Thursday 10 February 2011

RIFT Success - Junior Sanchez (Lion) and R2J

Road2Justice is delighted to announce our featuring with RIFT Success.

Junior Sanchez (Lion) is the CEO of RIFT and has been a great friend to R2J for a long time. Today we unveil the new R2J page, within RIFT.

Our Word press blog is connected to the RIFT page, so all we put out will be viewable on that blog also. This means that we will move the majority of our blogs onto our word press site, which can be found at:

Our RIFT stream can be found at:

We look forward to seeing you on our other blog.

AZ Looks Into Fees For Prison Visits

Visitors to Arizona's prisons could have to pay to see their loved ones. It's part of Gov. Jan Brewer's budget plan, and is one of a series of proposals the Arizona Department of Corrections is considering, as it looks to raise money to maintain and repair prisons around the state. KJZZ's Mark Brodie reports.

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Ashley Turton’s suspicious death leaves probing questions

Progress Energy lobbyist and ex-chief of staff to Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Ashley Westbrook Turton, opened the door of her BMW suburban utility vehicle a few minutes before 5 am on January 10. The 37-year old mother of three young children, including twin boys, and the wife of Dan Turton, President Obama’s chief liaison to the House of Representatives, was on her way to work. Later that day, an announcement would come from Duke Power that it was buying Progress Energy for $26 billion, creating the largest power utility in the United States.

Ashley Turton would never make it to work that day. Turton’s car was engulfed in flames after she turned the ignition. The Washington Metropolitan Police Department, which can always be counted on to come up with the best fiction any time there is a suspicious death with political implications, surmised that Turton’s car was involved in a “low-speed” crash in her garage with a work bench that triggered a chemical fire. But to top it all off, the police said an “unknown medical condition” was also likely involved in what was described as a “freaky” accident.

Turton’s short biography in the funeral service guide reads: “Ashley Westbrook Turton was born in Greensboro, NC; graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh in 1991 and from North Carolina State University in 1997. After working for Gov. James B. Hunt in NC, Ashley came to Washington, DC, in April 2000 to work as director of communications for the Honorable Rosa DeLauro, and later became her chief of staff. Since 2007, she has been manager of Federal Affairs for Progress Energy Service Company.”

Based on the presence of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, former House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, and former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) at Turton’s funeral service on January 14 at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, there is little doubt that Turton and her husband were a “power couple” in the nation’s capital. But there was also a sense from those in attendance, including members of Ashley Turton’s family from North Carolina, that all the information about Ashley’s tragic death was not being brought forward by the police or the fire department.

In her eulogy of her former chief of staff, DeLauro spoke of someone who could exude the mannerisms of the “southern belle” but who was also politically attuned. DeLauro said that Ashley’s two favorite expressions belied her on-the-surface Southern charm: “shit fire” and “rat bastard.” DeLauro said that she had not heard such language “since Rahm Emanuel moved out of Stan’s and my basement.” DeLauro’s reference was to the rent-free use by Emanuel of her and her husband, Democratic lobbyist Stan Greenberg’s, townhouse, while Emanuel was a congressman from the Illinois 5th congressional district from 2003 to 2008.

DeLauro said she last saw Ashley Turton at her and Greenberg’s Christmas Party. DeLauro last communicated with Ashley Turton on January 5, the day the new Congress was sworn in. Ashley Turton was at a political event in Arizona where featured speakers included Democratic pollster and lobbyist James Carville, Greenberg’s business partner, and Karl Rove, the chief political adviser to President George W. Bush. Ashley Turton indicated to DeLauro that while she would probably attend Carville’s session, she probably would not bother with Rove’s.

Ashley Turton’s friends described in Turton a person who had an appetite for possible gossip. In some cases, while discussing a juicy bit of political rumor, Ashley Turton would tell her friends, usually over a glass of wine, that “this conversation needs to go out on the porch.” Ashley Turton confided in a close friend that she wanted to leave Washington and return to North Carolina to raise her family.

Considering Ashley Turton’s job as DeLauro’s chief of staff, legislative aide, and press secretary for a number of years; Emanuel’s use of DeLauro’s townhouse while he was a member of the House and in charge of doling out or withholding Democratic Party funds to candidates around the country; the presence of Greenberg’s partner Carville and Rove at the Arizona political confab attended by Ashley Turton’s just five days before her suspicious death, the question will always remain: What “juicy gossip” might have Ashley Turton taken with her to the grave?

