Jury issue brings new trial in slaying

This is from the Las Vegas Review-Journal dated Dec. 28th 2012, in which is shown that it can help if the defense questions the dismissal of jurors in a case. 

By Francis McCabe:

The Nevada Supreme Court has granted a new trial for Jermaine Brass, one of two brothers convicted of killing their brother-in-law in 2009.

In a decision handed down Thursday, the state’s high court ruled District Court Judge Doug Smith made an error by excusing a juror, whose dismissal from the jury pool was questioned by defense lawyers because she was black.

Juror No. 173 was dismissed by prosecutors using a peremptory challenge, meaning they didn’t have to give a reason for the dismissal. The law, however, allows for a hearing if defense lawyers believe race was the cause of the dismissal. The defense lawyers asked for a hearing because juror No. 173 was the second black juror to be dismissed by prosecutors with a peremptory challenge.

Smith sent the juror home and then held the hearing, during which prosecutors said they dismissed her because she had “Democratic views on law enforcement,” court documents show. Smith found that peremptory challenge valid.

The Supreme Court held that “dismissing this prospective juror prior to holding the (hearing) had the same effect as a racially discriminatory peremptory challenge because even if the defendants were able to prove purposeful discrimination, they would be left with limited recourse.”

All Smith had to do was delay excusing the juror until the hearing was held, according to the nine-page ruling written by Justice Michael Douglas.

Read the rest here.

Advertisements

Las Vegas Sun: Prison News in a few words, circumventing the Real Issues

On Dec. 17th 2012 this article was published by the Las Vegas Sun about a study researching the question if there are not enough guards in Nevada’s prisons:

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/dec/17/too-few-prison-guards-nevada-study-find-out/

This article is a mish-mash of news about Nevada’s prisons with just a few words, and without much research, which omits Real Issues.

For instance, towards the end of the LV Sun article, this sentence can be read:

On another subject, state Health Officer Stacy Green told the board that all the medical violations in the prison system have been corrected. The prisons are in “complete compliance” with the medical standards, she said.

Which medical standards? Those of the UN? Is this a response to the ACLU of Nevada’s Report of 2011?How can this be? Nevada Cure has expressed to its members that they still receive complaints by prisoners of the lack of medical care on a daily basis. See for instance documents 28, 29, 30 and 30a here. And documents 55, 57-58, 59-59A here. And document 60, 61 here. These are documents belonging to Nevada Cure’s ongoing project documenting abuses inside the Nevada Department of Corrections’ prisons.

Does this mean that the culture institutionalized inside Nevada’s prisons of disrespect and cruelty towards incarcerated people, of some dominant, authoritarian, unreasonable tyrant-wardens and unprofessional, revenge/retaliation-seeking staff is now over? It is simply not true!

Why are Real Issues like Solitary Confinement (two prisons are nearly completely on permanent lockdown (meaning being celled up 23/7) with no change in sight: HDSP and Ely State Prison, and other prisons like NNCC may follow), staff-to-prisoner assaults, unhealthy food, lack of programs, lack of care for mentally ill prisoners, to name but a few ills inside the prison system, not mentioned in more detail and more regularly? Why are prison deaths never investigated by journalists?

More money MUST be invested if we want to keep incarcerating people for such long times as Life Without Parole, or sentences of 20+ years. Why? Because people voted to have representatives who WANT this! The public PAYS TAX to have these long sentences inflicted on people who go to prison, whether they are guilty or not. And prisoners are still human beings! Therefore we have to review how they are being treated.

You do not have to like prisoners to treat them humanely just like any other person in a state-run or privately run institution. Because most people in prisons will one day return, and will not be reformed, if we go on like this. And crime is not being solved by building or expanding prisons.

We need a system based on prevention and reform, not revenge.

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report Vol 2, No. 5 (Summer 2012), published Dec. 2012

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report

Vol. 2, No 5      “Veritas in Caritatis”            
Summer Issue 2012

THEME: “Audi alterum partem”
Listen to the other side!

“Voice of the Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report”
E-mail:  nvjprudence@gmail.com  
http://nvjprudence.wordpress.com

Statement of Purpose:

The NJPR Newsletter reports on current prison conditions, good and bad; more importantly it looks at and evaluates the legal processes and the substantive laws which are designed to keep men in prison: Pre-trial issues, probation and parole policy, sentencing structures, post-conviction law, and most important, the philosophy underlying policy in practice.

The purpose of the NJPR Website is to provide a repository of affidavits, declarations and grievances in Web-Dossiers organized by categories of intuitional behavior. Fundamentally, this is a whistleblowing organization trying to associate with other “transparency” projects at an intrastate, national and global level. We seek to identify patterns which can be utilized by the U.S. Department of Justice.

We invite any resident, and especially judicial officers of the Courts and government Administration to write letters to the NJPR.

