John Buckley fought for our country. Now, he sits in jail as a result of an unjust conviction for a crime he did not commit.

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STORYCORPS INTERVIEW

Interview recorded and edited from prison calls where John is unjustly incarcerated and awaiting federal appeal. Conversation about his experiences at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, his life before and right after. John enlisted into the Army on his 17th birthday and parachuted into Afghanistan with the first wave of military right after 9/11. This interview is recorded with John from behind prison walls where he awaits justice.
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FEDERAL APPEAL OCTOBER 2021

Having denied John justice at the State level, the legal arena has now moved to the Federal Level. This ordeal for John Buckley and his family began over Memorial Day in 2010. That night, he was wrongfully accused of sexual assault by a woman who introduced him to bondage, domination, sadism and masochism. When John decided he no longer wanted her in his life and told her their relationship was over, she accused him of rape.
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Join the fight for justice. Two minutes of your time can help free an
innocent father, and soldier.

50 Shades of Grey’s Christian and Anastasia may have had a glamorous relationship on the big screen, but if Mr. Grey lived in Kentucky he could be jailed for decades. This isn’t a pitch for a spinoff series, it’s the real-life nightmare former U.S. Army Ranger John Calvin Buckley IV is living today.

A former lover’s betrayal resulted in this decorated veteran spending his days locked in solitary confinement. Prison authorities refuse him much-needed medical care, and deny him the human rights he risked his life to defend. John was convicted of rape after his angry ex-lover reported one of their many “50 Shades” encounters as non-consensual – which he vehemently denies. In fact, he passed a polygraph examination, by a retired FBI examiner, which asked very pointed questions about that relationship. Unlike Christian Grey in the movie, John wasn’t wise enough to insist on a signed consent form.

Buckley was a member of the U.S. Army’s elite 3rd Ranger Battalion and saw his first combat 40 days after the 9-11 attacks. He served from August 2000 through December 2005 and earned combat citations and a Purple Heart in deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. There he suffered Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). Upon his honorable discharge, the VA concluded John was 100% service-connected disabled.

“In 2009, my son became a victim of Kentucky justice,” said attorney John Calvin Buckley III, the prisoner’s father.

This site is a record of and lightning rod for our efforts to set John free.

H. Louis Sirkin, Esq
John’s Federal Appeal Attorney

“The Commonwealth of Kentucky used John’s military experience and specialized training to advance the argument he instilled fear in Jessica in support of the essential element of force. Not only does the government send our soldiers to war to defend us all, while exposing them to the horrors of war but when they are lucky enough to survive and many return wounded physically and mentally, we thank them by portraying them as violent out of control human beings who need to be treated like wild animals. This should outrage the public and, in particular, our so-called public servants to investigate why this is tolerated.”

Sgt. Major Greg Birch
John’s Sgt. Major on the Hadiytha Dam

“Like so many of us, John Buckley came back from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan a changed man. John was one of the first to parachute into Afghanistan after the attacks of 9/11. In the next few years he saw significant combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan. It is my belief his risk-taking behavior and bad choices can be attributed directly to the PTSD and TBI he suffers from. John Buckley needs treatment, not prison because of a bad choice, a spurned woman, and police officers with an agenda. Not all of us fall this far but John had help with his fall from those who were out to see him punished because of their personal reasons.”

John’s Story

 Learn more about John’s story and the unbelievable series of events that led to him serving a 40 year jail sentence for a crime he didn’t commit.

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Is This Kentucky Justice?

John sits in jail because he dared to defend himself against an aggressive off-duty officer with a history of atrocious behavior. Is this Kentucky Justice?

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How 2 Minutes Can Help Free an Innocent Man

Two minutes of your time can help restore an innocent man’s life. Click here to help free John Buckley from a Kentucky prison.

