From the April 2009 Idaho Observer:
How the U.S. government honors military service
How the U.S. government honors military service
[The following "declaration" was filed in the Sixth District Court of Appeals for Lucas County, Ohio on March 18, 2009. This short story is humble, witty, sarcastic and, as you will see, painfully honest].
Brian Wickensimer hereby declares:
I am the Relator in Court of Appeals Case Number 1-09-1049 and I am currently held at Toledo Correctional Institution as prison reg.536139.
In 2003, I was injured on active duty with the United States Navy. As a sacrifice I made in defense of my country, I am now confined to a wheelchair.
I later learned of a possible surgery that might restore me to health, but I sadly learned that the Navy would not pay for It. I did not have the money and, in my desperation, I paid someone to burn down my property so I could collect the insurance money and possibly walk again.
Instead I came to prison.
It is not a crime to cripple a 19-year-old kid and-toss him on the trash heap of history. But it is a crime for that cripple to burn his own property down to try and pay profiteers to help him walk again.
In prison, staff has consistently deprived prisoners, including myself, of USDA recommended daily requirements for nutrition. I attend every meal and eat all the fruits and vegetables I am given, but I have a vitamin C deficiency. A vitamin C deficiency is also known as "scurvy." I have a disease that pirates from the 1600s cured by eating limes, but I am not so fortunate as to be a pirate in the 1600s. Instead, I am a veteran in 2009 and the prison system has decided to kill me and 55,000 other prisoners through slow malnutrition just to save money.
My captors are animals.
Furthermore, I am forced to use single-use catheters for hundreds and even thousands of uses. The manufacturer confirms that single-use catheters are only for one use. Because I have to use the same single-use catheters for hundreds to thousands of uses, I have suffered multiple kidney and urinary tract infections. These infections, I suspect, are also directly related to my vitamin C deficiency—scurvy. Because I have scurvy, my body’s immune system is compromised.
On top of the scurvy, urinary tract infections and kidney infections caused by my captors’ deliberate indifference, I recently suffered bronchitis that turned into walking pneumonia.
These penny-pinchers are killing me.
I intend to file a 42 §1983 civil rights complaint, but to do so, I have to exhaust "administrative remedies" per the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act. I have been in contact with legal representation who has previously sued the prison system and won.
Unfortunately, Institutional Inspector Bill Bartleson will not allow me to exhaust remedies and proceed to court. He has refused to answer grievances and in some instances refused forms. He has engaged in a pattern of deliberate obstruction.
I do not want to die before I can get to court.
I filed for a writ of Mandamus against Bill Bartleson, hoping the state court will order him to answer my grievances so I can proceed to federal court and save my life before I die of pneumonia or some other infection. After I filed for a Mandamus, I did not get a file-stamp copy or a case number or a letter from the clerk of courts.
A month later, I received a judgment from the Sixth District Court of Appeals saying my action was dismissed because I did not file an affidavit describing prior civil actions I have filed.
I have never filed any civil action. Further, I have no way to provide an affidavit. Here at Toledo Correctional, I am housed in A-block. According to a notice on the bulletin board outside the A-block unit manager’s office, I am to wait there at 3:00 pm on Mondays and Thursdays if I need notary services.
I have waited there, from 3:00 p.m. on Monday and Thursday, since the middle of January. I have never seen anyone enter the office.
Contrary to law, there are no notary services.
So, the Sixth District Court requires me to provide an affidavit and I can no more provide an affidavit than I can paint the Mona Lisa. Their opinion and order dismissing my case may very well be a death sentence. Judges Handwork, Skow, and Osowik, unknowingly or otherwise, have enabled prison officials to stall my grievances without limit and thereby prevent me from bringing my claims into federal court. In the meantime, I very well may die from the various infections I am suffering due to my captors’ deliberate indifference.
If this decision is not reconsidered, be it known that judges Handwork, Skow, and Osowik provided refuge for scoundrels whose neglect may very well murder a disabled veteran—a veteran who sacrificed so those very judges could serve liberty and justice. Where al Qaeda failed to kill me, the state of Ohio may prevail.
I hereby declare under penalty of perjury, pursuant to Title 28 USC §1746, that the information set forth herein is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. Executed at Toledo, Ohio on March 18, 2009.
Brian Wickensimer, Plaintiff DOB 28MAR84
HELP FREE BRIAN WICKENSIMER
Send letters of support for Brian Wickensimer’s request for Executive Clemency to Brian Wickensimer #536-139, Toledo Correctional, P.O. Box 80033, Toledo, Ohio 43608. Save Brian before the state of Ohio kills him. Address all letters of support to
Governor Strickland and explain why you think Brian should be set free.
The preceding Declaration, filed by Brian Wickensimer, U.S. Navy (Retired), accurately depicts the Abu-Ghraibization of the American prison complex and the complicity of our fascist court system.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Anyone offended by the facts related here can call the Department of Corrections Central Office at (614) 752-1164 and DEMAND the termination of Toledo Correctional Institutional Inspector Bill Bartleson. You can also call (419) 213-4755 or fax (419) 213-4844 or email (email@example.com). You will reach Sixth District Court of Appeals Court Administrator Donna Kiroff. Call (419) 726-7977 or fax (419) 726-7157 Toledo Warden Robert Welch and DEMAND that he force food service to provide prisoners with the proper nutrition.