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.

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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

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

Authorities investigate inmate death at Ely prison

From: SF Chronicle: Aug 17th 2012
ELY, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada inmate is dead following an undisclosed incident at Ely State Prison.
The Department of Corrections has identified the inmate as 49-year-old Clayton Wrencher. The incident happened early Friday.
Wrencher was convicted in 2010 of murder in Clark County and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Officials say the death is being investigated by the White Pine County sheriff’s office and the state Inspector General‘s Office.
Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Connett says further details are being withheld pending the outcome of the investigations.



Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Authorities-investigate-inmate-death-at-Ely-prison-3796508.php#ixzz24C1uY0bi

From Nevada-Cure: Informational Bulletin nr 1

Received from Nevada-Cure, it is on the website here. Please print and distribute widely to those you know in Nevada prisons!

Here you find a copy of the NV-CURE Informational Bulletin (IB) Newsletter – No. 1 – that will be sent to prisoners on our mailing list this month.
You may want to print copies to send to prisoners that may not be on our mailing list and you may want to e-mail to any persons that may have an interest in the NV prison system.
We need to bring the problems with the NV prison and parole systems to as many people as possible. 
Good people should not tolerate the things that are going on behind barbed wire fenses in Nevada.
NV-CURE
(Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants)
540 E. St. Louis Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89104

702.347.1731

nevadacure@gmail.com
nevadacure.org

Informational Bulletin Newsletter (1) June 2012

NV-CURE is a non-profit corporation.  Our mission is to educate people on the issues and problems associated with the prison and parole systems through factual information to provoke intelligent and reasonable debate and discussion of those issues and problems.  Our goal is to find intelligent solutions to issues and problems and cause constructive change to the prison and parole systems.  We want humane and rehabilitative treatment for all prisoners and we want justice and fairness for all people regardless of their race, national origin, religious preferences, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or the nature of previous criminal conduct. 

We need your help, and the help of your family, friends and associates, to accomplish our mission and achieve our goal. Join us in the struggle to bring justice and fairness to all in the criminal justice system.

We hold meetings on the last Wednesday of every month at 6:30 PM in our Las Vegas Office.  All people are welcome to attend in person or through our telephonic conference line. (Call for Details).

NV-CURE Membership

NV-CURE Membership for prisoners ($2.00), basic ($10.00), family ($20.00) and sustaining ($50.00) is ANNUAL. Each person needs to keep track of their membership date and make a renewal membership donation yearly. This will save us having to write you to remind your yearly membership is due. 

NV-CURE Lifetime Membership is $100.00 and only needs to be paid once.

NV-CURE Members may assist the organization by contributing money and/or volunteering to perform tasks to assist NV-CURE in achieving its mission and goal.  All NV-CURE Members are expected to assist other NV-CURE Members in resolving issues and problems confronting them, to recruit more members to our cause and to assist others in furtherance of our mission and goals. NV-CURE Members are expected to actively participate in the struggle for justice and fairness for all. Struggle in Solidarity.

NV-CURE Mail

NV-CURE has a mailing address listed above.  All mail to NV-CURE, or any NV-CURE Directors or Officers, should be sent to the address listed above.  All mail to NV-CURE is scanned into our files and disseminated for response.  Responses will be provided within 30 days or as soon as possible.

NV-CURE Telephone Calls
NV-CURE has a telephone number listed above.  All calls to NV-CURE must be prepaid.  We do not have the funds necessary for us to accept collect calls.  Please do not make collect calls to us.  Thank you.

NV-CURE Prisoner Members

NV-CURE Prisoner Members are encouraged to help accomplish our mission.  Work together, help each other, help other prisoners and encourage other prisoners, and their family and friends, to join us in the struggle to make constructive changes to the prison and parole systems.  We need your help in building solidarity among all prisoners to make constructive changes and to bring justice and fairness to all.  We will accomplish more working together than struggling individually.

