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					      Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison News

                               Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report
                                       Vol. 1, No. 4                                    September 2010

                                     “Voice of the Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report”
                              E-mail: nvjprudence@gmail.com             http://www.nvjurisprudenceandprisonnews.webs.com


Statement of Purpose:
 The NJPR Newsletter reports on current prison conditions, good and bad; more importantly it looks at and evaluates the legal processes and
the substantive laws which are designed to keep men in prison: Pre-trial issues, probation and parole policy, sentencing structures, post-
conviction law, and most important, the philosophy underlying policy in practice.
The purpose of the NJPR Website is to provide a repository of affidavits, declarations and grievances in Web-Dossiers organized by categories of
intuitional behavior. Fundamentally, this is a whistleblowing organization trying to associate with other "transparency" projects at an intrastate,
national and global level. We seek to identify patterns which can be utilized by the U.S. Department of Justice.


Index to this Issue:
  Section One: Conditions
       1.   Ely Prison Conditions Report
       2.   NDOC Asthma Medications Policy
       3.   Typewriters
       4.   Up Against the Wall, MF!
  Section TWO: Law, Equity and Policy
     1.     Man’s Inhumanity to Man, Part II
     2.     Transparency Good prison Policy for Afghani Military Prison
     3.     The Juridic principle of Proportionality
 Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion
     1.     College Opportunities Update
     2.     Library Update, NNCC
     3.     Poem: The Rule of Goats
     4.     Dept. of Justice Update
     5.     Religious Services Reduced

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Section One: Conditions
1) Ely Prison Medical Conditions Report                      3) Typewriters Update:
 In the mid-to-late 2000's, the medical conditions at           Martha Bellisle, in her investigative report to the
Ely State prison in far eastern Nevada territory were        press on August 11, 2008, found out that thirteen
the focus of an intervention by the NGO American Civil       lawsuits had been filed in federal court to try and get
Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.). a "Report Prepared for the       back the typewriters back which had been taken from
National Prison Project of the ACLU: Review of the           the prisoners in 2007. One of the litigants who had
Medical Records from Ely State Prison" was produced          been at NSP at the time, declares his belief that most
by Dr. William Noel. The document details patterns of        of those cases have been thrown out, but this is still
"shocking disregard for human life". How is it that such     active because he argues from the angle of intrinsic
treatment is even conceivable by the line staff who,         discrimination against the Americans with Disabilities
one presumes, are all Americans? Aren't Americans            Act's intentions.
supposedly the most moral people in the world?                 The principle of a "past practice" which had been
Maybe this self-perception applies only to those who         established by NDOC, then taken away, should also
do NOT live in the territory of Nevada—but that is           been challenged (and probably was) under the four-
unlikely. We think such brutality and wanton                 part evaluation of Turner v. Safley 482 U.S. 78 (1987) in
deliberate indifference may have roots that are              applying the rational relationship test.
inadequately explained by the classic hedonistic              Testimony has been given that there was a day when
pleasure-pain calculus view of man put forth by the so-      word processing floppy disc's were made available to
called "enlightenment philosophy". That would make           at least law clerks. The lethal potential of the piece-of-
all such staff behavior sadistic.                            crap typewriters was proven, but centralized access to
 At     any     rate,    this     report is     available    computers loaded with readily available alternatives is
at http://www.aclu.org/prison/medical/33011prs2007           rational. The market is full of streamlined word-
1206.html. please send any updated reports out of Ely        processors that have no printout capacity—a floppy
Prison to NJPR staff at nvjprudence@gmail.com. The           disc could easily be taken to the law library for
above report is linked to the NJPR website.                  printout. There is no rational reason to side-step these
                                                             alternatives. More in next issue…
2) Asthma Medications Policy:
 The ancient Hippocratic Oath, which is a philosophical      4) NNCC Inhumane Treatment                            an
foundation for the contemporary idea of professional         Humiliation by Libido dominandi
ethics, states as follows                                     On March 22, 2010 at 7 am, I, Howard White, ID No.
