|The lights have gone out in Georgia and an innocent man is dead.
He was my friend and inspiration, publisher Larry Bolin. He died this morning with a clot in his heart due to prison medical neglect according to his wonderful wife, Jackie.
Long time UNION subscribers will remember Larry's wit and fire and the day he went to prison because he challenged Judge Storey. Larry was elderly and on heart medication but they took him away from his wife Jackie anyway. We had to fight constantly just to make certain he received his medication. This was so cruel. Why did this elderly, sick man have to die in prison? Why do we as citizens allow this ever to happen to anyone, let alone a long time upstanding citizen?
His crime? Publishing regular books. Not pornography or what the government would term "subversive" but regular books. What he did was stand up to the practice of unpublished opinions and law clerks doing the final work that only judges should do.
He received more votes than any Libertarian in history when he was elected to office. Larry loved and honored the Constitution. He gave his life fighting for our rights.
We kept in touch and he described prison conditions in Georgia. I didn't write him often enough, not the way I always wish that I could keep up with my friends and loved ones. But Larry knew that even though I am not a Libertarian, I would not forget the purpose of his life nor ever abandon Jackie in an emergency if I could help it.
Larry knew that I would continue fighting the good fight for this subversion of the law that has hurt so many.
Jackie has grounds for a lawsuit for her own pain and suffering I believe. Two elderly people stripped of their worldly goods over NOTHING, separated at the end and Larry dying a cruel death. Is this my America?
None of this reality is ever covered by 60 Minutes, you won't read it in the Los Angeles Times, but I am deeply grateful for my friend Larry Bolin's ultimate sacrifice of his life. I knew that he would die in prison, a place where medications are rarely given with regularity, no matter what state. I wanted him to go to Canada rather than die in a bloodhouse.
He was a patriot. He wouldn't leave his country. even though in the end none of the Libertarians came to his rescue. Even when I begged for medical help from them while he was in prison, not many cared enough to make a phone call.
Opinions shouldn't be unpublished and law clerks shouldn't do the work of Judges. Judge Storey should know that the challenge to his authority didn't die just because he killed my friend Larry Bolin. He should consider that hundreds of us will continue to rail against this injustice BECAUSE he killed Larry.
Larry didn't go away, he multiplied hundreds of times over.
We will never forget your greatness Larry. I know you are looking down on our UNION from heaven and will speak to our Father about blessing some of our battles.
You are out of prison now and we will keep Jackie within our circle
Let us all pray and ask our Father to receive Larry Bolin and let others see this crime that was committed by putting an elderly man with severe heart problems in prison in the first place for publishing regular books.
Some of his writings and the case itself follow. The first article is the reason his life was taken by Judge Storey. I hope that before I die I will have the opportunity to spit in this evil man's face for this cruelty.
B. Cayenne Bird
This is a summary of the Judge's incompetence and vindictiveness.
From: "Larry Bolin"
I am attaching 2 letters I’ve sent to the regional medical person, and as of today [2-6-03] nothing has changed. I talked to Larry tonight, and his blood pressure today was 106/53. As usual he’s gotten no treatment. He also almost fainted today. When he asked the physician assistant (the one named in my letter) to see a specialist, the PA tried to get Larry thrown in the hole. Larry wanted me to update you, and you can do what you want with this information.
Take care, Jackie
January 2, 2003
Dear Ms. Jiminez,
This letter is to inform you of the medical negligence and indifference by the personnel at the Atlanta Federal Prison Camp. I left a message on your voice mail on December 30, 2002 outlining the problems my husband, Larry Bolin, has had getting the medical care he needs and was assured of by Mr. David Leta.
In the latest issue, my husband complained of swelling in his ankles and face approximately 2 weeks ago to the medical personnel in the clinic. They refused to do anything for the swelling. My husband has a history of heart problems, and any fluid retention could put him in congestive heart failure. The camp doctor is on vacation and apparently there is no other physician to fill in while he is gone. After visiting the clinic on several occasions about the edema, the physician assistant finally did a blood test on December 30, 2002 to determine why my husband is retaining fluid. But they still refuse to give him a diuretic to eliminate the fluid.
The medical staff does have all my husband's medical records. His cardiologist and gastroenterologist informed me that they were requested and sent to the prison camp. So they are well aware of the consequences of the edema.
I would like to outline the other instances of indifference and neglect my husband has suffered while at the Atlanta camp:
· When he arrived on April 22, 2002, even though the medical staff had been informed of his medications, they did not have them all ready.
· My husband has seen the cardiologist once since April. His regular cardiologist, Dr. Manfred Sandler, had him scheduled to be seen every 4 months.
· When my husband has shown symptoms of his blood being too thin (he takes the blood thinner Coumadin for an artificial heart valve), the medical staff refuses to take any action. Symptoms are nose bleeds, coughing up bloody phlegm, and bruising. During my visit on November 3, 2002, Larry coughed up bloody phlegm. The guard at the desk called the clinic and Larry spoke with the physician assistant on duty. His response was to tell my husband that if he vomited blood to call back.
· At the end of May 2002 one of the physician assistants, for reasons only known to him, withheld my husband's heart medication Lanoxin for 7 days. It took a call from Senator Max Cleland's office for the Lanoxin to be resumed.
