John Carter, a 32-year-old state prisoner from Pittsburgh, was killed by prison staff at SCI Rockview during a cell extraction on April 26, 2012.A cell extraction is a procedure where six guards suit up in riot gear armed with pepper spray, a stun shield and taser, and enter a prisoner’s solitary confinement cell and forcibly subdue, handcuff and shackle him.Carter was just 16 years old when he was sentenced to life in prison.
Guards unloaded a deliberately excessive amount of pepper spray into his cell during the extraction, and then assaulted and tasered him--as many as seven times according to some reports--when they opened his cell door. The extraction was ordered in response to Carter protesting his being starved of his dinner meal. The killing of John Carter occurred within a unit where physical and psychological abuse was and is escalating, as are acts of guard retaliation, racism, and issuing prisoners fabricated misconducts to keep them buried in solitary confinement for months or even years.
John Carter spent the last ten years of his life in several solitary confinement units in PA Department of Corrections prisons, and in 2008 he was placed on the Restricted Release List (RRL), an indefinite form of solitary confinementthat can only be ended with approval by the DOC secretary. Carter continued to be held in solitary in retaliation for his speaking out against the widespread abuse of prisoners by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
We, as concerned citizens and human rights advocates, demand a full and transparent investigation into the killing of John Carter, and for those found responsible to be charged and held accountable for their actions. Join us in calling on the Centre County District Attorney, the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Pennsylvania State Police, the United States District Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and the United States Department of Justice to launch a legitimate investigation that will ensure that there is some measure of justice for John Carter