Marianne Kruse-Blanchong's Letter in support of Kenny

The following is copy of letter sent to Warden Colye and others--

10 November, 1997

Warden Colye
PO Box 788
Mansfield, OH 44901

Dear Warden Colye,

Man can brake the fragile thread in any environment when violence is introduced, and I fear that fragile thread is being broken by the constant beatings that the men in the environment of your death row are experiencing.

Not but a few months ago there was an uprising were men on a block were beaten, afterwards a guard was terminated. I have since received letters from several inmates expressing their fears and concerns over the most recent incident which occurred on Friday October 31st, 1997.

A Lt. Young who is employed in the property room, entered LC Unit 5 B, and for no reason opened the good hatch of Mr. Keith Lamar's cell and sprayed him with an aerosol maze. No one heard Mr. Lamar resist or respond in a violent manner that would warrant a beating. Then to add insult to injury, Sgt. Clark filled out his paperwork in favor of Lt. Young's actions by stating that Mr. Lamar refused to be cuffed.

Why did Lt. Young to Mr. Lamar's cell in the first place? Mr. Lamar has not been returned to his cell and his where abouts is unknown, which adds to the concern of the other inmates.

Many inmates were given tickets to appear before the R.I.B board, three inmates in particular are, Mr. Kenneth T. Richey, Mr. Robert VanHook, and Mr. Jason Robb, for assualt, manufacturing weapons, and destruction of property during the last uprising. My question is how could this of taken place when the three men were locked in one cell together to avoid injury? These same three men were forced onto the floor by guards then beaten. The reason behind these charges are based on what another inmate has stated.

My question to you is how could these charges be faithful when they were locked in the cell? And if they were not locked in the cell, then how did they receive their injuries as reported? I ask these questions due to the fact the men are not permitted to question their accusers or question the evidence.

In closing I would like to inform you that myself and several others around the world are actively joining other inmates on death row in a liquid fast, and will remain on this fast until the mistreatment of the inmates is stopped, Mr. Lamar is returned to his cell, and there is an investigation into Lt. Young's actions, with Sgt. Clark included, for their conduct is unbecoming and violates a community inside and outside a prison.

The 174 men within the environment of your death row are human beings, not animals. To be locked in a cell and not know when your food hatch is opened if you will be the next one to be mazed and beaten, can result in a very stressful situation that constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Please stop that fragile thread from breaking. Only you can investigate and stop the needless violence of maltreatment and abuse. I sent you a letter expressing my concerns over the work stoppage and spoke of working together. I implore you to work with us again in this matter and then our fast will end.


Marianne Kruse-Blanchong Ohio Coordinator for the Death Row Support Project US. Kenny Richey Support Project

cc: Governor Voinivich, Attorney General Betty Montgomery, President Bill Clinton, the Judiciary Committee of the Senate, and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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