Grassroots Organizing In The Trenches: From The G-Man: "Locked Up" The Book

Grassroots Organizing In The Trenches: From The G-Man: "Locked Up" The Book

From The G-Man: "Locked Up" The Book

Thursday, December 15, 2011
'Locked Up': The Book Every American Must Read

Lockhart: "The Information in the Book is Needed More Than Ever to Assist in Preventing Wrongful Convictions"


Nancy Lockhart, M.J., is a non-attorney legal analyst with a sincere passion for researching and publicizing grave issues of injustice and wrongful convictions. Lockhart is most notably recognized for her work in the Scott Sisters case. Her relentless petitioning and long-term involvement in the controversial case played a major role in having Gladys and Jamie Scott released.
Lockhart created and spearheaded a grass-roots campaign along with Evelyn Rasco, the mother of the Scott sisters, in her quest for justice. The movement became a viral, global phenomenon via social networking and field organizing -- combining creative planning with online and off-line strategies.

Additionally, Lockhart launched the Compassionate Medical Release petition on behalf of Patricia Wright and others, as well as assisted in negotiating structured plea bargains. Wright, who was incarcerated in 1998 after being convicted of killing her husband, with no evidence or motive linking her to the crime, was diagnosed with fourth-stage terminal cancer while serving her sentence.

Lockhart holds a Masters of Jurisprudence from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. While attending, she supported herself by working as a consultant for the RainbowPUSH Coalition. It was at PUSH that she initially began championing the cause of the Scott Sisters.

Upon graduating from the university and leaving PUSH, Lockhart continued to seek justice on behalf of the Scott Sisters. Her efforts proved successful when Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour suspended their life sentence with the stipulation that Gladys, then 36, give Jamie, who was 38, one of her kidneys. The sisters were released in January of 2011.
From The G-Man recently conducted an exclusive interview with Lockhart to discuss her new book "Locked Up - What to Do When Your AZZ Gets Locked Up", a book that she believes will be crucially important to every American in the future.

G-Man: You were instrumental in the Scott Sisters case. Could you elaborate on why you decided to become a legal advocate for the sisters and their family?
Lockhart: Allow me to state this, emphatically. Advocating for the Scott Sisters was simply the right thing to do. I championed their cause because no one else had done so and apparently, no one else would. Mrs. Rasco - the mother of The Scott Sisters - was actually my first contact with the case. She fought tirelessly for 11 years (at that time) and after researching everything that she shared with me, I found that she told the truth about the trumped up charges. I realized that she was poor financially but, very rich in spirit and determination. Mrs. Rasco cared for their children when she could have easily placed them in foster care, all of which motivated me to research the case of her daughters.

G-Man: Did the case, ultimately, play a role in your decision to write the book?

Lockhart: Ultimately, the case did play a large role in my decision to write the book. I consistently receive numerous requests from individuals nationwide who unfortunately have criminal, legal issues. I was inspired by those numerous requests.

Christine Persaud

Show your support and attend the hearing of Christine Persuad on December 16th at 9am. 271 Cadman Plaza East. Brooklyn NY 11201, Judge Elizabeth Stong, 3rd Floor.

Persaud needs to have her day in court. She won the appeal. The court of appeals agrees that Persaud should have her day in court but the trustee does not.
The trustee fraudulently entered Liberty Home Care on November 30th 2011 and demanded the account password to see the account balance.

Black Star News States that - Persaud points to the history of the case and contends there is no need to even place the businesses, Caring Home Care and Liberty Care under the care of a Trustee. Caring Home Care currently generates about $35 million in revenue, Persaud, who founded the business, contends.

On February 8 this year, an intruder entered Persaud's residential building and kicked on her door in an apparent bid, she says, to harm her or intimidate her. Persaud believes the invasion, caught on the building's security camera is connected to her case and describes the person as a possible "hitman." She reported the matter to police. She has offered a $5,000 reward for information about the intruder.