· The medical staff are not consistent with the blood tests required to monitor the level of Coumadin in his blood. These tests need to be done on a schedule to make sure the blood is not too thick, which can lead to clots, or too thin which can lead to uncontrolled bleeding.
Ms. Jimenez, my husband's health was stable before he entered the Atlanta camp. We were assured on at least 2 occasions by Mr. David Leta, the AUSA who prosecuted my husband, that his medical needs would be met in the prison system. Well they are not. I know you would not tolerate this kind of negligence for yourself or a loved one. If these people were working on the outside and showed this indifference and negligence, they would more than likely be on the receiving end of many malpractice suits.
My husband was sentenced to 4 years in federal prison. If this level of health care continues, he could die there and effectively have a death sentence. And the medical staff, Bureau of Prisons, and the U.S. Attorney's office would be his executioners.
Please inform me of the actions taken to rectify this situation.
Jacqueline A. Bolin
cc: Judge Richard Storey
David Leta, AUSA
January 31, 2003
Dear Ms. Jiminez,
This is in response to your letters dated January 16, 2003 and January 20, 2003.
The purpose of my January 2, 2003 letter was not to have my husband's medical care at the Atlanta FPC summarized or to request his records. The purpose of my letter was to have your office take action to make the medical staff at the Atlanta FPC do their jobs and provide appropriate medical treatment. You also did not address any of my concerns listed in that letter.
There are some factual errors in your letter of Jan. 20, 2003. My husband could not have had a medical intake screening at the FPC on April 1, 2002 because he did not arrive until April 22, 2002. The swelling actually got worse after my husband finished the prednisone, I saw how much his ankles were swollen myself during a visit. And I did not send a letter dated January 13, 2003. I called your office to find out what actions would be taken and left a message on your voice mail.
To update you, the blood drawn on Dec. 30, 2002 ,to have tests run to determine whether the swelling was caused by liver or kidney problems, was spoiled and the tests were not performed. The blood test was ordered by a physician assistant named Jorge Delvalle. He told my husband that edema is caused by kidney, heart, lung, or liver problems. If the physician assistant thought the swelling was caused by the prednisone, why would he order a blood test for liver and kidney function? As of this date, no follow up test has been done, so we still do not know why my husband has the edema. I spoke with my husband today and he said Mr. Delvalle refused to order another blood test. If Mr. Delvalle was concerned about possible liver or kidney failure, why now will he not order another blood test? He also would not refill a 5 day prescription for lasix given to my husband by another physician assistant. The prescription was to last until my husband could see the doctor. Today was the only day this week the doctor reported to the camp, and Mr. Delvalle would not let my husband see the doctor.
Also the last time blood was taken to monitor the INR was Dec. 10, 2002. The next blood sample was taken Jan. 27, 2003. This test was over 2 weeks over due. The results of the Dec. 10 test was INR of 2.1, which is outside the range of 2.5-3.5. However my husband was told that this figure was "medically acceptable", even though the number is not within the acceptable range. There is a greater risk of blood clots when the INR is below 2.5. My husband also told me the INR result that came today was 2.3. Mr. Delvalle indicated to my husband that maintaining an INR between 2.5-3.5 is very difficult. It was not difficult for Dr. Sandler and his staff when my husband was their patient. There were many fewer incidences when his INR was too high or too low before he reported to the Atlanta FPC.
I would like this letter to be considered a formal complaint against Mr. Delvalle. If the BOP has a complaint form that needs to be completed please forward it to me. If Mr. Delvalle is showing blatant disregard towards my husband's health problems, he is most likely behaving in the same way toward other patients. Withholding needed medical care is cruel and unusual punishment. My husband also identified Mr. Delvalle to me as the person who withheld his heart medication Lanoxin in May 2002. Perhaps Mr. Delvalle should find another occupation.
Unfortunately, we are discovering that everything we heard about the state of health care in the prison system is true. None of the people involved are living up to their responsibilities with respect to providing medical care.
I await your response and action to see that my husband receives the medical care he requires.
Jacqueline A. Bolin
cc: Judge Richard Storey
A flavor of why he wa sent to prison
From: "Larry Bolin"
Secret Courts - Secret Law
The traditional Anglo-American distrust for secret trials has been variously ascribed to the notorious use of this practice by the Spanish Inquisition, to the excesses of the English Court of Star Chamber, and to the French monarchy’s abuse of the lettre de cachet. All of these institutions obviously symbolized a menace to liberty. In the hands of despotic groups each of them had become an instrument for the suppression of political and religious heresies in ruthless disregard of the right of an accused to a fair trial.
Some authorities have said that trials in the Star Chamber were public, but that witnesses against the accused were examined privately with no opportunity for him to discredit them. Apparently all authorities agree that the accused himself was grilled in secret, often tortured, in an effort to obtain a confession and that the most objectionable of the Star Chamber’s practices was its asserted prerogative to disregard the common law rules of criminal procedure when the occasion demanded. 5 Holdsworth, A History of English Law, 163, 165, 180-197 (2d ed. 1937); Radin, The Right to a Public Trial, 6 Temp. L. Q. 381, 386-388; Washburn, The Court of Star Chamber, 12 Am. L. Rev. 21, 25-31. In re: Oliver, 333 U.S. 257, 68 S. Ct. 499, 92 L. Ed. 682 (1948).
