Saturday, December 31, 2005

Judge orders son of DEA agent to be held without bail

Baltimore Sun

The 17-year-old son of a federal agent who was arrested Thursday after police say he attempted to shoot both his parents and then fled to New Jersey was ordered held without bail by an Anne Arundel County judge yesterday.

Tom Jason Reimann, 17, of Crofton was arrested in North Caldwell, N.J., at 9 a.m. Thursday and charged as an adult with two counts of attempted second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault charges and other offenses, police said. Authorities moved Reimann to Anne Arundel County at 3 a.m. yesterday. Anne Arundel County District Judge Megan B. Johnson ordered him held without bail at the county detention center yesterday.

Police suspect Tom Reimann had been drinking alcohol at the time of the shootings, according to police charging documents filed with the county's District Court.

Well Thank (insert deity here) he wasn't smoking a joint! Considering the position of his father...that would have been way more devastating and embarassing to the family.

After arguing with his parents about the family dog about 3 a.m. Thursday, Tom Reimann went into his parents' bedroom and took his father's service gun from a locked box, grabbed an extra box of ammunition and donned camouflage "military-style fatigues" and his father's bulletproof vest, according to authorities and charging documents.

Like father, Like son.

Bob Cesca's Predictions for 2006

Bob Cesca over at HuffPo has a spectacular list of predictions for 2006.
I laughed til it hurt.
You will too.

Here is a sample:

PRESIDENT CLINTON will be arrested, tried, and convicted on charges that Bush wiretapped American citizens without warrants.


Loretta Nall's 2005 Year in Review

As 2005 draws to a close it is time to look back at the year's accomplishments and adventures in drug policy and prison reform.

It is in some ways hard to believe that I have done all of these things and traveled all of these places. Compiling this list really puts things into perspective.

As for best and worst of 2005 I'd have to say the best things have been my articles detailing my court experience, the FBI visit, US Customs at the Canadian border and my experience trying to visit my brother in an Alabama prison.

Also, the political excitement since I announced my run for Governor of Alabama in 2006.

The worst thing that happened, by far, in 2005 was the arrest of Marc Emery, my mentor, employer and friend, at the request of the US D.E.A.

The D.E.A. is still attempting to extradite Marc to the US to stand trial for selling marijuana seeds from Canada. If they are successful and he is convicted he faces 10 years to life in a US Federal Prison.


I went to court in January but nothing happened.

Then I flew to Vancouver for some R&R and to visit Marc Emery and the rest of my co-workers for what was quite possibly the very last time.

Afterward I flew to Washington D.C. and attended the three day Progressive Democrats of America conference. It was disappointing because they addressed every issue caused by the drug war but never acknowledged that the drug war itself is the culprit.

Debated Cullowhee, N.C. Police Chief on Radio

Spoke at Felons Right to Vote conference in Birmingham hosted by Roberta Franklin.

Youthful indiscretion OUTLAWED!!
13 Palm Beach teens facing 15 years after undercover narcotics operation.


Tuesday, February 08, 2005 Palm Beach Blog Entry

News Anchor Can't Get Story She Wants on School Drug Busts

Marijuana activist sweeps into Jupiter promoting pot reform

WMNF Radio Interview

This is an NPR type radio quality stuff.
My part begins at 42:35

Exclusive Video Coverage
The Kids Aren't Alright!

In the land of "Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams" Loretta Nall discovers the "Kids Aren't Alright"!

Join Loretta as she travels to Palm Beach, Florida to talk with students attending highschools targeted in "Operation Old Schoolhouse".

You'll be SHOCKED at what the kids have to say.

Can you say HOMESCHOOL?

Dog intimidation at Alabama Protest

Dog intimidation at 02/12/05 protest at construction site of new private prison in Perry County, Alabama.

Yesterday I attended a sit-in in Perry County, Alabama. Uniontown, to be exact. We were protesting the building of a private prison.

Almost as soon as we arrived an SUV pulled up on the opposite side of the road and a clean-cut white man began to take pictures of us with a digital camera.

Then he rolled down his back window and a vicious, trained, man eating german shepherd dog stuck his head out and looked at us.

I told my fellow protesters that there was an undercover across the road with a dog and that photos of us were being taken.

About 10 minutes later as I was filming the sign being erected, and had my back to the road, I hear this god awful snarling, barking and snapping that couldn't have been more than a few inches from my head.

I turned rolling and saw this man is driving by just inches from us, he has the back window down and this dog is in full "IM GONNA EAT YOUR ASS MODE"!!
The driver had come over onto the shoulder of the road in order to get his dog closer to us.

This is the first time I have ever seen a dog used in a drive-by.
The Abu Ghraib pictures of dog intimidation came to mind.

It's still 1963 here.

Here are some still shots taken from what I videotaped.


Here's the raw footage.


Nall May Run as Libertarian Candidate for Governor

Lobby Session with Congressman Mike Rogers


Shits & Giggles

Loretta Nall Goes to Court
Hilarious recounting of my day in court.

FBI Pays Loretta Nall a Visit
I guess the F.B.I. didn't think what I had to say about court was so funny. That's cool. I don't think the way Jonathan Magbie died was funny. I guess we are even.

ABC News Video Coverage of FBI visit


Medical Marijuana Comes to Alabama

Marijuana Only Option claims One Alabama Woman

Auburn Plainsman Coverage

Crimson White Coverage

FOX 6 News Coverage

Guest speaker at Western Carolina University

My Western Carolina Host's

HWY 420 Cannabis Conference in Niagara Falls, Canada.

Loretta & David Malmo-Levine

Loretta Holding Friends New Baby

Med MJ Hearing

Med MJ Bill Passed in Judiciary Committee


MPP Medical Marijuana Conference w/Montel Williams

Remember all that trouble I had coming back from Canada last month?
Check this out!

An Encounter With Alabama Pardons and Paroles


Flew to NYC to network with DPA

Guest speaker at Jacksonville Hempfest

Supremes Say NO to Medical Marijuana

Alabama says,


Marc Emery Arrested by DEA

more here

and here

and here

Search warrant

DEA Press Conference on Emery Arrest


Tandy Admits Emery Takedown Political

US Marijuana Party Calls for Tandy's resignation

Were they after me too?

Original DEA Press Release

DC Prison Reform March Video
DC Prison Reform March Pictures

Guest speaker at Birmingham Unitarian Universalist Church on medical marijuana

Seattle Hempfest Video Coverage


Missoula Hempfest

I make "BUSTED"

FreeTalkLive Radio

Release of my election platform

The Great Prison Panty Rebellion of Alabama
This is what happens to me when I try to visit my brother in prison.

Loretta Nall Announces Run for Governor of Alabama


Back to court
Good Local Court Coverage

Straw poll

Kevin Elkins Show

Auburn Plainsman



Loretta Responds

AP Article

WSFA Coverage

Local Blog Coverage

Tuscaloosa News

Crimson White

Participated in Birmingham Anti-war rally


DPA Conference in Long Beach

Decatur Daily

Speaking at Auburn University

Riley to focus on prisons

Drug Policy and Prison reform become major Issues in Alabama Election

Jonathan Magbie Abuse exposed


Roy Moore at VFW
I'll be speaking there in March of 2006.

Moores wife seeks donations.

OK Y'all DIG DEEP and help me at least beat this guy.

MapInc archive of my LTE's & articles.
33 in 2005.

Looking ahead to 2006

Many exciting opportunities and challenges lie ahead for me in 2006. The legislature comes back into session on Jan. 10 and Governor Riley is trying to dedicate the first two weeks to prison and sentencing reform. There are 11 recommendations on the table from the most recent task force on prison overcrowding. No one seems to know exactly what they are right now. I'll be in session every day speaking for our side and pushing for real reform.

Also, our medical marijuana bill will be put back through committee to address the distribution aspect which is currently very flawed. As Executive Director of Alabamians for Compassionate Care I will be very busy making sure that patients have easy and safe access to medical marijuana in this state. It is bound to be a bloody battle.

