01 September 2005

ACLU At Odds With Ohio's Death Row Move... Again

Ohio is in a financial bind. They must find a way to save some money on the housing of the criminal element. There is no "or" in this case. It has to be done. So far they have privatized the running of several facilities. One of which is just a few miles from my home. The Lake Erie Correctional Institution is a minimum security facility. It features dorm style housing rather than individual cells. The Segregation wing does have individual cells and the inmates are locked down, but the general population is in a communal living situation. The Corrections Officers at Lake Erie work for a contractor. Their employer is not the State of Ohio but a private company. And by having an outside contractor running the facility, the state saves money on employment costs. Several years ago, the Supermax was constructed in Youngstown (about an hour south of here). The inmates incarcerated at the Supermax are the worse of the worse. They are there for security reasons. They are locked down for 23 hours out of every day and only let out of their cells for exercise. But the facility is not operating no where near capacity. The Death Row inmates used to be housed at the Lucasville Facility but were moved after the 1993 riot. They are currently housed at the Mansfield, Ohio facility but that facility is crowded. The Death Row inmates have to earn privileges that they would automatically get at the Supermax. The cells at the Supermax are 67 square feet as compared to the 89 square foot cells at Mansfield. And the exercise yard is 20 times smaller at the Youngstown facility than in Mansfield. But remember, this facility was constructed with the idea that inmates housed there would be locked down for 23 hours per day and exercised in small groups. The State plans on allowing the Death Row inmates more freedoms than allowed the Supermax inmates. They will permitted to take meals together and have more contact with each other. The Supermax inmates are not permitted any contact with each other. They lost those privileges by being sent to the Supermax. These new privileges that would automatically be granted the Death Row inmates because it will take fewer Corrections Officers to run the Supermax even with the Death Row inmates housed there than the Mansfield facility requires. The reduction in the workforce at the Mansfield facility will save the state between $5 & $6 million. And 91 COs will lose their jobs at Mansfield. The ACLU's position is that the inmates are being moved to a Supermax facility with out due process. That would be true if they were going to be subjected to the Supermax security measures. Which they will not be. The State has no intention of locking down the Death Row inmates 23 hours per day. So the ACLU counters with the smaller cells and exercise yard. In other words nit-picking. Keep in mind people that these are individuals who have been convicted beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of their peers. These individuals have killed other people and chose the path that they are now following. One of these individuals, Odraye G. Jones, #A358112, was convicted for the Aggravated Murder of Ashtabula City Police Patrolman William D. Glover Jr. in 1997. These people shouldn't have any rights. But yet we allow them to have them. The ACLU likes to push the envelope and oppose anything that would restrict the movements of convicted criminals. Want to keep a close eye on pedophiles? You can't according to the ACLU. Want to move some Death Row inmates to a newer, more secure facility and give them more privileges, again the ACLU cries fowl. Are these idiots at the ACLU so in love with their writing skills and the sounds of their own voices that they must oppose all aspects of life? They must. Because if they had their way if the Governor had to take a crap, the ACLU is bound to want a ruling by a federal judge before he does it. Check out the story in the Akron Beacon Journal. (warning: this is a subscription service.) This has been a production of the Stop The ACLU BlogBurst. Each Thursday, the BlogBurst members write about an ACLU related topic. To join us, just visit the Protest The ACLU weblog community and register. I will then send you an email requesting additional information. It is that simple. So why wait, join today!
Blogger's 1st Amendment Pledge If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules. Gribbit is a contributing writer at Stop The ACLU and the co-founder and administrator of Stop The ACLU BlogBurst.

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