Petitioning Luzerne County District Attorney Stephanie Salavantis

Drop the Charges Against Dallas 6 - Six Peaceful Protesters Abused in Solitary


MORE CORRUPTION FROM THE COUNTY WHERE KIDS FOR CASH SCANDAL TOOK PLACE

In April 2010, at SCI Dallas (PA), after a series of abuses at the hands of corrections officials, 6 prisoners housed in the solitary confinement unit decided they had enough and decided to stage a peaceful protest in response to the inhumane conditions and mistreatment of prisoners. Each prisoner involved in the protest is now collectively referred to as the Dallas 6.    After enduring abuses, official misconduct and outright administrative corruption, these men decided it was time to do something about the inhumane conditions, immediately, before another prisoner died or is brutally harmed.  The guards were beating inmates and promised these men were next. 

 These men who peacefully covered their cell windows and doors are being charged with riot.  Covering your cell window is a commonly used in solitary to get the attention of the captain to report problems with guards or other issues.  When this happens the inmates receive a misconduct.  This is exactly what these men did.   They were protecting themselves from harm.   They committed no violent acts, yet violence was inflicted upon them by the guards in riot gear.  They were pepper sprayed, beaten and tased.  These men are in solitary confinement, which means they are in a single cell 24/7 with no contact.  They did not cause or create riot!  They had no ability to do so!  They are being charged with riot because they have lawsuits against the prison and guards.  Some of them are pro se lawyers who have gone against the DOC as their own attorney.  This is frowned upon and retaliated against on a massive level.  These same men contributed to the Human Rights Coalition report which detailed ongoing abuses and human rights violations within the dungeons of this state and especially at SCI Dallas. 

As revealed in the Human Rights Coalition report and before the House of Representatives, there has long been a policy within the prison walls of Dallas and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) to operate a corrupt administration under an iron wall of silence.  Under this iron wall or code of silence, SCI Dallas, PA DOC, District Attorney’s Office, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police operates in participation and conjunction with one another to cover up crimes and misconduct by state offices by overlooking video footage of officers caught on video tape committing human rights violations.

 This case should be thrown out.  

Besides the obvious injustice of retaliation against the Dallas 6 for trying to draw attention to abuse of prisoners at SCI Dallas, other reasons your office should drop the charges include:

·         Covering your window is a violation of DOC policy and should have been handled internally in the prisons, not through the courts.

·         Covering your window is not a riot. It is impossible to hold a riot in solitary confinement.

·         The only people injured during the incident were the peaceful prisoners who were physically attacked by guards.

·         The men have endured well-documented human rights abuses at SCI Dallas and now further abuse and retaliation at SCI Mahanoy and SCI Retreat, which has been reported to the appropriate authorities.

·         Trial has been consistently delayed for years, taking almost five years to prosecute a third class felony. 

·         The county and DOC have wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars in housing, transportation, police and court costs bringing them back and forth across the state for a group vendetta by public servants.

·         The District Attorney office has taken responsibility for redaction of videotapes without the consent, approval or knowledge of the judge.

·         The District Attorney’s office has not turned over full discovery within these five years which is in contempt of court orders.

For more information and updates about the case please visit:

http://scidallas6.blogspot.com/

Please donate to the legal defense fund:

https://rally.org/f/cYcu5EZH77O

There is also a petition asking for indictment of  all officials involved in the malicious prosecution of these men under the rico act:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/petition-to-indict-luzerne

 

 

 

Letter to
Luzerne County District Attorney Stephanie Salavantis
DROP ALL CHARGES AGAINST DALLAS 6 IMMEDIATELY

The Dallas 6 are Andre Jacobs, Anthony Kelley (released), Carrington Keys, Anthony Locke, Duane Peters and Derrick Stanley.

This case has been in the courts going on five years. Andre Jacobs, Carrington Keys, Duane Peters, Anthony Locke and Derrick Stanley have been waiting all these years for a chance to tell the truth in court. Anthony Kelly who pleaded out earlier has also been waiting for resolution of the case. False charges of rioting were brought against these men simply because they covered their cell windows to bring to your attention and the attention of other authorities gross violations of civil and human rights, abuse and torture that they experienced, witnessed and documented at SCI Dallas.

We know from the recent exposure of abuse by guards at Rikers Island and Attica prisons in New York State that there are many jurisdictions that are facing charges of gross abuse of prisoners. There are many in Pennsylvania and across the nation who know about the Dallas 6 men who are outraged that your office did not investigate the human rights violations that the men were non-violently protesting, but instead investigated and also charged the men with rioting for being whistleblowers!

Local and national organizations have endorsed and support these prisoners. All are watching. All are calling on your office to drop the charges against the Dallas 6, which are frivolous, false and vindictive, an abuse of power and a waste of taxpayers’ money. We call instead for an immediate investigation by your office, as well as by federal and state authorities, of the abuse of prisoners by guards at SCI Dallas and all Luzerne County prisons, and the prosecution of guilty parties, including of those in positions of responsibility who have been told about it, for allowing this injustice to continue.

Besides the obvious injustice of retaliation against the Dallas 6 for trying to draw attention to abuse of prisoners at SCI Dallas, other reasons your office should drop the charges include:
• Covering your window is a violation of DOC policy and should have been handled internally in the prisons, not through the courts.
• Covering your window is not a riot. It is impossible to hold a riot in solitary confinement.
• The only people injured during the incident were the peaceful prisoners who were physically attacked by guards.
• The men have endured well-documented human rights abuses at SCI Dallas and now further abuse and retaliation at SCI Mahanoy and SCI Retreat, which has been reported to the appropriate authorities.
• Trial has been consistently delayed for years, taking almost five years to prosecute a third class felony.
• The county and DOC have wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars in housing, transportation, police and court costs bringing them back and forth across the state for a group vendetta by public servants.
• The District Attorney office has taken responsibility for redaction of videotapes without the consent, approval or knowledge of the judge.
• The District Attorney’s office has not turned over full discovery within these five years which is in contempt of court orders.

We have finally seen the justice system in New York begin to address the crisis of prisoner abuse by holding those responsible to account through criminal charges and dismissals of perpetrators. Luzerne County has experienced corruption and interpersonal relationships among officials -- when will justice arrive and prevail at Luzerne County? You are responsible for the actions of those who are part of your office since they take your direction and carry out your decisions. Failure to drop the charges will expose to the public the lack of will of your office to investigate serious human rights violations, make your office complicit in the punishment of and retaliation against men who bravely tried to bring to your attention injustices and illegal practices at SCI Dallas, and raise questions about whether your personal relationship with people connected with SCI Dallas constitutes a serious conflict of interest.