Category Archives: Prison Industrial Complex

1st federal inmate to die of coronavirus wrote heartbreaking letter to judge

Patrick Jones “spent the last 12 years contesting a sentence that ultimately killed him,” one of his former lawyers said.

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April 5, 2020, 7:35 AM CDT

By Rich Schapiro

In the months before the coronavirus infiltrated the U.S., a 49-year-old inmate began drafting a letter inside the walls of a federal prison in Louisiana.

The man, Patrick Jones, had been locked up for nearly 13 years on a nonviolent drug charge. He hadn’t seen his youngest son, then 16, since the boy was a toddler.

“I feel that my conviction and sentence was also a punishment that my child has had to endure also and there are no words for how remorseful I am,” Jones wrote to U.S. District Judge Alan Albright in a letter dated Oct. 15, 2019. “Years of ‘I am sorry’ don’t seem to justify the absence of a father or the chance of having purpose in life by raising my child.”

Patrick Jones contracted coronavirus at a low-security prison in Oakdale, La.Courtesy of the Jones Family

Jones had been arrested in 2007 after cops found 19 grams of crack and 21 grams of powder cocaine inside the apartment he shared with his wife in Temple, Texas. His wife testified against him and was spared a prison sentence.

Jones wasn’t so fortunate. He was ultimately ordered to spend 27 years behind bars, in part because he lived within 1,000 feet of a junior college and already had a long rap sheet, mostly burglaries that he committed when he was a teenager living on the streets.

He was now writing the judge in the hope of receiving a sentence reduction through the newly-signed First Step Act, which offered relief to some inmates convicted of nonviolent drug crimes.

“My child having his own experience of raising his own child would validate my life experience and give meaning to my existence in this world, because 83582-180 has no meaning,” he wrote, referring to his federal inmate number.

“It is just a number to be forgotten in time. But Mr. Patrick Estell Jones is a very good person. Caring, hard working, free and clean of drugs and a lot smarter now, with a balanced outlook on life.”

The judge denied the request on Feb. 26, 2020. Twenty two days later, Patrick Estell Jones was dead, the first federal inmate to die of the coronavirus.

He had contracted COVID-19 at the low-security prison in Oakdale, La., a penitentiary now dealing with the deadliest outbreak of any of the 122 federal facilities.

“He spent the last 12 years contesting a sentence that ultimately killed him,” said Alison Looman, a New York-based attorney who had represented Jones in an earlier unsuccessful bid for clemency. “Ironically, it seems it is his death that might finally bring his case some attention.”

The U.S. has seen a movement in the past several years to reduce the sentences of nonviolent drug offenders, but criminal justice reform advocates say Jones’s case illustrates the limits of that effort.

“You see everything that is wrong with our sentencing system in this case,” said Kevin Ring, president of the criminal justice advocacy group FAMM.

Ring ticked off the series of factors that led to Jones’s lengthy prison term: a questionable accounting of the amount of drugs he was selling, his apartment’s proximity to a junior college, his decision to go to trial rather than take a plea and a criminal record that was largely made up of teenage offenses.

“He was no choir boy but his life had meaning,” Ring said. “I feel like his life was taken from him when he was sentenced and then he was killed in prison, and both of those things should trouble us.”

Jones’s death also focused attention on the beleaguered prison in southern Louisiana. A total of five Oakdale prisoners have died from COVID-19, officials said, and so many have come down with presumed cases that officials had temporarily stopped testing them for it.

At least 18 inmates and four staffers have tested positive, according to the Bureau of Prisons, but prison union leaders say the numbers are significantly higher.

“You’re just afraid all the time,” said an Oakdale corrections officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he’s not authorized to speak to the media. “You’re afraid of catching it and bringing it home to your family. You’re afraid of spreading it in the community.”

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on jails and prisons across the country. Earlier this week, the federal Bureau of Prisons announced that it was locking down all inmates in their cells or quarters, with limited exceptions, for 14 days, but new cases keep popping up.

“There’s a feeling of terror not knowing when this is going to end,” the Oakdale staffer said.

Jones arrived at the prison in April 2017. It would be the last stop in a hardscrabble life that began in Temple, Texas.

His childhood was marked by tumult. Jones was initially raised by his great grandmother but he spent much of his pre-teen years at a group home for children and shuffling between relatives and friends, according to his clemency petition and a government court filing quoting an interview with him. He was on and off the streets during his teenage years, the clemency petition says.

His first run-in with the law came when he was 17, court filings say. Jones was arrested twice in the span of two months on theft and burglary charges. He was charged as an adult and ultimately spent two years in prison.

Jones was released in August 1991 but he didn’t stay out of trouble. He was arrested in May 1992 after he sold cocaine to an undercover officer, according to court records. Jones pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

He was released on parole in 2000 and eventually settled in an apartment in Temple, a few blocks from the local community college. Temple police officers showed up at his home in January 2007 looking for a woman on an outstanding warrant, court records say.

After discovering crack and powder cocaine inside the residence, they arrested Jones and his wife of two months, Sharon, court documents say.

The woman targeted by police wasn’t at the apartment but she was later taken into custody. The woman, Frances Whitlock, told police she sold crack cocaine for the Joneses, averaging about five to ten deliveries a day and sometimes made as many as 30, court documents say.

Sharon Jones agreed to testify against her husband. At his trial, she testified that they had been selling the drugs for about two months. She said they would sell a half ounce of crack every other day, earning about $1,000 every day, court documents say.

The jury found Patrick Jones guilty of possession with intent to distribute at least 5 grams of crack cocaine. His wife received a term of three years’ probation after the government recommended a reduced sentence citing her cooperation, court filings say.

At his sentencing, Jones was held accountable for 425 grams of crack – 22 times the amount that was in his apartment – based on the testimony from his wife that they sold a half ounce every other day from Thanksgiving 2006 until the day of their arrest in January 2007.

