Hapless Harry Burchell started working for the Nazi control state seemingly with the best of intentions. When he first took on the job as librarian at Warren Corruptional, I was a law clerk in the law library and Burchell seemed like the ideal boss. He indicated that his Methodist background informed how he treated others, and he referred to the prisoners seeking library services as “patrons.” He voiced the intention of making the library as responsive as possible to the needs of its “patrons.”
When the head law clerk transferred, I took that job. We expanded the number of useable computers in the law library to seven. Burchell maintained a fairly liberal copy policy, working with prisoners who had little or no money for copies so that those prisoners would not get kicked out of court for failure to timely file their paperwork.
This was during his probationary period.
As the head law clerk, I was now included in library meetings. Once a quarter, Burchell would sit down with his boss and his boss’ boss and his boss’ boss’ boss. There would also be some operative there from central office. Two prisoners, one white and one black, would be in attendance. This sit-down was designed to show that the Nazi High Command was seeking the input of the prison population here. I was the token white guy. The token black guy was another library worker.
At the one meeting I attended, I noted a pattern. Burchell would bring to the Nazi High Command a number of minor and inconsequential issues that he could easily exercise his own executive authority to handle in-house– issues related to copies and how busy he was, and how his preoccupation with copies became a security issue because he could not keep his eye on the events in the library while copying.
His boss’ boss, who looked like she had slept on a bench and smelled like she bathed in perfume that covered up the smell of the vodka, suggested that Burchell develop a new policy whereby prisoners would submit the pages for copies and Burchell would copy them at some later time and let the prisoner pick them up two days later.
I was amazed at how ridiculously clueless this supervisor was.
Sometimes, courts have a fourteen-day deadline for filing something. Because a prisoner gets paperwork from the court through mail, at least three days of that fourteen-day deadline is already gone before you know what it is. So, from the time you get your legal mail, you’ve got eleven days. Clock is ticking.
So, let’s say it’s a Friday. You spend Saturday typing up your legal work. The library is closed on Sunday and Monday. So, if your recreation schedule matches the hours the library is open on Tuesday, you go up and tell Burchell you need copies. He lets you know you have to submit the cash slip for copies first, and get it processed by the cashier before you can get copies made. So, you submit the cash slip. He says to come back on your next scheduled library period.
You can’t go back on Wednesday because the library is closed to population on Wednesday. So, you wait until Thursday, but your recreation schedule doesn’t match the library hours. That takes you to Friday. This is day eleven of your fourteen-day deadline. You hand Burchell your documents for copying. He says to come back in 48 hours.
You return in 48 hours and the library is closed. It’s closed the following day too.
Congratulations. You get to die in prison.
I was stupid enough to try to bring this up at the library meeting. Everyone in the Nazi High Command stared at me like I was speaking Portuguese. The token black prisoner sitting next to me, as stupid as I am, suggested that at just about every prison in Ohio, the copying machine is right out in the middle of the library available for anybody to use it to make their own copies, that prisoners just buy copy cards.
I told them that I had been to Lucasville, a level 4 prison, and I had directly used the copying machine there.
One of the Nazis then began describing the terrible problem that Lucasville has with betting tickets as a consequence of their liberal copying policy.
I saw where that was going.
So, an intelligent response to that, one that the Nazis clearly didn’t want to hear:
First, if you’re considering the policy at Lucasville, whatever policy it might be, to be too liberal, then you have to be a real fuckin’ maniac because Lucasville still hasn’t gotten over the riot there and it’s the most incredibly repressive hate-hole in the entire prison system.
Second, Lucasville has no betting problem. Lucasville encourages sports gambling. Thrives on it. Staff will deliver betting slips and payment to bookies to facilitate the betting, will take the slips and commissary items for payment from cell to cell. Sports gambling keeps the whole population glued to their televisions all weekend, making the prisoners predictable and controllable.
There is no “gambling problem.” Staff could shut down every bookie within hours if they wanted to. They don’t want to.
Third, the copying machines that are installed in the prisons keep a computer record of everything that gets copied. Probably, I would guess, that archive could be accessed via computer by investigators who could then know what date and time any document got copied, then look at security video to see the culprit and round him up. So, making a copying machine available to prisoners provides no security threat whatsoever.
I can’t possibly know more than everyone running this prison. Can I?
They have to be faking this monumental stupidity. Don’t they?
At any rate, that became the rationale for maintaining the control-freak copy policy that is even more control-freaky than Lucasville where hateful staff still haven’t gotten over the 1993 riot.
Still, the way to get around the clunky delays and get copies and file stuff in court on time was to submit a cash-slip in advance and keep a running balance so any emergent material could be copied without delay.