 "… I shall enter [the house] to help the sick and I will    24575, was reporting to the Regional Medical Facility
abstain from all intentional wrongdoing and harm,            (RMF) to get my lab work, i.e. blood draw done, when
especially from abusing the bodies of man or                 suddenly I, and about ten other inmates, were told by
woman, bond or free".                                        Officer Thorn to FACE THE WALL! In all my years I've
 The NDOC medical officials have stopped issuing the         never experienced this, and it was an arbitrarily
standard-sized canisters of the drug Albuterol, and          decided-on procedure that morning.
have established the policy of issuing a canister about       This treatment was grieved using the NDOC grievance
one-half the size. If this is a cost saving measure it's a   procedure found at Administrative Regulation 740 (see
dangerous step. First, everyone knows smaller sized          NDOC website). I complained: " This defaeto policy is
packaging is more expensive in the long run. Second, it      inhumane treatment and should be stopped forth
means more trips by inmates to the KOP window,               with”. He cited Nevada Revised Statute 209. 371 which
burning more staff hours. Third, procedural delay raise      prohibits the use of corporeal punishment and
the odds of running out of medications and men going         inhumane treatment of inmates. I made a formal,
"man-down", never a cheap situation. Some are giving         sworn Declaration under Penalty of Perjury: "Based on
reports of being accused of "abusing" the drug. Huh?         information and belief, social procedure begin
Concerned family members should contact the State            (sic) middle of 2009 because inmates sitting in RMF
Health      Officer,     Dr.      Tracey     Green      at   looked at dental (female) assistant. She is alleged to
http://health.nv.gov, who is required by law to oversee      have requested the officers to order the inmates to
prison health. Or, write to the Public Info Officer at       "turn around". Hence, the procedure of "FACE THE
Nevada State Health Division, Martha Framsted,               WALL".
at mframsted@health.nv.gov.                                   The official response to my grievance #20062895760,
                                                             was "…first of all, this isn't a medical issue, and
secondly, when you came to prison you don't get many           After two years of assisting Mr. Rodrigues, we were
choices… and if the officer orders you to stand or sit a      able to obtain a hearing with a reasserted claim of
certain way, that is reasonable, then you are required        actual innocence; we requested relief from the unjust
to do it… Grievance denied”.                                  and unlawful judgment of conviction and sentence
 Because the exercise of power is an important part of        imposed. New exculpatory evidence had materialized
a correctional officer’s job, it is natural for officers to   in the form of a confessional card received from his
be tempted to abuse this power; when the exercise of          wife. She admitted to infidelity and admitted
power crosses the line and becomes punishment,                complicity in putting him into prison. She even thanked
that’s abuse and is illegal. This abuse of power is           him for his continued support of her and her children.
common among the inexperienced and untrained staff.           On April 19, 2010 we received notice of an Order from
All human beings, even convicts, deserve a modicum of         the U.S. Federal District Court, in which Judge Hicks
                                                                                                                    st
respect and common dignity as human persons. At               appointed a Federal Public Defender. On April 21 , we
NNCC, this standard is not being upheld. (To be               received an Order from the Ninth Federal Circuit Court
continued).                                                   of Appeals, holding out some hope by stating:
                                                               “Bail pending a decision in a habeus case is reserved
Section Two: Law, Equity and Policy                           for extraordinary cases involving special circumstances,
                                                              or a high probability of success. This petition for a writ
                                                              of mandamus raises issues that warrant a response”.
1) Man’s Inhumanity to Man, Part II                           This court-order gave the Nevada prosecutor fourteen
 In Part I of this report (August 2010), I introduced the     days to file a response, and demanded especially a
names of many men I personally knew who have died             response in regard to the “petitioners need for eye
while trying to find relief against the Nevada system of      surgery while in custody”, whether through the prison
punishment. I continue this report by looking at the          system or through the VA Hospital. A week after
case of Mr. David Rodrigues.                                  receiving these positive decisions, David Rodrigues
 When Mr. Rodrigues was first arrested he was sick,           died at 2 am.
and arrived in prison with pre-conditions. He was              Mr. Rodrigues’ case exemplifies one of the many
suffering from a diabetic retinopathy, and was going          cases this writer has encountered, where even a
blind. He was insulin dependent and had a pinched             cursory, but real investigation into the known facts
cerebral blood vessel. As a veteran, he was on the            would disclose that gross injustice has occurred. This is
waiting list for surgery at the Reno VA Hospital—for          due t a subtle corruption and broken justice “system”.
both a corrective eye-surgery and a brain surgery. The        Most of the actors in the system are exactly that:
NDOC denied Rodrigues care for these conditions, and          wearing a cloak of legal propriety, they routinely
he started the grievance process seeking relief for both      collude to execute the policy of terror in the “war-on-
his medical condition as well as starting legal action for    crime”. In the next installment we will talk about the
his actual innocence.                                         case of Mr. Rodrigues’ good friend, Doyle Alexander.
