Friday, February 3, 2006
Greg Curry- In my own words
I was 29 years old. My interest was going home, sports, hustling and exercising, nothing more of less, no gangs, groups or religious affiliation, nothing to prove to my peers. Therefore, no serious disciplinary issues. My job was a Recreation Aide.
Between 1 and 2 pm April 11, 1993, I was sent to the recreation yard and locked out of L-side, the side of the disturbance in the prison, by my supervisor who later testified to that at my trial. I remained in the yard, close to K-side (non-riot side) on that cold April evening, trying to get food, blankets, sweats, etc. Late that evening all inmates were rounded up off the yard by heavily armed police, stripped naked, photographed, cuffed, then led up a hallway on K-side, placed in cells meant for one man with ten other naked men. I wondered if the police would just kill us.
Days later, I was transferred to Lebanon prison. After a couple inquiries by the state police, I was let out in semi-population to rebuild my program as it were. I then got another visit from the state police investigators telling me that Keith Lamar [Bomani Shakur] or I would get the death penalty for killing many people. I was shocked by the claim because I never was inside L-side to commit any crime nor to blame anyone. I wasn't arrested or put on lockdown. Many months later, to my total surprise, I was indicted for two aggravated murders.
The Failure! The Lynching!
My appointed counsel, Attorney Dixon walked in talking about a "deal". I was not interested in a "deal". I was innocent. I requested motions and a strong defense. Attorney Dixon was removed for a "Neighborhood Boy" who felt he could charm the jury, if I refused the "deal". I demanded that he prepare for trial because I was innocent.
With no idea of the political climate or the emotional climate of the southern Ohio area, I went, armed with my innocence. I wasn't scheduled for trial first but I refused any delays, so I became the first accused rioter to be tried on murder charges. A case the state had to win. One inmate after another was put on the stand to "act out" on the prepared/prepaid lies that took 2 to 4 interviews with the prosecutor to manufacture. Although some admitted felony behaviors during the riot including the star witness, Lou Jones who was in prison for murder and claimed to be an active member of the murder squad, yet wasn't charged. In fact, he received and early release on his original murder conviction as a direct result of his testimony for the prosecution.
In Ohio, deals are law, as long as they are disclosed so jurors can weigh them. (Beckett v Haviland US App 6th cir.). At my trial both the prosecutors, the judge and all the lying inmates claimed no deals were made. The same prosecutors after my conviction admitted on direct appeal that yes, they gave Lou Jones a deal. Case law says the only remedy is a new trial. I never had a chance in that area under those conditions leading up to trial, nor at trial. Midway through my trial an inmate gave me a plea agreement made by Fred Frakes, pleading guilty to one of the murders I was accused of and on trial for! However, it was too late for me to call him as a witness. Also, there were over 300 inmates who gave statements accusing others. My attorney was never made aware of those statements.
More of the Same State Game
After my conviction, the state public defenders in Columbus had me send all my legal works in for possible post-conviction assistance, they then held onto it until my filing time was 8 days from expiration. They then returned it saying "Good Luck". Human rights, social justice, God's children, Do you hear me?
That disturbance in 1993 unfairly targeted a group with similar characteristics, i.e. poor, black, prior convictions, inner city males, with provable merits too lengthy to register here.
We encourage you to lend your heart and mind to the true account of how lies and corruption led to the conviction of innocent men during the 1993 Lucasville Uprising. These men were singled out and used as scapegoats. They would not lie or take part in The Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections' broader scheme. So far, the state has been successful in covering up this grave injustice. There were deals and promised made to inmates for them to say anything that would help the state convict these men and many others while actual confessed murderers received leniency. If you or someone you loved were a victim of a tragic ordeal, you would hope and pray that people listen and hear your cry.