Note, the information contained within, was not known to me before or during my parole hearing in September 2018. Details came afterwards. Basically, new information.
Parole Decision Reconsideration Example (Factual) This was actual document I mailed to Parole Board, for reconsideration.
Many people in society often are confused by the secret inner workings of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Corrections. It is not like there is a operator’s manual to refer to, or any expert to explain the concept. Not always are their consistent steps. Many are confused, especially with terminologies used by ODRC.
Prison society is far different than the society in the free world. Many see portrayals on t.v. or the movies and believe that is what prison is really like. Rarely are those portrayals accurate.
This segment is intended to be an example of part of the parole process. When a parole board makes a decision to deny parole, there is NO APPEAL. The closest recourse is to file for a RECONSIDERATION.
Here is the reconsideration I filed after my 2018 parole hearing where I received yet another 5 year continuance. Additionally the reply to my request, as well as a letter from Senator Thomas.
To: All Concerned
Re: Jim Fussell A154-973 M.C.I.
Topic: Reconsideration Request
Please be advised, on 2-8-19 in a discussion with a professional, with former ties to the Ohio Adult Parole Board, I was informed that the Ohio Parole Board believes that I am the person who filed and won a lawsuit several years ago (Fussell v. Wilkinson) and that the board references that during discussions anytime my name is before them for parole consideration.
Please be advised, the lawsuit in question was authored by a man named Rodney Fussell, he was a 300 something grand, and he was black. He is now deceased. I never knew him and his is certainly not a relative.
I am namedJames Rhea Fussell, Jr. #A154-973 and I am white. I am not related to him in any manner.
I understand the name Fussell is not common, as if it was Smith or Johnson, however in dealing with prison officials and especially parole officials who have my future in their hands, I would hope and pray all would do their research and verify that what I am saying is the truth and that they need to adjust their records/files immediately to reflect such facts.
This new evidence provided to me should be yet another reason to reschedule a hearing, not to mention the past 10 years I have been subjected to ghost votes, in 2008 (received 5 year flop) and in 2013 (received another 5 year flop) and also during a clemency procedure. Then in 2018 yet another encounter with the board where they obviously used erroneous information, (mistaken identity) and another 5 year flop. Those five year flops followed the TEN year flop I received in 1998. First time offender, no prison violations in well over 36 years, massive community outreach, programming.
Additionally during my parole hearing in September 2018, while being interviewed by four ladies and one gentleman on the screen, as well as hearing officer Walters in the same room as myself. During my hearing a heavy black lady (do not remember her name), she was eating a large salad and began to cough and choke, she had to get up running from the room, making a huge commotion. She returned about five minutes later, to resume eating. She later threw up her hands in the air and said “this is just like a movie”, when asked if she had anything to say.
While I do not trust the present Ohio Parole Board, based on years of personal experience, now fueled by revelations in the four page Op-Ed released by former Senator/Former Ohio Parole Board Member, Shirley Smith. I feel a rehearing is justified, not only in my case, but to be totally fair, ALL cases heard in the previous 10 years should be reheard. That would cover every man and woman in the ODRC since the board, by law, has a/ten year cap on the number of years they can re-convict a prisoner per hearing.
The board continues to list “serious nature of the crime” in every case before them and they continue to rehash details of the crime. The court/jury dealt with those details and sentenced each prisoner. The board is expected to deal with the prisoner’s change, progress, over the decades he or she has spent behind bars, not take on the role of jury, let alone re-convict. If the board is allowed to re-prosecute any case, they should be required to be a member of the Ohio Bar Association and prisoners should have the right to utilize voir dire.
Prisoners should have the ability to review any and all evidence/documents the parole board had access to. This would enable prisoners to address any/all errors so that fair, impartial discussions can be reached by factual information.
To be fair, to avoid civil rights violations and even perhaps criminal violations, the parole board should be removed from the ODRC,
Stakeholders, prisoners, the public in general would be better served if a special parole board were formed, perhaps utilizing retired legislators as decision makers. They would be less biased and capable of maintaining a professional mode of decision making.
The ripple effect of being mistakenly identified as a deceased black man, who brought about a winning lawsuit against ODRC, has landed at my feet. I am hoping that information in this letter will cause a rehearing in my case and an end to the unjust discriminatory practices of the APA.
Re: REPLY TO MY RECONSIDERATION REQUEST
Name: James Fussell
Institution: Marion Correctional Institution
Dear Mr. Fussell,
Your request for reconsideration was received and processed. DRC policy No. 105-PBD-04 Requests for Reconsideration and Amendments to Parole Board Actions outlines circumstances under which rescission and reconsideration of the outcome of a parole hearing is permitted. Requests for reconsideration must be based on, and specifically refer to, relevant and significant new information that was either not available or not considered at the time of the hearing. In addition, any new information that forms the basis of a reconsideration request must be submitted without reasonable delay.
The board had not confused you with another offender with the same last name.
Your request and call other relevant information was reviewed. It has been determined that your request does not meet the standard for reconsideration as set forth in policy. The information you have provided is found to be irrelevant, insignificant, or without merit. Therefore, no modification will be made to the coast action of the parole board. The decision sheet you received after your last hearing outlines the boards rationale.
Please be advised that any future correspondence received regarding this same issue that does not address any substantially different issues will not result in a subsequent response from this office. Your letter and this response will be made part of your permanent record and will be available to the board at all future hearings.
Quality Assurance Analyst
Ref: Senator Cecil Thomas response letter.
February 21, 2019
P.O. Box 57
Marion , Ohio 43301
Thank you for taking the time to contact my office about your concerns. I appreciate hearing from you and will give careful consideration to the ideas and experiences you have shared.
As the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I am passionate about criminal justice issues and understand firsthand the need for changing that system.
I agree with both the sentiments you expressed and those laid out in Senator Smith’s Op-ed. I believe there are issues within the Ohio Parole Board that need to be addressed and I am dedicated to correcting them. In the past four years, I have researched this issued and have worked to pass legislation to correct some of these issues, such as sponsoring Senate Bill 66 which revised some of the procedures for the Adult Parole Authority. Unfortunately other pieces of legislation have not been given much consideration in the Senate.
Recently, members of the majority party have taken an interest in this subject. Three legislators have been in discussions to introduce legislation that will focus on your concern of the Parole Board denying parole to inmates based on the “nature of the offense”. Should this legislation progress, I/will continue to support it and work with the members to achieve our mutual goals of ensuring high standards for the Parole Board.
Thank you again for your letter and dedication to improving this system. Please don’t hesitate to contact me in the future with any more concerns.
9th Senate District