All are invited to the Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker House annual Christmas morning witness and caroling at Central Prison at 10 A.M. We will rally around the perimeter of the prison on Christmas morning to sing carols. Drummers will also be there to make a joyful noise. We hold a big Merry Christmas sign and bring the only cheer the inmates get on Christmas (The warden does not allow visiting on Christmas to give more guards the day off). Singing starts around 10 am. Believe me, this is a great way to remember what the season is about. Peace and Blessings, Patrick O’Neill
97 percent of drug defendants forgo their right to trial and plead out. HRW highlights undue prosecutorial power
“It is very clear that prosecutors control the criminal justice system through their charging and plea bargaining powers,” wrote Angela Davis last year, commenting on the fact that 95 percent of defendants in criminal case forego their day in court and opt instead to plead guilty. Buoyed by mandatory minimum sentence laws, prosecutors hold undue power and leverage in the U.S. judicial system.
A new report from Human Rights Watch released Thursday bears out Davis’ point precisley. “Federal prosecutors routinely threaten extraordinarily severe prison sentences to coerce drug defendants into waiving their right to trial and pleading guilty,” the human rights group found. Looking specifically at drug cases (the primary filler of brimming U.S. prisons), the HRW report found that “only 3 percent of U.S. drug defendants in federal cases chose to go to trial.”
The right to trial, in the face of prosecutorial bargaining power, is de facto obliterated. What, after all, is a right if recourse to it appears as no option at all? HRW goes as far as to say that drug defendants — often caught for minor offenses — are “forced” to plead guilty when prosecutors present the risk of years in prison as the alternative. Read more…
My good friend Oso Blanco (Byron Chubbuck) called me tonight very upset and asking for help. He said a staff person was checking their cell for “extra clothing” and grabbed a sheet of paper laying (out in the open!) of a simple drawing Oso did. He has been trying to establish where various Cherokee memorials/battlefields/landmarks/burial mounds are in relation to his current location – Lee USP. The drawing was only of a prison and a fenced in burial mound he thought he saw upon his arrival. That’s it!
Oso and his cellie, Raymond Locklear, were thrown into the hole for possessing an “escape tool”. Oso says its an insane charge but this is why to take it serious as he feels its a setup. He is worried they will place him back in a Special Management Unit (SMU) – this is what he was just in for years and most of it is solitary confinement and phone/commissary restrictions and so forth.
Please please take a second to call or email as soon as you get this on behalf of Byron Chubbuck #07909051:
Phone: 276-546-0150 Fax: 276-546-9115
E-mail address2: LEE/EXECASSISTANT@BOP.GOV
Oso specifically is worried that ANY DAY now a DHO (disciplinary judge) will come and rule unfavorably on this bullshit “escape tool” charge. He is worried he will be back in isolation SMU for another unforseeable length of time. He sounded very upset by this possibility and asked EVERYONE to please call in on his behalf (and Raymond Locklear) to get this ridiculous charge dismissed or removed altogether. Read more…
Robert Seth Hayes is currently 65 years old. He was first diagnosed with Type II diabetes in the year 2000. In the 13 years since then, DOCCS has been completely unable to control his blood sugar levels. At the time he was diagnosed, Mr. Hayes was at Clinton. He was transferred to Wende in 2003 and then to Sullivan in 2010.
Throughout this time, Mr. Hayes’ sugar levels have either soared to the 300 to 400 levels or been extremely low, in the 50 to 70 levels, both life-threatening. Mr. Hayes also has Hepatitis C, for which he is currently not receiving any treatment. Read more…
by Dena Aubin / Reuters
A federal appeals court has upheld a contempt judgment against a self-described anarchist who refused to testify before a grand jury thought to be investigating a 2008 bomb explosion in New York’s Times Square.
Gerald Koch, 24, of Brooklyn was sent to jail in May after being found in civil contempt for refusing to testify, citing his rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
He was ordered held in federal custody for no longer than 18 months or the remaining life of the grand jury. Read more…
Today (12/4) between 3pm and 7pm Rumors Boutique located at 106 c North Graham St in Chapel Hill will be donating 20% of their proceeds to the Prison Books Collective. It’s called “Shop for a Cause” and they do it for a different group every Wednesday in December. So if you’re in the mood for some hip, pre-loved clothes, Wednesday is a great day to get them and support the work of the Prison Books Collective.
From The Final Straw
This week’s show features two parts. In the first we present a speech from the recent Carborro Anarchist bookfair by a collective member at Untorelli Press on queer resistance inside and outside of prisons in the 20th century and what we might take from the experiences of our predecessors. More from Untorelli can be found at
For more on Men Against Sexism, check out this interview with Ed Mead on Earful of Queer
Secondly we’ll hear a presentation by Joe of the North American Anarchist Black Cross Medical Justice Committee. The conversation ranges over a number of topics, but focuses primarily on active and revolutionary solidarity with anarchist and other political prisoners. TAn original post with contacts can be found here: http://325.nostate.net/?p=9112
A pretty good list of prisoners can be found at Denver ABC’s page
This episode will stream from AFM through 12/8/13, it will podcast at radio4all.net afterwards. Past interview archives of The Final Straw can be found at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org and you can contact us for whatever reason at thefinalstrawradio(Aaaaaat)riseup(DO T)net