I'm a currently incarcerated member. I was reading your last Razor Wire newsletter in the 'day room' while waiting to take a shower. After my turn getting wet, I returned to where I left my stuff, and your newsletter was gone.
If you could find it in your heart to send me another copy, I would be most grateful. Also, please let know if I need to renew my membership. I don't have much, but I do love your newsletter.
I am excited and encouraged by the fabulous content and color pictures in the Razor Wire. Even though the "Mission" hasn't been accomplished, I am still inspired by just knowing that so many people, even some cops like the LEAP group, care about me enough to sacrifice time and money in the struggle for justice.
I love the new magazine format; it's so much easier to read. With 82 months down on the 10 years they gave me, I'm now a short-timer with just 9 months left. May you continue to be blessed and be a blessing in all you think, say and do!
My name is Jerome Allen, and I'm 27 years old. The federal prosecutors and court are about to hand me a life sentence because I have two prior drug convictions.
After being pulled over for a vehicle violation, police claimed to smell marijuana smoke and searched the car, and then claiming to find a scale and a gram of crack cocaine. My friend was driving the car registered to her, and she confessed and said the drugs were hers.
The arresting officers tell two totally different stories, not matching at all. Doesn't this destroy their credibility? The prosecutor had no paper work and didn't know who had taken the evidence to the lab. Even though prosecutors had no evidence to convict me, the judge gave them another day to get it together. How easy it is for the government to make paperwork and coerce witnesses.
I hope someone reading this letter can
I have now sent you three letters giving notice of change of address. The Department of Corrections at Stafford Creek will not deliver mail if it does not have the right cell number on it.
They only moved me from H-2-B-35 to H-2-B-36. Yet, because of that move, they will not deliver to me any mail that's sent to the old 35, only to cell 36. I hope you can look into this for me and learn what happened to my Razor Wire. Thank you for your time and help.
Jerry M. Jury
I recently read a reprinted January 8, 2005 news article from the Ledger-Enquirer (GA), "Community Protests Meth Prosecution Of Indian Store Owners," given to me by an Asian Indian inmate who said the story is available online at www.november.org/stayinfo/breaking06/GAMethProsecution.html.
My friend is from a different country, but it seems we have the same situation. I honestly thank the November Coalition Foundation and its news editors for bringing up drug war injustice to the media.
My name is Chinh Nguyen, and I am from Vietnam and married for eight years. I got caught up in the federal government's war on meth and now face 12 and one half years in prison followed by deportation for selling cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine.
I have lived in the US since 1997. My wife and I had worked as manicurists in Michigan from 1998 till 2003. We recently started up a convenience-store business because we developed health problems caused by working long hours with chemicals in the salon.
I moved to Oklahoma on purpose to learn how to open a business, and with help from a friend, I leased a small store in Oklahoma City, and there began my new career. I was happy with the new work and had a lot of hope for the future to provide for my family. But my dream turned into a nightmare.
Just a month after opening up the store, the federal government sent an undercover informer into my store, asking to buy ephedrine. Nothing in my training taught that I should not serve him. And shortly after this I got arrested.
They accused me of selling a medicine used to make methamphetamine based on the undercover informer claiming he told me he is going to "cook something." It was hard for me to comprehend that drug slang. I did not pay attention to what he was saying, and I have never associated with people who use illegal drugs.
In my whole life I had never heard of any kind of drug called methamphetamine. I have worked very hard to support my family, and within a few months I got my life destroyed. I lost everything.
I ask myself, "Was I targeted by the US government, and am I a victim of racial discrimination?" Since my arrest, I have learned there are many Vietnamese and Indian hardworking immigrants in Oklahoma who have been similarly targeted and now face many years in prison.
I feel relief and grateful to tell you my story. I would join in support with the work of November Coalition. My English is improved but still not that great. I gave my best effort with the help of a friend to write this letter. I hope you will hear the truth.
My name is Richard A. Thomas. I was convicted by jury trial of delivery of cocaine in the amount of 253 grams, or 9 ounces. However, there was no evidence presented at all: no cocaine, no cocaine residue, no wire recording, no phone recording, no marked money, and no 'controlled buy' from police.
