Tag Archives: Lucasville Uprising

Prison Bus to Shitville


Words, filtered through a couple weeks of low-intensity trauma:
Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I awoke at 3:45, disoriented, pulling earplugs out of my ears. Dazed, I staggered to the door. Warden Jay Lowdown was there, speaking. “Words words words, something something words.” When I said, “Huh?,” he repeated:
“Today you’re being transferred to the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.”
Me: “Uh, why am I being selectively punished?”
“You’re not,” answered Jay Lowdown. He looked a lot taller in his pictures. I also noticed he had the beginnings of a moustache. I remember thinking he needed to quit it. “You’re going from one Level 4 institution to another one.”
Me: “Yeah. Okay. But it still sucks. And it feels pretty selective.”
“We thought you might say that,” Jay replied. “That’s why 37 others are going with you.”

Behind him, I saw deputy wardens, unit staff, and Special Response Teams (SRTs). The SRTs wear black fatigues and hats, paramilitary style. They are also sometimes called STAR, “Special Tactical something Response.” I think the “A” stands for “Asshole.” They typically prefer STAR to SRT, because it feels more glamorous when they have STAR on their hats. They go shopping or walk into bars or wait for pedicures at their favorite beauty shops and their hats announce them as STARs.
A couple of them came to my cell and within moments, everything I owned was crammed in boxes, the last time I would ever see half of my property. Within minutes, I was standing in my cell with a half a roll of toilet paper and a lot of empty space. The STAR assholes moved on to the next cell like a biblical swarm of locusts dispatched by a loving, murderous god. I stood there, confused.
I was going to Lucasville. Continue reading

Bomani Shakur

This originally aired on The Final Straw

Earlier this month, the United States Sixth Circuit Court heard oral arguments in the appeal of Ohio death row prisoner Bomani Shakur who’s government name is Keith LaMar. Bomani is one of the five prisoners prosecuted as the Lucasville Five. Targeted as leaders of the weeks long prison uprising that occurred in the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility that occurred in Lucasville Ohio in 1993. If you do the math you realize, this is a twenty one year old legal battle, so far.

Bomani was identified, targeted, prosecuted and condemned to death, strictly on the testimony of other prisoners. There existed no security footage, no DNA, no fingerprint evidence. Only the accounts of other convicted felons, who may or may not have had their own motives to lie, who may or may not have attributed their own criminal behavior to Bomani. While hundreds of prisoners were involved in the uprising, investigators only collected the statements it seems from less than a hundred of them. So we must conclude that hundreds of prisoners have no idea what occurred, suffering mass amnesia, or investigators simply chose not to take note of their accounts.

Bomani himself has written extensively. His account was published last year, entitled, Condemned. It’s an excellent read, and very revealing with regard to the tactics the state used in its frame up of targeted prisoners in the aftermath of a riot. I sent my copy to Governor JWow, who never even had the courtesy to write me back and tell me what he thought of the book. What an ingrate. Continue reading

Review of Keith LaMar’s Condemned.

Dear Governor Kasich,

Please find enclosed Condemned by Keith LaMar. It was sent to me nearly a month ago so that I could write a review. It took prison officials 24 days to get it to me. I received it at mail call yesterday. I had it read in under a day, and I am now sending it to you.

If you can read this, cover to cover, without tears of rage rolling down your face, you don’t have a pulse.

Last month you praised the three women who survived the brutal captivity, held for years by Ariel Castro. You spoke passionately about their courage and heroism. Read Condemned and you’ll be convinced that Keith LaMar is just as deserving of the medals you gave those three surviving women.

Some irrefutable conclusions, upon reading Condemned: Continue reading