Index to this Issue:

Section One: Conditions

1. Civil Actions Against NNCC Law Library Closures
2. Parole News: AB 85 Committee Report, Aug. 20 2012
3. Compassionate Release DOES Exist?
4. Cop Beaten by Inmate

Section TWO: Law, Equity and Policy

1.     Ex-Con Travel Passport Policy
2.     Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? Administrative Law Loopholes

Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion

1.    “Christian” Hater Habits and Correspondence Policy
2.    Inmate Intellectual Activities at Rock Bottom
3.    Call for Fast Against Injustice
4.    Thoughts on Henry David Thoreau

Subscriptions and Services

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Newsletter can be delivered via e-mail or snail-mail. We ask you send a copy into NDOC system and your local legislature and press!
E-mail: $3 for 6 months
            $5 for 12 months
Snail-mail: $8 for 6 months
                $15 for 12 months

Dept. of Justice Issue Dossiers:
Scanning, storage and Electronic Delivery of Dept. of Justice, press, politicians and state administrators.
            .75¢ 1st 10 pages ($7.50)
            .60¢ per page after that
Customized letter: $1 per 250 word

Section One: Conditions

1)   Civil Actions Against NNCC Law Library Closures

The prisoners at NNCC have voiced their grievance at both the Federal District Court and the local district state court. The Federal petition was kicked to the curb  apparently. The local action taken was a writ of mandamus/alternative. The court tried to chill the inmate litigants by illegally demanding a federal level of proof of indigency.

The closure of the law library is conjectured to be a long-range plan to lock-down the last remaining medium custody yard in the Nevada system. At this writing, the plan is to create a level system here, which is usually reserved for high security situations. The administrator has just informed the Prison Industry workers they will be moved from cell-designed unit four, to a barn designed unit 10. The battle against state sovereignty begin.

2)   Parole News: AB 85 Committee Report, Aug. 20 2012

The Nevada legislature created in 1999 an Advisory Committee to study the draconian sex laws and the registration requirements. NJPR wrote to the Legislative Counsel and received the minutes of its second report. The committee is monopolized by the “criminal justice community” members and under the dominium of the Executive branch Attorney General.

The meeting minutes express with great satisfaction that their laws now conform to the Federal SORNA, which threaten individual states with a 10% loss in Federal Justice Assistance Grants. The Parole and Probation Department come into the prison to break the “happy” news about the decrease of liberties for released inmates condemned for sex crimes, leaving behind public information pamphlets on the subject. The Legislative Counsel refused to send additional documents (exhibits) of the AB 85 Committee, instructing us to contact the boss of the Committee, the Attorney General. Separation of powers issue seem to be implied.

3)   Prisoner Let Go on Compassionate Release!!

Some months back, NJPR reported on the lack of statutory authority for releasing men to families to die. Our old friend Doug died stuck on the yard we reported; but recently another very ill man was actually let go! Which is great, but what is the procedure? Is it a new procedure? Is it covered by an Administrative regulation, or by legislative statute? Or does it come under the common law of executive clemency of the executive branch chief, the Governor of the State of Nevada?
              To be continued…

4)   Cop Taken on in Fisticuffs After Taunting Inmate Complaining of Broken Property

The custody managers of the prison decided to do a deep search of a barn-like housing units at NNCC, and the staff well instructed by their supervisor to be zealous. The result was the destruction of the property (some say it was a trivial Styrofoam dinner tray) of an inmate, who went up to the unit officer in a rage, yelling about his loss.

The officer did not respond with an apology about the breakage and the inconvenience. The officer responded with aggression and a throat of immediate arrest and placement in the “hole”. The inmate apparently took the Cop’s aggressive comments to be an invitation to have a boxing match, and commenced to pummel the officer to the ground. Why taunt? Is it smart? Is it respectful? Is it prudent? Is it in accordance to the Code of Professional Conduct?

Section Two: Law, Equity and Policy

1)   Felons and Ex-Felons, and Foreign Travel

We still receive lots of inquiries about the truth of U.S. Passport policy. This is taken verbatim from a letter from San Francisco Passport Agency:

“Indeed, the information you received is correct… Felons and ex-felons are allowed to apply for and receive passports; but please note there are exceptions to this rule. In certain circumstances, felons and ex-felons are given a “namecheck hold” status (depending on the specific circumstances) by law enforcement and when we receive a namecheck hold we are required to have these applications approved by our legal department  in Washington D.C. If legal approves these, we issue the passports. If legal does not approve these, we do not issue the passport and send the applicant a letter and advise them that their passport could not be issued at this time. Please note that in these circumstances, no refunds are given.”

