Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Judge James A. Doerty, Washington Superior Court, handed down an indeterminate sentence for alleged civil contempt of court. The journalist had published true and fair statements about Council House with good motives and for justifiable ends on his web site in the Netherlands - all material protected under the First Amendment to the US Constitution. The biased Doerty considered that a “crime” and referred to suborners and perjurers as harassed victims.
Doerty ordered immediate and indeterminate jailing without representation by a lawyer - serious judicial misconduct under Washington state law. He did not describe the contempt with particularity and gave the reporter no opportunity to make changes. He insured that the alleged contempt could not be purged through a planned catch-22 - changes to a web site require access to a computer also special files and passwords not available in jail. Doerty showed his personal dysfunction and bias then vented his spleen upon an elderly reporter and jailed him using civil contempt of court as an excuse.
A veteran of the civil rights movement, the journalist went limp to signify his contempt for the ruling. Instead of taking his arms and marching him away, a prison guard weighing approximately two hundred and fifty pounds brought an antique “straight-jacket” (a cast iron wheelchair device) and forced the journalist’s arms up his back with handcuffs. Instead of the usual method of handcuffing he crossed the wrists and forced them upwards before attaching them which caused great pain especially as the prisoner suffers from chronic arthritis. He then wheeled the device to the jail deliberately hitting every bump on the way which caused even more pain.
In fairness, this thug did not represent the prison norm. Apart from a few officers constantly drunk on duty, with attendant dysfunction, most of the guards at King County Jail (KCJ) behaved professionally although stringently - they did what taxpayers pay them to do. Several of them expressed disgust at incarceration of reporters and other inmates without bringing charges. The officers repeatedly chanted: “guilty until proven innocent” and had very little respect for the judiciary when interviewed off the record.
Under pressure from the British Consul General, Doerty scheduled an irregular session again without representation or notice to the attorney of record. Prior to that session he sent an ex parte (with the party absent and unrepresented) letter containing disinformation to deceive consulate officials after which they lost interest in the case. The consul cancelled a proposed jail visit to the journalist (a British subject) as a result. He probably believed the defamatory and misleading statements that Doerty presented to him. Doerty has since unlawfully withheld copies of those and other documents subject to Washington public disclosure laws in yet another attempt to cover up his alleged judicial misconduct.
Doerty scheduled a hearing about six weeks later when adverse publicity by the European press corps forced him to appoint a public defender. The journalist spent 111 days in jail without having committed any crime or facing his accusers - cruel and unusual punishment inflicted by a newly-elected judge. Later, Doerty tried to excuse his behavior by saying that he used solitary confinement to “ratchet up the coercion”. He said: “It's what the statute terms a ‘coercive sanction’ [to silence a journalist]. The phone restriction was intended to ratchet up the coercion [a metaphor and excuse for placing the journalist in solitary confinement with murderers and rapists]. There remain additional such measures that have not been used.”
