In my last piece about the curious case of Matthew F. Hale I covered the relevant facts of one of the more outrageous and obvious instances of political railroading which I have observed in my lifetime. That said, some interesting facts have to come to my attention as regards the further development of the case that only adds to the innumerable levels of absurdity already established.
In a attempt to continue with his court allotted depositions, Mr. Hale sought to sell some of his books to pay for his legal costs. Due process was interrupted, however, by the defendants at ADX Flourence (the Colorado prison in which Mr. Hale had previously been detained) who deemed the sale of various books owned by Mr. Hale (to pay for his deposition) as a violation of Code 399. For those not versed in legalese, Code 399 states that,
Conduct which disrupts or interferes with the security or orderly running of the institution or the Bureau of Prisons most like another moderate severity prohibited act. [This charge is only to be used when another charge of moderate severity is NOT ACCURATE. The offending conduct must be charged as “most like” one of the listed moderate severity prohibited acts. ]
Basically what it means is that one is not allowed to do any action which might interrupt the inner, good working of the prison. Additionally, a prisoner is not allowed to sell private property for personal gain. However, Mr. Hale was doing neither of these things and yet he was found to have “committed” one of the previously mentioned, prohibited acts and was slapped with a suspension of telephone privileges pending 15 days.
What is absurd about this (yet another clear punishment of Mr. Hale for no discernible legal reason) is that selling personal property to pay for one’s deposition DOES NOT violate Code 399. For if a individual is allowed the legal right to file suit in a case (as is being done here) then he is also allowed to BE ABLE TO PAY FOR THAT CASE! Additionally, this practice is far from uncommon – in point of fact, prisoners sell their personal goods to pay for their legal and filing fees all the time, so there is considerable precedent. To top off a further absurdity is the fact that the defendant claimed that the BOP (the Federal Bureau of Prisons) would be “disrupted” by Hale’s book sale! In what universe does a simple book sale (which was going to be conducted through Hale’s mother and other outside actors – not the prison staff, obviously) disrupt the routine functionality of the prison? The simple answer is that it does not and in fact, can not. Such is plain as day to any even moderate sane and rational observer.
All of this is yet another attempt by the Federal government to silence and punish a man who has, in no wise, done anything wrong or even illegal, by breaking and twisting the very rules it has laid down and by draining the coffers of the American taxpayers who have absolutely no dog in the fight.
Mr. Hale was punished for nothing and is now being punished for attempting to address the fact that he was punished for nothing.
Mr. Hale has since filed a motion to have the charge of misconduct overturned.
Further information about Mr. Hale and his case may be found online at FreeMattHale.net