The following reply letter was sent to me September 25, 2013 from Ohio Senator Shirley Smith, whom I’d written to for the second time a few months earlier. In that letter, I asked the Senator if she would write a letter to the Parole Board on my behalf. I figured, considering that she seemed to empathize with my situation of injustice in the previous letter that she had written to me, that she would honor my request — I figured wrong!
The Senator declined to help me, stating that to do so would be a “conflict of interest” with her ethics rules as an elected official. I guess the state of Ohio ‘s conflicting old-law sentencing guidelines, which clearly conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, aren’t unconstitutional enough for an Ohio elected official to recognize my situation of being excessively punished as being inhumane.
Perhaps if my human rights were being trampled on in an oil-rich country, such as Iraq or Libya, instead of the United States, maybe an Ohio elected official would propose going to war for the sake of upholding my human rights? But, the hell with war. They’re good for absolutely nothing … just like my letters that I mailed to Senator Shirley Smith.
September 25, 2012
Dear Mr. Goudlock,
Thank you for contacting me in regards to your parole board hearing in December and for sending your essay about work on your novel. It was a pleasure to read your essay, and I strongly encourage you to continue writing.
Your letter enumerated the many reasons that you believe you should be granted parole, and you requested that I write a letter to the Parole Board on your behalf. Unfortunately, I am unable to assist you in this request because of ethics rules pertaining to conflict of interest that govern my actions as an elected state official.
Though I regret that you have found yourself in this situation, please do not hesitate to let me know if there is any legislative information that I might provide to you.
Shirley A. Smith
State Senator, 21st District
Download a PDF copy of the letter from Senator Shirley Smith.