The government also used several other factors to enhance Jones’s sentencing guidelines: his apartment’s proximity to Temple College, his role as an “organizer” of criminal activity for enlisting Whitlock to deliver the drugs, his decision to fight the charges at trial and his offenses when he was 17 and 21.

In the case of his previous arrests, the government treated each charge as a separate sentence, which had the effect of further driving up his sentencing guidelines.

Jones was sentenced to the minimum term under the guidelines, but it was still 30 years. His sentence was later reduced to 27 years after the U.S. Sentencing Commission amended the crack guidelines to reduce the disparity between powder and crack cocaine.

Jones’s younger sister recalled being stunned by the severity of his sentence. “My brother made some bad decisions in life but that doesn’t make him a bad person,” Debra Canady told NBC News.

In the years after his sentencing, she remained in close touch with her brother who wrote frequently, she said, asking for updates on the youngest of his three sons, Kyrell.

Jones filed a bid for clemency in Oct. 2016 pointing to court rulings and changes in sentencing guidelines that would have directly impacted his case. Jones’s lawyers argued that if he were sentenced then he likely would have received a term at least 10 years less than the one he had received.

“With good time credit,” the petition said, “Mr. Jones would have already served his entire sentence.”

The petition noted that he had no history of violence or ties to gangs, had spent his childhood “with no permanent home,” and that he was a model inmate who worked his way up to head baker–”a profession he hopes to pursue upon his release.”

In January 2017, his lawyers received word from the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney: the petition was denied.

Looman recalled that when she delivered the news to Jones, he immediately expressed concern about her and wondered aloud if she might lose her job as a result.

“It is a telling example of what a kind and compassionate person Patrick is,” Looman later wrote to his judge.

The First Step Act signed by President Donald Trump in December 2018 offered Jones a glimmer of hope.

In his motion for a sentence reduction under the law, Jones’s lawyers said shaving off years of his prison term would “support the mandate from Congress and President Trump to reduce unnecessarily lengthy sentences for defendants like Mr. Jones.”

Prosecutors took a starkly different position, emphasizing his previous convictions and his “leadership role” in his “‘crack’ distribution enterprise.”

“Jones was not a small time crack dealer whose sentence far outweighed the scope of his criminal activity,” prosecutors said in court papers.

The judge, in a ruling filed in February, sided with the government.

“Jones is a career offender with multiple prior offenses and a history of recidivating each time he is placed on parole,” Albright said in his order.

“Though the bulk of Jones’s offenses were committed at age 17, Jones displayed his continuing criminal tendencies by committing offenses each time he was released from custody.”

Albright couldn’t be reached for comment.

Looman didn’t handle Jones’s effort to get relief through the First Step Act, but she kept in touch with him via the federal prison email system.

“Happy New Year to you and may this year bring great things your way,” Jones wrote to her this past New Year’s Eve.

On Feb. 27, the day after the judge’s ruling, Jones sent her a message that made it clear he had yet to get the news.

“I’ve just been awaiting to hear something good for a change as far as legal issues go,” Jones wrote. “…But I have not got anymore info to what may be coming forth It’s been a lot of movement around here lately I hope I’m in the making for that kind of release also.”

The following month, Jones and Looman exchanged messages that referenced the coronavirus. The deadly illness was sweeping across the U.S. and there were escalating concerns of outbreaks inside detention facilities.

“I am doing well as fare (sic) as coronavirus goes and staying safe and healthy,” Jones wrote on March 14, five days before he would complain to Oakdale staffers about a persistent cough, according to federal prison officials.

He went on to say in his message to Looman that he found out the judge ruled against him, which was news even to Looman, and he revealed why it took him so long to get word: his lawyer had left the public defender’s office two months earlier.

“I talked to the head person and he said it was on him that I was not contacted and that he was going to get his people on top of the appeal,” Jones wrote. “…Anyway, enough about my problems. Are you likening (sic) the work from home thing?”

Looman replied a few days later.

She never heard back.

Rich Schapiro

Rich Schapiro is a reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit.

CONTINUE READING AND TO VIDEO….

Arrangements Being Made for TKP Thorne Peters

tkp cemetery

Arrangements for burial are in the process of being made at Elmwood Cemetery located at;

824 S. Dudley Street
Memphis, Tennessee 38104

LINK above…

So far, costs are at approximately $ 5,795.00, which includes;

$ 2,995.00 Cemetery Costs; $ 1,200.00 Open/Close, $ 1,500.00 Preparation Fees. 

DONATIONS are desperately needed!  You can donate thru the link above by contacting the Cemetery, or thru the “Freedom Fund” on ThornePeters.com.

Further information will be made available as it is planned.

Please help our “Freedom Fighter” to be laid to rest in a most appropriate place!

Additionally, Ms. Linda Harrah will need help with legal fee’s, etc.,

Any small amount is most appreciated!

Thank You!

tkp 1

https://www.facebook.com/thorne.peters/videos/2583959581684371/UzpfSTEwMDAwMDA1MjI4MDUxNDpWSzo3Njc0NzE0MzcwMTI0OTc/

http://www.elmwoodcemetery.org/

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TKP Thorne Peters–“I’m NOT crying – my eyes are running from the soapy tray.” May He Rest In Peace…

Thorne Peters 2019

On Sunday, November 3rd, at approximately 7 a.m., TKP Thorne Peters was found deceased in his single person cell, where he had spent 22 hours a day, in “protective custody”, since being committed to the Penal Farm in Memphis Tennessee in 2018.

The Detectives came to Linda Harrah’s home at approximately 2 p.m. and notified her of the situation.  I can’t even imagine what she must have felt when she heard those words, (of Thorne’s death) from them.  God Bless her.

He was 57 years old and while in prison had been writing a new book which he was going to publish upon his release from prison.  “Paper is hard to come by here”, he said to me in a letter.

  He always called me “Amore”, which at first I didn’t know what that meant, until I looked it up and found; Amore is the Italian word for “love”.  I will always hold that close to my heart.  He had written me several letters from prison, and they did not tell of any pleasantry at all.

