Pennsylvania formula, there were four types of first degree murder: (1) by poison, lying in wait (ambush), or any other willful, malicious, deliberate and premeditated killing (common law murder plus the element of premeditation); (2) in the perpetration or attempt to perpetrate arson, rape, robbery or burglary (modified version of common law felony-murder doctrine); (3) same as (1), but intent to kill some person other than deceased (common law rule plus premeditation); (4) by any act greatly dangerous to lives of others, evidencing a “depraved mind” regardless of human life (so-called “universal malice”). Every other common law murder was second degree murder (intentional killing without premeditation). (But death due to resisting arrest, or while committing some felony not specified as felony-murder under (2) uncertain.)
Abolition of degrees. Section 13A-6-2 preserves the basic type of murder—intentionally causing the death of another person—but eliminates the degree distinction based on deliberation and premeditation. Miller v. State, 145 Ala. 677, 40 So. 47 (1906); Warren v. State, 34 Ala. App. 447, 41 So.2d 201 (1949); Miller v. State, 38 Ala. App. 593, 90 So.2d 166 (1956). The premeditation-deliberation formula originated from an 18th century effort, probably initiated by the Pennsylvania Legislature to reduce the number of capital murders. Atkins v. State, 46 Ala. App. 401, 243 So.2d 385 (1971). Originally the provision was intended for calculated killings, e.g., ambush killings which require advance planning. Mitchell v. State, 60 Ala. 26 (1877) (Deliberate — formed with deliberation, in contra distinction to a sudden and rash act. Premeditated — contrived or designed previously.) But later judicial interpretations hold that substantial reflection is not required, and indeed, any existing mental state indicating a capacity to choose between refraining or proceeding with the murderous act is sufficient. See Perkins, Criminal Law 73-76 (1st ed. 1957). Often a finding of a conscious intent to kill is deemed sufficient for, or indistinguishably close to, premeditation and deliberation. “Deliberate” and “premeditated” means only this: If the slayer had any time to think before the act, however short such time may have been, even a single second, and did think, and he struck the blow as the result of an intention to kill produced by this even momentary operation of the mind, and death ensued, that would be a deliberate and premeditated killing within the meaning of the statute defining murder in the first degree. Daughdrill v. State, 113 Ala. 7, 21 So. 378 (1896). “Premeditation and deliberation” may exist and be entertained while defendant was grasping the knife with which the fatal stab was committed, White v. State, 236 Ala. 124, 181 So. 109 (1938), or at the instant in pressing the trigger to fire the fatal shot, Caldwell v. State, 203 Ala. 412, 84 So. 272 (1919).
The deliberation-premeditation formula, undoubtedly, has served as an “escape-hatch” for sympathetic juries in exercising mercy and also as a bargaining device in negotiating guilty pleas, the future utility of which seems doubtful since the general abolition of capital punishment. Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972).
Moreover, the case for a mitigated sentence should not depend on a distinction between impulse and deliberation. Some purely impulsive murders may present no extenuating circumstances: “As much cruelty, as much indifference to the life of others, a disposition at least as dangerous to society, probably even more dangerous, is shown by sudden as by premeditated murders.” Stephen, 3 History of the Criminal Law 94 (1883), as quoted, Model Penal Code, (Tent. Draft No. 9), Comments to § 201.6, p. 70. (Possible modern examples: Out of wanton barbarity, defendant douses victim with lighter fluid and ignites him. When girl repels advances, defendant instantly cuts her throat. Here there is no true deliberation and premeditation unless the term is continued to be used in an unnatural sense, like “aforethought” in “malice aforethought.”)
This action of changing the definitions of crimes seems to most as no big deal. As usual with Alabama policies you have to look below the surface. By changing the wording how a crime is defined it drastically lowers the burden of proof placed on the prosecution to portray a man guilty as charged to a jury. Take the crime of murder for example. As you read under Title 13A they no longer include vital elements such as “with malice, malicious intent, or premeditated etc.”. All of these elements that a prosecutor should be burdened with proving before ensuring conviction and sentencing a man to life in prison is no longer needed. When investigators and prosecutors were tasked with having to do their job that they are paid to do they couldn’t stand Justice prevailing instead of their conviction rate.
The evil agenda that was enacted produced their desired results. What came next was an overcrowded prison system that was taken over by the Federal Government. This resulted in Alabama receiving their wish of new prisons, which were built across the state. One of Wallace’s like-minded trusted officials became Attorney General Charlie Graddick who as outlined earlier not only fit in with Wallace’s agenda, but enacted his own policies with the “lock ’em up and throw away the key” mentality. The evil scheme of Title 13A began to evolve from a hate filled racist ideology to a money producing organization after the building of the new prisons. the “Prison Industrial Complex” mentality took over. By lowering the standard of proof applied to criminal prosecutions the doors of crooked, corrupt, over-zealous, conviction-rate minded prosecutors and their tactics opened wide. This is not an accusation that all are corrupt. There are still honest people with integrity throughout the Criminal Justice System. The message to those individuals is clear, that to remain silent after becoming knowledegable of corrupt, racist, prejudicial, or dishonest tactics used by trusted officials and fail to report them then you are just as gulty. It wasn’t some backwoods District Attorney from the 1950’s who manipulated the courts and spit in the face of Justice who prosecuted me. It was the top law enforcer of the State Attorney General William Dill. The record proves that I wasn’t the only one victimized by his antics. Prosecutors being allowed to operate in dishonesty without any regard to the lives impacted must stop. If a witness were perjured in court they would be subject to a felony. How can prosecutors be exposed for lying and deceiving a Court proceeding as a trusted official and not be held accountable.
Finally another sad reality is the Rules of Court placing time limitations and procedural requirement obstacles in front of Justice. Imagine being falsly accused, an Indictment is produced through an unchallengeable hearsay testimony, evidence that would help you at trial dismissed, witnesses produced to lie on you at trial, you are found guilty, sentenced to Life in prison, barred from Appealing your case because by the time you learn some aspects of law in prison and discover issues that would entitle you to relief you discover that time had elapsed and you are procedurely and time barred, after serving the minimum time required you are denied Parole unjustly, subjected to hard labor and only paid $2.00 a day while incarcerated in the most violent, corrupt prison system in America. Does it seem impossible to fathom? Alabama will make a believer out of you. Looking back I feel foolish for sincerely believing in a Justice System where Truth prevails.
In conclusion of this Newsletter exposing the State of Slavery Alabama. We ask for your support to help bring change to this corrupt and crooked system. The concerted efforts of inmates at Red Eagle helped to provide needed information and input to make the publishing of this Newsletter possible. The goal is to give the reader a better understanding and more detailed inclusive perspective of why Alabama’s prison system is unconstitutional. On behalf of all the inmates at Red Eagle as well as our families, friends, loved ones, and all who are a part of the struggle, we ask that you help in exposing these injustices of a slave state and stand with us to bring change to the Parole System, Criminal Justice reform, change the prejudicial policies of ADOC, and establish a system that operates in integrity by holding those in trusted positions accountable by felony for misconduct in court proceedings where the livelihood of the accused is at stake in Alabama. Go online and sign the Petition at http://chng.it/gRLFqYV5 and forward the link to everyone you know. GOD BLESS!
Final thought: Every time you hear Governor Ivey talk about building new prisons you should now understand she means “SEGREGATION FOREVER”…
INMATES AT RED EAGLE WHO THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT