Wednesday, 7 December 2011


1983 - Two correctional officers at a Marion, Ill., prison are murdered by inmates in two separate incidents on the same day. The warden at the time puts the prison in what he calls "permanent lockdown." It is the first prison in the country to adopt 23-hour-a-day cell isolation and no communal yard time for all inmates. Inmates are no longer allowed to work, attend educational programs, or eat in a cafeteria. Within a few years, several other states also adopt permanent lockdown at existing facilities.

1989 - California builds Pelican Bay, a new prison built solely to house inmates in isolation. By most accounts, it is the first Supermax facility in the country. There is no need to build a yard, cafeteria, classrooms or shops. Inmates spend 22 1/2 hours a day inside an 8-by-10-foot cell. The other 1 1/2 hours are spent alone in a small concrete exercise pen.

1990s - The building boom of Supermax or control-unit prisons begins. Oregon, Mississippi, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin and a dozen other states all build new, free-standing, isolation units.

1994 - The U.S. Bureau of Prisons builds ADX Florence, the federal government's first and only Supermax facility, in Florence, Colo. It's known popularly as the "Alcatraz of the Rockies." It currently houses 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh, Unibomber Ted Kaczynski, former FBI agent and convicted spy Robert Hanssen, Olympic Park and abortion-clinic bomber Eric Rudolph, and many others.

1995 - A federal judge finds conditions at Pelican Bay in California "may well hover on the edge of what is humanly tolerable" (Madrid v. Gomez). But he rules that there is no constitutional basis for the courts to shut down the unit or to alter it substantially. He says the court must defer to the states about how best to incarcerate offenders.

1999 - A report by the Department of Justice finds that more than 30 states are operating a Supermax-type facility with 23-hours-a-day lockdown and long-term isolation. The study finds that some states put 0.5 percent of their total inmates in this kind of facility, while other states lock up more than 20 percent of their inmates this way.

2005 - Daniel P. Mears, an associate professor at Florida State University, conducts a nationwide study and finds there are now 40 states operating Supermax or control-unit prisons, which collectively hold more than 25,000 U.S. prisoners.

When is the US going to wake up an realize this cruel and unusual punishment.


Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled against this class action suit. Stating that Post Conviction Law prevents them from this action. They need to file this suit separately with the Mississippi Supreme Court.

My fear is this will be ruled individually as isolated incidences, in the first few lawsuits. There was strength in a class action suit. The Magnolia Bar Association even wrote a friendly letter to the court supportig this action. Many of these men and woman are in there final appeals. One, will be getting a date yet this month. 

In the suit that was initially filed, it asked for remedies for the harm caused. Three of these men included in the suit have already been executed. Obviously there is no cure for the damages Gerald Holland, Benny Stevens, and Rodney Gray sustained. Please lets ensure the remaining 13 do receive remedies by the state. The state has failed to do as promised, and provide adequate representation before execution.

I would like everyone to Please email and call the NAACP, and the Magnolia Bar Association. Ask for there continued support for these individuals.

Mississippi NAACP

Phone; 601-353-6906

fax; 601-353-1565


Carshena L. Bailey Esq.

President Magnolia Bar Associaton

P.O. Box 951

Jackson, Ms. 39205


Miss. Supreme Court dismisses death row inmates' suit claiming inadequate legal counsel A Challenge to Post-Conviction Indigent Defense in Mississippi

This next article was in the Clarion not long after the suit was filed. 

Today's Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports, "State's legal help for death row inmates called failure," by Jimmie E. Gates.

Mississippi consistently has appointed unqualified, underfunded and overburdened attorneys to represent death row inmates in their appeals, a petit...ion filed Monday with the state Supreme Court says.

The brief was filed on behalf of 15 death row inmates challenging the systemwide failure to provide them with competent counsel during their appeals after conviction.

The death row inmates are: Steve Knox, Michelle Byrom, Blayde Grayson, Benny Joe Stevens, Jan Michael Brawner, Rodney Gray, Jeffrey Harvard, Richard Jordan, Thong Le, Willie Manning, William Mitchell, Stephen Powers, Larry Matthew Puckett, Gary Carl Simmons and Alan Dale Walker.

"The remedies sought ... are to correct the harm they suffered as a result of the state's failure to do what it promised to do: provide them with competent and conscientious counsel before executing them," according to the 51-page document filed by Jackson attorney Jim Craig and attorneys from Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.

