2016 And Still In Prison

Monday, January 4, 2016
Time: Afternoon
Location: Segregation Housing Unit, Chillicothe, Ohio

It’s taken a few days for me to adjust to the fact that it’s 2016 and I’m still in prison. I’m glad that I lived to see another year, but, at the same time, I’m depressed out-of-my-mind that I’m beginning another year inside a cell.

Thanks to the Parole Board and the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, I feel like a bona fide hostage right now. Often times, I just wonder how certain people employed by the two can even live with themselves, knowing good-and-well that I should have been paroled years ago.

I also think about how glad I am that I don’t have any children, because if I did, I wouldn’t have been able to raise them. While the members of the Parole Board and DRC would be going home to their children, I’d just be sitting in a cell, suffering, watching my children grow up without a father. And the Parole Board and DRC wouldn’t give a damn about them, either, the same way they don’t give a damn about me now.

Although I will never give up fighting for my freedom, on many occasions, I’ve entertained the idea of writing the media and giving them notice that on a specific date that I was going to try and parole myself by running for the fence. If I were to make it, then great — I’m free! And if I didn’t and I was shot or killed, then the Parole Board and DRC would be faced with the uncomfortable job of having to explain to the media why they’ve blatantly ignored various acts of injustice committed against me, leading to me trying to free myself.

I’m sure they would come up with some ridiculous explanation, but the facts about my situations of injustice — that is, facts that are well-documented on this website — would discredit every word spoken out of their Brian Williams-like lying mouths.

Sooner or later, I’m confident that the darkness of injustice is going to come to light. I just wish that it would hurry up and happen so that I can experience a new year as a free man.

Moved to Ross Correctional in Chillicothe

Sunday, December 24, 2015
Time: Sometime after breakfast?
Location: Segregation Housing Unit, Chillicothe, Ohio

Early yesterday morning, out of nowhere, I was transfered from the Toledo Correctional Institution to the Ross Correctional Institution in Chillicothe. Upon my arrival, I was placed in the hole inside a single-person cell. I wasn’t allowed to keep any of my legal work and books that I had in Toledo, though. I don’t know what’s going on?

What I do know, though, is that I’ve gotten fed up with DRC’s bullshit. I’m tired of people just thinking they can do whatever they want to me just because I’m in prison. I’ve served my time and should be living amongst society right now. DRC knows this. The Parole Board knows this. And anybody that reads about my situation of injustice will know this, too. Yet and still, though, DRC wants to keep torturing me. They’re never satisfied.

There’s nothing else for me to talk about right now, because I have no life. Corrupt correction officers and parole board members, like Dana Blankenship and Marc Houk, have stolen my life from me and used it to enrich their deceitful lives that they enjoy living at my expense. What goes around comes around and sooner or later, karma is going to catch up to them.

Routine Session of Brainstorming

Sunday, December 6, 2015
Time: 9:25am
Location: Segregation Housing Unit, Toledo, Ohio

I just finished a routine session of brainstorming on strategies to put forth towards trying to attain my freedom. I’ve decided that at some point, next year, I’m going to stage a hunger strike to get some more attention about what’s being done to me. I’ve come to the realization that the shot-callers within Ohio’s criminal justice system — they think that they can get away with my situation of injustices simply by ignoring them. I’m here to tell you that they’ve thought wrong!

I refuse to accept, in terms of the amount of time to be served, being Nelson Mandelatized just because I committed my crimes prior to the enactment of a less punitive set of sentencing guidelines. I might as well just castrate myself if I’m willing to accept that, because I wouldn’t be a man if I did.

The reason why just ignoring my situation of injustice is not going to work is because I have records of all of the so-called righteous people that have been made aware of my situation and when I begin my hunger strike and publicize it, none of them are going to be able to claim they didn’t know what was going on.

In the aftermath of tragic situations of injustice, such as with the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in Chicago, when the public spotlight is on elected officials and law enforcement leaders, they all make passionate statements about how sorry they are about the tragedy. When these same people, prior to the occurrence of the tragedy, are fully aware of the corrupt practices of rogue police departments and corrupt prison officials, et cetera, they ignore the injustice, sweep it under the rug, and hope that nobody ever discovers it. Well, like I’ve already mentioned, in due time the world is going to know about the injustice that is being committed against me by the state of Ohio. When all of the dirt that has been swept under the rug is swept back out, all responsible are going to have to explain to the public why ti was hidden there in the first place.