 As a prison para-legal and experience writ-writer, I          Editor Note; The University of Nevada historian, Elmer
took up David’s case three years after his                    Rusco, suggests that the subtlety of its evil operative
incarceration, for both his medical lawsuit and his           principles is as old as it is deep. He says, “From the very
post-conviction lawsuit. David had qualified for              beginning of Nevada our laws were racist and
indigent defense services, but he ran into the infamous       systematic… Nobody was as systematic about it as
“Early Case Resolution” attitude of the Nevada                Nevada”. The simple statistics of the system of
systemic deprivation of adequate counsel. He fired his        punishment “tells me that something of a systematic
Court-appointed counsel and tried his case in pro per.        manner is going on. What is true in history is true
The appointed attorney refused to bring in any                today”.
exculpatory evidence, such as his mother-in-law, who           Taking this advice, we ought to give a name to the
would have testified on his behalf. The “public-              particular devices which are illustrated in the long
pretender” refused to contact, interview, or depose           article above. The writer’s descriptions fall into two
any witnesses named by Rodrigues as defense against           categories. The first is the attribute of ignorance of the
the charges. Figuring self-defense was better than the        law and how that is fostered, and obviously contributes
blatant assistance to the prosecution by the defense          to the success of the prosecutor in the adversarial
attorney, Mr. Rodrigues suffered from the obvious             theory of justice. The second is the attribute of
handicap of ignorance and lack of juridical resources.        deliberate obtuseness, the turning a blind eye to moral
There was really no hope for him at trial.                    correctness in favor of legal policy. The first category of
state activity we propose to name legal obscurantism,      3) The Principle of Proportionality in Justice
the political withholding of knowledge from the               and the Jury Tradition: Prelude to the ECR
individual so that the state, in the name of
“democracy” or the people, may gain the advantage in
                                                              Battle
power. The second category of strategies we propose         A recent article by U.S. Supreme Court Justice
to call legal indifferentism, which employs the two        Stephen Breyer introduces us to a traditional idea that
tactics—official foot-dragging and obtuseness. This        has been kept hidden under that stinking "cloak-of-
concept will be developed in future articles on indigent   the-law" we all know so well. The previous article,
defense                                              see   "Man's Inhumanity", illustrates that there have been
http://www.library.unr.edu/specoll/mss/90-85.html-         developed different kinds of cloaks, and more
for more on Elmer Rusco.                                   advanced "cloaking devices", like on Star Trek! That
                                                           article shows a specific example of the “cloak-of-
                                                           ignorance” which is officially perpetrated in the wrap
2) Transparency Good Policy for Afghani                    and weft in the system—in both pre-trial and post-
   Prison: Why Not Us?                                     conviction settings. For instance, we predict the new
 USA Today newspaper ran an article on Wednesday,          Indigent Defense Rules, 411, will not be distributed
August 4, 2010. titled "How the U.S. Reshaped an           among pre-trial detainees—the Early Case Resolution
Afghan Prison's Image". The prison administration was      principle relies on the intellectual sequestration of
maintaining the typical black-out which American and       procedural rights and law, and the administration
many national prison systems utilize. NGO's such as        holds the pre-trial detainee incommunicado from all
the Red Cross and ACLU compared the Parwan                 sources of knowledge that will give strength and hope
Detention Facility to Abu Ghraib in Iraq, when several     to the defendant. The other "cloak" was that of the
Afghanis died of the brutality military tribunals          forms of legal indifference, such as stalling, foot-
prosecuted and punished six U.S. citizens. The sinister    dragging and the pretended ignorance called
lack of transparency was used as white propaganda for      obtuseness. In the science of psychology these are
local Taliban psy-operations. Gen. Stanley McCrystal,      called "control devices".
before his buffoonish comments to press, took the air       Justice Breyer implies such cloaks cause a crisis in the
out of the propagandist sails, and re-built a more         administration of justice, and argues that we must
humane prison infrastructure, and a more humane            recover the practice of "proportionality and values" if
prison policy. Joint Task 435, created in September        we are to reform jurisprudence in the industrial world.
2009, agreed with McCrystal's assessment that the lack     We agree with the first element, but find the second
of "transparency" gave rise to Taliban recruitment of      term "values" highly suspect. We believe that Justice
more angry soldiers. The U.S. opened up to family          Breyer would consider valid the thesis that it might be
visitations in person and by video-conference! Inmates,    values, as an industrial conceptual mainspring, which
once held without due process (war-rules), a Detainee      has led to the juridical devices that have all but
Review Board was created to discuss evidence against       destroyed the principle of proportionality.