2)   Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? Administrative Blind spots

There used to be, among the American people, a healthy distrust of the individual states. The people were wary of the state’s disrespect and disregard for constitutional rights of the United States, and would look to the federal government for the vindication of those rights. But the states have been able to utilize the coercive power of mass media to create a unanimous identity between the American individual person and the nation-state. This identity between the “people” and its government is the hallmark of the “totalness” of a totalitarian nation-state. But this merging of identity is an extremely new phenomena, and infects both camps of the struggle between “federalists” and “state’s rightists”. The first identifies with the federal government, the second is loyal only to the local despot over the federal agent. The tension of this social conflict is perceptible in the Supreme Court of the United States, especially in the Marshall-Brennan era.

For a good illustration of the attitude creep over time, let’s look at a passage from Coleman v. Thompson 501 U.S. 702, in the dissent of Blackmun, Marshall and Stevens. This is a case that “states rights” philosophy continues the trajectory towards totalitarianism through “its crusade to erect petty procedural barriers in the path of state prisoners” seeking justice in the federal courts, by creating a “Byzantine morass of arbitrary… impediments to the vindication of federal rights” but the right being eroded, the right to come to a higher law, springs from a duty, as all rights do—the duty of the federal courts to keep a vigil over the state’s treatment of its citizens. About the source of this duty, Blackmun notes: “Indeed the duty arose out of a distinct distrust of state courts, which  this court perceived as attempting to evade federal review.”

This distrust reflects the truth of power, and the high degree of corruptibility of governments at local levels, and the higher likelihood of the breakdown of the Republican form of government that prohibits the merging of the branches into a “total” state at the local level. It is a prudent habit of caution and the intellectual virtue of circumspection to “distrust” the political seats of power in the shadows of localities. Even the federal district courts are subject to passively give in to the pressures of the various pressures of the executive and legislative branches.

This healthy intellectual distrust of local governments is evident in the Supreme Court insofar as there are judges on that bench that have not swallowed the mythology of the “states rights” doctrine. The Supreme Court is more impossible than local courts due to three things: the dignity of the institution, the extremely high public visibility, and lack of local connections that could influence its Justices. These natural political prophylactics against corruption are not present in local state courts.

And they are not present in state prison mechanisms of local “justice communities”. Normally, both state and federal executive branch agencies are constrained by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments (respectively) to provide due process in the formulation of agency rules and the actions these agencies carry out upon the non-governmental social agencies of the Executive branch, although authorized and funded by the legislature.

But in Nevada (and probably many other states) the prison administration is EXEMPT from normal public participation, oversight and scrutiny as provided for by it Administrative Procedure Act. Nevada Revised Statute 233B.039 (1) (b) EXEMPTS the Nevada Department of Corrections from its rulemaking guidelines. Of course, the effect of this exemption is to make its operations invisible and secret. Even though Nevada has grand jury statutes that permits them to enter into prisons, this is a very rarely, if-ever-used vehicle to draw prison officials into the light of public scrutiny. The only reliable public participation in rulemaking by prison officials has been the end-user, prisoners themselves. But since local courts are now so much under the thumb of the executive and legislative branch, very little justice comes from courts. But that is all the more reason to keep up the good fight!

Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion

1) Ely Chaplain Transfers to NNCC with Hater Habits

Chaplain Stogner came to NNCC after being brainwashed into Ely-style institutional hatred of human beings called inmates. His first Jesus-loving act was to tear down the Chapel schedule and cancel all “inmate-led” services and violated AR 810.3-7A “Inmate Facilitators”. Then he disinfected the chaplain office, installed a huge stereo-system apparently so he can thump his bibles to the beat of Christian-rock (a bizarre oxymoron).

A lawsuit is pending on several issues against his acts. One issue regards a threat he issued to an inmate for writing to the Roman Catholic Bishop Randelph Calvo. To make the story short, the inmate said “Reeaally?” and wrote a letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who wrote an e-mail back as follows:

“… Nevada State prison inmates corresponding to and receiving letters from ordained clergy who are also volunteers at the correctional center of the inmate, correspondence is permitted regarding religious matters of faith and morals. When this kind of communication occurs the ordained clergy is acting in the capacity of a professional for the Church and not a lay volunteer.”

As mentioned above, NRS 233B.039 (1) (b) exempts the Department of Corrections from the watchful eye of normal administrative rule-making and adjudication. This creates a dark shadow where citizens hired as staff are invited to be “role models” of the typical consumer culture I-do-what-I-want attitude!

2) Broken Record Tactics: Give Men Something to Do

The first thing Charles Dicken’s noticed about the Philadelphia experiment of mandatory solitary confinement was the amazing creative output of the inmates. The only alternative to stark raving madness was for the wardens of the … to give the inmates opportunities for intellectual stimulus and things to do with their hands.

The Nevada policy is to drive men stark raving mad so that the resulting raving madness can become propaganda that brainwashing (by mass media) the public mind into believing inmates are sub-human, the worst-of-the-worst. Many other “states” have the same policy. Any state that has such a policy has no right to the name or status of “state”. The state has turned into a “nation-state”, which is more of a civil religion than a state, according to contemporary thinkers like.