The following is the last letter that I received from him, just a few days before his death.  Because of the circumstances I feel compelled to share it with everyone, especially his followers.

Felicitations Amore,

I have been crashed out hard over my latest victory.  I make the entire Courthouse shut down, and when the out of town Judge rules that ALL my evidence was on point and ALL 30 of the suspects were connected and therefore would have to take the Stand, they tunneled out of the Court to evade justice yet again.  11 years and the clock is ticking against me.

I had allowed myself a vision that when this trial began on December 9, 2019 and I lined up The Ministerz of Injustice for the big reveal that the evidence of their CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY of PUBLIC CORRUPTION would be so overwhelming in the glare of the WHITE HOT MEDIA SPOTLIGHT that would be forced to cover the story of the highest elected and appointed officials of law enforcement, politics, and the Judiciary taking the Stand to face dead bang, fatal blow evidence that my plight would reach the SAG and onto the Governor who would be forced to get involved and take a stand, and I could be pardoned by XMas.

Now the reality of my situation crashes in upon my head.  I am buried under this jail.  Instead of detonating a weapon of mass destruction in Court, I am reduced to taking pot shots with my blunderbust from deep within the bowels of the belly of the beast.

I have to remain focused and dedicated.  I cannot be disheartened.  These victories are not pyrrhic.  I’m not playing Chess.  This is Chinese GO.

I have to keep accumulating ground.  This battle brought me more ammunition to continue.  As it was in the Revolutionary War, we won very few battles.  The victory was keeping the Troops moving and maneuvering.   I had them in my sights.  I have to regroup and flank them again. 

I am reduced to a HUNGER STRIKE to demand the Authorities investigate this case.  The hilarity is that DA AMY (WEIRICH) has to sign off on a case of PUBLIC CORRUPTION in order for TBI (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation), to proceed.  ROUND ROBIN.

Had I been brought back to Court to hear the ADA concede, I would have smacked him across his dickhead as I walked out and declared EXTREME EMOTIONAL DISTRESS as a defense.  The CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY would be back on point and the DIRTY 30 would be called to the Stand.

So, I deal POT at the Courthouse and they won’t charge me with a FELONY to take to SCOTUS.  They ignore that and charge me with MISDEMEANOR POSSESSION OF POT as part of a felony FTA (Failure to appear), that they prosecute across the Courthouse for 18 months, and 7 Courts, until all 10 ditch, (Judges recuse themselves from the Case),

I kicked their asses!  I am left here to celebrate alone in my mausoleum with a plate of gruel served on a soapy tray.  At least I can use that as an excuse.

I’m NOT crying – my eyes are running from the soapy tray.

October 28, 2019 will mark the longest I’ve ever done, (in prison).  January 20, 2020 will be half-way-home-day.  I can’t comprehend this time frame.  So I put my heart into doing ONE MORE DAY – an hour for every minute…

MWAZ!

KP

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These words of TKP Thorne Peters will be the last I will ever read or hear from him.  It is sad.  It is sad that a State (or a Country) can be so corrupt as to let someone die under such horrid conditions in a single cage without any sympathy or concern for them what-so-ever.  Unfortunately Thorne is not the first person this has happened to and will not be the last.  This is what we have become.  A Country that cares not for it’s Citizens, but only for their power and greed and punitive rights.  Rights?  Yeah, their rights!  Not ours.

We will never know how this Case would have ended, or if the corruption would have been exposed.  We only know how it did end, with a great person, and Activist dying in the Shelby County Correctional System – The Penal Farm.

The Book which he was writing will eventually be published and much more information about his days in HELL will be exposed.  We may never find out the truth about HOW he ended up dying, alone, in that CAGE, in one night’s time. 

Of course an autopsy will be performed – probably already has been, but will we ever really know the truth?  Most likely not.  It      really doesn’t matter what they tell us such as “no foul play is         suspected”, because there isn’t a chance in HELL that they will         incriminate themselves in this matter. 

Thorne was a self proclaimed Atheist, however when I wrote him letters I would always tell him God Bless You.  I believe God has/will bless him as he was martyred for his beliefs that humans should be free and have unalienable rights.  Everything he did was done to help humanity.

Oddly enough, in another letter from Thorne recently he stated;

I have been in this cell for a year.  I have another 26 months to go…so far.  If I am convicted at my next trial I will receive 36 more months.  I will be in this cell for the duration.  The aspect of such a trial and tribulation may drive me to find God…at least until I get outta here! 

We had disagreements on how he presented himself to others, such as when he downed people for medical marijuana activism – But in fact he was NOT downing them at all – Just trying to get their attention as to what they were doing – giving their own unalienable rights away to legislation which was, is, and will continue to be the downfall of all Humanity – If we do not stop it.

We are all fighting in the same War!  We are all fighting for everyone, not just a few!  All humanity deserves the same unalienable rights!  We may have differing opinions on how to do this – but we all want the same outcome – FREEDOM!

On November 4th, one day after the fact, the Commercial Appeal published the story of his death;

Thorne Peters, ‘The Kingpin’ who waged war against pot laws, dies in Shelby County prison

In their article they wrote the following;

This year the appeals court affirmed his four-year sentence, citing among other things the following Facebook post in which Peters threatened to shoot people who came to take his drugs:

“I was just sitting around hoping some sorry want to be wigger, (expletive) was going to stop by with his partner to rob me of all this weed and money, I’m holding, so I can take target practice on their sorry asses. If you know anybody that wants to try me, let them know, I will be up all night, armed and dangerous.”

I was not there when this was said (written) so I have no way of knowing the actual thoughts behind it at the time, but I would never believe for a minute that he would in fact do such a thing.  I am from Kentucky, and many times we have, in general conversation, made similar remarks amongst ourselves, just in jest – but we would never actually do such a thing and I believe it was in extremely bad taste to even print such a quote.

I also do not believe that he had a gun at his disposal – in his home!

Thorne was living what he believed in and did it to the best of his ability – and he was crucified for it.  He never hurt anyone. 

