Previously published submissions are archived here.From Volume 2 Issue 7 Justice Denied By Anthony Mungin and Doolin's Defense Doesn't Rest By Anne M. Stickel
From Volume 2 Issue 5 The Dark Ride By Anthony Mungin
From Volume 2 Issue 3
The Battle Cry by Christopher Dunn
Patrick Swiney's letter to Dr. deKorczak
From Volume 2 Issue 1:
How Many? By Gaynell Kendrick
The Barrier By Elouise Lord
From Volume 1 Issue 7:
Waiting for Appeals... and justice.
From Volume 1 Issue 6:
Outrageous Laws by Kriseya
What is it like to be an innocent in prison? Robert Carter tells
you about the injustice of waiting for years to even be heard. Only a
glimpse at one aspect of being wrongly convicted (the most wearying) -- waiting to be heard.
Waiting for Appeals... and justice.
By Robert Carter
-- wrongfully convicted inmate in the South Carolina Department of
When you sit in prison, you do a lot of waiting. Time passes and the
world outside moves on and all you can do is wait. Nothing ever happens fast, either. You may end up waiting for months or years clinging to the hope that your day is coming and surely then you will be able to exonerate yourself. When you end up getting denied the help or attention you deserve, there is only more waiting.
If you are in prison wrongfully, the system makes your life seem so
unimportant because there seems to be no way that doesn't take months and years off of your life which allows you the justice you deserve. Why is that?
In a society that claims to value the right to life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness, how can it be so easily ignored or shrugged off when somebody is wrongfully incarcerated? I think it's because people that have never experienced wrongful incarceration, either
first or second hand, have no idea the desperation felt by the
person waiting to be freed, or the devastation felt by the same person when years of waiting ends with the court denying your plea of innocence without even really looking at your case in depth.
Could you imagine being taken away from your life, family, and friends
wrongfully and then to be told that in 18-36 months your case will be
heard? Can you imagine how long 36 months seems when you have to watch your child grow up and your family suffer while you are completely helpless to do anything to help? It is more painful than I could find words to describe.
So what do you do as a prisoner in that situation ? You wait,
because this system is designed that way. You have a right to a speedy trial, so why not a right to a speedy appeal? Doesn't it seem important to find out if someone is in prison wrongfully as quickly as possible? From a wrongfully convicted prisoner's point of view, it couldn't seem less important to the courts or the free world how long we must wait.
Think back to where you were, say, three years ago. Now imagine you had to spend all that time since then locked away from life as you knew it in a room probably about the size of your bathroom waiting on court to decide whether or not to give back to you the life you deserve.
Ask yourself if that is acceptable.
Robert Carter, brother of JD writer/editor, Michael Carter, would enjoy hearing from JD readers. If you'd like to encourage and cheer him, please write to him at:
Edisto Unit #235165
Lieber Correctional Institute
P.O. Box 205
Ridgeville, SC 29472
From Volume 1 Issue 6:
A woman at Kriseya's prison was to have a hearing about keeping her child. Her supportive family went to great expense to go to the Nevada prison from several states away. When all were assembled in Las Vegas for the meeting, it was summarily canceled by the authorities. Kriseya's friend and the family were devastated, for the expense was extreme for them. It all welled up in Kriseya -- the injustices of every day life in prison, the deprivation, the sacrifice by families. She also keenly felt the wrong against her that day, so she wept with her friend for all of it. All of it. The compounding of wrongs. The daily offenses against the souls of so many swamped her senses. This is why she wrote as she did. Bitterly, with anguish, with an aching heart for the lack of Justice toward everyone.
This Judicial System:
Each part of the vehicle created to ride,
but when the passenger's ready,
JUSTICE IS DENIED.
No, Justice, you can't get in this car
this "system" that's gone too far --
Seductive words, catchy phrases,
and still the masses sing its praises.
Justice, you are not allowed, and
they don't care what you have to say.
Don't want to hear it
don't want to know
'cause our checks and balances
are ready to go
-- our bottom line will make us profit
and with our shiny veneer
they can't see what's rotten.
Come into our limousine.
Justice was here but she made a scene.
We left her by the side of the road.
The outside's pretty -- no one can tell
they switched the driver --
headed for Hell.
Kriseya Labastida 2/22/99
By Gaynell Kendrick
Desperate mothers cry,
Not my child, why?
How many have to will die?
The White Lie
Of Black Genecide?
The judicial system manipulation
Has created a steel plated plantation
Complete with concrete slave quarters accommodation
Designed for the black male population
To halt the manifestation of our seed germination
In attempts to achieve race annihilation.
