Prison Uprise

The Abolishment Movement Newsletter

December, 2006

Ohio Inmates Murdered?
By Roderick Robinson
Carcinogenic, medications. (cancer causing agents.) were dispensed on a regular basis in the prisons in Ohio, I suspect else where too. I came upon the discovery by noticing a high number of inmates who had developed cancer during their prison tenure.Some dying as a result of their cancer. Realizing this, yet another covert method of murdering/ or debilitating inmates through the cumulative method of the intentional dispensing of these carcinogenic, medications. I began to look up what is called, the empirical formula. The empirical formula is derived from the mineral's structural (molecular) formula by using the published analysis of the mineral or deriving the analysis using basic rule... In lay terms,( recipe.) of several of the more common dispensed medication, some of which were dispensed to me.Word spread to other inmates, and more and more inmates came to me to have me look up the empirical formulas to theirs. To my discovery, a large number of their dispensed medications were carcinogenic as well. My findings were corroborated post. Confronting then, physician, Dr. Akusoba. circa, mid 1998. Marion Corrections Institution.. Who stated, my findings were correct. A large number of the medications dispensed by O.D.R.C. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections medical staff. did have carcinogens in them. However, they have only been known to cause cancer in laboratory rats. I countered, Well, how many test have been done on humans? He replied, he didn't know of any. It is clear in my mind that he in fact knew of test done on humans was unlawful. Notwithstanding, he himself was taking an active role in the dispensing of these carcinogenic medication as was his colleagues throughout the state, and possibly other states as well. You see, what Dr. Akusoba didn't know, was his PA, Physicians Assistant. who sat in listening to our discourse. My espying her, through my peripheral vision. vigorously shaking her head no. In a failed effort to signal Dr. Aksuba. not to confirm my findings. concerning the dispensing of carcinogenic medications. What's so perplexing is, I'm not a doctor, and even I know the testing of carcinogens on humans is unlawfully... [Except in the prisons !] And even more perplexing , why did Doctor Akusoba attempt to mitigate my findings, by telling me they only caused cancer in laboratory rats? What difference would it make if he was certain they would not harm humans? And why was the pysicians assistant so fervent in signaling him not to confirm my findings. You be the judge. PRISON STAFF CAUGHT LACING MEDICATION WITH INTENT TO MURDER, AGAIN! On yet another occasion circa last trimester 2000 to Jan 2001. of being poisoned, I was dispensed liquid medication, Cascara. a purgative. Again, I had been placed in punitive segregation. Obviously, this is where Administrative/ correctional staff, like to do their dirty work, being that its a little more secluded from general population. In conjunction with my being disabled, I was placed in a cell where a camera

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was positioned on me 24/7. So staff could watch me. Perplexedly, over time I developed acute heart pain. I couldn't figure out where it stemmed from until nurse Mary Sanford of Lucasvilles, SOCF. atypical of her behavior. Demanded to have the dispensing cup back, subsequent my walking away with it. Shocked at her tirade over a simple cup, the size of a shot glass. these same cups, over previous years. were left with me, et,al. by several different nurses, including nurse, Mary Sanford. I retorted, Why are so anxious to get this cup back? [the cup had residue from the poison.] Then I shut up! Realizing I might tip them off. As this is where my heart pain stemmed from. Hence medical records prior to my incarnation, provided my heart was fine. So I decided to forego the chronic medication, but feigned dosing it.How I did that was when medical staff came to dispense the medication. I would take a drinking cup with my back to staff. go over to the sink turn the water on, position the cup in front of the stream of water to give the appearance I was filling it with water. I wrapped my hand around the cup. So as to prevent medical and correctional staff from detecting the cup was actually empty. At the cell bars, I retrieved the small dispensing cup and threw my head back, feigning to drink its content immediately placed the empty drinking cup to my mouth and moving my Adams apple to feign swallowing the laced medication all the while spitting it back into the drinking cup. walking back to the sink nonchalantly, place the drinking cup on the the sink returning to my bunk and resume my game of solitary, or entries into my daily journals.Now prior to this, I had saved an empty 3"x6" plastic milk bag, cutting a small piece of one of the corners to empty its content, milk. I sterilized it with bleach. Making a paper funnel I poured the laced Cascara into the plastic bag. After saving up a couple of weeks or more, of this laced medication, I hermetically sealed the bag with a lighter. Making sure no air could get in or out assuring none of the laced Cascara would leak. I then taped the bag of laced Cascara bag in between my legal papers.And mailed them