NNCC has lost its Toastmaster’s International group, the Blue Eagles Gavel Club, all of its inmate led religions programs, all college level course offerings, all of its Alcoholic Anonymous meetings led by inmates and has reduced all inmate activities to psycho-Therapeutics or “programming”. They leave open the gym, organized sports and pool (billiards). Of course also the typical prison “weight-pile” for the bodybuilder cult. But if a fellow would like to buy a Great Course college class, that seems to be excluded by the “safety and security” of the institution.

3) Fasting as Social Action and Prayer for Justice

The Nevada Prison News (NPN) ran an article in its last issue (Summer 2012, p. 5) by SAMAEL, who calls on the audience of that Zine for a fast against the terrible conditions of Ely State Prison. The editors of NJPR are in full support of this. Mahatma Gandhi kicked out British oppressors by his practice of Satyagraha. In the ancient prayer practices of the Roman Catholic, and other Eastern Christian Churches, fasting plays a major role. There are entire seasons of fasting-prayer (Advent before Christmas and Lent before Easter). Every week there is a required fast on Fridays, and the Saturday night before Sunday Mass. The word “breakfast”  refers to the nightly fast of the monastic tradition—break-fast.

The important part of the fast is the intentionality, the “giving” aspect of the suffering that accompanies a fast. There are three kinds of ends to prayer in the Christian monastic view: purgative, the illuminative and the unitire. Fasting can be used to any of these ends. By fasting for the purging of an injustice in the world, we are using petitionary prayer.

Now, there is a doctrine of equity and natural law called the doctrine of clean hands: he who asks for justice must DO justice. If we are unjust ourselves, how dare we approach the almighty Creator? So, the intention for justice must be universal—we must wash our hands of our own injustices at the same time as the purging of social injustices in a specific sense.

So, that being said, this editor will offer up and participate in fasting toward any end (if good) suggest by other Nevada prisoners.

4) The Civil Religion of Henry David Thoreau
           
In the famous essay “Civil Disobedience”, Thoreau drops numerous memorable one-liners and gnomic phrases. For example here is one that should tickle the ears of inmates: “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison”. How about this one: “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it”.

And this: all men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and resist, the government when its inefficiency or its tyranny are great and unendurable”. These are all reiterations, not to poorly spoken of principles of natural law Andthis is my “The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies… In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or the moral sense”.

All of this secular wisdom is for naught, and completely nulled out by the following declaration: “There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize theindividual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly”. It can be, and has been demonstrated that there will never be a really free and enlightened state, period! Just like there will never be a man who is an angel, or impeccable (never making error).

The American writer looks at the state from an epistemological perspective, which really is the wrong category to use as a measure (although it continues to be the measure, which explains the wholesale acceptance of modern masses on the omniscient levels of “knowing” by the Homeland Security domestic surveillance program).

The correct category to use is merely Justice, and that is harder to reach perfection in than the techniques of government surveillance. So, as ear-tickling as Thoreau’s quips are, that is all they are. His mind is an early-middle stage onset of immanentism, and this means the loss of the imagination’s power to conceive of the true Power and Authority of the universe. If one cannot do justice to that One, how will justice be done in a plurality of men?

Visiting at HDSP is changing as of Jan. 7th but NDOC is not communicative about it nor practical

I was in prison and you came
to visit me (Matthew 25:36) 

We have gathered that after January 7th, visiting at High Desert State Prison will be on a first come first serve basis, instead of by appointment.

There is still no information on the NDOC website about this important change for all who have loved ones inside HDSP.

We all know how important, if not vital, it is to allow visits to prisoners. It even makes a job for a c.o. easier if the prisoners are less tense because they have had a visit with a loved one. It makes re-entry much easier, and thus it reduces future recidive.

To install a “first come first serve” visiting rule creates a lot of problems, for example if you come from far away (and most visitors do, in Nevada), it is not acceptable that you can not visit because there is a large cue before you (as is often the case at HDSP, even if you are on time).

Also, where do the visitors wait? How do they know who was first? Do they queue up with their cars? How much time is eaten from the visits because the prisoners do not know they have a visit or who have to be collected at the moment the visitor is allowed in? In many states this has been practice and it goes well, but they have personell in place who deal with getting visitors processed quickly and they do not turn away people as long as they come between certain times, unless it is a very busy day like Mothers’ Day.

It may sound better, to no longer have appointments, but visits on a “first come first serve”-basis is unfair and not practical in the way there is no clear announcement or anything for the future visitors who have to plan their journeys well ahead (for instance by having to book a plane). NDOC, a professional, taxfunded governmental organization, should advertise and communicate these important changes from those who finance their prisons (the public) much clearer and more professionally.

This is not the only visiting issue that NDOC should address. Not a few people have been refused a visit or more, even many more, without the possibility to have a video visit instead.

