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Case Closed After 24 Years

by Ronald Del Raine, Leavenworth, KS

[Editor's Note: This is the oldest running prison case that PLN is aware of. Talk about frivolous litigation?! How much money did the government spend dragging this through the courts for more than two decades?]

In November 1972, I mailed my first Complaint, Ronald Del Raine v. Carlson, et. al., alleging illegal segregation in Marion's Long Term Control Unit. The federal judges and magistrates kept dismissing it upon various specious grounds, and I kept appealing it.

When the U.S. attorney filed yet another Motion to Dismiss in 1986, he attached a memorandum from my prison file; only then did I learn why I had served 28 months in seg. According to the document, written by a typical Leavenworth "Fearless Fosdick" specimen, he had observed me talking to another convict during a work strike. This lad had then been observed speaking to someone else, who in turn said something to another prisoner. This positive proof of guilt resulted in five cons being locked up, with three of us transferred to Marion as a result. I then added this guard to the case as a defendant.

In February 1996, the seventh circuit remanded the case for the fourth time, castigating the lower courts and the Bureau of Prisons for their inept procedures. A Clinton appointee, judge Paul Riley, then appointed another attorney to represent me pro bono. She was the fourteenth [attorney on this case], some volunteers, some appointed.

After telephoning me, visiting me, and corresponding with me, [this latest attorney] had me subpoenaed for pre-trial motions from Leavenworth SHU where I was languishing on my seventh false, fraudulent frame-up in two and one half years. But then, based on these latest silly, giddy, goofy allegations, the marshals wouldn't lodge me in the jail next to [the attorney's] office; instead, it was back to disciplinary seg in Marion. After the U.S. attorney deposed me in a "black box," [my attorney] obtained a court order prohibiting this.

When [the attorney] arrived at Marion for our telephonic depositions of the seven remaining defendants who had been served (out of the original thirteen), I was informed that I must wear the 50,000 volt stun belt and I was to keep my hands above the table.

However, with the point of no return approaching, the government raised their offer to settle from the original $4,000 (later $10,000) to $20,000. Since the U.S. attorney wouldn't agree to a bench trial; since the southern district of IL has recently been divided into two parts (with Marion in the more rural portion); since the plutocratic pig, paid, puppet prostitute press have propagandized the public into believing all convicts are evil personified; since I'd probably die of old age before further appeals were finalized (if I was awarded damages), in November of 1996 I accepted [the settlement], thus ending this 24 year old case.

After seven weeks I was returned to Leavenworth SHU where I discovered my 73 year old rappie on this latest bum beef is still locked down. And so the beat goes on.

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Related legal case

Delraine v. Carlson