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UPDATE 10/18/09 ~
CONGRATULATIONS TO REV. PINKNEY! After suffering a prison term that was followed by around 90 days of house arrest for quoting Deuteronomy 28, Rev. Pinkney was released on October 16. Praise God! A judge considered Deuteronomy 28 as a terrorist threat to himself. Read the chapter soon.
YOUR INVITATION - We're invited back to participate in discussions on Rev. Pinkney's Blogtalk Radio Show Sunday, October 18. Rev. Pinkney has another main guest this week, but he invited us to call in and join the conversation. Plan to join us! CALL-IN NUMBER 347-994-3644. You should be able to access our interview from 10/11/09 at my "Open Letter to Rev. Pinkney" in this blog. Please visit again to read other articles and check news you read previously for updates. The letter to Rev. Pinkney should contain a widget and a link we hope you will share with friends. (I say "should" because both were gone until I complained at Twitter today, October 18, about my missing data.)
Progress was made regarding some of the listed concerns below. I report positive developments in my Steps Toward Justice articles at HubPages. Just browse for "Mary Neal on HubPages" to access the reports. Also, another concern was added to the list below as #27 - "H1N1 vaccinations for prisoners and other institutionalized persons." Mentally ill prisoners are especially prone to making false confessions, forfeiting their right to a jury trial, and signing plea deals for long prison sentences. They are frequently unable or unwilling to contribute to their own defense at trial, and some have insisted on defending themselves against serious charges. Psychiatric patients often lack understanding of their Miranda rights, and many are easily intimidated by authority figures such as prison guards. Until outlawed, inmates were frequently used as test subjects for pharmaceutical companies. There are also institutionalized persons in mental hospitals and nursing homes. Now millions of vulnerable Americans will be offered H1N1 vaccines, but have little or no understanding of the risks. What are your thoughts on that? Should their next-of-kin be allowed to make medical decisions for them?
We have a public forum to share views about human rights for prisoners or other human rights issues. I hope you join us on Rev. Pinkney's BlogTalk radio show Sunday, Oct. 18th at 5:00 p.m. EST. In fact, I plan to make participating in discussions at the Rev. Pinkney Blogtalk Show on Sunday afternoons a routine. Consider joining in every week. Our host invites us to call with questions and/or comments. The program can be accessed online by using the link http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Rev-Pinkney or the show's CALL-IN NUMBER 347-994-3644.
Reverend Fred Pinkney, of Benton Harbor, Michigan, leads Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO): http://bhbanco.blogspot.com/2009_09_01_archive.html
As you probably know, I lead Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (AIMI), helping mentally challenged people and others to have Dog Justice. http://www.Care2.com/c2c/group/AIMI Please see my highly censored DOG JUSTICE poem in three languages at the end of this article.
Let anyone know about the radio show who is interested in issues covered in my articles here at http://freespeakblog.blogspot.com/ and those at http://NowPublic.com/duo such as:
1) death penalty
2) prison torture
3) solitary confinement
4) life without the possibility of parole
5) trying children as adults and life sentences for minors
6) mandatory sentencing
7) three-strikes laws
8) law of parties (sentencing all parties equally regardless of parties' level of participation
in crimes committed, i.e., mentally challenged Jeff Wood drove with the wrong person to a store in Texas and wound up on death row because the person robbed the store and killed the guard. Jeff was not inside the store and did not even know a murder had occurred.)
9) criminalizing mental illness, including PTSD among American veterans
10) relocating prisoners out of state, which restricts visits even for sick prisoners
11) private prison profiteering - especially by decision-makers with positions in criminal
justice (possible conflicts of interest)
12) excessive sentencing and unacceptable disparities in sentencing for similar offenses
13) enforcement of Freedom of Information Act
14) prisoner health care
15) increased funding for public defenders
16) post-conviction DNA testing
17) no penalty or misdemeanor charge for less than one oz. of marijuana
18) strict enforcement against police and prison and prison brutality; prosecution of 100% of offenders
19) new trials with substantial new evidence, like Troy Davis has
(Gov. Purdue or Pres. Obama should pardon Davis if he is not granted a new trial)
20) so-called "non-lethal weaponry" and the possibility of conflicts of interest amongst
decision makers regarding police equipment purchases (Are they investors?)
