Eliminate warehousing of the severely mentally disturbed in our prisons; continuing to do so spells poor management by state corrections officials.

Ricardo Ferrell

By Ricardo Ferrell

Three decades ago we began to see a significant number of the severely mentally ill pop up in jails & prisons. In Michigan, somewhere between 1987-2002, the majority of the mental hospitals/institutions were ordered closed by both the Blanchard and Engler Administrations. Thus, jails and prisons became immediate dumping grounds for those diagnosed with severe mental illnesses, but prior to them starting to pop up in jails & prisons – many found themselves on the streets, usually homeless and without proper care for their needs.

I have often wondered how convenient it was during this period that the prison expansion and boom also happened. The mid to late 80’s ushered in a prison build up like we have never before seen. At least 30 or more correctional facilities were constructed; boosting the Michigan prison population from approximately 10,000 – 12,000 to roughly over 51,000 an increase of around 400%.

Today, there are some 9,000, or 23% diagnosed with a severe mental illness within the Michigan Department of Corrections. The number is likely higher as there are many who go on without letting their issues be known to a (QMHP) Qualified Mental Health Professional usually due to not wanting to have the stigma which they believe to be associated with a negative connotation of some sort and the perception of shame that they would be tagged for a better term, a bug.

Chart from national Bureau of Justice Statistics.

And, in a prison setting nobody wants to receive the ridicule, mistreatment, belittling, and embarrassment of such a diagnosis. Let’s take Ronalle Hizerick, a name I created to protect the true identity of an individual who I would be called to observe after he had been placed on suicide watch from a near life ending self-injury to one of his main arteries.

During my second observation with Ronalle he revealed to me that the reason he attempted to take his own life was that he had just learned that both his wife and young daughter had been diagnosed with brain cancer and he just couldn’t take not being there for them. Ronalle had less than one year to his earliest release date, yet still his mental illness was so severe that being locked up in prison actually caused him more harm because simply put, prison is no substitute for a mental institution.

A lawsuit against the MDOC has been filed on behalf of Janika Edmund, who hung herself last year in the Huron Valley Women’s facility, known for its horrible conditions. Prison guards failed to intercede although they knew she was suicidal.

This writer over the last five years has worked in the Prisoner Observation Aide Program known as Suicide Watch which utilizes carefully selected and specially trained prisoners with the task of observing fellow prisoners in trying to curtail and/or prevent them from engaging in suicidal and self-injurious behaviors because it has been proven by evidence-based analysis that those experiencing mental instabilities and disorders may be more willing to open up and share with another prisoner why they are having a crisis before revealing such to a staff member or QMHP.

Additionally, the program has proved to be cost effective as well because prior to the utilization of prisoners; corrections officers were assigned an added task of observing at-risk inmates, but it was costing millions and millions of dollars, so the MDOC elected to train prisoners instead to render such services in conjunction with a treatment plan assessed by a Qualified Mental Health Professional.

Rendering this service at three different facilities has afforded me the opportunity to better understand a severely mentally ill individual who engages in harmful behaviors and on many occasions I have been able to prevent them from self-injurious episodes and saved many of their lives.

Although the above-mentioned 9,000, or 23% who have been diagnosed with a severe mental illness is the reported number, there are certainly a higher number of those within Michigan prisons who have a mental illness yet to be reported and diagnosed which is making today’s prisons more like modern day mental institutions. If the State of Michigan wish to address this serious problem it must find viable ways to tackle it head-on maybe by reversing the practice of housing mentally disturbed individuals in its prisons.

Prisoners wait for medications, often for psychiatric problems that should be treated in hospital or outpatient settings.

Using the monies it costs to house the mentally ill (approximately $36,000 — $40,000 per year) to reopen or construct new mental institutions would be the best course of action assuring this special needs population receives the maximum treatment they require. The following calculations could help reach such a goal: 1) $36,000 per year for each mentally ill prisoner; 2) 9,000, or 23% equates to $324,000,000 per year; and 3) $324,000,000 or more depending on the actual yearly cost of above group amounts to over two-thirds of a billion dollars. More than enough to open and operate mental institutions and provide quality mental health services to the severely mentally ill.

Currently, there are approximately 400,000 Michigan citizens diagnosed as being severely mentally Ill, and if nothing is done to reverse the failed policies of old administrations and current practices by the MDOC of housing mentally disturbed individuals in a prison setting, then we are looking at quite possibly a higher number in the near future. The Woodland Corrections Center located in Whitmore Lake, was converted to become a mental health facility which is operated by the MDOC. Some of the vacant correctional facilities across the state could easily be converted to mental health facilities to accommodate the growing demand for this particular group in our prisons.


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Video above from earlier hearing in Oct. 2016

Lewis hearing held Aug. 3, motions not to be heard until Sept. 28, judge says she may not proceed beyond that date

 Prosecution wants to wait for non-binding directions from Michigan Judicial Institute 

 Lewis case is “poster child” for other juvenile lifers in “Up South” Michigan 

Numerous families outside Frank Murphy Hall protest wrongful convictions in other cases prior to Lewis hearing

By Diane Bukowski 

August 11, 2018

Charles Lewis on video at Aug. 3 hearing.

DETROIT – Will juvenile lifer Charles Lewis, 59, finally go free after 42 years in prison, including two-and-a-half grueling years of re-sentencing hearings in front of Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Qiana Lewis?

At the conclusion of his 33rd hearing Aug. 3, Lillard said she has not yet certified a court file to replace the original which went missing sometime after 2012. She said she will rule Sept. 28 whether she can. If not, she implied, no more hearings will be necessary.

She also granted a defense motion for the appointment of a “mitigation” expert if the case moves forward. She pledged to work to facilitate Lewis’ transfer from Lakeland Correctional Facility to Ryan Correctional Facility in Detroit to allow his defense attorney easier access to his client.