December, 2006
to the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, Ohio. During this time my heart pain vanished. [The hereafter, is a transcript of one of the 15 page motion, mailed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, on 4/11/01.] Exhibit A. Please do not remove exhibit A. from the plastic bag. It is sealed in such a manner so as to deter tampering. The evidence is Cascara inside a 3x6 plastic bag in a motion to judge Potter U.S District Court, Northern District Court Toledo Ohio. The suspected laced cascara induced Angio pain. Deduced by petitioner, through the process of elimination, and the fact SOCF staff had scheduled 3 medical round trips to Cardiology petitioner had not previously consented to, nor discussed. [I refused to go on. To do so would have been pure folly. hence it would availed them in building a medical history of staff helping me for heart pain,( I never told them I was experiencing.) Then In the event of my untimely demise., staff would of pulled up my medical history to say they had been trying to help me. But God gave me the prevision to see what they were up to long ago.This is how they have murdered those who no longer have a voice. And gotten away with it.] The Ohio State medical board has evidence supporting petitioners allegations. Respectfully Submitted, Roderick P. Robinson 4/11/2001. [Post my release from prison, at my request. A Cardiologist ran a stress test on me, confirming I had had a heart attack in my past. I submit to you, the medical staff named herein this journal. Were the perpetrators who did this to me.] [Staff knew I had previous cases in Judge, Potters Court. So as a diversionary tactic. I mailed this evidence to the Sixth Circuit Court of appeals. Naive, thinking with such profound evidence as attempted murder. That Sixth Circuit Court, would rush it over to the Court for which it was intended. Little did I know then the courts, et al. were involved too.] Now here's the really perplexing part, Based on my deduction, My evidence never left the institution. I say this by

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reason, and I'm sure you'll concur. After viewing the following transcript letter from the clerk. that did in fact, come from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Received stamped by SOCF, APRIL 19,2001. Dear, Mr. Robinson, The clerk's office received a ss1983 complaint which should have been filed with the district court.The complaint also had attached a bag with what looked like blood. No matter what you thought the effect would be--and I'm assuming it was done for shock valueblood or any other bodily fluid is not an acceptable attachment to a court document. Any court document. Everything is being returned to you-don't even think about mailing it or any similar fluid- filled packages to the Clerk's office again. Sincerely yours signed Janis E. Yates. Chief Deputy Clerk. cc: , Warden, Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. Now if you'll recall, the page, of the 15 page motion. attached to the laced Cascara was very concise as to the content of the bag. So, If Janis E. Yates actually saw the evidence first hand. How could she possibly assume it contained blood? I couldn't have been more explicit concerning the bags content, of having laced, Cascara. Now Sgt. McGraw (female) SOCF, Didn't have me sign for the foregoing, ostensible returned evidence. Which is atypical of ODRC Policy. and even more non plused. Is the fact SOCF staff didn't give back my original motions. Clearly this was for the sole purpose of sweeping this whole matter under the rug. Now you know THE TRUTH ! all these inmates purportedly dying of massive heart attacks in the prisons. Were, without question, murdered in much the same way these attempts made on me. Now I purposefully left out some information by reason in the event this matter gets into court. and staff attempt to replicate that bag of laced cascara. I have a big surprise for them. But if it doesn't get into the courts I'll reveal other things I did, to counter their artifices in the book.. As I stated in

December, 2006
the foregoing, during the time I was saving the laced Cascara my heart pain vanished. And as I've indicated in the body of my journal.. medical staff set up 3 unbidden trips to cardiology. I refused to go on these trips by reason, Had I gone. In the event staff succeeded in murdering me. I would have helped them with medical records supporting I had a heart problem, I was written up for not going, but those write- ups were later rescinded. For obvious reasons. I am the author of the foregoing denouncements. Roderick Robinson You can reach Rod at this myspace address and leave him a message, and sign his petition. Thanks Rod for sharing this with us.