“Secret law is an abomination,” wrote Professor Kenneth Davis in Administrative Law Treatise 137 in 1970. This quote has been cited in numerous federal cases involving freedom of information act (F.O.I.A.) requests. Two of the cases, Cox v. United States Department of Justice, 576 F.2d 1302, 1309 (8th Cir. 1978) and Stokes v. Brennan, 476 F.2d 699, 701-02 (5th Cir. 1973) are just two examples where the courts argued that secret law is wrong and government agencies, which the Courts are, are to make their documents available for public inspection. It is crucial to public confidence in the courts that judges be seen as enforcing the law and obeying it themselves. U.S. v. Muniz, 49 F.3d 36, 43 (1st Cir. 1995).
Sounds good so far.
Except when it comes to cases concerning those “evil Arab terrorists” and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. “In 1996, the president signed the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which authorized secret evidence. A federal district judge in Newark, N.J., William Walls, has now described this as ‘government processes initiated and prosecuted in darkness.’” Hentoff: “Prosecution in Darkness,” Washington Post, Saturday, November 6, 1999; Page A25.
For the rest of us, Congress created two little known bureaucracies, which are responsible for the kind of justice that all thinking free people have come to dread. One of organizations created in 1922, albeit under a different name, was the Judicial Conference. In 1939, Congress transferred responsibility for federal court budget preparation, data gathering, and administrative support from the Justice Department to the newly created Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, which was directed to function under the Judicial Conference’s supervision. “Chambers Handbook of Judges’ Law Clerks and Secretaries” (hereinafter “The Handbook”), p. 84 (FJC 1994).
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the Judicial Conference, which is composed of the chief judges of the courts of appeals, one district judge from each regional circuit and the chief judge of the Court of International Trade. Although Congress has vested relatively little authority directly in the Judicial Conference, this organization has considerable practical authority. That authority arises from its statutory responsibility to supervise and direct the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, including the AO’s control of the distribution of funds appropriated by Congress. Id., p. 84-85.
People with a modicum of intelligence have already figured out that the Judicial Conference controls the Federal courts.
In 1967, Congress created the second pillar of injustice and labeled it the Federal Judicial Center (hereinafter “the FJC) at the request of the Judicial Conference. The FJC’s mission is “to further the development and adoption of improved judicial administration” in the courts of the United States. The Center’s statutory duties are codified at 28 U.S.C. §§ 620–629. They include providing orientation and continuing education for the judges and staff (which includes judicial law clerks and secretaries) of the federal judicial system, performing research on court operations and procedures (particularly in support of Judicial Conference committees), and conducting programs to promote judicial federalism, assist foreign judicial systems, and study the federal courts’ history. “Federal Judicial Center Annual Report,” p. 3 (1999).
Governance of the Center consists of the Chief Justice of the United States, who chairs the Center’s Board, which also includes two circuit judges, three district judges, one bankruptcy judge, and one magistrate judge elected by the Judicial Conference, as well as the director, who oversees the FJC’s activities, and its members, who serve on standing committees on education and research and on Center advisory committees on judicial education programs. Federal Judicial Center Annual Report, page 3 (1999). A very close(d)-knit group indeed!
Now, the issues at hand: Secret Courts - Secret Law.
One of the more interesting publications the educational arm of the Federal courts has produced in recent years is “A Guide to the Preservation of Federal Judges’ Papers” (1996) (hereinafter “the Guide”). Just as the title suggests, this concerns the preservation of papers.
However, this is another little gem found in this book. What this piece of work contains is absolute proof that there are two types of justice. Despite what you may think, there is one type for the rich and another for the poor. However, the brand of justice this publication discusses is private versus public. Our own modern day Star Chamber, only it is just more sophisticated and is found in every federal courthouse throughout this country. Everyone who becomes involved in a Federal case – civil or criminal, rich or poor, black, white, yellow or brown will be treated in a way this man with hair now white would have considered impossible just five years ago.
As the old saying goes “the proof is in the pudding.” In the federal courts today we have two (2) sets of books: One set – the “Official Record” for public consumption – will be handed to you by the clerk from behind the counter at the Federal Courthouse (for a fee, of course). As was described by the Federal Judicial History Office, “The official court record, with its focus on formal procedures, does not reflect the full complexity of the judicial process and the work of individual jurists.” “The Guide,” p. 3. Pray tell, where is that record that contains the full measure of the judicial process? It is a record that lowly litigants will NEVER see. That record is found in the Star Chambers of the Twenty-first Century - the judges’ chambers. “The Guide” describes this record as “chamber papers.”
“Chambers papers reveal the challenge and difficulty of the judicial trade more clearly than official case files by helping to explain the internal work of the federal courts and the process of judicial deliberation. Chambers papers also describe exchanges between the bench and the bar and the relationship between the court and the community in ways that published opinions and official case files cannot.” (emphasis added.) “The Guide,” p. 3. In other words, those secret deals between judges and lawyers about which we have read and heard take place in the judge’s chambers. This is not some radical conspiratorial group two scoops short of a full load espousing this thinking on some obscure web site. This publication is written with approval by the very bar members themselves and published under the auspices of the United States government.