An injunction is sought to ensure that all prisoners sentenced to die receive competent and conscientious counsel for future proceedings.

In May, a lawsuit was filed in Hinds County Chancery Court on behalf of 16 death row inmates, including Gerald James Holland, who was facing execution.

Chancery Court Judge William Singletary dismissed the suit, citing lack of jurisdiction, and Holland was executed days later.

Court papers filed with the state high court argue that the Chancery Court erred in its decision.


Glen Swartzfager, director of the Office of Capital Post Conviction Counsel, has acknowledged in court papers that some death row inmates appeals weren't adequately represented during previous administrations.

Swartzfager, who became director in 2008, was out of the office Monday and unavailable for comment.

The office was created in 2000. From the inception of the Office of Capital Post Conviction Counsel, the state set out to destroy the office's ability to provide competent and conscientious representation, the lawsuit says.

The appeal says the state:

# Failed to provide essential staff.

# Failed to provide critical funding.

# Appointed the office to represent more death-sentenced prisoners than it could competently and ethically represent at one time.

# Interfered with the performance of the duties of the director and the staff of the office.

# Failed to take corrective action once it became obvious that the office was failing to provide competent and conscientious counsel.

Long-term solitary confinement: a method of torture

 Medical evidence has shown that long-term solitary confinement is a form of torture. Dr Joost J den Otter, Medical Director at the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), adds that while there is no doubt about the damage caused by long periods of isolation, solitary confinement for a short period may also cause psychological harm.

Dr den Otter highlights the fact that many qualitative and quantitative scientific studies have documented how solitary confinement in prison has damaging health effects. He asserts that the scientific debate on solitary confinement as a method of torture has been settled for many years, but that it seems there is still confusion among policy makers, prison authorities, and the general public.

A recent commentary published by the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law about solitary confinement and mental illness in U.S. Prisons, the authors, Jeffrey L. Metzner and Jamie Fellner, support Dr den Otter’s judgment.

“Isolation can be psychologically harmful to any prisoner, with the nature and severity of the impact depending on the individual, the duration of confinement, and particular conditions (e.g., access to natural light, books, or radio). Psychological effects can include anxiety, depression, anger, cognitive disturbances, perceptual distortions, obsessive thoughts, paranoia, and psychosis”.

In August 2010, Physicians for Human Rights published a report (Experiments in Torture) which added to the growing body of evidence that solitary confinement causes psychological harm consistent with torture. In an interview with ‘Life’s Little Mysteries’, Dr Scott Allen, one of the authors of the paper, said that solitary confinement “can lead to anxiety, depression, certainly disorientation, [and] it can even lead to thought disorders including psychotic thoughts.” He added "The consequences can be significant."

This backs up researcher Peter Scharff Smith, of The Danish Institute for Human Rights, who years ago stated that “solitary confinement reduces meaningful social contact to an absolute minimum: a level of social and psychological stimulus that many individuals will experience as insufficient to remain reasonably healthy and relatively well functioning”.

For sources and more information:

Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness in U.S. Prisons: A Challenge for Medical Ethics

Is Suspected Wikileaks Source's Solitary Confinement Torture?

Solitary confinement - An introduction to The Istanbul Statement on the Use and Effects of Solitary Confinement

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Mississippi Death Row Christmas Card List

None of us like to be forgotten, but truth is many of these men will be this holiday season. I would like to ask you all to please send a card to lift the sports of these men, and to remind them they are not forgotten. 

