Imaging the other side of the wire

“In my everyday life, I’m outside the wire. But I wonder how small a shift in the political wind would be required to change that.”


I’ve reached a new place in my photographic learning. Shots that I was really happy with just a few months ago now seem a bit meh. Sometimes I need to re-shoot. Sometimes, I just want to play with the images in editing tools.

Yesterday I posted a double-exposure image composed of two photos I took at the same time and place.

IMG_1307 Early morning on the Waitemata Harbour at Hobsonville Boat Club. Su Leslie 2018

IMG_1306 Razor-wire fence and seagull in flight. Su Leslie 2018

I quite like both shots, but there is something about that razor-wire fence that disturbs me every time I see it. Behind the fence is a yacht club. Members store little boats in the club compound, so I guess the fence is to keep their property safe.

I can’t help thinking though, of the millions of people around the world who are currently held behind razor…

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One would think. But one would be wrong.

Nearly half of the people executed nationwide between 2000 an 2015 had been diagnosed with a mental illness and/or substance use disorder.

A ‘hellish world’: the mental health crisis overwhelming America’s prisons

For years now, [Kristopher] Rodriguez has been stuck in this sad limbo: according to the state, he is well enough to stay incarcerated, but far too sick to live in the general prison population or even to get regular visits from his mother.

Lawyers who have examined his case say his story is typical. Florida’s prisons have been the subject of repeated investigations for their treatment of prisoners with mental illness; so have jails and prisons in other states, including California, Illinois and Alabama.

Source: A ‘hellish world’: the mental health crisis in America’s prisons | Society | The Guardian

Offender Picture

The March 31, 2018 Guardian UK article about endangered mentally ill Florida inmate Kristopher Rodriguez (above) is NOT the Guardian’s first article about him.

One would think that this international attention would serve to protect Kris. And one would be wrong.

Posted to Stop Prison Abuse Now (SPAN) on Facebook by Amy McClellan yesterday at 5:46 p.m.:

Can you help out a very worried mom?

We’re asking your help for Kristopher Rodriguez, now imprisoned in Close Custody (a form of solitary) at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution near Pensacola, Florida.

A sample letter to Warden Walker at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution is attached for your use.

You might remember that Kris is a formerly high-achieving youth who experienced the onset of schizophrenia in his teens, decompensated and committed a crime that has left him in jail over the past nine-and-a-half years.

During that time, his treatment has been such that he has lost over 40 pounds, been often out of touch with reality—at one point not even recognizing his mother, Gemma Pena—sometimes engaged in serious self-harm, and never made any progress toward being able to care for himself after his release, now scheduled for December.

Earlier this year, his medications were drastically reduced following a visit during which Gemma complained because he’d been led to the visit in ankle shackles without socks on, leaving him bleeding. Not long after, he was accused of assaulting a guard and transferred to Santa Rosa.

Right now, Gemma knows basically nothing of his condition, but has been told that the prison seeks to have Kris sign a form denying her medical information, despite her being his legal guardian.

Please take a moment to write to Warden Walker at Santa Rosa C.I. since no one is answering the phone or email.

You can also try these numbers: The medical director is Ms. Kady Hall (850-981-5060) and Kristopher’s Classification Officer is Mr. Caldwell (850-981-5161). The main number is (850) 981-5199, FAX: (850) 983-5907.

Thanks very much for your commitment to human rights.

The first of two documents that were attached to Ms. McClellan’s SPAN Facebook post plea for assistance, Gemma Penna’s letter of May 10 to Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones:

May 10, 2018

Florida Department of Corrections

Director Julie Jones

                                                                                  Re: Kristopher Rodriguez DC# C07499

Dear director my name is Gemma Pena, I am the mother of inmate Kristopher Rodriguez DC# C07499.

This is to advise you that I am not only the mother but the person that has full legal rights by the Power of Attorney of his medical and mental records, I have repeatly requested medical records since April 13, 2018, at no avail as of this date of this letter none records of been sent to me nor have I been billed for these copies, no free copies have been offered, I have discussed this on the phone conversations I have had.

I have been told by the FDOC, that my son has been taken off his normally prescribed medications, oddly by some unknown doctor which the institution refuses to give the name. Secondly I have been informed by a Dr. Catherine cook that my son was taken off his psychotropic medication. He is on new medication suddenly after taking this medication my son had episode and injured an officer.

Upon further investigation and up to date everyone is refusing to tell me if he is alive or dead or if he is in a hospital or if he is in ICU dying. I have pleaded with these peoples to find out how my son is and have been denied. GOD PLEASE LET ME SPEAK TO MY SON PLEASE WHOEVER GETS THIS LETTER TRY TO TALK TO MY SON SINCE I CANNOT TALK TO HIM, I FEAR FOR MY SON I KNOW WHEN A GUARD IS HURT WHAT HAPPENS TO THE INMATE.

