by Julian Heicklen

Anthony Martin CC­1326 is at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) in Greene County. On January 26, 1999, another inmate wrote to me about Mr. Martin. Mr. Martin is without his eyeglasses. He is legally partially blind, so every document has to be handled by fellow inmates. He claims that his handicap was due to a severe beating that he received to his face and head by guards at SCI Dallas. He claims that he has medical records that substantiate the beating at Dallas.

Mr. Martin claims that recently he has been stomped in a side room by two guards wearing black face coverings. They warned him that if he tried legal action, he would be killed, and it would be done to look like a suicide. He fears coming out of his cell for showers or exercise. The recent assault was done at 7:00 AM when other inmates were in the yard. He even has to examine his food very carefully. Every 3­4 days, they do a security check of his cell, but not of other cells. They read his legal documents. He is rushed to the floor and accused of assaulting guards, even though he is handcuffed behind his back.

In a letter from Mr. Martin in very large printing, he says that he was physically assaulted by staff members and an inmate on death row. He was threatened by staff members that if he notified any authorities, they would kill him and say it was suicide. He is in tremendous fear for his life.

Mr. Martin claims that on May 15 or 16, 1998, Correctional Officers (COs) Yoney, Hornbake, and Lafferty came to Martin's cell and informed him that new photos had to be taken for the records. He was handcuffed and escorted to the mini-law library, where these three COs, along with 4 others (whose names he does not have), physically assaulted him. Immediately after he was beaten, he was returned to his cell. The pictures were never taken. He then was issued Misconduct #773356 alleging that he refused to have his picture taken. He was charged with refusing to obey an order. It is not clear if this alleged assault occurred at SCI Dallas or SCI Greene.

On November 3, 1999, Mr. Martin claims that Lt. Young, Sgt. Walker, COs Knisley, Thomas, and DiCianno, along with the extraction team at SCI Greene, came to his cell with a video cameral. He was ordered to cuff up, and he said: "For what?" No explanation was given. He claims that there was no order given to him about a security cell inspection. He was gassed with pepper spray by Lt. Young. Six COs in riot gear rushed into his cell and slammed him onto the floor and forcefully placed handcuffs on him. The next day he was given Misconduct #A28425 for altering, tampering, or destroying property. It claims that a steel mirror and a shelf were broken.

I Have no corroborating evidence for the above alleged incidents. I am trying to obtain more documentation about these stories. However there are four eyewitness reports to the following incident.

On February 22, 1999, Mr. Martin received Misconduct #A149868. He was in FA­5 cell. COs Thomas, Knisley, and Wright approached his cell and ordered him to cuff up. He was handcuffed from the back. They rushed and tackled him, so he fell face first. Then they kicked and stomped him as he lay helpless. He was kicked in the groin area. He was dragged out onto the tier in front of his cell, where they continued the beating as other officers came running into the pod to assist. Later the new arrivals (Lt. MacNair, Sgt. Walker, and some others) participated in the beating. He was dragged once again with his face scraping against the floor the entire way to the mini-law library. Sgt. Walker then put a letter in his face, a letter that looked like one that he sent out previously requesting legal aid. Sergeant Walker said: "Didn't I tell you that if you attempted to seek legal assistance, we would get you?" Mr. Martin claims that he received two broken fingers in his right hand, but he was denied medical treatment. He also claims that he found some unknown substance in his food that made him sick. Some inmates who were not out in the yard on this particular morning witnessed the events that occurred after he was dragged from his cell onto the tier. When he returned to his cell, his legal papers were torn to pieces.

The assault in front of Mr. Martin's cell of February 22, 1999, has been corroborated by affidavits from four inmate witnesses to the beating. They saw Anthony Martin, who was handcuffed behind his back, being dragged from his cell by COs Thomas, Knisley, and Wright. They kicked and stomped him mercilessly. Many inmates yelled for the COs to stop, but the COs refused to do so. Lt. MacNair and Sgt. Walker came into the pod with leg shackles. Lt. MacNair put his foot onto Martin's neck and began to smash his face into the floor, while Sgt. Walker punched him in the legs and shackled him. They saw more officers rush into the block and join the beating. COs Thomas and Wright lifted Martin bodily utilizing the leg-iron chain and handcuffs as handles. They dragged him off the pod on his face in this very painful position. Two officers came on the block after Mr. Martin was gone and threw all of his belongings onto the tier, including his linen and bed. A block worker was ordered to throw Mr. Martin's property into the trash, which he did.