Like our forefathers,
We must outwit our oppressors,
We must foil this sick intent,
We must become the aggressors,
And free our innocent
I believe to the point of knowing,
The number of innocent men
On death row is growing,
God is not pleased at the
Lack of concern we are showing.
We dishonor our ancestors
By not demanding clemency.
We dishonor ourselves by
The unjust monopoly,
Of this black life
(Gaynell Kendrick, the self-published author of "Speak It Loud," a collection of 22 poems filled with food for thought, is the single parent of 3 children. She is the first woman journeyman plasterer ever hired by the city of Detroit, and the first woman journeyman in her field to work on the GM Resource Center Project. She owns a home-based business, "Blaqueen's Creations," where she designs and builds glass and mirror furnishings, art work, African dolls, and other creations.)
A Short Story by Elouise Lord
Edited by Kira Caywood
The day was dull, just like the feelings in her heart.
As she approached the eight-foot wire fence, she gazed up at the double row of razor wire coiled over the entire top of the perimeter barrier. There was a third row nestled in between the two, not as decoration, but as deterrent. She knew this place contained both good and evil within its brick and concrete walls. She knew it also held hope and hopelessness, truth and falsehood, exultation and despair, love and extreme hate, and tension. She felt all these things and more, as she walked across the parking lot in the drizzly rain towards the gate, which would soon open to allow people like her to visit a loved one locked away inside.
As with every visit, she felt fear and trepidation. At the same time, she felt anticipation to once again see his kind and handsome face, even for a short while. She knew he was innocent of the terrible crime of which he had been convicted, but more and more, she was coming to grips with the fact that he still might be locked away from her for a very long time. The realization made her sad, sometimes bringing tears to her eyes as she stood outside in the rain waiting for that damned gate to open.
When she was not there to visit, other emotions raged within her. She feared for his safety, even though he had been there for eight years already. She worried that someone would hurt, or worse, kill him over something as petty as a look or facial expression. She visited those places enough to know things like that happened regularly.
Sometimes these worries weighed on her mind so strongly that she just had to see him to know he was all right. Other times she felt peace, especially after a visit when she found him in a happy mood and he had news of events he was organizing for the other prisoners.
Many thoughts and emotions passed through her mind as she waited with a group of others. She listened in on discussions about certain guards and how they could be so mean to both prisoners and their visitors. There, in the cold drizzle, the visitors voiced complaints that she knew would go no further than the discussion outside those forbidding fences. Complaints about the lack of shelter from the weather, lack of compassion from the guards, and the simple starkness of the place they were about to enter. Everyone knew that if you complained too much, you would not be allowed inside to see your loved one. Stories were told about losing visits because a guard did not like your tone of voice, your body language, or the clothes you wore.
Finally, the processing started -- this time, only three or four minutes after the visit was supposed to start. When the guard announced that they must enter only three at a time, she figured it would be a long wait still. She was twelfth in line.
Twenty-five minutes passed in the drizzling rain. Now it was her turn to go through the processing that all visitors must. The first step was to show picture identification to the guard behind the bullet-proof glass barrier. While he checked to make sure she was on the list, she signed the visitor sheet, filled in her name, the person she was visiting, her car's license number. She asked for a locker key, knowing that all she could take inside the next set of gates was $6.00 in coins to buy a coffee or a chocolate bar from the vending machines set up in the visiting room. She received a locker key from the guard through a slot in the glass and carefully wrote the number of the locker on the sheet. Then she put her purse and identification in the locker and secured the lock, keeping some coins and the key with her. Then there was the next line.
As she waited her turn to be scanned through, she watched the woman ahead and her two children go through the metal detector. Both children were wearing jeans. Of course, the buzzer went off, indicating metal. The guard at the desk then had to scan the children with a wand to find out exactly where the metal was. When the mother went through, the same thing happened, so she was also scanned with the wand. It turned out that her high-heeled shoes contained metal.
The guard counted the mother's coins to make sure that she had no more than the allowed amount, then asked for her glasses to scan for contact with drugs. Beside the guard sat a machine called an ionizer. It checked for the presence of illegal drugs by burning a sample of dust wiped from a visitor's personal object. The computer screen lit up with traces of cocaine. There was another wait while the guard questioned the mother about where she might have come into contact with the drug. It was only a small trace, so the conclusion was that it must have come from handling money to pay for her gas, since she had filled up her car on the way to the prison.
It was her turn next. She approached the guard with trepidation, worried about all the possible things that could prevent her visit. She made it through the metal detector, then the ionizer, and finally, the searching of her coat and counting of her coins. At last, she was cleared to go into the prison itself.