These chamber papers must be very important if they are not public information. Just what sort of data do these records hold that cannot be revealed? “Chambers papers frequently include predecisional material, such as draft memoranda, draft opinions, orders, correspondence, and research. Often included among chambers papers are documents relating to the administration of courts or justice . . .” “The Guide,” p. 3. Material so important that it is only handled by confidential employees of the Court, a.k.a. judicial law clerks and secretaries. American Bar Association, “Standards Relating to Court Organization,” p. 99 (1990).
If you desire to open the vault containing the information that really decided your case – forget it! As it stands now, the chief justice -- although the administrative officer of each court – will simply ignore any and all F.O.I.A. (Freedom of Information Act) requests. A letter your humble author addressed to Chief Judge Lanier Anderson of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals did not even elicit a response. The communication requested information such as “the name of all individuals who prepared any and all Bench Memos, draft memoranda, draft opinions, orders, correspondence, and who had conducted other research relative to” cases filed with the Eleven Circuit. My letter was ignored.
After waiting several weeks, I phoned the Court of Appeals and was informed that any such F.O.I.A. requests should be addressed to the Clerk of the Court, Mr. Thomas Kahn. The clerk’s answer to the same FOIA request made to the Chief Judge stated that F.O.I.A. “does not apply to federal courts” citing 5 U.S.C. § 551(1)(B); 5 U.S.C. § 552(f)(1) as the basis for his decision.
What conclusions may we draw from this latest foray into legal slime? Public trials are a fantasy. There is no meaningful access to the courts. Due process is a distant memory. The Star Chamber proceedings, which caused our forefathers to leave England in the 17th century and land in Massachusetts, apparently stowed away -- like rodents -- and invaded this country and today continue to eat away at the very roots of an increasingly dysfunctional judicial system.
Larry Bolin © FTG Publishing
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February 10, 2001
Larry finally got to see the doctor yesterday. He was in the pill line and saw the doctor in the hall, and asked the doctor directly if he could come to the clinic. The doctor prescribed a diuretic that Larry was supposed to start today, and they’re going to do a chest x-ray. This is a start, but we still need to know why Larry’s retaining fluid. Of course the doctor had to make a veiled threat, that if Larry made too much of a fuss, he’d be shipped out.
|Dear Cayenne and our UNION people:
I talked to a lawyer this morning. After they get all the records and review them they'll let me know if I have a wrongful death case. They'll take it on contingency.
If you can send money to Jackie, please do so. The government devastated
these two elderly people and killed her husband because he challenged a
judge. We should be there for her somehow. Larry stood with us as a UNION
subscriber for several years and sacrificed his entire life fighting for
the principles of justice. He was one of us.
Her address is
|By Larry Bolin
COME ONE, COME ALL FREE ROOM AND BOARD!!!
Well it has been a little while, since I spent time at my fellow citizens' expense in the friendly confines of the holding cell at the Russell Federal Building.
On Thursday, January 30, 2002, just a tad (that's southern for a little) after 12:00 noon, I was on the phone when I heard a rapping at my front door. It wasn't the Raven never more, but a non descript man, dressed in blue jeans and blue and white flannel shirt, the face covered with a graying beard and hair curling with same graying accent as his whiskers. Nothing out of the ordinary, he was summoning me by the knocking to inform me that he "had run into my mail box" and wanted me "to evaluate the damage" to make sure that was no need to make a police report. Thinking nothing of it, I proceeded to follow Mr. Non Descript out to the mailbox where a relatively new Dodge intrepid, gold in color, was sitting side ways in the street angled toward my mailbox.
As I approached the mailbox, I did not notice any damage and was about to remark, "Well, it looks all right to me" and let this person be on his way with no police involvement. All of a sudden - and do I mean in an instant - I am surrounded by about ten to twelve law enforcement types. Two of the local police types roared down the street in their flashy new white police cars to make sure I didn't try to run for it. Of course those who know my medical history would know that I can barely run a hundred yard dash in ten minutes much less make a run for it.
After seeing some of these folks, who I recognized being in attendance at my trial, I asked, "What's up?" The marshals proceeded to tell me I am under arrest and to "put my hands behind my back." Then the tell tale metallic feeling and snap of the cuffs, the arrest is complete and we are off to see the wizard.
All this subterfuge conducted by the Federal government was quite unnecessary. I was told my appeal bond had been revoked and I was being taken into custody. Notice so far one item of this whole process is missing. No warrant produced. Why bother with trivialities like the Fourth Amendment right to be free unreasonable search and seizure? No warrant was shown until after we were heading away from my house and to my next destination. The arrest warrant had been issued due to a motion filed by the great defender of "truth, justice," and now unfortunately what purports to be the "American way", assistant U.S. attorney David M. Leta. I was unable to respond to Mr. Leta's motion because it was filed in secret. The legal community describes this action as "ex parte." This little legal tactic was used on at least two other occasions in my case that can be verified by our "pubic" servant, Mr. Leta.
One little aside, the Marshals, who knew of my health problems, allowed me to take my different medications (I take around seven different ones). So after being my hands cuffed behind my back, the marshals and I reentered the house and was allowed to point to a long sleeve shirt, showed Mr. Non Descript how to shut off the computer, and grabbing the medications, which were placed in Ziploc freezer bag. All these housekeeping matters were done, while my hands were still cuffed behind my back, Mr. Non Descript locked the front door and tossed my keys into my car parked in the driveway. After thanking Mr. Non Descript for his participation in the undercover raid, I was loaded in the van and away we went.
