The news website Huffington Post recently published a story by writer William Nichols (1) that focuses on my more than 20 years of turbulent imprisonment as a first-time offender convicted of aggravated robbery and felonious assault. Nichols comments on my crusading efforts over the years as I’ve tried to stop the unjust decision-making practices of the Ohio Parole Board. I believe the Parole Board functions as an unconstitutional de facto branch of government, an argument I posted recently in commenting on a letter of June 19, 2014, written to the Parole Board on my behalf by the Ohio Assistant State Public Defender. (2)
Over the years, I’ve tried to interest tax-paying Ohio citizens in the Parole Board’s decision-making practices, which often punish unjustly members of the minority-class of old-law prisoners. (3) Many of the old-law prisoners have rehabilitated themselves, showing their readiness to be productive members of society by earning college degrees and trade certifications and by authoring books. I’ve written many letters to elected officials, the media, lawyers, colleges, religious groups, and activist organizations without generating wide interest.
I haven’t given up on my efforts to cast light on the dark decision-making practices of the Parole Board. As I’ve explained on the YouCaring.com group-funding website (4), I’m currently seeking to publicize the injustice on the platform of a leased commercial billboard. It would boldly display a statement demanding justice for Ohio’s old-law prisoners, who are serving lengthy sentence continuances for minor rule infractions such as using profanity or not turning the volume down on their radio.
Ohio’s Parole Board has walked off the path of justice and equality. I ask you to assist me in getting them back on course, moving in the direction of true justice.
- Is Rehab Possible in Our Prisons. William Nichols. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-w-nichols/is-rehab-possible-in-our-prisons_b_5486107.html
- Commentary on Assistant State Public Defender’s Letter to Parole Board. Jason Goudlock. https://freejasongoudlock.org/commentary-on-assistant-state-public-defenders-letter-to-parole-board/
- Ohio old-law prisoners committed their offenses prior to July 1, 1996, who are serving indefinite terms of incarceration (e.g., five to 25 years for aggravated robbery). Prisoners covered by the new law serve definite, flat-time terms (e.g., five years, with no tail, for aggravated robbery) with the exception of those convicted of murder-related offenses. Of Ohio’s total prison population (51,600, a record high), approximately 4,000 are old-law prisoners who must go before the Ohio Parole Board to be released.
- Jason Goudlock’s YouCaring page: https://www.youcaring.com/SupportTheOld-LawBillboard
Download a PDF copy of Support the Billboard Campaign Against Ohio’s Unjust Parole Board.