I want to know why this doctor changed the medication into what it was and they are refusing this information to me even with my medical power of attorney.

Also once they decided to change this medication why was my son not placed in observation to see how he would react. Please any one that can help me. A desperate mother’s plea for the life of her son.

Thank you for your time.


Gemma Pena

The second document attached to Ms. McClellan’s SPAN Facepost post can be signed, copied, pasted and sent to Warden Clemmons at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution:

June 12, 2018

Warden Walker Clemmons
Santa Rosa Correctional Institution
5850 East Milton Road
Milton, FL 32583-7914

Dear Warden Clemmons,

I am concerned for the wellbeing of Kristopher Rodriguez (C07499) who is an inmate at Santa Rose C.I. Kristopher was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teenager and has experienced several psychotic breaks while serving his sentence in the state prison system.

Earlier this year while he was at Lake C.I., prescribed psychiatric medications that had been helping him were discontinued and his mental health deteriorated. His mother, Gemma Pena, is now seeking information about the medical condition of her son. She is not being given any information and has not been allowed to visit him, although she is Kristopher’s legal guardian because of his severe mental illness.

I am writing to ask you to please allow his mother to visit him and to ensure that he receives appropriate physical and mental health care.



My printer only works in months with both a Blue Moon and a Friday the 13th, so I’ll simply be sharing this blog post in the most insistent ways I can think of. Kris is due to be released in December, please join in as best you can and help make sure that neither he nor his mother are put through continual hell until then. Thank you.

For those who Tweet, the following handles may come in handy when sharing this post:

  • Florida Governor Rick Scott – @FLGovScott
  • Florida Department of Corrections – @FL_Corrections
  • Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones – @FDCJulieJones
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation – @FBI (failure to keep Kris from harm is a federal crime)
  • Department of Justice – @TheJusticeDept (ditto re federal crime)
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Who lives, who dies, who tells your story – #MonteAdams

Saying Goodbye to Monte Adams, the Photographer Who Documented S.A.’s Blues Scene | The Daily

Monte Adams (right) poses for a photo with legendary blues guitarist Gatemouth Brown. - VIA GEORGE BRISCOE'S FACEBOOK PAGE

Via George Briscoe’s Facebook page ~ Monte Adams (right) poses for a photo with legendary blues guitarist Gatemouth Brown.

Monte Adams, known for capturing San Antonio’s blues scene in stark black-and-white photographs, has died at age 51, friends say.

Adams was found in his home Monday, according to a Facebook post by horn player George Brisco, who added that he didn’t know the cause. As of press time, the Current was unable to confirm Adams’ death with the San Antonio Coroner’s Office. 

Source: Saying Goodbye to Monte Adams, the Photographer Who Documented S.A.’s Blues Scene | The Daily


Google Alerts provide me with news about framed innocents and their anything-but-innocent framers, but often aren’t on target – the San Antonio, TX 51-year-old photographer Monte Adams (above) who died too young isn’t the Brevard County, FL 55-year-old maliciously convicted Monte Adams (below) I’m tracking who is in increasing danger of dying too young … Florida prisons are notoriously deadly, and bound to be even more so soon, with the new budget cuts.

The Monte Adams I’m tracking has been in prison for murder since 1983 – 35 years.

Monte was not in possession of stolen property from the crime scene; his friend Johnny Galvin was. Monte did not exhibit any unusual spending after the crime; Johnny Galvin did. The chief witness against Monte was – in typical Brevard County fashion – Johnny Galvin, who may well have been a match to the the fingerprints that were never “run” after they inconveniently failed to implicate Monte.

Monte has been denied parole because Florida claims his mother had once stated that she was afraid of him. That’s not the truth. No one in public employ will help Threna Adams get this supposed misunderstanding cleared up, which means it isn’t really a misunderstanding … it’s just another reprehensible ploy, like refusing to run inconvenient crime scene fingerprints.

Monte is at Cross Correctional Institution. I pulled up the summary of the most recent suicide there. It was so ridiculously redacted that it was impossible to tell how David Shaw accomplished his exit. He was 44.

I’ve been writing about framed individuals on this WordPress blog since 2010. It’s my second blog; I wrote about Monte on the first one, too. I’ve lost touch with Threna and Farley Adams after meeting with them a few times years ago. They’re law-abiding, God-fearing, church going citizens who’ve worked hard their whole lives and deserved to have their tax dollars pay for a FAIR trial for their son. The “public servants” who’ve denied them this reasonable and just fruit of their labors ought just drop dead and go straight to hell, so real public servants can run the prints and set Monte free.