Then came the event involving a guy we’ll call Thomas. Thomas had been convicted of the rape of an under-age girl and child-rapists catch hell in prison. Thomas claimed he really didn’t do it. I don’t know. When I’m doing someone’s legal work, I do my best to advocate for the guy and I don’t accept what the courts say about the guy because I know what courts said about me that wasn’t true. So, I did the appeals work for Thomas.
Thomas, in addition to being convicted of child rape, had a gunshot wound that made it so he needed a cane to walk. He couldn’t defend himself. So, Thomas paid protection to one of the major gangs here.
That’s fairly common.
Because Thomas had to pay protection in order to avoid being subjected to violence, he often did not have the funds that he could keep on his account to pay for copies in advance. So, when he had an approaching filing deadline, and he had already spent his monthly state pay on protection to a gang, Burchell forbid Thomas from getting copies on credit. He also forbid me from making the copies from my copy account even though I was willing to do it.
As a consequence, Thomas defaulted on his appeals. He will now likely die in prison.
For me, this made me see Burchell in a whole new light.
I don’t know his Methodist Jesus, but I have a hard time believing that anybody who handed out free fish and bread to the poor would make some poor bastard who was extorted by gang members and terrorized in prison go without the copies he needed to fight his case and prove what he claimed was his innocence.
Then Burchell stood idly by while one of his workers got cuffed and taken to seg for doing nothing more than his own library job. Burchell didn’t stick up for him. Didn’t speak out. Didn’t make a phone call to go on record to defend his worker. Instead, he came up with some wildly incoherent argument for why the prisoner was wrong and the guard was right… an argument that included his acknowledgement that if the shit ever hit the fan, he wanted the corrections staff to come save him, and he therefore wanted to stay on their good side.
Not exactly an argument for his heroic character.
But the final straw for me came when I turned in pages for copies and Hapless Harry Burchell contacted administrator Gestapo Gary Craft, the warden’s assistant here, and the surrogate for central office fascists whose goal was to burn my life down. The pages were “Statement to the Parole Board,” which has been and likely remains posted somewhere on seanswain.org.
Hapless Harry, rather than copying my document, decided to get nosy and read it. According to his own Incident Report, when he got to page three of the statement, and onto page four, he discovered content he found troubling. According to the contraband control slip that he filled out, Hapless Harry confiscated the document and, within just moments, destroyed it. He showed it to no one else and it never left his possession.
Of course, he didn’t tell me.
I was working twenty feet away from him and he could have called me into his office if he had any problem with something in the statement, and could have asked me what I intend to do with it, and what my justification for it might be. He didn’t. Instead, he sent emails to the Gestapo High Command, the very people he already knew were looking for nothing more than an excuse to fuck my life… and he kept it secret… and it was only a day later that he revealed to me that he was waiting for direction from someone above him as to what to do with the document. What he still didn’t reveal is that the document had already been destroyed.
Hapless Harry had taken my only copy of a document into his possession, a document I had handed over in good faith for purposes of getting a copy… and rather than copying it, and rather than questioning me about it, he had secretly emailed the Gestapo High Command and had indicated that the document contained “threats,” and had destroyed the document, and continued to indicate to me that he was waiting to make copies.
It doesn’t get much more cowardly than that.
When, days later, copies had not been made, I quit the law library.
I will never again accept any position in the Oppressive Department of Retribution and Corruption that provides the ODRC even collateral benefit from my skills.
If they gave me Hapless Harry’s pay check, I wouldn’t work in the library again. Warren Corruptional is the kind of place where no good deed goes unpunished.
On top of all of this, if you read “Statement to the Parole Board,” it contains a fairly articulate explanation as to why the statement cannot be construed as a threat of any kind, why the statement is nothing more than an explanation as to how actions have consequences and what the consequences are to certain actions.
When you operate in the exchange of the currency of violence, then violence is the currency you get back.
Hapless Harry clearly cannot conceive of the violence of the state as real violence.
Eichmann would have loved to have this guy on his team.
I filed a civil action to challenge the wanton destruction of my property without my consent. Assistant Ohio Attorney General Timothy Miller, whose contact information is available in prior articles at seanswain.org, argued that State agents like Hapless Harry can simply utter a magic word, “contraband,” and can cosmically transform any item of my property into something they can destroy without so much as employing the review processes that their own rules require.
I should, it seem, simply be relieved that Hapless Harry didn’t declare the fillings in my teeth to be “contraband” and yank them out of my skull like the Nazis of old.