Wayne Madsen

States Hide Behind Secrecy in Lethal Injection Crisis

Another week has gone by and, naturally, that means another round of shocking revelations about the United States’ addiction to lethal injection drugs, evoking memories fromRequiem for a Dream. This time, the latest recipient of aPublic Records Act request from your friendly neighborhood ACLU lawyer is the FDA, the agency that earlier this month claimed it wasn’t its job to regulate drugs used in lethal injections.
The ACLU keeps uncovering more to the story, but each new revelation just raises more unanswered questions.
Months ago, when state officials first started reporting that they had gotten their hands on the lethal injection drug sodium thiopental despite a nationwide shortage, the ACLU of Northern California began filing a series of Public Records Act requests to find out exactly how -- and from where -- they had gotten it. The first request went to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), and after a few weeks of the CDCR illegally withholding the documents, the ACLU went to court, forcing the department to release a flood of documents with about as much big black marker as actual information. But in between those black marker redactions, the ACLU gleaned some incredible facts: CDCR had spent thousands of hours of staff time and tens of thousands of dollars on what they called a “secret mission” to find the drug anywhere in the world and procure it at any cost.
But all those redactions from the released documents just prompted more questions. Meanwhile, other activists around the world were probing as well, with British human rights group Reprieve uncovering the fact that the source of America’s ill-gotten poison was Dream Pharma, aka a dude in the back of a driving school with a truckload of lethal pharmaceuticals.
So the ACLU sent out another round of public records requests, this time to the FDA, DEA and Customs enforcement. As of this posting, they’re still waiting on the good men and women at the DEA and Customs – it takes awhile to go through all those documents with a big black marker and get rid of anything important. While the main FDA office in Washington, DC, continues to stall, the  New Orleans District Office actually handed over some records, even though they too went wild with the redactions. The newly released records reveal just enough information to evoke a great big "WTF?"
It seems, according to their own public documents, that FDA officials initially seized the imported execution drugs but eventually succumbed to pressure to let them through. Emails show officials from at least two states pressuring the FDA to release their drugs despite the feds’ reservations. One email even says “they are receiving significant pressure from the Governor’s Office.” Which governor you ask? And who exactly is “they”? Since the FDA took their black marker to the email, we are all left wondering.
This whole fiasco just begs a few questions: what are they trying to hide? Who in the U.S. government is so intent on executing people that they’re willing to cover up the entire process? And why are federal agencies being pressured to not do their jobs?
The New York Times uncovered a few more facts recently that may give us a clue as to why everyone’s being so secretive: the drugs may not have worked. According to the paper, the British-made drugs may have been manufactured in 2006 and are said to have a shelf life of just one year. So these drugs the states spent so much time and money getting into the U.S. may not be any good. In fact, according to one expert, the evidence shows that the drug may have failed to work in the execution of Georgia prisoner Brandon Rhode in September 2010. Witnesses at that execution reported his eyes open even after being anesthetized – meaning the sodium thiopental may not have done its job, and Mr. Rhode experienced a torturous death in violation of the Constitution and basic human dignity.
Despite all the lingering questions, a few things are clear: the governments of several states are hiding the truth about the ultimate punishment. Transparency is vital to any free and open society -- and it's crucial when the state chooses to take a life in the name of the law. The secrecy and avoidance of accountability is just further evidence that the death penalty system is broken beyond repair.

James Clark.

Judge tours San Quentin's lethal injection room

A judge who shut down the death chamber at San Quentin prison five years ago has toured the new facility.

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Tell Congress to invest in civilian, not military aid for Egypt

The whole world has been inspired by the pro-democracy revolution underway in Egypt. But here in America, we're also worried about further government escalation and crack downs against the non-violent opposition. 1

We should be. We’ve already seen a scary preview of what that would look like, when Egypt’s brutal police forces used ‘Made in America’ tear gas on protesters.2

You see, the U.S. gives Egypt over $1.3 billion every year to buy tanks and guns. We even REQUIRE them to buy those weapons from American gun merchants, in a huge backdoor subsidy of the U.S. weapons industry.3

Instead of helping Egypt build schools or roads or even a working court system -- things that could really help them in a moment of crisis like this one -- all we’ve put in their hands is the means to kill people.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Congress is about to set a new budget for 2012, and how much and what kind of aid we give to Egypt and other countries is very much under discussion.4 Click here to tell Congress that we want to invest in CIVILIAN aid, not military aid and make freedom and democracy our leading exports again.

