It’s not all bad news in prisoner support work – sometimes our comrades get their charges dropped, win at trial, or get released after serving out their sentences. We will update the latest prisoner release info here.
Please email opPenPal [at] tormail [dot] org if you have information on prisoner releases not listed here.
12.31.13 | Lynne Stewart, 72, noted activist and “people’s lawyer,” was sentenced to 10 years in Federal prison after being convicted in 2005 of distributing press releases for a jailed client, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. Originally sentenced to 28 months in prison, a federal court judge upped her time to a 10-year term.
Stewart, who has been treated for breast cancer, entered prison in November 2009. She was finally granted compassionate release on December 31st and is now home. The only sanctioned manner of donating to Lynne is by check or money order to the Lynne Stewart Organization, 1070 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY 11216.
12.12.13 | Mark “Migs” Neiweem of the NATO 5 was released after serving a total of 19 months. He was held in solitary confinement for the 5 months immediately preceding his release and lost 30 days of “good time” – because he is an anarchist. They would have liked to torture him much, much longer – in fact, our appeal to restore his December release date succeeded only 5 days in advance – so sincere thanks to all who participated in our campaign to get him out on time. Migs is currently on house arrest in Chicago and accepting donations to defray living expenses during this adjustment phase.
11.27.13 | Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband. She did not hit him or anyone else. She has now been released due to mistrial and is on house arrest while preparing for a new trial.You may donate to her defense fund here. Best of luck, Marissa.
11.24.13 | Chris French was arrested last year at the NATO protests in Chicago and pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest in court on August 15th 2013. They were sentenced to 364 days in jail. Chris is now free, having served 3 months previously while awaiting bond.
11.01.13 | Alex Stuck of the Tinley Park 5 has been released after 18 months of incarceration. You can donate to his Release Fund to help him transition back into life on the outside. Welcome home, Alex.
10.23.13 | Gregory Koger is a prison activist who was sentenced to 300 days for videotaping a public meeting in 2009. He previously served about 2 months and had since been working to appeal his case. He was taken back into custody in July 2013 to serve the remainder of his sentence. During his time at Cook County Jail, he was on hunger strike in solidarity with prisoners in California and around the world.
08.30.13 | Jason Hammond, Jeremy’s twin brother, was arrested July 11 for allegedly being involved in an altercation between an anti-racist group and white supremacists in Tinley Park, IL over a year ago. He was held at Cook County Jail with an unreasonably high C-bond of $100,000. This meant that 100% of the bond had to be paid in exchange for Jason’s freedom.
…And it was, thanks to many generous donors. He is now safely at home, pleading not guilty and prepared to fight these charges. Welcome back, Jason!
08.14.13 | Sebastian ‘Sabi’ Senakiewicz, of the NATO 5, was sentenced to 4 months in a boot camp for non-violent offenders after accepting a non-cooperating plea agreement. He “graduated” from boot camp and was expecting to spend some time on house arrest while waiting for his deportation proceedings to be completed, but instead was pulled over and taken into immigration detention as he and his mom were driving away from the graduation ceremony. He has now arrived safely in his native Poland and we wish him well.
04.11.13 | Maddie Pfeiffer, the last of the imprisoned Pacific Northwest grand jury resisters, has been released. For more info, click here.
About the grand jury resisters:
On July 25, 2012, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated raids against activists in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. They subpoenaed several people to a special federal grand jury and seized computers, black clothing and anarchist literature. This comes after similar raids in Seattle in July and earlier raids of squats in Portland.
The Pacific Northwest Grand Jury Resisters are activists who refused to testify at these grand jury hearings and are therefore serving prison sentences of up to 18 months – for remaining silent.
04.05.13 | According to the Center for Constitutional Rights, environmental activist Daniel McGowan was released from Federal prison today after the Bureau of Prisons was informed that the regulation he allegedly violated by posting a blog on Huffington Post was ruled unconstitutional – in 2007. We know there are a lot of amendments to the U.S. Constitution, but we should hope the Bureau of Prisons and Department of Justice could at least remember the first one.
We’re sure this was an honest mistake and not punitive in any way. We’re equally sure it will never happen again.
Welcome back, Daniel.
02.28.13 | Two of the Pacific Northwest Grand Jury Resisters, Matthew Duran and Katherine Olejnik (aka Kteeo), are free after being held for five months in Federal prison – including two months in solitary confinement – despite the fact that there were no convictions or charges filed against them. The judge ruled that there was no reason to continue holding them, as they have proven their resolve not to testify.
02.22.13 | Askia Sabur was exonerated of all charges and is now back home with his family. We wish him only the best in his pursuit of justice against the Philadelphia Police Department, which imprisoned him for 2 years on false charges.