He believed in Our freedom, and he fought for it until the end.

In closing, I leave you with this,

God Bless Thorne Peters!

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Lord, please Bless Ms. Linda Harrah during this most difficult time.

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Edwin Marshall Davidson

It is a sad day and with a heavy heart I recognize that my Friend in deed Thorne Peters has passed away while being a political prisoner in Tennessee. Thorne fought for everyone’s freedom not only his own. There is no freedom unless everyone is free. The cornerstone of freedom of his Teaching is “No Men’s Rea”….

No Men’s Rea Which is short for the Latin Phrase “Actus Reus No Facit Reum Nisi Men’s Sit Rea”.This translates to English to ” For the act to be guilty, the mind must be guilty., And for the mind to be guilty the act must be criminal with intent to do harm to a person, property or puppy” . In short, no guilty mind, no crime , no time.

We are free to do what we want as long as we don’t hurt anyone. Thorne Peters taught of No Men’s Rea, how legislation enslaves us, Freedom ends where legislation begins and if we go free they go broke, touched many.

Thorne was standing up against to Shelby County law enforcement and judges and the Ministers of Injustice that conspired to deny Thorne his Justice, due process and conspired to frame him for something he didn’t do. Thorne was fighting the system from the inside by using his malicious prosecution and making those whom conspired against him accountable by putting them on trial.

Shelby County did their best to silence him. Thornes teaching will never be silenced. For those not familiar and blessed to know Thorne you can go to ThornePeters.com .There you will see his videos, his music and poetry he wrote. . For those who know Thorne please consider going to ThornePeters.com and clicking on the Freedom Fund. Their is still a lot of work to do for freedom, extra costs, dogs to feed and we need to help Linda Harrah to keep those home fires burning.

Thorne just finished writing a book and I believe the title is Fully Free from Jail. I hope it gets published soon as those were his last words to us. .

I want to share a fond memory many of us have of Thorne. Thorne was prosecuted a convicted in a kangaroo court for a crime he didn’t commit. On the day he was to go to court for sentencing Thorne had a surprise. Thorne set up a table and opened up Tennessees first pot dispensary on the court house steps. We thought he would be arrested and charged immediately. Instead, Law enforcement was hiding. News cameras were their. Thorne sold pot on the court house steps without being arrested for about 2 hours. Thorne was never, charged or convicted of it. Proving No Men’s Rea works.

There is a video at ThornePeters.com . As a disciple of Thorne I vow to put forth his Teaching and continue the best I can by his example. The Bible says their is no greater love then a man lay down his life for a friend. Thorne did that for his friends in deed.We were all his “friends in deed”. I can still hear Thorne when he would say ” May you look inward, outward and upward to find Peace Love and Stars”.

I love you my Brother. Your brother and friend in deed!

Edwin Marshall Davidson


DO NOT FORGET TO VISIT THORNEPETERS.COM AND VIEW ALL THE INFORMATION ON THE CORRUPTION.  DONATIONS WILL BE MUCH APPRECIATED AS WELL.  ARRANGEMENTS HAVE YET TO BE MADE.

friends indeed button image map


https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2019/11/04/thorne-peters-kingpin-dies-prison-shelby-county/4155825002/?fbclid=IwAR0o3R3GlbrdnMSIraRPtoKTRdeZdp9OQduakH_wTGwwbYrMIcYzvZpS40U

https://memphistruth.org/2019/04/18/amy-weirich-recidivist/

Latest Update–Thorne Peters–Memphis TN Prison…

Please view video linked below from Ms. Linda Harrah, at the Memphis, Tennessee Penal Farm:

thorne 10.18.19

On Wednesday, October 16th, Ms. Linda Harrah visited TKP Thorne Peters at the Penal Farm in Memphis, TN, where he has been incarcerated since April 3, 2018.

They were not allowed personal visitation however, they were able to view and speak to each other through video conference, according to Ms. Linda Harrah.

Judge William Acree, a “traveling Judge” for the State of Tennessee, ceded the case.  D.A. Amy Weirich did not want the trial to proceed, so therefore the trial for “selling pot on the Courthouse steps” is NOT going to Trial.  Note letter from TBI below on cannabis prosecution policy currently in place.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, (TBI),  investigation into Courthouse corruption would have to be approved by D.A. Amy Weirich first, which will not happen. 

TBI

The above letter, sent out by TBI,  states that the testing in marijuana cases will “only be performed on felony amounts of plant material and at District Attorney’s request if needed for trial.”

Slowly, small amounts of Marijuana, usually an ounce or less, are being ignored, and/or thrown out of Court and not prosecuted.  That is a win for the general public who only seeks to purchase a small amount of black market product.  However, it still leaves many people behind in harms way of the law, because in fact, the  illegality of Marijuana is still very much alive.  Those who have grown their own plants, or purchased an amount that could be attributed to “trafficking” can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  Many people are languishing in prison right now over a plant that NEVER should have been made illegal to begin with!  The fight isn’t over, in fact it’s only just begun!

For those reasons, a major Federal Repeal is necessary and must be pursued.  As well, “no mens rea” should apply to all personal cases in every State.  We are in fact at war and we must continue to fight until the battle is won!

Don’t forget the ones, our Brothers and Sisters, who have been taken from their families and forced into a cage like animals, for using the Cannabis plant, or any other plant!

Thorne Peters 2012

“It doesn’t matter what you BELIEVE; it only matters how you BEHAVE.”~THE KINGPIN THORNE PETERS!

THORNEPETERS.COM

Please write to TKP Thorne Peters at this address:

Shelby County Correctional Center

RNI# 389985

1045 Mullins Station Road

Memphis, TN  38134

DONATE to the “Freedom Fund”!

Actus Reus Non Facit Reum Nisi Mens Sit Rea

For the act to be guilty, the mind must be guilty, for the mind to be guilty, the act must be criminal.