Doerty has already thwarted appellate hearings three times by refusing to provide copies of documents and other machination related to paying for them. Paul L. Sherfey, Chief Administrative Officer, refuses to comply with the Washington Public Disclosure Act in providing copies of hundreds of documents considered necessary to appeal Doerty’s decisions. They both use fatuous legal arguments to support their refusal to comply with law. [Rampant Judicial Delusion]
A retired professor, used to quiet study and meditation, the journalist had already spent 86 days in jail under less severe conditions than solitary confinement listening to a steady diet of Jerry Springer and Jennifer Jones seasoned with BTV. The landlords of Council House, in a compact with Doerty, originally locked him out of his retirement residence and then had him placed in those dangerous circumstances without him having committed any particular crime or having any previous jail experience. They needed to cover up alleged federal crimes and used perjury and subornation to try to silence him. Judge Anthony P. Wartnik and Doerty allegedly helped them with their cover-up to protect Wartnik’s wife Lynn from possible criminal prosecution for complicity in a cover-up of homicide by abuse and other crimes. [Homicide by Abuse]
When the directors could not silence the reporter after he told the truth about their unlawful activity they allegedly used their wealth and influence to subvert three judges in attempts to destroy his publications and to jail him. Fully aware of the reports before publication, they neither changed their behavior nor claimed libel or defamation. Instead they inflicted the worst type of punishment in trying to kill the messenger. [Rampant Judicial Delusion]
This does not describe conditions in the Gulag Archipelago - it describes King County Jail, Seattle, Washington, USA, and actions by members of a hornet’s nest at Herzl-Ner Tamid, Mercer Island, directors of Council House, Seattle, and in particular, unlawful ex parte exchanges in a composition between two superior court judges, James A. Doerty and Anthony P. Wartnik. The term “ex parte” means a judicial proceeding for a court order or injunction granted at the instance of, and for the benefit of, one party (Council House) without notice to, or a contestation by, the person adversely affected (the journalist). [Hornet Nests]
The veteran investigative reporter exposed Judge Wartnik’s wife Lynn, former co-president and director of a senior citizen housing complex and fourteen other directors, for alleged complicity in resident abuse, misappropriation of government funds, and homicide by abuse. Both judges have attempted to silence him. The coercion implicit in a restraining order that caused his incarceration did not work and this Englishman, now seventy years of age, lives to write another day - probably another thirty years or until Congress rescinds the First Amendment.
When Doerty decided “to ratchet up the coercion” he had the reporter placed “in the hole” - the worst conditions in the State of Washington according to recidivists who have experienced both federal and state accommodations. Solitary confinement allows a 1-hour exercise break in an ante-room not much bigger than a tomb adjacent to the cell. It contains only a table, bolted-down stools, a shower, a toilet without a flush. Officers use that toilet at night and cause the cells to reek of urine and worse. It has a collect-call telephone that the officers switch of from a central control during that hour.
Generally, inmates may use the telephone to call relatives, friends, and lawyers - in fact anyone they wish during that hour but those kept incommunicado may only call a court-appointed lawyer. They may not call their regular lawyer. Solitary confinement exercise areas contain no television as do the other segregated ultra-security areas.
Requests to officers through the intercom system for basic information such as visiting hours they generally either ignore or say that they will find out then do nothing. The jail limits visiting to a three-hour time frame once a week after seven days notice. After receiving notice of a visit, jail authorities play a shell game by waiting six days then they move prisoners to another section to deny visiting privileges. Successful visits take place in segregated cubicles with telephone contact between prisoner and visitor that rarely works properly.
The filthy cell, 7' x 13' with walls painted in beige/pink and the ceiling baby blue had a 4" window slit and a security door with a locked opening that officers unlocked only to pass through food trays. That door stands 4" from the ground allowing empty trays to exit. It has a 5" x 22" vertical window for observation. The cell contains only a shelf table, bolted-down stool (sometimes), and a stainless-steel wash basin with toilet combination that intermittently malfunctions due to a self-activating flushing action.
A concrete bench completes the furnishings. It consists of a 84" x 30" x 2" lightweight concrete slab and a threadbare plastic pad no more than 1" thick at its center. It has no pillow and the only head support consists of contraband toilet rolls. Two 4' fluorescent tubes illuminate the scene reduced to a single 18" pink tube between 22:00 and 06:00 as close as one can establish without any means of calculating time.
The principle problems for an elderly inmate with arthritis relate to room temperature, bed discomfort, incorrect diet, and lack of medical supplements and attention. For a chronic arthritic, one can only describe the conditions as devastating. Ironically or hypocritically, depending upon one’s perspective, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ - New York), “urged better care” for Oscar Espinosa Chepe, a dissident journalist in a Cuban jail  yet kept a willful silence about the Seattle jailing. Lucy Dalglish, Executive Director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP - Washington, DC) even went to an extreme of denunciation by publishing multiple libel about the case that she has still not retracted.
Almost identical jail conditions apply to each of the two reporters - one in a communist country the other in Seattle. Miriam Leiva visited her jailed husband (14 Aug 03) and tried to talk with him but his tongue was sluggish. Chepe, already debilitated and gravely ill from a liver ailment, reportedly received pills from a government psychiatrist. She says that:
''Oscar doesn't even know what they gave him. We don't even know what kind of treatment they are giving him,'' Leiva said by phone from Havana. "They are all powerful, and we are helpless.''