Please Attend New York Hearing November 28th, 2011

Attention New York: Please Attend the hearing of Christine Persaud and show your support.
The case will be heard at 9AM at 360 Adams Street, in Brooklyn, on the 3rd floor before Elizabeth S. Stong, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of New York. "On this day the judge will make a decision whether to send the case to a lower court or to have a Trustee run the business," says the business woman, Christine Persaud. "The best thing would be for the judge to return the business to me."

Listen to internet radio with TheNancyLockhartShow on Blog Talk Radio

Dying Woman's Family Fights To Free Her From Prison

Dying woman's family fights to free her from prison
By Charlene Muhammad -National Correspondent- | Last updated: Nov 1, 2011 - 12:47:54 PM

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( - The family of a dying woman serving her 14th year of a life without the possibility of parole sentence continues its struggle to free her, hoping for clemency by Gov. Jerry Brown or an appeals court decision.

The case is an example of how the state's Three Strikes law fails defendants and the legally blind woman never received a fair hearing, according to family and supporters.

Patricia Wright has terminal cancer. Her family's efforts, support from national and state advocates, and recommendations for release by the prison warden and medical director have not resulted in release from the Central California Women's Facility. She was jailed on a felony conviction for murder and had two prior felony theft convictions. She has maintained her innocence.

The murder conviction was the result of prosecution for the death of her husband, and makes her ineligible for medical release. The family says they were told the three felonies prohibit her release on humanitarian grounds.

Two felony charges were lodged against her after her then seven-year-old son walked out of a model home with two toys. That incident resulted in two felony theft convictions—one for each of the cheap toys, said her sister.

A family torn apart

“It's hard for me to see my sister when I know what she used to look like. She tries to laugh but when I see her, she's real weak and in a wheelchair. She asks me when I talk to her every day, ‘What has the governor said, now?'” stated Arletta Wright, a staunch advocate for her sister.

Arletta Wright says her sister was railroaded and failed by the criminal justice system. The governor says he would need recommendations from state high court justices to grant clemency, says the family spokesperson. The fight to free Patricia Wright, however, requires a more aggressive defense but the family can't afford a private attorney.Still their hope lies in an appeal at the Ninth Circuit Court level.

“What comes to mind when I think about it is this woman is ravaged by cancer.It's costing the prison a lot of money, and there are grounds for granting the release,” said Geri Silva, executive director of Families to Amend California's Three Strikes Law in Los Angeles.

The Innocence Project has taken on Patricia's case and is investigating whether she was wrongly convicted. Her plight has garnered support from Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, executive director of the Association In Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted; Alice Huffman, president of the California State Conference of the NAACP; Michelle Alexander, author and head of NAACP Legal Redress with the Madera, Calif. NAACP; and Pastor Sherman Mitchell of the Victorville, Calif. Branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

The advocacy groups believe Patricia Wright's constitutional and civil rights were violated.

All of the organizations have either written letters in support of her appeal or asked the Innocence Project to investigate the case.

Nancy Lockhart, activist and author of “A Guide to Grassroots Organizing in Support of the Wrongfully Convicted,” posted a petition to free Ms. Wright on, an online advocacy platform. She usually does not get involved in cases without thoroughly researching them herself, but the Innocence Project's involvement prompted her support.

“What really caught my attention was that Patricia was in stage four cancer. I felt she was innocent of the charge of murder and I felt there was a greater urgency to have her released so she could die at home with her family or get better medical treatment,” Ms. Lockhart said.

Prosecutors have argued Patricia Wright received a fair trial, was convicted, and should remain in prison.

“I would prefer, instead of Gov. Brown giving us a cold shoulder and being evasive, that he comes out and tells us, ‘I don't want to do it,' ” Arletta Wright told The Final Call.

On Oct. 11, Riverside County Judge Becky Dugan denied a motion to reduce the theft convictions to misdemeanors, which would have made way for a medical pardon.

“My sister is dying of breast cancer.She has four tumors in her brain. She just wants to come home and die in peace with her children and grand kids,” pled an emotional Arletta Wright, before Judge Dugan ruled.

“In May 2010, doctors gave Patricia six months to live but thank God she has beaten the odds. They're saying any day now, she could be gone. They've given up on her but I can't think that way about my sister,” Arletta Wright told The Final Call.

