June 23, 2021
To my supporters and all curious people,
It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update but as I’m sure you’re aware, the hostage crisis continues. My new federal appeal lawyer, H. Lewis Sirkin, is fantastic! Recommended to me by my Ranger brother Mac Adams Esq. We are appealing my fallacious conviction to the 4th federal District Court. This case was transferred from the Western District unfortunately because the prosecutor in my case, Todd Bradbury, whom I have alleged Prosecutorial Misconduct against, now resides in that office. He used the publicity from my unjust conviction to get a promotion to Assistant United States Attorney of the Eastern District of Kentucky.
Another interesting development is the discovery that the former legal secretary of my previous lawyer at trial now works for James Havey, the Assistant Attorney General lawyer arguing the state’s case to keep me in prison. Mr. Havey has been the one to respond to each brief I’ve filed at each level of appeal. His secretary is intimately familiar with my case. She was even used in focus groups and mock trials and asked her opinion on my guilt or innocence. When confronted with his conflict of interest, Mr. Havey claims he “just doesn’t use” his “secretary that much.” And that she has been “shielded from the case.” Does this sound kosher to you?
On another positive note (don’t you just love how cheerful these updates are); I wanted to post about the circumstances behind my transfer to Green River Correctional Complex from Northpoint. A tough guy guard called a big crazy inmate standing next to me the “b” word (huge no-no in prison) and the inmate who was 3x his size, beat him unconscious. I was in the unfortunate position of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnessed this all as well as the guard urinating on himself. I’m quite sure that because I witnessed this beating and embarrassment, the guard wrapped me up in the write up. I was compliant, I cuffed up, and I wasn’t involved in any way. Even so, I got emergency transferred to Green River the next day, I spend 2 months in Solitary (the Hole) and I get charged with the most serious write up there is—“Assault on an Officer with Injury”. Regardless, I’m thinking at the time I can beat this write up—there’s camera footage, witnesses, even officer statements that I was just a bystander. But the guard said that it “seemed” I’d instigated the conflict. That is not true, and even though I put not one finger on his body, it was labeled a “physical assault” and the Adjustment Officer took 1460 days –4 flat years—of non-restorable good time away from me. This is the same thing as sentencing me to 4 extra years in prison. The Warden here at Green River (GRCC) refused to reverse the bogus ruling, forcing me to take them and administrators at Northpoint to outside court. I can’t just accept 4 extra years for doing nothing at all. (You can see a copy of the lawsuit on the website.)
Two days after the lawsuit was served at this prison (Green River), I was back in thrown back in solitary after receiving 4 charges; they claimed that an anonymous note was sent to them saying I was going to assault a staff member, they claimed that something “resembling a weapon” was found in the proximity of my and my cellie’s cell (meaning somewhere in the vicinity), they took all my belongings—everything—out of my cell saying that I hadn’t bought my own things (I have receipts) and that since I marked some of my clothes with my name that they were now considered contraband and would not be returned. They also took all of my music and art supplies including my guitar and finished art pieces. They said since I had was 3 days late getting another “art card” that that justified taking everything. I think you guys know that creating art and music is really my PTSD therapy and helps me keep calm and focused on not getting tied up with the madness and noise in prison. What they took amounts to about 3000.00 and now I have to once again try to replace what I’ve lost which of course has to be bought from the prison. Everything I owned was taken, I was not allowed to see a copy of the note, nor would they show me a picture of the item “resembling a weapon”. Behind these walls, prisoners lose all rights to be able to defend themselves. But this particular accusation allowed them to put a staff conflict on me so I couldn’t return to the yard. This is an old dirty prison ploy and I even kind of expected something like this to happen as a result of my lawsuit—the threat of transferring me to yet another prison outside the jurisdiction so it cripples my ability to litigate. In all the years I’ve been in prison, I’ve never harmed or even threatened to harm a staff member. In the 2 years I’ve spent at Green River (this is my 2nd time here) I’ve never had an act of violence. Do you know how hard that is to do in prison? To me it’s an accomplishment considering all the insane violence around me.
With my appeal, the story being written by an award-winning journalist and my precious daughter coming back into my life, I effectively disappeared from the yard. All I did was play music, crochet, paint (you can see my art on the website) and work on my relationship with my daughter L. Since my last guitar was smashed in the attack I survived in 2019 (https://www.justiceforjohnbuckley.com/october-2019-update/) , I had since replaced it. Out of nostalgia, I painted the same mural on the back of the new guitar. One of the images is of a girl with a 3rd Ranger Battalion scroll and a Purple Heart medal tattooed on her. (I received a Purple Heart for my time in combat) I was written up and my guitar seized because the Warden himself clamed that the Purple Heart on my guitar is gang paraphernalia! When I went to the Adjustment Committee on this charge, the Adjustment officer was as disgusted with the write-up as I was and he lowered the charge to “altered property” which carries a fine of $100. A week later Warden Mazza brought the charge back up to the original and that was that. Being part of a gang and/or displaying gang symbols is a very serious charge in prison. So all I can say is what I feel—the Veteran-hating in Kentucky continues. Even getting wounded and being honored for my country has been perverted into something bad. This is disgusting and shameful!
The rape of my property this time (yes, it’s happened before) was especially grievous. They took my guitar and my guitar case. They took ALL my arts & crafts; all my paints, brushed, colored pencils, markers, wood, canvasses, yarn, even my Bristol Drawing paper board. Some of these things I’ve spent years collecting. It’s a sizable investment just in materials. The also took ALL my clothes—underwear included–my robe, my shower shoes, shampoo, soap. And to my utter dismay, they took my red Watch which is one of my most prized possessions. It’s been with me longer than any other thing I’ve owned in prison and I am very sentimental about it. They took so much more, but suffice it to say, it’s about $3000 of property—basically everything I own in the world. They stole it from me.