I was convicted on the mere words of the state's witnesses, both having received inducements to testify against me at trial. One of the witnesses testified that he was sure it was me who sold him the alleged cocaine because he had previously met me during the 1999 Thanksgiving holiday season.
Prosecutors knew all along that I had been incarcerated from October 1996 through July 2002. I have no 'drug priors,' was gainfully employed and on low-risk parole.
I searched every case on record in the State of Wisconsin, and there has never been, until mine I believe, a criminal case in Wisconsin that tried and convicted someone without any evidence whatsoever. The court sentenced me to 13 years in prison in 2004, and with no chance of parole.
I was an accountant for a local construction
company prior to this ordeal. I seek any and all help from anyone
or referrals to legal professionals who may become interested
in helping me.
I thank you for continuing to feature my story on The WALL section of your web site. I began to get discouraged by the lack of change within our judicial system, until I received a letter from a student in Milwaukee doing a class project. This student had used your web site to obtain information about writing a prisoner (me) and discussing the problems with our current system of justice. This prompted me to get some stamps together and get them in the mail to you for my annual membership.
Organizations like yours are instrumental in bringing about change. This happens first by bringing about awareness, which I feel your organization does effectively. It's a shame that out of over 2 million incarcerated people, more don't support your efforts. I don't understand why they don't become active in the struggle.
I don't care what they think; I know my support matters, and I do and always will support you until reform comes about. Thanks again for your efforts.
Sincerely, Craig Hartman
My husband is imprisoned at La Tuna, Anthony, NM-TX. I have been denied to see him for the third time because I tested positive for an illegal substance.
This computer they use must be wrong. I have been tested in the past and tested positive the first time, negative the second. Tested in the same place as the first time. They stopped testing for a while and started again. The way they are doing it now is wrong. I call it the 'dirt devil machine.' They rub it against shoes, money, clothing, jewelry and hands. First off, no one has control over money; it has been everywhere. Shoes we walk in -- other things we can't control either.
After I saw my husband for the first time and tested positive, I have, since then, cleaned everything. People think I exaggerate, but they have no idea about the pointless stress that the "dirt devil' causes.
After the second time I tested positive, I cleaned everything but my money. They just started rubbing on the money. This third time, I can't explain why I tested positive. I washed my quarters in hot, hot water. I had an extra key made for my car to have it clean and separate from the rest and also washed it. I also washed my driver's liclense. Everything was washed -- and yet I tested positive.
At La Tuna, they said I had a right to appeal and write a letter to the Warden telling my story, or even calling. But I've called in the past for my husband's family and myself. All I have gotten is his answering machine voice with no follow-up. What rights do they talk about? We have no rights.
All I ask is for prison authorities to figure out another way to test for drugs. I'm supposed to understand that because some people might smuggle drugs, we all have to pay. But that doesn't seem right. My mother-in-law tested positive for the third time, and she won't see her son for three months.
She has been in and out of the hospital,
depressed because of her son's situation. I don't understand
why the loved ones of prisoners must be punished. Everyone who
visits inmates at La Tuna complains about the 'dirt devil machine.'
I had read about these ION Machines and their false positives. I'm terrified to try going through one because I take pharmaceutical medications for serious medical conditions. However I take NO illegal narcotics.
At www.PrisonTalkOnline.com is where I read about the BoP's ion machines and all the false positives it produces. To increase their odds of passing the test, some folks are using liquid sanitizer all over their hands, arms, etc. because of contact with money. All PTOers have said to shower immediately prior to going in for a visit.
Do NOT wear perfume, and keep makeup to a minimum. Keep fresh clothing washed without softener sealed in a bag and put on just prior to visiting. I learned that visitors must leave their purses and wallets in the hotel and carry clear plastic bags inside. Still, the darn machine goes off every once in a while.
Burdened by personal disabilities it's gonna be next to impossible to travel from west central Wisconsin down to Terre Haute, Indiana.
I won't see my sweet man for heaven knows how long. I wish they'd put a projected release date up for me, something to pin my hopes and dreams on.