NDOC should give open information to every visitor on their website as well as to all visitors who come now, and over the telephone.

Audit finds prison doctors paid for hours not worked

From: Las Vegas Sun
Dec 12th 2012, By Cy Ryan

CARSON CITY — Doctors hired by Nevada’s prison system may have been paid $1.9 million for hours they didn’t work, an audit found.

The audit found that full-time physicians, who are employed to work four ten-hour shifts a week, put in an average of only 5.3 hours per day. Part-time doctors work two ten-hour days.

“We estimate the annualized unsupported payments for full time doctors and part time doctors for fiscal year 2012 were approximately $1.9 million,” said the report by the Division of Internal Audits in the state Department of Administration.

The 23 physicians at the seven state prisons are paid an hourly rate ranging from $64 to $82.
An audit several years ago found that physicians hired in the state mental health system failed to put in the hours they were paid for, prompting officials to tighten controls.

The prison audit included physicians, dentists and psychiatrists.

The audit says physicians, as exempt employees, are not required to work the full ten-hour daily shift, but standard practice in Nevada is they put in “something equivalent to a 40 hour work week or more.”

Read the rest here: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/dec/12/audit-finds-prison-doctors-paid-hours-not-worked/

Friends and Family of Incarcerated Persons: Annual Holiday Celebration Pot Luck

The Friends and Family of Incarcerated Persons wish you and your family happy holidays!                
Please join us for the
Annual Holiday Celebration Pot Luck
Saturday, December 15, 2012, at 6:00 pm
2000 South Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV.
At the parish hall of Christ Episcopal Church

We will have food, fun, festivities, and music!
Games for the kids – of all ages!  A special visitor for all!

ENCOURAGE YOUR LOVED ONES TO CELEBRATE AT THE SAME TIME;
 TOGETHER IN HEART AND SPIRIT!

Please contact F.F.I.P. at 702 – 870-5577 to sign up on the potluck list or come with your favorite dish and beverage of choice!

Bring the family; a great time will be had by all. We are looking forward to seeing all our old friends and very excited about meeting new friends too!
R.S.V.P. 702 – 870-5577

SEE YOU THERE!        
       


F.F.I.P.
www.ffipnv.org
PO Box 27708
Las Vegas, NV 89126
meetings 2nd & 4th Fridays, 7pm,
2000 South Maryland Parkway,
Christ Episcopal Church
message phone: 702-870-5577

Please Support Nevada Cure!

Nevada Cure are doing a great job in Nevada supporting prisoners, listening and communicating, and actually doing a lot of work! If we all contribute a little something, they can send out their Information Bulletin  to 450 prisoners. So do not hesitate but donate!

Just click on the image above to go to the IndieGoGo Crowdfunding site where Nevada Cure are conducting their campaign.

Two prisoners die in state prisons after being found in cells

From: KSNV MyNews

LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) — Nov 17th 2012

Two prisoners have died over the past two days after being found unresponsive in their state prison cells.

Nevada Department of Corrections officials said in a news release today that John Biasi, 55, was found dead in his single cell at High Desert State Prison about 4 p.m. Friday.

Biasi was serving 10 to 25 years for second-degree murder and a consecutive term of 5 to 15 years for use of a deadly weapon. He was convicted in Clark County and had been in state custody since November 2011.

NDOC said today that Winston Kelly, 38, was found unresponsive in his single cell during the 11 a.m. head count at Ely State Prison. He was taken to William Bee Ririe Hospital in Ely and was pronounced dead at 12:12 p.m. He was convicted of first-degree murder, robbery and use of a deadly weapon in Elko County

Officials said both deaths are being investigated and no other information is available.

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report – Vol. 2, No 4 Spring Issue 2012 (published in September of 2012)

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report
Vol. 2, No 4 “Veritas in Caritatis” Spring Issue 2012

THEME: “Audi alterum partem” – Listen to the other side!

“Voice of the Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report”

E-mail: nvjprudence@gmail.com
Website: nvjprudence.wordpress.com

Statement of Purpose:
The NJPR Newsletter reports on current prison conditions, good and bad; more importantly it looks at and evaluates the legal processes and the substantive laws which are designed to keep men in prison: Pre-trial issues, probation and parole policy, sentencing structures, post-conviction law, and most important, the philosophy underlying policy in practice.

The purpose of the NJPR Website is to provide a repository of affidavits, declarations and grievances in Web-Dossiers organized by categories of intuitional behavior. Fundamentally, this is a whistleblowing organization trying to associate with other “transparency” projects at an intrastate, national and global level. We seek to identify patterns which can be utilized by the U.S. Department of Justice.
We invite any resident, and especially judicial officers of the Courts and government Administration to write letters to the NJPR.