This typifies the treatment in King County Jail where the medical staff regularly refuse prescribed medication. Moreover, they injected a tuberculosis test vaccine that caused a two-week simulation of the disease and left this journalist to suffer in the tank (cell with eighteen prisoners) where other inmates helped him. He still suffers a year later from a chronic respiratory problem apparently caused by that experience. The report of the Chepe experience sounds very familiar to this reporter after his experience in King County jail:
As the health of more than a dozen jailed Cuban dissidents such as Espinosa deteriorates, U.S. officials and human-rights groups say the Cuban government is purposefully denying them proper medical care.
Their illnesses range from poor circulation to kidney trouble and gastritis, and ''the Cuban authorities don't appear prepared'' to provide them with adequate medication, said Eric Olson, Amnesty International's Americas advocacy director, whose office has documented a list of 16 dissidents being denied proper medical care.
This week, the United States said the 75 dissidents arrested in a roundup this spring are being held in "appalling conditions, with very poor sanitation, contaminated water and nearly inedible food.''
State Department spokesman Philip Reeker reportedly said:
''The Cuban government appears to be going out of its way to treat these prisoners inhumanely.''
The United States has apparently called on the Cuban government to allow independent groups such as the International Committee of the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders to evaluate the patients. However, it has done nothing to address similar circumstances in Seattle.
Among those in gravest danger are Raúl Rivero, 57, a writer who founded the independent agency Cuba Press and who has severe problems with his circulation, and Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello, an economist who has lost 40 pounds since entering jail this spring.
To her family's consternation, Roque - who already served time for coauthoring the dissident manifesto The Homeland Belongs to Us All - has been diagnosed by prison doctors with diabetes. Roque, who also suffers from blood-pressure problems, is now in a hospital outside Havana, where her family last visited her Aug. 8.
''She is very pale and she doesn't eat because the food they give her is in horrible condition,'' said her sister Isabel Roque Cabello, of Miami.
The US government spews its disgust at Cuba while identical conditions exist in its own jails for political prisoners and dissident journalists. That hypocrisy extends to professional journalism organizations and unions in the US that do nothing to support their members in these matters. Those organizations toe a government line and executives follow their own political agendas to the detriment of members.
Recent visits to Dachau (Germany) and Terezín (Czech Republic) Nazi concentration camps to examine records and correlate the patterns or practices of that era with those now prevalent in the State of Washington, proved fruitful. The preserved cells that housed dissident political prisoners and journalists in the Nazi era, had more space than those in King County jail with identical accouterments. In fact, the wooden beds appeared more comfortable than the cold concrete slab on which this journalist had to lie for 23 hours each day. The tanks also had better accommodation than KCJ. However, KCJ does not have gas chambers - yet.
The King County Jail cell temperature does not rise above approximately 50°F with recycled air forced through a vent at considerable velocity. That air frequently contains diesel exhaust fumes from the recycling plant. Regulations specifically forbid covering any part of the vents (although breakfast porridge and urine make an effective sealant). Apparel consists of a thin tunic and pants, also jockey shorts, with everything else prohibited. Clothing exchange takes place once a week. Inmates may not even wrap their blanket around their shoulders to keep warm. Consequently, the cold forces them to lie on the concrete bench under the blanket for 23 hours each day. Then one’s leg muscles atrophy and one cannot walk. A sympathetic nurse did allow this reporter an extra blanket for medical reasons in addition to the single blanket issue.
No reading material exists except for Seattle Weekly and The Stranger, both local tabloid weekly newspapers, and several contraband three- or four-year-old editions of popular magazines. Inmates may order books from King County library but they seldom materialize.
