Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So, we're still sending prisoners to Louisiana?

I got an email this morning from a gentleman that I met while campaigning for Governor last year. He and his wife attended my very first campaign speech back in Jan. 2006. While there they told me the heartbreaking story of their son, who is sentenced to life. The charge is murder....but it isn't what you think.

See, their son made some bad decisions that involved ingesting alcohol while underage and then driving. This resulted in a car accident where a young boy, who was a passanger in the other car, was ejected and killed.

In my book that isn't murder. Not by a long shot. Vehicular manslaughter? Sure, I could buy that. But murder...NO WAY. And a LIFE sentence?? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!In my book murder involves intent to kill and I think we could all safely assume than an underage kid consuming alcohol never did so with the intent to cause anyone else harm. Yes, it is awful that a young boy was killed in the crash and yes the driver of the other vehicle should be punished...but LIFE?

This kid got life.

Here is the email from his family

My wife and I met you at the Wetumpka VFW club during your run for office. I
had related the story of my underage son being involved in an accident while
drinking and was given a life sentence for murder. We were able to get him
in Draper Prison which was real close to use and we had the ability to go
through the shakedown process and visit him every two weeks. This has been
going on for 7 years an we have been trying very hard to get him in front of
the parole board for a hearing. He completed the Victim Offenders Act of
Judge Tracy Mccouy and was given a certificate of completion. His record is
spotless, but the board refused to review his case only looking at the
murder charge.

Yesterday the state shipped him to Louisiana. They put 13 inmates and guards
into a 12 person along with their duffel bags and shackled the inmates
together. For 7 hours the inmates did not get to stretch or relieve
themselves, but the guards did. I have found a letter from the prison
commission and their spokesman where all inmates would be brought back
before the end of the year. This is on Inmate population creping up
again dated Nov. 24 2007. On top of the move the phone calls are double that
from Draper.

Do not the fools of the commission understand that the best rehabilitation
is visits with the family? Inmates should be placed in a facility close to
where families can visit with out undue burdens. It will be hard for his 7
year old daughter and his 80 year old grand parents to visit I have
read your dealing with visits to your brother and am in hope you may be able
to help or advise me on the above issues. I am at a lost and am devastated
by the events of the past days.

So, when did the DOC decide to start moving inmates back to Louisiana? How come no newspapers seem to be covering this? Are they as unaware as the public that we are shipping inmates out of state again? Here is the news story mentioned in the email I got Inmate population creeping up again. And it clearly states on page 2 that in an April memo the prison commissioner said all inmates being housed in Louisiana would be returned to Alabama by the end of the year.

And, why deny prisoners access to toilet facilities for nearly 8 hours? What is the purpose in that? Because they can?

What gives?

I am about to send this out to all of my media contacts and see if I can't scare up some press on the fact that we are sending prisoners out of state again. I have also sent this to Lisa Kung at Southern Center for Human Rights to see what they might could do to help.

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