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Sources of Justice

Prison Legal News is a reliable source of information about judicial cases, prisoners’ rights, court rulings and news concerning criminal justice-related issues, including the politics of incarceration. – prisonlegalnews.org

The Marshall Project is an non-partisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the US criminal justice system, making an impact on the system through journalism, rendering it more fair, effective, transparent and humane. – themarshallproject.org

The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck at Cardozo School of Law, and exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice, highlighting past and current cases. – innocenceproject.org

The Intercept is an award-winning news organization with in-depth investigations and unflinching analysis focus on criminal justice, politics, war, surveillance, corruption, the environment, technology, criminal justice, the media, and more. – theintercept.com

Justice Policy Institute is a national nonprofit organization developing workable solutions to problems plaguing juvenile and criminal justice systems. Our research and analyses identify effective programs and policies and we disseminate our findings to the media, policymakers and advocates, and provide training and technical assistance to people working for justice reform. – justicepolicy.org

Don’t Take My Word For It

Stories Picked by John to Highlight Judicial and Prison Injustice

Privatized Prison Health Care Corruption

The former CEO of the jail’s longtime health care contractor, Correct Care Solutions (CCS), pled guilty in October 2021 to conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud by paying bribes for the jail’s $3.2 million annual health care contract. A lesson in why privatized prison health care is the wrong answer. – prisonlegalnews.org

Getting Rich off of Prisoners and Their Families

On January 6, 2022, Ryan Shapiro, the 44-year-old founder of prison financial services firm JPay, was charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud. The cost of keeping in touch with your family and buying the most basic supplies is all controlled by JPay and Securus, their parent company. – prisonlegalnews.org

The Malice, Incompetence, Unaccountability and Corruption Is Real

Corizon Health’s has faced over 1,000 lawsuits around the country and paid out millions in wrongful death suits. John has spent many years trying to receive adequate—or any—healthcare for his war wounds while in prison and the nearly fatal attack in suffered in 2019 at Green River Correctional Center. – prisonlegalnews.org

Securus: A Prison Cash Cow in KY

As the pandemic shut down visitation across the state, incarcerated people and their loved ones relied on the prison system’s costly phone calls and emails to stay in touch. Records show the KY Dept. of Corrections made at least $3.2 million last year off phone calls that cost the loved ones of inmates up to 25 cents per minute. A KyCIR analysis found that Securus made anywhere from $2.9 million to $6.4 million on phone calls alone. – kycir.org

Living in a Prison Cell Should Not Be a Death Sentence

After years of warnings about broken fire alarms, two men have now died in blazes at Texas prisons. Read John’s latest update above on dangerous prison conditions in his Open Letter to KY Gov. Beshear, DOC Commissioner Crews and KY Atty Gen. Cameron – themarshallproject.org

Prisoner Starving to Death Leads to Lawsuit Settlement

The failure to send Embry to the infirmary was the last in a series of mistakes over several months that cost Embry his life –even while surrounded by jail personnel and medical staffers, according to an internal investigation. This happened at KY State Penitentiary where John is housed. – wdrb.com

Danger, Torture and Murder under Prison Authority

A 2016 investigation by The Marshall Project and NPR found the unit was plagued by frequent assaults, sparked by locking two people in a small cell for nearly 24 hours a day, a practice known as double-celled solitary confinement. When prisoners tried to reject a dangerous cellmate, many said they were locked in painful shackles until they relented. Some have been murdered by their cellmates. – npr.org

Murder by Prison Guards

This happened at KY State Penitentiary, where John is housed, and he was in Solitary (down a few cells from Marcus) at KSP when Marcus was murdered by guards in 2017. He knew it was murder and was being covered up. Now everyone knows. – dailykos.com

This Is Not Mental Health Care. This Is Torture

Prisoners in psyche wards are often moved to Solitary confinement in prisons when their facilities are shut down or overwhelmed. Recently, this has happened at KY State Penitentiary with inmates moved from Kentucky State Reformatory. This is assurance of further harm. – petapixel.com