At some point in January I expect I will have to appear in court again on the same charges that started all of this. Hopefully 2006 will bring closure to a case that never should have been.

Not that I am really complaining about how all of this got started. Look where it has gotten me. One of these days I may send a fruit basket and a Thank You card to the police in Tallapoosa County, Alabama.

But, it has dragged on long enough.

And, last but not least, is my campaign for Governor of Alabama. When my work in the legislative session has ended I will launch my walk across the state to meet the voters and gather the bulk of the signatures I need for ballot access.

I believe I can win this election even though I am well aware that the odds are not stacked in my favor. But I feel the rumbling undercurrent of dis-satisfaction among my fellow Alabamains and I hear what they say on the radio and in the newspapers. They are sick and tired of being unrepresented no matter who they vote for.

42% of Alabamians who are eligible to vote do not do so in any given election. On top of that about 10,000 Alabamians currently serving time in prison for felony marijuana possession and/or DUI can now vote while in prison and all of those who went before them on the same charges are also eligible.
I'd estimate that number to be in the 100,000 range if we look at just how many people have been to prison in Alabama on felony marijuana possession charges and or felony DUI's.

42% of eligible voters who don't usually vote PLUS a large number of formerly disenfranchised voters PLUS a candidate who speaks to their values (ME!) EQUALS complete HAVOC for the Republicans and Democrats and a possible victory for our side.
That is a lot of potential votes and in a three way election....well let's just say things are bound to get real interesting.
This is going to be the most entertaining election in Alabama in a very long time.

A HUGE Thanks is in order to everyone who has helped me achieve all that I have achieved in 2005 and who I sincerely hope will continue to believe in my efforts in 2006 and the years to come. Many of you came to my aid after Marc Emery was arrested. Many of you are supporters of my campaign and other work. All of you I consider my people. I hope that I can continue to make you proud.

We have entered a new era in drug policy reform. Politics is central and critical to acheiving our goals. More of us must enter the political arena. After all, who can represent us and our interests better than we ourselves can?

Please help restore America Starting with Alabama

Onward to 2006 and Happy New Year

In Liberty,
Loretta Nall
Vote Nall Y'all...It's Just Common Sense

No Reason To Suffer

The following letter appeared in the Birmingham News today. My response follows.

Where does the government get the idea it has the right to know what prescriptions my doctor prescribes for me? As a sufferer of chronic pain, I have taken many of the drugs listed in a recent article in The News. There are more I haven't taken because of government interference with a doctor's ability to "doctor" his patients.

The government has scared most physicians away from treating pain. There is no reason for any person in America to suffer pain. The medications are there to alleviate pain. But doctors fear the government questioning their writing of prescriptions. The government may not question many at all, but what doctor wants to take time out of his day to answer questions?

The death of one diminishes us all. But there will always be death among us. That will include young people who do a stupid thing like shooting up OxyContin. We can't eliminate the curiosity factor from life. To infringe on the rights and privacy of citizens of this state and country in a futile attempt to do so is exactly the reason our Founding Fathers gave us our Constitution as written. I, for one, feel we have given up far too many rights in our government's "war on drugs."

Michael D. Williams

Dear Editor,

Recently letter-writer Michael D. Williams asked, " Where does the government get the idea it has the right to know what prescriptions my doctor prescribes for me?" ("No reason to suffer" 12/31/05)

The government got that idea from the "war on some drugs", which has raged UNCHECKED on the American people for decades.

Because of the drug war our constitutional rights and civil liberties are gone.

Parental rights are gone.

Our children are indoctrinated in the public schools to pee in a cup on demand for "the authorities", have their private parts sniffed by vicious dogs and to snitch on their parents and classmates.

The Fourth Amendment is gone.

The Supreme Court has ruled that we are all subject to humiliating warrantless searches of our most private parts by police dogs anytime, anywhere.

It appears the drug war chickens have come home to roost, as some of us always knew they would, and now every American citizen, as opposed to only those who might be using illicit drugs, is a target in the drug war.

The government has NO BUSINESS in our bladders or those of our children. Considering their dismal failure at "correcting drug users" (see prison crisis) I believe they are about the last ones I'd want involved if I thought my child was using drugs.

They have NO AUTHORITY to sic their dogs on us...last time I checked this was not Nazi Germany.

They have NO BUSINESS deciding how much medication a doctor should prescribe for patients...they don't have medical degrees.

If elected Governor of Alabama I vow to kick the D.E.A. out of this state and to restore and protect all constitutional rights and civil liberties which are the birthright of every Alabama citizen.
Respectfully Submitted,

Loretta Nall
Alabama Gubernatorial candidate
Vote Nall Y'all...It's Just Common Sense

Friday, December 30, 2005

Letter from an Alabama Prisoner

Every so often I get a letter from one of our brothers or sisters currently residing in a dangerously and ILLEGALLY overcrowded Alabama prison on drug charges. They often tell me the story of their demise and beg me to help them.

In January of 2005, while I was attending a conference in Washington D.C., I received a call from a gentleman here in Alabama asking if it would be ok for a female prisoner to write me about her case.
He said she knew of my drug policy work from listening to me and Roberta Franklin on 'The Morning Show',which is popular at all of the prisons within our broadcast area.

I told him of course it would be alright for her to contact me about her case and to please tell her to ask her fellow prisoners with drug cases to do the same.
I looked for a letter in the mail but it never came. As the year progressed and I got busy with other projects this case soon slipped my mind.

Then yesterday, I received the letter from a prisoner Julia Tutwiler Women's Prison. It is the only female prison in Alabama.

What I read made me sick. (click photo)

99 years for maybe thinking about committing a drug crime?
99 years?

Our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves.
Who would have ever thought America would do this to her own people?

Our ancestors have fought and died all across the globe in order to secure our precious freedoms. They did not die so that we would have to piss in cups on demand, allow dogs to sniff our most private parts on demand, sans-resistance, or so that we could imprison our own citizens for a goddamn "thought-crime" which today translates to any opinion contrary to that of the oppressive federal government.

If you are a supporter of this drug war which destroys so many lives, then you are a traitor to our country. A shame and a disgrace to the memory of those who have fought and died so that this great country might be free. You are the ones who really, truly belong behind bars.

If you do not support the drug war, but do nothing to stop it and it's devastating erosion of our constitutional rights and civil liberties, then you are no better than those who openly support and carry out this ILLEGAL WAR on the American people.

If you are doing your part to end this madness then I salute you, My Fellow American. You are a True Patriot to the United States of America.

Three Books To Wake You Up

Excerpt from Lew Rockwell

Just as 9/11 was a crystallizing event for Bush’s seizure of executive power to suspend civil liberties, detain people indefinitely without evidence, and spy on American citizens without warrants, the Reichstag fire of 27 February 1933 was followed the next morning by Hitler’s Decree for the Protection of People and State. This decree became the constitutional charter of the Third Reich. It "suspended guarantees of personal liberty and served as the basis for the police arrest and incarceration of political opponents without trial."

In a frightening parallel to our own situation, Wachsmann writes: "Various police activities during the ‘seizure of power’ clearly damaged legal authority. Indefinite detention without due judicial process was incompatible with the rule of law. But, on the whole, there were no loud complaints or protests from legal officials." I read this passage the same day I heard on National Public Radio University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner defend President Bush’s use of extra-legal, extra-Constitutional authority to protect the people and state from terrorists.

The precedent for Alberto Gonzales’ declaration that Bush is the law was Reich Minister of Justice Franz Gurtner, who agreed in a cabinet meeting on 3 July 1934 that "Hitler was the law." Bush’s claim that extraordinary powers are necessary for him to be able to defend our country under extraordinary circumstances is identical to Hitler’s claim that he was entitled to ignore the rule of law because he was "responsible for the fate of the German nation and thereby the supreme judge of the German people." What is the difference between Hitler’s claim and the US Department of Defense’s claim that President Bush has the right to violate domestic and international laws?