Abuse, Torture in Maryland Prison
The following article is from : Mr Anthony Mustafah Chisley Deputy Chairman to the Maryland Branch of the New African Black Panthers Party-Prison Chapter (NABPP-PC) Anthony wrote to me " Even though we ended the hunger strike, the psychological/physical abuse & torture still exists. So the struggle continues. We ended the hunger strike for now but are attempting to organize, plan, consolidate support as you (and people around the world!) did, with the signing up to participate in the "fast-In"." Anthony recommends the book "Are Prisons Obsolete"? by Angela Davis. Anthony asked to post his solidarity & admiration to the prisoners across America, and free world people. Sends his greetings & Solidarity, love to all within contact. We will be hearing alot more from Anthony. He

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will be sending more documents concerning this important matter. You can read them on The Abolishment Movement Site soon. Here is the Statement concerning the conditions, abuse and torture once again! November 2006 Press Statement Concerning Abuse and Torture at Jessup Correctional Institution in Maryland Currently at Maryland's Jessup Correctional Institution, inside of its security housing unit, ABuilding, prisoners are being physically and psychologically tortured at the hands of prison guards. The level of brutality and torture is that of Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The practices of sensory deprivation, beatings of prisoners held in 3-point restraints and shackles, and inhumane conditions of confinement come in many forms. Beginning in January 2006, over 25 prisoners have been brutalized, tortured and terrorized here at Jessup Correctional Institution. The level of corruption is at its height, with every rank participating and the Warden and Security Chief allowing it to go on. Prisoners are frequently deprived meals, water, toiletries, cleaning supplies, recreation, medical treatment, grievances, sufficient oxygen, and a non-hazardous environment. Our living quarters are infested with rodents, ants, gnats, roaches, and other insects. The food trays and showers are filthy with built up bacteria. We are even deprived of visits for extensive periods of time without just cause. There exist clear civil, constitutional, and human rights violations. These practices are in violation of federal, state, and local laws, DOC policy, and facility directives. The brutality and torture taking place are crimes against the men incarcerated in ABuilding at JCI. The medical staff at Jessup Correctional Institution corroborates false reports written by prison guards. P. A. Moss and nursing personnel refuse to treat prisoners who have been beaten by guards. Physical wounds and injuries sustained

December, 2006
by prisoners during attacks are not reported and are not documented in their medical records. Prison guards are allowed access to prisoners' medical records without approval. Prisoners at JCI in Maryland have begun a hunger/silent strike to protest these practices against us. We are the prisoners confined to ABuilding, the Security Housing Unit at JCI where these practices are taking place. We are asking that the Justice Department and an outside human rights agency come into JCI to speak with every prisoner in A-Building. We are asking that every guard on all three shifts working in ABuilding be removed and replaced with other personnel. We are asking for an investigation of all the incidents which have occurred during 2006, including guard attacks against prisoners. Pending the results of the investigation, we ask that all personnel found to be directly and indirectly involved be terminated from employment in the Maryland Department of Corrections. We appeal to you, the public, asking that those amongst you of reasonable consciousness , especially those who have family members imprisoned here or elsewhere throughout the state come together to support us in exposing and stopping this treatment. These techniques of terror are being practiced on prisoners in other penal facilities across the United States, but it goes unaddressed by the U.S. government. There are some organizations, political parties, and legal groups that have offered assistance, but we need more public support from all sectors, especially poor communities and communities of color— the communities from which we come. We will provide you with a list of the guards involved. The C-Wing prisoners inside A-Building at Jessup Correctional Institution are currently on a hunger/silent strike and desperately need your help. Torture, abuse, and brutality are crimes in the U.S. and worldwide. The government has a duty to stop and prevent it and we need your help holding them accountable to these duties. Penned in : Power To The People!