There were two more gates to pass through, one for each fence topped with razor wire, then a long walk down the stairs and pathway to the visiting area.
Some attempts had been made to beautify the area, but she barely noticed the flower gardens on her way down. She had to go through another heavy metal door to get inside the building, then wait until another guard buzzed the electric lock on the door to the visiting room itself.
Relief settled over her. She was there. She picked out a table with two chairs, and sat. She waited, feeling the eyes of others on her. Guards watched her movements, and other visitors and prisoners sized her up. She felt like she was on display.
She knew that the raised box in the center of the table concealed a microphone. The box's purpose was not to hide it, as everyone knew it was there, but to prevent prisoners or visitors from breaking it.
While she waited, she felt the tension of the prison. No one was totally relaxed in that room. Maybe it was the cameras, watching from behind the dark bubbles in the ceiling, or the microphones in the tables, or the other prisoners, or the visitors, or the guards who watched all the time.
Nervously watching the clock, she began to speculate on what could be delaying his arrival. It could be a late meal line. It could be a problem getting through one of the many gates he had to pass on his way. It could be harassment by one of the guards inside. It could be that the guards in the visiting area did not even call him yet. It could be nothing, and it could be anything.
Ten minutes later, he arrived. His disheveled hair told her that he had been sleeping. She had nothing to worry about. An immense sense of relief washed over her as he approached the table. They hugged, then went for a coffee.
They tried to keep the conversation light and uplifting -- as normal as two people talking in a coffee shop somewhere. But it was hard to ignore the others, the guards, the cameras, and the microphones. He told her about some of the things he was doing inside. His peer counseling was getting busier. More of the prisoners were having a hard time keeping their families together. It was hard doing a long time, while trying to preserve loving relationships, he said.
He told funny stories about events he witnessed and things he did with his friends, but he never told her about the knifing incident two days before. She told him about the positive happenings with their families. She didn't tell him that his grandmother had been diagnosed with cancer.
The three-hour visit seemed to end much too soon. She reminded herself that she had really had only about two and a quarter hours with him, and tried hard to pretend it was enough. At least she knew he was all right. A long hug, as the guards stared, and she was out the door and back on the long path to the front entrance of the prison. Before she left, she booked her next visit. Three days later, she would do this all over again.
Already feeling nervous and unsure of his safety, she walked to the gate and waited to be let out. Once more, she had to wait for a few minutes, as the gate house guards did not want too many visitors in there at once.
Signing out was much quicker and easier than signing in. Soon she was back in her car, heading for home. She felt greatly relieved that he was all right, and was happy that their time together had been so pleasant. She was glad he was in her life. But there was always the worry in the back of her mind. He would telephone once in between the visits, so she had that to look forward to as well.
She knew how terrible that place was, and how important her visits were to him. She had been going through this tortuous procedure for eight years, and she would continue as long as he was there.
As she drove, her mind returned to its usual thoughts. What else she could try to prove that he was innocent? How could she get him out and free? She was immersed again in her normal life before she got home.
(Elouise Lord's life's work was teaching for 30 years until her son, Derik, was arrested and wrongly convicted. Since her son's conviction, she has not been hired as a teacher again. Her family moved to Chilliwack, BC, to be near Derik. Mrs. Lord now spends her days researching law and putting together documents to submit to the Minister of Justice to gain her son's freedom. She writes, "So far, there hasn't been much in the way of success, which might explain the undercurrent of despair in my story. It represents the gamut of emotions I go through about four times a week, when I go to visit him.")
The Battle Cry
By Christopher Dunn 12/12/00
Stand firm young souljah
This is a war but don't forget
What your mother once told ya.
Turn not the other cheek.
You must strike first,
Hit your enemy quick, hit 'em where it hurts.
Prepare yourself stored ammunition in your mind,
The day is upon ya and now is the time.
Ten long years,
After witnessing many deaths --
My face stained from unwashed tears;
After dealing with the frustrations and unknown fears.
I grasp hold to the burning spear --
Spear and shield in hand;
Calculating my steps, formulating my plan.
Strategic blueprints carved in my heart,
I will not be afraid as I walk
Through the valley of the dark.
As I stand here images dancing off the face of the arch.
Flame growing higher and higher,
All that runs though my mind is "liar-liar."
A justice system controlled by political greed,
Would rather see these soldjahs die.
but not today, not this soldjah, nor will I cry.
It's been ten long years and I wondered why,
but now I know -- it was all a lie.