Wachsmann’s book shows that it is extremely easy for extraordinary measures in the name of national emergency to become permanent. Germans did not understand that the Decree for the Protection of People and State was the beginning of legal terror.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

GAO: Data too fuzzy to measure drug war

Although the drug czar says usage and supply are shriveling, a report says his stats are sketchy.

By DAVID ADAMS, Times Latin America Correspondent
Published December 24, 2005

MIAMI - It has never been easy measuring success in the drug war. It's an illegal trade after all, and no one on Wall Street is tracking its performance.

But now comes a disturbing new congressional report that raises doubts about recent upbeat claims by the White House.

The 52-page report released this month by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, questions the reliability of key U.S. government drug trafficking data. Official stats are so sketchy and unreliable as to be almost worthless, the report says.

"Data to assess whether operations ... contribute to ... disrupting the illicit drug market or the overall goal of reducing the rate of drug usage in the United States are problematic," the report found.

Little effort is being made to evaluate performance of the 50 to 60 agencies involved, in violation of a federal law that requires them to be accountable, the GAO added.

The report also warns that the diversion of military assets to Iraq and Afghanistan is likely to hamper the ability of U.S. law enforcement to intercept drug shipments in the future.

"The drug war has fallen flat on its face," said John Carnevale, a former Budget and Planning director in the White House drug czar's office. "They are spending huge amounts of money, and they can't tell you if their program is working."

The report has several potential implications for continued political support for current drug war spending, which amounts to $40-billion to $50-billion annually. It also comes at a time of rising political uncertainty in South America after the election last week of a coca growers union leader, Evo Morales, as president of Bolivia. Another anti-U.S. peasant leader is a leading contender in elections in Peru in April.

U.S. officials have touted a five-year, $6-billion counterdrug effort in the Andean drug-producing countries - principally Colombia, Peru and Bolivia - as responsible for recent official estimates of a large drop in cocaine and heroin production.

"There were those who did not believe it was possible to change the availability of cocaine in the United States," U.S. "drug czar" John Walters said last month during a visit to Colombia. "There's no question that's happened."

Walters cited a 19 percent increase in cocaine street prices in the United States between February and September 2005, accompanied by a 15 percent drop in purity. U.S. officials argue that price and purity levels are key indicators of disruption in the supply of drugs, either due to eradication of South American coca crops used to make cocaine, or interdiction of drugs smuggled into the country.

Some drug trade experts question such assumptions, saying fluctuations in price and purity could be due to increased demand by U.S. drug consumers.

Critics of U.S. drug policy point to the GAO report as evidence that positive pronouncements by the drug czar's office cannot be trusted. "What this report shows is that we need to take the government's claims with a grain of salt, and a whole shaker in places," said John Walsh, a drug expert at the Washington Office on Latin America, or WOLA, a private policy watchdog.

Walsh and others accuse the drug czar's office of putting an overly favorable spin on the fuzzy data, as well as ignoring less positive news.

The drug czar's office sat on a November 2004 report it commissioned by the Rand Corp., a California-based nonprofit research organization, which found that drugs were more available than ever and that prices had in fact fallen.

The drug czar's office turned around and commissioned a second report from the Virginia-based Institute for Defense Analyses, which found prices were rising.

"They (the drug czar's office) lack credibility unless they can explain such a wide difference," said Peter Reuter, a University of Maryland drug expert who directed Rand's research.

He noted that the Rand report was well documented and peer reviewed. Reuter said he was also "generally skeptical" of data in the IDA report. Accurate data takes months to compile, he said.

Other critics point to the IDA's lackluster record in drug research, noting that it was dropped by the drug czar's office in the 1990s after alleged flaws in its methodology.

Carnevale, who worked in the White House under three administrations and continues to support the war on drugs, accused Walters of trying to "simplify" data to meet preconceived beliefs. "He thinks the cocaine market is on the brink of collapse," he said. "We are spending all this money so the price (of cocaine) must go up."

Officials in the White House drug czar's office did not return phone calls this week. But they have disputed the GAO's findings in published comments.

"We have more data and more analysts working on this out of our office than anyone," David Murray, a special assistant to Walters, told the Washington Times. "We feel we have some of the best information in the world on the issue. We are trying to make sense of a business whose very core element is hiding from plain view."

That kind of defense is wearing thin, critics say.

Cocaine seizures have risen more than 60 percent since 2000, from 117 tons to 196 tons, the GAO found. But beyond that reliable data is scarce.

For example, the GAO found a White House calculation of the amount of cocaine entering the United States in 2004 - 325 metric tons to 675 metric tons - to be too broad to be "useful."

Other figures put the estimates far higher, noting that official data relies on incomplete satellite imagery of South America. Satellite surveillance cannot accurately detect newly planted coca crops and also has difficulty mapping small plots under two-thirds of an acre in size. Experts say coca farmers have increasingly switched to smaller plots to avoid detection, as well as sowing new varieties of shade-grown coca that are harder to see from the air.

"We basically have no idea how much (coca) is being grown," said Adam Isacson, a South America drug expert at the Washington-based Center for International Policy.

The White House also says drug use among youths is dropping. While this may be true, the GAO noted that the number of U.S. cocaine users remained constant at about 2-million. "Other sources estimate the number of chronic and occasional cocaine users may be as high as 6-million," the report stated. Critics say the White House has deliberately downplayed data on adult drug use.

The GAO report also criticized the office of the drug czar, officially known as the Office of National Drug Control Policy, for ignoring previous recommendations for improving drug data.

The GAO highlighted a 2001 report by the National Research Council, a private body of National Academy experts who advise the federal government, which was critical of drug data collection. While the drug czar's office spends $780-million each year to monitor illegal drug use and conduct research on drug policy, the GAO said less than 15 percent of this amount goes to research on law enforcement.

"Funding for research on enforcement policy is minimal, particularly when compared with the amount spent on carrying out enforcement policy," the NRC report stated. "The central problem, in a nutshell, is that the nation lacks the data needed to inform policy."

NRC repeatedly found that key data was "missing" or "inadequate."

Its conclusion has since become a motto for those seeking to reform drug policy. "It is unconscionable for this country to continue to carry out a public policy of this magnitude and cost without any way of knowing whether and to what extent it is having the desired effect," the NRC said.

It's still too early to tell what impact the GAO report will have in Congress. The drug war has long enjoyed strong bipartisan support, though criticism of the drug czar has been mounting.

But drug policy critics do not have high expectations. "Too few people have the stomach to look at the seamy underside of whether it's working," Walsh said.

Happy Holidays From the Nall for Governor Campaign

Warmest Wishes for all of our friends, family and supporters across the U.S. and around the world this holiday season. May 2006 bring us all closer to freedom.

Loretta Nall
Vote Nall Y'all...It's Just Common Sense

Sheriff sends coffee to protesting couple

The Montgomery Advertiser

Protesters walking in front of the Autauga County Courthouse got a coffee break Thursday from the man they have a beef with.

Sheriff Herbie Johnson sent coffee and cookies to Greg and Brenda Davis, who have been picketing since Monday afternoon.

"They have a right to protest. I don't agree with them but they have that right," Johnson said. "It's cold out there and I got worried about them. Christmas is coming up and I just thought I should send them something to eat and drink."

Two deputies delivered the goodies.

Greg Davis, 39, and Brenda Tucker Davis, 43, both of 1713 County Road 40, each face a marijuana possession charge, courthouse records show. They stood at the corner of Court and Fourth streets displaying three signs. Deputies arrested them Dec. 9 after finding marijuana and guns in their home.

They admit to pot being in the home, and they admit to being convicted felons. Felons can't possess firearms.

