The Disparity of a State's "Questionable Justice"
WILLIAM Coleman, center, is flanked by attorneys William Murray and Aubrey Ruta at Superior Court in Hartford Thursday. (AP PHOTO/BOB CHILD / January 29, 2009)
Hunger-Striking Inmate Attends Court Hearing
By MARK SPENCER | The Hartford Courant
January 30, 2009
William Coleman, appearing gaunt from his 16-month hunger strike, listened intently in Superior Court in Hartford Thursday as a prison doctor testified that he ordered the inmate force-fed to prevent permanent organ damage, or even death.
Coleman, a native of Liverpool, England, is challenging the Department of Correction's bid to have Judge James T. Graham make permanent a temporary injunction he issued in January of 2008 that allows the state to force-feed the inmate. Coleman was sentenced in 2005 to eight years in prison for raping his wife, a conviction he says was an unjust outcome of a corrupt judicial system.
Coleman, wearing a tie and a white, button-down shirt that looked several sizes too big, waved and smiled to a handful of supporters in court. His sister, who had traveled from England this week, was supposed to have been among them. Instead, Nandy Allen was at Hartford Hospital. She collapsed while visiting her brother Wednesday at the Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers moments after embracing him for the first time in years, family members and friends said.
In court Thursday, Assistant Attorney General Ann Lynch said the prison had an obligation to protect Coleman, who has repeatedly said he is willing to starve himself to death, and a duty to preserve stability in the state prison system.
"Allowing an inmate to die — absent intervention by the state — could have a profoundly detrimental effect on other inmates," Lynch said.
Coleman's attorney, William E. Murray, of Edwards, Angell, Palmer & Dodge, said his client was not using violence or terror to make his point, "but rather the peaceful hunger protest used by Gandhi." The length of the hunger strike illustrates Coleman's commitment, Murray said.
"Most of us cannot imagine going without solid food for 16 hours," Murray said in his opening statement. "Yet, here sits a man who has done so for over 16 months."
Dr. Edward Blanchette, clinical director for the state Department of Correction, described an odyssey that began in September of 2007, when Coleman stopped eating solid food. The inmate's weight dropped steadily during the following months as he sustained himself by drinking water and occasionally milk or juice.
During a time when Coleman was housed in the infirmary at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, regular prison meals were left in his cell in an effort to break the hunger strike, Blanchette said. Medical staff suspected but weren't certain that he occasionally ate something.
For a time, Coleman's weight stabilized after he agreed to take an energy drink three times a day, but he stopped all liquids in September, the one-year anniversary of his hunger strike.
Blanchette, the only witness to testify Thursday, said Coleman weighed 237 pounds at the beginning of the hunger strike, and was 139 pounds when he ordered the inmate to be restrained and given fluids intravenously in September.
"He told me directly [that] he would pull out the IV if he wasn't restrained," Blanchette said.
Later, Coleman twice was given nutrition via a tube inserted through his nose and into his stomach. He resumed using the nutritional drink after the second tube feeding and now weighs in the mid-150s.
Coleman's ex-wife accused him of rape while they were divorcing and fighting over the custody of their two sons. Coleman says the charge was fabricated and that his sons are being "abused" by being separated from him. Convicted in a jury trial, he has exhausted his appeals, other than a long-shot habeas petition.
Carol Kinsley, a friend of Coleman's who traveled from Rhode Island Thursday to attend the hearing, said she does not want him to die, but hopes the media attention the hunger strike has generated will lead to a re-examination of the case.
"He's stable, he's competent and he's intelligent," Kinsley said. "He has the right not to be force-fed."
Murray said Coleman will testify, likely next week, about what he hopes his hunger strike will accomplish.
David McGuire, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut who also is representing Coleman, said the inmate has the right to free speech and to refuse medical treatment.
"It's clear that inmates lose some of their rights when they go into prison, but not all of them," McGuire said.
My comment posted on the Hartford Courant website for this above article:
Maybe the man in this story is not guilty of anything.
Connecticut only seems to have admitted one court "mistake" in over 2 centuries. Tillman, convicted of rape, spending almost 2 decades in prison was released and paid off. He's the exception.
