Hamilton’s legal hype dishonest and undeserved

Smith, Zachary

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HAMILTON'S LEGAL HYPE DISHONEST AND UNDESERVED As a pro se litigator and author of the Smith's Guide legal series for prisoners (Smith's Guide to Habeas Corpus Relief for State Prisoners Under 28 U.S.C. §2254; Smith's Guide to Executive Clemency for State and Federal Prisoners; and Smith's Guide to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Prisoners), I was curious about Derrick Hamilton's legal prowess after reading Jennifer Gonnerman's article (Home Free," June 20th). What I found was appalling: Hamilton didn't win his own freedom as the article alleged, his attorney Jonathan I. Edelstein did. (If having someone pressure a eyewitness into recanting her statement, I guess Hamilton helped, which was a tactic used to successfully overturn a previous murder conviction when he killed an innocent bakery truck driver in 19B3.) As for Hamilton's pro se civil work, he filed a number of frivolous lawsuits against the department of corrections and lost every case. In one case, Hamilton claimed that correctional officers urinated in the air vent of his cell. He then allegedly soaked up the urine with a towel and put it in a bag to preserve as "DNA" evidence. Afterward he told the officer, "Thanks for the DNA evidence." When he tried to get the "DNA" evidence sent out of the prison he was searched, and it was seized, resulting in an altercation that ended with Hamilton defecating on himself. In Gonnerman's article, Hamilton claimed to have been a target of retaliation by the department of corrections but his assignments to administrative segregation were due to his own actions. An example would be when Hamilton seduced correctional officer Sharon Goodwin, and then married her. In another example, Hamilton tested Z.A.Smith 1 positive for marijuana and filed a frivolous lawsuit claiming he tested positive because of "passive inhalation" from other inmates smoking marijuana. He also requested the court to appoint him an attorney because the case was too complex for him. The court denied his request. Thanks to guys like Hamilton pro se litigators are given a bad reputation and their pleadings are often ignored by the courts. Thanks to guys like Hamilton the legislature enacted the Prison Litigation Reform Act, a federal statute that makes it more difficult to file civil actions by requiring prisoners to pay excessive filing fees ($350 to file and $450 to appeal). Thanks to guys like Hamilton the department of corrections retaliate and discriminate against prisoners who exercise their first amendment rights. I was content to disregard Gonnerman's article until I read the iVlail in the New Yorker (August 1, 2016) and felt compelled to write an article of my own. Prisoners have an insatiable need to believe in things which give them hope and make their lives better. But such a need makes them gullible to the hype spread about people like Derrick Hamilton. Either Ms. Gonnerman was conned or failed to thoroughly research Hamilton prior to writing her article. Either way, the result was the same: the article was misleading and dishonest. If she wants to write articles about pro se litigators, she should read the Smith's Guide book reviews on Amazon and the article "Turning Stumbling Blocks Into Stepping Stones" in the Inmate Shopper (Spring/Summer 2015). Then she will know what a real pro se litigator is suppose to be and won't end Z.A.Smith 2 up with egg on her face. As for prisoners and bleeding-heart liberals needing something to oelieve in, they shouldn't believe the hype they read in a magazine article without careful consideration of the actual Zachary A. Smith Crossroads Correctional Cameron, Center Missouri Z.A.Smith 3 facts.

Author: Smith, Zachary

Author Location: Missouri

Date: 2016

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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