Whether this is a PR stunt for the Autagua County Sheriff's Department or not I must say hat's off to Sheriff Herbie Johnson for for his actions. It was a hella'va nice thing to do and that isn't the treatment we normally receive atthe hands of those paid to serve and protect us.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Senate Amends Ban On Student Aid For Marijuana Offenders

December 22, 2005 - Washington, DC, USA

Washington, DC: The US Senate voted 51 to 50 yesterday in favor of legislation that would lift the ban on federal aid to students who have a prior, non-violent drug conviction. The Congressional ban, known as the "drug offender exclusionary provision" of the Higher Education Act, has denied federal financial aid to some 175,000 students since its enactment in 1998.

Under the Senate provision, which was included in Senate Bill 1932 (the budget reconciliation bill), students with past drug convictions will now be eligible to apply for federal financial aid. However, students who are convicted of a nonviolent drug offense, including minor marijuana possession, while in college will continue to be stripped of their federal aid eligibility.

President Bush is anticipated to approve the amendment, which would take effect in 2006.

"This partial reform by Congress is long overdue and is a step in the right direction," said NORML board member Chris Mulligan, campaign director for the Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform (CHEAR). "Nonviolent, minor marijuana offenders should not be singled out and restricted from receiving college loans over a joint."

Studies have shown that those convicted of crimes are far less likely to be re-arrested after having received two years of postsecondary education, Mulligan noted. By contrast, students forced to leave school after their first year are unlikely to ever complete their education, he said.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Counties want ruling on inmate backlog

File motion asking for prison commissioner to be held in contempt
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
News staff writer
The Birmingham News

Alabama counties asked a judge Tuesday to hold Corrections Commissioner Donal Campbell in contempt of court because state prisoners are backing up in county jails in violation of a long-standing court order.

In response, Montgomery County Circuit Judge William Shashy has ordered Campbell to appear in court Dec. 28 to show why he should not be held in contempt.

In their motion, the counties cite the growing numbers of state prisoners housed in county jails across the state, as the Department of Corrections has failed to transfer sentenced inmates to prisons within the 30 days required by previous court orders. As of Dec. 13, there were 823 state prisoners in county jails longer than 30 days, up from 225 in January.

The contempt motion was filed in a long-standing Barbour County case, in which a group of Alabama counties sued the state over the Department of Corrections' failure to transfer sentenced prisoners to state lockups. Several times over the years, sheriffs and county commissions have complained they're being forced to pay for housing thousands of prison-ready inmates, and the courts have been asked to work out solutions between the state and the counties.

In September, representatives of the counties sent a letter to Gov. Bob Riley asking the governor to intervene and reduce the number of prisoners in local jails.

"Communication between the counties and the Governor's Office over reducing this number proved fruitless," attorneys for the counties wrote in Tuesday's motion.

New prisoners:

DOC officials say the problem is not that prisons are not accepting inmates, but that new inmates are pouring into the system from the courts faster than the crowded prisons can find room for them.

State prisons have found room for 1,035 new prisoners in the past month. Yet that has reduced the numbers of state prisoners in county jails longer than 30 days by only four, said DOC spokesman Brian Corbett.

The DOC for several years has asked the Legislature for money for prison construction and been turned down.

A special parole board appointed by Riley helped reduce the prison population from an all-time high of 28,440 in 2003 to 26,500 in late 2004. But paroles slowed, and the Legislature for two sessions has failed to pass sentencing reform proposals that would slow prison admissions.

As a result, the prison population has climbed to 27,500, Corbett said.

Most prisons are at double capacity, and the only space available is in work release or work centers, which are limited to low-security inmates, he said.


Felons' rights to vote at issue

Wednesday, December 21, 2005
News staff writer
The Birmingham News

Three Alabamians, one convicted of felony driving under the influence and two of drug possession, claim in a federal lawsuit they are among hundreds being denied the right to vote.

The suit, filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, contends that Alabama Secretary of State Nancy Worley violates Alabama's constitution by requiring all felons to apply to the Board of Pardons and Paroles to have voting rights restored.

The suit says the state constitution is clear that people convicted of certain felonies including DUI and drug possession - unlike murder, rape or robbery - do not lose their voting rights and do not need to apply for an eligibility certificate from the board.

The suit was made available to the public Tuesday. Ekeyesto Doss of Dothan and Birmingham residents Richard Gooden and Andrew Jones are plaintiffs.

Worley said Tuesday that the state has a long practice of removing from voting rolls anyone convicted of a felony, whether drug possession or murder.

The Legal Defense Fund said in a statement that legal action began after Jefferson County's registrar refused in late September to register Gooden, 64, because of his 2002 felony DUI conviction. It became a felony with that third Alabama DUI conviction.

Gooden was allowed to register after a separate lawsuit was filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court in September against Worley and Nell Hunter, the county registrar. That case is pending before Circuit Judge Robert Vance.

Jeff Sewell, a Jefferson County attorney, declined comment. Hunter also is named as a defendant in the federal suit.

Jones, a 47-year-old Birmingham man convicted of felony drug possession in the early 1990s, was informed in a June 30, 2005, letter from the Jefferson County registrar that his voter registration form could not be processed because his felony offense barred him from voting, the suit said. Doss, who has a felony marijuana possession conviction, was informed by the Houston County registrar that he must apply to the board of pardons for an eligibility certificate.

The Legal Defense Fund wrote Worley urging her to follow state law, and asked Attorney General Troy King to identify felonies that involve moral turpitude. The suit cites several sources to define moral turpitude; one is having "an inherent quality of baseness, vileness, depravity."

Worley said the attorney general's office issued an opinion last spring saying there is a distinction between felonies and she has requested a clarification from King.

`A definitive list':

"We don't need anyone making judgment calls," Worley said. "We need a definitive list."
Suzanne Webb, an AG spokeswoman, said the office is conducting research because there are more than 250 felonies and each must be thoroughly examined.

Worley said another issue is whether any change would require elections in prisons for felons who would not have lost their voting rights. "As the state's chief election official, I'm personally opposed to people in prison voting," she said.

Worley said her office will follow instructions once she gets a definitive AG opinion or when the court makes a ruling.

Edward Still, a Birmingham lawyer handling the suit locally, contends that what the secretary of state has been doing violates the Voting Rights Act because it involves a change in election procedure without first getting approval from the Justice Department.

"The state has changed its voting procedures because it is saying to people like Jones and Doss that they can't register to vote unless they receive a certification of eligibility from the pardon and parole board," he said.

Still said hundreds of people across the state have applied to the pardon and parole board, but are told they don't have to get restoration.

"In the spirit of the legacy of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Alabama should be leading the way in expanding, rather than contracting democracy for its citizens," said Ryan Paul Haygood, a Legal Defense Fund lawyer.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Moore's wife seeks donations in letter

The Birmingham News

The wife of Republican candidate for governor Roy Moore is asking supporters for a Christmas campaign gift to help her husband become a "national spokesperson for Christian conservatism."

In the letter, Kayla Moore suggested the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State "will stop at nothing to keep Roy Moore out of the Governor's office in Alabama!"

"In short, they want to continue to promote homosexual marriages, maintain abortion on demand and remove Christ from Christmas," Kayla Moore wrote. "They FEAR nothing more than the emergence of a powerful national spokesperson for Christian conservatism.

"And make no mistake: If elected governor of Alabama, my husband will be that spokesman!" she wrote. "But again, he can't get there alone which is why I am hoping you and thousands of other Christian conservatives will join with my husband in his campaign for governor."

Here is an hour-long video of Roy Moore at the VFW in Wetumpka, AL on dec. 13, 2005.

He spent half the night quibbling about replacing Christmas with Holiday....As if there aren't more important things to worry about in Alabama.

While he and I share some of the same ideas for small government and privatizing education, our similarities end there.

Moore states in this video that he is not fair and cannot be fair when it comes to other peoples faiths and beliefs.

Please Support Loretta Nall for Governor

Couple protests outside courthouse

The Montgomery Advertiser

PRATTVILLE -- An Autauga County couple facing drug charges protested in front of the courthouse Monday afternoon, saying the Sheriff's Department is corrupt.

