In the Sept/Oct/Nov Razor Wire a letter from my son (Boyd
Gilbreath) was printed, and I would like to add a bit to his
letter from my side of this situation.
Boyd is the only child I have, and I miss him terribly. His son
misses him too, a child only seven months old when the judge
sentenced his dad to 66 months. I think it is a shame such travesties
of justice are inflicted on nonviolent drug users, POWDs.
On a recent Oprah show the subject was battered children. A young
child was horribly tortured and murdered by his mother and father,
including unspeakable acts of tying the child down, bite marks,
stab wounds and other horrible things done to this baby. The
parents were sentenced to less time in jail than my son who never
committed such violence in his life.
I urge everyone related to a POWD family member, or someone simply
passionate about the injustice being done to this cross-section
of the population, to speak up and make our chosen leaders understand
that "blanket incarceration" is not the answer for
POWDs. In bitterness our callous politicians may speed up capital
punishment for all on death rows just to make room for the POWDs.
Thank you for the opportunity to vent my frustrations and voice
my opinion about the injustice being done too many people over
possession of marijuana.
Sincerely, Deborah C. Gilbreath
Mother of Boyd M. Gilbreath, POWD
I am a prisoner of the dug war and just got a hold of
a back issue of the Razor Wire. It really caught my attention
even though it was a 1999 back issue. I would like to get your
paper myself, it is very informative.
I don't know if you know, but I am one of the disabled prisoners
of war, and the B.O.P. policy on medical care is that we are
to receive the bare minimum of health care. And they do mean
I have seen the newest of the doctors here at FCI Pekin, and
she even told me that the BOP would not allow her to give me
the pain medication that she would if I was her patient on the
streets. So I am left to endure pain everyday. And I have ten
more years of this to look forward to. I suffer from Degenerative
Disc Dease in which there is not cure and was declared fully
disabled by the federal court judge.
I am medically unassigned, so I have no income from the B.O.P.
and my wife is trying to raise four children alone, so she cannot
afford to send me money. But I know she and I would like to learn
more about your paper and cause. So I am placing both our names
and address here so that we might learn more on how to receive
your paper and help if we possibly can.
Jeffery Zoph, prisoner of the drug war
I'm interested in your campaign about what is going on
in these prisons. I have a friend in jail doing 21 years for
nothing! I also was arrested and spent two months in jail for
something I did not do, but my court appointed attorney advised
me to take the charge - and I would be able to go home faster
to be with my children. I had no other choice but to do what
he said. After going through all that, I believe what you are
doing is the best thing for everyone. If we don't stand up for
our rights, this will continue to happen. Convicted parents should
be home under house arrest, working and taking care of their
families, and not serving long time sentences. Serving time for
My name is B.J. Smith from Kingman AZ. I would like to
receive the paper from you. I am indigent but will send some
stamps when I can. I was 53 when I was convicted for conspiracy
to sell drugs and received 25 years to life. What kind of life
will a 78-year-old man have when he gets out of prison?
I don't read much, but I just spent the best 3 1/2 hours reading
the Razor Wire. You kept up the fight. I really like the stories
about the Supreme Court on Apprendi v. New Jersey.
B.J. Smith, prisoner of the drug war
I got a chance to read your Razor Wire, and there were
many letters and stories printed I could relate to very closely.
I too have had assets and property illegally taken from me and
prosecuted by both state and federal governments.
I was never charged with any sales, trafficking, conspiracy or
violent offenses, only with possession and attempt to manufacture
methamphetamine. My assets and property were seized, yet there
were never any indications they were tied in any way to any kind
of illegal activity.
When it became obvious that state officials would have to return
my property, they, instead, turned the case over to the federal
government, and that's when the 'feds' became involved and decided
to indict me. Up to that point no federal government agency had
been involved with my offense.
The State of Missouri and the county prosecutor violated State
statutes and court rules in several ways in order to manipulate
an illegal seizure. But that's not the strange part.
