Tuesday, 6 May 2014

ACLU Case: We filed this suit because the ODRC is violating the First Amendment rights of the prisoners and of the press

This is about the ACLU Media-access case, in which Greg Curry also is a plaintiff, from the ACLU Ohio website:

21 years after the Lucasville prison uprising, the media is still waiting for face-to-face interviews with the condemned prisoners.

For more than two decades, Siddique Hasan, Jason Robb, George Skatzes, Keith LaMar and Greg Curry have claimed they are innocent of the crimes attributed to them during the 1993 prison uprising at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF).

Among other things, these five men accuse the state of coercing false testimony from other SOCF prisoners in order to convict them. They have spent years in solitary confinement, soliciting media attention in an attempt to convince the public—and ultimately the court system—that they do not belong where they are.

In response, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) has completely banned face-to-face media contact with these men, arguing that they are too much of a security risk to be allowed to tell their stories in person.

In late 2013, the ACLU of Ohio filed a lawsuit challenging this ban. The suit was filed on behalf of Hasan, Robb, Skatzes, LaMar and Curry, as well as one teacher and four reporters, including Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges. 

We filed this suit because the ODRC is violating the First Amendment rights of the prisoners and of the press. It’s not hard to see that their actions have very little to do with security and everything to do with silencing an uncomfortable conversation about the Lucasville uprising.

For proof, consider that many other death row inmates in Ohio have been granted face-to-face access to the media. They include spree killer John Fautenberry, neo-Nazi murderer Frank Spisak, and convicted arsonist Kenneth Richey, who has since been released from death row.

In all, Ohio prison officials have approved nearly two dozen media interviews with other death row inmates while denying each and every request for face-to-face interviews with the five Lucasville prisoners. This ban is a special form of extended vengeance, reserved only for them.

These prisoners are complicated characters, and the Lucasville uprising is a complex story.

Hiding these complexities behind a wall of censorship will not make them go away.
The Basics

21 years ago, on Easter Sunday 1993, more than 400 inmates at an overcrowded prison in Lucasville, Ohio staged an 11-day prison uprising. In the ensuing violence, nine inmates and one corrections officer lost their lives.

The Basics – read more here.

(clockwise from top left) Jason Robb, Siddique Hasan, Greg Curry and Keith LaMar are all incarcerated at Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown, Ohio. Not pictured is George Skatzes, who is incarnated at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution (photo courtesy of Siddique Hasan and Greg Curry).

Artist Laurel Herbold’s imagined rendering of an actual legal meeting between prisoner Jason Robb, former ACLU of Ohio Legal Director James Hardiman, prisoner Greg Curry, ACLU Volunteer Attorneys Alice and Staughton Lynd, prisoner Siddique Hasan, ACLU of Ohio Managing Attorney Freda Levenson and prisoner Keith LaMar.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Mosi Paki

Prayers & Blessings to Mosi Paki, release from prison after 25 yrs. Never submitting to becoming a mental slave, now you must be great out there, using all the knowledge you gained in here.
Greg (your Brotha!)

Mosi Paki articles:

Workers World
Millions for Mumia
On Justice for Lucasville Prisoners

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

From Greg to Denver Anarchist Black Cross - August 2013

Dear Comrades,

Greetings from behind enemy lines, I hope as all of you attend this year’s conference, you will meet like-minded comrades that will help to strengthen your resolve for true justice.

Invariably the question of how to best serve those of us trapped behind prison walls turn to prisoner input, from my personal experience and in my humble opinion developing a personal report with us in order to help you feel our pulse is the way to proceed.

How many of you know that one of the prisoners you’ve rallied on behalf of has lost a parent or some other loved one this year, or has a teenage child rebelling at home? Would you invite that teen to do something constructive in your realm of influence? Also how many of you know how close to starvation a prison system keeps the occupants under its jurisdiction and control? Sure, you’re told our birthdays just like American doctors are told our symptoms as they go about their clinically detached analysis – that is, nothing personal to it while they’re off to their next patient. As we all know American health care is nothing to brag or get excited about (smile). Thus, any detached method of activism would seem counter-productive to a sustained effort at freeing all political prisoners. I’d like for the various organizations represented today to be sure that they’re getting the most out of their resources, for example, pooling their printing and postage resources whenever possible.

And to the question of what direction I’d like to see you moving in, perhaps it’s time to reconnect with law students, radicalizing and urging them to file lawsuits over every legitimate prison issue, e.g. the draconian treatment of SHU prisoners in California, false detentions, eligible prisoners being randomly denied paroles, religious discriminations, etc.

Until we touch base again, for the prisoners it’s…

Freedom First,

Greg Curry
213-159
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd
Youngstown, Ohio 44505

Friday, 14 June 2013

Demand an End to the Abuses in Guantanamo Bay, the CA SHU's and in Solitary Confinement units in OH and elsewhere!

06/14/2013
 
Salute, please be encouraged to demand an end to the abuses at Guantanamo Bay or those at the SHU units in California or in Ohio or anywhere in the world. For the progressives with standards too high for the lowly or prisoner or voiceless child laborer please apply your standard to the family men & women working low wage jobs, economically forced to abuse prisoners, to deny us the basic Human Dignity of a Human, these low wage workers have to choose forced feeding folks who demand freedom, cell extractions that break bones and even worse.