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He had to fight to die?? W ow Thanks Anthony, and please keep us updated.

December, 2006

Another Suicide Reported
San Quentin death row inmate commits suicide in cell Associated Press SAN QUENTIN, Calif. - Three days after receiving psychiatric care, a 46-year-old death row inmate hanged himself in his cell at San Quentin State Prison, a spokesman said Friday. James David Tulk, who was sentenced to death for the 1990 rape and murder of a Redding woman, was found about 11:25 p.m. Thursday hanging from a bed sheet tied to his upper bunk, said Lt. Eric Messick. Even though they live alone, many death row inmates have double bunks and usually use the top one as a shelf, Messick said. "This is a very determined person," Messick said, describing how an inmate would need to be in a near-kneeling position to asphyxiate. "You'd have to fight away your survival instinct." Tulk was hospitalized briefly on Nov. 27 for "psychiatric observation," Messick said. Tulk was not on suicide watch and it was unknown whether he had been in the past. An investigation was under way, Messick said. Tulk also was receiving the prison's lowest level of treatment for some type of mental illness, he said, refusing to elaborate. Messick said about 10 percent of all San Quentin inmates participate in some type of psychiatric treatment. Tulk was fine when his cell was checked at 10 p.m., Messick said. Officers do hourly checks on the prison's 619 death row inmates. The last confirmed suicide on death row took place in 1997, according to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (End)

Stay of Execution
By The Associated Press November 27, 2006 4:59 pm FROM THE BENCH: A North Carolina judge granted a 60-day stay Monday to death row inmate Guy Tobias LeGrande. He has asked three psychiatrists to evaluate him and submit their reports to the court in the next 45 days. LeGrande was scheduled to die Friday. STATE OF MIND: Dr. Nicole Wolfe, a psychiatrist at Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh, wrote that death row inmate LeGrande's behavior in 1995 and 1996, when he was tried, did not clearly show any mental disease or defect. Wolfe, who tried to evaluate LeGrande earlier this month, says there's now a strong possibility that he is not competent. WHAT'S NEXT: Defense attorneys and prosecutors must determine where the psychiatrists will try to evaluate LeGrande, who does not have to cooperate with them. If he refuses, then they will just observe him.

Death Row Quote
"Having suffered a heart attack back in September, Allen had asked prison authorities to let him die if he went into cardiac arrest before his execution, a request prison officials said they would not honor." "'At no point are we not going to value the sanctity of life,' said prison spokesman Vernell Crittendon. 'We would resuscitate him,' then execute him."(end) Whose the mindless thugs now?

Some not so surprising Prison Stats
One in 32 Behind Bars, on Probation or Parole By KASIE HUNT, AP

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WASHINGTON (Nov. 30) - A record 7 million people - or one in every 32 American adults were behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of last year, according to the JD Of those, 2.2 million were in prison or jail, an increase of 2.7 percent over the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday. More than 4.1 million people were on probation and 784,208 were on parole at the end of 2005. Prison releases are increasing, but admissions are increasing more. Men still far outnumber women in prisons and jails, but the female population is growing faster. Over the past year, the female population in state or federal prison increased 2.6 percent while the number of male inmates rose 1.9 percent. By year's end, 7 percent of all inmates were women. The gender figures do not include inmates in local jails. "Today's figures fail to capture incarceration's impact on the thousands of children left behind by mothers in prison," Marc Mauer, the executive director of the Sentencing Project, a Washington-based group supporting criminal justice reform, said in a statement. "Misguided policies that create harsher sentences for nonviolent drug offenses are disproportionately responsible for the increasing rates of women in prisons and jails." From 1995 to 2003, inmates in federal prison for drug offenses have accounted for 49 percent of total prison population growth.

