Prisoners are persons whom most of us would rather not think about. Banished from everyday sight, they exist in a shadow world that only dimly enters our awareness. They are members of a "total institution" that controls their daily existence in a way that few of us can imagine. "[P]rison is a complex of physical arrangements and of measures, all wholly governmental, all wholly performed by agents of government, which determine the total existence of certain human beings (except perhaps in the realm of the spirit, and inevitably there as well) from sundown to sundown, sleeping, walking, speaking, silent, working, playing, viewing, eating, voiding, reading, alone, with others. . . ." It is thus easy to think of prisoners as members of a separate netherworld, driven by its own demands, ordered by its own customs, ruled by those whose claim to power rests on raw necessity. -- Justice William Brennan, dissenting in O’Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 354-55 (1987).

Friday, August 3, 2007

Jim Black on Way to PA to Serve Prison Sentence

For those who follow this matter, a "Rabbit Hole" reader forwarded me this story:

It appears that Jim Black is on his way to Lewisburg, PA prison camp as of this morning. He surrendered to the US Marshals on Monday, had his state sentencing hearing on Tuesday and spent Tue, Wed, and Thu night in the Wake County jail (total of 4 nights). Let the clock begin. I am really curious how long it takes the prison van to make it to Lewsburg. Maybe I am proven wrong, but I think it will take a couple weeks. The BOP website still says he is "In Transit."

Remember, the federal judge could have delayed his surrender date by a few days and let him report, at his own expense, directly to Lewisburg after his sentencing hearing. Instead, he intentially forced him to report exactly one day before his state sentencing hearing in Raleigh, knowing that he would have to ride the prison bus (at taxpayer expense) from Raleigh to Lewsiburg -- 462 miles away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was an optometric patient of Jim Black's for years. He was always congenial and forthright to me. But I have a troubling incident to tell. While he was under investigation I visited him for an eye exam and, as I entered his examining room (where he stood, alone) I made a light reference to the allegations against him (perhaps, naively, with the intent of good will). Thereupon he administered ointment in my eyes to commence dilation and then he asked me "Does that sting?" I replied in the affirmative "Yes, it does." He replied in a very sinister and vindictive tone "Good."

It wasn't for a few days that I completely processed the events in that examination room, however I wonder if he purposefully administered too much dilative ointment.

As I have heard of his prison accounts, any compassion on my part towards him has been assuaged by the brief insight I had into his true character.