Saturday, April 12, 2008


Dateline: April 7, 2008 Location: Deep inside a prison cell in Florida

Despite what some people think, there are no country clubs in state prison, and there is no internet access. We can’t have laptops or cell phones. We can make collect telephone calls to any of ten people on our approved lists, and we can write letters. I am blessed that I have a few friends in “free society” who love me and care about me, and believe that my message should be heard, so they deal with e-mail, websites, and the intricacies of the internet on my behalf.
A few years ago, at another prison in North Florida, I told a particularly oppressive person who’d been dogging me that the U.S. Constitution didn’t stop at the front gate, and even prisoners had certain rights. His response so epitomized a certain mindset that I memorized it exactly as he said it, “The Constitution ain’t in effect in Columbia County.”
Fortunately for all of us, that isn’t true. The vast majority of prison staff are good people doing a difficult job, and I get along with them fairly well. Many of them are aware of my situation – I’ve known some of the higher ranking officials twenty-five years and more – and most ask me, “Why are you in prison?” or, “You don’t belong in prison.”
I couldn’t agree with them more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm seeing this more and more on TV where an innocent person that has served time for many years is released based on DNA testing or other circumstances. After watching what happened in the Duke LaCrosse case with prosecutor Mike Nifong AND reading the book 'The Innocent Man' by John Grisham, I'm stunned as to how some corrupt prosecutors as well as complacent judges must feel when they put someone away where there was truly reasonable doubt OR exculpatory evidence (evidence that could show that the defendant was innocent) that was buried by the prosecutor. Yes, the jury decides you can say and maybe that's how the judge and prosecutor sleep at night, BUT how information is presented to the jury by a prosecutor and what the judge allows in their 'courtroom' is VERY controlled. Anyone that thinks that the justice system is fair and bases that opinion on what they see every week on Law and Order and other police/court shows needs to wake up. Most people will fortunately never have to find out if it's true or not. MY GRANDFATHER, JUDGE LOUIE WILLARD STRUM WAS A FEDERAL JUDGE FOR THE 5TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS AND WAS APPOINTED BY BOTH HOOVER AND TRUMAN. HE WAS ALSO ASKED TO SIT AT THE NUREMBURG TRIALS BUT REFUSED. He would turn in his grave concerning what some corrupt prosecutors do to enhance their own 'conviction' record. Read the book 'THERE'S A FISH IN THE COURTHOUSE' by Gary Wean if you can even find it. Gary wrote of firsthand experience with certain judges/prosecutors both in LA County as well as Ventura County that were continually breaking the law and reaping huge benefits from losing court records, threatening people, etc. How does Gary Wean know? He was a decorated policeman for 30 years. He was on the police detail that was at the Democratic National Convention in LA when JFK was flown to Peter Lawford's beach house to meet Marilyn Monroe! Gary goes into great detail about that and other world-shaping events and people of that time frame for any of you that are interested.