It’s not just Egypt – all over the world our government gives repressive dictators billions of dollars specifically to buy weapons from American manufacturers.5 The reality is that a lot of those governments use the weapons bought with our tax money to oppress their own people.

The weapons builders don’t care who shoots who with their guns, so long as they can make a fortune selling them. And most taxpayers don’t even know that we spend most of our foreign aid money on weapons.6 But USAction/TrueMajority members like you have been fighting to cut weapons spending for years. And if the Egypt crisis shows us one thing, it’s that cutting the Pentagon budget is a good idea internationally, as well as domestically.

Help us send that message to Congress, and then, tell some friends too. Everyone wishes we could do something to help the Egyptian protesters – disarming their government is a good place to start.

For Peace,

Drew Hudson
USAction / TrueMajority

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Friend me - Dan Abshear

Article reproduced with full permission from the author.

.As some know, I've been going through hell right now due to domestic issues- specifically, my soon to be ex wife filing a bogus restraining order against me, as she claimed I violently abused her one night in August of last year. Since then, I've lost everything, and I am homeless. 

I have not seen my 12 year old daughter since this event occured. The pain of this particular cave in my abyss is rather painful.

There are those on various social and professional websites who never met me, yet are clearly aware of my pain. Carey Stronach is one of them. He reached out to me recently to offer a friend of his, who clearly is an excellent legal agent.

This is character. This is what we do when no one is looking. This is how we act without the slightest possibility of receiving something in return. Thank you Carey. And I thank your friend who wrote the following to me regarding my ordeal with a false restraining order issued against me by my former spouse, and my incarceration that followed:

Dear Dan,

My heart goes out to you. Unfortunately, it is the same story I hear a hundred times a year -- but the names are different. Your specifics certainly sound as though your ex was "trained" on how to use (actually "abuse") the system. Why settle for half in a divorce when you can get it all and not even have to go through a divorce trial?

There has been a disturbing change over the past 30 years in the US, and the world, for that matter -- whereby "the rule of law" and the sanctity of family has given way to new social engineering schemes, unintended consequences of good intentions, deluded political ideology and sometimes outright vicious selfishness.

Over the years, the latter have manipulated themselves into the system, garnering $100K-$250K per year each in taxpayer funded salaries and increased their numbers by the thousands, with like-minded individuals whose sole purpose is to protect and increase their salaries by wildly exaggerating a minuscule problem and tweaking the laws to eviscerate the Constitution and bankrupt men to keep them from mounting adequate legal defense.

Part of the scheme is to paint you as unstable, dangerous and to emotionally and financially devastate you so that their false allegations appear to be true. It is hard to appear sane and rational when the full weight of the government and free lawyers with unlimited taxpayer funds allocate every single resource to terminate your natural and Constitutionally protected rights.

Sadly, the evolution of this travesty has included "federal incentives" to the States to comply and aggressively pursue this unconscionable course of action. The family destruction machine that now exists is practically unbeatable unless you have substantial financial resources and even then, success is not always certain. Even if you are successful, the damage done to the child(ren) is irreversible.

Without funds, you will be forced to compromise yourself and admit to falsehoods merely so you can be allowed to be a "visitor" in your child's life and in so doing, become an indentured servant to the very machine that destroyed your, and your child's life.

My advice to you is to bail. Get out of the jurisdiction. Get out of the country before they revoke your ability to flee their slavery and cancel your passport. They already have you and there is no winning and there is no escape.

This is not "abandoning your daughter." This is the only thing you can do to save your relationship with your daughter and preserve any assets that you might be able to assist her with in the future.

Child support is the only form of transfer of funds to a fiduciary, trustee or guardian where there is no requirement that the funds be spent for their intended purpose, no accountability, no penalty for misuse and no penalty for the outright theft of the funds.