December, 2006
about one in 13 - are incarcerated, compared with 2.6 percent of Hispanic men and 1.1 percent of white men. And it's not much different among women. By the end of 2005, black women were more than twice as likely as Hispanics and over three times as likely as white women to be in prison. Certain states saw more significant changes in prison population. In South Dakota, the number of inmates increased 11 percent over the past year, more than any other state. Montana and Kentucky were next in line with increases of 10.4 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively. Georgia had the biggest decrease, losing 4.6 percent, followed by Maryland with a 2.4 percent decrease and Louisiana with a 2.3 percent drop. (End)

I cut this piece about the funeral of Sean Bell, the young black man gunned down in New York by police. He was unarmed, as his companions were also.
"They took his life, but we can't let them take his legacy," the Rev. Al Sharpton said, repeatedly greeted with cheers and "Amens" from the overflow crowd. "W e must give Sean a legacy. A legacy of justice, a legacy of fairness. W e don't hate cops, we don't hate race, we hate wrong." The Rev. Lester W illiams had been preparing to lead Bell and his fiancee through their vows last week, but instead was forced to delivery the eulogy. He stressed the importance of forgiveness and urged the congregation to remain calm despite the outrage over the Bell shooting. "I am angry as hell, but our anger must not cause us to sin," he said. "Ask not for whom the bell tolls. The bell tolls for Sean. The bells are ringing outrage," he added.

The numbers are from the Justice Department's annual report breaking down inmate populations for state and federal prisons and local jails.
Racial disparities among prisoners persist. In the 25-29 age group, 8.1 percent of black men -

(End) For anyone who didn’t hear about this murder, Sean
was gunned down, and the cops used 50 rounds of gunfire. Yes, you read that right, fifty. One of the cops had been in the bar drinking, do you think he was drunk?

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December, 2006
inmates get a stay of execution from Texas’ Governor Rick Perry. Despite claims of mental retardation and other mental impairments there are inmates on Texas death row with an IQ of a child. Other inmates are schizophrenic and belong in a mental institution. Texas does not only execute murderers. Under the Law of Parties Bill 7.02b an inmate can be handed over the death sentence for just being present at the scene of the crime. Executions have taken place already for inmates being the getaway driver during a crime when someone was killed. There is another bill being introduced in Texas legislation this year by Debbie Riddle (R-150th District). House Bill 8 will make certain sex offenders eligible for the death sentence if this bill is passed. In the year 2002, photographs were taken of the leaking ceiling in Houston, Texas, crime lab. This leaking ceiling could very well have caused damage to the evidence that is stored there. This crime lab is now spending an additional $1.5 million dollars on top of the $4 million already spent to investigate this issue. I am told many times by the inmates themselves that they feel their legal representation was shoddy. The attorneys, appointed by the state are sometimes inexperienced with capital defense, and do not investigate the case. One inmate, reported he has not seen or heard from his attorney in over a year despite many letters sent to him, and has no idea where his appeal status is on his case. Evidence is withheld from jurors and witnesses are not brought forth. There are many inconsistencies of testimony. Many inmates are interrogated by police for hours without legal representation, and are forced or coerced into statements and confessions that are not necessarily true. Some are scared and offered "deals" and accept these deals without realizing what they are getting themselves into.

Here is another of my editorials. I have recently been having my editorials published online. I think it brings awareness to the problems in our so called justice system. This one here is about being railroaded.

Railroad Express By Doreen (Dee) Hawk
A short story concerning the death penalty. Texas leads the nation in executions. With shoddy attorneys and evidence, how many of these inmates have been railroaded onto death row?