As the van, which I was now an involuntary passenger, departed the neighborhood, the two flashy white Gwinnett County Police cars were waiting at entrance of the subdivision. As the marshal van passed by the two cop cars, the Gwinnett "ociffers" turned on the blue lights and gave the siren a little crank. I guess this was a signal to my neighborhood that it was now safe for the occupants to exit their houses because a dangerous desperado was now in custody. Plus what good would it have been to have the Gwinnett Police participate in the raid, if the sirens and blue lights aren't used. After all it would not be good for budget increases if the taxpayers ever glommed onto the idea that their money is going to waste for all this show of force.
It was about one o'clock before headed toward my holiday hotel for a day, hence the traffic was a rather light and because there was more than one person in the van, we were able to travel legally in High Occupancy Vehicle lane.
Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, it has not been necessary nor desirous for me to spend any quality time at the Russell federal courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia. Needless to say I notice the security had increased. The van in which I was sitting was met by a federal employee who began a diligent search of the van so to ensure the undercoating had not been damaged or some other nonsense, like making sure there were no bombs on the van. I guess at the time, I was happy the mirror man did not find anything like explosives on board since I was a passenger - detainee in political correct terms. No telling what other charges would have been forthcoming if such had been found.
Well for the folks who have not had the privilege of an escort into the Russell Building holding cell, the procedure is quite a trip. The search procedures conducted at the Russell holding cell remind me of the searches presently conducted at any standard commercial airport. The folks at the airport are being prepped for what assuredly will come later, judging by the ever ratcheting up of police state tactics.
After arriving at my accommodations, I was given a chance to make a phone call to my wife. I was unable to make a phone call from my house because the marshals were so much in hurry to load me into the van to prevent me from signaling a stray squirrel or chipmunk to amount a counter attack. Eventually I was able to contact my father-in-law, who then contacted my wife.
After I was placed in the holding cell, I listened to two men discussing the reasons that they found themselves in the same predicament, which I found my own self. It seems that these two gentlemen had violated the provisions of "supervised" release. As yet, I had no idea why I was at the Russell Building. One item that I was quickly to discover is the bureaucracy is wave overboard and the insane are running the asylum.
After spending undetermined amount of time listening to my cellmates exchange arrest war stories and offer explanations why they found themselves back at the Gray Bar Hotel, one of the keepers called my name. After responding I was handcuffed and taken to another room about the size of a small pantry. As my hands were released, the door was opened electronically and behind this door was a about four by four window, encased in steel with a wall phone next to the window. Under the window was a pass through, which a staff attorney from the Federal Defender Program slid her card. Natasha Perdew Silas informed me that she had been appointed my attorney for the day, if I so desired to accept her services. After an exchange of greetings, Ms. Perdew told me I would be going before a magistrate shortly and she would be in the court with me.
Shortly after this exchange with Ms. Perdew, my name was called and I was taken up to court and to discover why I had been snatched from my house. After I entered the courtroom, which was probably 16 or 17 stories up, my handcuffs were removed. Awaiting my arrival was David M. Leta, the prosecutor and IRS-CID agent Percy Colquitt. Seconds afterward the chief magistrate for the Northern District. Gerrilyn G. Brill entered the court and told us all to be seated. That was easy for me since I never stood up in the first place.
After going through preliminaries and formalities, such as "you have a right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you, and if you can't afford an attorney one will be appointed for you," Judge Brill asked me if I spoken with Ms. Silas and that Ms. Silas was there to help me if I wanted. I was no danger if saying anything because of previous experiences, I understood that asking questions of the judiciary doesn't put you in any jeopardy, but does expose the miniscule amount of honesty possessed by these folks masquerading as judges. After offering Ms. Silas, I posed some questions for her Honor, "Who employs this attorney?" Ms. Brill quickly informed me that Ms. Silas was working for the Federal Public Defender program. I responded that since Ms Silas was working as a public defender was she an employee of the United States government? Ms. Brille stated that technically no, Ms. Silas was in a program that was paid by the U.S. government, but she was not an employee. When I proceeded to tell Ms. Brille that according to the Administrative Office Judicial Policies and Procedures manual stated the Federal Public are employees of the United States, why should I trust someone who was working for the same people who came and arrested me. Needless to say, after Judge Brille heard that question she said, "I am not here to answer your questions, we are to explain to you why you were brought here." Of course, it would have been nice if the powers that be had share this information before being grabbed and brought to the court. Apparently Ms. Brille was not either awake or missed the class that cover due process of law, which states the person being incarcerated should be given notice before not after the fact.
The reason, which I quickly discovered, was that my bond had been revoked because my appeal in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals had been ruled upon and my conviction and sentence had been affirmed. Additionally according to the persecutor, Mr. Leta, I was a danger to myself and to my community. There was to be a hearing the next day to determine if the bond was permanently revoked and just how long I was going to spend in the slammer. However the way things were playing out for this day I figured out that I was going to be a kept person for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening.
I was taken back to the holding cell where I was now able to observe the surroundings and my accommodations. The seating area consisted of two stainless steel benches rounded so that your butt could fit more "comfortably." The bathroom facilities consisted of one stainless steel toilet and sink combination. The sink was sitting atop the back of the crapper. This is where you washed your hands and obtained your drinking water if you so desired.