Index to this Issue:

Section One: Conditions

1. The Retrogression of NNCC Court Access

2. Report on Parole and Probation Practices

Section TWO: Law, Equity and Policy

On Motions to Correct Illegal Sentences

Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion

Poem: Inmate Gratitude by Terrence Sweeney

Subscriptions and Services

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Newsletter can be delivered via e-mail or snail-mail. We ask you send a copy into NDOC system and your local legislature and press!

E-mail: $3 for 6 months
$5 for 12 months
Snail-mail: $8 for 6 months
$15 for 12 months

Dept. of Justice Issue Dossiers:
Scanning, storage and Electronic Delivery of Dept. of Justice, press, politicians and state administrators.
.75¢ 1st 10 pages ($7.50)
.60¢ per page after that
Customized letter: $1 per 250 word

Section One: Conditions

1) Law Library Closure at NNCC

About two years ago, the Administration threw out two thousand hardbound volumes of Supreme Court and Pacific Reporters, claiming the computer access would adequately replace the loss. The prison “saved” no money in the wanton destruction, but probably are losing money through the high cost of digital services through Mathew Bender & Company, Inc. On top of this are the exorbitant printing costs for the hundreds of thousands of pages to replace the pre-printed volumes that would have lasted a hundred years. What kind of moronic fiscal responsibility is that?

Now, in early August, the law library has shut its doors entirely. The prison clerks are not trained in the law and no arrangement for access to trained professionals has been made. Already, copies of personal criminal proceedings are being carried by PRISONER law clerk assistants, by hand from the units to the copy machine in the library and back. This has already caused problems because inmate petitioners cannot be present to supervise the copying of complex pleadings with many exhibits.

2) Report on Parole and Probation

Mike X. is over 60 years old. Some years back, during the course of the break up of his marriage and loss of a family business, he was arrested for sale of a small amount of drugs to an under-cover agent in Reno, Nevada. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to drug court in lieu of prison. The expense of the alternative is borne by the convict to the extent that Mike, who was also without a car, was unable to meet his obligation. He absconded to California, where he had friends and a job waiting for him. He did well for a year or so then was injured and ended up in a convalescent hospital. He was taken custody by local law enforcement, taken to local jail and picked up by Nevada law enforcement and transferred back.

At his hearing, the District Attorney offered drug Court again, but John was in worse condition than before, so he refused and chose to serve his 2-5 year sentence in prison. The judge so ordered, and John, still injured, spent his first three or four months in the prison infirmary. He went to the main units for about three months, then had his first parole hearing.

His “parole plan” for the Parole Board Hearing was to go back to the convalescent home in California and/or to his friends there. He was approved for parole on this plan.

After the hearing, he was informed by his unit officer that they would not release him to California and the reason given was “they don’t do that anymore”. Eventually he was released to Safe Harbor Half-way House at 469 9th Street in Reno, Nevada.

The State, says John, pays the first three weeks of the program fees, and then the rest is up to the parolee. John had been given 29$ upon his release, and the program costs 650$ month. The program, according to John, offered three meals and a bed, and nothing else. Had he been able to stay on his sentence would have expired in January 2011. He was unable to get his disability payments reactivated within the three weeks he had his rent paid by the State of Nevada; the program began to ask for their money, and John was also bound to pay a 30$ per month Parole fee, and a 50$ drug evaluation fee for a psychoanalyst report. The program supplied the card of a professional analyst he was to have hired. John, having no income became overwhelmed and decided to turn himself into the parole officer assigned to his case and lie to the officer so he would get “violated” and taken back to prison.

John’s assigned officer was not in when he arrived. The duty officer that day was assigned to talk to him. John informed her he had taken vicodin’s. She questioned him for about 5 minutes then had another officer came and cross-examined him. They did not drug test him. He was in County Jail in about 2 hours. He was there 2 months. His assigned Probation Officer, Ms Simon Tachi, came to see him to have him sign paperwork. John did not have his required “revocation hearing” until he was in prison for three weeks not while he was at County Jail.

At his Revocation Hearing, John fessed up to what he had done and they reinstated his parole and gave him until April 1 2010 to go back to them and supply them with a new “parole plan”. John is considering that it would be safer for him to spend the remainder of his sentence in prison, as he cannot thrive in the State of Nevada as he has no family, no friends, and no income. If he “expires” his sentence, he would be free from the Nevada system and could travel back to California. John is a professional grade graphic artist.

Section Two: Law and Equity

1) On Motions to Correct Illegal Sentences

Notes on the Use of Edwards for Governmental Evasion of Motions to Correct Illegal Sentences in the State of Nevada.

The Executive branch at local and central levels has convinced the judicial branch that the convicted and incarcerated citizens of the region cannot succeed in finding relief under the statutory “Motion to Correct an Illegal Sentence” (NRS 176.555) UNLESS “it is illegal for being at variance with the controlling sentencing statute” Edwards v. State.