Imagine yourself on trial for Capital Murder. Imagine your jury is an all-white jury, and here you are a twenty-three year old black man. Your lawyer is state-appointed and barely can remember your name. He has done little research on your case, and you almost think he is on the defense side from how your case is being handled. The jury has had evidence withheld from them, and some of the evidence has been mishandled by the crime lab. The jury deliberates for only three hours, and you are found guilty of Capital Murder. The Judge presiding over your case is well-known for the death penalty, and it doesn't surprise anyone when you are handed the death sentence. Hold on tight; you have just been railroaded onto Texas Death Row. Here you will stay under deplorable conditions for years. Innocent on death row; another. Most people think that everyone says they are innocent on death row, but in the state of Texas, there really are innocent men and women. If you read the case files, you'll wonder how some of them are on death row, waiting lethal injection. The state of Texas tops the charts in the number of executions. The total is 379, with nineteen executions in the year 2005, and twenty-four as of date in 2006. The next highest state this year is Ohio with a total of five so far. Very few

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These confessions are later unable to be retracted. I looked up the meaning of "railroaded" in the dictionary and this is what it said: to convict with undue haste and by means of false charges or insufficient evidence b: to push through hastily or without due consideration. So if you ever find yourself being arrested by Texas police, be very careful what you say or do, or you too could find yourself on the Railroad Express straight to Texas Death Row.(end) I have some great ideas for more stories, and will be working on them soon. Please submit your own for everyone to read. I am looking for submissions from anyone.

December, 2006
"Over-incarceration within black communities adversely impacts those communities by removing young men and women who could benefit from rehabilitation," Carmen Hernandez, president-elect of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers testified before at a commission hearing two weeks ago. "Drug amounts consistent with state misdemeanors become federal felonies, resulting in disenfranchisement, disqualification for important public benefits, including student loans and public housing, and significantly diminished economic opportunity. As a result, many of these persons become outsiders for a lifetime, and their families suffer incalculable damage and suffering." The Commission held a daylong public on Nov. 14 at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., with testimony from judges, lawyers, law enforcement officials, the ACLU, the NAACP and the Fraternal Order of Police. The commission has recommended three times to Congress that the sentencing gap be narrowed. A bill pending in Congress, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) would reduce the penalty for crack cocaine and raise the penalty for powder cocaine and would also shift the emphasis from the quantity of the drug possessed to the type of criminal conduct related to poss. For example, the bill would increase penalties for violent crimes and for dealers who use women and children as couriers. It would decrease penalties for those who play minimal roles in the distribution of drugs, for example a girlfriend or a child of a dealer who was not compensated for carrying or delivering the drugs. Current sentencing policy "is a gut civics lesson in how difficult it is to undo policy mistakes," said Dr. Gail Christopher, director of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Health Policy Institute.

Democrats could change Laws
Democrats Could End Discriminatory Prison Sentencing Rules By Jackie Jones, Black America Web Posted on November 28, 2006, Printed on November 28, 2006 1. A new Democratic majority in Congress may finally be able to push through a recommendation from the U.S. Sentencing Commission to end the disparities in crack versus powdered cocaine sentencing, reform advocates say. Critics of the current sentencing policy say it discriminates against black defendants who get substantially more prison time for possession of much smaller amounts of crack than those convicted of possession of powdered cocaine. A conviction for possession of 500 grams of cocaine carries a mandatory five-year prison sentence, but it only takes five grams of crack cocaine to get the same sentence.

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"Legislators make laws; they don't unmake them," Christopher told "Laws such as 'three strikes-you're out,' and zero tolerance haven't been informed by research but by headlines and reaction." Christopher said she is hopeful that the Democratic majority in Congress -- particularly in the House where Rep. Maxine Waters (DCalif.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.), who have been outspoken supporters of sentencing reform will now have key committee positions -- will be able to push through legislation correcting sentencing inequities. U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who was an early supporter of heavier punishment for crack cocaine charges, told the sentencing commission that the discrepancy in sentencing had become "unconscionable." In his testimony, Walton said that punishment must be fair. "And just as important, the punishment must be perceived as fair. While I cannot categorically say that some degree of difference in punishment for crack and powder cocaine is not warranted, no reasonable justifications exist for the 100-to-1 disparity." Walton, a former federal prosecutor who was a deputy drug czar in President George H.W. Bush's administration, told that he never anticipated that the disparity in sentencing would become so great. "It creates a perception of the judicial process," Walton said. "I have heard comments from jurors and prospective jurors and a large percentage of African-Americans feel the criminal justice system is not fair." Walton said that unfairness, real or perceived, not only impacts those being sentenced, but threatens the fabric of the judicial system for black Americans.

