Hello everyone! This is John’s Aunt Carol bringing you up to date on the lawsuit John has filed “pro se” (“written for oneself on one’s behalf”), something many inmates do to make sure their legal complaints become part of a court record and don’t just fall down a deep dark hole somewhere.
Many times this precedes an inmate finding representation for a Civil Rights suit and in this case, that certainly is going to happen. We have a very well-known Civil Rights lawyer working with us, I won’t mention his name at this time, and working in tandem with John’s federal appeals attorney. Both of these men are blessings to us and I am actually hopeful about what could transpire. If you see John’s latest update (https://www.justiceforjohnbuckley.com/johns-update-9-2023-visitors-at-the-prison/) on his website, you will learn of a visit to KY State Penitentiary by Kentucky Protection and Advocacy (http://www.kypa.net/home.html) This was after me reaching out to almost every justice organization (including KY P & A), media outlet, Commissioner Crews of KY DOC and KY Gov. Beshear. I am so grateful to KY P & A for making this surprise visit—they knew an announced visit would limit their access and give a “heads up” to try to cover up problems and prepare to shut down inmate interviews. I will come back to this.
Most of you know that John wrote an Open Letter addressed to KY leaders about the horrid and abusive conditions at KY State Penitentiary that was published as a one page ad in the Louisville Courier Journal over a year ago. This was done after 2 years of doing everything in our power to make known what was going on at KSP and the subsequent disregard of our concerns and the intentional “looking away” of the KY DOC, the KY Governor and other state leaders https://www.justiceforjohnbuckley.com/johns-open-letter-to-ky-gov-beshear-ky-doc-commissioner-crews-and-ky-atty-general-cameron/. So this Open Letter angered KSP so much that they began severe and outrageous retaliation on “whistle blower” John Calvin which included bogus charges placed on John adding on 10 more years to his already outrageous sentence and still being in Solitary confinement since December 2022. These charges were fought by John with proof that they weren’t legal and he was convicted (in prison) anyway. This is what happens. Inside prison walls, those in charge, including guards and wardens, can do anything they want with impunity. Families can’t do anything or be involved in any way with Prison Administration. After the last 7 years of being closely involved with John’s case and his prison life, I have learned that there is far more evil and in our “justice and incarceration” system than I ever thought possible.
Getting back to KY Protection and Advocacy’s visit, please take a moment and read about the visit here in John’s update: https://www.justiceforjohnbuckley.com/johns-update-9-2023-visitors-at-the-prison/ His words are much better than my own and I am always amazed by his ability to focus his mind and direct his thoughts to action in such a horror of a place.
So having read that update and now know what happened, the KY P & A asked to have John’s attorney call them which he did this past week. And boy, did he get an earful! I know it might be easy to dismiss an inmate’s claims—and John has made plenty over the past few years, and rightly so…—but this conversation was a direct corroboration of EVERYTHING John said (and more!) and written about this prison. Here is what John’s lawyer told me after his conversation with the Director of P & A: “We talked for quite a while. He (the director) confirms that KSP (KY State Pen) is the worst place he’s seen and in particular where John is housed (in the Hole) is absolutely horrible. He said they followed up on their original inspection and the suggestions they had given the prison in order to come into some kind of compliance, and that they had only done a few things that were mostly cosmetic. He’s going to be talking to the litigation department of his office and will be following back up with all of us (our attorneys and myself). So I wanted you to know that John’s not kidding (of course I knew that and I hope you did too!) and the place is REALLY bad!”
So now getting to John’s lawsuit that he filed about 6 weeks ago, the KY DOC filed a Motion to Dismiss as expected, because that’s ALWAYS what happens. John, who I think has become a pretty darn good lawyer in prison, described their Motion to Dismiss as very weak and that in it, the lawyer included ANOTHER illegal policy to support his brief which John took great joy in pointing out to the court in his response to their Motion. Now the back and forth begins…. Anyway, for your reading pleasure, here is the link to John Calvin’s lawsuit. It’s lengthy but very interesting and also very shocking based on the actions against him behind the prison walls. It’s my hope that more people become knowledgeable about what actually happens inside the prison walls, how inmates concerns are dismissed like a fly being batted away and how protecting this group of people is part of our corporate responsibility to our fellow humans, some of them actually innocent like John, and some receiving the harshest of sentences for the least of crimes.
Thank you for your interest, thank you for keeping John in your thoughts and prayers. If you would like to go one step further and give towards his legal fees and professional help in finding new evidence in his case that we can use to overturn his sentence, you can give here: https://www.justiceforjohnbuckley.com/the-fundraiser/