Adult Parole Authority Continues Its Illegal
An Interview with Jason Goudlock
By Siddique A. Hasan, Prisonersolidarity
Nov. 5, 2007
gains inspiration from its Co-Founder, Siddique
Abdullah Hasan, a respected African-American prison Imam who
was wrongfully sentenced to death for alleged leadership role in
the 1993 Lucasville prison rebellion. Hasan is nearing the end of
his appeals. In this interview he discusses the recent Parole Board
hearing of his friend, Jason
So we meet again. How have you been doing, my brother?
Well, I'm alive. So, that's a plus I suppose.
(Smiling) I'd say so!
Goudlock: (Slowly shaking his head) Things have
been kind of rough on a brother, as of lately. Since the last time
we were in the same block together, for the most part, I've been
doing as good as can be expected under the circumstances. But, recently,
I just went before the Parole Board for the first time, and, they
gave me....after having already served 14 years...a continuance
of 3 years! I mean....it's not like I'm in prison for murder or
something. I'm in prison for aggravated robbery and felonious assault;
and I don't have any prior convictions.
If my memory serves me correctly, when you were 18 you
shot two people and you robbed some individuals right?
That's correct. Although, I actually didn't commit all of the crimes
I was convicted of. I pleaded guilty to all of my cases so it's
kind of like water under the bridge for me as far as proving any
claims of actual innocence. I botched all of my post-conviction
remedies, years ago, not knowing anything about the rules and procedures
of courts. But, as I was saying, I'm feeling pretty bitter right
now after getting that flop at the board. I was under the impression
that the Parole Board was suppose to be conducting parole hearings
in accordance to the recent "Layne and Aknrom" court decision,
which focuses on the "rights to due process" that inmates
are entitled to upon appearing before the Parole Board. Prior to
the rulings, inmates rights were being disregarded and not even
acknowledged by the Parole Board. As a show of what appeared to
be the Ohio Adult Parole Authority yielding to the inmate favorable
rulings in Layne and Aknrom, the Ohio Adult Parole Authority on
July 1, 2007, issued a revised edition of its Parole Board Guideline
What particular issues of due process were being disregarded?
There are a few. The most significant one I would have to say, however,
is the Parole Boards denial of granting an inmate a "meaningful"
parole hearing at the earliest parole eligibility date. The Parole
Board was illegally assuming the underlying function of the judiciary
branch of government by way of implementing its own sentences and
statutory parole eligibility dates.
Elaborate on this a little further.
Okay. As you know, the Parole board is reserved for determining
the suitability of release for inmates that are serving indefinite
sentences of incarceration under the "pre-Senate Bill 2"
sentencing laws which apply to all persons sentenced to a term of
incarceration prior to July 1, 1996. This particular class of "old
law" inmates, as prescribed by law under former Ohio Revised
Code ~2967.13(A), becomes eligible for release on parole at the
expiration of their minimum sentences on the front side of their
indefinite sentence. Well, what the Parole Board was dong, by way
of manipulating the functioning of its parole guidelines, was extending
the amount of time an inmate has to serve on their minimum sentence
before becoming eligible for release on parole. By extending the
amount of time to be served that the sentencing court issued, it
violated the doctrine of separation of powers.
So, in other words, the Parole Board was basically functioning as
a de facto judiciary branch of government when its reserved to function
solely as an executive branch of government?
That's correct. Now, with my particular case, I was denied the right
to a meaningful parole hearing due to the fact that I was assigned
an offense category score that didn't correspond to the offense
category score of the offenses that I was convicted of. Of the crimes
that I was convicted of, the highest offense category score I could
receive was actually a "9," which, according to the Parole
Board guidelines application chart (a numeric grid with 13 offense
categories of suggested time that an inmate should serve, numbered
1 through 13, with the lease serious offense category being a number
1) suggested that I should serve no more than 120 months. I, however,
was placed in an offense category of "10", which suggests
that I should serve no more than 180 months.
But, how were you just placed in a wrong offense category?
Because the Parole Board, for the hell of it, decided to make an
illegal upward departure and put me there. This is the way that
these tyrants operate. They just do what they want to do. They have
absolutely no respect for anything associated with the due process
of prisoners; and yet, they still have the audacity to excessively
punish someone else. It's hypocrisy at its best. Now, as I just
mentioned, I was placed in an offense category of 10, which has
a ceiling of 180 months. At the time of my parole hearing (October
16, 2007), I had served a total of 169 months on a sentence three,
3-year gun specification. In my mind, after serving 169 months,
despite being placed in the wrong offense category, I still thought
I was going to receive a recommendation to be paroled; because,
not only had I served the maximum amount of time for the offense
category that I shouldn't have been place in,(offense category 9),
but I had practically served the maximum amount of time for the
illegal one I was in!