This controlling principle is derived from non-9th Federal District case law. The prisoners at NNCC recently received copies of three non-9th District cases which are cited by the Edwards court to support its pro-government stance of preferential treatment of prosecuting attorney. We will discuss these three cases and show how the local executive lawyers of the government have hoodwinked the judicial branch, and constructed a law that magnifies its own power and vitiates the individual citizen.

This is done by omitting from judicial consciousness the entire law of the underlying cases, and presenting to them only those portions prejudicially favorable to the government. This reductive prevarication creates a sham appearance of the American claim to the rule of law and is a major contribution to prison over-population, because it is a “legal” weapon in the war-on-crime denial of the lower courts, who trusted the statist executive branch lawyers twisted cutting up at the case law to insure its own “victory” at the high cost of injustice to Z. and thousands of others.

Prince v. U.S., 432 A2d 720

Z. was denied his motion to correct his outrageously unfair sentence because it fell within the range of maximum penalty allowed for by legislated statute, as stated in Edwards above. The implied message is that there are NO OTHER CIRCUSTANCES which give the judge cause to change the sentence. This is a fabrication.

The government lawyers derived this legal standard of Nevada from Prince v. U.S., 432 A2d 720, which (the lawyers tell the court) says

“A sentence is a nullity if it is illegal for being at variance with the controlling sentencing statute”. 

What the government forgets to tell its local judges is that Prince is a case of the government filing a motion to correct a sentence. The judge in this case departed downward, giving a lighter sentence than called for by the statutes. The government had to file the motion two times before the judge would get it right and impose the ten year sentence. This Prince court relies on Bozza v. U.S. 67sct 645 which points out that “an excessive [broken off]

The case of Z.

We are going to scaffold this discussion upon a live case that probably represents the situation of thousands of illegally sentenced men in the industrial justice system.

Z. was driving in Las Vegas and was typically profiled as a black suspect; he refused to stop for about 30 seconds, but never sped up past miles per hour. He was stopped and searched, which produced two small packets of personal use drugs, one cocaine, one heroin. Z claimed there was no “probable cause” and a public pretender file a motion, and the court colluded with the government to come up with a fabricated police-car computer-generated document that provided a false-positive “cause”.

The defendant was offered a penalty of about four years prison with good time considered. He exercised his constitution right to a trial and paid the jury trial penalty, and eventually got a sentence enhancement on the bifurcation of two charges out of the one act of drug possession and received sixty years. Then, being placed in one of the southern Nevada lock-down prisons where true access to the courts is denied systematically he became time-barred on his Habeus Corpus.
He has been attempting a Motion to Correct since 2011, was denied and now is attempting a Motion to Reconsider the sentence should be “corrected” as well.

Now since the Government’s own stated aims are to seek justice in the abstract and not mere victory over its own citizens. It failed in its obligations to make concessions that excessive sentences can be requested by those convicted of them and the conditions under which this can occur. This failure of the government implies a hidden agenda of winning at all costs, as is if the adversarial system justifies the idea of equity and fairness inimical. So the question of how a prisoner convict can use this Motion to Correct Sentence begs to be answered.

Allen v. U.S. 495 A2d 1145 (D.C. App. 1985)

Another statist interpretation found in the Edwards case which is used to foreclose the Motion from effective use by citizens against the government is the argument that the Motion to Correct an Illegal Sentence can be only brought to fruition if the conviction is presumed to be valid, and that the court cannot entertain arguments of alleged errors in the proceedings prior to the imposition of the sentence. Only when the judge departs from the statutory perimeters can this motion be used—or so says the state. This Allen case builds on Heflin v. U.S. 79sct 451Robinson v. U.S. 454 A 2d 810.

The third non-9th Circuit case which is the foundation of the repressive Edwards case is the Robinson case, cited above. Now, Robinson relies on U.S. v. Ramsey 655 F2d 398 (1981), which reveals two distinct kinds of illegal sentences: one in which is illegal on its face due to various reasons, and one which is the sentence is imposed in an illegal manner.

Nevada bureaucrats have weaved a public lie that motions to correct applies only when there is a defect in the imposition of statutorily correct sentence (either too much or too little punishment). But we’ve shown above a sentence is also illegal when there is no evidence to support a conviction and the judge fails to catch it. One example is the situation when the government “pyramids” sentences by sneaking in a conspiracy charge on top of the charge of consummating the conspired act—they should merge to one act. Or as in the case of Z, one act of possession of illegal drugs is punished as two acts even though there is no additional evidence to separate the act into two—like time, place or action.

The second way a sentence becomes illegal as described in the underlying Robinson case is the manner in which it is impose of which is a correction of a sentence made illegal by a government “pyramiding of penalties” by creating two counts of guilt for one act.

