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 #28. [Links* to entire series at end of article.]
My guest today is frequent OpEdNews contributor, Judy White. Welcome back, Judy.
Joan Brunwasser: I understand that right now you're in Forrest City, Arkansas and fully intended to visit Gary today after your early-morning, 300-mile drive. How did it go?
Judy White: The prison employees refused to let me visit Gary.
I stepped on the grass.
JB: What are you talking about? Surely, you jest.
JW: I wish it was a joke or a bad dream or anything other than the reality.
JB: Tell us the whole sordid story, please.
JW: This morning, as I usually do, I got up in the pre-dawn hours to drive over 300 miles to visit my wrongfully-imprisoned husband. As I was running later than I had planned, I did not stop at all between Leeds, Alabama and the prison in Forrest City, Arkansas, not even for a restroom break. I arrived at the prison a little before 10:30 this morning and parked in a designated parking space. As I was parking, getting my driver's license, car key and money together, I saw a man, woman and child - other visitors - enter the prison, which let me know that visitors were being allowed to enter.
JB: Do you mean by this that you weren't too late?
JW: Their stated "visiting hours" are 8:00 until 3:00, but that's just for show.
JB: What do you mean "just for show"?
JW: Visitors who arrive at 8:00, frequently have to wait until 8:15 or so before we are allowed inside, then there is paperwork and "processing" (BOPese for "abusing the visitors"). If we don't arrive before 9:00, they won't let us in. They put a sign on the door: COUNT TIME COUNT TIME COUNT TIME. And they take anywhere from an hour and a half to two or three hours for the hundreds of prison employees to count the approximately 2,000 prisoners.