Cameras similar to the ones found in banks monitor all the cells. As you enter the holding area a sign is on the wall that states, "If you have a medical emergency stand in the middle of the cell and wave your arms." Comforting language to someone that maybe having a seizure or heart attack. Never had a seizure or heart attack, but I just can't seem to envision how one could wave their arms standing in a jail cell in the middle of such a serious medical emergency. Like I said the inane and insane are in control of things.
After spending a few hours more in the federal holding cell about five o'clock, it was time to go to the location where I would spend the night. As our names were called we were led from the cell and then things got really nuts.
As you are standing in a little room, the new keepers began a high industrial search of your person. Before the search begins the marshals don latex gloves so that they do not pick up any serious bugs. The order is given to remove your shoes and the searchers then slam the shoes you just had your feet in on the concrete floor then shaken, not stirred, to ensure you are not carrying any weapons. I guess it could be done, but I was not able to figure out how it could be done. I guess I need more education on the method of creating a weapon from a room where item is nailed down. Not to worry, if the government has their way, I'll have four years to acquire that information.
Then our keepers begin the now infamous federal prisoner transfer method. Most folks have witnessed Susan McDougall as she was dragged out for the purposes of TV time in hand cuffs, shackles and the leg chains that limit movement. We, prisoners, were ordered to the next little place until our van was ready. It is very hard for a short person such as myself to climb into the van when shackled and wearing leg chains.
After we were signed out the group of prisoners of which I was a part were taken to the Atlanta Corrections Detention Center (ACDC is used for convenience by prisoner and guard alike and it is not to be confused with the heavy metal rock band). After arriving the shackles and the leg chains are removed and then we are searched again - the same techniques are used the guards at the ACDC - the search and the banging and shaking of shoes on the floor to ensure no contraband was brought into the jail.
One thing that struck me upon entering into the ACDC was the odor. The best way to describe the smell was a combination of body odor over spread with a diluted mixture of chlorine bleach. It is a stench that you do remember and since I have another date with the Bureau of Prisons, I am sure I will be able to smell that aroma again.
After we are signed into the ACDC, the U.S. Marshals gather their restraints and head off to their respective friends and family. (Stock tip, if anyone is interested find the supplier of handcuffs and leg irons and buy their stock). The prisoners are left to be photographed, given a new uniform, toothpaste, a bar of soap, a cup for water, a toothbrush, a personal fork - spoon combination utensil and your own personal roll of toilet paper. You are given a handbook of prison rules and quickly told if you loose it will cost you five dollars.
The other prisoners and I were taken to another little room where you exchange the clothes, which adorned your body for two sets - yes - you heard it right, two sets of orange prison garb. (The government spares no expense when it comes to fashion). It was interesting during our check in period (almost sounds like a hotel doesn't it?) the guard asked, "What size of uniform do you wear?" Since I was unfamiliar with the fitting of my new duds, I replied with what I thought would be the right size, "Medium." I was furnished with a large and when questioned why I received a large, this mental giant stated that was the only size available. Why ask the size you wear if the moron knows that all that is available is large. I can only guess that this was a poor attempt at elementary mind games or just an example of the educational level of the folks who occupy the positions of authority with the ACDC.
My subscribed medicine traveled with me from the Russell Building and I informed my keepers that I needed to take the medicine. This was a mantra I would be repeated to more than one person in charge at ACDC.
Well after we are taken to the changing room we remove the clothes we were wearing and change into prison orange. Even though these are supposedly uniforms that are clean they carry the same odor that I noticed when I first entered the building. The clothes we were wearing are put into a plastic mesh blue bag and stored for us. We are locked in the changing room until after an unknown period of time the next tour guide calls us out. We are then told to walk in single file, on the right side of the hall and head off to the nearest elevator.
When the elevator opens, we are told to face the back of the elevator in rows of threes. Fortunately no handcuffs are used on the trip up to see the nurse. We are told to sit down and wait. One of my companions, a black gentlemen seemed insistent own having a conversation with himself so that the guard told him to sit quietly and not say anything until he was called.
After a short while, the nurse calls me over and I give her my laundry list of medications and what is physically wrong with me. The nurse appeared to dutifully write down the information. I inform her that some medication was brought down with me and needed to take some of the medication prescribed. My blood thinner, for my heart valve, known as coumadin, along with other medication, is prescribed to be taken between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. When I visited the nurse it was approaching 6:30 p.m.
Well after the visit to the nurse is completed, we desperadoes are loaded into the elevator facing the back and whisked to the next floor. This was to be my floor for the evening. Eventually after a fifteen-minute wait, unattended and unwatched - at least not in person, food was brought on a Styrofoam plate. The meal consisted of white rice with an imitation Chinese mixture dumped onto the rice along with turnip greens and dried out cornbread. Nothing to drink to wash this crap down, but heh prisoners can't be choosy.
After throwing away probably ¾ of my "meal" and waiting for about another thirty minutes unattended, an Officer Grant appeared and directed me to my accommodations for the night - and in my mind at least that moment an indefinite period of time. Due to my poor health, I was given my first bennie. Instead of the top bunk, my new roommate, "Pinto," a twenty-one year old convicted of armed robbery of a company that supplied ATM's with greenbacks, was asked or ordered by Officer Grant to move to the upper level. Pinto seemed to be a pleasant and peaceful chap, who had already pleaded to a sentence of ten (10) years informed me of the rules and the way the bed is supposed to be made, etc., etc.