A low wage worker must play along with denial of Human Dignity or ignore the plea of an innocent man who demands freedom and nothing less. Worse even for a low wage worker is having to load a prisoner into a van on a one way trip to the death house. The worker mentally has to be crying for help from progressives when their job title calls for them to load a prisoner up and ship them to their death…

Mentally these workers carry this baggage home to their dinner table, to their child’s baseball game. I can only imagine that if this worker knew there was a revolution out there that could help them out of a low wage job…

Whatever your standard, join this call for help!

[Sent in to Revolution, May 2013]

Greg Curry #213-159
OSP
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road,
Youngstown, OH 44505

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Greg's voice reading his words for the 20th Anniversary of Lucasville

This is a recording of Greg's voice where he reads out his text for the Conference that commemorated the 20th year following the Lucasville prison disturbance of which Greg fell a victim.

Foto
A new flyer for Greg made by supporters.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Hunger Strike at OSP ends: Greg and Hasan send a press release out

 May 6th, 2013
For Immediate Release to the Public From: Siddique Abdullah Hasan and Gregory Curry:

Lucasville Media Access Hunger Strike Ends

YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO-- Today, at 3:15 p.m., Greg Curry and I, Siddique Abdullah Hasan, decided to end our almost month-long hunger strike. The strike commenced on April 11, the 20th anniversary of the Lucasville prison uprising. The sole purpose of our strike was to vigorously challenge the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) continuously denying us to have direct access to the media- that is: on-camera interviews with the media.

While both death-row and non-death row prisoners in Ohio are granted on-camera access to the media, those who have been reailroaded and convicted of crimes stemming from the Lucasville Uprising have continuously been denied equal protection under the law. 

And though ODRC policy permits its prisoners to meet with the media to discuss their criminal cases, this policy has not been applicable to those of of convicted of riot related offenses. In fact, in 2003, the then-prison chief, Reginald Wilkinson, made it perfectly clear to Kevin Mayhood a staff reporter at the Columbus Dispatch that: "no inmates convicted of riot crimes will be permitted to speak with [them]." This blanket and collective denial is contrary to ODRC's own state-wide Media Policy, which Mr. Wilkinson's successors have been unconstitutionally enforcing his vindictive directive. 

We want to thank all our supporters, as well as some reporters in the media, who have been agressively assisting us in challenging this unconstitutional media blockade.

We also want to thank the various organizations who have expressed interest in this matter-- that is, the flagrant violation of our first amendment guarantees which protect freedom of speech and redress from government excesses.

Finally we want to thank Warden David Bobby for negotiating with us in good faith and for being the liaison between us and his hard-line superiors at Central Office.

Because of these factors, we decided to end our hunger strike and allow this crucial matter to be litigated through the court. God willing, we will be granted a resounding legal victory against the prisoncrats who wish to silence us in a deliberate ongoing attempt to prevent us from revealing the truth about our criminal convictions, convictions which are a serious affront and travesty of justice. Until then, I remain...

In the trenches,

Siddique Abdullah Hasan.
####

Friday, 12 April 2013

Greg Curry and others from 1993 Lucasville prison uprising on Hunger Strike as of April 11th

04/12/2013
 
Greg Curry, a prisoner at Ohio State Penitentiary, doing a life sentence on false and wrongful grounds following the Lucasville prison uprising in 1993, told Ohio Prison Watch in a letter received today that he would be part of this hunger strike too:  

This comes from ABC / AP:

By Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press, COLUMBUS, Ohio April 10, 2013

Three of five Ohio inmates sentenced to death for a historic prison riot plan a hunger strike starting on the uprising's 20th anniversary Thursday to protest the state's refusal to allow them sit-down media interviews on their cases.

The state has had two decades to tell its side of the story and the inmates known as the Lucasville Five should have their chance, Siddique Abdullah Hasan said in an exclusive telephone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday.

"We have been suffering very torturous conditions for two decades," said Hasan, formerly Carlos Sanders. "We have never been given the opportunity completely to speak about our cases, to speak to the media — because the media has an enormous amount of power. They can get our message out to the court of public opinion." 
 
Twelve staff members were taken hostage on April 11, 1993, Easter Sunday, when inmates overtook the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. Hasan was convicted for helping plan the murder of Corrections Officer Robert Vallandingham, among 10 who died during the 11-day uprising, the longest deadly prison riot in U.S. history. Hasan denies he was involved in planning or carrying out the killing.

Hasan, Keith LaMar and Jason Robb, all sentenced to death after the uprising, will take their last meals Wednesday evening ahead of their protest at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown, Hasan said. Also participating will be Gregory Curry, a participant in the rebellion sentenced to life in prison.

James Were, another of the Lucasville Five, is diabetic and will not take part. The fifth man sentenced to death after the riot, George Skatzes, is at a different prison in Chillicothe.

Read the rest here: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ap-ohio-prison-riot-convicts-plan-hunger-strike-18924356#.UWW18JOporU