The setbacks in Judge Dugan's ruling and Gov. Brown's position on clemency disappointed but have not deterred those who believe in Patricia Wright's innocence.

This ordeal is so outrageous that the truth must come out, Arletta Wright said.

‘Innocent people get convicted'

Judge Dugan said she was compelled to deny the release request because of multiple probation violations.

But according to Arletta Wright, the violations were actually police calls regarding a family dispute.

“They were never referred to the D.A.'s office. She never went to trial. She never was tried by a jury or convicted. As far as they went was to the police station as a report,” she said.

In a back and forth debate in open court, Ms. Silva shouted to Judge Dugan, from her seat in the last row of the public pews, “The New York Innocence Project took on Ms. Wright's case ... Innocent people get convicted, you know!”

“I'm sure you believe that ... but I have to assume these convictions are accurate,” Judge Dugan replied.

Arletta Wright told The Final Call she is awaiting documents from the Riverside District Attorney's Office she says will prove no charges for any such violations were ever filed.

“The D.A. only brought those incidents up as charges to make Patricia look bad and to feed the judge's denial of our request. Judge Dugan said herself that if it wasn't for those other charges, she would have considered dismissing it. It's wrong what they're doing to my sister,” Arletta Wright added.

Felony convictions for children's toys?

The two cases against Patricia Wright are inextricably linked and have left her dying alone in prison.

She received two felonies after pleading guilty to being involved in 2nd degree burglary at an open house in Moreno Valley in 1989. She received a third felony conviction in 1999 on conspiracy to murder her then-husband, Willie Scott.

According to her sister, Patricia Wright pled to the thefts only because the attorney said she would certainly face prison time if she went to trial.“But if she pled to misdemeanors, she could go back later, have them expunged and be at home with her children,” explained Arletta Wright.

The family insists the misdemeanor convictions were somehow changed to felonies after the fact.

Alfey, her 29-year-old son, was seven at the time of the open house. He testified that he took the toys and walked out without telling his mother.“It's been hard growing up without my mom and celebrating Mother's Day. I don't remember the last time I've celebrated Mother's Day and it's affected growing up as a man, dealing with relationships.It's taken a toll on me,” he said.

He never dreamed putting the toys in his pocket and playing in the back seat of a car could land his mother in prison.

Ms. Silva said the case is convoluted and while she is not condoning that toys were taken, she argues it wasn't theft.

Alfey did what children often do, pick things up that don't belong to them, she said.

It was a model home, not a residence; he was seven, and the toys were worth 99 cents, Ms. Silva adds.

“This is about Moreno Valley, an area which at that time was predominantly White, a Black woman, and her Black child, who were already being followed by the Caucasian realtor while they were inside the home,” Ms. Silva continued.

As for the murder, no physical or forensic evidence links Patricia Wright to the crime, according to her family, but police reopened the cold case and charged her 17 years afterward based on what her brother calls a forced, false statement, and written accounts from Patricia Wright's sister-in-law, who has since said she lied.

Larry Wright told The Final Call he was in a Connecticut prison at the time Los Angeles police detectives questioned him about his sister's case. It was his first time being incarcerated and he wanted out so when they told him that if he cooperated he would be released, he agreed.

Larry Wright said he never intended to testify against his sister and just wanted to get to L.A.

Once in L.A., he recanted his statement, and when police realized he wouldn't cooperate, Larry Wright said they kept him in a padded holding cell with no windows for 17 days. “They fed me the same thing, a hard burrito, twice a day, every day at Parker Center and they interrogated me and told me to kill myself ... When taking (recording) my testimony, they would cut the tape off and rehearse what they wanted me to say,” he continued.

Mr. Wright and Janet Carcelin, the sister-in-law, recanted their stories, saying the taped statements were coerced by police. The jury still convicted Patricia Wright of murder. “The crime that was committed was that in America if you're Black, laws apply very differently to you and you're going to be found guilty even if there wasn't a crime,” Ms. Silva said.