Stay tuned …

Now, I Realize That Everyone (11/25/2015 – 11/28/2015)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Time: 4:10pm
Location: Segregation Housing Unit, Toledo, Ohio

I just received a letter from one of my supporters who mailed me several copies of some of the newspaper stories that were printed last year about my LeBron James comment. i send them out sometimes with my letters to people that I seek to network with. One of the copies that I received, however, was one that I hadn’t seen before written by Zach Berger (SportsGrid). As I read the story to see if it had been written objectively, or if it was written to try and make me look like a fool, my blood pressure shot up to the moon when I read that the reporter had called me “kind of crazy” because my website stated that I was a “progressive activist embedded in the struggle for true justice against the exploitative United States prison industrial complex.”

Now, I realize that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But, it is absolutely insane to me that this man labeled me as being “kind of crazy” when all I did was state the truth in my bio. I guess some people, though, like to live in an imaginary world that doesn’t acknowledge the reality that there is a struggling class of people who are being exploited inside of the U.S. criminal justice system … After 22 years of sitting in a cell, if I’m not in the struggle — then nobody is, or ever was! And if the prison industrial complex doesn’t exploit the poor — then neither did sharecropping exploit anyone, either.

While I’m trying my damndest to return to society to be productive, and to help prevent at-risk youth from traveling down the nightmarish road of incarceration that I’m stuck on, it’s people like Zach Berger that help to keep the roadblock to my freedom in place. And, if it hasn’t happened already, he better hope that nobody he cares about ever gets caught-up in the system, because then, he’s going to get a dose of reality that’s going to shake him to the core.

RicardoSpeaking of helping the younger generation, though … Last week, I heard from one of the young guys that I’ve built with over the years in the interest of contributing to them becoming success stories when they’re released. Ricardo Francisco, whom I met in Mansfield Correctional Institution in 2013, has been out of prison now for almost two years and has written to me and sent me pictures on several occasions. He has a young son — that looks just like him — and he’s making sure that his son doesn’t grow up without his father. I feel proud to know this man, and I hope that one day, soon, I can showcase his success as I speak the real, as a free man, to other at-risk youths of our society.

Much respect to young Rico!

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Time: 12:30pm
Location: Segregation Housing Unit, Toledo, Ohio

I don’t celebrate the so-called holiday of Thanksgiving, but the special meal that they served was decent. I became a vegetarian earlier this year, so I can’t tell you how the turkey tasted. I had, instead, two well-seasoned soy and rice cabbage rolls, with tomato sauce on them. They were delicious! In fact, they were so good, I kept looking at each scoop of food to make sure that it wasn’t actually some kind of meat.

I was tempted this morning to get on the range and tell everyone that most Native Americans identify the day called Thanksgiving as a day of mourning, but I decided against it because I didn’t want to disturb the rare and relatively peaceful atmosphere. I go four and five days without speaking to anyone, anyhow, so it would have been uncharacteristic for me, and would have probably led to an argument.

I’m about to lay down and try to fall asleep. Between reading, writing, and working out, I’m always exhausted. I’m so far behind in my life where I feel I should be, I don’t think I’m going to ever get a good rest until I’m in my grave, because I’m constantly trying to make up for the time that’s being stolen from me in here, that is, thanks to the Parole Board who obviously aren’t Cleveland Cavs fans.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Time: 10:10am
Location: Segregation Housing Unit, Toledo, Ohio

I just read in the USA Today that recording artist and actor Will Smith is so disgusted with the current state of politics, that he is considering entering into the political arena in the near future. I don’t know exactly what the political beliefs of Will Smith are — but I respect the fact that he is considering using his elevated platform to try and improve this polarized world that we live in! As I wrote in my recent essay, “Don’t Be Like Mike, Be Like Janelle Monae,” more celebrities need to use their platforms to try and make a change in the world — especially those that are amongst the Hip-Hop community, like Future, The Game, Lil Wayne, and last but not least, Jay Z, who all have powerful and influential voices that aren’t being utilized to their “greatest” potential — because they can, for the better, impact the lives of many people, simply by being an uncensored and righteous voice for the voiceless.