21) illegal alien raids and arrests
22) racism and the socio-economic caste system in civil court and criminal justice
23) police profiling and abuse of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons
24) surveillance of U.S. citizens; loss of privacy rights
25) plans for mass "emergency centers" inside U.S.A. for Americans (H.R. 645)
26) remedial damages for victims and families of abused or murdered prisoners
(whether or not victims lived to reach jail)
27) H1N1 vaccinations for prisoners and other institutionalized persons - Will the 1.25 million mentally ill prisoners understand the risks of the vaccines? Will they actually feel that they have a choice in the matter if told to thrust out their NAKED arm for shots? (Many mental patients are imprisoned naked and comprise 60% of inmates in solitary confinement). Additionally, mentally challenged persons are inpatients at mental hospitals and some live in community care homes. A good number of elders in nursing homes also have brain issues, such as dementia, Altzheimer's, etc. The general population does not YET have enforced vaccines, but will vulnerable institutionalized people understand they have a choice?
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. ~Hebrews 13:3
As you know, my main advocacy is decriminalizing mental illness. What is most important to you from the list above? Rev. Pinkey has given us a forum to discuss these matters on October 11. Others will therefore learn about problem areas, and listeners will be in a position to effect Change.
Treatment costs less than prison. Nevertheless, within the last few decades, prisons have replaced hospitals and community care. Criminalizing mental illness is an issue that impacts people of all races and ethnic groups.
Elected officials care about what voters care about, and voters cannot care about issues they do not know about. That is why discussing human rights issues is important. Especially when discussing mental illness being penalized rather than treated, public discussions help to remove the stigma attached to being ill. Mentally challenged people are the only ones who are jailed for having a common, treatable health condition. They comprise 60% of those in continuous solitary confinement and are often abused behind bars and in their communities by their neighbors and police officers alike.
Through Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill ("AIMI"), an online advocacy organization, I work to effect positive change along with over 200 others who care about sick people being jailed instead of treated. AIMI was founded after the secret arrest and wrongful death of my own mentally, physically handicapped brother, Larry Neal. AIMI's link is after my signature below. See Larry's story at this link: http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com/
You have another invitation, and that is the invitation to help in this advocacy. If you are willing to do that, there is a handy "Donations Appreciated" button to the top, left side of this page. I have supported this advocacy without financial assistance from any sources for almost three years. I have written about 700 articles and blogs, generated thousands of emails to politicians, individuals, and groups of thousands. I have published numerous petitions to assist mentally ill people who were abused by police, ordered into torturous solitary confinement in prisons, and some who face execution. In addition to giving assistance to the incarcerated mentally ill, AIMI advocates against wrongful convictions, capital punishment, excessive sentencing, and other circumstances that need to be addressed (see the list above). AIMI will apply for non-profit status at some future point, but for now your donations will not be tax-deductible.
TAG! - It is your turn to help. Please. Sick people and their families need this system of victimizing mental patients to boost prison budgets with your tax money to END. It is too late to save my unfortunate brother Larry. He was a lifelong mental patient who was harmless, but after Larry's release from 20 years as an inpatient during the 1970's, police grew tired of arresting him for disturbing the peace, vagrancy, or panhandling, so they ended it. It is not too late to help Jeremy Smith, a lifelong schizophrenic young man who is deteriorating after years of solitary confinement in California for merely hitting another patient at his hospital, but causing no lasting damage.
It is not too late to advocate for Andre Thomas who is on death row in Texas. The man is so mentally ill that he is literally eating his own bodyparts, but Texas plans to execute him. It is not too late to save Jeff Wood, another psychiatric patient on Texas' death row (see no. 8 on the list above). In fact, you and I can save 1.25 million sick people from being imprisoned for reason of a handicap and deliver them into treatment instead. Andre Thomas likely should be contained for the rest of his life - not on death row, but in a secure mental hospital. Other patients like Jeremy Smith need supervised treatment as outpatients. That would cost significantly less than the $100,000 or more California is now paying for Jeremy's treatment and cruel solitary imprisonment. (See "Justice for Jeremy Smith petition" online).
Progress is already being made for some circumstances listed above. There are more drug courts and prison diversion programs for mentally ill offenders. In some regions, judges are being given back the right to consider extenuating circumstances instead of having their judgments restricted by three strikes laws and minimum sentences. More positive changes will happen as the public and concerned officials become better informed and involved in removing roadblocks to timely psychiatric care and addiction therapy. We must treat psychiatric and addiction problems medically, not legally. See my good news in justice reports at http://hubpages.com/profile/Mary+Neal
That's my soapbox. What is yours? We look forward to hearing your viewpoints. Get on your soapbox Sunday, Oct. 11 and let's talk about human rights, especially human rights for prisoners.