You have police investigators sending racist emails to each other taking pictures of dead minority citizens, putting chicken bones and watermelon seeds in the scene, putting racist captions underneath and emailing each other. You have a Trooper flying a helicopter after making terrorist threats to kill other police officers and destroy aircraft at an airport blowing it up.
You have judicial branch whistleblowers coming forward about bid rigging for court cleaning services, alteration and the destroying of evidence on court hard drives, case rigging, retaliation, nepotism, and the defrauding of taxpayers. The accused abusers in the system, sat on the panel hearing the whistle blowers. The whistle blowers were terrorized by private investigators, were threatened, and were either suspended or fired.
Coleman was processed through this "system".
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William "Bill" Coleman can get almost a decade in prison for allegedly raping his wife during a custody battle over children.
Some women in similar situations are cunning, conniving, and almost willing to do anything to keep a Father of children away from them, seize all assets, cash, and property, and ruin the Father, so he is unable to see the children again, or even ends up in prison. [click here] for Chris Kennedy and Bill Cosby on the subject of fatherlessness and fatherhood.
I see that vindictive mothers and ex-wives are capable of just about anything, over and over.
Chris Kennedy's ex-wife stabbed him during a custody dispute in Connecticut. His wife was awarded full custody of the children while she was awaiting court hearings on her felony first degree assault charges. Chris complained, so the charges against Leanne Putnam were dropped so that Chris Kennedy could face a $500,000 bond after being arrested and facing 30 years in prison for his having accidentally checked the wrong box on a family court financial form.
After I was sentenced to a year in prison for having resisted being mugged on my former Connecticut property in Stafford Springs, I read while in prison, that a habitual criminal gang member had raped his girlfriend and was give probation, no prison! I also read where a habitual, youthful offender got 10 years of probation, no prison for armed robbery!
I had to "re-enter" society after having resisted being beaten up, fearing for my life, I ended the beating I was taking with pepper spray. The felon, would be mugger, was not even arrested. Now I am labeled an "Ex-con" unable to get most jobs and apartments. I was current on 3 mortgages and had a small business built over 2 decades at the time I was falsely arrested. My prison sentence ended the relationship I had with my daughter.
A US Marine, Stephen Murzin, coming home to the State of Connecticut and witnessed a man, Phillip Inkel, being beaten up at the Colchester, Connecticut, McDonald's by police. Inkel had witnessed a teen being beaten up at the same Colchester McDonald's and lodged a police misconduct complaint. The teen had been beaten up by police for wearing baggy pants. Inkel was being beaten up for lodging a police misconduct complaint. Murzin lodged a police misconduct complaint, so police abducted Stephen and his brother Ian and beat them at Troop K, Connecticut State Police HQ.
Ian may have been strangled to death and then revived by police at Troop K. For complaining about the beating and police brutality, police paid Todd Vashon [video, Vashon under oath], a state registered police confidential informant $10,000 to kill Murzin and Inkel. [story with video]
When Vashon got cold feet informant, David J. Taylor, a felon on probation stabbed Murzin 13 times along with two other people. A Connecticut Judge and prosecutors saw no need to violate Taylor on probation for almost killing 3 people.
But police were so upset with Murzin having caused a disturbance being stabbed, when he woke up alive in the hospital with 13 stab wounds he was arrested by police and faced 6 months in prison for his "offense".
So, even if Coleman is guilty of raping his wife, his sentence isn't consistent with others.
If police, judges, prosecutors, and defense lawyers act like they do above, who really should be in prison for eight years, Coleman, or the police, prosecutors, and judges mentioned above?
-Steven G. Erickson
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[click here] for photo montage of Connecticut Public Corruption
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Victim on Secret Police Enemies List, Stephen Murzin speaks about various incidents
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Kenneth Krayeske, former Green Party campaign manager for Connecticut governor, and a journalist, was placed on the Connecticut State Police "Secret Enemies List" and was arrested on sight. So, in the "New America" you can be arrested on sight, spied on, terrorized, and imprisoned for Free Speech, your politics, or just because you are in the way of police, judges, or corrupt politicians. [more]