Relief or riot: Prisoner of conscience (Part 2)

Clark, Edward R.

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Relief Or Riot/Clark 16 Part 2 Prisoner of Conscience For forty years this writer experiences retaliation by corrections officials over my endeavors for prison and sentencing reform, as the following exemplifies along with evidence challenging their actions: When the state's maximum security prison became operational shortly after the legislature passed the bill reducing imprisonment for hundreds of prison inmates, I was among the first scheduled for transfer. The chaplain, who was head chaplain over all the state's prisons, intervened and stopped the transfer. Corrections officials merely waited until the chaplain went on vacation to transfer me. An article on my transfer was entitled, "Inmate charges his transfer is retaliation for political activism.": Clark's flawless record was not considered... While an inmate representative and chapel clerk at Stillwater, Clark earned a reputation as "peacemaker" said Rep. Janet Clark [not related] who worked with him on legislative issues... My stay in the maximum security prison was supposed to be for eighteen months, but it dragged on for four and a half years because prison officials at the Stillwater facility didn't want me back. I had to threaten a lawsuit challenging the prisoner classification and transfer practices as unconstitutional, I was then transferred back to Stillwater. I would later learn that while at the maximum security prison, eleven letters between the governor and myself were intercepted, along with a letter from a legislator. Communications with elected officials is privileged communications, and intercepting it is not only in violation of Relief Or Riot/Clark 17 policy, but unconstitutional as a federal court previously ruled in a case in which I was a plaintiff. There are also copies of letters sent to me by religious organizations complaining to the governor over my transfer. Prison officials' animosity towards me over my critiquing the corrections system to the legislature is evident by the experience of a family who visited me. In their signed statement: The warden was escorting us on a tour of the institution. At this time he told us that Mr. Clark is not worth the time we are investing, and he would probably never see daylight. That prediction is played out every time I have a parole hearing. While a required psychological examination is to be taken into consideration it is ignored, as the evaluation supports my release. After seventeen years of imprisonment, the psychologist reveals in his evaluation: Significantly, Mr. Clark continues to maintain that he commited neither of the murders for which he stands convicted. His activities reflect both his belief in his innocence and his desire to contribute positively to society as best he can in prison... While he is viewed by prison officials as contentious and self-seeking, most of his activities reflect a desire to contribute to the welfare of others generally. Mr. Clark appears to have made adequate preparations for his success in the community once released... His plans for his release appears to be consistent with his high level of intellectual and psychological functioning. Denied a parole, I was not even allowed a transfer to a less restrictive facility comparable to my behavior record. After twenty-six years of imprisonment, I was denied another Relief Or Riot/Clark 18 psychological evaluation, as prison officials wouldn't allow the prison psychologist to conduct it. On my own I hired a renowned board-certified forensic psychiatrist who conducted a comprehensive in-depth evaluation: Clark's involvement in the activities of prison reform is complete, comprehensive, and extensive... Generally he continues his altruistic commitment to prison reform, and in this regard it sounds extremely unique, diverse, sustained (for longevity), and successful... He has the most exemplary behavior, e.g., has shown altruistic concern for significant other, and thus employed the healthiest of defense mechanisms, i.e., higher adaptive levels of coping... No indication of propensity to develop significant psychological or psychiatric condition, despite the fact he has been exposed to the most significant and sustained stressors imaginable, i.e., after loosing one's freedom and being incarcerated for two and a half decades - particularly given his sentiment that he has not been involved [in the murders] at any level. A parole was denied. After thirty-one years of imprisonment, using the excuse that I won't admit guilt, it was extended another ten years before another hearing, while others are paroled who maintain they are innocent. In my case, requiring an admission of guilt, and extending my imprisonment beyond three years, is unconstitutional (ex post facto), and illegal under state law. With corrections officials demanding an admission of guilt, I authored a published book, "Rush to Judgement - Anatomy Of A Murder Case." The book includes evidence that I was 700 miles distant in another state when the murders were committed, along with exculpatory evidence withheld by the prosecution. The book also includes a deposition with the deponent stating Relief Or Riot/Clark 19 his former drug partners claimed responsibility for the murders and their motive. On reviewing the book, Twin Cities' Fox TV conducted its own investigation, uncovering additional exculpatory evidence withheld by the prosecution. (Aired, 26 April 2009, it was entitled, "Investigators: Reasonable Doubts.") With the commissioner and at least one other panel member reading my book, the reason for denying me a parole at future parole hearins was changed from "not admitting guilt, to: "Not having a comprohensive release plan, and not having substantial community support." With four decades of imprisonment, along with my advanced age, that criterion is unrealistic. Moreover, my wife and I own a home with $50,000 in savings, and our combined retirement package would meet our needs. It is now four years later. Emphasizing the reason for denying me a parole all these years is because of my endeavor for prison reform. the warden asked, "If released, do you intend to continue your involvement with the legislature?" The warden recommended another "four years" of imprisonment be served before the next parole hearing - the commissioner ruled it is to be "five years," (when I will be 85-years-old). As did the other psychological evaluations, the one conducted for the latest parole hearing encourages my endeavor for prison reform, whether in or out of prison. However, it also motovates corrections officials into keeping me imprisoned: Mr. Clark is encouraged to continue his prosocial activities such as his involvement with the community church, facility religious Relief Or Riot/Clark 20 programming, and working with lawmakers on issues of offenders' well-being. In addition to supplementing the meaning and purpose he finds in his writing, these activities demonstrate a commitment to positive change and living. ... With his inherent desire to work and be involved in social justice issues, volunteering with community organizations may be a good fit. (Emphasis added.) . . . Relief Or Riot, is a chapter in this writer's latest book, "My Imprisonment - 50 Years And Counting." As expected, corrections officials are attempting to prevent its publication. "Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is strong." The Geneology of Morals (Friedrich Nietzsch (1889))

Author: Clark, Edward R.

Author Location: Minnesota

Date: January 15, 2020

Genre: Essay

Extent: 5 pages

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