Quotes by Rev. Edward Pinkney:
How BANCO started: "Many years ago I was going about my life believing that the justice system was just that until I started going to the courthouse to observe all the wrong convictions. There are numerous factors for wrongful convictions in the Berrien County court system. Most of the problems are in the local judicial system."
"Call or write me anytime about anything!"
One day I will have my television appearances loaded onto the Internet. Cyberstalking prevents most of my uploads. Other radio interviews I have done with Wake-up Calls, Brotha'sKeepa, and NVO Radio Hour are at this link: http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/announcement.html?gpp=17280&pst=853795&posts
CENSORSHIP WAS EMPLOYED TO PREVENT YOUR INPUT ON THESE ISSUES. IF YOU ARE READING THIS INVITATION TO VOICE YOUR VIEWPOINT ON JUSTICE MATTERS, IT IS A MIRACLE, BECAUSE FORCES WERE AGAINST IT.
10/4/09 - I sent American Greetings eVites to many online friends and groups to join us on the Rev. Pinkney show. Do you know what? On the eVites, neither my link to this blog nor the link to the radio show work. The links look right on the invitation, but codes that do not show on the invitation were added to the end by some unseen hand. These codes do not show on the eVites, but they do show in the browser to the page-not-found where the links actually lead. That is typical of the interference I have been subjected to since exposing The Cochran Firm Fraud and advocating for positive change.
I believe the CENSORSHIP against advocacy for mentally ill inmates is usually done without the websites I use knowing about it, such as American Greetings. It is enough to make me believe that some wish to prevent discussions regarding lawyer fraud and prison issues. Nevertheless, call Sunday, and we'll talk. We still have freedom of speech and free press rights on paper, and we will use those First Amendment rights that so many American soldiers were endangered, wounded, or died to safeguard. Quite a few are in battle today wearing helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, and using tents, bags, and canteens - all made by prisoners. Therefore, it would be a shame not to actually speak freely about liberty and justice for all, wouldn't it?
WARNING: FREEDOM OF PRESS AND FREE SPEECH ARE UNDER ATTACK IN THE U.S.A.
10/5/09 - After the fiasco with American Greetings' eVites yesterday, I used Care2 ecards today to send the invitation to participate in the radio interview to about 250 Care2 friends and other addressees in my Care2 address book. THE INVITATIONS ARRIVED AS SPAM. Several friends wrote me and let me know. When I tried to open the ecard at the link below, it said the mail was spam and the sender's account was deleted now.
Why can't Americans talk about wrongful convictions, overuse of force by police, ending capital punishment, excessive sentencing, the high cost of prisons and plans to erect CONCENTRATION CAMPS to hold more people, and The Cochran Firm Fraud? With at least 1 in 99 Americans behind bars, this affects many families. What is this injunction against First Amendment rights? Who declared it and when did it happen? I consider it treason. Why are our soldiers fighting and dying for "freedom," if we cannot have it at home? Why can't I freely talk and write about a handicapped American who was secretly arrested until dead? Other citizens need to know to watch out for their mentally challenged loved ones! See the email below, and I have others like it from friends writing to tell me my Care2 ecard came to them and would not open - it was marked as SPAM:
Mary, they are at it, this card has been deleted due to spam?!!!!! where else did you post your info, I will go there to view it, these people suck!!!
Mary Neal sent you an eCard from Care2! Click on the following link to view your eCard, or paste it into your browser:
This Care2 eCard was sent October 5, 2009 and will be available for 14 days.
I am impressed with Rev. Pinkney because of what I learned about him and his experiences and advocacy through other people and his own writing, and by seeing the videos at BANCO's website. I also find it impressive that unlike many people, Rev. Pinkney is willing to help me. Larry was secretly arrested and died under undisclosed circumstances in a public correctional facility. I never imagined my family would have trouble getting full disclosure and due process of law when this happened in 2003. It is like having a family member lynched in the 1940's when African American families expected and received no explanation or accountability.
