WHY I AM A CANDIDATE FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL

By Julian Heicklen

Delivered to the Montgomery County Liberty Forum

May 16, 2000

I am a candidate for Attorney General of Pennsylvania for two reasons: 1) I am angry, very angry, at the Repulicrats for destroying my country, and 2) I am ashamed that I have not done more to stop them.

Bill of Rights

They have taken away our Bill of Rights. The Fourth Amendment to the U. S. constitution states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated…"

Joseph McNamara was the Police Chief of San Jose, CA. One day he saw a proposed budget that included no funds for police equipment. When McNamara questioned this, his boss, the city manager, replied "You guys seized $4 million last year. I expect you to do better this year." When cops are put under pressure to produce revenue, bad things happen. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported this past summer (1999) that the sheriff in St. Francis County privately sold seized cars to himself and others at prices at or below appraised values. Such sales were legal at the time.

The Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution states: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or other infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury…" In Pennsylvania there are no indictments by Grand Jury.

The Sixth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution states: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial…" In PA, the accused can be held in prison for six months before being brought to trial. How would you like to spend six months in prison and then found to be not guilty?

I am angry and ashamed about all of this. If I am elected AG, the Bill of Rights will be restored.

Victimless Crimes

Cathy Jordan is 48 years old. When she was 36, she was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (Lou Gehrig's disease). She was told that she would not live for 5 years. After two years on prescribed medication, her condition was deteriorating. She experienced bouts of uncontrollable crying and stopped using the prescribed medicines except for Clonapin to aid in sleeping. She started smoking two marijuana cigarettes per day. Her appetite returned. The marijuana eases the constant twitching in her extremities, the pain from muscle spasms, the ache in her hands and neck, and the headaches. Not only is she alive after 12 years, but she still can talk as much as ever. The Republicrats want to punish Cathy Jordan for using medical marijuana.

If I am elected attorney general, the state will stop torturing sick people by denying them their medicine, or anyone for eating, drinking, or smoking whatever she wants, or for sleeping with whom she pleases. She will have to answer only to her Mother and to her God.

Prison Abuse

Reports of abuses in the U. S. received by Amnesty International and documented in their report to the U.N. include those of prisoners being strapped into four-point restraint chairs–a metal-framed chair that immobilizes prisoners with restraints, securing arms, legs and chest with straps. Prisoners strapped into such chairs for minor acts of non-compliance have been hooded and tortured, stripped naked and left for hours in the chair in their own waste and shocked with stun guns or pepper sprayed while still in the chair.

I am unaware of this happening in PA, but other abuses do occur. Beatings with billy clubs of handcuffed and shackled prisoners is routine at SCI Greene County. If I am elected AG, the abuse of prison inmates will stop.

Prison Overcrowding

Bud Tant was an inmate at Cummins Prison Farm in Arkansas. In 1995, after years of health problems, he was diagnosed with Hepatitis B and C at a university hospital in Arkansas.

In 1997, his father and sister went to Arkansas to try to get treatment for Bud. John Byus, the Medical Administrator of the Arkansas Department of Correction, told them that Bud had Hepatitis B and C when he first entered the Arkansas Department of Corrections. His sister didn't say anything because she knew Byus had just made an appalling admission. During his time at Cummins Prison Farm, Bud had been permitted to donate blood plasma at every draw–infected plasma. And they knew he was infected.

The "bleeds" were frequent. Unlike whole blood, plasma can be safely drawn once or twice a week. A politically-connected company had for years run a plasma program at Cummins. Prisoners could earn a few dollars in prison commissary scrip for each unit, but the company and the prison system got $50 a unit or more for the plasma, and made millions. Accordingly, officials pushed inmates hard to donate blood plasma. Bud always obliged.

Hepatitis C is a highly contagious disease. It leads to death in about 80% of cases. In the California state prisons, the incidence of hepatitis C among inmates is 39%; in Texas, 29%; in Maryland, 40% of those entering. A knowledgeable inmate in the Pennsylvania prisons has informed me that the incidence of hepatitis C among inmates is 40%. When I requested accurate information from the DOC, I was informed that the information was not for public disclosure. Presumably the percentages are comparable in other state prisons and in federal prisons. Most of these inmates will not die in prison. They will be released to infect the rest of the population before they die.

Most of the inmates that enter prison do not have the disease. This means that those leaving prison have a much higher incidence (probably about 70%) of hepatitis C. In 1996, the number of inmates leaving state and federal prison was 232,000; about 94% were males. From 1986 to 1996, the prison population grew at an average rate of 8.4% per year. If this rate is maintained, the number of male prisoners leaving our state and federal prisoners between 1996 and 2010 will be 5,800,000; from 1996 to 2020, the number will be 18 million.

The 18 million figure does not include women. It does not include those released from county prisons or jails. About ten times as many men will be released from county prisons and jails as from state and federal prisons. The incidence of hepatitis C in the county facilities is not known, but some of these inmates must also have the disease.

In March 2000, California passed a law that will treat 14—17 year old offenders as adult criminals. They will be sent to adult facilities where all of them will be raped several times, which is the main route of transmitting the disease. All of them will leave prison infected with hepatitis C when they will be in their sexually active years.

Currently there are an estimated four million people with hepatitis C in the United States. In twenty years that number will increase by at least a factor of ten. We have embarked on a peculiar public health policy. We are going to infect tens of millions of ourselves with a fatal disease. No other political party understands this or wishes to stop it. Only the Libertarian Party advocates prison reform and a reduction in prison populations.

By supporting my candidacy for Attorney General, you will not be doing me a favor. I am 68 years old. I will die of some other cause before I die of hepatitis C. You will be doing yourself a favor. It is you who are going to be infected by hepatitis C, not me.

We are engaged in a struggle for the soul of America. The Libertarian Party is not your best hope to win that struggle. It is your only hope.