The State had seized almost $18,000 in cash and a bank account,
but when the federal government handed down its indictment that
amount had grown to almost $38,000. Where the additional $20,000
came from is still a mystery to me, and I don't yet have a straight
answer to that question. I've since filed a motion for replevin
to get my property back in the county where it was illegally
taken, but the prosecutors' office won't even answer my filing.
I'm not claiming to be innocent, and for a year out of my life
I did things that led to coming to prison, but for 20 years?
I led a respectable life, and I've got tax returns to show I
earned my money legally. My addiction to methanphetamine and
being in possession of that drug was my offense, and not the
sales, trafficking and weapons crimes that the seizure and forfeiture
laws were meant for. My assets were never found with or near
any illegal drugs, and no one could show a connection to any
Mostly I just wanted to write and say how happy it makes me to
see that people are starting to voice concern over the way some
state and federal law enforcement officials are treating the
ordinary people of this country. Even those citizens 'out there'
thinking they'll never be in a position to be arrested should
be concerned after reading my story with how easy their own precious
property could be taken from them by our government.
Sincerely, Sam Dempsey, prisoner of the drug war
I am sending these Jubilee Justice names in regard for
my daughter Lakethya Abdullah. We're hoping it would help her
as well as someone else's child or children doing federal time
in prison. Will laws be passed and time reduced for men and women
in the state and federal prisons. Thank you very much for your
kindness and the understanding of these unjust laws.
Ms. Patricia Ann Johnson
I am writing to you to let you know I'm in Greenville
FCI now and would really appreciate getting the Razor Wire here.
I saw the July Razor Wire and read the article Khalid Muhammad
wrote about his friend, John Torre introducing him to a new friend,
the November Coalition.
This article touched me deeply, you see, I'm John Torre, Khalid
Muhammad's friend. I've been moved from Phoenix to Greenville
IL, which is closer to my family and Khalid went to Victorville
California to be closer to his. We lost touch with each other
and I also lost touch with the November Coalition. I sort of
gave up hope for awhile when the courts denied my direct appeal.
It was devastating for me to lose when I knew I should win. But
things are getting better for me now and I'm ready to get back
up and try again. The Supreme Court's recent decision in Apprendi
could help win my freedom as well as my friends in this prison
system. It is at least a step in the right direction.
The article in the Razor Wire sort of woke me up again and made
me realize that I had become one of those people who sit on the
curb waiting for someone else to fix my problems for me. Thanks
to you and my friend Khalid. I'm ready to get back off that curb
and try to get back in the fight against this madness.
Please start sending my Razor Wire to me here and I will spread
the word again about you, my friends, the November Coalition.
Thanks, John Torre, Prisoner of the drug war
Please find enclosed a check in the amount of $32 for
annual membership ($25) plus $7 for one of our totebags. I really
enjoy the Razor Wire. I have a husband in prison. I have learned
a lot about the system in the past 8 months. I can't even believe
our nation has come to accept locking up first time offenders
and nonviolent people as our government continues to do. It is
I am so glad that someone is trying to do something about it.
I hope that every one can understand what our families go through
when a loved one is locked-up and taken away for long periods
for crimes where the convicted person was just with the wrong
persons at the wrong time. Just hanging out with the wrong group.
I pray that things change so other families don't have to go
through what I am going through. And I have a long way to go
until my husband will ever get to come home. Thank you for the
Congratulations to all the people who worked so hard
to pass Proposition 36 here in California, especially our friends
at the Campaign for New Drug Policies.
The passage of this initiative signals a change in attitude that
starts to view drug users as human beings deserving of help rather
than the scourge of society that must be locked away. Is this
the beginning of the end of zero tolerance drug policy- now that
a large majority of voters say we can make some accommodation
for drug users within society?
Thanks also to Representative Tom Campbell who helped educate
the public about drug policy and the need for treatment instead
of incarceration during his campaign for the US Senate.
Mikki Norris of Human Rights
and the Drug War www.hr95.org Co-author with Chris Conrad
of Shattered Lives: Portraits from America's Drug War