Wednesday, April 9, 2008

15th Anniversary of the Lucasville Prison Uprising


What actually happened at the Lucasville Prison rebellion 15 years ago?
Who really killed Officer Vallandingham?
What was the aftermath?
What happened to the prisoners who brought about the negotiated settlement?
Why are there five men on death row and 25 others with sentences up to life in prison? Whose notion of justice is being served here?

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio opposes capital punishment under all circumstances because it violates the Constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. It is administered arbitrarily and unfairly and fails to deter crime or improve public safety.

More often than not, the quality of a defendant's legal representation determines whether or not he or she will be sentenced to death. Many currently sitting and waiting on death row could not afford a qualified attorney.

Another determining factor is whether or not a prosecutor on a case decides to pursue capital sentencing. Unfortunately, the race of the victim often determines whether or not the prosecutor will do so.

In September 2007, the United States Supreme Court heard Baze v. Rees, a case challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection procedures used in Kentucky. As a consequence there have been no executions since the end of September and there will almost surely not be any until after the court decides the case.

Attorney and activist Staughton Lynd, a resident of Youngstown Ohio, (may be seen in an interview on Democracy Now by clicking on his name) wrote a book called Lucasville: The Untold Story of Prison Uprising,which is an investigation into the events surrounding the 1993 prison uprising at Southern Ohio Correctional facility. In the book he raised serious concerns about the integrity of the legal proceedings subsequent to the event. Excerpts may be read at Prisoner Solidarity.

The 15th anniversary of the Lucasville Prison Uprising is just a few days away, April 11 - April 21. A staged reading of "Lucasville: the Untold Story of a Prison Uprising" will be held on April 11, 12th at 8:00 and the 13th at 5:00 PM in the Spotlight Theater, Bliss Hall, Youngstown State University. The reading is directed by Brandon Martin. The reading is based on the book by Staughton Lynd. Cost is $5.00 ($3.00 for students/no one turned away). A donation will be made to CURE-Ohio. For more information contact Susie Beiersdorfer at (330) 881-1050 or

Your signature on the I Dream a World...End the Death Penalty Petition would also be greatly appreciated. I also urge you to contact Govenor Strickland to halt executions. Thank you.

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