Leafing through the pages of Justice Denied
What goes there -- I find to my surprise
A picture, he has my nose, lips, hair and my eyes.
Is that me? No, it couldn't be.
Is it true? Yes, I'm free.
Kira, Clara, Stormy, thank you all at Justice Denied,
Earth, Wind and Water.
Keep your head to the sky.
To the system of greed,
will I cry or plead for sympathy?
No, I'd rather stand firm until the call for
Supreme Court Ruling -- "It is not burdensome to give reasons when reasons exist. As long as the Government has a good reason for its actions, it need not fear disclosure. It is only where the Government acts improperly that Procedural Due Process is truly burdensome, and that is precisely when it is most needed." (Ponte vs. Real, 85 Led 2nd 553)
One of the investigators in Patrick Swiney's case is Dr. Boris deKorczak, Ph.D. in psychology and ex-CIA with 30 years of investigative experience who now resides in Fairfax, Virginia. He took Patrick's case in 1996. After several months of investigating Mr. Swiney's case, Dr. deKorczak was certain that Patrick was wrongly convicted. In a report to the Governor of Alabama, dated October 20, 1997, Dr. deKorczak wrote:
"Patrick Swiney's case is an unusual one. The justice system [in Alabama], being in total disregard in observing the difference between what's right and what's wrong, sent this man to prison for life without the possibility of parole. The lack of evidence in this case, and the harshness of the sentence bestowed upon this man is analogous to hanging an offender of a parking ticket violation."
Dr. deKorczak openly states that after four years, he has been unable to gain access to Alabama officials to seek justice for Patrick Swiney, have Patrick's story heard, or to get "someone" in Alabama to see that Patrick Swiney is not a "killer," but rather an innocent man who is not only wrongly incarcerated, but who is being unmercifully mistreated by prison officials.
In late July, 2000, Dr. deKorczak was desperate to help Patrick Swiney's voice be heard. He asked Patrick to write him a letter, beginning with "I am a killer" and ending with how it is they who are the attempted killers, not him. He hoped Patrick's letter would be read by the Alabama officials who continue to visit his web page, seeking new developments in Patrick's case, believing they would be thrilled to see a letter from Patrick that begins with a "confession." Though the experiences in Patrick's letter to Dr. deKorczak are real, the letter is meant to be a parody, rightfully so, for the purpose of shaming those who thirst for injustice and cruelty in this case.
Patrick's letter to Dr. deKorczak
5 August 2000 2:00 PM Saturday
Dear Dr. deKorczak,
In the past years, I have been guilt-ridden over the fact that I have been representing myself to you in a most deceptive manner. I had continually told you that I'm no killer. Fact is, I'm not only a killer, but looking back, I would have to confess that I'm a serial killer.
Crib to Inquiry or Crib to a Mission
Many say it's absolutely impossible to remember back that far, but as an infant, I remember standing in my baby bed, holding the rail, watching my Grandmother as she babysat me. Sir, I remember this far, far better than the yesterday events in my life. Extremely plainly.
One of the things I remember so clearly was a device my Grandmother used for killing these black creatures that always bothered me and my food. I thought it very neat that when she'd get on one of her killing episodes that these black creatures would almost disappear and thus a peaceful and restful environment would exist for both me and my Grandmother -- almost like the hand of God.
I also took careful note of the area that my Grandmother had always put this weapon of mass destruction. She always put it high near the cabinets beside the icebox. It always intrigued me that this weapon was there, and I never forgot that.
A couple of years or so later, I was walking quite well. My Mother had stopped working, so my Grandmother had disappeared from my daily life. But I knew where this precious white-haired lady lived and yep, it was indeed within walking distance for a four-year-old. I had to cross the busy U.S. Highway, and a railroad track that my Mother continually feared, but that's women. At four years of age I'm a man, so I see no problems at all.
I decide I'm gonna help my Grandmother rid her house of these black creatures, but I need that weapon so desperately. When my overprotective Mother took a nap, I started climbing high in the kitchen. Then bingo! On top of the icebox, I locate this weapon. Later I find out it's called a flyswatter, but what it was called didn't matter. My Grandmother needed my help!