Greg Davis, 39, and Brenda Tucker Davis, 43, both of 1713 County Road 40, each face a possession of marijuana charge, according to courthouse records. They stood at the corner of Court and Fourth streets displaying three posterboard signs.

Davis admits deputies found a small amount of marijuana in the home but said the sheriff's department kicked in three doors when they served the search warrant Dec. 9. He called the action "a violation of our rights."

Autauga County Sheriff Herbie Johnson says the protest won't change the way he handles future cases.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Teens Say Marijuana "Easy to Get" Despite Record Arrests

For immediate release
December 19, 2005
Teens Say Marijuana "Easy to Get" Despite Record Arrests

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- For the 31st year in a row, approximately 85% of high school seniors have told government survey-takers that marijuana is "easy to get," according to the 2005 Monitoring the Future survey released today. The report comes less than two months after the FBI reported an all-time record number of marijuana arrests in 2004.

In today's survey, 85.6% of high school seniors described marijuana as being either "fairly easy" or "very easy" to get. This "easy to get" figure has remained virtually unchanged since the survey began in 1975, having never dropped lower than 82.7% (in 1992) or higher than 90.4% (in 1998).

Over the same 31-year period, the number of U.S. marijuana arrests has varied dramatically, dropping to a low of 282,800 in 1991 and then beginning an almost unbroken rise to a record high of 771,605 last year.

"The near-tripling of marijuana arrests since 1991 has produced exactly zero reduction in the availability of marijuana to kids," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "Prohibition of marijuana for adults not only doesn't keep marijuana away from children, it actually guarantees that marijuana stays accessible to young people by giving unregulated criminals an exclusive franchise on marijuana sales."

"In contrast, look at the success we've had with tobacco, another product we don't want children to use," Kampia continued. "Today's survey shows teen smoking at its lowest level ever. Reports from around the country show that tobacco products are becoming less accessible to kids, and merchants can be fined or even lose their license if they sell tobacco to minors. Walk into nearly any store that sells cigarettes, and you'll see a large sign saying, 'Under 18, No Tobacco: We Card.' Have you ever seen a drug dealer with a sign like that? To keep marijuana away from kids, the first step is to take control -- and prohibition guarantees that we have no control."

Another Case of Prison Mistreating Relatives of Prisoners

The following is from my friend Sherry Swiney, whose husband Patrick, is in one of the worst, most dangerous prisons in Alabama. Donaldson.

Patrick's mother went through a very similar experience that I went through when I was refused visitation with my brother for not wearing panties.

These bastard guards work for us and get paid with our tax dollars. We must end the abuse of family members who take the time to visit their loved ones in prison. They are not inmates and should never be treated as such.

This is a long read but worth it.

To All Recipients:

The following is my letter to the ADA (Americans with Disability). Hard copies will go in the USPS regular mail. The actions on Saturday by the guards at Donaldson Prison, namely Lt. Mc Swain, toward Patrick's 84 year-old mother who is disabled is an outrage. They caused this disabled woman great physical pain on Saturday and then cancelled the visit with Patrick.

We do not know how Patrick is because the phones have been out at the prison since last Thursday, and because he cannot call, Patrick doesn't know how his mother is after Saturday's incident.

They knew or should have known better! ....see the details attached.

This looks like retaliation to everyone in the Swiney family because of the issue with PHS concerning Patrick Swiney's health problems.

Please read the attached, pass this on to everyone you know and take action now!

The addresses of the warden and commissioner are at the bottom of this email for those who write by snail mail.

Thank you,
Sherry Swiney

copies to:
Attorney Joey Morgan
Attorney Wilson Myers
DOC Brian Corbett
Dr. Glenn Larkin
Dr. Boris deKorczak
Attorney Bryan Stevenson


Sunday, December 18, 2005

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Civil Rights Division

Disability Rights Section - NYAV

Washington, D.C. 20530

Section Fax Number (202) 307-1198

Attn: Chief John L. Wodatch, (202) 307-0663

Subject: The Lady in Red

Dear Chief Wodatch:

I am herewith reporting a violation of ADA protections. Violations were against Mrs. Odelle Swiney, an 84-year old woman who is disabled. She needs a walker to walk; she is on a prescribed blood thinner due to one heart attack; last year she underwent several surgeries: knee surgery, back surgery, and double mastectomy. She suffers with arthritis. I am her daughter-in-law (61 years old). Her daughter (66 years old) and I are the only ones who can take her to visit her son (61 years old) who is in prison (incidentally for a crime that was scientifically proven in 2003 that he did not commit).

Yesterday, I drove Mrs. Odelle Swiney to visit her son (my husband). For 16 years she visited her son routinely until she could no longer drive and had to depend on others to take her to see him. For 16 years she has never been kicked out for any kind of prison rule violation. Yesterday she was kicked out for allegedly wearing a “jogging suit.” Jogging suits are on the list of items that visitors are forbidden to wear.

Upon being accused of said dress code violation, Mrs. Swiney was victimized by employees of the institution, wherein she was caused undue pain and suffering. Here are the details of how she was treated.


1. Visiting hours on Saturday, December 17, 2005 were from Noon to 3 pm. Visitors are asked to arrive around 11:00 am so they may be checked in. We arrived at the front gate at 11:15 am and waited in line with the rest of the vehicles. At 12 noon, the gate guard began checking people in. We were vehicle #26. It was 12:30 pm by the time we drove through the front gate. I parked my vehicle in the handicapped space, got Mrs. Swiney’s walker out of the vehicle, and helped her inside where she is allowed to sit while I stand in line outside. It was a little after 1 pm by the time I was allowed into the front office to sign us in. During that time, Mrs. Swiney’s attire was in full view and none of the guards made any comments to the affect that she was in any sort of dress code violation.

2. After I signed us in, we walked through the metal detector and entered the private room where a female guard “shook us down”, meaning searched. The search includes (1) removing shoes and socks (I removed and replaced Mrs. Swiney’s shoes and socks because she cannot bend over to reach her feet without being in great pain); (2) shaking one’s bra (Mrs. Swiney, having had a double mastectomy, doesn’t wear a bra and this had previously been accepted by the guards after she had already explained the situation and even had to show them her bare chest to prove she was not lying); (3) turning pockets inside out; and (4) showing evidence that one is wearing under panties. During the search, the guard did not make any comments to the affect that Mrs. Swiney was in violation of any dress code.

3. After the search, Mrs. Swiney and I were given the go ahead to enter the visiting yard which consists of going through two locked gates surrounded by barbed wire and then slowly walking uphill approximately 50 yards to the visiting yard. Mrs. Swiney can hardly walk even with her walker and she has to rest after about 50 feet because her legs get painful easily. We finally made it to the visiting yard after several minutes.

4. I found a table, and got Mrs. Swiney seated and situated comfortably. She was exhausted from the walk, waiting time and searches. I left to get her a cup of coffee from the vending machine. While I was doing that, a guard approached Mrs. Swiney and was telling her she had to return to the office, per Lt. Mc Swain’s orders. Just then Mrs. Swiney’s son, Patrick Swiney, entered the visiting yard and at the same time, I arrived with the coffee.

5. Mrs. Swiney told the guard she could not make that walk because she was already in pain from just walking to the visiting yard. I told the guard the same thing, and I asked what the problem was. The guard told us that Mrs. Swiney had to return to the office so her clothes could be inspected. I asked what this was all about and the guard said, these were the orders and Mrs. Swiney had to go to the front office. I suggested that the officer wanting to inspect Mrs. Swiney’s clothes come up to the visiting yard to do that because Mrs. Swiney could not make that walk! Mrs. Swiney also said to the guard, “You don’t know what kind of pain you will be putting me through if I am forced to walk back to the front office right now. I just got here and I am already hurting! I need some time to rest before I can walk back down there.” The guard told Mrs. Swiney, “Sorry, you have to go down there right now!”