And then they turned around and gave you three years.
(Laughs) Man, it's almost comical! In addition to being placed in
the wrong offense category, the Parole Board didn't even give me
the chance to read any of my written materials that I took with
me to my hearing. I was hoping to be able to demonstrate to the
one-person panel, that I hadn't my time being stagnated, but I never
got to read a single sentence. I spent nearly all of a 20 to 25
minute parole hearing trying to get an explanation as to how I had
been placed in an offense category that didn't correspond to my
offenses of conviction. I would have been better off talking to
a wall though.
Why do say that?
Because a wall would've allowed me to speak without interruption.
(Laughs) I see you still have your sense of humor.
You know, after going through all of the ups and downs that I've
went through with this entire system, I think I could actually pull
off performing as "The Black Rodney Dangerfield", because
man.....I don't get NO respect from the people!
(Smiling) Man, you are a character.
Yeah, I guess I gotta laugh about things sometimes because if I
didn't, I'd be crying.
Wouldn't we all. So, tell me, after having just gone to the Parole
Board and being given a continuance of 3 years, are there any avenues
available to you that you can pursue in regards to getting the Parole
Board to possibly reconsider its ruling?
To the best of my knowledge there aren't any. I did however write
a letter to the Chairwoman of the Parole Board. I asked her to reconsider
the amount of time I was given and I brought up the issue about
being place in the wrong offense category. I also sent a letter
to the Ohio Public Defenders office, as well as, to the NAACP. I
don't know what kind of results I'm going to get, but hopefully
someone reading this interview will be able to offer me some kind
of guidance, or assistance, because this state's Parole Board practices
are completely out of sync with the order of the universe. Anytime
the Parole Board paroles someone like Roger Snodgrass before paroling
me, something is wrong.
I agree with one hundred percent.
I mean, this is a guy that stabbed somebody over 100 times during
the Lucasville riot!
163 to be exact and the guy he stabbed (Earl Elder) died.
And I read that he had killed another guy (David Sommers) with a
baseball bat during the riot. But he was given immunity for that
in exchange for the false testimony that he made against yourself
and the other Lucasville 5 prisoners that were wrongfully convicted.
then, after all of this, they parole him for all of the cases he
caught during the riot, plus the case that he came to prison for
in the first place!
Only in America, or should I say Ohio.
You're right about that because I don't think there is anybody else
in the world that would say Roger "Kill em All" Snodgrass
should had been paroled before me. I've never stabbed anyone, or
tried to stab anyone; let alone, killed somebody. I've been in prison
for 14 years and here it is I'm being denied a "second chance"
for no other reason than the Parole Boar's desire to fulfill its
self-serving agenda of securing their jobs.
You think your continuance at the Parole Board was directly related
to "job security"?
Absolutely! The Parole Board knows that once all of the "old
law" inmates are phased out by way of being paroled, or through
the expiration their sentences, they aren't going to have their
jobs. So, instead of the Parole Board following the law, they'd
rather, at the expense of another human being's freedom, unlawfully
retain someone, so that they can keep their hefty salaries rolling
Makes sense, I know you and I could probably continue this conversation
for a few more hours, but we're going to have to wrap this segment
up, due to some other obligations I have to take care of.
It must be time to call your wife, huh? (Laughs)
(Smiling) Come on, man.
Oh yeah, I know you're in love now, for real! Your face is beaming
like the sun man! And since I'm on the subject, "Congratulations"
on your marriage and your half-year wedding anniversary. Hopefully,
one day, I'll luck up like you and find myself a Betty Shabazz or
a Coretta Scott King, or maybe a Paris Hilton.
(Laughing loudly) You are crazy man! I do have to call my wife later
today, but right now, I have to take care of some small talk for
my brother Ali (Khalid Abdullah) that is working on his forthcoming
book, "The Struggle from Behind the Walls". It was a pleasure,
though, being able to interview you again.
The same here.
Layne v. Ohio Adult Parole Authority, 97 Ohio St. 3d 456; 2002 Ohio
6719, 780 N.E. 2d 548 Akrom V Hageman, 2001 Ohio 4369, 770 N.E.
Parallel of Prisoner Abuse: A Glimpse Into the Psychological Abuse
of Ohio's Inmates" by Jason Goudlock, May 21, 2006, Prisonersolidarity.org
killer testified on riot, now he walks" , Plain Dealer
reporter, John Caniglia, September 4, 2006, Edition: Final, Section:
Snodgrass is back in prison. After being paroled September 1, 2006,
for offenses committed during the Lucasville uprising. He returned
to prison August 24, 2007 for an offense of Parole Violation.
may contact S. Hasan and Jason Goudlock directly by writing to them
at the addresses listed above. The following link offers tips for
writing to prisoners: http://prisonersolidarity.org/TipsForWritingPrisoners.htm