them and argue for release. When a prisoner is              Breyer's article, "On Handguns and the Law", [The
released, Americans transport them back to their           New York Review of Books, Aug. 19, 2009] discusses
hometowns and hold a "release shura"—a meeting at          the recent decision District of Columbia vs. Heller, 128
which the local Muslim elders pledge to watch over the     S. CT. 2783, in which gun control laws are pretty much
released inmate! Perhaps American, especially the          outlawed. Breyer argues that the "conservative
Nevada territory government, parole systems could          majority" of the Court uses an unacceptable method in
learn some lessons from these Muslim correctional          "determining outcomes" of the judgments over
practices.                                                 contemporary issues: the modern way to make
 U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, a former military            decisions is to rely "on factual assumptions or
prosecutor, has worked to reshape U.S. detention           pure juridical intuition. Not relying on facts, mind you,
policy in Afghanistan. The NJPR staff intends to contact   but on the assumptions one has about the facts.
him to see what plans he has for American detention        Everyone has heard that witty phrase about
policy. Of course, he has no control over the rogue        assumptions: "to assume is to make an ass out of you
totalitarian regime in power here in old Washoe            and me". And juridical intuition, what is that? Does it
Territory!                                                 mean guessing, or just going with the cognitive
                                                           prejudices we all suffer from? Breyer think this mode
                                                           of “thinking is catastrophic and so do we.
  So, Breyer calls for the utilization of the “principle of
proportionality”, which is to say, “that which forces the     Section Three: Art, Culture, Education
use of reason”. We feel that it would behoove the
cause of Breyer to set aside his “value” orientation and      and Religion
recognize the synonimity between “proportionality”            1) College Opportunities Update
and the virtue of prudence, as in jurisprudence. In our        The NNCC facility has re-started junior college classes
dictionary, we see that prudence means right thinking         for the fall 2010 semester—but only two classes.
by the use of well-worn habits of circumspection and          Western Nevada Community College will offer entry
foresight, as well as eubulia (counsel or well-               level business and management courses. However,
advisedness) and native wits. These are all implied in        many students were taking architectural design
Breyer’s comment that:                                        classes, and they are left in limbo. Other regressive
  “… a judge who uses [proportionality] must examine          policies implemented were the taking away of the
and explain all the facts that go into a decision. The        college computer rooms and lab time. The entire
need for that examination and explanation serves as a         “Mayberry” classroom complex in the main operations
[judicial] constraint. It means the decision must be          building has been made off-limits to all prison
transparent and subject to criticism… proportionality         programs. This space arrangement had been in place
is to promote transparent decisions, to rely on rational      for many years, but apparently some dark mind
explanation, and to protect individual rights that            thought it needed “fixing”.
underlie constitutional provisions”.                           It is NJPR policy not to name names in its newsletter,
  My God, doesn’t that standard already exist in              but to send sworn affidavits to the U.S. Dept. of Justice
practice by all public officials—especially judicial          as a legitimate whistleblowing act of civil protest and
officers who influence the doling out of punishment           store them at our website. Editor.
and pain?                                                      Statistics show a significant decrease in recidivism for
  History shows a slow erosion of the ancient practice        inmates who gain a college degree. For example, in the
of jurisprudence (proportionality is a habit that             Utah system says that it can put 5 inmates through 2
contributes to it). One institution, the jury as finder of    years of college for about the cost of keeping 1 inmate
fact and law, insured both prudence (right thinking)          housed and fed for 1 year. I took classes all of 2009,
and transparency. In Galloway v. U.S. 87LED 1458, 319         and the computer lab was open most evenings with a
U.S. 72 Justice Black, in his Dissent, traces the             designated inmate lab attendant; all Mayberry
degradation of the authority vested in the jury (not the      classroom participants had to sign in at the main entry.
power), and the transfer of control of the jury to the        This benefit was available for years without problems
judge. The judge becomes the controlling factor as a          why “fix” it? This escalation only can signify an increase
determiner of fact. He says,                                  in “super-max” conditions. The only principle operative
  “A long step toward the determination of fact by            underneath this retrogression of conditions is a
judges instead of juries was the invention of the             wanton, capricious, irrational malice. Our computers
directed verdict… this new legal device contained the         and desks are collecting dust, why? The excuse
potentialities for the judicial control of the jury…”         “shortage of staff” s a prevarication that would not get
In other words, twelve heads are better than one, but         by Stevie Wonder! Please complain to NDOC Director
in a judicial system guided by concerns for power             Howard Skolnik or the Nevada State Assembly
rather than concerns for abstract authority of justice,       Committee on Corrections, Chairman William Horne, at
those twelve heads are a stumbling block. This shift          whorne@asm.state.nv.gov. by John Locke.
