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“An execution date should not be scheduled because Mr. LaMar’s death sentence is precisely the sort identified by the Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty. Mr. LaMar’s conviction rests on prisoner testimony which is not independently corroborated, there is no physical or video evidence linking him to the crimes and he has always maintained his innocence. Evidence supporting Mr. LaMar’s innocence is slowly coming to light after dogged efforts to unearth such proof following years of suppression.”
Men and women incarcerated in prisons across the nation declare a nationwide strike in response to the riot in Lee Correctional Institution. Seven comrades lost their lives during a senseless uprising that could have been avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology. These men and women are demanding humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern day slavery.
The recent prison uprising in South Carolina is often described as the deadliest in 25 years, referencing the Lucasville Uprising, which began on April 11, 1993, and lasted 11 days and took the lives of nine prisoners and one correctional officer. This week is the 25th anniversary of the 1993 Lucasville uprising, which is being “celebrated” by correctional officers by silencing the survivors of that riot, some of whom were framed for murder while the prisoners responsible for the violence were able to plead out and avoid punishment.
Central Ohio IWOC, the Free Ohio Movement and Lucasville Amnesty call for actions and raising awareness around the 25th anniversary of the Lucasville Uprising on April 11-21. Drawing attention to this pivotal event in the history of prisons in Ohio and the U.S., protesters will hold a 3 p.m. noise demo on the 21st outside the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) in Lucasville where prisoners held a cell block for 11 days in April of 1993. Prisoner survivors of this rebellion have spent these 25 years acting as beacons of resistance despite suffering in solitary confinement and on death row.
On Sept. 9, a series of coordinated work stoppages and hunger strikes will take place at prisons across the country. Organized by a coalition of prisoner rights, labor and racial justice groups, the strikes will include prisoners from at least 20 states – making this the largest effort to organize incarcerated people in U.S. history. The actions will represent a powerful, long-awaited blow against the status quo in what has become the most incarcerated nation on earth.
One big reason the story of Lucasville has to be told again and again is that not only did this tragic, desperate uprising lead to 10 deaths, but five men are still on death row and many more have been given lengthy sentences who declare their innocence. Here is the story in short of Greg Curry, one of the prisoners who received a life sentence even though he had nothing to do with the uprising or the murders.