6. I got up to help Mrs. Swiney with her walker and walked with her to the visiting room door (a securely locked door at all times). The guard told me, “If you leave with her, he (pointing to her son) has to go back.” I told the guard, “Well someone has to walk with her to make sure she’s all right,” and the guard said she would walk with Mrs. Swiney.

7. I went back to visit with Mrs. Swiney’s son, my husband, who is very ill with heart problems having had 3 heart attacks, is on a beta blocker, and also suffers with inflammatory spinal arthritis and emphysema. He is quite disabled for those reasons. But he can walk.

8. When the guard returned, I walked over to her and asked what was going on. She told me that Mrs. Swiney was wearing a jogging suit. I said, “That’s ridiculous! She’s not wearing a jogging suit.” The guard said, “Yes she is.” I said, “Okay, tell me the definition of a jogging suit then.” She said, “Pants that are fleece-lined.” I said, “Her pants are not lined with fleece.” Then I asked, “What is the security risk of having pants that are fleece-lined?” She shrugged her shoulders and said sarcastically, “I don’t know! It’s just the rules.”

9. The female guard then told me that if Mrs. Swiney was wearing a jogging suit, she would have to wait down there until visiting was over. I returned to the table to speak with her son, my husband, knowing full well I could not leave her down there for 2 hours. We both knew we’d have to cut the visit short.

10. Approximately 5 minutes later, a male guard came to our table and told me, “You have to go get her (meaning Mrs. Swiney) and you both have to leave now. She is down there cursing and causing a ruckus.” Instantly, her son stood up and said to the male guard quite matter-of-factly, “She is not cursing.” Then I said, “No, she is not cursing, so we know that’s a lie.” In the 10 years I have known Mrs. Swiney I have NEVER heard a cuss word from her – never. The male guard was clearly lying.

11. The male guard ignored what we said and told me, “Sorry, you have to leave, and YOU! (pointing to Mr. Swiney as though he had committed a crime) have to go now!” We didn’t even get to say good-bye. I left the visiting yard, fearing there would be retaliation against Mr. Swiney for speaking up for his mother, to collect Mrs. Swiney in the front office.

12. As another female guard was returning our ID’s and my vehicle keys, I nodded over to the woman standing near the metal detector and asked, “Is that Lt. Mc Swain?” She confirmed that it was. Lt. Mc Swain is a nice looking black woman, appearing to be in her early 40’s. I asked the female guard if I might speak with Lt. Mc Swain. She said, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” I took that to mean it would be a useless effort to straighten this out.

13. I drove Mrs. Swiney home – we stopped to get something to eat, but she was too upset to eat. I stayed with her Saturday night at her house to make sure she was going to be okay. She was in a lot of pain and she was extremely stressed out which is not good for her with her heart condition. We were both worried about her son, my husband, because he is so ill. The telephones have been out at Donaldson since Thursday night so he cannot call to find out if his mother is okay and we cannot find out if he is okay.

14. The employees at Donaldson put Mrs. Swiney in harm’s way. She suffered needless pain and undue stress. The employees at Donaldson also put her son, my husband, under undue stress knowing he is so ill. I will not mention the undue stress that I have endured through all of this because I think it goes without saying that I am worried about both my 61-year old husband and his 84-year old mother who are BOTH DISABLED!

Given the chance, most people will do the right thing. The employees involved with this incident at Donaldson yesterday do not fall into the category of “most people”. These marching morons with badges cannot tell the difference between 50% cotton/50% polyester pants and pants lined with fleece. They make up their own rules as they go, changing them without any warning and the public has to pay the price.

The “fleece” restriction is not on the dress code rules at all. Restrictions for institutions are designed to prevent security risks. Color of clothing is designed to help the guards distinguish inmates from visitors. Inmates wear all white. Visitors may not wear white or anything resembling white. Yesterday, Fleece-lined clothes were against the rules but fur-lined clothes were okay. In summer, shorts are not allowed. Skirts must be below the knee, but peddle-pushers that are below the knee are not allowed. There is no rhyme or reason to the rules, but as long as they are on the rule list, visitors are expected to follow them. There is nothing listed for fleece-lined clothes. Denim jeans are fleece-lined; jackets are fleece-lined; but have not been not “illegal”, not even yesterday. Some visitors are allowed to wear these fleece-lined items but Mrs. Swiney is not allowed to wear non-fleece lined pants. This is inconsistent treatment of visitors.

There is no rational motive for Lt. Mc Swain’s actions and the actions of the surrounding guards. These actions were mean-spirited and harmful to a disabled woman whose only motive for being there was to visit her son. Given her age and her health problems, and given her son’s health problems, this might even be the last time she gets to see her son.

The guards at Donaldson have not been trained to deal with handicapped people and therefore they are doing more harm than good. Their actions could be life-threatening and they don’t even know it, or if they do, they just do not care.

I am asking for an investigation under the ADA into this matter and I am also seeking corrective action to be taken with the employees involved who were “just following orders” from Lt. Mc Swain.

Further, I am demanding strong disciplinary action against Lt. Mc Swain who caused all of this pain and suffering.

Mrs. Swiney who is on blood thinner medication gets cold easily. She has to wear warm clothes even in summer. Yesterday the temperature was 46 degrees F. She color-coordinated her pants and shirt to display Christmas cheer for her son and whoever else she might encounter in the visiting yard. So she wore a pair of warm red pants and a red Christmas shirt that isn’t even the same shade of red. The pants do not qualify as “jogging” pants because they do not have any elastic at the bottom: they are straight-legged. They are not lined with fleece: they are not lined at all! They are made of sweatshirt material. Visitors are not allowed to wear jackets that go below the waist, no matter how cold it is outside. Because of this restriction, Mrs. Swiney wore a red sweatshirt jacket (so she had 3 different shades of red on yesterday). I wore a sweatshirt jacket too (green with green pants but I had a black t-neck sweater on to break up the color). We wear sweatshirt jackets because it’s difficult to find SHORT-enough winter jackets. Mrs. Swiney has worn that jacket to several visits. She has worn those pants to several visits. They are not ONE outfit – they don’t even match. The problem is that Mrs. Swiney just never wore the two red items together before but she wore them yesterday because it was the closest visit to Christmas and she wanted to express her Christmas cheer. Lt. Mc Swain made sure no cheer was going to happen for the Swiney’s this year but rather pain and suffering instead – and for no other reason than to be mean.

As they say at this time of year, “Peace on Earth and good will toward men.” It’s a disgrace that Lt. Mc Swain and her followers live by an opposite rule toward men. It is also cruel and unusual punishment for both Mrs. Swiney and her son, Patrick Swiney, who are both Americans with disabilities and are entitled to be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Please let me know if you require additional information regarding this matter.


Sherry Swiney

P.O. Box 1891

Alabaster, AL 35007

Tel: 205-621-7699


Photo of fleece with definition

Photos of Mrs. Swiney’s attire

Copy of Donaldson dress code requirements

Warden Kenneth Jones

Donaldson Prison

100 Warrior Lane, Bessemer, AL 35023

Commissioner Donal Campbell

101 So. Union Street

Montgomery, AL 36130-1501

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Lawmakers must have courage to fix injustice of state's habitual offender law

The Birmingham News
Sunday, December 18, 2005

My son has battled drug addiction for years. Twenty years ago, at the age of 18, he was involved in his first infraction with the law. He was with two others when one of them decided to rob a store. He was the only one prosecuted, was sentenced as an adult, paid restitution and served time. Strike one.

I prosecuted my own child in 1993 when he took my camcorder. Strike two.

In 1996, he went crazy on drugs and stole again - from unoccupied dwellings. Strike three. Life without parole.

Life without parole for a drug addict who stole from unoccupied dwellings, with no one killed or seriously injured. A death sentence is the only drug rehabilitation in our maximum-security prison system that my son was offered at that time.

After being in prison more than nine years, taking every self-improvement course or class that was available to him and being drug-free for all of this time with no disciplinaries or write-ups while incarcerated, he is still there. I have fought our injustice system with God as my guide, and the Nonviolent Habitual Offender Law was changed. Many inmates have received reduced sentences, but only two or three have been released. If these and others were sentenced by today's standards, they would not be there.