from authority to juridical power began in the 1850’s—
at least the device of the directed verdict did. Since        2) Library Update
then, the art of jurisprudence, including the habit of         The libraries in the living units at the Northern
proportionality protected by Justice Breyer, has been         Nevada Correctional Center were removed in June
attacked by the development of more and more                  2010, inspiring the establishment of this organ of
sinister devices. These newer, better and more                dissent. In August, with the re-opening of the school
effective devices of control, are by their nature less        year 2010-11, the centralized order-and-deliver system
and less transparent. In future articles we will identify     got up and running smoothly. As we reported in June,
these devices and situate them in the social location of      the upside is a theoretical increase of the selection of
the infamous Early Case Resolution policy of Nevada           books available. The downside is the loss of access to:
which threatens to infect, by the sociological pattern of     1. All hardbound books, 2. All reference works such as
“convergence”, the rest of the world.
encyclopedias. The same process of reduction of            In early August, 2010, a large packet of pattern-
conditions is occurring in the law library and religious   establishing affidavits were sent to the Department of
libraries.                                                 Justice. One of those documents told the story of a guy
                                                           who has been waiting for YEARS to have a hernia
                                                                                          rd
3) Poem                                                    repaired. Today, September 3 , this very same man
                                                           has finally been scheduled for surgery! Glory Be!
T he Rule of Goats
I love the hate of my prison guard                         5) Loss of NNCC Religious Services (by John
Like I love the fact clouds are not
                                                              Locke)
Rectangles and isosceles bits of binary
                                                            The “yard” at NNCC has been on lockdown on
Representations. He hates sin
                                                           weekends for much of the summer, 2010. The reason
As it ought to be hated
                                                           mentioned by staff is “staff shortage” due to the
And he hates my status as a
                                                           mandatory furloughs ordered in response to the
Stinking, bottom of the barrel felon.
                                                           economic situation. This has caused a major disruption
In his face I see my Jesus,
                                                           of the religious services which are held on weekends.
Suffering the prison of the Western
                                                           This is not a “coincidence” but a PR strategy to incite
World, strapped and bound by the good
                                                           anger and complaints from the poor religious
Stuff makes his misery ooze out
                                                           volunteers who come to minister to prisoners, we
Of his pores, like the plague of
                                                           think.
Black death and meat-eating leprosy.
                                                            So, it was noticed on Labor Day there seemed to be a
Nothing virtual about his hate, it is
                                                           surfeit of guards at the facility. What happened to the
As real as the terrified voice of my
                                                           shortage on that day? That’s easy! They get paid
Wife, alone and unable to care the
                                                           double time plus one half times their regular wage on
Way she wants to care.
                                                           that Union holiday.
Strapped with power toys and guns
                                                            Several months ago, during the television broadcast
He longs like all the others for his
                                                           of the debate over prison closures (NSP), the panel
Time in the tower, and the chance
                                                           disclosed to the public that the Department of
To shoot himself a real live convict,
                                                           Corrections is EXEMPT from any cost-cutting
In the name of the Great God of the State
                                                           furloughs—so why are they doing them? In the case of
Nevada. Oh! That it would snow!
                                                           prisons, the furlough system has the counter-
Oh! To see the crimson blood steaming
                                                           productive effect of eating up any savings in regular
Like a eastern Cardinal bird
                                                           pay schedules with over-time coverage of the staff on
Flashing in the woods; my guard makes
                                                           furlough. This smells of a hoax, which will be
Rules to make sure I know my sinfulness.
                                                           investigated by our NJPR outside investigators.
I ask for a roll of toilet paper, showing
                                                           The furloughs and cost-saving scheduled hours
Him the mandatory empty roll. Sitting back
                                                           changes have affected other programs such as the
In his chair busy seething with his
                                                           Catholic morning prayer services (Gone!) and all
Sycophant grinning like a monkey.
                                                           Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings (Gone!).
Not till 8pm. I think of all
                                                            While we are glad Unions exist to help guards with
The legal routes to challenge his
                                                           their conditions of employment and “getting theirs”
Arbitrary silliness on my way back to
                                                           when it comes to wages, we see their alliance with the
My cell. I clench my rosary and
                                                           pro-war-on-criminals politics anti-thetical to the social
Pray a decade, and seeing the
                                                           justice principles of organized labor, and contradicts
Blue sky outside, I am filled with
                                                           the so-called “mission” of NDOC. By J. Locke
Gratitude that I am not in his sad
Prison of self-delusion, and really glad
His hatred has a place to be of
Some good, and that he find the
Blessed Fruit of the Womb.

4) Dept. of Justice Dossier Update

				
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