“A CAREFULLY PLANNED OPERATION”
by Fergus Nolan, ©2019, blogging at MemphisTruth.org
(May 26, 2019) — In April 2019, we wrote about Jason White, who was framed for a pound of meth by Bartlett detectives and ADA Chris Scruggs, recipient of our first Hammer Award for over-zealous prosecution. White was, until recently, serving 60 years at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Lauderdale County.
White was spirited out of state Monday May 20th in a carefully planned operation.
White’s rendition was planned by the Tennessee Bureau of Prisons in conjunction with Amy Weirich’s DA office and the State Corrections Commissioner Tony Parker. Corrections official Doug Stephens has knowledge of the operation.
We first encountered Jason as he was finishing up the last year of an 18 year sentence at West Tennessee State Penitentiary.
He was framed by Bartlett cops, who admitted on the witness stand to re-labeling a package lost in transit and fabricating text messages on the phone of Jason’s girlfriend, Kristina Cole, after they had confiscated her phone during her arrest.
The fabricated case netted White an additional 60 year sentence. Jason will die in prison. Now it looks like it will be a prison far from family and friends. A sentence this long for a pound of meth is unheard of in criminal justice.
State Prisoner Rendition.
Interstate prisoner transfer is rare, but it happens, and is hidden in plain sight. In 2006, the US Department of Justice itself knew so little about interstate prisoner transfers that they did a study, which revealed the existence of a national interstate prisoner “compact” involving all the states, and two regional compacts involving groups of states. A “compact” is a form of contract entered into between public entities. This activity was so far under the radar that DOJ had to have a team of researchers ask the states about it!
The 2006 adult prison population was just under 2.2 million in 2006. According to the DOJ study, 2,089 prisoners had been transferred between state prison systems by 2005. Most of these were for reasons of “inmate protection”. 345 were transferred to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and 2,466 were transferred to privately operated prisons located outside the sending state. The private prison transfers were mostly for overcrowding.
Tennessee lists (615) 253-8235 as the departmental number for Interstate Compact Prison Transfer, so Tennessee does enough of these transfers to require a bureaucracy dedicated to it.
In 2006, there were twelve state systems who practiced rendition.
Read the rest here.