The concrete bench allowed only spasmodic sleep without relief from arthritic pain (relieved at home by a special mattress, honeycomb pad, and medication). The diet consisted of two meals and a brown bag lunch. Breakfast - almost inedible porridge - an egg every other day boiled almost black with a piece of unidentifiable meat product on alternate days, 8 oz. milk, and three slices of spongy bread and margarine. Lunch (brown bag): low-bid bologna and imitation cheese sandwich, an apple or orange, cheese crackers or potato chips, and a cookie. Dinner: casserole, either pasta or rice containing meat product (an insult to the culinary art), cole slaw or lettuce, frozen vegetable, and cream desert.
All the food remained virtually inedible for anyone on a restricted diet except for the rice, lettuce, and frozen vegetable. The meat products had a high purine content that brought on gout attacks if eaten. The special diet authorized by the doctor and requested many times from the nurse never materialized.
Contraband acetaminophen to relieve arthritis pain came from other inmates in exchange for meat products and bologna sandwiches after a nurse said that: “Tylenol does not count as an emergency medical supply”. The nurse passed by each day to meet state medical regulations. She/he apparently only checked to see that inmates had not died and ignored any requests for help or medication.
To replicate jail conditions in your home remove the bath, shower, medicine cabinet, and mirror, from the bathroom then replace them with a concrete bench, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste. Reverse the lock on the door and instal a slit that will accommodate a food tray. Imagine the altered room as the center module between eight similar rooms - three above, three below, and one on each side.
Now instal surround sound speakers connected to eight CD players one in each of the other rooms then concurrently play at high-decibel level: a Muslim call to prayer; Vietnamese opera with the singer spanning six octaves, off-key, and out-of-tune; bible readings (including annotations) in revivalist manner; barking like dogs; drumming with string accompaniment; calls for help with menstrual cramps from an inmate imaging that he has them; a chorus of “motherfucker” when officers pass by; through-the-floor sex with orgasmic responses from females below; and constant arguments and threats of violence; well, perhaps not concurrently but occurring at any time during the day or night. Then leave that room one hour each day to take a shower and “exercise”.
Imagine that one adjacent room houses an accused murderer and on the other side a bank robber. Above, an accused serial killer/rapist and two other murderers, below the whores of Babylon - that more or less describes the neighbors with whom one may communicate through doors or walls if one has the inclination. Almost all of these inmates treated this writer with more respect than Judge Doerty, Council House directors, and their administrators.
Sadness does not arise from one’s own physical condition but from realization that one’s identity becomes a matter of skin color - the solitary old white guy among African-Americans, Latinos, Ethiopians, and Vietnamese - the stigma of racial profiling ironically reversed upon the race of its perpetrators. One must experience profiling to understand the humiliation and degradation that it inflicts. [Institutionalized Racism]
Allegedly having committed a misdemeanor - this former inmate wore a blue uniform while others wore red for felonies or white inscribed “Ultra Security Inmate”. Wartnik’s wife Lynn, among other people who wear religion on their sleeve, remained free to cook Tony’s dinner and perform other wifely duties the day that he conspired with Doerty to transfer the journalist to the hole. Unfortunately, the discriminatory and archaic Washington state law based upon gender which supports political correctness precludes a description of her in appropriate terms. 
Doerty misused antiharassment law for prior restraint and censorship. Similarly, Washington Slander of Woman law unconstitutionally imposes a prior restraint. It protects women from anyone saying anything that they alone consider could injure or impair their reputation for virtue or chastity - a long shot for golden girls and their sugar daddies. That statute has an exception for speech spoken with good motives and for justifiable ends which counts for nothing in Washington Superior Court where Doerty coins his own exceptions despite legislative demands for wide construction of law.
In her desperation to extricate herself from the legal quagmire into which she and her directors have perjured themselves, Lynn could file additional frivolous claims using that statute. She could claim that “evil” senior citizens sullied her chastity in the same way that her colleagues and attorneys question their sanity. That sounds convoluted enough for Washington Superior Court to find in her favor. However, opposing counsel would immediately appeal that decision as legally indefensible on grounds that virgins as a species became extinct on Mercer Island many years ago especially those who married their sugar daddies. The Council House directors’ history and demeanor shows that they would probably jump at a chance to perjure themselves again by signing more false declarations to defend Lynn’s chastity knowing that the courts will not hold them accountable. [Rampant Judicial Delusion]
Similar unbalanced sexual behavior continues within Council House. An allegedly illegal resident who struts her stuff and provides sexual favors as a “care-giver” at Council House helped evict several residents who refused to accept those favors. The administrator, Stephen A. Mitchell, used her declarations to file frivolous claims insinuating her virtue while covering up her sexual misconduct and unlawful resident status - probably quite normal behavior for a pimp who takes his directions from, and copies the behavior of, Council House directors.