I take this weapon and head for the front door. It will not open. I'm locked in, and the latch on the screen door is very high. I think for a second. No problem. I get the broom with a long handle, and again, bingo! The latch slides up and down to the side. Freedom at last, and I'm on a mission to help my Grandmother. I somehow clear the busy highway, a few tires squealing, but duty calls. The railroad was a given. Got over it without any noise. I was almost halfway to my Grandmother's when some monster grabbed me from behind. I was a goner. After hearing the loud voice I then knew it was -- Yep! My Mother -- much more fearsome than when I thought the monster had me. I immediately found out that this neat weapon of mass destruction could be used for much more. I had imprints of this weapon on my back, legs and arms for days and days. So now I wanted to hide this evil thing much higher than my Grandmother did so no one could find it. But I still had this weapon -- and killing -- on my mind, deeply seated.
The World is Mine
My very first trip outside without "you know who" was most exciting! What freedom. A massive world to explore, and what I perceived as heaven: A mountain full of trees and all kinds of animals. I figured I would never have to worry about sin and sinning because I was already in heaven. No monsters and a huge mountainous forest to explore and to call my home. Neat!
A Lesson in Humbleness
When I entered this garden of Eden (forest), I kept looking up, watching the squirrels jump from tree to tree, wondering if I could do that. As I was walking and looking up, my feet and legs suddenly felt as if they were on fire. I was covered with ants. I knew what they were. After I finally got them all off, I was angry. Killing had consumed me. I told them, Yep! You can bet I'll return.
I went to the outside of the forest, got a tin can full of water, and went straight back. I poured the water on those ants, killing hundreds, maybe thousands. I hadn't learned to count. Boy, I wiped them all out, so out of rage, and in my little devious mind, I figured every ant on that mountain had to go. Yes! a mass killing, and I was on a mission.
I knew the tin can wouldn't hold enough water, so I found a sand pail. I filled it with water and off I went. I found another anthill in just seconds. I had completely destroyed every single one. Then another anthill, then another. I'm now more than just a man. I now had great power. I was King of the Mountain and nothing could get in my way. I WAS power!
When I returned from filling my pail with water, King of the Mountain tripped on a root, and was covered with water. Not only that, but my face almost landed directly on an ant bed. My eyes were just inches from my enemies -- my victims. I watched the little creatures go back and forth. First it was most interesting. Then amazing, followed by astonishing! Not only did they work so hard to build their tiny home, but they all worked together with perfection. No group of grownups could do this and here I am destroying this perfection. I tried to reason with myself that I was King of the Mountain. But even at such a very young age, I knew differently. I was the outsider and the King was elsewhere. I simply told them, You leave me alone -- I leave you alone. The very first historical account of "Détente." Okay, Dr. deKorczak, so my world was tiny.
The King Dethroned
The years passed by painfully and slowly, but I had learned at about the age of ten of a new most powerful weapon that would secure my Kingdom -- or assure my reign as King of the Mountain. This neat weapon was called a B-B gun. Had to have it.
That Christmas since I had been deceptively good, Santa Claus brought me this B-B gun and enough B-B's to assure my superiority over all my kingdom. I immediately took this secret weapon out to my garden of Eden to show all my importance, and my dominance over all creatures, both large and small. Everything seemed to be gone -- disappeared -- couldn't figure that out. So, I thought I'd go back inside for Christmas candy.
At about 2:30 p.m., I slipped out the front door and toward the back. Everything looked normal. Squirrels jumping, birds flying. I stalked to an area of many small birds, raised this weapon, then fired. It didn't seem to bother them much. I was so let down. I kept firing and firing. Then I saw feathers fly and my success had fallen to the ground. I was truly a King with massive powers. Well, I picked up this dead bird, and called Bruce, the older kid next door. When he arrived, I held my trophy up asking him what kind of bird it was.
He immediately said, "Sparrow."
I was shocked, and demanded, "No! It can't be." Again he said it was a Sparrow.
I began sobbing uncontrollably. When he asked why I was crying, I told him that my Sunday School Teacher had just told me the day before that God cares for even the tiny Sparrow, and I immediately ran, crying upon my mountain. I had destroyed what God Almighty himself had cared for. Now I knew that even in my garden of Eden, I couldn't hide from God. But I didn't want to hide; I wanted to make things right with my God.
After hours of crying and asking God to forgive my evil actions, I picked a most proper and fitting place, and buried God's tiny creature that God himself cared for, but apparently I didn't. I was a killer. I had killed God's tiny creature. I was no longer King and never again shall I desire to be. I had violated the most sacred law of nature -- Needless Killing. I was indeed a killer. As I write, to this day, my heart is consumed in pain, and the memory of this tiny Sparrow shall never escape my heart. Rest in peace, tiny precious one -- rest in peace.
