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Nationwide call demands Ohio’s governor pardon Lucasville prisoners

Published Feb 10, 2008 7:18 PM

Supporters of amnesty for the prisoners wrongfully convicted in connection with the 1993 Lucasville prison rebellion are calling for a National Unity Day of Action on Feb. 4. Prisoners throughout Ohio and other states are writing to Ohio’s Gov. Ted Strickland to demand that he overturn those convictions. Supporters from around the country and the world will be flooding Gov. Strickland’s office with calls, faxes, e-mails and letters demanding pardons for these prisoners whose convictions were based on nothing but perjured testimony.

In addition to the Lucasville 5 on death row, there are at least 25 other prisoners with sentences up to life. Many of these prisoners were convicted on trumped-up charges simply because they would not testify falsely against their fellow prisoners in the ways the prosecution wanted them to. For their integrity, they have paid with almost 15 years in solitary confinement. Enough is enough!

Those who want to express their indignation about this injustice are asked to call Gov. Strickland at 614-466-3555, e-mail him at governor.ohio.gov, fax him a letter at 614-466-9354 or write to him at Riffe Center, 30th Floor, 77 South High Street, Columbus, OH 43215-6108.

Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar), one of the Lucasville 5, sent the following statement from death row in support of the National Unity Day of Action, which was read at a Martin Luther King celebration on Jan. 19.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters:

“It is with much pride and confidence that I cast my lot with you, all of you, on this day. In the past few years, we have seen a general upswing of oppression and injustice around the world with virtually no unified force of resistance to match and/or defeat the onslaught of overwhelming violence. But the tide is most definitely turning in our favor, and I think we should be most encouraged that ‘The People’ are once again speaking in a collective voice against the establishment.

“As a recent article by Staughton Lynd suggests, this seemingly immovable mountain of injustice does move, and I truly believe that all we have to do is keep reaching across the walls that separate us and, one by one, do our level best to tear them down. This is my hope as we gather here today; that we come together and speak as one collective voice against those who have set themselves up as the rulers of the world. Let each of us, in our various spheres of influence, issue a resounding NO against the status quo and resolve, right here and now, to stay unified in our efforts and determination to see a better future for those who are behind us in life. Let us, right here and now, in the spirit of George Jackson, Malcolm X, John Brown, Huey Newton, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and all the other fallen brothers and sisters who gave up their life for the people; let us make a “love vow” and promise to love ‘The People’ over our petty possessions and differences. Divided is how they rule us, so let us come together and stay together in unity.

“In Solidarity, Bomani Shakur”