Presiding Circuit Court Criminal Judge Timothy Kenny facilitated a similar transfer in the ongoing evidentiary hearing of Thelonious “Shawn” Searcy, from Chippewa Correctional Facility in the upper peninsula, to the Thumb CF, closer to Detroit.

(L to r) Defense attorney Sanford Schulman, prosecutor Tom Dawson, judge Qiana Lillard at hearing on Charles Lewis Aug. 3, 2018

“I believe they are waiting for me to die in prison,” Lewis said earlier. He is going blind in one eye because of macular degeneration due to a severe case of diabetes, and has suffered three heart attacks. He was denied the implantation of a stent after the third attack. His 77-year-0ld mother Rosie Lewis is also in failing health.

Lewis has maintained since his conviction in 1977 that he is innocent of the murder of an off-duty police officer on Detroit’s east-side. The officer’s partner and numerous other eyewitnesses testified at his trials that a different man in a white Lincoln Mark IV was the killer. Their testimony made up the major part of the trials.

In addition to ruling on file certification, Lillard will also hear arguments on motions originally filed by Lewis pro se, which his defense attorney Schulman has said he will either supplement or adopt as is. Schulman is due to have the motions ready by Sept. 4 and AP Tom Dawson is to respond by Sept. 18 in preparation for the Sept. 28 hearing.

Lewis’ motions involve dismissing his case due to the loss of his court file, actual innocence, ineffective assistance of trial counsel (who argued he was guilty), ex post facto violations in the prosecutor’s request for life without parole, and bond.

His defense attorney Sanford Schulman told VOD Aug. 3 that if Judge Lillard does not “certify” the replacement file, it should mean that Lewis would be re-sentenced to time served. The majority of Lewis’ official court record, including his Register of Actions from 1976 to 2000, went missing sometime after 2012. (See box at right.) 

Against Lewis’ strenuous objections citing higher court precedents that his case should be dismissed, Judge Lillard ruled in 2016 that the Wayne County Clerk, prosecutor and defense should “re-construct” the file by combining all their records of the case. His previous defense attorney Valerie Newman contributed a flash drive of records that included numerous attorney-client privileged documents from his original appellate attorneys, a constitutional violation.

But Lewis contends the file is far from complete.

“There is no Register of Actions from 1976 to 2000 to compare anything in the file to!” Lewis wrote his attorney recently. “Whoever reconstructed the file had nothing to compare what they had to. So, there was no way for them to know what should or should not have been in the file.  None of the people that reconstructed the file were ever involved in the case at any stage of the proceedings.”

Lewis himself, the only person present at all of the proceedings, was not allowed to participate in the file “re-construction.” Citing a Michigan Supreme Court ruling, People v. Fullwood (1974), he says a lost criminal court file CANNOT be reconstructed, and that he has found no precedent for such an action anywhere in the country.

In Chessman v. Teets (1957).  the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the defendant’s conviction on similar grounds, citing the 14th Amendment. 

14th Amendment stresses right to “due process” of law.

“All we hold is that, consistently with procedural due process, California’s affirmance of petitioner’s conviction upon a seriously disputed record, whose accuracy petitioner has had no voice in determining, cannot be allowed to stand.”

Lewis is one of Michigan’s 247 juvenile lifers, sentenced as children, still waiting for re-sentencing six and one half years after the historic U.S. Supreme Court Miller v. Alabama ruling that declared their sentences unconstitutional. 

They are the two-thirds of the state’s juvenile lifers that county prosecutors still want to die in prison, a barbaric practice used only in the U.S.

On June 20, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in People v. Hyatt/People v. Skinner, that the re-sentencing judge is not obligated to include any facts indicating that the defendant was the “rare” child incapable of rehabilitation, to support a renewed sentence of life without parole. That ruling blatantly violated the historic U.S. Supreme Court holdings in Miller v. Alabama (2012) and Montgomery v. Louisiana (2016), as well as an earlier ruling by a seven-judge appellate panel in Michigan. 

Attorney Deborah LaBelle told VOD at the time, “There has been a motion for reconsideration filed, addressing the errors and advising the court of the recent federal Fourth Circuit case which reached a directly opposite opinion than [the Michigan Supreme Court] in Hyatt.  A certification petition will be addressed after a ruling on that motion which depending on when heard, could be addressed by a different court after the November elections.”

Lee Boyd Malvo was 17 was he was given four life without parole sentences

The Fourth Circuit ruling in the case of Lee Boyd Malvo directly contradicted Hyatt/Skinner. Malvo was 17 when he aided his adult co-defendant John Muhammad in the sniper killings of 12 people in Washington, D.C. and Virginia in 2002.  Muhammad has since been executed.

But the Fourth Circuit Court ruled, “. . . .we affirm the district court’s order vacating Malvo’s four terms of life imprisonment without parole and remanding for resentencing to determine (1) whether Malvo qualifies as one of the rare juvenile offenders who may, consistent with the Eighth Amendment, be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole because his “crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility” or (2) whether those crimes instead “reflect the transient immaturity of youth,” in which case he must receive a sentence short of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.  Montgomery, 136 S. Ct. at 734.”

During the Aug. 3 hearing, Assistant Prosecutor Tom Dawson sought to have Judge Lillard set the next hearing date for Oct. 6. By then, he said  a “benchbook” on juvenile lifer re-sentencings after Hyatt/Skinner,  produced by the Michigan Justice Institute (MJI), should be ready.

MJI forum held in 2016 on juvenile lifer resentencing

The MJI, the “training” arm of the Michigan Supreme Court and the State Court Administror’s office, has a panel discussion on the matter scheduled for Sept. 20. Assorted judges and defense and prosecution attorneys will try to reach a loose consensus.  Their recommendations, however, are non-binding in court. A similar hearing on juvenile lifer re-sentencing, available in video on the MJI website, was held in 2016. Notably, all the participants in the video are white, discussing the fate of a population of juvenile lifers which is 70 percent Black. See

Prior to the Aug. 3 hearing, numerous families gathered outside the Frank Murphy Hall to protest what they said were other wrongful convictions of loved ones. It was the second such group protest held in two weeks, indicating that anger at the justice system in “Up South” Michigan is growing.  Participants in the Aug. 3 rally included the families of Roosevelt Pettiford, the Vesey brothers, Danny Burton, and more.