The following will disappoint those who have bought into the proganda that prison life is like Club Med. My bedding consisted of an one inch mattress covered in green plastic. The bedding consisted of two yellowed sheets, gray bed spread and a soiled pillow, which undoubtedly had been with Atlanta corrections for at least a dozen years. There was one constant with the bedding - the same smell that first permeated my nostrils when I entered the Atlanta Corrections Detention Center, the body odor bleach combo, just overwhelms the bedding and especially the pillow. If this were a real hotel, I would have demanded a refund.
The prisoners are contained in one large space, similar to a great room with the cells surrounding this open space in octagonal pattern. After arranging my bedding and placing my taxpayer furnished hygienic supplies, I was able to observe the surroundings more intently. Within the large room, which is labeled a pod, like we are peas in a pod, is separated by a large wall thus there are two distinct areas within the pod. On one side of the wall, we have a majority Hispanics and on the other side the space is majority of black brethren. There is no space specifically reserved for the Caucasians. The main attraction, for the majority of prisoners, are the televisions (both about twenty-one inch sets - sorry to disappoint all those law and order nazis - no big screen TV's). The television in the Hispanic section because cable has just been introduced, as I later later, is tuned into a Spanish network. The TV in the black majority section is tuned into NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic.
Interspersed around the pod are sets of plastic furniture where various card games are being played, along with board games. Other tables are occupied by a miniscule number of prisoners working on legal pleadings, which they hope will spring them from their present circumstances.
One such person, Zack, who I met and spoke with, was working on his appeal of a conviction of amphetamine manufacturing and trying to escape from another prison. What so remarkable about Zack's story was his determination to escape. He told me that he planned his escape for extended period of time and then when that fateful day arrive he to jump over a fence topped by razor wire (razor wire is that ominous rolled stainless steel rolled in big circles with sharp barbs extending out from the wire). I guess Zack just didn't realize how good he had it behind those prison bars. Zack, who is now waiting to be returned to California, hung suspended in the razor for extended period of time has the scars to prove it. Zack is also waiting his return to a designated federal facility, where he will spend double-digit time.
There was one person who appeared to be working on a legal matter involving his case, but he was Hispanic so I was unable to gain any insight to his legal situation. Unfortunately the Hispanic and Zack were the only two prisoners in this pod who were actively attacking their incarceration. The rest of the prisoners, which I estimate there were a total of fifty-to-sixty, are just wasting their lives away, with mindless TV, assorted games, and other entertainment. With all honesty, I certainly can't give an informed opinion about the number of prisoners who are fighting their case, but just a cursory inspection, the verdict looks like an insignificantly small number. Imagine if all the guys in that pod had been filing their own paper work what sort of predicament that would present to the judicial system.
It is about 8:00 P.M. I hear my name called by officer Grant, a big dumb want-to- be football type reject. Officer Grant tells me that the mental health nurse wants to talk to me. Apparently the prison authorities want to make sure I am not suicidal or being threatened by another inmate. Two questions that really stand out are, "Are you hearing voices or seeing dead people that directing my actions?" and "Do you have thoughts of killing somebody?" Naturally being half smart, the answer to these questions is "No!" Answer anyone the wrong way, I am probably taken to isolation.
After my visit with mental health nurse, I am returned to the pod and the door is locked behind me after I enter. This brings up a question. If there were suddenly a fire within the jail how would anybody get out of these enclosed areas? The jail consists of at least six floors and the window are covered a wire mesh and large bar, which form a brief cursory view would be impossible to remove if there was a blaze. Plus there are no directions given to exit in case of fire. After all these are just prisoners, why worry?
I figure I have a little time so I call my wife. Jackie tells me she has spoken with Ms. Silas who had informed her that there was to be a hearing the next morning at 10:00 a.m. Jackie had already been on the phone contacting some of my friends as she located the phone numbers. Even though I have a computer program, I have a bad habit of keeping these numbers in my head so there was no way for Jackie to contact them. I told Jackie I loved her and I would see her tomorrow. Almost immediately after I hung up I called her back. The phones are set up so that when a prisoner calls anyone, a greeting is played and the person has the option of rejecting or accepting the collect call, even if it is a local call it is still collect. The calls I made to Jackie cost $2.95 per call. After all we are just prisoners and our loved ones are just relative of prisoners so your family has to be punished too. Anyway Jackie had already made some calls so I would have witnesses to vouch for my character or that I was a character. Can't remember which.
It is approaching 9:30 P.M., finally the Nurse, who injected me to make sure, I did not have Tuberculosis finally arrives with my medication. Of the seven medications prescribed to me by licensed doctors, nurse Brune Hilda arrives with one tablet of coumadin. When I explain to her that I am supposed to receive two tablets, this caring health care provider tells me, "Be thankful you're getting one." Well, after all we are just talking about a prisoner aren't we? No sweat, the information will never get out, will it?
As I was visiting with a fellow who was playing cards, without warning, a vast majority of the male population headed for the window on one side of the pod. It seems that a couple of females are walking on the sidewalks that border the jail/prison. It interesting to observe the younger male population with an overdose of testosterone looking through the small mesh slit over the windows to hoot and holler at a person or persons who they have absolutely no chance to meet.