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https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/?s=thorne+peters

smk

I Never Smoked Marijuana — But I’m Serving Life In Prison Over A Marijuana Charge

CESAL: I Never Smoked Marijuana — But I’m Serving Life In Prison Over A Marijuana Charge

By Craig Cesal

Aug 27, 2019

“I sentence you to a term of natural life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole.”

These were the words I heard just months after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. You see, at that time, the news was filled with theories that drug dealers finance terrorists, and I had just been convicted of my first felony: conspiring to distribute marijuana. This was the newest foray into the “War on Drugs.”

The government never claimed that I bought, sold, or even used marijuana, but rather my business repaired semi-trucks for a company that trafficked marijuana. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong, as I didn’t do anything with marijuana. I was wrong, according to the federal court in Gainesville, Georgia. My business, nestled near Chicago, was auctioned by lawyers in Georgia to pay for their services to secure the life sentence, after my home and savings were spent.

Two months ago, recreational marijuana was approved for sale by the Illinois legislature. Some of my business equipment is likely being used again to repair trucks that haul marijuana.

For over 17 years, I have watched robbers, rapists and even murderers come and go from prison. Last year, a guy in my cellblock who killed two federal marshals was paroled after serving 30 years.

I’ve been watching the news, and I’m waiting to see if we prisoners will get the right to vote.

Here at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, the cornerstone, engraved with “A.D. 1937,” reminds me that the prison opened the same year the federal government made marijuana illegal. The construction workers likely used pot while they built the prison. Looking out from my job at the prison factory, where we make blankets for the military, I can see “Death House” — where Timothy McVeigh and others died. He spent less time in federal prison than me, although his current housing is likely worse.

From Cellblock D, a couple of weeks ago before the time I wrote this, John Walker Lindh, the so-called “White Taliban” who shot CIA agents in Afghanistan, went home after serving his 20-year sentence. He came in after me, and with good time credits, served only 17 years.

To my knowledge, he never aided others who schlepped marijuana. Whew, that’s a good thing, or he’d still be here in prison with me. He was convicted of providing aid to terrorists, but for anything related to marijuana.

Prison is intended to teach offenders not to violate the law again, or simply, for those, like me, the judge deemed irredeemable, to teach the public, who may be thinking of something related to marijuana. At times, I scratch my head trying to fathom who is learning what as a result of my sentence. Bradley Manning made WikiLeaks a household word, and President Obama sent him home because he wore a dress. Maxwell Klinger, of “M*A*S*H” fame, had no such luck.

Obama also turned down my clemency request. Just what am I, or anyone else, supposed to learn from my life-for-pot sentence?

The Terre Haute prison abuts the Wabash River, which separates Indiana from Illinois. From the right places, I can see Illinois across the river, where I lived, and where marijuana distribution, and thereby marijuana conspiracy, is encouraged by state tax collectors. Did I merely have bad timing in selling services to marijuana traffickers from my perch in Illinois? Nope, federal DEA agents are still nabbing distributors in Illinois, well, because they still can. Oh, and the money from the marijuana dispensaries likely pay their salaries. Hopefully, I’ll learn my lesson in prison.

I imagine I can learn from the Federal Bureau of Prison’s paycheck collectors charged with caging me. The prison buildings are surrounded by tall fences, razor wire and cameras. No one from the media, from a family, or from an auditor can get in to see what staffers actually do inside the fence. Guards often go days without so much as seeing an inmate, if they even show up for work. Most will spend more years receiving retirement benefits from the job than they spent actually working.

A sentence of life means a sentence until death. Staff are flummoxed trying to discern what to put in the Federal Bureau of Prisons Form for my release date. Death won’t work. It must be a number. The last time I checked, they were writing 2028. Remember, nobody is coming over the fence and razor wire to check on the paperwork. But no release is imminent.

The sentencing judge determined I am a marijuana reprobate. I am thus irredeemable, and unworthy of anything other than final damnation in prison. Murderers are released after 13.4 years on average, according to the Department of Justice, and a terrorist can go home after 17 years. But I am a prisoner of the War on Drugs. There’s no hope for me under existing federal law.

I’ve learned my lesson, and lawmakers should be pushed to learn a lesson. Federal drug laws, especially marijuana laws, are long overdue for reform. The “fix” must also include sensible relief for prisoners of the failed War on Drugs.

Craig Cesal is serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole in Indiana’s Terre Haute prison for a “marijuana” offense. He co-owned a towing company that recovered and repaired trucks for a rental company, some of which were used by smugglers to transport marijuana. He graduated from Montini High School in Lombard, Illinois in 1977. His daughter, Lauren, has obtained more than 300,000 signatures on a petition calling for clemency.”

CONTINUE READING…

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Additional Links of Information for Craig Cesal:

https://www.facebook.com/FreeCraigCesal/

https://www.change.org/p/free-my-dad-serving-life-without-parole-for-marijuana

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2016/12/02/he-got-life-without-parole-for-pot-and-he-was-just-denied-clemency/

http://www.pow420.com/craig_cesal

https://www.civilized.life/articles/marijuana-lifer-craig-cesal/

Free KY Amish Farmer Samuel Girod

(Please read and follow the link to sign petition for a man who has been unjustly jailed for charges which originated with a labeling infraction that led up to him being incarcerated.  It is unbelievable that our Country has gone so far as to incriminate this man!  Just read the story by Sally Oh.  Smkrider)

Help us get a presidential pardon for KY Amish Farmer Samuel Girod!

Sally Oh started this petition to President Donald J. Trump and 2 others

The FDA successfully harassed, indicted and convicted 57year old KY Amish farmer Samuel Girod for charges stemming from an innocent labeling infraction!

Sam is now serving 6 years in federal prison. Sam has lived his entire life in the Amish tradition: no electricity. That means no lights, no running water, no electronic sounds, no cell phones, no internet, no planes, no driving cars. He’s a farmer and lived on a farm all his life.

He’s now in prison about 7 hours away from his family — his wife Elizabeth, their 12 children and 25 grandchildren. He is now surrounded by steel with armed guards, bells and whistles, loudspeakers, warnings, cement and little access to the sun.

