Background: Gary White was a county commissioner in Jefferson County, Alabama. Good friends with Les Siegelman, he introduced Les's brother, [former] Alabama Governor Don Siegelman to Richard Scrushy, a local Republican businessman. Because of this, White became inextricably intertwined with Siegelman, who was one of the biggest targets of the Rove-directed, heavily politicized Department of Justice [DOJ].
Scrushy and Siegelman were later indicted and convicted on charges stemming from that relationship. According to affidavits provided by Gary [and Judy, who was also in the room] White was asked to perjure himself before a Grand Jury in order to make the case against Siegelman and Scrushy. White refused and the very next day, the DOJ started delivering subpoenas to build a case against him. White is serving ten years and has been moved most recently to Federal Prison in Arkansas. [BOP is Bureau of Prisons.]
This is installment #32. [Links to entire series at end of article*.]
My guest today is frequent OpEdNews contributor, Judy White. Welcome back to OpEdNews, Judy. What's on your mind today?
JW: Hello, Joan. With the BOP, everything is a shell game. Our experiences with the three M's - movement, mail and medical - continue.
First, movement: two blessings for which we are most thankful. Gary is no longer in Arkansas. He has been moved again and is finally in our home state of Alabama.
JB: Thank goodness for that.
JW: Yes, but true to form, the BOP continues to directly violate federal law and in so many ways. Before Gary was moved, they withheld his mail for ten days or so, then took most of it - even mail they had opened and read - to the post office marked "Return to Sender" and sent it back. Most, but not all. We know of two Father's Day cards that were never returned, never delivered to Gary and never forwarded. BOP's written rules require that when a prisoner is moved, the prison is required to forward the prisoner's mail to the new location for at least thirty days.
JB: So much for the BOP's rule book...
JW: And there is always the frightening and dangerous game of medical care, which may be more like Russian roulette but with the gun pointed at the prisoners.
JB: What are you referring to, Judy?
JW: Just before Father's Day, we talked about Dave in this installment. If you don't mind, before catching up with the Gary games, can we give an update about Dave?
JW: Dave, 72, who had been diagnosed with cancer but was refused treatment, was supposed to have been moved to a halfway house in February, ahead of his release date of October 10th. Before Gary was moved, Dave had already been taken - in chains - from the prison to see a real doctor regarding surgery to remove his tumors, but the prison employees took him to the wrong doctor so, after waiting all day, he was returned to the prison. Continuing this Keystone Kops episode, after Gary had been moved, the prison employees told Dave he was being taken for surgery, so off he went again - in chains - only to be told at the hospital that no one had made arrangements for an operating room. Back in prison, Dave suffered a stroke in his eye, leaving him almost blind with just 6% vision in one eye, and - surprise - he was told he needed to see a specialist. But then... more of the same: nothing.
On July 19th, Dave lost consciousness, spit up blood and went into shock. In the midst of Dave's crisis, one prison employee, believed to be named "Riker" or "Riggs", was being verbally abusive to him, telling him he was "in hell". Another prison employee, Laquita White, stepped in and called for an ambulance to try to save Dave. In an ambulance bound for a Memphis hospital an hour away, Dave was losing a lot of blood and it was clear he was not going to make it. The ambulance staff wanted to take him to the local Forrest City hospital to get blood before continuing to Memphis, but the BOPers at first refused to allow it!