The woman that you will have to pay has already demonstrated that she does not have one ounce of comprehension or care for "the best interests of the child." Why on earth would you assume that she would suddenly start caring with regard to money you send for the child?

She won't. This is not to mention all the other expenses you will incur attending anger management classes, probably substance abuse classes, probation fees, court costs, etc. Thousands of leeches depend upon your family's destruction for their livelihood.

If you extricate yourself from the situation and get out of the jurisdiction, you can save money for your daughter and her needs. It is the only way you can be assured that the money will go to her instead of lawyers, social workers and the ex.

You already know that she will not stop dragging you through the system until you are obliterated. You have to get out. One example is Mexico, where I live. The cost of living is low, technology is high and they can't touch you here.

My standard of living is substantially higher than in the US, but at a fraction of the cost. And, my weather is the best in the world.

Now, the good news. Kids are smart. They see what is going on around them and have an inherent sense of right and wrong. Your daughter will one day see the vicious nature of what her mother did -- all on her own.

She will figure it out. Make sure you never point it out. She will figure it out. Women know how other women are. You need to only point to the system and how they make mistakes and that you wanted to protect her and her assets from the system -- not her mother.

Kids always think they are half mom and half dad. If one of the parents hates the other parent, the kid thinks that parent half of them. Always blame the system, not the other parent.

I speak from over 20 years experience in this field. I cry and grieve that our country has become so funding focused that they capitulated to such wrong-headed and harmful practices and procedures -- and everyone in the system is dependent upon the furtherance of this travesty -- that I can barely sleep at night.

Sun Tsu talks about the inherent cost in waging war, the futility of fighting a long war, and how war impoverishes the state. At any rate, Sun Tzu's point was that in any conflict, our objective should be victory, not long campaigns. I believe that this is a valuable lesson of general application in life and applicable here.


P.S. There will NEVER be any hope of reconciliation with your wife. Women make up their minds and decide that there is no turning back before they make the move. Any hint of a possibility of reconciliation is a ploy to entrap you.

I cannot emphasize the truth of this enough. 100% of reconciliations that I have seen have been legal ploys and several ending up with the husbands going to prison for marital rape. Anyone who would do this to a child has no moral compass anymore. Yes, at one time might have had a moral compass, but has stepped over the line and the point of no return.

I know what you are going through hurts more than anything you could ever have imagined. The way you get over it is to win. The way you set things right is by succeeding and it destroys her entire plan and saves your daughter. Even if revenge is not a consideration (it never should be) the taste is still sweet.

You end up with a family. She ends up all alone in nursing home with nobody who cares. All that she will have to look forward to is crying and weeping and gnashing of teeth -- at the mercy of government nursing home employees who can't be fired -- and nobody to protect her because she drove the natural protector of the family away.

This was her choice, not yours. Now, you have a duty to yourself and to your daughter. Go do it and be there for her when the time comes. She's going to need you when she gets older. You are the only parent who can and will be there for her.

Stuart Miller is nationally recognized as an expert in domestic policy as it pertains to the family.

He is frequently called upon to testify before Congress, state legislatures, committees and regulatory groups.

In addition to drafting legislation for Virginia and Texas lawmakers, he has drafted amendments to the 1994 omnibus crime bill on family violence and has co-authored the proposed by Pepresentative Randy Forbes.

Mr. Miller has engaged in top level policy development with the White House Domestic Policy Counsel, the Welfare Reform Task Force and the Administration for Children & Families Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Mr. Miller also writes for the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Playboy and is under a blanket freelance agreement with the Washington Times. He is the former host of a nationally broadcast radio show on 450 radio stations throughout the country.

Mr. Miller is Senior Legislative Analyst for the American Fathers Coalition, a national coalition of 250+ fathers rights groups in the United States. AFC's primary constituency is comprised of responsible fathers who want to participate in their children's lives emotionally, physically and financially.

Novartis Scam:Whistleblower's Career-Ending Expose

Article reproduced with full permission from author.

(September 27, 2010) Whistle-blowers aren't always celebrated.
Sometimes they're crushed.

In the Spring of 2006, I became a pharmaceutical corporatewhistle blower.