While I was working to make changes on the outside, my son was attacking his prior convictions on the inside, trying to help himself from his death sentence. He got one offense, from 1993, removed from his record through the Alabama Supreme Court, only to be recharged and sentenced again for the same crime. He has come up for parole and was put off five years, with no explanation as to what the parole board wanted. No reason was given. He has a perfect prison record.

Can't our lawmakers admit they made a mistake and correct it? This is what is wrong with our injustice system, but no one wants to take a stand and correct it.

Diana Summerford


Saturday, December 17, 2005

Birmingham police officer accused of videotaping girl in shower

Dec 16, 10:47 PM EST
The Montgomery Advertiser

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- A Birmingham police officer who is suspected of videotaping a young girl while she showered has been placed on administrative leave with pay.

Anthony L. Stallings, 45, was arrested and charged with producing obscene material of a person under the age of 17, said Sgt. Randy Christian, spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

He said someone delivered the tape to the sheriff's office a couple of weeks ago and an investigation began. Stallings was arrested Wednesday and released on a $30,000 bond.

Christian, who spoke with the Birmingham News for a story in Saturday editions, said the girl in the video was 12 or 13-years-old. He said the video was made about two years ago.

"She's 15-years-old now and moved out of state," he said. "The victim was a family member."

Christian said the video showed the girl in the shower at a residence, but would not say if the tape was made at Stallings' residence in the Bessemer area.

Stallings worked out of Birmingham's south precinct. It is standard procedure to place officers on paid administrative leave when they have been accused of a crime.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Roy Moore on Religious Tolerance "We can't be fair"

On Tuesday Dec. 13, 2005 I attended the candidates forum sponsored by the VFW in Wetumpka, Alabama to hear former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, (commonly referred to as "The Ten Commandments Judge) speak about his platform and answer question from the audience and the media.

I was in attendance with my video camera.

Before his speech one of the reporters asked Roy Moore a question about fairness to people of different faiths and beliefs.

And here is his response.

While I should not be shocked, outraged or sickened by his response, I am nonetheless.

Please MAKE A CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION and help me beat Roy Moore. We have to show Alabama and the world that there are more tolerant, peaceful, politically active, pot-smokers than there are hate-mongering, war loving, extreme right-wing, anti-constutional, anti-freedom extremists in the great state of Alabama and this great country.

They have been loud and had their say UNCHALLENGED for many years.


I will have the entire video online as soon as possible.

Monday, December 12, 2005


DECEMBER 13, 2005


TIME: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM








Drug, alcohol convicts can vote from prison
The Associated Press
By Samira Jafari
May 19, 2005

Federal Marijuana Monopoly Challenged

Researchers Want to Grow More Plants and Find More Medicinal Uses

By Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 12, 2005; Page A02

For decades, the federal government has been the nation's only legal producer of marijuana for medical research. Working with growers at the University of Mississippi, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has controlled both the quality and distribution of the drug for the past 36 years.

But for the first time the government's monopoly on research marijuana is under serious legal challenge. The effort is being spearheaded by a group that wants to produce medicines from currently illegal psychedelic drugs and by a professor at the University of Massachusetts who has agreed to grow marijuana for the group if the government lets him.

Lyle Craker from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst would like to grow marijuana for pharmaceutical research. He is challenging the government's control of the substance. (By Bob Stern -- (Springfield, Mass.) Republican)

In a hearing due to start today before an administrative law judge at the Drug Enforcement Administration, professor Lyle Craker and his supporters will argue for a DEA license to grow the research drugs. It is the climax of a decades-long effort to expand research into marijuana and controlled drugs and of Craker's almost five-year effort to become a competing marijuana grower.

"Our work is focused on finding medicinal uses of plants, and marijuana is one with clear potential," said Craker, director of the medicinal plant program of the university's Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences in Amherst, Mass., and editor of the Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants. "There's only one government-approved source of marijuana for scientific research in this country, and that just isn't adequate."

The DEA, which has to license anyone who wants to grow marijuana, disagrees.

The agency, as well as the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which formally runs the marijuana research program, argues that it is not in the public interest to have more than one source of marijuana, in part because it could lead to greater illicit use. What's more, they said in legal briefs, the Mississippi program supplies all the marijuana that researchers need. Agency officials declined to comment further.

In his suit against the DEA for a license to grow marijuana, Craker has backing from 38 members of Congress, the two senators from Massachusetts, numerous medical societies and even Grover Norquist, the president of the conservative Americans for Tax Reform.

The effort has been organized by Richard Doblin, president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and a longtime advocate of medical research into controlled drugs. It was Doblin who recruited Craker after the association concluded it would never get a dependable supply of government marijuana.

"Dr. Craker has no goal here except to advance scientific research into marijuana, and our goals are the same," said Doblin, whose group is also sponsoring research into other controlled drugs, including MDMA (better known as "ecstasy") and the psychedelic mushroom psilocybin.

"By controlling who can research marijuana and how they can do it, the DEA has greatly limited promising research that could lead to [government] approved medications," Doblin said.

The problems, he said, are not limited to winning approval to buy the Mississippi marijuana. Doblin and other researchers contend that the government marijuana is low in quality and potency and could never be a stable source of basic ingredients if the Food and Drug Administration ever did approve a marijuana-based medication.

Marijuana, or cannabis, is now listed as a Schedule I drug -- with no medicinal use -- under the Controlled Substances Act. Its use was initially restricted in 1937 and eliminated from medicinal practice in 1942. On its Web site, the DEA lists marijuana as the most frequently abused illicit drug in America.

Since the 1970s, however, researchers have found potential uses for marijuana, or its active ingredient THC, in relieving nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and to help with appetite loss in AIDS patients. A synthetic form of marijuana's active ingredient has been made into a prescription drug, Marinol.

Doblin said there are potentially many other medicinal uses of marijuana, including the treatment of multiple sclerosis and AIDS-related neuropathy. He also said researchers believe that if they can perfect a method of "vaporizing" marijuana -- allowing it to be inhaled rather than smoked -- it would be easier to administer as medicine.

But because of fears of illicit use, he said, the agency has essentially blocked the research. "I believe the DEA policy is one of delay, and they've succeeded in essentially blocking marijuana development for 30 years," Doblin said.

In its filings with Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner, the DEA disputes the charge that it is standing in the way of marijuana research.

It says that medical marijuana research is underway in California using its Mississippi supply, and that the drugmaker Mallinckrodt Inc. has a contract with the Mississippi supplier to produce extracts of cannabis for its drug development program. In addition, DEA lawyer Brian Bayly told the law judge in August, when the first five days of testimony were heard, that the quality and potency of the government's marijuana was acceptable to the researchers his agency surveyed.

The hearing is expected to continue through the week, with a decision several months later. If Craker and his team prevail, however, the DEA is not obliged to give him a license or change its policies. And as a result, Craker and his team plan to continue lining up political support, such as the Nov. 22 letter sent by Norquist to the DEA.

"The use of controlled substances for legitimate research purposes is well-established, and has yielded a number of miracle medicines widely available to patients and doctors," Norquist wrote. "This case should be no different. It's in the public interest to end the government monopoly on marijuana legal for research."

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Richard Pryor Dead at 65

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. comedian Richard Pryor has died on Saturday at age 65 after a long illness, his wife Jennifer Pryor said in a telephone interview with CNN.

"He was my treasure," Jennifer Pryor said. "His comedy is unparalleled. They say that you are not a comic unless you imitate Richard Pryor ... He was able to turn his pain into comedy."

"You can't see a $1.50 worth of cocaine" ~Richard Pryor on arrest of NFL star Jim Brown

Friday, December 09, 2005

Despite court order, county jails again packed with state inmates

Montgomery Advertiser
Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Despite a 2003 court order aimed at moving state inmates out of jampacked county jails, many of the county lockups are again busting at the seams with convicts who are supposed to be sitting in a state prison.