Relative calls for freedom for Danny Burton.

Free Roosevelt Pettiford



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As American citizens call for disarming the public, they conveniently ignore the most deadly group of people who will be the only ones with guns—the government.

By Matt Agorist

Published February 15, 2018

VOD: Thanks to Yolanda McNair of Protect Our Stolen Treasures (P.O.S.T.) who alerted us to this editorial on their Facebook page.

A tragedy in Florida unfolded Wednesday afternoon when a psychotic former student terrorized a high school and the nation as he walked into the school and began shooting and killing students. The terrorist shooter killed 17 people.

Aftermath of Parkland, Fla. school shooting.

It is no surprise that the hashtag #GunReformNow is already trending on Twitter as politicians and advocacy groups alike—like every time before—begin milking this tragedy for their political agenda.

Sadly, most people who call for gun control fail to realize what that actually means—only the government has the guns.

Every time a lunatic, who is usually on some form mind-altering pharmaceutical, goes on a shooting rampage, the do-gooders in Washington, with the aid of their citizen flocks, take to the TV and the internet to call for disarming the American people.

The citizens who call for themselves and their neighbors to be disarmed, likely think no deeper than the shallow speeches given by the political blowhards, designed to appeal to emotion only. They do not think of what happens during and after the government attempts to remove guns from society. They also completely ignore the fact that criminals do not obey laws and making guns illegal would have zero effect on criminals possessing guns.

In the perfect statist world in which only the government has guns, we’re told that crime rates would plummet, people wouldn’t be murdered, gun violence would be brought to its knees, and a disarmed heaven on Earth would ensue. But how effective would disarming the citizens actually be at preventing gun violence, while at the same time keeping guns in the hands of government?

One simple way to determine the outcome would be to compare mass shootings in America with those killed by police. It is entirely too easy to compare all senseless murders carried out by the state to those carried out by citizens, so we will zoom in with a microscope.

However, just as a point of reference, in the 20th Century alonegovernments were responsible for 260,000,000 deaths worldwide. That number is greater than all deaths from illicit drug use, STD’s, Homicides, and Traffic Accidents — combined.

Now, on to the micro-comparison.

According to a comprehensive database of all American mass shootings that have taken place since 1982, constructed by Mother Jones, there have been exactly 816 deaths attributed to mass shootings that have taken place on American soil.

As Mother Jones notes, in their database, they exclude shootings stemming from more conventional crimes such as armed robbery or gang violence. Other news outlets and researchers have published larger tallies that include a wide range of gun crimes in which four or more people have been either wounded or killed. While those larger datasets of multiple-victim shootings may be useful for studying the broader problem of gun violence, our investigation provides an in-depth look at the distinct phenomenon of mass shootings—from the firearms used to mental health factors and the growing copycat problem.

POST members and supporters block Woodward Avenue in Detroit during protest Sept. 24, 2016, as dozens of cars honked their horns in support. They included Arnetta Grable, mother of Lamar Grable, Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana Jones, Kevin Kellom, father of Terrance Kellom, and Yolanda McNair, mother of Adaisha Miller.

If we were to compare the 816 citizens killed in mass shootings to citizens killed by police in the same time frame, the comparison would be off the charts. So, for the sake of simplicity, we will compare all of the mass shooting deaths in the last 35 years, to the number of citizens killed by police since the beginning of last year.

Already, in 2018, American police have killed 153 people. When we add that to 1,189 people killed by police in 2017, that number is 1,342. This number is set to increase by one, on average, every 8 hours. 

[To see listing of Detroiters killed by police since 1992, go to

When comparing the total number of mass shootings over the last 35 years to just the last 14 months of police killings the ratio is 1.6 to 1, citizens killed by cops vs. citizens killed in mass shootings. That is a massive difference.

The comparison is staggering and should shock the conscience. But to truly get a perspective, lets go back three years and compare all of the citizens killed by cops since the beginning of 2015 to the number of mass shooting deaths.

Since 2015, cops in America have killed 3,733 citizens. 

In a time period that is less than one-tenth the amount of time it took mass shooters to kill 816 people, cops have killed nearly 5 times as many citizens.

As the blowhards spew their nonsense about grabbing guns from law-abiding citizens and those in government demand action, all of these people conveniently ignore the giant pink elephant in the living room — cops in America are killing citizens at an alarming rate!

Cover of famed activist Robert WIlliams’ book “Negroes with Guns.”

Ironically enough, those calling for taking guns from citizens are often times the ones most critical of police killings. How, exactly, they rationalize disarming the citizens and having only police, who kill far more people than gun owners, be the sole possessors of guns, is a mystery.

Indeed, Radley Balko sums up the mental gymnastics of both parties perfectly in regard to the distorted realities held as “truth.”

In the United States, the overall homicide rate is 4.9 per 100,000 among the citizens.

Thanks to independent watchdog groups like, we have a total number of citizens killed by police. As noted above, last year, police killed 1,189 citizens. Given that America has roughly 765,000 sworn police officers, that means the police-against-citizen kill rate is more than 145 per 100,000.

The police kill rate is nearly 30 times that of the average citizen, yet somehow people still call for disarming citizens and say nothing about the police. And no, the citizens are not becoming more violent. In fact, humanity is at its safest time in history—ever—and, in spite of the lunatic terrorists shooting up public places, violent crimes as well as all crime continues to drop, significantly.

The next time your friends try to tell you that citizens should be disarmed, tell them what that really means; they only want government, who has a history of racism and violence, who kill indiscriminately, with zero accountability, and far more often, to be the ones with guns.

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Charles Lewis

By Charles Lewis

August 4, 2018

I just read the following article in the July issue of “Criminal Legal News,” “Cell-Site Simulators: Police Use Military Technology To Reach Out And Spy On You,” by Christopher Zoukis. The article is about CellSite Simulators. This according to CLN was technology that was developed by the military to fight foreign terrorists.