As I stated already, I don’t know what Will Smith’s political beliefs are, but what I do know is that if he can figure out a way to get the masses to simultaneously listen to his classic hit Summertime — he will definitely be the leading vote-getter in whatever election race he enters, because that song, I swear, soothes a person’s soul!

Peace to the world … And peace to DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (a.k.a. Will Smith).

Just Got Out of Bed

Thursday, December 3, 2015
Time: 9:50am
Location: Segregation Housing Unit, Toledo, Ohio

Just got out of bed. I stayed up late putting the final touches on a short essay I just wrote titled “Lights, Camera … and Freedom?” I intended to sleep to lunch, but the C.O.’s kept coming in and out of the block, slamming doors as hard as they can, and clicking their stupid-ass handcuffs a million times, which, by the way, is the most annoying sound in the world to me.

As I was working on my essay last night, though, I was forced to listen to a way too loud conversation between two black members of the infamous Crip gang, whose dialogue consisted of nothing but juvenile bragging and boasting about the particular set that they represented, which sadly, is the typical dialogue amongst young gang members. Normally, I don’t even pay attention to conversations about the gang life. I’m not in a gang, and the conversations just don’t appeal to me. What made me stop and really listen, though, was because the two gang members that were talking — they were older guys. As I listened to them, though, I shook my head and thought to myself: “Don’t these fools realize that the lifestyle that they’re glorifying was renounced by the co-founder of their gang?” — that is, Stanley “Tookie” Williams, who was put to death by the state of California in spite of having become a renowned author and activist against gang violence.

I know that many people don’t like hearing the truth. But, the truth for blacks is that we have to start making “black lives matter” amongst ourselves. If black men in their thirties, who should be passing off pearls of wisdom to the younger generation, are sitting in prison talking about the superiority of a color, then they are contributing to the destruction of their race, and might as well be one of the trigger-happy cops that are killing black people off like a Hollywood movie script, and that’s real talk!

My peace has been spoken.

I Just Returned From My R.I.B. Hearing (11/20/2015 – 11/22/2015)

Friday, November 20, 2015
Time: 10:20am
Location: Segregation Housing Unit, Toledo, Ohio

I just returned from my Rules Infraction Board (RIB) hearing regarding my recent “peaceful protest,” in which I was charged with “creating a disturbance.” As I’d anticipated, the two-person RIB panel buried me with disciplinary sanctions. They issued me:

(1) 15 days in Disciplinary Control,

(2) 30 days of phone restriction,

(3) a referral to be placed, afterwards, in Local Control (i.e. a longer form of Disciplinary Control lasting up to six months),

(4) and a referral for a Privilege Review, to extend the length of time that the administration wants me to spend in its newly created Limited Privilege Housing Unit.

The Limited Privilege Housing Unit is the unit that I refused to house in that led to me staging my protest in the first place. Being, however, that I’ve long since become accustomed to being judicially lynched by RIB panels, the flood of disciplinary sanctions barely upset me.

What did upset me, though, was the vindictive attitude that the female African-American RIB Chair, Lt. Cowell, had towards me during the hearing.

During my RIB hearing, as I tried to explain my reason for staging my protest, Lt. Cowell repeatedly interrupted me, and spoke to me in a patronizing fashion, as if I was a child. For the most part, I simply ignored the woman and let her say the ridiculous things that she has been conditioned to say. Ten years ago, I would have probably responded angrily. Today, however, I’m inclined to express my discontent in a more civil fashion by way of writing. And with this being said, I just want to say that in this destructive age of mass-incarceration, which has decimated the families of hundreds of thousands of African-Americans, it is downright shameful that a black person in a position of power inside of the criminal justice system is reluctant to use their authority towards attempting to balance the uneven scales of justice, which, for African-Americans, have been unbalanced since the first slave stepped foot on American soil. For, in the twenty-first century, it is inexcusable for a black person to be a sell-out.

Well, now that I’ve gotten this off of my chest, I’m done for now … But, the struggle continues.

Sunday, November 22, 2015
Time: 8:55pm
Location: Segregation Housing Unit, Toledo, Ohio

As of today, counting from the date of my November 1993 arrest, I’ve now been confined for 22 consecutive years, in spite of the fact that I wasn’t convicted of killing anyone, or convicted of trying to kill anyone.