In February of that year, I had recruited a law firm with experience in pharmaceutical whistle blower lawsuits inBoston, which is a top place to file and submit pharmaceutical whistle blower cases. They agreed to represent me after I submitted a ten page document to them I composed- explaining why the wrongdoing of my employer, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, needed to be addressed. They represented me on complete contingency, which meant that they would not be paid if they did not succeed in the whistle blower lawsuit they were submitting for me.

The law firm submitted the whistle blower lawsuit against Novartis in April of 2006. And it was filed under seal, which means that I and my legal council cannot discuss the case whatsoever. It's a trick played by the D.O.J., to eliminate the possibility of media contact.

Dan Abshear

I'm stronger - Rohit Chauhan

 I'm stronger because of my hard times, wiser because of my mistakes, happier because of my sad experiences, and smarter because of my moments of confusion... Rohit chauhan

Public defenders don't have clients' best interests at heart

The Plain Dealer's recent series "Presumed guilty" examined weak or borderline cases that made it all the way through grand jury indictment, trial and acquittal. Most of these cases would never have even gone to the grand jury had the public defender and the defense bar timely performed their constitutional duties and started representing the accused right after charges were filed -- instead of waiting a month to begin.
Attorneys in Cuyahoga County are not assigned as counsel until after indictment and county arraignment. Now that may be quite convenient for the attorney (especially those who benefit at taxpayers' expense from an assignment system to a tune reaching six figures annually), but it's hell on the client sitting in the county jail. And it often means indictments issued that were entirely avoidable.
Justice is all about everyone doing his or her job and filtering out the bad or overcharged cases as they move through our criminal justice system. The first filter comprises the patrol officers on the street who make the initial credibility judgments of the witnesses and the weight of the evidence as they decide whether to make an arrest. Next, their supervisors and the detectives review the case before a city prosecutor approves a felony charge. By the time a case is brought to a county prosecutor and presented to the grand jury, three to six weeks have passed since the arrest. If the grand jury indicts, another two weeks may go by before the accused finally gets an attorney.
That is our antiquated system here in Cuyahoga County.
Assigning the attorney after indictment is as ridiculous waiting to send in the physician until after the patient has been buried. The doctor can't even do a good autopsy.
When the county commissioners brought in best-practice experts to investigate, the Justice Management Institute report concluded that our process and culture were slow, expensive and delivered substandard justice to both the victims and accused. Not surprisingly, we were told that there was a better way.
Copy the simple process that has been proven to work well in more effective court jurisdictions across the nation; analyze the cases and assign defense counsel early instead of late. Do it and Cuyahoga County can cut its disposition time averages dramatically while improving the quality of justice it delivers to the community. Give the parties an early disposition court opportunity to resolve the low-level cases, and half the cases will resolve quickly and never have to go the grand jury.
We studied the recommendations in the JMI report and started the Justice System Reform program. We created a governing board that has included Cuyahoga County Commissioner Tim Hagan as chair (County Executive-elect Ed FitzGerald will assume this role), the sheriff, police chiefs, law directors, court administrators, defense bar, public defenders, city and county prosecutors, municipal and county judges. This is the first time in our history that all these principals ever sat down together as a group. They have worked hard, and the results are amazing. We created a pilot Early Disposition Court proving the "analyze and assign early" process works. This reform has saved taxpayers up to $8 million in prisoner costs alone. The vast majority of the JSR agencies want to expand this EDC to include the entire county.
Ironically, the proponents of protecting the right of the accused to counsel are the county prosecutor, Cleveland chief of police and safety director, and the county administrator. Opposition is led by the public defender and members of the defense bar. Their opposition cannot be in the best interest of the persons it is their duty to represent. However, I look forward to hearing their rationale in this public forum.

Timothy J. McGinty

Living in a Car After False DV Charges - Dan Abshear

Article reproduced with full permission of author.

ATLANTA- A year ago, after 20 years of marriage, my ex-wife falsely accused me of striking her. I didn't touch her. 

As a result of her lie, I have experienced arrest, incarceration, conviction, and loss of freedom. I am penniless and lived in my car for three months. I ate out of trash cans.

I now have temporary accommodation courtesy of a Veteran's Administration program for homeless men. I am 44-years-old.

I had made good money as a pharmaceutical salesman for companies such as Merck, Pfizer and Novartis. But I had been laid off and depressed for a year. 

