Write to Pinkney: Lakeland Correctional Facility, Rev. Edward Pinkney # 294671, 141 First St. Coldwater, MI 49036

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Be in Grand Rapids on Wednesday!

Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions & Utility Shutoffs &
Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice !
5920 Second Avenue, Detroit 48202 MECAWI.org Moratorium-Mi.org 313-680-5508

For Immediate Release Contact: David Sole 313-680-5508
Demonstration and Press Conference outside Michigan Court of Appeals - 
Wednesday, August 26, 2015, Noon
Demand bond pending appeal for racist frame-up victim Reverend Edward Pinkney
State Office Building, 305 Ottawa NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

On August 4 the Michigan Court of Appeals denied bond pending appeal to the Rev. Edward Pinkney. Two of the three judge panel ruled against the bond request. The decision was issued as a one sentence response to a motion filed by Tim Holloway, Rev. Pinkney’s attorney, which included a thorough brief spanning 42 pages.

Rev. Pinkney was charged in 2014 with allegedly altering five dates on a recall petition against Benton Harbor’s mayor. A community leader in the overwhelmingly African American city, Pinkney was tried and convicted before a white judge, white prosecutor and all-white jury. He was sentenced to 2.5 to 10 years in prison on December 15, 2014. The jury had been told “you do not need evidence to convict Rev. Pinkney” and the judge said he was “going to make an example” of him.

Rev. Pinkney’s brief showed that he would most probably win his appeal when it is finally heard in the coming months. In addition to Rev. Pinkney’s community service and the non-violent nature of the charges there were blatant constitutional violations of Pinkney’s rights. 

Prosecutor Sepic hammered all witnesses demanding to know who chaired meetings, who spoke at rallies and who was the press spokesperson for the recall campaign. These constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and assembly issues were used to prejudice the jury against Pinkney. Finally the only evidence offered against Rev. Pinkney was the fact that he led the recall campaign and therefore should be presumed to be the guilty party.

Prosecutor Sepic had made only one argument in his answer to the defendant’s exhaustive brief. He argued that the Court of Appeals could not grant bond pending appeal unless the lower court had “abused its discretion in denying bond.”

On August 11 a motion for reconsideration was file to the Court of Appeals. Since no explanation by the Appeals Court accompanied their denial, the motion argued that “a palpable error occurred if the Court of Appeals accepted the prosecution’s argument...” 

Case law was cited that the Appeals Court had its “own independent judgement and the exercise of its own discretion as to whether bond should be granted” and that “the failure to exercise discretion when called on to do so constitutes an abdication and hence an abuse of discretion” by the Court of Appeals.
Supporters of Rev. Pinkney will organize a protest and press conference outside the Michigan Court of Appeals in Grand Rapids at noon on August 26. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Why is Rev. Edward Pinkney in Prison?

Another case of political persecution.

Message from a visitor to Rev. Pinkney

Rev. Pinkney's energy and optimism after eight months behind bars for a crime he did not commit was amazing, but he was also sober about his situation.

Rev. Pinkney wanted to know, have you ever heard of the First Alabama Cavalry or the name Newton Knight? Not likely. It was a story written by Paul Wilcox. The capitalist media have always promoted stories of “former Confederate soldiers” who loyally served the Confederacy, loved General Robert E. Lee, had no issues with slavery, and so on. But there is another story. A hidden history of poor whites' opposition to the Confederacy and to slavery.

Newton Knight was a poor white farmer who fought the Confederacy with all his might. The First Alabama Cavalry was an anti-slavery, pro-Union cavalry mostly white, but also with Blacks, about 2,000 in total, whose members fought the Confederacy and eventually were escorts for Gen. Sherman during his historic march through Georgia in 1864.

The greatest opposition to slavery came from the enslaved themselves, who always had escape in mind, who aided both the Union Army and Confederate deserters, fought for the right to fight the Confederacy, and heroically struggled for their freedom at every turn. There was also significant opposition to the Confederacy from poor whites in every slave state.

Rev. Pinkney's activism and kindness have won him the respect and admiration of many of the poor white prisoners, along with over 95% of the Black prisoners. We must stand together and fight back, Blacks, whites, poor whites, and all others. It is not just one thing, it is everything.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Corruption Rolls On At the Department of Corrections!

For the past two years Lakeland Correctional Facility has been making construction improvements which have been approved by Lansing. Think about this, with all of these improvements that have been going on, the warden's forum constantly gets shut down for anything that would help the prisoners.

We have a very small visiting room, by this administration's estimate, 20-25 seats holding only 40 people for a facility with over 1400 prisoners. The administration states that it would be too costly to expand and quotes us an outrageous figure that the warden knows that Lansing would never approve.

If we do a fundraiser we must give the city of Coldwater, Michigan, 25% of the money.

We are asking for your help to put some real outside pressure on this administration. When this facility opened up, it was designed to hold a little over 700 inmates. Since then the population has doubled in size to over 1,400 prisoners.

New windows and fire alarm systems have been installed to all the housing units on the east side of the facility, costing over $2 million and still counting. Numerous concrete projects have been added to all westside units including eastside recreation entrances (including sidewalks to keep the deputy warden's heels from sinking in the mud).

The deputy's suite is getting construction improvements as well as a private 240 foot concrete walkway for the administration to use. Over $5 million has been spent at Lakeland Correctional Facility and the facility is scheduled to be torn town.

It is difficult to make sense of all these “improvements,” when our family and loved ones come up to see us and are constantly reminded by staff that their visit may be terminated per policy if there is overcrowding. This is very discouraging to our loved ones (who pay taxes and pay their salaries). I am asking for your help to make our concerns heard, spread the word.

We cannot allow the corrupt Department of Corrections to continue to misuse the taxpayers' money. We need the help of the people. The hypocrisy has no limits inside the Department of Corrections.

-Rev. Edward Pinkney