Roughly 1.25 million inmates are mentally unbalanced like my unfortunate brother, Larry. Memphis/Shelby County police apparently grew weary of their enforced role of caretaker for the lifelong mental patient. Therefore, in 2003, Shelby County Jail denied having Larry for weeks until he died without his heart drugs and/or whatever undisclosed thing was done to him. I advocate for the mentally ill to receive psychiatric treatment timely and continuously to avoid imprisonment and unnecessary risks to themselves, their families, and communities.
My family contracted with The Cochran Firm as our legal agents in Larry Neal's wrongful death immediately after his demise. We felt comfortable that we had the best plaintiffs lawyers for the job. We discovered, however, that The Cochran Firm had a secret conflict of interest and committed fraud against my 80-year-old mother. The lawyers worked behind our backs for the Memphis Shelby County Jail to prevent our lawsuit from being timely filed. In fact, The Cochran Firm did NO legal work on Larry's wrongful death and negligence cases during the 10.5 months the firm "represented" us, knowing that Tennessee has a 12-month statute of limitations. Larry's family expected human rights and civil rights organizations and private citizens everyplace would be outraged on our behalf and come to our rescue. WRONG.
We filed suit twice against the fraudulent attorneys. The Cochran Firm simply convinced the judges that it did not exist in Georgia as widely advertised and despite being open and operating every day on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, and that the firm had done nothing wrong in defrauding a working class African American family to protect a jail after the wrongful death of a handicapped inmate, writing us lying letters of work on the cases being done while actually doing zero, or by submitting perjury in court.
After serving suit, I started being stalked online and in person and even had to take to my home for safety after one horrowing experience, I exposed the Cochran Firm fraud on YouTube. One of Johnnie Cochran's attorneys, Shawn Holley, had already exposed the law firm's agenda to deliver substandard services to its clients, comprised chiefly of minority citizens. Holly stated that after Johnnie's death, there were drastic changes at The Cochran Firm, including racism against African American lawyers and clients. Hear her interview with National Public Radio (search for it online - Shawn Holley NPR Cochran Firm).
I believed my family would get support after exposing the fraud and the stalking to authorities, civil and human rights organizations, and the public. Few helped. I prayed about the terror of being followed home from work every night, and God blessed me to be laid off early 2008. Isn't it strange to read about someone feeling blessed to be laid off? Stalking can do that. Now, I don't feel comfortable leaving home because I am still followed. (Substantiation through affidavits by others who witnessed these events is in the USDC court case, Neals v. Cochran Firm. Also, please see Cochran Firm Fraud 1 and 2 videos on YouTube if you did not already view the films.) Larry was not only black, but also sick. That gave two reasons why his death is apparently deemed unworthy of Dog Justice. Therefore, my family is persecuted for demanding justice - especially Mary Neal, because I write about Larry and others like him.
How can I earn and live under these conditions? I continue to trust in God. I went from being a well-paid legal assistant to living on unemployment that is running out soon. Nevertheless, we have online friends who care about human rights enough to help broadcast these injustices, including group members at Care2, Yahoo groups, Google groups, and other networks. Although news of my family's calamity and AIMI's advocacy for incarcerated acute mental patients are censored in mainstream media, I write articles and blogs, and we've had several television and BlogTalk radio opportunities like Rev. Pinkney has given us.
If you would like to help with these matters, thank you. Giving donations is one important way to assist. Another way is to help broadcast these circumstances. Mentally ill Americans should not be warehoused in dungeons in the 21st century, where they are often gassed, Tasered, or even killed in restraint devices like Tim Sauders (who was left secured to a concrete slab for days until death) and Sean LeVert, a famous singer who died in 2008 after arrest for a misdemeanor offense. Feel free to re-post any of the blogs herein and my articles published at http://NowPublic.com/duo.
Once upon a time, victims of domestic violence, child abuse and molestation were so ashamed of their victimization that most did not talk about it or ask for help. As the wrongful imprisonment of mentally ill people and the toil on their families and our prison budgets are discussed frequently and opposed strenuously, change will happen just as it did for those victims. Because of your financial assistance and/or help publishing these circumstances, hospitalization and community care will soon replace prisons at no additional cost to taxpayers.
I wonder if it were not for my articles and our airing these injustices on public access television and in radio interviews (or despite those efforts), is/was my family intended to suffer more unexplained deaths for asking "What happened to Larry Neal?" Therefore, I give thanks to BlogTalk Radio, NowPublic, Care2 News Network, IndyMedia, OpEdNews, Blogger, HubPages, and other online opportunities people have to report their own injustices. Additionally, many people like Pamela Wagner, co-author of Divided Minds, organizations, and numerous other individuals carry our news on their individual websites. Thank you!