Although the US constitution guarantees freedom of speech, local elected judges (several of them in their cups) think that they know better. The public must eventually take action to hold the judiciary accountable for their actions and strip away their immunity when they commit alcohol, drug, or sex related offenses then project similar behavior onto people that appear before them.
Now, judicial gangsters can again decide to ratchet-up coercion and put senior citizens where Wartnik has allegedly said: “right where they should be” [behind bars]. After all, insane administrators and their attorney have classified all Council House tenants as vulnerable adults (crazy). Meanwhile, judges support their relatives in controlling the asylum that they have created. [Vulnerable Adults]
One can almost hear the hornets saying: Let them languish with all those brown and black people that we have put in jail without probable cause. That will scare more senior citizens so that they will not face up to us when we impinge upon their constitutional rights in the future. We won’t have to put up with them at Council House anymore because we can charge them rent while in jail then evict them before release. We can continue to rip-off government funds by fudging the number of vacancies without investigation. We can create our own Endlösung (final solution) by giving administrators free reign to implement neo-fascist policies. We will not have to build gas chambers because we can get away with homicide by abuse in Washington state. HUD will never know what we have done because we systematically kill all the messengers with our zero tolerance policy and threats of eviction and incarceration. Our propaganda equals that of the brilliant Dr. Joseph Goebbels. The Third (Council House) Reich will last a thousand years in its infamy - it is so written. [Hornet Nests]
Judge James A. Doerty, Superior Court, State of Washington, issued two anti-harassment orders and contempt citations to censor this forum by prior restraint at the behest of Council House directors and their administrator. Mary Kay Becker, Washington Court of Appeals affirmed them. Washington Supreme Court reversed most of those decisions (30 Mar 06).
[Washington Supreme Court - Decision] [Background Information]
Using their financial power, the directors obtained SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) court orders and contempt citations using perjured testimony against the author of valid exposé. They then had him jailed in solitary confinement.
In this case, SLAPP consists of frivolous charges designed to bankrupt an opponent and create a prior restraint. The landlords have used this tactic on several occasions to try to cover up issues that affect all their tenants.
Doerty thwarted an appeal of his findings for more than five years by withholding court documents and other manipulation. The author/publisher claims judicial bias and arbitrary censorship that deny him his rights under the First Amendment to the US Constitution and Washington State Constitution. Doerty has challenged a principle journalism ethic - seek truth and report it - by denying a reporter’s First Amendment rights. Doerty then wrote biased decisions all without due process of law.
His findings enabled Council House directors to cover up crimes that they and their administrators allegedly committed. A Washington Supreme Court review has allowed the public to know the names of people involved in elder abuse. It will also give an ethical prosecutor an opportunity to consider felony charges of homicide by abuse against Council House directors and their staff. [Homicide by Abuse]
Homicide ranks as a class A felony punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment in a state correctional institution or by a fine of fifty thousand dollars or both. Both the victim’s family and a Council House administrator benefitted financially by allegedly defrauding federal and state agencies prior to death of a resident. [Who Killed Jackie Nations?]
Doerty’s order precluded naming the people involved which forced redaction of copy pending review. Washington Supreme Court reversed the trial court decision which relieves restrictions on publishing details regarding resident deaths and other abuse.
Washington Supreme Court
Council House, Seattle - Summary
Supreme Court Decision #1
Supreme Court Decision #2
Respondents [Mitchell and Council House Inc.]
Appellant Reply [Trummel]
Respondents [Mitchell and Council House Inc.]
Appellant Reply [Trummel]
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
National Union of Journalists/London Freelance Branch (NUJ)