by Sharon Rondeau

(May 1, 2018) — In a letter received on Tuesday, Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) inmate Robert Z. Whipple III wrote that his parole hearing on April 18 has resulted in a positive decision for his release from prison “in a couple weeks.”

Whipple said that he expects to leave the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex (BCCX) for a halfway house, after which he hopes to find employment.  While at BCCX, he has had “trustee” status, meaning that he is low-security and has worked regularly.

The Post & Email has redacted the name and location of the facility to which Whipple said he expects to be discharged.

He stated that he is “a little nervous” about his upcoming release “after being locked up seven years,” but that “it is a good nervous!”

Whipple also referred to his lawsuit, Whipple v. Millay, for which a federal magistrate ordered a phone conference on May 7 to include the Tennessee Attorney General’s office and Whipple ostensibly to resolve Whipple’s complaint that he has been denied access to the courts by BCCX personnel.

Whipple’s renewed complaint last month arose after a computer terminal with the “Westlaw” legal research tool was installed in an area of the facility to which he was allowed access, but shortly thereafter, the hours of availability were curtailed to the point where Whipple’s work schedule precluded his having any access at all.

“…if I am still in prison on that day, I intend to fight for better hours for the ones that aren’t getting out,” he wrote.

Whipple had also sued the Tennessee Board of Parole over failing to grant him parole earlier in his nearly 12-year sentence.

On Tuesday the TDOC’s online search tool for felony offenders confirmed Whipple’s report.


Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Sharon

    The BCCX still can’t seem to find all of the paperwork for Robert, even the electronic copies that they made seem to just go away. Guess they are not real good at simple paperwork items like keeping them or possibly it is just more retaliation.

    Speaking of retaliation, the Fed. District Court Judge held a conference call with BCCX, the state AG and obviously Robert. It seems that the Judge would like to know why the four year old case has not been settled yet and thus the hearing. She demanded to know just what was going on and why wasn’t the agreement completed? She did not like the new “short” access hours for the library (with WestLaw access) that just happened 2 days after the agreement are made and before signatures were added. Robert added one additional clause to the agreement and that was that the library hours could not be changed or shifted to the point were he and the other trustee inmates could not longer have real access. The TDOC now claims that they could never agree to a demand imposed by a lowly inmate, they are in charge and not the inmates. Guess these people in the TDOC have never heard of the US Supreme Court let alone the period of time when the federal courts took control of the prisons and for very close to the same reasons. The judge told the AG to get involved and straighten this mess out now. Whipple really wanted the full weight of the court and for the judge to grant the sanctions against the TDOC and the individuals in the staff that were included in the personal capacity.