Ohio LeBron Fan Denied Parole: Controversial Board Issues Questionable Five-year Flop
**For Immediate Release**
On Oct. 28, 2014, Ohio old-law inmate Jason Goudlock received his Ohio Parole Board Decision Sheet, informing him that, unlike LeBron James, he wouldn’t be returning to Cleveland for at least 60 more months.
Goudlock, a 39-year-old native of Cleveland, who has served nearly 21 years as a first-time offender, for aggravated assault and armed robbery, recently made national headlines after a copy of his September 26, 2014, letter to the Ohio Parole Board was posted online at FreeJasonGoudlock.org. In the letter, Goudlock makes several claims of injustice that he says should allow him to be released from his outdated old-law sentence of six to 25 years. It is a sentence that Ohio acknowledged was unfair on July 1, 1996, when the state implemented its less punitive Senate Bill 2 flat-time sentencing guidelines, eliminating virtually all offenders who committed a crime on or after July 1, 1996, from having to go before one of the nation’s most controversial parole boards in order to be released. Goudlock said he wanted to be paroled, in part, so he could “witness in person LeBron James’ pursuit of an NBA championship for [Goudlock’s] hometown” team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Goudlock’s saying he wanted to be paroled to witness LeBron’s championship chase was keyed in on by Ohio local media, which led to the story being reported nationally by a broad spectrum of publications, news and radio stations, and social media. Many of the stories, however, failed to report the full context, including Goudlock’s several claims of injustice, such as the Ohio Parole Board’s allowing former prison warden, Marc Houk, to participate in Goudlock’s Parole Board hearing despite knowing Goudlock was a prisoner at the same prison during the time that Marc Houk was the warden there. This is a significant conflict of interest because Ohio State Highway Patrol records (Incident No. 06-000028-0400) reveal that on August 18, 2006, Marc Houk attempted to cover up his illegal conveyance of a customized motorcycle into the Youngstown prison, by attempting to frame Goudlock for damaging a service elevator where the motorcycle became trapped.
The Ohio Parole Board’s permitting Marc Houk to participate in Goudlock’s parole proceedings was wrong. Unbelievably, the Parole Board followed up the earlier injustice by allowing an individual who officiated on the parole panel with Marc Houk at Goudlock’s 2012 hearing to officiate at his most recent hearing, in which Goudlock received the seismic 60-month continuance. That this conflict of interest was permitted calls into question the credibility of the Ohio Parole Board’s reasons for keeping the soon-to-be published author of the novel Brother of the Struggle in prison.
Goudlock, in spite of receiving the controversial continuance remains determined to get out of prison, and to bring about the reform of Ohio’s secretive Parole Board. According to his recent update statement, posted on FreeJasonGoudlock.org, he has forged an initiative to raise the public’s awareness of the unjust excessive incarceration of the state’s minority-class old-law prisoners. One method of raising this awareness is by leasing a commercial billboard in the state’s capital city of Columbus to display a slogan that reveals how the law allows the Ohio Parole Board to treat him and other old-law inmates unjustly.
Goudlock’s supporters have launched a group-funding campaign to assist his billboard initiative at YouCaring.com/SupportTheOld-LawBillboard.
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