UPDATE: If the name of Hearing Examiner Raymond Essex (see article below) seems familiar to you, it's because he was recently in headline news. He was the parole administrator who decided convicted sex offender, kidnapper and rapist Phillip Garrido was a model citizen, and released him to the public 26 years early. Essex congratulated him for his good behavior and what he had achieved: "You are deserving of an early discharge. You are commended for the...positive accomplishments you have made." And yes, that's the same Phillip Garrido who kidnapped and kept Jaycee Lee Dugard captive in his back yard for years, along with the children he fathered with her, while on parole. Wonder how Ms. Dugard feels about Essex's judgment.
Parole Commission Charges, Tries and Convicts RB 1%er of Nonexistent NC Murder
It’s difficult enough to get a fair parole hearing, without the United States Parole Commission fabricating a murder out of thin air and placing it in your file, but that’s what happened to me.
At my 1997 Parole Hearing, the Parole Commission charged, tried and convicted me of a nonexistent murder. Was it done on purpose? Was it inexcusable carelessness? What do you think?
In 1978, I received a conviction of Accessory After the Fact First Degree Murder for an April 1975 crime. Over the years, during my parole hearings, the Parole Commission repeatedly used this conviction even though their own records stated:
“....Since then, information has been presented on Mr. Harrell's behalf by an inmate in a North Carolina prison in Raleigh, North Carolina, that this inmate was present when the key witness against Mr. Harrell at the murder trial killed the victim.” (Emphasis added)
At the 1997 hearing, it became even worse. In the creative or careless hands of U.S. Parole Commission Examiner Raymond Essex, that favorable testimony by a North Carolina inmate clearing me of a Florida crime became twisted into a fictitious murder in North Carolina! The U.S.P.C. then inexcusably attributed this fictitious North Carolina murder to me, AND made it part of my record.
ALSO, during a records search prior to my 1997 parole hearing, I uncovered new information from the debriefing of a government witness in 1983 who prosecutors certified as a credible witness in numerous cases over the next 15 years. That government witness cleared me completely of any involvement in that twenty-two year old crime. The witness stated that a fugitive from Canada named Tim Jones/Garbage killed the victim, that I was not even there, and named everyone who was present when the murder was committed.
Prepared with this new information I had uncovered myself (law enforcement officials had let it sit in a folder since 1983), I challenged the Commission’s use of this 1975 murder against me and the conviction itself during the 1997 parole hearing. Did the parole board take the proper action? Not hardly! Did I give up? Not hardly.
Over the next ten years, my attempts to correct this devastating fiction only met with more yawns and apathy from the U.S.P.C..
In 1999, the original 1978 conviction for Accessory After the Fact First Degree Murder was successfully challenged and overturned, and dismissed by the State of Florida, based on the very same information I presented at the parole hearing. Did the Parole Commission respond to that court action with any professionalism? No, it made no difference to them, but I still refused to give up.
The 06/26/03 hearing summary states: “He also raised concern in regards to his 1997 hearing in which Examiner Essex placed in his file information regarding a NC murder in which the subject indicates he has never been connected to any offenses in the state of NC. Thereby, he alleges this information to be incorrect.”
Alleges? Before the U.S.P.C. tampered with it, the record was clear----there was no North Carolina murder. Despite the fact that I and my hearing representative presented court-documented testimony disproving such a murder ever took place, it made no difference to the examiners responsible for my freedom. They had made their decision in 1992, and as far as the Parole Commission was concerned, nothing I presented would change that decision.
The key word here is “responsible.” Who is responsible for creating and placing a false murder in my file? Is their supervisor accountable to anyone? What about the Courts? Do U.S.P.C. hearing examiners have free rein to charge, try and convict a person of a nonexistent murder through their own sloppy illiteracy or malicious intent? Do these federal employees, paid by the U.S. taxpayers, have to answer to anyone?
This Parole Commission parody did not end there. Represented by two experienced lawyers, including one who specialized in U.S. Parole Commission abuse, I filed a civil case in U.S. District Court. Unfortunately, they were still unable to bring this ongoing travesty to a positive resolution. After sitting for two years in the Mississippi Courts without action, my case was reassigned to Magistrate Judge Michael Parker "to assure prompt and expeditious handling of the court docket," on October 4, 2006. Apparently Mississippi Courts have a different definition of "expeditious" than others.
The case again sat without being heard until September 4, 2007. On that date, the case was dismissed by another judge, not on its merit, but because the Bureau of Prisons, in violation of their own policy, transferred me out of the Mississippi court's jurisdiction.
These federal agencies violated numerous laws by assuming the duties and responsibilities of the courts, and in doing so have converted my original 40 year sentence into a life sentence. It appears as though these federal agencies are accountable to no one, and that their arrogance goes on unchecked.
I welcome your comments and questions on this and other articles. Roadblock 1%er