Back in 1993, never in a million years would I have thought that I would still be locked-up heading into 2016. The fact that I am, however, is mind-boggling to me, and the weight of my incarceration has almost become unbearable to hold. Since being given a five-year flop at my most recent parole hearing in 2014, I’ve been dealing with extreme bouts of depression, which I actually feel guilty about considering that there are millions of people throughout the world who are in worse situations then me. But, with each new day, some kind of way, I find a way to stay optimistic that my overdue freedom is near. And with this being said, as I begin my twenty-third year of being confined, I want to ask whoever is reading this blog entry, whether if you’re black, white, Christian, Muslim, atheist, a democrat, or republican, to PLEASE assist me with trying to secure my freedom.

If the United States can make a demand to Iran for them to release the unjustly imprisoned Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, then the United States should be able to make a demand to the Ohio Parole Board that they release me from my well-documented unjust excessive imprisonment as well.

And on that note, I conclude this blog entry by saying, “FREE BOTH OF THE JASONS!”

* Show your support and learn more about the injustice of Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian by reposting the hashtag #FreeBothJasons on your various social media platforms.

Three Days Ago …

Sunday, November 15, 2015
Time: 8:25am
Location: Segregation Housing Unit, Toledo, Ohio

Three days ago, on November 12, 2015, Thursday afternoon, af the the Toledo Correctional Institution administration cleverly manipulated me out of my Segregation Housing Unit that I’ve refused to leave for the past six months, and into a so-called general population cellblock — that is, by way of merely changing the name of the Segregation Housing Unit to the “Limited Privilege Housing Unit.”

I staged a peaceful protest against being placed in the newly created unit by way of climbing approximately twenty-feet up to the ceiling of the entrance of the unit and then onto a ventilation duct that I sat on while I voiced my protestations against being forced into housing with “new-law” prisoners.

Prior to my protest, I’ve tried on numerous occasions to get the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, as well as the Ohio Parole Board, to address the swept-under-the-rug unjust hardships and sentencing inequalities that old-law prisoners are being forced to contend with. I might as well be speaking Chinese to them, because they absolutely refuse to acknowledge the seriousness of the old-law injustice. So, with this being the case, after having spent many years being psychologically tortured by an unconcerned criminal justice system, I made up my mind last week to stage a protest to demonstrate my staunch resistance of having my life and liberty further placed in jeopardy by Ohio’s broken criminal justice system.

Enough is enough!

Although I staged a peaceful protest, during my demonstration, various prison officials still sought to cause me physical harm. In spite of the fact that I had climbed approximately twenty-feet up in the air, before I made my way onto the ventilation duct, one of the prison officials sprayed me twice in the face with pepper-spray. After about an hour had went by, during which time I was filmed by two video cameras, another prison official appeared with a “pepper-ball” rifle and took direct aim at my head. Being that I had already thoroughly made the point that I wanted to make, and being that i didn’t want to risk being accidentally (or purposely) shot onto the ground, which was haphazardly covered with about a dozen mattresses, I ended my demonstration. Afterwards, I was given a change of clothes, but denied a decontamination shower, and then moved from the Limited Privilege Housing Unit into a Segregation Housing Unit.

At this point, I don’t know how the prison administration is going to respond to my protest. But, if history is an indicator, I’m sure they’ll try to vengefully crush my morale, some-kind-of-way, by handing down a heavy-handed punishment. In any event, however, someone with authority and integrity in Ohio’s criminal justice system needs to urgently resolve the long-existing old-law sentencing injustice, before it leads to something tragic happening — similar to the tragic and preventable situation of California prisoner Lawrence Phillips, a former NFL player and NCAA champion who, after repeatedly complaining to unconcerned prison officials about not wanting to cell with trouble-causing gang members, allegedly murdered his cellmate earlier this year, and could now be facing the death penalty.

Well, this is it for now. But I hope whoever is reading this will, please, if you haven’t already, join the effort to get me out of my egregious situation of injustice. I desperately need your support.

My New Blog (11/1/2015 – 11/5/2015)

Sunday, November 1, 2015
Time: 10:35 a.m.
Location: Toledo Correctional Institution, Special Housing Unit

As I make my first ever blog entry, I want to begin by announcing two recent and significant positive developments. First, last month, I received word from a supporter of mine that a film-maker from New York is working on a documentary about the sentencing disparity between Ohio old-law and new-law prisoners, and that the filmmaker is going to use my situation of old-law injustice as the focal point for the documentary! And, second, last week I received a letter from the Ohio Public Defender’s Wrongful Conviction Project informing me that they were going to be reviewing one of my criminal convictions for procedural errors and evidence of my innocence.