UPDATE 4/16/19: Sam has been moved several times and is now in Big Sandy which is 120 miles from home. There are no fences and fewer than 100 people there. It is not home but it is not hideous either. His family visits every two weeks and he even gets to see his grands!!!

Sam has never harmed anyone. There are no victims of the 3 herbals salves he made and sold for over 20 years. He made the mistake of mislabeling one of the salves.

The story of his persecution is practically unbelievable.

Except that I live a few minutes from Sam and met him in 2015. By now, I have met scores of people who’ve known him for many years, if not their entire lives. All of us witnessed the entire goings on firsthand. You could not make this up!

Read the entire story at  KY Free Press

— follow the links in the left sidebar for “Condensed” story.
You’ll also find links to the 3 days of the trial and Sam’s sentencing as well as all of the court documents.

At this point, Sam’s only hope for release is a presidential pardon. Please sign this petition, then share it with your friends and family.

Besides signing the petition, please feel free to send letters, emails, and make calls to seven (7) Kentucky legislators and President Trump. Details, addresses, sample missives at KY Free Press — follow the links in the left sidebar

(It doesn’t take long — I contacted everyone via tweet, FB post and email in less than 20 minutes!)

At the very least, our elected representatives must know that PLENTY of people — at least 30K of you with more signing everyday — care about an Amish KY farmer being railroaded into prison by an out-of-control federal agency!

#freeamishsam #thefreedomcoalition

For updates, subscribe to kyfreepress.com and/or follow Sally Oh (xosallyoh) on Facebook.

CONTINUE TO CHANGE.ORG TO SIGN ONLINE PETITION!

Cases against NJ Weedman up in smoke. Prosecutors cite changing views of marijuana

Updated 9:11 AM; Posted Jun 6, 3:15 PM

Ed "NJ Weedman" Forchion reacts to someone who beeped their horn in support as he talked in front of his shuttered restaurant Friday, May 25, 2018 in Trenton, a day after he was acquitted of witness tampering and was released from jail. (Kevin Shea | For NJ.com)

Above:  Ed “NJ Weedman” Forchion reacts to someone who beeped their horn in support as he talked in front of his shuttered restaurant Friday, May 25, 2018 in Trenton, a day after he was acquitted of witness tampering and was released from jail. (Kevin Shea | For NJ.com)

By Paige Gross   pgross@njadvancemedia.com,   For NJ.com

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday it will be dropping most of the remaining drug and related charges against Edward “NJ Weedman” stemming from a 2016 raid on his Trenton restaurant.

What is not dismissed will be downgraded to municipal court, where jail time is unlikely.

But Forchion’s not seeing this as all good news. 

Late last month, Forchion was found not guilty by a jury on third-degree witness tampering charges – a case that also grew from the drug raid.

The marijuana activist spent about 15 months detained in the Mercer County jail during two trials, and was set free hours after he was acquitted.

The prosecutor’s office said the decision to not move forward in prosecuting Forchion came after considering the shift in climate of marijuana legislation in New Jersey.

“They’re about 10 years too late,” Forchion said of a change in public opinion of marijuana. 

The office also considered the changes in law regarding the state’s bail reform – an issue Forchion railed against during his time in jail.

“I’m half-way happy and half-way mad,” he said Wednesday night. “Now the state just drops the charges, and I’ve already spent 16 months in jail. I had 42 charges against me total. It was a campaign of terror by the police department.”

NJ Weedman spent 400-plus days in jail. Turns out he was not guilty

Can he get anything for all the time he spent locked up?

“These factors call for an adjustment in the way the office most appropriately uses its resources and assistance from other law enforcement agencies in order to prioritize detention cases such as murders, attempted murders and violent crime,” the prosecutor’s statement said.

“The fact that the defendant has served more than a year in prison while these cases were pending was also taken into consideration,” it continued.

In all, Forchion had been indicted in 2016 and 2017 and was facing 11 charges related to narcotics dealings and cyber harassment. The prosecutor’s office has dismissed most of the charges, and downgraded five to “disorderly persons offenses,” all of which will be tried in Trenton Municipal Court.

The state is currently wrestling with ideas of how to deal with the hundreds of thousands of people who have been charged with marijuana crimes. Some legislators are considering expunging low-level convictions, but aren’t yet sure of the logistics.

“After a review of the defendant’s pending cases,” the prosecutor’s office said in its statement, “We feel the downgrade and dismissal of the charges is an appropriate resolution.”

Paige Gross may be reached at pgross@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @By_paigegross. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

CONTINUE READING….

(TN) Human Rights and Cannabis Activist “The King Pin” Thorne Peters Continues to Fight Shelby County Charges After Latest Arrest

Actus Reus Non Facit Reum Nisi Mens Sit Rea

For the act to be guilty, the mind must be guilty, for the mind to be guilty, the act must be criminal.

April 12, 2018

thorne

On April 3rd, Mr. Thorne Peters was “live” in front of the Shelby County Justice Center, awaiting his latest arrest for selling small amounts of  Cannabis in baggies – prior to his sentencing for the case which he lost to a Jury of his “peers” on March 1, 2018, in Shelby County Tennessee under Judge J. Robert Carter Jr.

Because of the nature of evil from within the System you have to realize at some point that we cannot allow them to continue legislating us to death.  Legislation promotes the prison industrial complex and every day another innocent person is sent into inhumane conditions to suffer for “imaginary” crimes, if you will.

Every time another piece of Legislation is enacted we all lose another piece of our Freedom!  This holds true particularly in the fight against prohibition of Cannabis/Hemp (yes, they are = ONE plant), because every time a piece of “medical” legislation is passed it regulates us out of our freedom.  The easiest example of this is legislation that would prohibit personal growing.  I have written about this subject before, as it all ties in with Agenda 21 and the fight for the control of all of our food and medicine. 

