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Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Behind Enemy Lines

Stories from the prison industrial complex.

Gov. Paterson, grant clemency to Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim

I trust you will carefully consider using your gubernatorial powers to grant clemency to Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim in the New York case and parole to warrant in the San Francisco case.

Federal judges tentatively order release of 37,000 to 58,000 California prisoners

A federal three-judge panel ruled today, Feb. 9, that overcrowding in California prisons is indeed the root cause of health care inadequacy so severe that it amounts to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

Burge victims to Blagojevich: Pardon us

Afraid their appeals will fall on deaf ears if Gov. Rod Blagojevich is ousted, several relatives of victims tortured by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge paid a visit to the governor's office to ask for pardons.

Waterboarding in Mississippi

Waterboarding was sometimes used in the Deep South to torture African-Americans and to extract false confessions to alleged crimes.

A reoccurring racist nightmare

When you see anger in the streets, it's because the people need something or someone to rally for, against this racist bloodthirsty system that has forever stood on the backs of the people.

Torture at Angola Prison

The torture of prisoners in U.S. custody is not only found in military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. If President Obama is serious about ending U.S. support for torture, he can start here in Louisiana.

The terrible aftermath of Marsy’s Law

Life-term prisoners - lifers - are beginning to experience the effects of Prop 9, Marsy's Law. On Jan. 14, when political prisoner Hugo Pinnell appeared before the Parole Board, he was told to come back in 15 years!

Leonard Peltier’s safety in jeopardy!

Leonard Peltier was severely beaten after being transferred to another prison. Learn how you can help and read a letter from Leonard and commentary - ‘President Obama must free Leonard Peltier' - written Jan. 23 by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman.

Bill to propel $12 billion prison construction project sent to governor with budget package

While governor and legislature propose massive cuts to education and 2,000 public works projects are on hold, prison expansion is pushed forward.

Method of execution

I will continue the ardent struggle from the "inside out." As you fight to abolish the death penalty from the "outside in," may we intersect in success!

Christmas Day in a Louisiana dungeon

Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace are about to begin their 37th year in the dungeon of the old slave plantation, Angola. A crucifixion. Where is the public outrage that will resurrect them?

Reductions in prison population can save the state billions

Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) is proposing the only real solution to the overcrowding crisis: reducing the number of people in prison and canceling new prison construction.

Free the Atenco 13!

As economies crumble around the globe, states are becoming increasingly repressive, especially against those who are its political opponents and resisters.

Thirty-five years of isolation, introspection and torture

When imprisoned and placed in an isolation unit, you begin to live inside yourself, measuring how you are doing against the challenges that you are confronted by to gauge how well you are getting on.

Rev. Pinkney granted bond, will be home for Christmas

A Court of Appeals granted the ACLU's motion for bond on behalf of Rev. Edward Pinkney, who is serving a 3-10 year sentence for harshly criticizing a judge.

COINTELPRO plot against ‘Omaha 2’ included a cadre of top FBI officials

In Omaha, Nebraska, the leaders of a Black Panther group, Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice), were the targets of a clandestine operation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation code-named COINTELPRO.

Today’s Black woman

The 2008 presidential race provides an opportunity to redefine traditional views of beauty. When the child in the projects of New Orleans can look at the first lady and see herself, that iconography alone works as a powerful antidote towards curing what ails America.

What happened to freedom?

I have been constantly pushing for liberation quite vigorously and many of you inspire me to push harder and remember the words of a great freedom fighter, Sis. Harriet Tubman, who said: "I started with this idea in my head. There's two things I have a right to: death or liberty."

Herman Wallace in trouble, hospitalized – updated 11/29

Robert H. King, Angola 3 activist, former political prisoner, called to tell me that Herman Wallace, while visiting with Jackie Sumell and her friend, had what appeared to be a heart attack or stroke. Alarmed, Jackie banged on the door of the locked visiting room to get guards' attention.

Freedom is cream corn and sausage

I recall listening to a recording of Albert Woodfox describing how it felt after 15 years or something crazy long like that to finally get a contact visit from his mom and feel her hug. Now, after nearly 36 years in solitary confinement, Woodfox could soon be released on bail.