“NO PERSON IS SAFE”
by Anonymous Inmate, NWCX, Tiptonville, TN
(Mar. 5, 2016) — The letter below was received by The Post & Email on Friday, March 4 and corroborates the numerous reports received over the last year from other inmates describing prisoners-for-profit schemes and other abuses at NWCX, a Tennessee state prison located in Tiptonville, Lake County.
In addition to the inmate’s detailing of the interception of his mail, “monies taken for medical services I’ve never received,” and being asked to “falsify documents,” he contends:
If the truth about Tennessee’s injustices, their illegitimate legal practices and entirely flagrant disregard for the innocent mans [sic] life are not made known; there is no hope for anyone in Tennessee. No person is safe. Not in the courts and even more so in their prisons.
Beginning in the fall of 2009, The Post & Email has reported on the deeply-embedded practice within Tennessee’s courts which allows criminal court judges to hand-pick the foreman of each county grand jury. Such appointee, who bypasses state code TCA 22-2-314, remains unvetted and is often an acquaintance of the judge. NWCX inmate Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III has called the system the “dictatorship of the judiciary” and was sent to prison after numerous attempts to expose it to the Monroe and McMinn County grand juries within Tennessee’s Tenth Judicial District.
Several months ago, an inmate acquainted with Fitzpatrick found a case from 1883 adjudicated by the Tennessee Supreme Court demonstrating that at that time, grand jury foremen were not hand-selected, but rather, came from the jury pool, as indicated by TCA 22-2-314.
Regardless of whether a crime has been committed, because of the prejudicial method by which the grand jury foreman is chosen and permitted to remain for years or even decades, no Tennessee defendant has received Fifth-Amendment due process for a century or more, resulting in the incarceration of untold thousands of citizens who consequently lose their voting rights and often, their personal property, relationships, any savings they had, and their ability to make a living if and when they are released.
A larger version of the letter appears below.