Holy Covenant from a Tiny Voice
Several days later of crying and sorrow, I returned to this sacred burial ground. I had come straight from Sunday School class to put into practice what I had learned about that day. A Holy Covenant. If God could enter into such a holy covenant with people of whom I'd never heard, then why could God not do the same with me and all the living things in my garden of Eden? Therefore, while turning in circles so I could see in all directions, my tiny voice trumpeted out to all, both large and small, that I no longer wanted to be King. I wanted to be just one of them and to live in harmony with them and our God. That I had violated one of the most sacred of laws and shall never again be guilty of such a thing. My voice was so tiny that no man heard it, but thousands of other creatures did, and this garden was filled with music. I had been forgiven.
My Holy Covenant in Disarray -- i.e., they are surely killing me
While in bondage at the hands of the State of Alabama, I am bound in one of their pits of hell. Simply put, they are trying their very best to kill me. The evilness in their hearts is slowly, and very painfully becoming most successful at yanking the very last breath from my body. They are absolute experts in evil and death, yet can face the world on television cameras with their most deceptive angelic smiles. Evil is not always dark and the worst of evil shall surface where completely unexpected. Yet, as with an isolated cancer, it shall not remain isolated, but eventually completely destroy the entire body to the point of nothing being left except death. This is the State of Death.
Stars that Quickly Fade or Dying Stars
When I first witnessed the inside of an Alabama Prison, I was horrified! I knew that historically Alabama had been noted for its atrocities and had been well documented, but that had been years ago, and in no way was I ready for what was to be revealed. So shocking, that I felt my mind was playing tricks on me. I started thinking I was in some foreign third-world country. Yet when I look out the window, I could see the stars and stripes, never dreaming that over time, the stars and stripes I loved so dearly and felt so sacred toward, would become a symbol of persecution and oppression.
I was put in a 5-ft. x 8-ft. cell, filthy beyond belief. So hot, I'd swear it was an oven. I immediately started having chest pains. No one cared, not even the nurse. A few days after that, I had my first heart attack.
I then thought things would change. Indeed they did. The State of Alabama is always consistent with changes. Changes are "always" for the worse. They made me lie in a hall chained to a gurney for well over 8 hours. My mother, being an R.N., and my being raised in a hospital, I knew that the first 72 hours of a heart attack was critical. A patient can go either way in a split second, so I prayed for death. It never came. They put me in a hospital cell and sometime later the next day, I suffered my second heart attack. I was unconscious, but they couldn't care less.
Due to pressures from outside, from my Mother, sister and others, they finally sent me to a REAL hospital with REAL doctors and nurses. I was in a world of once again caring, but the long arm of evil is endless.
They're trying to Kill me!
I undergo an arteriogram to ascertain the extent of damage to the heart and amount of blockage. There was 100% blockage in one artery and 80%-75%-55% of others. They send me back to my room where both legs are chained to the bed. IV's in both arms, oxygen in my nose and a telemetry MS (electronic) unit sending all vital signs down to technicians via radio signals. I can barely move.
While in my room for a short period of time, one armed guard started talking to the other saying, "I used to be one of those bleeding heart liberals until I had to start babysitting these goddamn convicts. Now, I rather shoot the bastards than to have to look at them." He then turned, pulled out his loaded weapon, pulled the hammer back. At that point, my Mother, sister and Aunt walked into the room and witnessed it all -- heard it all. By a miracle, the warden had granted them a short visit. I wonder if, had they not been there, this evil old white man would have fired. No doubt whatsoever, he wanted me dead -- but why?
The next morning I underwent what they called closed chest surgery. They automatically prepped me for open chest surgery, so if anything went wrong, they had to go up into the femoral artery and drill out the blockage so they could follow with an angioplasty. They would have had to make a big enough opening for the angioplasty balloon. They wanted me awake, but due to the stress and loss of sleep caused by the deadly assault on me by the guard, when they put the medication in my IV I was out like a light, sound asleep.
After this procedure and I survived, I was taken back to my room. Same setup: IV's in both arms, oxygen, telemetry unit. My blood pressure was so dangerously low, I couldn't even take nitroglycerin. My left leg was chained to the frame of the bed.
In the room, I now have two new armed guards, one white male and one black female. Immediately, this black female tells me she is going to chain my other leg. I politely tell her that the warden had ordered it off because I wasn't supposed to move that right leg for 8 hours, or I could quickly bleed to death. I told her she could check with the warden. She then blurted out, "I've heard about you!" She then pulled her loaded revolver, pulled the hammer back and said, "You hand me one bit of shit and I'm gonna pop a cap right in your ass." At this point I didn't care. Death would be welcome. The only body part I could move was my right hand, so I managed to push my food tray onto the floor. Then I looked at this poor excuse of a human being as if to say, Well, what's wrong with your popper? With both of these deadly threats, both times nurses and technicians started flooding into my room. Obviously the threats created dangerous adverse changes in my heart which the technicians picked up electronically from the telemetry that was plugged into me. I never once summoned for help. Help automatically appeared. But it was most obvious these agents of the State of Alabama wanted me dead -- and badly -- but why?