NV-CURE Prisoner Members need to organize as many prisoners as possible at each institution into a cohesive and united front to effectuate constructive change.  DO NOT VIOLATE ANY PRISON RULES.  Gather information regarding staff abuse, conditions of confinement, staff misconduct and other problems that need to be addressed.  Provide that information  – IN AFFIDAVIT FORMAT – to NV-CURE for our use in any manner deemed appropriate.  NV-CURE will compile that information, organize it into an articulate format and provide that information to persons responsible for investigating the problems addressed and to persons responsible for the adopting of laws, policies and procedures governing and controlling those matters and for correcting those problems.  We all need to work together to make NV-CURE a viable vehicle through which all our voices and complaints heard in an intelligent and reasonable changes made to the criminal just-us system.

NV-CURE Prisoner Members at each institution may elect a member at each institution to lead the struggle for change.  Each elected leader should be in weekly telephone communication through pre-paid calls to designated NV-CURE Community Representative. Only through coordinated and organized joint action may we effectuate the changes required for humane conditions of confinement and justice and fairness for all.

Legal Assistance

NV-CURE is NOT a legal assistance organization.  We are not lawyers and we do not provide legal advice.  We have lawyers and paralegals as members involved with us in the struggle and on our Board of Directors.  Those persons are acting as individuals in our struggle and pursue their professions separately from NV-CURE activities.  Please do not contact them for legal assistance or advice unless you have the money to pay for their services up front, or you have survived summary judgment in a civil action.  As much as they would like to help, they require financial resources for their survival in the community.  Please do not write them personally for help unless you are able to pay for their services.  Thank you.

Staff Abuse of Prisoners

As many of you are aware, for the past nine (9) months NV-CURE has been gathering information regarding staff abuse of prisoners.  We have received a great deal of information on the subject. (as well as on other problems) and we have reported those matters to NDOC Director COX and various other non-profit legal assistance organizations, legislators, NV Advisory Committee on the Administration of Justice (ACAJ) and the media.  
Director COX has assured us that each matter we reported to him as been referred to the Inspector General’s Office for investigation. (NDOC staff investigating claims against NDOC staff). We have received reports from our Prisoner Members that staff abuse of prisoners has diminished during the past five (5) months.  We hope that we have helped to reduce this problem.

If you have information regarding continued staff abuse of prisoners, in any form, please report that abuse to us in affidavit format.  We will continue to gather and correlate information on that subject.  We want all staff abuse of prisoners to STOP and we need your help to do that.

Documents

Please do not send us documents you want returned or copied.  Only send us copies of documents we may retain in our files.  We have attempted to copy and return documents, but the task was overwhelming and the costs overburdening.  We will no longer return or copy documents.  Send us only copies of documents we may retain.  Thank you.

Retaliation

NDOC Director COX has assured NV-CURE that there will be no retaliatory action taken against prisoners that report staff abuse or misconduct.  We have taken him at his word.  Unfortunately, we have received reports that prisoners who have reported staff abuse and misconduct have been retaliated against.  We want information on each instance of staff retaliation against prisoners for exercising their 1st Amendment right to expose staff abuse and misconduct.  We suggest reading the 9th Circuit decision in Rhodes v. Robinson, 408 F.3d 559 (9th Cir. 2005), to insure your retaliation complaints meet the five (5) point requirement for stating a retaliation claim.  We will report retaliation claims to Director COX and other appropriate officials  and attempt to make NDOC staff aware of the fact that reporting staff misconduct, filing grievances and filing lawsuits are authorized, encouraged, legitimate and reasonable forms of 1st amendment activities and are the intelligent and reasonable alternative to violent protest. If staff want to avoid being reported, staff should not engage in abusive or retaliatory misconduct. It is in all of our best interests to resolve complaints through appropriate channels.

Report each instance of staff retaliatory action to NV-CURE and pursue your claim through the grievance and, if necessary, the judicial process.