Addressing the latter first, the particular case that the Wrongful Conviction Project is going to review is a case of aggravated robbery — of a donut shop — that I was wrongfully accused of committing in March of 1993, when I was still a juvenile by less than a week of my eighteenth birthday. In spite of being innocent, though, after later being arrested for other crimes that I committed, at the instruction of my lacking integrity court-appointed attorney who intentionally misled me, I pled guilty to robbing the donut shop.

For nearly 22 years, though, I never made any real effort to prove my innocence considering that I’d pled guilty to all of my charges. When I attended my last Parole Board hearing in 2014, upon having the Parole Board repeatedly ask me “why I committed the robbery,” I finally told them that I never robbed the donut shop, and I made a vow to myself to prove my innocence, which compelled me to eventually reach out to the Wrongful Conviction Project.

As for the documentary, without question, it would benefit me as well as other old-law prisoners immensely! For way too long, various people on the Parole Board, and employees of the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, have been getting away with subjecting me to what I call “modern-day slavery,” and the mighty platform of a documentary will expose all of their swept-under-the-rug diabolical practices. It will also amplify my pleas to society to assist me with making a demand for my freedom, as well as the reforming of an out-of-control Parole Board. Needless to say, though, I am looking forward to the completion of the film.

This concludes my first ever blog entry. Until I am released from prison, though, I will not stop fighting for my freedom!

Sunday, November 4, 2015
Time: 7:05 p.m.
Location: Toledo Correctional Institution, Special Housing Unit

I received mail today informing me that the Cleveland Plain Dealer is interested in publishing a recently completed dialogue that I wrote with my supporter William Nichols, tentatively titled “A Dialogue on Isolation, Race, and Justice”.

This is great news because the publishing of the dialogue will enable me to further get my story of injustice out in front of the view of the public, that is, at a time when activists, organizations, and politicians are collectively calling for sweeping sentencing reforms throughout the U.S. criminal justice system.

In my situation of injustice, having some type of hope is what has enabled me to soldier on, year after year, in the midst of this old-law madness; and being able to get my story featured in my hometown newspaper gives me more hope that somebody influential will learn about my situation, as well as others, and do something to bring about a change. As I say in here everyday, the Ohio Parole Board and the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections are out-of-control! There is absolutely no way that I should still be in prison.

Well, it’s freezing cold in my cell, as always, and I’m about to lay down and warm up underneath my blankets and brainstorm towards trying to find my way through this Twilight Zone-like maze of injustice.

Sunday, November 5, 2015
Time: 4:40 p.m.
Location: Toledo Correctional Institution, Special Housing Unit

I just read an old Toledo Blade newspaper that had an unbelievable article in it about a 62-year-old prisoner that I know named Mark Baughman. According to the article (see below), on several occasions throughout the course of his 23-year incarceration, Baughman made threats to people right before he was to be released from prison. This resulted with him receiving additional time for each incident except for one of them.

Baughman began serving an old-law prison sentence for robbery in 1992, and just before he was to be released in 2002, he threatened a judge and his former attorney. This gave him an additional eight-year sentence. In 2010, Baughman threatened a former girlfriend and was given more time. This past July, as Baughman was set to be released from Toledo Correctional Institution, he threatened someone else. After recently being ruled competent to stand trial, Baughman is scheduled to stand trial on December 8, 2015, before the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas.

I don’t know why Mark Baughman keeps making alleged threats to people before he is to be released from prison?! Clearly, though, something very problematic is going on in his life. What is disturbing, however, is that the system hasn’t acknowledged that Baughman needs some help, that is, outside of a prison. Instead of getting the man some help, after failing to succeed at trying to push him out the door into society, they just keep giving him more time and allow him to self-destruct. These same people that are allowing this are the same people that refuse to let me out of prison, just once, which is all I want.

And people in here wonder why i wake up mad-as-hell at this racist and broken Ohio criminal justice system …. Go figure.

Well, they just passed out mail and I didn’t receive any, so … I’m about to lay down for a moment and collect my thoughts as I routinely do whenever I don’t get any mail, which is often. But I’m alive, so I’m okay.

See you next week.