My New Blog (11/1/2015 – 11/5/2015)
Sunday, November 1, 2015 Time: 10:35 a.m. Location: Toledo Correctional Institution, Special Housing Unit
As I make my first ever blog entry, I want to begin by announcing two recent and significant positive developments. First, last month, I received word from a supporter of mine that a film-maker from New York is working on a documentary about the sentencing disparity between Ohio old-law and new-law prisoners, and that the filmmaker is going to use my situation of old-law injustice as the focal point for the documentary! And, second, last week I received a letter from the Ohio Public Defender’s Wrongful Conviction Project informing me that they were going to be reviewing one of my criminal convictions for procedural errors and evidence of my innocence.
Addressing the latter first, the particular case that the Wrongful Conviction Project is going to review is a case of aggravated robbery — of a donut shop — that I was wrongfully accused of committing in March of 1993, when I was still a juvenile by less than a week of my eighteenth birthday. In spite of being innocent, though, after later being arrested for other crimes that I committed, at the instruction of my lacking integrity court-appointed attorney who intentionally misled me, I pled guilty to robbing the donut shop.
For nearly 22 years, though, I never made any real effort to prove my innocence considering that I’d pled guilty to all of my charges. When I attended my last Parole Board hearing in 2014, upon having the Parole Board repeatedly ask me “why I committed the robbery,” I finally told them that I never robbed the donut shop, and I made a vow to myself to prove my innocence, which compelled me to eventually reach out to the Wrongful Conviction Project.
As for the documentary, without question, it would benefit me as well as other old-law prisoners immensely! For way too long, various people on the Parole Board, and employees of the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, have been getting away with subjecting me to what I call “modern-day slavery,” and the mighty platform of a documentary will expose all of their swept-under-the-rug diabolical practices. It will also amplify my pleas to society to assist me with making a demand for my freedom, as well as the reforming of an out-of-control Parole Board. Needless to say, though, I am looking forward to the completion of the film.
This concludes my first ever blog entry. Until I am released from prison, though, I will not stop fighting for my freedom!
Sunday, November 4, 2015 Time: 7:05 p.m. Location: Toledo Correctional Institution, Special Housing Unit
I received mail today informing me that the Cleveland Plain Dealer is interested in publishing a recently completed dialogue that I wrote with my supporter William Nichols, tentatively titled “A Dialogue on Isolation, Race, and Justice”.
This is great news because the publishing of the dialogue will enable me to further get my story of injustice out in front of the view of the public, that is, at a time when activists, organizations, and politicians are collectively calling for sweeping sentencing reforms throughout the U.S. criminal justice system.
In my situation of injustice, having some type of hope is what has enabled me to soldier on, year after year, in the midst of this old-law madness; and being able to get my story featured in my hometown newspaper gives me more hope that somebody influential will learn about my situation, as well as others, and do something to bring about a change. As I say in here everyday, the Ohio Parole Board and the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections are out-of-control! There is absolutely no way that I should still be in prison.
Well, it’s freezing cold in my cell, as always, and I’m about to lay down and warm up underneath my blankets and brainstorm towards trying to find my way through this Twilight Zone-like maze of injustice.
Sunday, November 5, 2015 Time: 4:40 p.m. Location: Toledo Correctional Institution, Special Housing Unit
I just read an old Toledo Blade newspaper that had an unbelievable article in it about a 62-year-old prisoner that I know named Mark Baughman. According to the article (see below), on several occasions throughout the course of his 23-year incarceration, Baughman made threats to people right before he was to be released from prison. This resulted with him receiving additional time for each incident except for one of them.
Baughman began serving an old-law prison sentence for robbery in 1992, and just before he was to be released in 2002, he threatened a judge and his former attorney. This gave him an additional eight-year sentence. In 2010, Baughman threatened a former girlfriend and was given more time. This past July, as Baughman was set to be released from Toledo Correctional Institution, he threatened someone else. After recently being ruled competent to stand trial, Baughman is scheduled to stand trial on December 8, 2015, before the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas.
I don’t know why Mark Baughman keeps making alleged threats to people before he is to be released from prison?! Clearly, though, something very problematic is going on in his life. What is disturbing, however, is that the system hasn’t acknowledged that Baughman needs some help, that is, outside of a prison. Instead of getting the man some help, after failing to succeed at trying to push him out the door into society, they just keep giving him more time and allow him to self-destruct. These same people that are allowing this are the same people that refuse to let me out of prison, just once, which is all I want.
And people in here wonder why i wake up mad-as-hell at this racist and broken Ohio criminal justice system …. Go figure.
Well, they just passed out mail and I didn’t receive any, so … I’m about to lay down for a moment and collect my thoughts as I routinely do whenever I don’t get any mail, which is often. But I’m alive, so I’m okay.
See you next week.