According to CLN, “Cell-site simulators, also known as stingrays, trick cell phones into connecting to the device instead of an actual cell tower. Police operating the devices can track the location of all connected cellphones within a certain radius, (500 meters, 547 yards) and also can potentially intercept metadata about phone calls (the number of calls made and length of the call), the content of the calls and text messages, as well as the nature of data usage-including brower information.All of this takes place unbeknownst to users whose cellphones have been hijacked.”

It is absolutely mind-blowing to know that your local police force could possibly have a device that they can use to track and listen to cell phones in say a hundred block radius. Stingrays are also used by the FBI, ATF, DHS, ICE, DEA, NSA and US Marshalls. CLN also wrote “Cell-site simulators are suitcase-size devices that mimic the signal of actual cellphone towers-they even emit a stronger signal than legitimate towers. And, because cellphones are programmed to seek the best signal, all phones within the radius of the signal will connect to the device.

“Despite he growing popularity of these powerful devices, little is known about their exact capabilities. Perhaps more importantly, even less is known about what police are doing with their stingrays.”

Some of hundreds of protesters condemn justice system outside Detroit home where police killed Terrance Kellom,19, in 2015. Photo: Kenneth Snodgrass

Can you imagine stingrays in the hands of corrupt cops? Can you imagine what they could do with a device like that? Manufacturers have gone to great lengths to keep information about stingray capabilities, and use, secret.

The Harris Corporation has worked with the FBI to create a NonDisclosure Agreement (NDA) that prevents local and state law enforcement agencies from revealing any information about the stingrays, including its very existence.

Your local police department could be using this device right now without your knowledge. There is nothing to stop rogue officers with access to stingrays from spying on those running for public office. Imagine what a rogue officer could do with highly sensitive information illegally obtained about a particular public official? A rogue officer could determine the outcome of many political positions with the right information. The moral of this story is watch what you say on your cell phone because your conversations are not personal or private. And, watch what you text. If you don’t want to end up in a compromising situation say nothing that will hurt you.

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Action called by Coalition “Shut it down D.C.”

“The Facebook intervention is a qualitative escalation of the McCarthyite offensive.”

Facebook has assumed additional political police powers, disrupting a planned counter-demonstration against white supremacists, set for August 12th in Washington, on the grounds that it was initiated and inspired by “Russians” as part of a Kremlin campaign to “sow dissention” in the U.S. The Facebook intervention is a qualitative escalation of the McCarthyite offensive launched by the Democrat Party and elements of the national security state, and backed by most of the corporate media, initially to blame Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat on “collusion” between Wikileaks, “the Russians” and the Trump campaign to steal and publicize embarrassing Clinton campaign emails.

Two sides of the same coin.

After failing to produce one shred of hard evidence to support their conspiracy theory, the anti-Russia hysteria mongers switched gears, focusing on the alleged purchase of about $100,000 in Facebook ads by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a St. Petersburg-based Russian company, over a multi-year period. The problem was, most of the ads had no direct connection to the presidential contest, or were posted after the election was over, and many had no political content, at all. The messages were all over the place, politically, with the alleged Russian operatives posing as Christian activists, pro- and anti-immigration activists, and supporters of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Special prosecutor Robert Mueller was forced to flip the script, indicting 13 Russians for promoting general “discord” and undermining “public confidence in democracy” in the United States – thus creating a political crime that has not previously been codified in the United States.

“Mueller was forced to flip the script.”

In doubling down on an unraveling conspiracy tale, the Mueller probe empowered itself to tar and feather all controversial speech that can be associated with utterances by “Russians,” even if the alleged “Russians” are, in fact, mimicking the normal speech of left- or right-wing Americans — a descent, not into Orwell’s world, but that of Kafka (Beyond the Law) and Heller (Catch-22).

White supremacist’s car plows into protest against their Charlottesville rally, killing one, Aug. 12, 2017.

Facebook this week announced that it had taken down 32 pages and accounts that had engaged in “coordinated and inauthentic behavior” in promoting the August 12 counter-demonstration against the same white supremacists that staged the fatal “Unite the Right” demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, a year ago. Hundreds of anti-racists had indicated their intention to rally against “Unite the Right 2.0” under the banner of Shut It Down DC, which includes D.C. Antifascist Collective, Black Lives Matter D.C., Hoods4Justice, Resist This, and other local groups.

Facebook did not contend that these anti-racists’ behavior was “inauthentic,” but that the first ad for the event was purchased by a group calling itself “Resisters” that Facebook believes were behaving much like the Internet Research Agency. “At this point in our investigation, we do not have enough technical evidence to state definitively who is behind it,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy . “But we can say that these accounts engaged in some similar activity and have connected with known I.R.A accounts.”

“The Mueller probe empowered itself to tar and feather all controversial speech that can be associated with utterances by ‘Russians,’ even if the alleged ‘Russians’ are, in fact, mimicking the normal speech of left- or right-wing Americans.”

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning, whose prison sentence for sending secret documents to Wikileaks was commuted by President Obama, said the counter-protest was “organic and authentic”and that activists had begun organizing several months ago. “Folks from D.C. and Charlottesville have been talking about this since at least February,” Manning told The New York Times.

“This was a legitimate Facebook event that was being organized by Washington, D.C. locals,” says Dylan Petrohilos , of Resist This. Petrohilos was one of the defendants in the Trump inauguration “riot” prosecutions. He protested Facebook’s disruption of legitimate free speech and assembly. “DC organizers had controlled the messaging on the no UTR fb page and now FB made it harder for grassroots people to organize,” he tweeted. The organizers insist the August 12 counter-demonstration — “No Unite the Right 2 – DC” — is still a go, as is the white supremacist rally.

