In Dicta

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Witness: Inmate was "property" of Prison gang

Outrageous. How can this be allowed in our prison system?

"Roderick Johnson, a former inmate at the Allred Unit, a violent prison a few miles from here, belonged to a gang called the Gangster Disciples, but not in the usual sense, the gang's former No. 2 man explained Wednesday in federal court here.

"Was Mr. Johnson considered a member of the Gangster Disciples?" one of Mr. Johnson's lawyers asked the witness, whose name was withheld by the court because his testimony could subject him to retaliation.

"No," said the witness, a soft-spoken, perfectly bald and quite imposing black man in a prison uniform and shackles.

"What was he considered?" asked the lawyer, Jeffrey Monks.

"Property," came the reply.

That meant, the witness continued, that gang members could rape Mr. Johnson at will. They could, he said, also rent him out for sex, and they did, daily. A purchased rape, the witness said, cost $3 to $7. Mr. Johnson says the abuse went on for 18 months.

Mr. Johnson, who was in Allred for probation violations after a burglary conviction, has sued seven prison officials there for violating the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The officials, the suit says, failed to protect him and took sadistic pleasure in his victimization. Mr. Johnson was released in 2003."

Read more at The New York Times.


Post a Comment

<< Home