The night my former wife falsely accused me of violent crimes, she took my daughter and moved in with a girlfriend, who also had falsely accused her own husband a few years ago. I'm convinced they planned this together. 

She filed a restraining order against me and I had two minutes to get out of my home. When I tried to retrieve a pair of shoes from my wife's SUV, I was arrested and spent 41 days in jail. While I was in jail, she sold our $250,000 house and captured all our joint assets. I had paid $30,000 of the down payment for that house.

I've been denied access to my 12-year-old-daughter entirely. The pain of this particular injury is indescribable.

My primary concern is the safety and well-being of my daughter. In fact, men typically do not leave an abusive relationship because they often fear for their children's safety. I raised my daughter. My wife never participated.


Gender biased stereotypes have ultimately placed me at the mercy of our pathetic family law system who absolutely know nothing about me. They do not care to know me.

The following was retrieved from, '50 Domestic Violence Myths':

1. Women are just as likely as men to engage in partner aggression, according to hundreds of studies. Partner violence, if it happens, is often mutual. Self defense accounts for only fifteen percent or so of partner aggression.

2. Less than five percent of domestic violence incidents involve couples in an intact marital relationship, such as mine was. Studies show marriage is clearly the safest partner relationship. In fact, most cases of family conflict do not involve physical violence at all. Mine never did.

3. I have a restraining order against me now. Over 2/3 of restraining orders issued are determined to be either unnecessary or false. Also, these orders do not prevent future violence from happening.

In fact, restraining orders may encourage violence.

Also, if I attempt to reconcile, I will get arrested. If I send my daughter a birthday card, I will be in jail. I've not spoken with or seen my wife or daughter in over two months now. Yet I've been arrested often during this time.

There is overt gender bias in the family law system. For example, if a man kills his wife, he will get about 20 years in prison, as he should. However, if a woman kills her husband, she will get about 5 years in prison.

Also, in divorce court, women are granted sole custody of their children about 65 percent of the time. There is in fact a frightening fatherhood crisis in our country. All modesty aside, as a dad, I completely rock out loud.

I'm a victim of domestic abuse myself. I suffered over a decade of brutal physical and emotional child abuse that you likely do not want to know about. 

Meanwhile, I suggest that others stay out of this system. Resolve your disputes through negotiation. Do not share your dirty laundry with these anti-family law enforcers. Do not fight for your rights in a courtroom. By that time, it is too late.

I'm presently losing this battle, but I continue to stand up after I've been slammed to the ground several times. I'll stand up again.

I'm not angry or hateful about what is happening to me- this surreal nightmare that has manifested into a bizarre reality. I will not lower myself to be this way ever. And I will also never live in fear as a result of what is happening to me. If I do become fearful, I will lose this fight completely. And this is a fight I cannot lose. I love my daughter way too much.

So likely I will be in jail again. This is just a fact about my life now. That's OK, though. Because some battles need to be fought, and the results can lead to suffering.

So I fight.

Penpals - Dan Abshear

Article reproduced with full permission from author.

In August of 2009, my wife of 20 years filed false claims against me of violently abusing her one unforgetable day that month.

The restraining order insanely issued against me due to these false claims remains in effect to this day, and likely will for quite some time. I remain homeless and unemployed due to this viscious act committed by my former spouse.

Molly, my now ex wife, did this in order to acquire a tactical advantage in a divorce she clearly wants that I was completely unaware of until she filed this retraining order against me that prevents me from having any contact whatsoever with my daughter as well, whose name is Hayley. I have not seen or spoken to Hayley now for over a year. The pain from this particular strike against me is indescribable.

My wife told her free army of legal professionals that she suspects that child abuse was happening by me against Hayley. This particular claim is far more absurd than the abuse claims Molly made about me, which included a claim by Molly that I tried to kill her one night.

So of course, I ended up in jail in the first time of my 43 years soon after these false allegations were made against me by Molly.

The second night I was in jail, I decided to write Hayley a letter.

Now, writing Hayley fractures the restraining order falsely issued against me, since this is contacting Hayley in this manner. But since I was already in jail, I really was not concerned about breaking this abusive enforcement of psychotic laws now against me.