Whoever was first to buy a Facebook ad — the suspected Russian “Resisters,” or Workers Against Racism, who told the Daily Beast they decided to host their own anti-“Unite the Right 2.0” event because they thought “Resisters” was an “inexperienced liberal organizer” – there was no doubt whatsoever that the white supremacists would be confronted by much larger numbers of counter-demonstrators, in Washington. Nobody in Russia needed to tell U.S. anti-racists to shut the white supremacists down, or vice versa. The Russians didn’t invent American white supremacy, or the native opposition to it. Even if Mueller, Facebook, the Democratic Party and the howling corporate media mob are to be believed, the “Russians” are simply mimicking U.S. political rhetoric and sloganeeriing – and weakly, at that. The Workers Against Racism thought the “Resisters” weren’t worth partnering with, but that the racist rally must be countered. The Shut It Down DC coalition didn’t need the “Resisters” to crystallize their thinking on white supremacism.

“Chelsea Manning said the counter-protest was ‘organic and authentic.”

Robert Mueller, sixth head of the FBI.

The Democratic Party and corporate media, speaking for most of the U.S. ruling class — and actually bullying one of its top oligarchs, Mark Zuckerberg — is on its own bizarre and twisted road to fascism. (Donald Trump’s proto-fascism is the old fashioned, all-American type that the white supremacists want to celebrate on August 12.) With former FBI Director Robert Mueller at the head of the pack, they have created a pseudo legal doctrine whereby “Russians” (or U.S. spooks pretending to be Russians) can be indicted for launching a #MeToo campaign of mimicry, echoing the rhetoric and memes indigenous to U.S. political struggles, while the genuine, “authentic” American political voices — the people who are being mimicked — are labeled co-conspirators in a foreign-based “plot,” and their rights to speech and assembly are trashed.

That’s truly crazy, but devilishly clever, too. If “Russian” mimics (or cloaked spooks) can reproduce the vocabulary and political program of U.S. dissent, then all of us actual U.S. lefties can be dismissed as “dupes of the Russians” or “co-conspirators” in the speech crimes of our mimics — for sounding like ourselves.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

Contact Aug. 10-12 rally organizers at

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Read CHARLES K.K. LEWIS full pro se motions below:

Also see his June 23, 2017 Objection  to Judge Lillard’s order to reconstruct his criminal file at:

Read Judge Deborah Thomas’ opinion of Aug. 6, 2016 at


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The excellent video above is by long-time activist and photojournalist Kenny Snodgrass. He is the official videographer for Voice of Detroit, but also publishes independently on his YouTube channel at

“Black youth in danger!” 

Protest frame-ups of Charles K.K. Lewis, Thelonious ‘Shawn’ Searcy, Kelly Nobles, Ethan Carter, others

Next court date for Lewis Fri. Aug. 3 at 9 am, Rm. 502; Searcy has “review hearing” scheduled Aug. 17 

Mothers of Adaisha Miller, Kimoni Davis condemn murders by police 

Rally condemns Pros. Kym Worthy’s complicity in mass incarceration of juvenile lifers, others 

By Diane Bukowski 

July 22, 2018 

Some of the dozens of people who turned out for the rally July 20, 2018. Videographer Kenny Snodgrass is at left; more had left shortly before photo was taken.

DETROIT – “Free those juvenile prisoners that you’re holding captive, Kym Worthy, free those that are wrongly convicted, Kym Worthy,  free those that have been falsified by police officers and falsified evidence, Kym Worthy,  free those that are wrongly convicted, America: 2.9 million, that’s insanity!” Marilyn Jordan cried out during a people’s rally at the Frank Murphy Hall July 20.

Marilyn Jordan marches for her son June 17, 2011.

Jordan, whose son Kelly Nobles is serving life without parole, is president of the Detroit People’s Task Force, Inc. (DPTF), founded in 2009 by prisoners and their families in the wake of the Detroit crime lab shutdown. At least 147 people are serving time in Michigan prisons based on falsified results from that lab.

The rally picked up force as other groups and individuals joined to speak out against what they said is a “prison nation” that endangers Black youth in particular.

They included the national “Feet to Fire” campaign which is organizing against murders by police, the BYP 100 which is a national youth group between the ages of 18-35 organizing to end mass incarceration and prisons, period, and many individuals who have fallen victim to the criminal injustice system.

BYP100 members led the crowd in various chants, including, “Stop the New Jim Crow, mass incarceration, police brutality, the whole damn system, shut it down! Stop the cops and fund Black futures.”

Among advocates attending the rally was 25-year-old Jessica Lee, the girl friend of Thelonious “Shawn” Searcy, whose story VOD broke two years ago, recounting his 14-year struggle to overturn his false conviction for the murder of Jamal Segars outside Detroit City Airport on Sept. 4, 2004.  Searcy’s is one of the 147 cases where falsified crime lab results landed people in prison.

Thelonious Searcy, in fight for his life.

Searcy filed a pro se motion for a new trial  in July 2016, after self-confessed hit man Vincent Smothers came forward to say he, not Searcy, had murdered Segars.

Smothers sent written affidavits confessing to the crime to numerous law enforcement and media sources for several years, while Searcy was busy researching falsehoods in his homicide file and court transcripts. His trial judge, Wayne County’s Presiding Criminal Court Judge Timothy Kenny, finally granted an evidentiary hearing in August, 2017. It lasted from Jan. 2018 through June 29.

Smothers took the stand and gave a thorough account of the Segars murder corroborated by ballistics evidence and other witnesses and events at the scene.

Searcy earlier discovered that crime lab technicians mislabeled a .40 caliber bullet taken from Segars’ body by the medical examiner. AP Patrick Muscat and later AP Timothy Chambers falsely contended that the murder weapon was a .45 caliber gun seized from Searcy’s grandmother’s home. During the trial, the prosecution deliberately lied to jurors, telling them that the bullets in Segars’ body could not be identified. Chambers retired with unexplained timing before the evidentiary hearing ended.

Searcy is still waiting for a ruling from Judge Kenny. (See previous stories on the Searcy case in “Related Stories” below.)