Inmate Name Inmate Number

Batiste,Bobby L 0000153435

Bell,Frederick 0000081039

Bennett,Devin 00000L4820

Billiot,James 0000008114

Branch,Lawrence 00000L1208

Brawner,J Michael 00000R3430

Brown,Joseph Patri 0000045415

Brown,Sherwood Dwa 0000026754

Brown,Xavier A 0000044781

Byrom,Michelle 00000K4686

Carrothers,Caleb 00000K0375

Carr,Anthony 0000075337

Chamberlain,Lisa Jo 0000122376

Chase,Ricky 0000074170

Conner,Ronnie Lee 0000042219

Crawford,Charles Ray 0000082068

Davis,Jeffery K. 0000079350

Davis,Kenneth 0000064881

Doss,Anthony 0000081638

Flowers,Curtis Giova 00000R2436

Galloway,Leslie 0000130792

Gillett,Roger Lee 0000133700

Goff,Joseph Bishop 0000111487

Goodin,Howard Dean 0000041165

Grayson,Blayde N. 0000037922

Havard,Jeffrey Keith 00000L3955

Hodges,Quintez 00000R6937

Hollie,Erik Wayne 0000157022

Howard,Eddie Lee Jr. 0000030856

Howell,Marlon 00000R7984

Jackson,Henry Curtis 0000025585

Jordan,Kelvin 0000066570

Jordan,Richard G. 0000030990

Keller,Jason Lee 00000M0564

King,Mack Arthur 0000037111

Knox,Steven Michael 00000R9991

Le,Thong 00000L2460

Loden,Thomas 00000K8126

Manning,Willie Jerom 0000071931

Mitchell,William J. 0000031271

Moffett,Eric 00000M1659

Pitchford,Terry 00000117778

Powers,Stephen E. 00000K5020

Puckett,Larry Mathew 0000065781

Ronk,Timothy 0000141817

Russell,Willie 0000042239

Scott,Kevin 00000R6570

Simmons,Gary Carl Jr. 00000R1943

Simon,Robert Jr. 0000046380

Smith Clyde Wendel 0000044932

Spicer,Fred Sanford 00000L5613

Thorson,Roger 0000008836

Turner,Edwin Hart 0000067290

Underwood,Justin 0000055372

Walker,Alan Dale 0000077293

Walker,Derrick Demo 00000L6016

Wilson,William Matthew 0000129500

Mailing address is; 
Inmate name and #
Unit 29 J Bldg.
Parchman, Mississippi 38738

Please remember to put your return address on envelope or they will not receive them.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Mississippi high court to review death row appeals

Joseph Patrick Brown
Joseph Patrick Brown / Courtesy of MDOC
Jeffrey Keller Davis / Courtesy of MDOC

The post-conviction appeal of death row inmate Joseph Patrick Brown has made its way back to the Mississippi Supreme Court.
In 2009, Brown's case was among nine death row post-conviction appeals in which the Supreme Court asked trial judges why they had not ruled – or scheduled hearings.
Brown's claims of ineffective counsel were heard in Adams County Circuit Court in 2004. But no ruling had been issued. The trial judge issued a ruling denying the petition in 2010.
In a post-conviction petition, an inmate argues he has found new evidence – or a possible constitutional issue – that could persuade a court to order a new trial.
Brown's case is among dozens the Supreme Court will consider during its November-December term.
In 1999, the Supreme Court ordered an Adams County judge to determine if Brown was treated fairly when his attorneys decided against pursuing a mental evaluation of their client.
The court said there was merit to Brown's complaint about his attorneys' failure to ask questions about a state mental examination or to pursue an examination themselves.
Brown was convicted and sentenced to death in Adams County in 1994 for the killing of a convenience store clerk in Natchez.
Prosecutors said Brown and his girlfriend were driving around Natchez on Aug. 8, 1992, looking for drugs when they pulled into the Charter Food Store where Martha Day worked.
Brown's girlfriend testified that she saw Day grab her chest and fall after Brown approached the counter. The woman said Brown returned to the car with a cash register and other items.
Police said Day was shot four times and died at the scene.
The Supreme Court also will hear a post-conviction petition from death row inmate Jeffrey Keller Davis. A Greene County judge in 2010 ruled against Davis' petition of ineffective counsel.
Davis was convicted in the robbery and killing of Linda Hillman. She was shot and stabbed in 1991 at her trailer in Greene County. Prosecutors said Davis confessed to the killing and said he needed money to buy drugs in Pascagoula.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Mike Lynzy Sentenced: Having Long Hair, or a Chronic Illness, Can Get You a Longer Jail Term In Rankin County

Honorable Judge William Chapman, sentenced, Mike Lynzy, to a term of 20 years in prison, with 15 to serve, and 5 years probation, under a Manslaughter Best Interest Plea, which admits no guilt.

Judge Chapman, told Mike Lynzy“Because you selfishly stabbed, Dave Knapp, in order to get an ambulance for yourself, you have long hair, Hepatitis C, and have drank and drugged, all of these years, part of this is your punishment for that, and part of it is for protection of society.”

His attorney, Don Leland, said of Mike’s sentence“It broke my heart. I nearly broke down and cried, it was just horrible.”