As I wrote her that night, I was not the fun dad I usually am with Hayley due to my state of mind. However, I never wrote anything to Hayley indicating hatred or anger towards her mother, Molly. Nor did I, in my words to Hayley, debate her mother's false accusations against me.

My undergrad is in child psychology, and I learned with my education that it is never a good idea to attack a parent in any way during a split of the parents, which is what is happening with our family right now. So I wrote to Hayley that I will always love her mother because her mother gave Hayley to me almost 12 years ago. This is the woman who put me in jail.

I also wrote to Hayley that the destruction happening to our family right now is difficult to understand for both of us, but we should try and grasp this situation together in time. I told Hayley with my writing to her that I loved and missed her, and that I hoped she would write me back soon.

I mailed this letter to her grandparent's house. These are Molly's parents, and are very wonderful people who have been married for more than 60 years. They understand the importance of a father in a child's life.

I only mailed this letter to Hayley after trading my breakfast the next day in order to get a stamped envelope from another inmate.

Hayley wrote me back soon afterwards, and I was thrilled beyond belief. Yet her letter understandably was cautious. She shared a bit with me about school and her friends. What really got me was the end of her letter to me:

P.S. Daddy- everything is going to be OK, no matter what....

I cried when I read this from her. She understands more than I fully realize about my own frame of mind, and what is happening to our family right now. I shed tears as I recall this that she wrote. She wrecked her father, and this is not the first time.

So my next letter to Hayley was much more jovial than my initial letter to her:

Dear Hayley....Hey, guess what? We are pen pals now.....YAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!

Then I went on to tell her how cool she is. I discussed what she wanted to be for halloween. I effortlessly made her laugh what I wrote to her in this letter. The words I shared with Hayley came from my heart.

Her next letter to me was much more upbeat. She was thrilled that we were pen pals now. She expressed clearly how happy she was that she was getting mail from her daddy now. This made me comforted greatly. I was at peace with her emotional and mental state now.

The next letter composed by me to Hayley was apparently as enjoyable to her as she read this. The letter included beautiful drawings from Tommy, my cell mate in jail. Hayley put the drawings by Tommy that I mailed to her on her school locker walls, she told me in her writing to me afterwards.

Tommy, my cell mate artist during that time, is a 22 year old homeless guy who was in jail for assault on another adult. He had been homeless for much of his life. And Tommy did have anger issues.

It took me about 2 weeks to gain his trust. Once this happened, I discussed with Tommy more benign outlets for his anger urges, and the importance of thinking before acting. Tommy also has done illegal drugs, so we discussed the impact of such drugs on his health and behavior.

I'm in jail with Tommy due to accusations that I'm a violent person- accusations against my wife from my wife. Yet I'm doing anger management with guys like Tommy.

Irony and surrealism were banging on my cell door with this reality at the time.

My family is destroyed. My family is gone. I have to learn to live with this. Yet this dialogue with Hayley is a very positive element to what is happening to our family. I was able to achieve and create joy simply by establishing a pen pal relationship with Hayley.

It has been said that great humor has an apex of great pain. I understand this more clearly now.

As I was released from jail, I was told never to write my daughter again. This violates the restraining order, the judge told me. I'm still in shock by this order to me by the judge via my wife's free prosecutor. I create joy in the middle of great pain, and I'm told to discontinue creating such joy.

It's now been almost a year since I was wrongfully incarcerated.

All tangible assets I did have were acquired and often sold by my now ex wife.

I remain homeless and unfortuantely unemployed.

Yet I continue to write my daughter Hayley, and she writes me back.

Because this family law system that exists unfortuantely worldwide is unacceptable. I'm was essentially punished for loving my daughter. I'm was and am punished for assuring the well being of Hayley mentally and emotionally.

These are the laws that exist in our country, and they must be discontinued.

Thank you for reading this.