Cannabis is FOOD first.  It is an unalienable right from birth.  We cannot allow what we were given at birth to be stolen from us, literally one plant at a time.  Anyone who has ever been involved in any research about Cannabis knows the conspiracies or reasons behind it’s illegality.   The fight for our freedom must be a repeal of the prohibiting laws both on the Federal Statutes and U.N. Treaty levels.  That strategy alongside #NO MENS REA by defendants in possession of Cannabis cases of all kinds can change the Justice System as we know it today.  The bottom line is that Cannabis has to be freed for ALL not just SOME for A FEW REASONS!  If we do not push for change now and continue to allow the “legislating” of Cannabis it will not end with Cannabis – this I can promise you.  If you live long enough you will see regulation on the possession and use of fruits and vegetables and weeds, (just like “Hemp” has to be <.3 THC) !  It was started a long time ago and has progressed into what we see today.  And the regulation and control of Cannabis as a Schedule II Controlled Substance will be the launch of the Corporate Pharma driven market that we will be left with and you can forget about growing your own plants!

Cannabis has to be removed from control first and released back to the people in it’s full form.  At that point, if Corporate Cannabis can market a good product for sale at a reasonable cost and contribute to tax revenue system, I would be glad to try it…at the same time I am growing my own plants, for my own purposes, in my own backyard, or sunroom!

The injustice that Thorne Peters is subjecting himself to, to make a very real effort to inform the people at large about their Human Rights is to be noted and appreciated.  I think that more people should take the time to fully listen to what he is saying and not take offense to his expressiveness.  I also find it appalling that there has been no notable media coverage to speak of on his case.  I will ask you to share the information as far as you can and encourage other media outlets to cover this story.

THE SPECTER OF THE GUN was used to take THE TRIAL OF THE MILLENNIUM next level by labeling me a CRIMINAL who committed no crime and a VIOLENT OFFENDER who committed no act of violence according to the evidence and testimony. NO MENS REA is now “A FORTIORI”. As I will have some years to spend in prison, pending a multitude of appeals, I will find fellow prisoners who also have no name of a victim on their affidavit and unleash them upon the system. “

On the 10th of April Thorne Peters was arraigned for charges incurred on the Courthouse steps on the 3rd of April – which was supposed to be his sentencing day for the  Guilty verdict on March 1st.  That date was moved forward to the 12th of April.

Linda Harrah, known as “Lady L”, his partner, has indicated to me that the conditions inside of this facility are inhumane – a problem all unto itself.  He is being held in the “drunk tank” where  it is very loud all the time,  with trouble frequently breaking out and little or no supervision .  He is on “lockdown” 23 hours per day leaving only one hour for personal hygiene, phone calls or whatever else he may need to take care of such as commissary – I suppose if there is a long line that day you are just sh*t  out  of luck! 

“Lady L”  was in court for sentencing today.

He was sentenced to 36 months 100% time and 1 yr 30% time … so 39 months. He has hurt no one and only committed acts of civil disobedience.  He has committed no crime against anyone’s “person, property nor puppy”…

On April 24th he will be arraigned  for the two new pot charges from April 3rd.  On May 30th he will be back before Judge J Robert Carter Jr. for appeal.

“He was magnificent on the stand today testifying to all the history of the past that he represents. Can’t wait to hear or read the transcripts.” – “Lady L”

BE SURE TO FOLLOW “LADY L”, LINDA HARRAH, ON FACEBOOK !

Lady L” has been by Thorne’s side since the beginning and is  striving to keep the information flowing about this very important #NOMENSREA Case,.  She is on Facebook everyday giving updates thru video.  It is very interesting to watch.  Though it is heartbreaking to see someone so  dedicated to Activism be treated so unjustly and inhumanely by our Justice System, i.e., Shelby County, Tennessee, in particular.

WATCH & LISTEN
as THE KINGPIN takes The Ministerz of Injustice to task
for the ongoing CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY against him that
officially began November 11, 2008

THE PLANTED BUST

Call Governor  Bill Haslam (615) 741- 2001 ask for Constituent Services or Policy. Tell them you want to have the Thorne Peters conspiracy investigated # NOMENSREA…

Below listed are links to Facebook Video’s from “Lady L” which give updates for each day since Thorne’s arrest.

Thurs:  April 12th – Day 10   Additional Video

Weds:  April 11th – Day 9

Tues:  April 10th – Day 8

Mon:  April 9th – Day 7

Sun:  April 8th – Day 6

Sat:  April 7th – Day 5

Fri:  April 6th – Day 4

Thurs:  April 5th – Day 3

Weds:  April 4th – Day 2

Tues:  April 3rd – Day 1

Image may contain: text

Those of you facing PROHIBITION charges, who are not a target of your local Ministerz of Injustice, who have no guns to be tainted with, will follow the law to proceed PRO SE with the lawful offensive of NO MENS REA and the HUMAN RIGHTS declaration of “I AM THE LAW” in the name of THE KINGPIN Thorne Peters! Any other position is unlawful; a crime against humanity . . .

RELATED:

FOUND GUILTY, BY JURY, of “possession of pot – that I was not in possession of…” Thorne Peters

Thorne Peters LIVE from Shelby County Justice Center in Memphis Tn …

“NO MENS REA WAY MARCH UNTIL PROHIBITION ENDS”

The FREEDOMcast of THE KINGPIN THORNE PETERS!

HERE IS EVIDENCE OF A CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY & PROOF OF #NOMENSREA

THE KINGPIN PUNKS A PIG! DETECTIVE GARY BEANS. MAYOR MARK LUTTRELL. AMY WEIRICH, BILL GIBBONS

CHRONOLOGY OF CORRUPTION!

This is the highlight video of Thorne Peters , THE KINGPIN, selling POT on the front steps of the Memphis TN, Shelby County Courthouse on 4-3-2018.

PLEASE ALSO REMEMBER THAT FUNDS ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED FOR EXPENSES AND LEGAL COSTS!  PLEASE DONATE!