Monte Adams

Crime scene fingerprints did NOT match Brevard County, FL’s lesser known Monte Adams, so they were never run, being so very inconvenient to securing his 1983 conviction.

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Don’t let #KristopherRodriguez become #LoveFL’s next #DeadInmate, @FLGovScott

Florida prisons are on track to be deadlier than 2017, the deadliest year on record | Miami Herald

Timothy Thomas

Timothy Thomas

All anyone really knows is inmate Timothy Thomas was very much alive on March 30 when he told an officer he didn’t want to go to breakfast — an act of defiance that would ultimately get him transferred to the confinement wing at Reception and Medical Center (RMC), a state prison in Lake Butler. What happened after that is a mystery, until April 2, when Thomas left confinement in a body bag, dead at age 43.

Source: Florida prisons are on track to be deadlier than 2017, the deadliest year on record | Miami Herald


Kristopher Rodriguez

Kristopher Rodriguez

Kristopher Rodriguez is scheduled to be released on December 20th, less than seven months from today. That he’s managed to survive neglect and abuse in Florida prisons for five years – despite his severe mental illness – is no guarantee that he’ll make it out alive.

As matters stand, in fact, the odds are against him.

Once again, Florida Department of Corrections have cut off Kris’ mother’s visits.

Gemma is frantic; she knows what this means, she’s been through it before. And I’ve written about it before, more graphically than I can bear  to do again tonight. There may be more injuries that they don’t want her to see, another dangerous drop in Kris’ weight and/or a return to a non-verbal state from improper or withheld psychiatric medications.

The Florida Department of Corrections prison population is falling, but the death toll is rising, as their chart below indicates.

Using an asterisk after Natural, the chart indicates that is that there’s reason to doubt that all the deaths described as natural actually were. There should be another asterisk after Accident, and yet another after Suicide. This is substantiated by investigative reporting not only by the Miami Herald, but nationally by the New Yorker, and internationally by the Guardian, etc.

Unnatural, often-violent deaths in lockups are happening nationwide, but Florida may well be in the lead in turning short sentences into death sentences.

Our prisons are underfunded, and one of the reasons is Governor Rick Scott’s expensive destruction of former Governor Charlie Crist’s automated Felon Rights Restoration process. The Tampa Bay Times recently wrote how much this has cost in administrative fees to keep people on the books who have already completed all the terms of their sentences … about $385M per year. That money should have been used to raise the wages of corrections personnel so that each facility could retain the best and brightest professionals, instead of becoming magnets for misfits and thugs. That money should have brought each facility up to code, and made them comfortable – in summer and winter alike – for personnel and for inmates.

Rick Scott could stop the hemorrhaging of funds tomorrow by reinstating Crist’s policy, but Scott is intent on keeping black and brown people away from the polls forever, because they may vote for Democrats.

It isn’t Jim Crow racism, because it wasn’t there when Scott took office. It’s New Jim Crow.

Misfits and thugs will keep the death toll rising, and I’ve written about as many unnatural inmate deaths on this blog as I can handle. My writing about Kris won’t get him home alive on December 20th, unless his story is shared. It isn’t just Democracy that dies behind closed doors, so do mentally and physically ill young inmates serving short sentences, and innocents serving other people’s time, anywhere where someone like Rick Scott is in charge.





Cause of Death 2013-2018

The table below reflects the number of inmate deaths from 2013 to 2018 by manner. A “pending” status indicates that the Department has not received the conclusions by the Medical Examiner or the death is under investigation by the Office of Inspector General or partner law enforcement agency.

Year Natural* Accident Homicide Suicide Pending Total Inmate Population on June 30th
2013 281 8 8 7 1 305 100,884
2014 309 7 12 10 8 346 100,942
2015 295 9 11 16 23 354 100,050
2016 290 11 6 11 38 356 99,119
2017 223 32 4 12 157 428 97,794
2018 30 1 1 144 176

*Also includes cases listed as Undetermined by the Medical Examiner

The links below provide information on inmate deaths by name, date, manner of death and investigative status by each facility and by each year, including most up-to-date in the current year.

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May 15th State Primaries: Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon & Pennsylvania –

Heads up! Four states are holding their Primary Election today: Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. According to The 2018 Progressive Candidates — a Nationwide List, it’s the “big day” for the following progressive candidates:

Source: May 15th State Primaries: Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon & Pennsylvania –


If you’re tired of crazy, don’t be lazy;
Get up, get dressed, go vote …

Ohio didn’t do that, so they won’t benefit from what this experienced, dedicated dynamo could have done for them. Primaries matter!!


