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Ohio's Adult Parole Authority Continues Its Illegal
'Unjust Practices'
An Interview with Jason Goudlock

By Siddique A. Hasan, Prisonersolidarity Co-Founder
Nov. 5, 2007

Prisonersolidarity 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 Goudlock.

Hasan: So we meet again. How have you been doing, my brother?

Goudlock: Well, I'm alive. So, that's a plus I suppose.

Hasan: (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.

Hasan: If my memory serves me correctly, when you were 18 you shot two people and you robbed some individuals right?

Goudlock: 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,[1] 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 Manual.

Hasan: What particular issues of due process were being disregarded?

Goudlock: 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.

Hasan: Elaborate on this a little further.

Goudlock: 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[2] "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.

Hasan: 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?

Goudlock: 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.

Hasan: But, how were you just placed in a wrong offense category?

Goudlock: 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!

Hasan: And then they turned around and gave you three years.

Goudlock: (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.

Hasan: Why do say that?

Goudlock: Because a wall would've allowed me to speak without interruption.

Hasan: (Laughs) I see you still have your sense of humor.

Goudlock: 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!

Hasan: (Smiling) Man, you are a character.

Goudlock: Yeah, I guess I gotta laugh about things sometimes because if I didn't, I'd be crying.

Hasan: 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?

Goudlock: 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.

Hasan: I agree with one hundred percent.

Goudlock: I mean, this is a guy that stabbed somebody over 100 times during the Lucasville riot!

Hasan: 163 to be exact and the guy he stabbed (Earl Elder) died.

Goudlock: And I read that he had killed another guy (David Sommers) with a baseball bat during the riot.[3] 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!

Hasan: Only in America, or should I say Ohio.

Goudlock: 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.

Hasan: You think your continuance at the Parole Board was directly related to "job security"?

Goudlock: 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 in.

Hasan: 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.

Goudlock: It must be time to call your wife, huh? (Laughs)

Hasan: (Smiling) Come on, man.

Goudlock: 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.

Hasan: (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.

Goudlock: The same here.

End Notes:
[1] 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. 2nd 667
[2] "The Parallel of Prisoner Abuse: A Glimpse Into the Psychological Abuse of Ohio's Inmates" by Jason Goudlock, May 21, 2006, Prisonersolidarity.org
[3] "Lucasville killer testified on riot, now he walks" , Plain Dealer reporter, John Caniglia, September 4, 2006, Edition: Final, Section: National-Page A1

*Roger 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.

You 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

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