Below, Thelonious ‘Shawn’ Searcy’s girlfriend Jessica Lee, 25, who attended the rally with her two children, spoke out on his behalf during the rally.

Reporter-advocate Diane Bukowski also spoke on behalf of Michigan’s 247 juvenile lifers, still being held captive in Michigan prisons, many for decades, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings in Miller v. Alabama (2012) and Montgomery v. Louisiana (2016). The high court declared “juvenile life without parole” unconstitutional, and said “only the rarest” child should be sentenced to die in prison.

Wrongfully convicted juvenile lifer Charles Lewis, 42 years in prison.

But Michigan’s county prosecutors, including Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, as well as the Michigan Supreme Court in its June 20t Hyatt/Skinner ruling have ignored the U.S. Supreme Court’s dictates.

Bukowski recounted the case of juvenile lifer Charles ‘K.K.’ Lewis, who has been wrongfully imprisoned for 42 years since the age of 17, accused of the murder of an off-duty police officer in 1976, although all eyewitnesses including the officer’s own partner identified a completely different perpetrator, not Lewis.  They testified they saw the real killer shotgun the officer from  a white Lincoln Mark Iv.

Then Sgt. Gil Hill, who has been revealed as a corrupt cop with gangland and drug connections, interviewed the driver and released him without even a gunshot residue test. 

Lewis and his family have undergone a grueling series of “re-sentencing” hearings in front of Wayne County Circuit Court Judge  Qiana Lillard for nearly three years.

During the hearings, officials from the Wayne County Clerk’s office have testified that Lewis’ official court file is ‘lost,’ and that his Register of Actions has been wiped clean from 1976 through 1999. Lewis, a skilled ‘jail-house lawyer,” says court precedents indicate his case should therefore be dismissed.

Lewis’ next hearing is Fri. Aug. 3 at 9 a.m. in Judge Lillard’s courtroom #502. He is expecting that the judge will hear a series of motions he filed pro se, to dismiss his case due to actual innocence, ineffective assistance of trial counsel, the failure of the prosecutor to specify reasons for asking for LWOP again, and others. Judge Timothy Kenny appointed a defense attorney in the case, Sanford Schulman, after the motions were filed. But Schulman pledged during a hearing June 19 that he would preserve and argue Lewis’ motions. He saw the demonstration July 20 on his way into the courthouse.

(See related stories on Charles K.K. Lewis below. Motions to be argued Aug. 3 are at

Other wrongful conviction stories:

In video above, father of Ethan Carter, currently being held on $1 million bond by Warren police on false murder charges, says his son was racially profiled and arrested after getting his hair cut in Warren before returning to Detroit for his high school graduation. He has been held for over a month and a half.

Parents tell stories of murders by police

Above, Yolanda McNair, president of P.O.S.T. (Protect Our Stolen Treasures) condemns Wayne County Pros. Kym Worthy for her failure to prosecute killer cops and  wrongful convictions.

McNair’s daughter Adaisha Miller was shot to death in 2012 by Detroit police officer Isaac Parrish, while he danced with her at a party in his house where alcohol was served. Parish, who carried his S&W .40 caliber gun at his side in his holster, claimed it accidentally discharged, but Miller died from a gunshot wound directly to the chest. He has never been charged; his blood alcohol level was never tested. 

Kimoni Davis and 2 year old son.

Adaisha Miller died a day before turning 25.

At the right in the video above is Kimberly Griffin, whose son Kimoni “Kodak” Davis, 19, along with his friend Airshaawn Warren, 17, died in 2015 during a high-speed chase by a white cop from Hanging Rock, Ohio, Damon Caruso. Caruso, who had been involved in four such chases earlier,  was pursuing Davis for going 11 mph over the speed limit on an Ohio freeway.  Small towns in Ohio are known for taking drivers into custody for traffic violations until they pay their tickets.

The rally concluded at 11 a.m, with Marilyn Jordan announcing they will hold more and larger gatherings in the future. Balloons representing the lives of the wrongfully convicted and those killed by police were released into the sky, floating upward past the offices of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.



Phone: 313-784-4021


Adaisha’s Justice

Voice for Terrance Kellom

A Voice for Kimoni Davis

I am Kevin Matthews

 BLACK YOUTH PROJECT (BYP100):  Phone: 773-940-1800

Related stories on  Charles Lewis and Thelonious ‘Shawn’ Searcy, covered by Voice of Detroit (each story has links to previous stories on the two men)

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Searcy’s defense attorney Michael Dezsi smiles with Judge Timothy Kenny as AP Jason Williams leaves bench conference June 29, 2018; Kenny had just admitted transcript verifying ballistics evidence cited in defense brief.

Vincent Smothers’ confession to Segars murder fits autopsy report, true ballistics evidence — Dezsi

Trial jury falsely told bullets that killed Segars “could not be identified”

Searcy one of 147 cases which led to shutdown of Detroit crime lab due to falsified evidence; Worthy/SADO processed only 4, sent them back to prison

AP Thomas Chambers, in charge of hearing, retires just before final date—how deep does corruption in Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office go?

 AP Patrick Muscat, DPD Sgt. Dale Collins played key roles in the convictions of both Searcy and Davontae Sanford

Searcy supporters to protest at Frank Murphy Hall, Mon. July 16, 10 AM; Detroit People’s Task Force to rally against wrongful convictions Fri. July 20, 9 to 11 am

 By Diane Bukowski

 July 3, 2018 /Updated July 15, 2018 

Thelonious “Shawn” Searcy enters court for final phase of evidentiary hearing June 29, 2018.

DETROIT — “I would like to say for the record–NO, I’m not guilty of these charges that were brought against me. These charges are false. I didn’t kill Jamal Segars and I didn’t shoot Brian Minner. I thought justice would prevail. But still as a young Black man in the system I didn’t have a chance.” – Thelonious “Shawn” Searcy, of Detroit, statement May 23, 2005, prior to being sentenced to life without parole.