He went on to say, “His characterization of Mike, is so unlike that boy, and regardless of Mike’s past, It still does not give someone the right to come to your house, and try and kill you. He out weighed Mike by 71 pounds, and was 16 years younger.  I don’t care if you have long hair, are sick, black, white, red, or green, those factors should have nothing to do with your sentence.”

I also spoke with one of Mike’s former co-workers, Wade Hutson, from Morrison Brother’s Music, and ask how long he had know Mike, and what he thinks of him.  He said“I have worked with Mike for about 5 years, and Mike is a great, very kind, guy, we were friends, and you could always count on him to do what he said he was going to do. He has been a true blue friend, I’ve never had a friend better than Mike.  He came to us with glowing recommendations. 

I ask him, when he found out Mike had a felony conviction 30 years ago, if that changed his opinion of him, he said, “Absolutely not, I’ll give you a prime example.  After he was arrested for murder, he was allowed to come back to work the day he got out, so that should tell you how we here at Morrison Brother’s feel about him.”

In addition he said, “I learned more about Mike’s past, as time went on, when he confided things about his life in general.  We all have our skeletons, have made mistakes.”

Mike Lynzy was attacked at his home at 2:00 in the morning, had big globs of his hair pulled out, suffered two fractured ribs, two partially collapsed lungs, had a beer bottle broken over his head, and then ground into his face, requiring over 50 stitches, it felt like his face was falling off, bleeding profusely, his contacts were gouged out, his blood soaked shirt ripped off, and blood was pouring into his eyes, and down his chest, and he feared he would die from blood loss.

 After being attacked twice, he breaks loose, gets inside his home to try and find a cell phone to call 911, (After he has been repeatedly begging for someone to call because he needed an ambulance) can't find it, looks out his door and sees his attacker with his arm around his roommate, thinks he is attacking him, finds a knife laying on the kitchen counter, goes outside and stabs the man once to disable him, and the man dies while both of them are waiting 45 minutes for an ambulance.

Even though, by law, he is protected by the Castle Doctrine, the Pearl Police Department filed murder charges on him, and that charge remains for three years, until one week before court, they up it to habitual offender because of a 30 year old charge the man had when he was a teenager, one a crime he did not participate in.  

This is a man that goes to work, takes care of his family, and has never hurt anyone in his life.  Before trial they give him a competency test, but after giving him the test, take him off the medications that are used to control side effects, that include; seizures, hallucinations, confusion, weight loss, passing blood, and stand him before a trial judge, in that condition.

The man who attacked Mike Lynzy, Dave Knap, has bragged about busting people over the head with beer bottles before, and grinding it into their face, bragged that he has stuck people with a knife, twisted it, then pulled it out, back handed his 4 year old child with his fist, has a long rap sheet, and also left the person he told these things to, with the impression that he has also killed someone. 

He was no angel, and I will leave his fate up to the one who knows the heart of all men, but right now I am concerned with the life of a man that tried to defend himself, his loved ones, and his home.

When I started looking into this case, I was undecided, but after hearing the facts, I would not have been able to convict him of murder or given him a harsh sentence.

What would you do, if someone came to your home at 2:00 in the morning and attacked you like that?

Most voters I have talked to have said, “If he had done that to me, I would have killed him with anything I could have gotten my hands on, regardless of, if I thought he was attacking my roommate, or I felt my life was in danger.”

I don't know what I would do, but if I was continually losing blood, and afraid for my life, and the only way to save myself, was to hurt the person who inflicted my injuries, and was going to let me bleed to death, I would probably do what ever I felt was necessary to preserve my life. That is human nature, and called survival.

Most people, who come in contact with our judicial system, come away feeling something is terribly wrong.

After what I saw in trial, regardless of whether I think Mike is innocent or guilty, the way things were handled in the court room, were a travesty of justice, and I am very angry about the things I witnessed.

People can continue to sit in front of their TV, their computers, their cell phones, and ignore what is going on all around them, or they can join together to stand up for what is right.  If we do not stand up soon, before long there will not be anything left to stand up for.

If you reside in Rankin County, and defend yourself against unlawful attack, you will most surely be charged with murder.

This case was not about the past, it was about the facts, and the judge totally, and prejudicially, ignored the facts in this case.

He also ignored the law, as it pertains to, The Castle Doctrine.

Here is a link to the Castle Doctrine.