Latest Posts

NCCU Student Stripped and Falsely Jailed

frameup1By Lamont Lilly
Durham, NC

  It was late evening July 15th, 2013 when 19 year old North Carolina Central University sophomore, Lewis James Little was finally released after a month of incarceration for a murder he did not commit.  Several charges against Little including first degree burglary, first degree kidnapping, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and felony conspiracy have all since been formally dismissed as an honest mistake.  Lewis Little however, has been left to pick up the pieces of an experience truly worthy of a Lifetime Hardship Award.

 On the evening of June 20th, 2013 Lewis Little and five of his friends left The Mews apartment complex to meet up and socialize with additional acquaintances at 414 Melbourne Street in northeast Durham.  As they arrived by car, they spotted a body of an adult male lying in the street.  After departing from their car, they approached the body “to find out why someone would just be laying in the street like that.”  Little and his friends were careful to observe without touching or disturbing what appeared to be a potential crime scene.  After prompting the man to get up several times and inquiring about his safety without a response, Lewis Little called Durham police.  The man on the ground was 25 year old Michael Lee, who was obviously in critical condition as he laid there wheezing his last few breaths.  Worried and confused, Little and his friends stood beside Lee, as a small crowd of community members began to gather.  

frameup2When Durham police finally arrived, they attempted to gather information on what exactly had transpired.  Lewis Little, his friends and several others were questioned about what they may have seen or heard.  Shortly after, Lewis Little found himself singled out by Durham police officer, K. Hempstead and questioned more abrasively.  Without explanation, Little was then informed that he was being detained for further questioning at the Durham Police Department’s 505 West Chapel Hill Street headquarter location.  Officer K. Hempstead locked Little in handcuffs and placed him in the back seat of his police squad car. Little was taken to a Durham Police Department interrogation room and read his rights.  Though investigators attempted to intimidate Little as they interrogated him, Lewis Little vehemently declared his innocence.

 After hours of tedious questions and waiting in the interrogation room, Lewis Little was ordered to “strip down” and remove all articles of clothing in front of male and female officers.  His keys, clothing, cell phone, shoes and watch were all confiscated. Little was outfitted in an oversized white paper jumpsuit.  Investigators took fingerprints and DNA samples.  Lewis Little sat there handcuffed to a steel chair until daylight the next morning.  After the department’s morning shift change, he was taken to the Durham County Jail where news cameras and reporters were waiting to catch a glimpse of his face.

(more…)

This Wednesday: Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night!

micatsWednesday, February 12th
@ 7pm
@ Internationalist Books
405 W. Franklin St. in Chapel Hill

The Internationalist Prison Books Collective brings you this month’s Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night!

Write letters and birthday cards to political prisoners whose birthdays fall during the month of February.

Bring snacks and money to help with postage!

Like every month, we’ll also have addresses and updates to write to recently incarcerated or moved political prisoners as well as those with birthdays. This month, we’ll be writing to Vicci, Lisa and Barb – the three brave MI CATS activists just convicted for their actions defending their communities against Enbridge’s tar sands pipeline. Learn more at http://www.michigancats.org/free-the-felines.

Letter writing is an easy way to let these people know they aren’t forgotten. If you can’t make it to the letter writing night then please send a birthday card from home.

Alabama Women’s Prison Still Guilty of Sexual Abuse

tutwilerFrom The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Department of Corrections officials and Gov. Robert Bentley’s office say they had been working to improve conditions at Julia Tutwiler Prison before a federal investigation found evidence of inmates being sexually abused by staff and fellow prisoners.

A report from the U.S. Department of Justice said instances of sexual abuse at the hands of prison staff and others have been underreported for nearly 20 years. The report also said jail staff condoned a strip show inside the facility and would deliberately watch inmates shower and use the restroom.

Federal officials visited the prison in April and recently sent their findings to Bentley in a 36-page letter. Investigators have said prisoners there fear for their safety. (more…)

Seven Books Every American Prisoner and Criminal Attorney Should Own

Prison-GrievancesFrom Blog Critics

It’s not always easy to locate quality legal books about prison law or prisoners’ rights. For starters, the field is a highly specialized one in which many like to call themselves experts, but few are worthy of such a designation. To make matters worse, lives depend on what is read and put into application. Even from a practical level, law books are often so expensive that simply purchasing several of them in pursuit of the right set is plainly cost prohibitive.

In an effort to cut through all of the blatant self-promotion and other unworthy antics, presented below are seven best buys in the prison law and prisoners’ rights arenas. Every criminal defense attorney, prison consultant, and American prisoner should have a copy of each and every one of these books. After all, their lives or the lives of their clients might just depend on it. (more…)