DANX for sharing with “THE FREEDOMfund” … I will be sentenced to 12 years in prison on April 3, 2018, with a projected release date of 10/2021, so I need your support to keep my home fires burning; I need to make phone calls to continue being heard LIVE daily on the phone to share the message of FREEDOM with those being oppressed; I need to take care of Lady L, so she is not in the dark in da hood and maybe some of our puppiez . . . I’d love to see them again in life. So, jump in and make a difference in my life as I go down fighting for our FREEDOM from PROHIBITION, even from behind the prison walls. “I AM THE LAW!” #NOMENSREA .

OTHER INFORMATION OF NOTE:

TO SEND LETTERS OF ENCOURAGEMENT:

Shelby County Criminal Justice Center

Thorne Peters
201 Poplar
Section LL Block A
Housing 14 Bed L
Memphis Tn 38103

Tennessee locks ailing, mentally ill, pregnant and juvenile prisoners in isolation to help jails save money.

FINDINGS LETTER RE INVESTIGATION OF SHELBY COUNTY JAIL

J. ROBERT CARTER, JR.

Untitled

J. Robert “Bobby” Carter – Ballotpedia

How the U.N. is stealing our “UNALIENABLE RIGHTS” to grow food and Medicine through U.N. Convention on Narcotic Drugs

smkrider

The East Mississippi Correctional Facility Is ‘Hell on Earth’

By Carl Takei, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU’s Trone Center for Justice and Equality

March 5, 2018

E. Mississippi Correctional Fire

At the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, where Mississippi sends some of the most seriously mentally ill people in the state prison system, even the most troubled patients are routinely ignored and the worst cases of self-harm are treated with certain neglect. The conditions at EMCF have cost some prisoners their limbs, their eyesight, and even their lives.

In 2013, the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, and prisoner rights attorney Elizabeth Alexander filed a class-action complaint on behalf of all the prisoners held at EMCF. As the case heated up, the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP joined as co-counsel, providing major staffing and support. Despite years of attempts by Mississippi to derail the lawsuit before our clients even saw the inside of the courtroom, the case will finally proceed to trial Monday.

The lawsuit against EMCF describes horrific conditions at the facility: rampant violence, including by staff against prisoners; solitary confinement used to excess, with particular harm to prisoners with mental illnesses; and filthy cells and showers that lack functional toilets or lights. It also sheds light on a dysfunctional medical and mental healthcare delivery system that puts patients at risk of serious injury and has contributed to deaths in custody.

Nowhere was this institutionalized neglect more clear than in the life, and death, of T.H., a patient at EMCF with a history of severe mental illness and self-harm. On Jan. 31, 2016, T.H. stuck glass into his arm. Instead of sending him to the emergency room, a nurse merely cleaned the wound with soap and water. The following day, he broke a light bulb and inserted the shards into his arm. This time he required eight stitches.

Less than two weeks later, he cut himself with a blade hidden in his cell and then tried to hang himself. It was only later that month, after he reopened his arm wound with more glass, that mental health staff finally placed him on special psychiatric observation status.
Yet, because he wasn’t properly monitored, T.H.’s series of self-injury continued unabated until April 4, 2016. Early that afternoon, he stuck his arm, dripping in blood, through a slot in his cell door and asked to see the warden. A lieutenant saw T.H.’s bloodied arm, but, rather than call for emergency assistance, simply left the area. Two hours later, T.H. was observed unresponsive on the floor of his cell.

E. Mississippi Correctional Blood on the Door
In response, the prison warden opted to call for a K-9 team to enter the cell with dogs before letting medical professionals examine the patient. By then it was too late — T.H. was dead, having strangled himself with materials from inside his cell. He never once had a proper suicide risk assessment or any treatment to address his self-harm.

The lackadaisical and unconstitutional approach that EMCF staff takes toward prisoner healthcare cost T.H. his life and has caused well-documented suffering among countless other mentally ill prisoners. And it all happens in the context of a prison rife with violence, where security staff often react with excessive force to mental health crises and allow prison gangs to control access to necessities of life, including at times food.

The Constitution requires that if the state takes someone into custody, it must also take on the responsibility of providing treatment for their serious medical and mental health needs. This means, among other measures, hiring qualified medical staff to provide necessary care for people with mental health disorders, creating systems for access to care so sick patients can see a mental health or medical clinician, and making sure that medical care is provided without security staff impeding it.

The ACLU and our co-counsel are fighting to ensure that such care is available at EMCF, where the state of Mississippi has continued to lock some of the most vulnerable prisoners in dangerous and filthy conditions and deny them access to constitutionally required mental health and medical care.

I witnessed those conditions firsthand when I visited EMCF in January 2011 with fellow ACLU attorney Gabriel Eber and two medical and mental health experts. At that time, we were horrified to discover that Mississippi’s designated mental health prison was closer to a vision of hell on earth than a therapeutic treatment facility.

When I walked into one of the solitary confinement units, the entire place reeked of smoke from recent fires. I tried to speak to patients about their experiences, but I could barely hear them over the sounds of others moaning and screaming while they slammed their hands into metal cell doors.

Despite repeated warnings from nationally renowned experts brought in to assess conditions at the prisons, a meeting with top Mississippi Department of Corrections officials, and an offer by the ACLU to help MDOC pay to diagnose and fix the problems at EMCF, Mississippi officials permitted these conditions to continue unabated. Rather than take responsibility for fixing this prison, these officials merely switched contractors. In 2012, they swapped out private prison giant GEO Group, Inc. and replaced them with another private prison company, Management & Training Corp., which is perhaps best known for its horrific record of abusing and neglecting immigrant detainees. The state has also switched prison medical contractors multiple times, with little improvement from one to the next.

But the nightmare might soon be over. Over seven years since we first visited the cesspool that is EMCF, our clients will be allowed in court for the first time, asking that their constitutional rights finally be recognized. That recognition won’t undo the great harms they’ve suffered. But by fulfilling the Constitution’s promise of protection, we can stop new harms and horrors at EMCF, of which there have been too many for too long.

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