2nd Class Citizens Assert 1st Amendment Rights
Col. Writ. 11/14/14 Copyright Bryant Arroyo
In the dead of the night Gov. Tom Corbett huddled with the choir of the legislature and the rest of his cronies (FOP) whom introduced an invidious, unconstitutional 'Chilling Effect' tantamount to a 'civil choke hold.' Gov. Corbett signed both HB2533 & SB508 on Oct. 3, 2014, which is legally unprecedented and has far-reaching implications that specifically targets and impacts former and current prisoners in the State of Pennsylvania. The Victim Crimes Act will subject every former and current prisoner from publicly speaking about their cases under the constitutional provisions of 'freedom of speech' under our 1st Amendment.
Meanwhile, most of us who were born in the land of the free -- United States of America. As citizens we were told and taught throughout our formal education that all along the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the basic freedoms of speech, the press, etc. The 1st Amend. of the Constitution, as a "right" cannot be forced into a 'Hobson's Choice' to accept such an unconstitutional amendment (Victim Crimes Act HB2533 & SB508) which unequivocally creates a Chilling Effect, categorically violating our personal freedoms to express, share and write the facts about our cases publicly through different mediums which would also be held bound to civil-penalties for assisting us to gain exposure and access to the free-world.
Our Forefathers created the constitution with the intentions to protect 'all' of its citizens, not just one particular group over the other. More importantly, these bills subject and victimize the 'actually-innocent' individuals who remain in prison fighting tenaciously every waking day/night to prove their 'actual-innocence' to be exonerated one day...Obviously, the legislative act HB2533 & SB508 was designed for both former and current prisoners in an attempt to demonize us for the purposes of stripping us from our 1st Amendment Constitutional rights.
Gov. Corbett literally hijacked the budget of $400 Million Dollars from the (PA) state's education fund and misappropriated this outrageous sum of $400 Million Dollars to build and construct two new prisons, i.e., Phoenix I & II. As of right now, Phoenix I & II has serious deficiencies in the foundation the prisons were built on and the structure is actually sinking everyday and has not been able to pass the basic inspection and remains with vacant cells -- unpopulated while the costs keeps on adding-up placing a strangle-hold on the hard-working tax-paying citizens. Most likely, there will be additional costs upward to the toll of $25 to $50 Million Dollars more to structurally fix the foundation and stop Phoenix I & II from sinking, altogether! Gov. Corbett has introduced both HB2533 & SB508, as a 'red-herring' which is a political ploy used to deflect the citizens' attention away from the real victims in the State of Pennsylvania, which are the children without schools to attend to get their formal education, just like President Bush took the necessary steps by enacting this law 'leave no child left behind' Act which ensures that our children are guaranteed the opportunity to receive an education. Gov. Corbett has abandoned all of the children in the State of Pennsylvania by leaving them without an education only to provide them with their final destination to end up in Phoenix I & II as the final future lot in life. Does Gov. Corbett really care about any of the alleged victims sponsored by the Victim Crimes Act? Gov. Corbett's actions bespeaks a dismal future designed for our children's futures by investing his priorities on building prisons, instead of schools. Gov. Corbett has constructed a direct 'pipeline to prison' for our future progeny... The innocent are the real victims in the political quagmire Gov. Corbett has created and left for the incoming Gov. Wolf to attempt to resolve... Gov. Corbett's actions are outright perverse, unconscionable and criminal to say the least!!! I'm certain he wouldn't leave his children without an education and or schools to attend too?... What a bigoted hypocrite!!!
These two House Bills, i.e., HB2533 & SB508 are outright on its face, unconstitutional and without a doubt will get reversed... Whatever you do, as citizens who uphold and whole-heartedly believe in the 1st Amendment of our constitution, don't fall for the old 'bait & switch' Gov. Corbett has made an anemic disappointing attempt to pull the wool over your eyes. Gov. Corbett invented this new law to circumvent our constitutional 1st Amendment rights. This reminds me of the old adage: "He who invented the law -- Invented the trap"... Looks like Gov. Corbett has trapped himself in a constitutional 'legal Gordian-Knot' which will inevitably be unsuccessful and defeated, at the conclusion of this legal-battle that has ensued.
Our community is like a ship; we must take it by the helm and stand to fight for our 1st Amendment Constitutional rights and not allow Gov. Corbett and his cronies to take away our voices to freely express ourselves, publicly! What is a man/woman without the right to share his/her story with the citizens of the free world?. This is a man/woman without a face and voice... To invalidate men/womens' 1st Amendment rights, is to stip them of their human existence. There is no stronger man or woman in the world is him or her who stands most alone. Stand up! Fight for your 1st Amendment rights and refuse to be treated like a 2nd class citizen!!!
Bryant Arroyo, at SCI-Frackville
For Prison Radio--The Voice & Face Inside the Nation of prisoners...
If you are working on an APWA-related project, please let us know how you plan to utilize the Archive. We hope to share information about your work with our readers and, whenever possible, with relevant APWA authors.
APWA is an open access archive. We encourage use of the writings for research, course planning, and projects engaged in examination of the criminal legal system. Reproduction of essays in their entirety infringes on author copyright without their explicit consent from the writers. Please contact us if you plan to reproduce entire essays; we will do our best to put you in contact with the authors for consent, and their compensation for any project that is profit making.