Three's a Charm
About a year later, I got very sick, much like an extreme case of the flu. The guard working the dorm told me to go to the infirmary. They did blood work, and then later the doctor told me that my cardiac enzymes were elevated. I knew then: heart attack. But the doctor said it didn't reach the levels of a massive heart attack, so he told me to just go back to my dorm. They continually kept forcing me out into the hot Alabama sun in the morning for 3, 4, or 5 hours under the guise of cleaning the dorm. Everyone knew this to be a bald-faced lie. Either go or run the risk of being beaten to death. Hell if you do -- hell if you don't. These evil-evil people may not be overly bright, but they know what they are doing.
The Lifeboat is Actually a Bomb
I suppose in the past 200 years, the only relief from persecutions and atrocities from the hands of the evil-evil State of Alabama has been the Federal Courts. Our only lifeboat. Yet when I filed in the Federal Courts in Montgomery against these deadly threats and assaults, the courts dismissed my case as frivolous -- without merit -- without substance, but why?
Then when I wrote a widely published article, "Too Late To Debate???" the Chief Federal Judge in Mobile, Alabama, Charles Butler, got so angry at my article that he ordered me locked in solitary confinement, also known as the hole or hot box, with full knowledge of my medical conditions: three heart attacks, inflammatory spinal arthritis and emphysema. He knew these things because these were so stated in this article. At first I thought this Federal Judge was acting like a three year old, throwing himself on the floor, kicking and screaming, because of my article. He'd do this with full knowledge that 1) it was illegal as hell, and 2) would knowingly put my life in extreme danger. I figured this was just for his ego? It turns out that Mr. Butler was a state prosecutor in Baldwin County, the very same place where I was a Policeman, an "honest" Policeman, which is very rare in that county. There, I had an almost successful assassination attempt on my life. I was left for dead, but amazingly I survived. Just one of the attackers was arrested, then someone in Baldwin County dropped the charge against this person from assault with intent to murder (me), to simple assault. The man was only fined ($50.00). This was all done without consulting the arresting officers of the Gulf Shores Police Department or me. It was all done under the table -- but why?
Bells began to ring. Just before leaving Gulf Shores Police Department, I had uncovered evidence linking the County District Attorney and the Chief Investigator with the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office to racketeering and protection of major drug runners. I submitted this evidence to a Federal D.E.A. Agent and to representatives of U.S. Customs. Then I left that area. They were later sent to Federal Prison. It now becomes clearer why they want me dead so badly and are continually trying, even as I write these words. Would you consider taking away a heart patient's heart medication away an accident, or would you call it attempted murder with no weapon? That's what they did just a few weeks ago. Their attempts are continuous to this day.
Dr. deKorczak, you know yourself their reasons have nothing at all to do with the crime I am supposed to have committed. The knowing wrongful conviction is only a part of the greater Evil. Very Evil. My survival has been by the hand of far greater powers than Self, far, far beyond reasons or happenstance. A power of which we are all unworthy, yet He smiles on us all.
If one could begin to comprehend my struggle over the past 13 years, the miracles within my struggle, and the fact that so far I have physically survived -- that along with the first-hand witness of the miracles of birth -- they would find it impossible not to fully believe in a higher being, a Universal Power or Consciousness, or as I refer to all of the above as God. Creator of all the universe.
I understand much of the miracles of the Universe. I understand even better the miracle of nature, my squirrels, my ants -- my most beloved tiny Sparrow -- I understand my own downfalls and shortcomings, but Dr. deKorczak, please tell me how men can become so, so evil? Please tell me how they can become so densely populated in a place like Alabama? I cannot understand how life can become so meaningless to a group of human beings regardless of their titles. They thrive on human pain and suffering, thrive on death far more than on life and living. Something appears to be drastically wrong. Please Dr. deKorczak, tell me.
Please help me to try to understand.
Yes! They are surely trying to kill me. They will eventually succeed. But the understanding means far, far more to me than life. I am ready to meet my God. I am ready to meet my tiny Sparrow, but Dr. deKorczak, please help me to understand.