Defense attorney Michael Dezsi quoted his client as above during a stunning evidentiary hearing summation June 29, in front of Wayne County Circuit Presiding Criminal Court Judge Timothy Kenny. During his summation, Dezsi accused Detroit police, prosecutors and evidence technicians of falsification of evidence and other crimes that led to the conviction of his client for the murder of Jamal Segars Sept. 4, 2004, a murder to which Vincent Smothers later confessed.

“I am one of 147 prisoners whose cases were found to have falsified forensics and ballistics evidence, leading to the shutdown of the Detroit crime lab in 2009,” Searcy told VOD later.

He said the ballistics evidence in his case was reviewed by the Michigan State Police crime lab at the time, but that the MSP let it stand. As part of Searcy’s current evidentiary hearing, however, the MSP found a .40 caliber bullet which the Wayne County Medical Examiner said came from the body of the victim. It was mis-identified in original reports as a 9mm shell casing from the crime scene. 

Atty. Dezsi (top), AP Thomas Chambers

Scott Lewis testifies during Searcy hearing March 19, 2018.

“The bullets don’t lie,” defense attorney Michael Deszi said. “When the [trial] jury wanted to know what kind of bullet was in this guy, jurors were lied to and told ‘we couldn’t tell.’ Now we know they COULD tell. It was a .40 caliber bullet, and there were .40 caliber casings all around the car the victim was in.” 

Private Investigator Scott Lewis, who interviewed Smothers, noted that no jury would have convicted Searcy knowing about the .40 caliber bullets, since prosecutor Patrick Muscat told them the murder weapon was a .45 caliber gun taken from Searcy’s grandmother’s house.

Assistant Prosecutor Jason Williams, head of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s appeals unit, took the place of AP Thomas Chambers June 29, because Chambers had abruptly retired. Chambers represented the prosecution during the evidentiary hearing, which began Jan. 29, and also wrote its brief. Williams’ chief argument, given during a painfully brief presentation, was that Smothers was not credible because he had retracted an earlier confession to the Segars murder. 

The June 29 hearing resulted from a 14-year battle for freedom begun by Searcy himself. Kenny finally granted Searcy’s pro se motion for the evidentiary hearing after Vincent Smothers confessed in writing and on tape to the Segars murder. Smothers himself testified from the stand during the hearing.

During each hearing, the courtroom has been packed with Searcy’s supporters, who have now called a rally at his request outside the Frank Murphy Hall Mon. July 16, at 10 a.m. (See flier at end of story.) Another rally on similar issues is being held by the Detroit People’s Task Force, which originally protested crime lab frame-ups, on Fri. July 20 from 9 am to 11 am, at the same location.

“They’ve included some of my high school and middle school teachers, preachers from the neighborhood, my landlord and her husband, along with my family and friends from my community,” Searcy told VOD. “During this last hearing, there wasn’t enough room for everyone, so many people had to wait out in the hall.”

Davontae Sanford (center) beams as his family including (l to r) sisters, nephew, mother Taminko Sanford-Tilmon, stepfather the late Jeremaine TIlmon, and Apostle W. J. RIdeout III applaud his release. at press conference June 9, 2016.

Smothers also confessed to  four 2007 Runyon St. “drug-house” murders shortly after the false conviction and sentencing of Davontae Sanford, 14 at the time, for those killings. Smothers’ confession opened the door to Sanford’s release in 2016 and his compensation by the state for his wrongful conviction. Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Muscat prosecuted both Sanford and Searcy at their original trials, and Detroit Police Sgt. Dale Collins played a major role in both cases.

“I believe my client is entitled to relief under both statute and court rule,” Deszi, who was appointed by Kenny, told the court June 29. “Statute MCL 770.1 controls: it allows the court to grant a new trial…when it appears to the court that justice has not been done.” 

Vincent Smothers took stand to confess to Segars murder in detail

Vincent Smothers takes stand March 19, 2018 to give detailed confession to murder of Jamal Segars Sept. 4, 2004, exonerating Searcy.

Dezsi continued, “Mr. Smothers testified over the advice of his counsel [attorney Gabi Silver] and having waived his Fifth Amendment rights. In doing so, Mr. Smothers provided us with a wealth of detail as to what happened on the night of the murder of Jamal Segars. In particular, he identified the victim Mr. Segars and indicated that he had been tracking Mr. Segars and was there to rob him because he knew Mr. Segars was a drug dealer. . . Mr. Smothers has provided both the identity of the victim and has now provided a motive.”

Dezsi pointed out that during Searcy’s trial, Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Muscat contended that Searcy killed Segars in a case of mistaken identity. Muscat said Searcy mistook Segars’ 2004 silver Corvette for a car driven by DeAnthony Witcher, Muscat’s key witness against Searcy who claimed the two had an ongoing dispute. Testimony at the trial was that Witcher drove a “twin” silver Corvette, later painted blue.

But Searcy earlier had his grandmother file an FOIA request for his homicide file. In it, he found a police report describing Witcher’s arrest Nov. 14, 2004, for carrying a concealed weapon in a 1998 blue Corvette. Witcher was never charged. Instead DPD officers stormed Mrs. Richardson’s home the same day and arrested Searcy in front of his terrified grandmother, wife and two toddler daughters, for Segars’ murder.

That arrest was based on testimony largely extorted from Witcher during a prosecutor’s witness subpoena interview, where the individual is not allowed legal representation.

Dezsi continued, “Mr. Smothers provided us with a detailed map on which he marked the location of the murder, he marked the locations that he and his accomplice Jeffery Daniels had parked their cars, he marked the foot pattern of his actual whereabouts, how he walked to the car and how he shot Mr. Segars.

“But the most important and crucial evidence that we had from Mr. Smothers—Mr. Smothers identified the bullet trajectory that matches exactly what we heard and what is reflected in the autopsy report from Wayne County Medical Examiner Carl Schmidt. . . . Mr. Smothers told us . . . he approached the car from the back, he said he started shooting from the back. He said that he shot Mr. Segars once in the back of the head and then he told us he walked around to the side of the driver’s side of the Corvette and shot several more times.”