A fuckweasel judge at the Ohio Court of Claims named Patrick M. McGrath issued a judgment granting summary judgment to the fascists. As a consequence, Fuckweasel Judge Patrick M. McGrath has implicitly declared that any fascist fuckweasel prison employee can confiscate any thing of property from any prisoner, ignore all statutory rules that regulate confiscation of property, and destroy the property without consent… and the State never has to compensate the prisoner.
We prisoners are now non-humans. Non-persons. We have no rights that the state must enforce whatsoever.
As a consequence of this precedent, which throws all legal protections out the proverbial window, prisoners have no recourse to courts or to laws or to rules. If staff are taking your property, your only real option is to defend your own property through the means at your disposal.
You can either fight to the death if the property matters, or you can suck it up.
I’ll shortly be compiling all of the legal filings for inclusion in a zine to be widely distributed so all prisoners will know that courts are useless and violence is really the only answer now, an undeniable conclusion to draw from Fuckweasel Judge McGrath’s decision.
At any rate, during the pendency of my case related to Hapless Harry destroying my document, Hapless Harry removed most of the computers from the law library.
When I was the law clerk there, I had seven prisoners on pass to use all seven of the computers there. Now, there are two computers available to the prisoner population. Prisoners needing to use them get a grand total of one hour of passes per week. And, because there are only two computers for doing research, it is absolutely useless to attempt to go to the law library as a walk-in and do research during scheduled library time, as prisoners on pass will be lined up to use the computers.
That means that the average Warren Corruptional prisoner has an hour of legal research per week when federal court have long ago declared that the law library research facilities must be available to prisoners no less than forty hours per week.
These massive cuts to access had nothing to do with the effort to hobble my efforts to sue these fuckweasels.
Of course not.
So, now we fastforward. Recently, I sent out two separate actions to be filed on behalf of the Army of the 12 Monkeys after Warren Corruptional fuckweasels stole mail from the Secretary of State to me, as the Authorized Agent of the Army of the 12 Monkeys. Within days of my mailing out those actions, Hapless Harry instituted a new copy policy.
Keep in mind that access is limited to one hour per week, roughly 2.5% of the federally-mandated access. And keep in mind that the copy policy, as it exists, is incomprehensibly slow and unnecessarily control-freaky. But now, in addition, prisoners cannot get copy funds set aside in advance and keep a running copy account. That means you must submit a cash slip for the exact amount in copies you will need– and as a consequence, you cannot set aside the funds in advance.
This means that, in 12 Monkey litigation against Warren Corruptional fuckweasels, when I have a fourteen-day filing limit in court, I am guaranteed to miss the deadline and have the cases dismissed.
I will not have any chance of meeting deadlines.
In a sane world, I could simply contact FedEx/Kinko’s and set up an account and get my copies and mailing done through them. That’s what I did when Toledo Corruptional fuckweasels refused to do any of my copies a decade ago. But now, given the new application of the “conducting business” rule, I need prior permission to set up such an account. Warden Chae Harris– Shady Three-Eighty –said so.
So, in response to this new, impossible copy policy clearly designed to kill all 12 Monkey litigation against Warren Corruptional, I sent a kite to Shady Three-Eighty, explaining how the new policy makes it impossible for me to meet filing deadlines in court. I requested permission to set up an account with an outside copy service.
In writing, Shady Three-Eighty denied me permission to get legal copies through an outside service.
I can think of no legitimate or reasonable explanation for denying me access to a private copy service that I intend to finance for myself– particularly when availing myself to that service would make the job of his staff easier.
Copies I get elsewhere are copies his staff doesn’t have to make.
So why would he prevent me from availing myself to get copies from an outside service?
The only reason I can think of: Shady Three-Eighty employed this new policy in order to shut down the litigation I have filed. He really seeks to prevent me from meeting court deadlines, and must therefore prevent my access to timely copies and mailing from any source.
By denying me permission to get timely copies by an outside copy service, Shady Three-Eighty revealed that his true and illegal motive is to prevent me from gaining effective access to courts. And Hapless Harry is the cowardly and spineless tool that Shady Three-Eighty is using to accomplish it.
They’re not even trying to hide their crimes.
Welcome to the fascist police state, where the criminals in charge no longer pretend to be anything other than what they are.
So, in order to continue to litigate against Shady Three-Eighty, I will have to simply set up the copy account with help from the outside, and then send out the material I need to be copied via snail mail and then dare Warren Corruptional to steal that mail too.
Not that they won’t.
They certainly will.
That’s what fascist fuckweasels do.
And that’s why we must defeat them, not by appealing to their corrupt and self-justifying institutions, but by toppling them entirely.
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Categories: Sean Swain