Ten o'clock and it is time for bed. My odorous bedding and plastic mattress await me. There is another surprise that I did not expect, the lights are left on in the room all night. For a good portion of the time I spent in the cell, the TV was on and blaring some Spanish speaking show. That's right the gringo was placed in the section dominated by the immigration violators. For someone who is accustomed to sleeping in total darkness the light was an unusual experience. The guards who are responsible for keeping up with us, prisoners, have to make sure we don't escape from a third floor window that is covered with a tight wire mesh and a metal bar going across the window.
My own personal observation is that this is part of mental torture that all prisoners face. Sleep deprivation plays with the mind. During my waking hours, I began to go over in my mind what I will tell the judge at the hearing that was scheduled for 10:00 A.M. The mental gears whir and grind as one tries to figure out a way to catch forty winks. After several hours, the thought came to me, use the extra uniform to cover my eyes to block the light that was shining into the room.
Along with the lights, open windows that cannot be closed, is part of the prison experience. Fortunately it was not abnormally cold on this January evening/early morning or else it could have been even a more interesting night. I hate to think what it would be like during a summer night where the temperature can reach into the high nineties. I seem to remember from my visits to this same facility in the summer that the windows were open and young men were yelling out of the same windows, which now contained my living quarters. Additionally there were other gentlemen, who were having a disagreement on some subject of major import, but due to the distance I was unable to decipher what the disagreement happened to be, but I just know it was loud.
From my description of the bedding, it doesn't take a whole of imagination to understand why I didn't have a restful night. I would imagine between trying to block out the light, pondering what I was going to tell the judge, and listening to the ongoing disagreement, I received about two hours sleep. To make sure, I received not a minute more, the prisoners who had court dates were awakened at 4 o'clock. My case was schedule to heard at 10:00 a.m. Don't know if mention it previously, but the people that run the prisons can't be too bright. After traveling down the elevators, facing the back, my institutionalized mates and I were directed to the same room where we changed back into the same clothes wore the day before.
We're then served breakfast, which consisted of a banana, rice crispies, two per cent milk and a pastry in a plastic wrapper, which was imprinted the ingredients. I have a rule, if the package has a listing, which contain multi - syllabic words describing the make up of the product, I don't eat it. When breakfast is finished, the five of us within this room disparately attempt to sleep.
These efforts of sleep proved to be impossible. Due to the design of the benches, which were rock hard, were too narrow for a person to stretch out and of course the room was flooded with lights.
After what seemed like an eternity, the five of us were summoned so that we could go through grope and grab feel up session by members of the U.S. Marshall service. I got lucky this time, I was felt up by a female officer. I wonder what goes through this women's mind (assuming she has one) as she's groping men that she has never seen. As we were being shackled and chained, the marshals are signing the bill of lading, which gives them possession of us, I turned to one of my black brothers and asked, "Do you know what this reminds me of?" Without even a second thought, this man says, "The slave trade." My thoughts exactly!
After a short van ride, we are back at the Russell Building and placed in the holding cells. It was during this time that I learned new pronunciations of the words, Mothe_ F_ _ ker. I was also amazed at the understanding of the inner workings of judicial system that black people possess. It's just too bad that their relatives keep voting for the people who keep passing the laws that cause these folks to keep returning to jail. At least the blacks have an insight into the corruption of the whole criminal justice system. Most white folks don't even have a clue, they just keep buying into this perversion of "lock 'em up and throw away the key" mentality presented by law and order nut case Nazis. Few Caucasians have made the connection that eventually "the man" is going to run out of black folks and then the attention will be directed at "whitey." Whether they realize it or not that process has already begun.
Time stands still in prison cells, but eventually my name is called and I am taken to the same room I visited the day before where Ms. Silas, public defender is there waiting for me. I had already written some choice remarks for the judge to hear, but since I was so tired and not mentally alert after what I would best figure to be two hours of sleep, when the public defender presented her arguments to me, it sounded good and if she presented the same plan in court I foresaw no problems with her direction. After the public defender was finished I waited in the anteroom until my latest escort arrived. I was handcuffed and accompanied by one of the many federal law enforcement personnel up twenty-one floors in another elevators to another jail cell adjoining the courtroom. The same set of handcuffs, used to put my hands behind my back, was used to keep the jail doors to secure.
Needless to say, the hearing went as well as can be expected, considering the corrupt judicial system. Just a few highlights. My bond was revoked because my appeal bond had been revoked, but I was allowed to come home because of the federal prosecutor said he was not responsible for my treatment within the ACDC. He told the judge he was sorry for the treatment I received but he was not responsible for the health care administered within the prison system. How nice, Mr. Leta is the one who is the one who filed the ex parte motion that unleashed the goon squad, which grabbed me out of my house. But he's not responsible for the slip shod medical treatment I received.
One other high light or low light if you prefer, one of the reasons, Mr. Leta wanted me arrested was because I was a danger to myself and a danger to the community and that I "had been out long enough" and "I needed to start serving my sentence." So if anyone, who is concerned about me being let out on the streets, Judge Richard Story address is the United States District Courthouse, 75 Spring Street, SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303.
Finally, after I was released from the court and the same gentlemen
rode up in the elevator with my hands restrained by hand my back, rode
down in the same elevator. The only difference - this time I wasn't
Three Strikes Legal - Index