This late report on Wilford Berry: Mr. Berry is still hospitalized in "stable" condition. For a man with two broken arms, a broken leg, internal injuries, and a face beaten beyond recognition, what is stable? Another prisoner may lose an eye, due to the severity of his beating. Rumors abound in OHIO prisons that more than prisoners were in on the beatings, and some of the LUCASVILLE 5 were beaten especially bad, (but note -- this is only rumor). Further Updates as they become available.
Be sure and read the new submissions from two Orient prisoners about the conditions leading to the fire there in July. Email us, and let us know what you think. Please, OHIOANS, heed the warnings.
Culled from many sources.
Breaking news in Ohio - tonight two death row inmates overpowered the COs, got their keys and freed 34 others in the segregated Death Row unit. Early reports state the two COs are seriously injured, but no hostages have been taken. The rest of Mansfield is on maximum lockdown. Reports are that approximately 100 COs and Highway Patrol officers are getting ready at this time (11:30 PM EST) to storm the unit. START is on standby but has not yet been called in.
This makes the SEVENTH prison riot in Ohio's state prisons since April of this year. Problems with overcrowding, poor food, the new but very unpopular drug program, outdated facilities, continuing racial tensions, lack of any meaningful rehab programs, the parole board's new "Superflops" of 30 - 40 years, and the disparity of sentences under the new SB2 have made for a very volatile atmosphere in Ohio's prisons.
The Ohio State Penal Oversight Committee had issued warnings to the Governor, Commissioner of DRC and state legislators, some as recently as last weekend, stating that the conditions above had reached dangerous levels and predicting more riots this summer. Unfortunately, even though these politicians listened to OSPOC's warnings, nothing was done to alleviate the conditions. After each riot, OSPOC reissues their warnings, and still nothing changes.
The riot began around 5 pm. on September 5, but wasn't quelled until midmorning of the 6th. A statement from Andrea Dean, spokeswoman for the state Department of Rehabilitation and Correction reported that an unspecified number of prisoners overpowered three guards and then freed 34 other Death Row prisoners Friday.
According to Ms. Dean, around 10 pm, tactical teams fired tear gas canisters into the unit, entered and began regaining control, Ms. Dean said. The inmates were (gradually) returned to their cells, she said early today.
A total of seven people, two guards, a tactical team member and four inmates were taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries suffered during the riot.
No staff members were taken hostage at the prison which is located 60 miles northeast of Columbus.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported today that the disturbance may have been linked to inmate WILFORD BERRY's desire to abandon his appeals and become the first Ohio inmate since 1963 to be executed. The newspaper attributed the statement to Reginald Wilkinson, director of the prisons department. However, Ms. Dean said she did not know why the disturbance occurred.
Prosecutors call Berry, 34, ``The Volunteer'' because he has said he would rather die than remain on death row pursuing appeals that probably will fail. It is reported that Mr. Berry suffered broken bones and head injuries during the riot.
AT 4 am on the morning of the 6th, FADS received this query, which included the above breaking news.
How many inmates and COs have to be injured, how much property destruction will it take until the politicians listen, and realize that when you treat people like animals, they will behave as animals ?
CO's, you need to speak up, too ! Do you really want to continue working in such a dangerous environment ? Get organized and tell everyone who will listen to make some improvements ! Any positive changes will benefit you as well as the inmates.
Tonight's riot could turn very ugly. These men have absolutely nothing to lose. There is nothing to stop them from killing CO's or other inmates, after all, what's the worst that can happen, they get a death sentence ?
News might be slow getting out on this situation; sources at Mansfield cannot call me with news until the lockdown is over. I'll update as new information comes in.
Information culled from many sources.
The Ohio Supreme Court said yesterday that it will hold a hearing before deciding whether to grant the wish of a convicted killer who would rather be executed than remain on death row.
The court voted 5-2 to schedule a Sept. 24 hearing, said Harry Franken, the court spokesman. Justices Alice Resnick and Evelyn Stratton wanted to set an execution date for Wilford Berry, 34. Prosecutors have dubbed Berry "The Volunteer" after he declared he would rather die than remain on death row pursuing appeals that are likely to fail.
If he is successful, Berry would become the 1st inmate to be put to death in Ohio since 1963; the death penalty was reinstated there in 1981.
The Ohio Public Defender's Office asked for the high court hearing. The office is trying to block a request for an execution date filed last month by the attorney general's office and Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) Prosecutor Stephanie Tubbs Jones.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Carolyn Friedland told the high court that Berry was competent to waive his appeals; her ruling was based on a Supreme Court-ordered competency hearing in June.
Berry was convicted for killing his boss 3 days after he was hired at a bakery in late 1989. Charles Mitroff Jr. died after Berry shot him while robbing the Cleveland bakery.
Assistant Attorney General Mark Weaver said his office will do what it can to make sure Berry gets his wish, adding that "the attorney general will work with the Cuyhoga Couonty prosecutor to show that Mr. Berry is competent, and ought to be able to fire his lawyers and have his sentence carried out."
Juge Friedland accepted Berry's decision to represent himself in the matter, and dismissed his court-appointed lawyers.
Ohio Public Defender David Bodiker has said it is up to the Ohio Supreme Court, and not the trial judge, to decide whether his office is dismissed from the case.
Sources close to the Berry case quote: There is an oral argument scheduled before the Ohio Supreme Court on Sept. 24th regarding the competency hearing held before Judge Freidland in June. Justices Resnick and Stratton did dissent, wanting an execution date instead of an oral argument. The machinery of death has been taken out of neutral - put in gear - is picking up speed and about to shift into high gear. Unquote
OHIOANS!! HOW MUCH MORE DOES IT TAKE TO GET YOU INVOLVED??