The 'Friends of Marcia Powell' are autonomous groups and individuals engaging in prisoner outreach, informal advocacy, and organized protest and direct actions in a sustained campaign to: promote prisoner rights and welfare in America; engage the Arizona public in a creative and thoughtful critique of our system of "justice;” deconstruct the prison industrial complex; and dismantle this racist, classist patriarchy...

Retiring "Free Marcia Powell"

As of December 2, 2010 (with occasional exceptions) I'm retiring this blog to direct more of my time and energy into prisoner rights and my other blogs; I just can't do anyone justice when spread so thin. I'll keep the site open so folks can search the archives and use the links, but won't be updating it with new posts. If you're looking for the latest, try Arizona Prison Watch. Most of the pieces posted here were cross-posted to one or both of those sites already.

Thanks for visiting. Peace out - Peg.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MCSO Brutality update: Kevin Gerster and William Hughes



Comprehensive Trial Management Conference
June 9, 2011 - 8:45am
Maricopa County Central Court Building
(W. Jefferson St.)
Judge Verdin.

Maricopa County Courthouse
May 18, 2011

The Comprehensive Trial Management Conference was to be held today (May 18, 2011), but it was pushed back and everything that occurred was done up at the bench, where the public couldn't witness it or determine what was said in the transcripts.
..I suspect because I had been protesting loudly outside before the hearing, confronting Gerster when he arrived (my taxes paid his salary, after all - and he hurt people in violation of my trust). All I was able to catch Judge Verdin saying to his attorney, who requested that they approach to discuss the case, was that "this is a delicate situation."

Damn straight it is. There are a lot of us mad as hell about what Gerster and fellow officer Alan Keesee did. Gerster and Keesee have more rights as perpetrators of assault than William Hughes has as their victims do now. As some of you may recall, if we, as citizens, are victimized while in custody, we're excluded from the constitutional protections and rights we have when crimes are perpetrated against us in the community, effectively silencing our voice in court proceedings, rights to restitution, etc. if a cop is the perpetrator.

I believe they are buying time for people to forget what Gerster did to us, the rest of his "victims"; chances seem very good that the Maricopa County Attorney is about to offer him a deal. The upcoming trial was cancelled in anticipation of a deal being reached beforehand.

Please contact Bill Montgomery's office and urge that this officer's entire prosecution be made visible and transparent to the public, as he violated us all with the abuse of his office and the assaults on his prisoners.

Remind him that Gerster assaulted at least two "VULNERABLE adults" in custody (making him a repeat, violent offender), and could have been charged with class 2 (not the lower class 6) felonies for that, and must not be allowed to walk with anything less than felony charges and prison time if they give him a deal.

Put your concerns in writing ASAP to:

Mr. Bill Montgomery
Maricopa County Attorney
301 W. Jefferson St. PHX 85003

I'd appreciate copies of your letters to post publicly. Send them to:

Peggy Plews / PO Box 20494 /PHX, AZ 85036

Please also express your continued outrage over the conduct of MCSO officers, and your desire to see justice served, to:

Editor, Arizona Republic / P.O. Box 1950 /Phoenix, AZ 85001

Finally, I looked up the status of William Franklin Hughes III's case. The MCAO still appears to be prosecuting him for the petty offenses (like criminal damage and indecent exposure - most likely secondary to the symptoms of his mental illness) that landed him in Gerster's and Keesee's pre-trial "care" in the psychiatric wing of the county jail in the first place...he was even ordered to undergo competency exams by the judge before they would proceed any further. I don't understand why he's going on trial, given what Montgomery had to say recently about the need to divert these folks from prosecution in the first place. I just discovered that his trial was supposed to begin this am, which I missed.

You would think the MCAO would recognize the beatings he received in jail as punishment enough - and poor William was out of his mind when he got pounded on by those guys. So, folks, please also ask Mr. Montgomery what the deal is with William's prosecution. Those are our tax dollars he's eating up in this unnecessary and cruel endeavor to punish a young man who was already terribly traumatized in custody over "crimes" that really hurt no one else...

Maricopa County Courthouse
(3rd St/W. Jefferson, PHX)
March 11, 2011

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