Now in Allen, the government does not pyramid, and they have proven two acts. But the case clearly defines a situation when a sentence can be illegal in other ways than just being statutorily incorrect. The Nevada Edwards case omits this discussion from the record and carefully redacts the Allen language to find words to fit its argument for statist domination over all the players in the “justice community”.

It is clear that judges themselves, and certainly not state-hired “defender” read the underlying case law to find the whole truth. It is a little know fact how the indigent and poor are routinely denied access to the non- Nevada and non-9th Circuit cases at the facility law libraries, and the Supreme Court will not supply such law except to the WEALTHY inmate who can pay. The rule which the underlying Allen case makes is that a sentence is illegal on its face when it creates two counts and two punishments from a single act, as in the case of Z…

This applies to Z because he was punished for exercising his rights to trial by not only sentencing him twice for one act, but he got a quantum leap of punishment by getting the “habitual criminal enhancement”, and received a potential death sentence of 60+ years! Remember, the government offered him years!

Now, the state of Nevada statute has a ritual procedure that must be met not just substantially but strictly. If the government indicts by Grand Jury and they decide to enhance, they must give a “notice” of such to the Grand Jury and defendant. If the government charges by information then seeks enhancement, the government must Amend the complaint. Not give “notice” to Grand jury, but Amend complaint.

The underlying Robinson case, the court establishes absolute strictness to this ritual. The dissent of Mack says it best:

“The commission of this procedural error can well result in the loss substantive right… since the legal requirement for imposition of a sentence was not met here… the court did not have authority to impose the [enhanced] sentence”.

Z. got a “notice”, not an amended complaint so his sentence is illegal for two reasons: double jeopardy and improper imposition of sentence both of which can be addressed under a Motion to Correct on Illegal Sentence.

However, one cannot see this in the case law of Edwards in Nevada. One has to read all the underlying case law to discover the oppressive violence by virtue of the Executive branch lawyers covering up the whole record, concealing the truth, duping the judges and publics, and reductively obscuring the parts of the rules of law which will diminish government power, and enhance the possibility of victory for citizens in the Anglo-American adversarial system.

Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion

1) Poem:

Inmate Gratitude

Each day you work an angel in my life
Perhaps one day you’ll save me from a knife.
Amid the ridicule you keep me safe from harm
When gangs attempt to try and break my arm
Ready you stand when needed by my side
Even solace you give the night I cried
Comfort when friends and family fell ill and died
Your presence gives no place for evil to hide.
Your days are never simple and always rough
Surrounded by things who try to huff and puff
Challenged by cons to see of your up to snuff
One hardly ever thinks to thank enough.
Often fools, they throw you one more curve
They try so hard to work your final nerve
They blame you first for sentences they serve
Let this be just a thanks that you deserve.

PAX

Lawless America Movie Interview: Tonya Frances Brown for Nolan Klein in Carson City, Nevada

Please watch this powerful and enraging video featuring Tonja Brown, Nolan Klein’s sister, who fought and still fights hard to battle injustice done to her brother and also to fight for basic human rights of others still inside.
On Sept. 20th, please remember Nolan Klein, an innocent man who died in 2009 on that day, while still in prison, all because evidence that could have exonerated him, lay hidden and was never presented by the prosecution.

www.justicefornolanklein.net

Lawless America Movie Interview: Tonya Frances Brown for Nolan Klein in Carson City, Nevada.

Nolan Klein is dead. He died in the Nevada State Prison. He was wrongfully convicted. He spent 20 years in prison and died there, an innocent man.

Nolan Klein wrote a letter expressing his feelings about the corruption that he experienced. Nolan Klein speaks to us from Heaven through his sister, Tonja Frances Brown.

Lawless America…The Movie is all about exposing the fact that we now live in Lawless America. We no longer have laws that are enforced because judges do whatever they want to do. America has also become lawless because government officials are dishonest and/or corrupt.

The movie will expose corruption in every state. The Movie will focus on victims. Corrupt judges and corrupt government officials will be exposed, and we will confront a number of the crooks.

If anyone has ever questioned the story of a person who has expressed the view that they were a victim of the government or of judges, this movie will prove that the odds are that the corruption report was true. In fact, there are probably tens of millions of victims in the United States who never realized what happened to them.

One feature length documentary movie is being produced. It will be shown in theaters, on Netflix, Blockbuster, and other such video places, and the movie will be presented at the Sundance Film Festival and other film festivals.

In addition, videos will be produced for each state and for each type of corruption. Everyone who is interviewed for the film will record a three-minute segment that will be done as testimony before Congress as well as a 30-60 minute on-camera interview with Bill Windsor, founder of LawlessAmerica.com and GRIP, and candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislators in each state will receive the testimony from those in their state, and the members of the U.S. House and Senate will receive all of the testimony nationwide.

Over 750 people are already scheduled to be interviewed for the movie.

For more information, see www.LawlessAmerica.com and www.Facebook.com/lawlessamerica