Fighting Injustice

You may have thought my post called Prison-Cop Perverts went too far, but I doubt you’d feel that way if what I wrote about happened to you or someone you love. I don’t know about you, but I take victimization very seriously and it sickens me that anyone could be upset that I reported it. Out of all the good deeds that can be done, such as donate money to charity or cancer research, victim advocacy is the most important to me. Not having certain possessions due to burglary is more upsetting than not having them due to poverty, and losing a loved one to murder is definitely more upsetting than losing a loved one to cancer. The criminal factor makes it worse by creating a victim of someone’s intentional bad deed. Granted, the targets of my last post did not commit a crime, but their behavior victimized people nonetheless. (Abortion is another legalized form of victimization that I’ll be criticizing in a future post.)

You can put your mind at ease if you’re worried I’ll become the next Nancy Grace, whose show I find to be repugnant. She’s quick to presume guilt and doesn’t always have the facts. When three Lacrosse players for Duke University were falsely accused of raping a stripper in 2006, Grace ruthlessly trashed their reputations. I paid no attention to the case when it was in the news, but I later read about it in a book called Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor Jr. From it I learned that after the players submitted DNA samples without hesitation, Grace said they refused to do so and must be guilty. Also, on the rare occasions I’ve watched small portions of her show, I saw video of inmates in jail having visits with family members. Those recordings were made for security purposes, not to entertain her viewers. Far from helping victims, airing these videos has created them. It’s more than just an invasion of privacy. It has resulted in some of the inmates’ families being harassed by viewers. I don’t know how people can be so low as to go after the families of the accused. I feel bad for them as well as the innocent who are presumed guilty.

Not everyone I was in prison with was guilty. Two of those men were Josh Kezer and Ryan Ferguson, who were both exonerated for murders they didn’t commit. Kezer had been locked up 16 years; Ferguson 10. The really weak cases that convicted them made me realize false convictions are probably far more common than I imagined. That injustice angers me, but I at least take comfort in knowing that the world’s last judgment will be made by God rather than fallible humans. There won’t be a single false conviction, nor will the families of the guilty suffer for someone else’s wrong. Unlike Josh and Ryan, I was guilty of what put me in prison, but my family also suffered for my actions. Nothing like that will happen when God judges and punishes everyone on an individual basis for what they’ve done to their victims. Until this time when injustices will become a thing of the past, I will continue to use my First-Amendment right to expose bad behavior.

No one should have a pass to behave badly, and that was the main message of my last post. I may never have blogged about the abuses going on in prisons had it not been for Officer Roesch and the one who read me the violation she wrote. Being subjected to their tag-team harassment instilled in me a desire to pull back the curtain and let it be known what goes on in prisons. Having to use a toilet next to a window that women looked into was bad enough without Roesch accusing me of exposing myself to her, as well as scream insults at me. She then stood by as the other officer read me the unjust charge and lectured me with contempt. And all this was petty compared to what goes on in some other prisons. I refuse to be silent about these travesties. Although these officers can’t be held accountable by legal means, they can be exposed for what they are. Please don’t mistake any of this for gossip, which the apostles condemned. Of gossipers Paul wrote, “And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.” (I Tim. 5:13) And Peter put gossipers in a group with other sinners by writing, “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.” (I Pet. 4:13) However, there’s a difference between gossip and publicly confronting bad behavior. These apostles were righteous but not perfect, so when Peter taught some people an erroneous message, Paul “withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed” (Gal. 2:11). He justly did so in the presence of a crowd, “before them all” (Gal. 2:14).

Some of my own bad behaviors have been publicized in newspapers, and I don’t complain about what I brought on myself. Neither should the targets of my last post complain about what they brought on themselves. The ones who accused their victims of sexual misconduct especially have no right to complain about how that post makes them look. They had no concern for the innocent men they went after. A charge like that stays with an inmate for the remainder of his sentence and, being labeled a pervert, he loses certain privileges. Moreover, not one person I targeted in my last post is innocent. At the very least, some of them were guilty of having no regard for the feelings of people who don’t want someone of the opposite sex to see them exposed. Suppose I decided to walk through a women’s dressing room for a reason other than seeing women naked. The women inside would still have every right to be outraged, and I wouldn’t blame them if they made flyers imprinted with my name and picture to pass around in my home town, making it known that a creep is in the area. If you know people who put their eyes where they shouldn’t, please let it be known what they’re doing. There’s nothing unethical about that. Unethical would be to keep silent and allow their behavior to continue. How long must this go on until something is done about it?