"Tomorrow will be a better day,"
Author's note: In 1987, Patrick Swiney was convicted for a murder he never committed, and sentenced to Life Without The Possibility of Parole in an Alabama prison. Listen to what others had to say back in 1996, before we finally found documented forensic evidence, in 1997, of Patrick's actual innocence:
1. The Director of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at the Alabama State university who is a former Chief of Detectives and Chief of Police states, "One fact that is evident is that this case did not meet the threshold or the legal criteria of a capital murder case. Even the District Attorney has been quoted as admitting this. Even if Patrick Swiney did shoot the two victims, it was at best a crime of passion that should have resulted in a sentence of eight years. Instead, Mr. Swiney received life without parole due to the DA's thirst for a capital case. I strongly recommend Mr. Governor that Patrick Swiney be released."
2. The former President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and also former Warden of Holman Prison and Chief of Police of Auburn, Alabama, states, "I have known Patrick Swiney for over 20 years. I have been in contact with Patrick Swiney since the 1987 tragedy. He is a good man. Without hesitation, I wholeheartedly support [the] effort in obtaining Patrick's release from prison. I believe in Patrick."
3. The retired Alabama Correctional officer who worked at Holman Prison while Patrick's been there serving time states, "As a former Alabama Correctional Officer at Holman Prison I have had the ability to observe and assess him in a way and in circumstances very few people could or would appreciate. Despite his heavy sentence he has always conveyed a positive attitude and I submit that he poses no threat to society and in fact could and would be a benefit to his family and society."
4. The Chief Engineer of Alabama Department of Transportation and former Director of ADOT during the George Wallace administration states, "I commend [the] effort as I strongly believe in Patrick's innocence for whatever reason. I knew him when he was a policeman in Gulf Shores. As stated, I could not believe this had happened to Patrick."
The Dark Ride
Edited for Anthony Mungin by JD Staff
Struggling against the intoxicating rage
The feud contaminated my blood;
Eye impregnated with predatory gaze,
The effects of solitary are, alas, to bud.
Evil finds lodging in the pessimist
Misery sought to infect the meek;
Petition the Mediator to redeem the notorious,
To regurgitate its malicious deceit.
Haunts of violence fill the atmosphere
While the storm of uncertainty threatens the sane;
Yet the battle isn't against my fellow prisoner here,
It's against barbaric justice and the unethical political game.
My shoulders cringe from the weight of the death sentence,
This soul of mine awaits for hope abroad; awaits hope
May thine heart convince thee I'm neither killer nor menace,
But a career stepping-stone for a political god.
by Anthony Mungin
The earth shadow enlarges -
signifying the moon's approach;
The wind carries the knowledge of death -
as father time takes notes.
The setting of the people's sun -
buries the corpse of the day,
As cherubs come to console
the rueful souls that pray.
Learn o souls that life's a gift -
and the heart is pilot of the eyes,
The law is best when patient than swift,
but the sense of partiality proliferate lies...
Union Correctional Institution
PO Box 221
Raiford, FL 32083
DOOLIN'S DEFENSE DOESN'T REST!
By Anne M. Stickel
Injustice has been done, and someday heads will roll.
To save one mother's son Fresno, first save your soul.
Judge, lawyers, and jury (that ought to be ashamed)
Were in such a hurry they had the wrong man blamed!
Evidence went amiss, defense in DNA,
Prosecution's promise, justice gambled away
By a lawyer often late, a judge who fell asleep,
Where prejudice and hate searched neither long nor deep.
Six shot! Yet truth denied! One juror, a killer!
Shrill taunts of "Suicide!" haunted Doolin's mother,
Illegally homebound and gagged against her will,
When police seized her ground and planted it to kill.
There's the place on Grace Street. That's where it all began,
With them trying to cheat (frame an innocent man).
Could Keith look like a cop who had done something wrong?
Seven Eleven Shop, are you part of this song?
"No prior convictions! No smoking or drinking!
No drug addictions!" Lord, what were they thinking?
But they made the motion sending Keith to Death Row,
Gave Cooper promotion to reward his sham show,
Paid off crook informants and lawyer's gambling debts,
Disturbing Keith's parents with continuous threats.
Satan still stalks Fresno, dealing dope, dropping deals,
Turning tricks, stealing dough, and denying appeals.
Reporters who leak truths may often get fired,
And bums back in black booths may think God has retired.
But He's just a Watcher, and is doing hard time,
Waiting to uncover the true source of the crime.
By Anne M. Stickel, 12.16.'99, revised (2x) 07.30.00
1st Revision to San Quentin's Warden; 2nd to Santa Cruz Sentinel (07.31)