Bullying and GLBT teens

Send Pennsylvania's death penalty to the gallows

Just before he left office, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell sent the Legislature a letter, complaining that the state’s death row had become a long-term public housing program.
Either shorten the appeals process or get rid of the death penalty, Rendell said.
We agree. With the latter proposition, that is. It’s time for Pennsylvania to take a meaningless capital punishment option off the books. The state has executed all of three people since it reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Everyone else has won a lesser sentence on appeal, died of natural causes, been exonerated, or just figured out that you can go on endlessly with the grim reaper at the door and a court-appointed lawyer on the case.
Besides, Rendell’s challenge isn’t really an either-or proposition — not as long as federal and state courts continue to recognize that defense attorneys and judges and prosecutors sometimes make mistakes, and that DNA evidence can undo a solid jury verdict.
What Pennsylvania has today is what New Jersey had before its Legislature and governor ditched capital punishment in 2007 — a system that taxes the public cruelly and unusually, raises false hopes for families of victims, and is, without question, inescapably flawed.
The burden of proof on that last issue has been met, most recently by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s 2007 assessment of the death penalty. Pennsylvania and other states have exonerated convicted “murderers” when new evidence arose or witnesses recanted.
The Death Penalty Information Center notes that states have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars trying to execute — and defending — killers. Is there any other government role on which we spend so much to cover both bets — in an effort that doesn’t seem to satisfy anyone?
We saw a local example of the impact of this expense last year, when Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli told county council that he had five pending death-penalty cases, each requiring about $10,000 to cover fees for expert witnesses and other costs.
Morganelli, like former prosecutor Rendell, supports the death penalty. But we have to ask: Isn’t it a downer when a prosecutor has a conviction rate of nearly 100 percent and an execution rate of zero? To what end does the state offer the punishment of death, only to have the courts say the state is incapable of carrying it out?
Rendell called for the Legislature to restudy capital punishment, and while the issue has been studied to death, it is a worthy effort. New Jersey lawmakers, when confronted with the evidence they commissioned, bellied up and eliminated the death penalty. Pennsylvania should do the same. The only question is whether Gov. Tom Corbett, a death-penalty supporter, and the Legislature will have the courage to do the right thing. Even if they decide it’s necessitated by budget-cutting in an era of rising public debt, the effect will be the same.
Pennsylvania now has 217 people living on death row. So which is the better course — to find a way to execute the condemned more quickly, no matter the cost, or convert all death sentences to life without parole? (In Pennsylvania, a life sentence is just that; it does not permit parole.)
This isn’t a theoretical question. Not when three convicted killers from the Lehigh Valley remain on death row today, and after two of the more hideous killers in Northampton County history, Martin Appel and Josoph Henry, managed to get their death sentences switched to life on appeals. Diminished lives and real suffering are attached to these crimes and outcomes, in ways most of us can only imagine. And yet, the endless merry-go-round of appeals is a form of punishment to the families of victims, too.
In the end, “life means life” is probably no less or no more of a deterrent to capital crime than the threat of a lethal injection. But it is a more honest way of delivering justice — and far less farcical — than sentencing people to death for the rest of their normal lives.
Lehigh valley live

Support the Women of Afghanistan on the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day

As the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day nears,  Afghan women remain among the most discriminated against and brutalized women in the world.
This year, more than ever, they need our support.
Afghanistan is currently undergoing peace negotiations that will determine the future of the country - negotiations which Afghan women are excluded from fully participating in.
On March 8, 2011,  people will join together on bridges all over the world to celebrate International Women's Day and show solidarity with the women of Afghanistan. The goal is to make a public statement that strong women build bridges of peace.
Last year, Women for Women International had amazing success in putting together the first ever global bridge campaign, in which over 20,000 women across four continents took part in 108 different bridge events. 2011 is going to be bigger and better, with bridge events being planned on five continents, in 24 countries and in 9 different time zones.
If you'd like to participate, visit Women for Women International to find an event near you. Then sign the petition supporting the Afghan Women Empowerment Act, which calls on Congress to provide critical resources for Afghan women for literacy education, technical and vocational training and health care services; programs to protect women and girls against sexual and physical abuse, abduction, trafficking and exploitation; and emergency shelters for women and girls who face danger from violence.
As we know, the U.S. government doesn't have the best track record for providing constructive support for the people of Afghanistan. We can change that by encouraging Congress to pass the Afghan Women Empowerment Act and then getting out to a bridge event on March 8th to show the world that we truly support the women of Afghanistan.
Winning this and similar campaigns depends on our ability to quickly call on thousands of supportive folks like you. After signing the petition below, please click here to follow us on Facebook - just click ‘Like’ at the top of the page.