December, 2006
"I have a profound interest in making sure our criminal laws work properly. Obviously we fought very long and hard to give people the opportunity to participate in the criminal justice system as jurors, and if they're opting out of the process because they believe it's unfair" it defeats the purpose of giving black Americans the chance to have a say in the judicial process, Walton said. "I just think the disparity, however it is fixed," he said, "needs to be fixed." "We definitely support eliminating the crack/powder cocaine disparity," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates no differentiation between sentences for the two different types of cocaine.. Piper told that the Sessions bill "is a step in the right direction, but we don't think it goes far enough" in ending the disparities. Raising the threshold for the amount of crack needed to trigger the mandatory sentence and lowering it for powder cocaine doesn't really solve the racial disparity, Piper said. "You're lowering the prison time for AfricanAmericans who are usually charged with crack possession and raising it for Hispanics who usually are charged with powder cocaine. That's a tradeoff we found unacceptable," Piper said. "Beyond the racial disparities, the (federal) thresholds for crack and powder are too low to get people into diversion programs" on the local court level, Piper said. "The emphasis ought to be in the lower courts to get people diverted to (drug treatment and recovery) programs and the (federal) focus ought to be put on the big dealers." Piper said that 2002 federal figures showed only about 7 percent of those facing federal charges for cocaine possession were major traffickers.

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"If anything, we shouldn't be talking about grams; we should be talking about kilograms," he said. Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, told the commission that the FOP was not opposed to adjustments in sentencing, but the organization believed that crack had a more deleterious affect on communities and deserved to be weighted more heavily than powder cocaine. The FOP, he said, wanted to ensure "reasonable mandatory minimums" based on the quantity of the drug in a defendant's possession. "We believe that the sentencing guidelines should include additional aggravating factors -the presence of firearms or children, use or attempted use of violence are a few examples -in the determination of a final sentence," Canterbury also said. Piper said he thought the Sessions bill was dead for this Congress, but "I think with the Democrats taking over (in January) will give it a boost. Now there is an opportunity for a true bipartisan bill." "I think it has to be absolutely (a bipartisan effort)," Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas.) told She said she has been active with her Democratic colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee since coming to Congress in 1995, trying to get sentencing disparities ended. "One of my first votes was to end cocaine sentencing disparities, not because I believe in drug use, but because I believe in fairness," Lee said. She said she believes the bipartisan will exists to change the law and give the judiciary the flexibility it needs to hand down more equitable sentences, "so we have to have a new framework."

December, 2006
After this week's hearing, the sentencing commission is likely to work with all three branches of government to develop a new policy plan. It may publish proposed amendments in January, hold another hearing on March and possibly sponsor a panel or two on the issue. The commission has until May 1 to submit any proposed legislation to Congress. The commission can change sentencing guidelines, but Congress has the final say on mandatory minimum sentences. "I would hope with the kind of thoughtful thinking between Republicans and Democrats," Lee said, "we would want to be above worrying about criticism that we are soft on crime and reform the system." (End) Well, that’s about it for now. I did this edition early because I want to get a special edition out before the Holidays. People ask if I need help. YES!! I can use help with getting together more news, with typing, with printing these out and spreading the word. Right now, I am doing this alone. I thank the men who contributed to this edition, keep the news coming. Lets join, and be a voice that can be heard throughout the nation. I can be reached at this email: Have your family and friends email if they want. Submissions always welcome. Please use this address: Dee Martin P.O. Box 63095 New Bedford Ma. 02746

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December, 2006

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