We will do our part as ex-felons to see they have a better chance than we did when we were thrown to the wolves.
We are all very aware of the plight of prisoners who have served long prison terms and are released back into society.
In Ohio, a prisoner is released with $75.00. Just about enough to buy a gun. Contrary to misinformation widely believed by the general public, prisoner pay for work in prison amounts to little more than slave labor. In fact, prisoners are legally considered "slaves of the State." In Ohio prisoners receive between $3.00 and $26.00 per month for prison jobs.
From that they must purchase everything they need for hygiene; writing materials; envelopes;; photocopies of legal filings required by the courts;; pay postage for legal and family communications; buy Aspirin, Zantec, Vitamins, Eye Drops, antihistamines and other medically necessary products no longer supplied by private contracted medical providers, and even a bag of Folgers, if they want a cup of coffee. They must prepay for telephone calls in many instances, because their family or friends cannot afford the high cost of collect phone calls private phone company providers charge.
When released, because their long imprisonment has alienated them from most or all family and friends, they step out of the prison gate not knowing whether to turn left or right at the road. They have no money to survive, to find a place to lay their head that night.
Article III will establish a fund from excess donations that gives as many of these long-term releases as we can, enough vouchers for housing, food and clothing to give them a reasonable chance to find employment. We will work with employers to pay for training in jobs that pay a living wage. We will do these things over and above the government programs in place.
Treasurer: Cris Myers
Deputy Sheriff 20 years.
Cris Myers, our Treasurer, was in law enforcement for 20 years. He ran twice for the Office of County Sheriff.
During one of his runs for the Office of Sheriff in 2000, Cris found himself in jail after a domestic dispute and was charged with attempted murder, felonious assault, and aggravated burglary. Found guilty, he spent the next 14 years of his life fighting a 20 year sentence.
While incarcerated Cris obtained both his Paralegal Certificate and Pastoral license. With 20 years of law enforcement, Cris had developed many preconceived notions of how the judicial system worked and what went on in prisons. Those preconceived notions quickly fell by the wayside when faced with the reality of our failed judicial and corrections system.
Cris now has a new perception of these failed governmental policies, one he wishes he had had prior to his incarceration. There is another side of law enforcement that no one tells you about. Older societies, especially in Sweden and Europe, are finding better solutions to the same problems Cris saw while imprisoned. This society should be working towards those same goals.
Cris is now pushing forward to help those, who find themselves as cast-a-ways from a failed system and ostracized from society.
Today, Cris is recently married to his wife Bonnie, and enjoys work as a Pastor.
Director: Gregory A. Cohen
Areas of expertise:
Former Criminal Defense
Attorney. 21 years of
experience in criminal law.
Greg Cohen, our Director, was an attorney for 21 years.
He worked in the Restaurant and Hotel industry for 10 years.
In 2014 Greg was suspended indefinitely from of the practice of law with a hard suspension of two years for attempting to save a man from a life sentence for a crime of which he was innocent. Police were searching for a man 5’5” and the client was 6’3”. The evening following the burial of Greg’s father, in a moment of weakness, Greg crossed over from being a criminal lawyer to being a criminal. Some people think that is not a long trip.
Although Greg had thought he understood what his clients were going through, Greg now has his own personal experiences to draw upon. The things Greg had seen wrong with the law had been expressed by a jailhouse lawyer, Jim Love, to Greg’s partner, William R. Gallagher of Cincinnati. When Greg read of Mr. Love’s desire to found Article III, and the purposes behind the organization, he volunteered to be its Director.
Greg says that although he is presently prevented from practicing law, Article III provides him a vehicle in which to continue to seek and improve justice in this nation. He is determined to do everything he can to stop the cycle of the abuse of the judicial system stemming from the police, prosecutorial and judicial misconduct he observed during his 21 years as a criminal defense attorney.
LONG TERM GOALS
It makes perfect sense to prohibit someone who has been convicted of robbing banks from working in a bank, or to prohibit someone who has been convicted of a sex offense from working in child care. But it makes no sense to prohibit those persons from selling used cars, or seeking a career in real estate. A convicted drug dealer should not be permitted to work as a pharmacist. But to prohibit a convicted burglar from obtaining a license as a barber is ridiculous, especially when he was trained as a barber while he was in prison.
The affect of this politically popular practice ripples through the economy. If you assume, and I believe rightfully, that only one other person is affected by the ex-felons' disability-generated poverty, then, only considering felons, not minor criminal records, 60,000,000 Americans are directly affected by these policies. That's 20% of the U.S. population. This is a drag on our entire economy.
These men and women have no means of reintegrating into society without gainful employment. To deny them an opportunity to send their children to college, or even have adequate food, clothing or shelter, is unjust and needs corrected.
Millions of children live in poverty because one or both of their parents have a felony criminal record.
The 68,000,000 American citizens with some type of criminal record will tell you how difficult it is for them to survive, much less support their children and families. Children of ex-felons are being denied adequate housing, food, clothing and the hope of a better life through higher education. They are discriminated against by their peers because their father or mother is a "drug addict," or "thief," or worse. No amount of time that parent did in prison seems to mean anything to potential employers, neighbors, former friends, or most of their family. Their parents cannot find meaningful employment.
Article III will hire Lobbyists in Washington, D.C., and each State Capitol, as funding becomes available, to advocate reform of Civil Disability Laws so as to target specific individuals and crimes, as opposed to the present practice of a blanket application of all disabilities to all felons.
As stated in the articles "All the King's Horses and All the King's Men," "System Failure," and the statistics and case law cited therein, judges are not being merely overworked, they are being eliminated entirely from all but minimal involvement in the vast majority of cases by assigned caseloads exceeding 700 or 800 cases on their Dockets. These cases are comprised of hundreds of thousands of pages of highly technical legal arguments and detailed factual allegations. You've heard the saying "The devil is in the details,?" Nothing could be truer in the legal profession. General legal principles branch into sometimes hundreds of differing applications of that principle as minute changes in the facts of separate cases shift the manner in which a just result for both parties is reached, and the way in which that general legal principle is applied, so as to dispense "Equal Justice Under the Law."
A good example of what is wrong is the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. It is responsible for ALL cases coming before it from eleven (11) States, including California. As of 11/21/16, there are 89,515 cases pending before the 9th Circuit. There are 44 Judges appointed to the Court, 17 of which are on Senior Judge status, which reduces their hours and work load. California, alone, could support and justify three U.S.Courts of Appeals with 100 Judges assigned to each. Again, this is organized insanity.
Article III will lobby for systemic change increasing the number of courts, creating more jurisdictions, and increasing the numbers of judges to match the population so you can have an experienced judge decide your case.