Letters from behind the walls
Re: “Released after 46 years, Bradford Gamble exposes medical abuse,” WW Vol. 64 No. 12 (wwp.pub/gamble)
I read what your organization published on Bradford Gamble before it ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer. ’Twas a well-written article that speaks volumes to what occurs inside Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections locations, medical-wise. What they did was just downright deplorable, not immediately letting Mr. Gamble know that he had cancer.
I was in a cell next to Mr. Gamble at SCI Coal Township. I read a lot of what he was going through, as he and Mr. [Bryant] Arroyo asked me at times to type a few things for them on this and other matters. Mr. Arroyo was an adamant advocate for Mr. Gamble to be released from jail on compassionate grounds. Kudos to him and EVERYONE that worked on getting Mr. Gamble out. I hope your organization and EVERY organization out there keeps vigilant in these kind of endeavors and get more inmates released on compassionate grounds when they are diagnosed with a terminal illness. Thank you to ALL of you!
My apologies for how this letter looks. My typewriter does not work at all correctly. It will not forward paper straight or evenly spaced lines. I have to eyeball it. Mr. Gamble allowed me to use his typewriter when he was here. Ironically, it broke while I was using it. But I did pay him to have it fixed. He told me I was a “typewriter’s nightmare.” I got a chuckle out of that.
SCI Coal Township
Re: Overturning Roe v. Wade
Peace! As protests form all across this country in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade and curtailing abortion access within the U.S.; this gives factual evidence of the illusion of freedom here. Corruption, judicial injustice, racism, homelessness and the ghettos are all engineered things that the government created to outlast and control and violate the human rights of Black people and other people of color.
Men and women are being exonerated after decades of incarceration; and although some of these individuals are compensated, the government isn’t doing anything to eradicate the untreated pandemic within this country which is called racism. Racism is a known horror, which is responsible for millions of lives lost to homicide and incarceration.
And no amount of wealth can compensate you for the years lost, nor the pain you endure while struggling within this system. This system affects our families as well. The psychological trauma is harsh to say the least.
Men like Anthony Harrell, Aaron Fox, Bryant Arroyo, Shawn Ross, John Ray, Kevin Rashid Johnson, Steven Ivey have all been in prison fighting for their release from the life sentences they received from this so-called justice system. These men have all made real sacrifices for others, and I’m speaking as a witness not a researcher. We need to move toward aiding and assisting these men, by challenging the government and providing for our community.
The solution to stop the violence is within the minds of the men and women who are incarcerated. The most brilliant minds exist within the DOC. This place has within its core the ability to make you or break you. It’s designed by its structure to break you, simply because prisoners, like slaves, are deemed property. And a billion-dollar economy exists due to the mass production of repeat offenders and criminals in general.
I intend to work to release the aforementioned men and to eradicate parole altogether.
Re: Unequal treatment
I live in a small historic town in Williamsburg, Virginia, where Blacks are treated differently in the justice system. The FBI comes into my area and continuously targets minorities, and no one questions any of the wrongdoing that goes on. I made a mistake, and I would have rather taken my own life than to return to a system in which I felt I had no chance of justice.
I am still struggling to be heard and will continue my battle for justice until I am heard. I pray that you strongly consider giving a voice to the word of this innocent man.
My name has been slandered in articles. Officers lied in testimonies to obtain a conviction. No one in the media made an effort to hear my side of the story. It truly saddens me to see witnesses come forward, on their own, to tell the truth and not be allowed to by the justice system. Virginia state law does not allow the admission of new evidence in a case such as mine.
We all need to come together and expose those who misuse their position.
Red Onion State Prison
Re: the Second Amendment, from a criminal perspective
Our country’s Constitution was composed at a time when our military was “the people,” and in order to protect our new claimed land, “the people” had to have the means to take it regardless of who was already inhabiting the land. This was an unfortunate time that thankfully none of us had to endure. Those Indigenous people did not have the same access to guns, which was the mechanism that decided whose land this was going to become.
These new “Americans” — whether antagonistic or passive-ist — had to protect themselves from those who wanted to reclaim what they had stolen. It’s in every American’s journals from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the carnage of what was happening, family massacres and unthinkable acts, so long as they lived to write about it. It was no doubt a horrible time for Native and working-class Americans. Something that couldn’t be taken back. Something that people should understand was the catalyst for the Second Amendment.
As I sit in prison, I’m surrounded by those who have illegally obtained and used this country’s founding mechanism to rob, threaten or murder. I am also surrounded by our Second Amendment radicals, those who have become part of our police force and developed the notion that they are entitled to an arsenal to protect themselves from people like me.
I’ve heard them compare how many guns they have amassed. One officer boasted of having a quarter-million-dollar gun collection. Obviously, when a person is allowed to amass a gun collection, they may feel inclined to sell some to the streets or “lose” them.
And filling in the cracks of the political system, you’ll see gun manufacturers lobbying to influence legislators. There should be no mistaking who is actually governing and guiding our country.
Imagine: If the Innocent Project had the ability to “lobby,” then all the innocent people in prison would be released. When the NRA and gun manufacturers give a politician millions of dollars to a political campaign, it’s not from the goodness of their hearts, I assure you.
Mark Rokita, Jr.
Thank you for over a decade of the Workers World. The publication was invaluable to my personal growth, my academic career at SUNY Ulster; and, I am sure, it will remain equally important in obtaining my bachelor’s degree in social science. I, however, request to have the subscription terminated.
I regain my liberty in July 2022.
Again, thank you.
Shawangunk Correctional Facility