Hello Free Press supporter,
I have been working with Staughton and Alice Lynd and a group of people from all over the state of Ohio to organize the “Re-Examining the Lucasville Uprising Conference” at Columbus State Community College which will be held April 19-21, 2013.
As you may know, the Free Press has been following some of the prisoners’ stories who were present at the Lucasville prison before and during the 1993 uprising. Facts reveal that prison conditions seemed to be intent on instigating a riot, and the state of Ohio used the “riot” as an excuse to build the Supermax prison in northern Ohio soon after.
We’ve been working with the Lynds to expose what many activists believe is a gross injustice done to the five men now on death row, and others still imprisoned, as a result of the uprising. Details also reveal that the five men responsible for helping negotiate during the uprising were leaders among prisoners and were singled out to be charged with murders, based on snitch testimony, and have been on death row since.
It has been 20 years since the Lucasville prison uprising, the longest prison uprising in U.S. history, and the prison industrial complex has only grown larger and more insidious. The U.S. has now incarcerated nearly a quarter of the people on the planet. Conditions in prisons are worse than ever, sentences are longer, prisons have been privatized, and states like ours still employ the death penalty.
I would like you to join us on the 20th anniversary of the uprising for all or part of the conference in April. The conference is free, open to the public, includes a number of experts and the voices of the Lucasville prisoners, and will cover a multitude of prison-related issues. We will examine new revelations that authorities involved in the Lucasville prisoner’s cases admit that they do not know who committed the murders for which the five men were convicted.
You can register for the conference at: http://www.re-examininglucasville.org.
It’s important to register so we know how much food to provide for the Saturday lunch.
Donations are encouraged. We also have a program where you or your organization can advertise. If you represent a nonprofit group, we will have tabling space available at the conference as well. There are two fliers attached to this email. Details follow.
Hope to see you there!
What: Re-examining the Lucasville Uprising conference
When: Friday, April 19, 7 to 9 pm
Saturday April 20, 9 am to 10 pm
Sunday April 21, 9 am to 12 noon
Where: Columbus State Community College
Cost: Suggested donation, $10-50, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
The event will begin Friday night with the screening of a short documentary film by Derrick Jones, including footage from the uprising and interviews with activists and government officials. This includes an interview with then state prosecutor Daniel Hogan, who admits he does not know and thinks they will never know who actually killed hostage Officer Vallandingham, a crime for which he and other prosecutors sent four men to death row.
Attendees will then hear from some of those men and from others who have been held in solitary confinement since the uprising. Jason Robb, Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Bomani Shakur (also known as Keith Lamar) and Greg Curry will speak from the Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) on Friday night.
On Saturday, the conference will dig into a close examination of the uprising. Men who were incarcerated at SOCF in April of 1993 will share their stories. Prominent Ohio lawyers and other experts will unfold the layers of injustice the State of Ohio engaged in to secure convictions following the uprising. Advocates and experts from across the US will connect the Lucasville Uprising with nationwide prison issues.
∙ Attorney Mark Donatelli, who represented defendants after the New Mexico prison uprising in 1980, will discuss the horrendous conditions that preceded the disturbance and contributed to successful plea negotiations.
∙ Attorney Niki Schwartz, who represented prisoners in concluding a peaceful settlement of the Lucasville uprising, will speak about the prosecution’s failure to abide by some of its most important provisions.
∙ Attorney Rick Kerger, who represented Siddique Abdullah Hasan in state court until taken off the case by the trial court judge, will speak about the struggle to provide unbiased and effective representation for individual defendants.
∙ Attorney Phyllis Crocker, dean at the Cleveland Marshall Law School, chairperson of the 2007 Ohio Death Penalty Assessment Team of the American Bar Association, and currently serving on the task force appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to examine the death penalty, will describe the changing scene with regard to the death penalty in Ohio.
On Sunday, attendees will participate in an interactive strategy session and will be invited to take action, joining the struggle for the Lucasville Uprising Prisoners. Conference organizers believe that a critical examination of the Lucasville Uprising will expose deeply unjust and inhumane practices that the Ohio prison system continues to engage in today. The Lucasville Uprising Prisoners continue to fight these injustices, and they hope the conference will broaden support, not only for their struggle, but for the struggles of all Ohioans who are targeted by this system.
Media representatives who would like to interview conference organizers or prisoners should contact Ben Turk at 614-704-4699 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the uprising, including radio interviews with some of the prisoners can be found online at LucasvilleAmnesty.org.
See full schedule below for details.
RE-EXAMINING LUCASVILLE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Friday, April 19, 7 to 9:30 p.m., Chairperson, Bob Fitrakis
Derrick Jones, documentary film, The Great Incarcerator: Part 2, The Shadow of Lucasville
Lucasville Uprising Prisoners speak
Saturday, April 20, 9 to noon, Chairperson, Alice Lynd
9:00 – 9:55 a.m., two skits drawn from transcripts:
The Making of a Snitch,” Highway Patrol interview with man who became an informant;
“The Death-Qualified Jury,” exclusion of potential jurors
10:00 – 10:55 a.m., Survivors of Lucasville, Conditions at Lucasville before the Uprising
11:00 a.m. – noon, Struggle in the Courts
Attorney Vicki Werneke, Capital Habeas Unit, Federal Public Defender, on complicity and obstacles in habeas representation
Staughton Lynd, attorney and author of Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising
Saturday, April 20, noon to 1 p.m., Lunch, to be provided
Saturday, April 20, 1 to 3 p.m., Layers of Injustice, Chairperson, Staughton Lynd
Attorney Mark Donatelli, represented defendants after New Mexico prison uprising
Attorney Niki Schwartz, represented prisoners in Lucasville negotiations
Attorney Rick Kerger, represented Hasan in state court until taken off case by trial court judge
Dean Phyllis Crocker, Cleveland Marshall Law School, chaired ABA panel on death penalty in Ohio, member of task force appointed by Ohio Supreme Court to examine death penalty
Saturday, April 20, 3 to 5 p.m., breakout sessions
Bonnie Kerness and Ojore Lutalo, art work and video “Sneak Peek” on isolation as a political tool in New Jersey prison
Central Ohio Prisoner Advocates (COPA) and Redbird Prison Abolition, current conditions in Ohio prisons
Others to be announced
Saturday, April 20, 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Derrick Jones, documentary film, The Great Incarcerator: Part 1, Dark Little Secrets
Entertainment Open Mic Poetry and Music
Sunday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, Building Support, Chairperson, Ben Turk
Noelle Hanrahan, Prison Radio: Mumia Abu Jamal support campaign
Wide-ranging discussion about strategy and possible future actions
Contact: Ben Turk, RedBirdPrisonAbolition@gmail.com, 614 704 4699