Dezsi said only the actual murderer would have known those details.

Trial jury falsely told techs could not identify .40 cal. bullets in victim; AP Muscat presented a .45 caliber gun as murder weapon

 “Mr. Smothers also provided other details about the weapon,” Dezsi continued.

“He said he used a .40 caliber gun. This is equally important—at trial, the jury wanted to know what type of bullet was in the victim. Your honor was told . . . .and I believe it was at the instigation of the prosecution, that they could not determine the type of bullet that was in Mr. Segars. Well, we have now heard testimony that the bullet that came out of Mr. Segars was a 40 caliber.”

Searcy earlier obtained from his homicide file a forensics report that used the same evidence tag number for both a .40 caliber bullet and for a .9mm bullet casing found at the scene of the crime, on Conner off Gratiot.

During the hearing, DPD Sgt. Patricia Little, assigned to Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s “Conviction Integrity Unit,” produced the envelope containing the evidence in question and said the conflict was simply a “data entry” mistake. She said it originally had a red tag, used for evidence taken from a scene, which was replaced by a white tag, used for evidence from the medical examiner.

Judge Kenny took possession of the evidence and ordered it re-examined by State Police as well as an independent forensics examiner for the defense. All parties determined the envelope contained a .40 caliber bullet taken by the medical examiner from Segars’ body during the autopsy.

Dezsi said AP Patrick Muscat also presented what he claimed was the murder weapon at trial, saying it was tied to Searcy.

“But it was a .45 caliber gun, it wasn’t a .40 caliber, and Sgt. [William] Anderson admitted that that gun could not have been the murder weapon,” Dezsi said, referring to Anderson’s testimony during the course of the evidentiary hearing.

Dezsi noted that evidence technicians found both .45 caliber and .40 caliber casings at the scene. He said during the course of the evidentiary hearing, Chambers had asked witnesses about the casings found around the Corvette, and said they were .45 caliber.

AP Patrick Muscat testifies at Searcy hearing May 9, 2018.

“This is very important because the prosecution didn’t want to acknowledge that what was actually surrounding the Corvette were .40 caliber casings,” Dezsi said.

“I have submitted to you Exhibit W, a police narrative report, which indicates the casings found on and around the Corvette were 40 caliber. This is important because the jury wanted to know since there were both 40 and 45 calibers at the scene, tell us what bullets killed Mr. Segars. And the jury was told we don’t know. It was false. That was simply false evidence that was presented to the jury.

“How could this evidence have not changed the outcome of the trial if the jury would have heard that the bullet that came out of the victim was a .40 caliber and you now have a confession from an individual who says it was a 40–I used a 40?” Dezsi asked.

He noted that Smothers knew other details about the crime scene, including the arrival of an unmarked police car that crashed with a burgundy Marauder, and the fact that the police car air bags deployed.

“How would he know that information?” Dezsi asked. “He was there. He knew there was a Caucasian officer that got out of the car, also that the police were firing their weapons. We have two other witnesses who also said the police were firing their weapons. The police deny they were firing their weapons, but we now have tw0 witnesses corroborating Mr. Smothers statement.”

Dezsi emphazised, “Mr. Smothers presented a confession to this court that this court should accept at least for purposes of finding that the outcome of this trial would have been different had this information been given to the jury and the jury had been given the true and accurate information about the forensic evidence including the .40 caliber bullet that was removed from the victim’s body.”

He reminded the court that if there are any lingering doubts about the veracity of Smothers’ confession, it should review the 20-minute audiotape taken by private investigator Scott Lewis of that confession over the phone.

Testimony presented by AP Chambers during the hearing included a State Trooper’s report that Smothers had recanted his first confession to the Segars murder, during the MSP investigation that led to the release of Davontae Sanford in 2015. The Michigan Innocence Clinic sent that confession to the MSP. Smothers said during the hearing that he recanted because he was told that his statement in the Segars case would impede the release of Sanford.

Atty. David Moran

He never said who told him that, but this reporter received an email from Michigan Innocence Clinic head David Moran stating the Clinic could not represent either Searcy or Charles Lewis. Lewis is a juvenile lifer who has been in prison for 42 years for a crime he has always said he did not commit. Moran said the Clinic’s representation of the two would constitute a “conflict of interest,” but never specified what it was.

The prosecutor’s brief on the evidentiary hearing contained an allegation that Smothers could not have found Searcy’s case while he was looking for cases involving prosecutorial misconduct, because Searcy never raised the issue of prosecutorial misconduct in his court filings. Smothers told Searcy that was how he found his case, in his first letter confessing to the crime. That letter was given to Searcy by an intermediary.

However, Searcy’s appeal of his habeas petition to the Sixth Circuit Court cites his allegations of prosecutorial misconduct repeatedly. (See

Dezsi’s summation, the hasty retirement of Assistant Prosecutor Chambers, and the fact that AP Muscat and DPD Sgt. Dale Collins prosecuted both Searcy and Sanford raises serious questions about the level of ongoing corruption that exists within Detroit’s criminal justice network, including the Detroit Police Department and the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

Judge Kenny concluded the hearing June 29, saying he would review the prosecution and defense briefs, as well as trial and hearing transcripts, and produce his ruling later. The Register of Actions for Searcy indicates that he plans not to do that until Aug. 17, 2018.

After the June 29 hearing, Atty. Michael Dezsi  discussed importance of ballistics evidence in Thelonious Searcy’s case with Scott Lewis, the private investigator who interviewed Vincent Smothers by phone in prison and later obtained notarized affidavits detailing his confession to the murder of Jamal Segars. They agreed that if the trial jury had heard the evidence brought forward during the evidentiary hearing, Searcy would likely have been found not guilty.


Related documents:

Defense brief:

Prosecution brief:

Related stories:

NOTE: Earlier edition of this story garnered 95 FB likes.

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