Being an inmate, having no recourse and having no voice is unimaginably frustrating. It makes no sense. Allegedly, I’m this ‘big scary Ranger—hell, I’m even a gang member now. This is the image they have “painted” of me and this is the story they want to follow me from prison to prison and Warden to Warden. You’d think that with my background, the amount of time I’ve been given, and my injuries that they would support my artistic endeavors. They keep me out of trouble, away from the riffraff and keep my mind occupied. But no! They take everything I own including my therapeutic materials and throw me in the Hole, going on 5 weeks today—the original punishment was 3 weeks. The United Nations has condemned the US’s practice of long-term isolation and classified it as torture, which it is. Again, remember this all happened 2 days after my lawsuit was served….
My hope is that you will notice the theme. The Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Criminal Justice System likes people quiet, compliant and submissive. If you speak up, if you step outside the box they want you to be in, they will try to crush you. My child’s mother commented that it reminded her of her home country Venezuela. Before coming to prison, that would have caused an argument, with me being an avid Patriot who risked my life for our “system” and all, however these days I sadly nod my head in agreement. I used to not believe this…but now I have seen the world that the lower socio-economic classes have had to suffer, polarized and voiceless. I know there are many outside these walls that will quip, “Well if you don’t like it then don’t commit crimes that send you to prison.” I wish that was the world I still lived in, blissfully ignorant to the realities of our “freedom”. Where everyone that was incarcerated was guilty and the police were there to protect me. I have learned to call that blissful ignorance “being in the Matrix”. Once you unplug from that, the world is a pretty terrifying place as many of us have begun to realize through the release of body cam footage and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
While corrupt police officers are being held accountable in places like Missouri, here in Kentucky unarmed innocent women are allowed to be murdered in their own homes (Breonna Taylor) without warning and with still no justice for her death. The Qualified Immunity Law that covers police officers and government officials must be thrown out. This law makes it very difficult to hold them accountable and especially in civil court.
So here I sit, another day of torture endured during the hostage crisis. I haven’t spoken to another human being for several days. I am a former Army Ranger, multiple tour Combat Veteran to both theatres of war, a Purple Heart recipient and a Valor Award winner. I’ve been to college and owned property. To this day, I have financially supported my 3 children even from prison. Yet 3 days home from yet another combat stint on behalf of my country my path was crossed by a Detective showing off to his girlfriend. (please see my Story on the website: www.justiceforjohnbuckley.com) I protected my family as I’m trained to do and as anyone else should do. I put him down on the ground and the rest is history. The guy with the badge decides to ruin my life and used all of the perverted underhanded abuses of his power at his disposal, the way dirty cops do. My service didn’t matter nor did my accomplishments. My “White Privilege” didn’t matter. I didn’t even have to commit a crime, I just ran afoul of one coward with a badge and his mission became ending my life as I knew it. The prosecution at trial used all my US military training, my service and accomplishments into tools against me to make sure I do a Natural Life Sentence in prison–If I serve out my sentence, I will die in prison.
The Commonwealth has doubled down on their anti-Veteran sentiments by declaring my Purple Heart gang paraphernalia! I don’t have ANY gang tattoos which seem to be mandatory if you’re in a gang in prison. Furthermore, the only white gangs in prison are White Supremacist gangs—my baby girl, the Light of my Light is NOT white. I would die before I would disrespect or dishonor here or her mother.
I am being transferred to yet another prison. And I must start over from scratch YET AGAIN!! My God bless the 3rd Ranger Battalion for giving me such a strong spine or I would have been broken long ago. My health is not great, but that won’t change inside these walls. (update: John was transferred to Kentucky State Prison in Eddyville, KY, the states only MAX prison which has been partly condemned and is probably the worst of any of John’s prison experiences. More on this in the next update)
I’ve mentioned my little girl L. For the 2nd time in my life she has saved me. The 1st time was when she was about y months old. I had kept myself emotionally distant from both her and her siblings. I was more damaged by the war than I realized and I was just going through the motions. I was there for everything and I paid for everything, but my heart was broken. I was changing her diaper one day and as I bent down to pick her up she looked me right in the eyes and gave me this look of unfathomable wisdom, mischief and humor and then she put her tiny little brown hands on my cheeks—that was it! I fell deeply in love and my daughters have had me wrapped around their fingers ever since. It has been torture to be in prison away from my girls, the worst period in my life. I’ve spent all these past years in behind bars trying to divorce myself from love, from all feeling, from pain. I thought I’d finally turned myself into a robot, sufficiently numb to handle my losses. I thought I had become pretty tough, but one minute on the phone with that little girl and she had me all wrapped up again. I’m not tough, not even a little bit when it comes to her. I tell her that she has some kind of magic! So as it turns out, I can still love, I can still feel joy. And all my desires have changed because I want to make up for every moment I’ve missed with my girls. Nothing else really matters!
Many thanks to my Aunt Carol for being such a fervent Champion for me. She fights for justice like no one I’ve ever seen. I am very grateful.
You all know where I’m at, you can get my address from my Aunt by requesting via email on the website. There is also email thru JPay.com that you have to sign up for. Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from anybody. I realize I’ve gone on a little of a Ranger rant here and most people don’t have the patience to listen to that, so I do apologize! But it is what it is
Respectfully until next time,
John 1V—-RLTW! (Rangers Lead the Way)
P.S. There’s a show on PBS called “Philly DA”. Watching that show is the only time I’ve had any hope for reform of our Justice System since this nightmare began. It is worth the watch!