Please be aware that NDOC staff have been known to engage in devious and underhanded retaliatory misconduct.  NDOC staff have labeled prisoners as “informant”, “child molester” and other “undesirable” persons, regardless of the truth of the matter, to retaliate against prisoners that have reported them, or their fellow employees’ misconduct with the intent of causing those prisoner harm from other prisoners. Do not fall into their retaliatory games of deception.  NDOC staff are not your friends and reporting their misconduct does not make you a “snitch”.  Report staff misconduct and make NDOC staff follow the law and the policies and procedures governing their conduct.

Please provide NV-CURE with information regarding each and every instance of NDOC staff misconduct and we will report the misconduct to appropriate authorities.

False and Inaccurate Information in NDOC Files and Records

NV-CURE has received credible information indicating that in 2007 the NDOC had a computer “glitch” problem that result in various false and inaccurate information regarding past criminal history, good time and custody status being inserted into various prisoner files. It appears in some instances the NDOC removes the false information only to have it re-appear at a later date. An audit has been requested by the ACAJ and will be presented in the 2013 Legislative session.

NV-CURE has a Community Member interested in gathering information on this subject.  Should any prisoner have a problem with false and/or inaccurate information being contained in their NDOC file, appropriate action should be taken to correct the problem.  Document the false or inaccurate information (request a screen printout from your caseworker), request the information be removed and/or corrected, pursue a grievance if necessary and report each incident in affidavit format, with supporting documentation, to NV-CURE. Our Community Member will use information in attempt to resolve problems existing in NDOC files.

Hep C and HIV Issues

We have received information indicating that prisoners are being denied testing and treatment for Hep C and adequate HIV medications. Please provide any information in affidavit form regarding denial of treatment for HEP C and HIV to NV-CURE. The news media may be interested in this situation.

Medical and Mental Health Issues

NV-CURE is aware that, in spite of the settlement reached in Riker v. Gibbons (ACLU litigation against Ely State Prison for denial of medical care), medical care at ESP and several other NDOC facilities is far below a constitutional level of care. We have received letters complaining of prisoners being denied medical care for broken bones, hepatitis c, cancer, diabetes and other issues. Please provide information in affidavit form to NV-CURE, and file grievances. While it is difficult for prisoners to prevail in a medical case against the state, it has been done. Recently, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided in favor of prisoner John Snow in a medical case and remanded his case back to district court for further proceedings.  It would be informative to read the Snow v. McDaniel, 681 F.3d 978 (9th Cir. 2012), decision to understand deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, which is the standard necessary to prevail in litigation against the state on this issue.

NV-CURE is in contact with the ACLU National Prison Project attorney that has an interest in the medical care and treatment being provided to Nevada prisoners.

Additionally, it has come to the attention of NV-CURE that mentally ill prisoners are being harassed and abused by NDOC staff. This is unacceptable. Please report any incidences of this type to NV-CURE in affidavit format. Our respect and thanks to those already speaking up in defense of the mentally ill in Nevada’s prisons!

Please provide information regarding medical and mental health issues in affidavit form to NV-CURE.

Clothing, Food, Personal Hygiene and Water Issues

Please provide information in affidavit form to NV-CURE regarding inadequate clothing, food, water and personal hygiene items issues within the NDOC.  We have received information that there are problems in these areas that need to be addressed.  One of our Prisoner Members is handling issues relating to inadequate food and we will channel the information on that subject to him.  In the event any other Prisoner Member is interested in handling the information provided concerning the other issues, please make that fact known to us.  We need your help to make changes to each of these problems.

NV-CURE Informational Bulletin Newsletters

A new NV-CURE member in the community has an interest in preparing NV-CURE Informational Bulletin Newsletters.  We welcome him to the struggle for change.  We intend to begin publishing this newsletter on a quarterly basis and provide you with news and information beneficial for use in the struggle for change.  Any suggestions for matters to be included in this newsletter would be appreciated.

National CURE Board of Directors Meeting

National CURE Board of Directors is meeting in Washington, D.C., in the end of August and early September of 2012.  Our President, who is on the National CURE Board of Directors, will be attending that meeting and representing the interests of NV prisoners.  In our next newsletter, we will report of his activities. Please provide any suggestions for topics of discussion for International and National CURE. 