I hate to admit that like many victims of sexual misconduct, I let myself be fooled into believing I had done something wrong. For one, I didn’t know the woman who read me my violation was a pervert when she treated me like one. Besides that, part of the reason I didn’t protest her attitude was I had seen some kindness in her not many days before and I respected that. I guess I didn’t want to believe it when I saw another side to her. (I saw her dark side again when she drove a golf cart way too fast through a crowd of inmates and hit a man. Like Roesch, she blamed her victim. She told him, “Watch where you’re going, jackass!) It took time for me to accept that she was just as wicked as Roesch. They were two peas in one rotten, fungus-infested pod. What they did to me went beyond harassment. After being violated by the eyes of someone who had no business looking where she did, having hateful words shouted at me and being treated like a perpetrator when I was a victim, I got to thinking about how this ordeal could have affected me had it occurred before my parole hearing. Later it occurred to me that it still could have prolonged my stay in prison, because the parole board sometimes postpones out dates for serious violations. As I wondered how many others these women had done this to, I became all the more angry that they were playing with people’s lives. A lot of detectives and prosecutors do the same when going after people they know are innocent, as with the cases against Kezer, Ferguson and the Duke students. In a just world, all of these sociopaths would themselves be in prison for the pain they inflict on innocent people. I don’t say that out of hatred. Quite the opposite, it’s my love for people that makes me lash out at the mistreatment of them.

No one has to inform me that there are people who think I’m wrong for telling this story. That same attitude is shared by crazy fans of college athletes who rape women. The fans say these men “have too much to lose” when victims publicly speak out against them. They also want to talk about how nice these men are (at least to some people). So I have a message for anyone who would vouch for the people I’ve blogged about, and would say they do many good deeds. The same could be said of rapists, yet that’s no consolation for their victims. When victims make impact statements, they should not be told about the good done by the ones who violated them. They deserve an apology, not an excuse or justification for what happened. I hold myself accountable to that same standard. My past is filled with both good and bad. I’ve done some really nice things to help people, but I’ve also done some really rotten things to hurt people. If someone I’ve hurt confronted me in front of someone I’ve helped, and the person I helped defended me, I’d be obligated to point out that the person confronting me is right to do so. Then I’d apologize to my victim. I don’t pretend I haven’t done some really bad things and I admit that my prison sentence was just. What is not just is what some of the staff do to inmates, and people need to start blowing the whistle on them.

This is my second post that mentions the perverted behavior of prison staff, because it’s no small matter. While some ignorant people are probably calling this gossip, sexual predators are getting away with taking victims. I want you to think long and hard about how it would be in a place where you can’t shower or use a toilet without having people of the opposite sex look at you. It upset me every time a woman inappropriately looked at me, but it took one of them blaming me for her behavior to give me this desire to fight back. Enough is enough! I’m infuriated over what’s going on and the ones who aren’t likely would be if I was a woman complaining about men doing the same things to me. I’m fed up with the hypocrisy. On the bright side, I’m confident that this post will get through to a lot of people, so the emotional distress I suffered at the hands of these sexual deviants was not in vain. This post is about more than abusive power in prisons. It’s also about street cops who get away with unjustly beating or killing people, and prosecutors who aren’t brought to justice for trying to convict defendants they know are innocent. People with authority deserve the same scrutiny as common citizens.

I do forgive all of the authority figures I’ve been wronged by, both in prison and the free world. I want there to be no mistake about that. But I also want them held accountable, and I want them weeded out from the ones who don’t abuse their power. Most people with a position of authority, at least in the U.S., behave appropriately and I respect them for that. I’m not at odds with the legal system. I just want it to operate the way it’s supposed to and bring criminals to justice, even if those criminals work for the system. The same rules should apply to everyone, a principle that’s all-too-often ignored in prison. I’ve said enough about staff; now I’ll comment on inmates. A great deal of them hate child molesters for preying on the weak, yet some of these hypocrites also prey on the weak in prison. They should read Romans 2:1 and examine themselves. Unless they change their ways, they too will go to Hell along with child molesters and the others mentioned here. If anything in this post applies to you, I suggest you repent instead of “treasur[ing] up unto [your]self wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Rom. 2:5, 6).

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