See more about The Cochran Firm Fraud and our advocacy to decriminalize mental illness in my Google profile at http://www.google.com/profiles/MaryLovesJustice and I look forward to speaking with you Sunday, October 11 regarding these and other matters.
Thank you, Rev. Pinkney. Thank you for caring about the least of these, His brethren, according to Matthew 25:40. I do not know what it is that other people let frighten them or induce them not to report these injustices, thank you for being courageous and immune to possible incentives to ignore my family's need for support. Thanks for being concerned with the needs of 1.25 million families in America whose mentally ill loved ones suffer behind bars (sometimes for simple offenses) as well as over a million other inmates who deserve basic human rights regardless of their alleged offenses. Please recognize that 2/3 of inmates were convicted of non-violent crimes, such as marijuana. New York taxpayers pay $60,000 per year per inmate, and much of that money goes to "saving society" from a teenager who smoked a joint. That is above the average income for a family of four. Prison costs are so significant that education, job and recreational programs for our youth suffer. As a result, even more of them are imprisoned eventually. Can we break this cycle?
Thanks for your interest in my family's justice quest and in human rights. Below is my highly censored poem, DOG JUSTICE, in three languages. Everything about me is censored, in fact. I just Googled for FreeSpeakBlog, and reached a Blogger page (or it looked like the Blogger page), saying there was no such blog.
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
Note: More photographs are available in AIMI's photo album:
DOG JUSTICE, by Mary Neal
Too bad you weren't a dog, my brother
In my heart, I cried
Many more people would care about you
And wonder why you died
You had no spots or floppy ears
You never fetched a ball
Instead, you were a human being
But poor, black, and flawed
You died in jail for mental illness
I know down in my heart
Your death would be investigated
If only you could bark
Dog deaths get swift justice
Their abusers are sent to jail
Poor Mama would have closure now
If you'd had a wagging tail
But you were made in God's image
And some day, I have no doubt
The mentally ill and American dogs
Will have at least equal clout
by Mary Neal
Idriss Stelley Foundation (ISF)
Law Enforcement Accountability Direct Services
NEW LOCATION: Red Stone Building, Suite #209,
2940 16th Street, SF CA 94110
REPORT POLICE MISCONDUCT
(415) 595-8251 24-hr. Bilingual Crisis Line
JUSTICIA PARA LOS PERROS
por Mary Neal
Tanto peor, perro no fuiste
En mi corazón, lloré
Muchos más te hubieran amado
Y se hubieran preguntado
Manchas no tuviste,
Ni flojas orejas
Una pelota nunca trajiste
En vez de eso, Humano fuiste
Pero pobre, Negro, y mal hecho
En la cárcel te moriste
Por enfermedad mental
En mi corazón, yo bien sé
Hubieran investigado tu muerte
Si ladrar hubieras podido
Muertes de perros
Rápida justicia logran
sus abusadores a prisión los echan
Yá pobre Mamá lograría consuelo
Si cola que mueve hubieras tenido
Pero fuiste creado a la imagen de Dios
algún día, por seguro
Los enfermos mentales
Y perros americanos
Por lo menos tendrán igual prestigio
Copyrights Mary Neal
JUSTICE POUR LES CHIENS
par Marie Neal
Tant pis si tu n'étais pas chien, mon Frère
Dans mon coeur, j'ai pleuré
Bien plus de gens t'auraient aimé
Et se seraient demandé
Pourquoi tu es décédé
Tu n'avais ni taches ni oreilles souples
Tu n'a jamais chassé la balle
Plutôt, tu étais Homme
Mais pauvre, Noir, et non-conforme
Tu es mort incarcéré
Pour maladie mentale
Au fond de mon coeur, je sais
Qu'on aurait investigué ton decès
Si seulement tu pouvais aboyer
La mort des chiens
Justice rapidement obtient
Leurs tortionnaires, jetés en tôle
Si tu aurais pu remuer la queue,
Pourrait dejà tourner la page
Mais tu étais fait à l'image
de Dieu. Sans aucun doute, demain
Les malades mentaux
Et les chiens americains
Jouiront au moins d'égal prestige
Copyrights Mary Neal