This month, county jails held 1,299 inmates considered ready for transfer to prisons, including more than 800 who had been there more than 30 days — the legal limit the state can leave them with a county.

Before the court order, the number of state inmates in county jails beyond the 30-day grace period hit 2,800. After the order, with stepped-up paroles and inmate transfers to private prisons, the number dropped to zero.

But now the prison system is at more than double capacity, with 27,000 inmates, and the backlog in jails is growing again. Counties get reimbursed only $1.75 a day from the state for the average $30 it costs them to hold each inmate, and many counties are frustrated with the state. But there is little they can do.

The court order allows county jails that have inmates held beyond the 30-day limit to drop off up to 25 inmates a day, and up to 100 a week, at the prison system, with 72-hours notice. But when the prison system says it doesn’t have a bed available, that provision has not been pushed very hard by many counties.

Baldwin County had the most state inmates backlogged so far this month, with 96. Chief Deputy Larry Milstid said his jail has resorted to transferring 25 inmates a week to the prison system. But he said he had a good relationship with the Department of Corrections and “maybe we haven’t been as aggressive as we should be. ...We’re going to have to keep this up.”

Counties also don’t want to be slapped with lawsuits, said Bobby Timmons, executive director of the Alabama Sheriffs Association.

“Instead of putting handcuffs on inmates, we put handcuffs on the system,” said Timmons.
Prisons spokesman Brian Corbett said his department isn’t trying to shift the burden onto jails — but there’s just no room.

He pointed out that between Nov. 10 and Dec. 2, a three-week span, 660 inmates entered the prisons from county jails, but that only reduced the backlog at the jails by 28 inmates — proof that inmates are being sentenced at a rate that outpaces the system’s capacity.

“That number exemplifies the very large number of inmates coming in and the small number exiting the system,” Corbett said.

But the situation at the prisons has stirred little sympathy.

“There’s no county that has extra money laying around for its jails either. It’s ridiculous for the Department (of Corrections) to look at us and say, ‘You have to keep them in jails,’” said Sonny Brasfield, assistant director of the Alabama Association of County Commissions.

State prisoners also are filling jails at rates that differ from one county to the next. Some counties, like Baldwin, hold dozens, while others deal with a handful or none. As of Dec. 1, seven counties had no state inmates and several more were still in the single digits, according to figures compiled by the county commissions group.

For example, the Montgomery County jail had only four inmates who had spent more than 30 days in it.

“We’ve just always had a good working relationship with DOC. I don’t have another explanation,” said Col. Gina Savage, director of detention for Montgomery County. She said maybe the fact that her jail sits so close to Kilby prison, where all state inmates are processed, helps the county purge itself of inmates.

Coffee County Sheriff Ben Moates, who has nearly 40 inmates ready for transfer, said the backlog has taken a toll on his officers and the inmates.

“We don’t have many officers helping with the overcrowding situation,” he said.

Moates added that keeping city inmates is more beneficial, because the jail is reimbursed $15 per inmates — not the paltry $1.75 paid by the state.

Corbett denied that the prison system picks and chooses among counties. “We talk with each county on a daily basis, at least on a weekly basis, and assess the needs of counties on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

Corbett said a long-term solution is desperately needed. He said the prison system is hoping suggestions by a governor-appointed task force on prison overcrowding will help resolve the situation.

If not, Brasfield said, counties will be stuck paying the staggering costs of housing inmates.

The prison inmates at Baldwin County alone cost the county $2,688 on the single day of Dec. 1.

Thursday, December 08, 2005



A few months ago I was at my mothers house and needed to access the Internet. She does not have an account, but like every other Earthling, she was in possession of a number of "Try AOL Free" CD's and since I was desperate my defenses were weak and I did the UNTHINKABLE!
I signed up for a free trial.

Of course, the stay at my mothers was short and within a few days I was back home to my high-speed wireless connection and I completely forgot about the AOL account.

Then this morning I was looking at my bank account online and noticed that AOL had billed me as of yesterday.

"Damn," I said to myself, "I needed that $23.95." "Oh well, I should have remembered to cancel the account ... I'll do it now."

Thus began my descent into the bowels of AOL HELL!

First, I went online to see if there was an option to cancel over the Internet.
There isn't.
The instruction say I can either call, fax or snail-mail my cancellation request.


I chose to call, that being the simplest and most direct route, and, of course, I got a cheerful robot that was able to pull up my account, but not verify that I am the owner.

What is the point of automated robot answering machines? They collect enough information from you to tell you that they can't help you and when they transfer you to a real person somehow the information the robot collected gets lost in the transfer and you have to do it all over again.

That's bad enough, but what's worse is you can't cuss out a robot. It's pointless! And frustrating.

After 5 minutes of robot wrangling I was passed (without my information) to a male customer service rep that did not give his name.

"Thank you for calling AOL today. May I please have your name?"

"My name is Loretta Nall."

"What can I do for you today Ms. Nall?"

"I would like to cancel my account."

"Well, I'm awful sorry to hear that. Could you tell me why you are canceling your account?"

"Because I don't need it."

"You don't need it? You mean you don't need Internet access?"

"No. I have Internet access. I don't need AOL internet access."

"You have high-speed internet access?"

"Yes. I have high-speed internet access."

"Well, your account doesn't show you accessing your AOL account through a high-speed connection. It shows you on dial-up."

At this point I start to lose patience with this guy. What kind of internet access I have is my business and if I no longer want yours all you need to do is stop billing me for it and that is all you need to know.

Deep breath. Don't lose it with this guy just yet.


"Yes. It shows me on dial-up because I was in a place that did not have a wireless or high-speed connection and I did not have a dial-up account. I found one of your CD's and in a moment of extreme weakness borne out of the desperation of needing to check my email I succumbed to your invitation to try it free for 60 days. My 60 days is up and I forgot to cancel it before this billing cycle and I see you have billed me for it and I want you to close my account and not bill me for it again."

"Ok, well I am showing that you owe a balance of $23.95 that needs to be taken care of."

"And I just told you that my bank account is showing a debit of $23.95 as of yesterday so I don't owe you anything."

"Well my screen isn't showing that."

"Look buddy..."

"Of course, it could be that it just hasn't updated in our computers yet because you said it was only debited yesterday. Here's what I can do. You can access AOL high-speed with all the bells and whistles, including virus protection, for the next two months for only $9.95 a month. Most other high-speed service providers don't..."

"No. All I want you to do is close my account. I have high-speed wireless that I am perfectly happy with. I only needed your service when I had no other options and I no longer need them. Just close the account."

"But you don't want to be protected from viruses?"

"I am protected from viruses."

"Through your high-speed provider?"

"Yes. Through my high-speed provider."

"Who is your high-speed provider then?"


"That is none of your business. Do you want my drawer size too? I simply want you to close my account and stop billing me. Is that really so hard for you to understand?"

"Did my question offend you?"

"Yes. It offended me. It's none of your business who my provider is. I called to close my account and to have you stop billing me for the shit. That is all I want from you. Not a damn inquisition. JUST CLOSE THE ACCOUNT!"

"Well, why won't you tell me who your provider is?"

(This is utterly UNREAL)


"Well most high-speed providers don't provide virus protection and maybe I just want to know for my own personal needs...maybe I am just trying to gain that so wrong?"

(Dear God he sounds like the "I only want to be that so wrong?" guy from Saturday Night Live)

"Well, you work at AOL... if you want to know LOOK IT UP YOURSELF! Close my account. NOW! Don't bill me again. EVER!


I know it is rude to hang up on someone...but one can only stand so much abuse when calling to "request" that a company whose services you no longer require stop taking your money for said services.

Who would have thought it would be such a problem?
After all, the advertisement states you can cancel at any time and it won't cost you a thing.

I suppose they think your sanity isn't valuable and that medical care after a stroke induced by one of their High Inquisitor customer care representatives is cheap.