Thank you for being a member of NV-CURE and for joining NV-CURE in the struggle for justice and fairness for all.

Financial Resources – Donations

NV-CURE requires financial resources to accomplish our mission and goals.  We currently have extremely limited financial resources.  We need your help, and the help of your family and friends.  Please contribute to our cause and induce other to contribute.  Donations may be sent to the NV-CURE office and made through paypal on our website. The more financial resources we have available, the more we can do.  Without financial resources, we cannot accomplish our mission or goals.  Help.  Thank you.

Affidavit Format for Providing Information

The following is the format that should be followed in providing information regarding the above referenced matters to NV-CURE.  Please use it.

AFFIDAVIT OF (NAME OF AFFIANT)

(Nature of Complaint, i.e., Medical treatment, Use of excessive Force, etc)

State of Nevada                  )

                                           : §

County of (Name of County)

            I, (Name of Affiant), hereby declare and state as follows:

            1.  I am a prisoner confined at (name of institution) and I am making this Affidavit for the use of NV-CURE in any manner NV-CURE deems appropriate.

            2.  I am above 18 years of age, I am competent to testify regarding the matters set forth herein and the matters set forth herein are stated based on my own personal knowledge and observations.

            3.  (Use as many numbered paragraphs as necessary to described the events you witnessed.  Be sure to include names, dates, times, places of the events and all relevant facts.

            4. Further, Affiant sayeth naught.

            Pursuant to the provisions of 28 USC §1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing statements are true and correct.  Executed on this ____ day of _(Month)_, 2012, in the County of (Name of County) in the State of Nevada.

                                                                       _____________________________

                                                                       (Name and Address)

NV-CURE Meetings With NDOC Director COX

NV-CURE is scheduled to meet with NDOC Director COX quarterly on issues of concern related to the prison system. We are also in communication with other organizations, legislators and media regarding those issues.  We are advocates of your concerns and will do our best to address your issues in the community.

Nevada State Bar Notice

Please note that Veronica Melton is no longer answering prisoner mail for the State Bar Association and is no longer able to send the Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook to prisoners.  Sorry. A new person has been assigned to answer prisoner mail. Contact the Center for Constitutional Rights,  Attn: Jailhouse Lawyers handbook, 666 Broadway, 7th Fl., N.Y., N.Y. 10012, for a copy.

Problems Obtaining Identification Documents

Anyone having problems obtaining identification (Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, etc.) necessary for use when released to the community should provide an Affidavit on that subject.

STRUGGLE IN SOLIDARITY

The cruelest tyranny is practiced
Behind the shield of law and order

AFSC Releases “Survivors Manual” By and For Prisoners in Solitary Confinement

From: SolitaryWatch, July 31st, 2012
by Jean Casella and James Ridgeway

The American Friends Service Committee has put out a new edition of the vital publication Survivors Manual: Surviving in Solitary — A Manual Written By and For People Living in Control Units. The volume is a collection of letters, stories, poetry, and practical advice on surviving solitary confinement in prisons. AFSC released the following announcement last week:

Solitary confinement, characterized by 23-hour a day lockout with minimal exercise and lack of human contact, affects an estimated 100,000 prisoners in federal and state prisons in almost every state. Thus the need for “Survivors Manual,” which was first issued in 1998, is even more vital.

In this powerful collection of voices from solitary, people currently or formerly held in isolation vividly describe their conditions and their daily lives. They also write about how they struggle to keep mind, body, and soul together in an environment that is designed to break them down. Many also analyze the political, economic, and social forces that shape their torturous situation. The collection also includes some stunning artwork and poetry.

A PDF of the manual is available online at the following link:

http://www.afsc.org/document/survivors-manual-surviving-solitary

Copies can also be purchased for $3 each at the following site:

http://www.quakerbooks.org/survivors_manual.php

[thanks to FFIP for alerting us!]