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Sacramento RALLY & COURT SOLIDARITY to End Sleep Deprivation in CA Solitary Confinement — FRIDAY, MAY 18

“Please RALLY at 9am on May 18 in support of Jorge Rico’s case against the “security/welfare checks” and in public outrage against the jarring noise and sleep deprivation they cause. At 10am, after the rally, help form a STRONG COURTROOM PRESENCE at the hearing in his case. Show solidarity with Jorge Rico while his attorneys argue that his case should not be dismissed at CDCR’s request.”

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

Jorge Rico is incarcerated in Pelican Bay State Prison and has brought a civil rights lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the loud “security/welfare checks” that he (and others) in Pelican Bay’s solitary units endure every 30-60 minutes. These so-called “checks”- done by guards – cause serious sleep deprivation and other harms and, as his lawsuit claims, constitute cruel and unusual punishment. (The guards do no checking on top of that). Sleep deprivation is internationally recognized as torture.

Please RALLY at 9am on May 18 in support of Jorge Rico’s case against the “security/welfare checks” and in public outrage against the jarring noise and sleep deprivation they cause. At 10am, after the rally, help form a STRONG COURTROOM PRESENCE at the hearing in his case.  Show solidarity with Jorge Rico while his attorneys argue that his case should not be dismissed at CDCR’s request.

The CA Department of Corrections and…

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Don’t vote for Jeff Ashton. #MaliciousProsecution

Circuit judge races are set in Central Florida — here’s a look at the candidates – Orlando Sentinel

“I think the biggest thing about me is… voters sort of know what they’re getting. My career has been very public and people kind of know what I stand for, and I think that’s kind of rare in a judicial race,” said [former prosecutor/state attorney Jeff] Ashton, perhaps best known as a prosecutor in the ultra-high-profile 2011 murder trial of Casey Anthony.

Source: Circuit judge races are set in Central Florida — here’s a look at the candidates – Orlando Sentinel

The Orlando Sentinel continues to let Jeff Ashton lie. And for that reason, voters have no idea that he is corrupt as can be.

Voters shouldn’t have to turn to bloggers for hard news about candidates for public office. But where newspapers like the Orlando Sentinel control the public conversation, they really, really must. So, after you’ve searched Jeff Ashton’s name on my blog, Go ask Alice about him. Ms de Sturler is updating her book about William “Tommy” Zeigler’s frame-up; information about Ashton’s dirty tricks should be fresh on her mind.

Before you leave my blog, please read what David Burgin, former Editor-in-Chief of the Orlando Sentinel has to say about its reporting, here. And please know that letting Ashton and others who framed Tommy pretend to be good guys is just one sick and sorry example of the Orlando Sentinel‘s work product … four of their reporters claimed that John Dobbs murdered a black man in a racially motivated crime at a night club. John Dobbs was the black man involved in the altercation – several non-blacks attacked him and his girlfriend at his vehicle as they were leaving the club. The Orlando Sentinel has written countless times in this century about frame-ups in neighboring Brevard County involving federally discredited (1982) dog handler John Preston, never once writing that Preston had been used on their turf, too, and that it resulted in schizophrenic Linroy Bottoson’s execution in 2002, or mentioning Jeff Ashton’s ugly participation in Gary Bennett’s Preston-tainted case, transferred under incurable taint from Brevard. While prosecuting/persecuting, Ashton accepted correspondence from Gary’s original Brevard prosecutor, John Dean Moxley, who became a Brevard judge because Florida Today‘s reporting is just as dastardly as the Orlando Sentinel‘s. Defying Moxley’s ostensibly intact theory-of-the-crime, Ashton accused Gary of being a homosexual, just as he’d falsely accused Tommy.

One more thing about Ashton and the Orlando Sentinel. I knew that Casey Anthony’s “scent evidence” expert, FIU’s Kenneth Furton, had testified on behalf of another DNA-discredited dog handler, Keith Pikett. Jeff Ashton could have impeached and discredited Furton and secured Casey Anthony’s conviction, if he’d been willing to bring up the subject of discredited dog handlers. Being unwilling wasn’t in Ashton’s job description, but he knows that feds won’t blow his cover. The FBI used both John Preston and Keith Pikett, and a number of other DNA-discredited dog handlers. And the American Bar Association and Florida Bar Association will keep quiet, too. So will the Department of Justice. I find it unbelievable that the Orlando Sentinel knows less about public corruption in our courts than I do. You should, too. 

Eunice and Tommy Zeigler on their wedding day

Tommy Zeigler and his beloved wife, Eunice.

Posted in #ColorOfLaw, #MaliciousProsecution, #MendaciousMainstreamMedia, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments