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Monday, March 31, 2014

Alan Colmes and Peter B. Collins Conduct First Post-Jail Interviews With Legal Schnauzer Publisher

Alan Colmes
Alan Colmes, of Fox News Radio, interviewed me last Thursday, less than 24 hours after my release from the Shelby County Jail. San Francisco-based radio host Peter B. Collins interviewed me the next day.

In both interviews, I discussed the circumstances of my release and provided insights about life behind bars in an Alabama jail--one I was told that is built to the level of a maximum-security prison, although without the "amenities" of a prison. My jailhouse experiences included witnessing an inmate suicide.

My release came after my wife, Carol, managed to remove certain items from this blog, along with some from my Twitter and YouTube accounts. She then prepared a proposed release order and twice reached Judge Claud Neilson by phone to ensure that everything was in order. I called Carol from jail at about 2 p.m. last Wednesday, not knowing if any progress had been made. But she talked about her conversations with Neilson, and about two hours later, I was told at the jail to pack up my things and come to the door--those usually are the magic words that an inmate is about to go home.

Removal of the Web items was not our desired outcome, I told the interviewers. We had hoped to receive legal assistance that would have allowed me to be released based on the fact that a preliminary injunction in my case is unlawful, contrary to long-held U.S. Supreme Court law under Near v. Minnesota. But that process was dragging out, and having witnessed one inmate death and hearing about two others while I was at the jail, I felt it was imperative to seek my release by any lawful means necessary. That meant abiding by a court order that had been issued on October 21, 2013.

Colmes asked if I could have accomplished the same result by acting earlier, and I said, "I don't know." I noted that I had challenged service, which was conducted via an unconstitutional traffic stop, but I was arrested before ever receiving a ruling on that. I should note now that I was prepared to challenge the unlawful notice we received (barely 24 hours) on the preliminary-injunction hearing, but again I was behind bars before that could be done.

Peter B. Collins
At my one hearing before Neilson, on November 14, 2013, I stated that removal of the items was unlawful under Near v. Minnesota--but that argument did not seem to grab the court's attention. If I were to remove the items, I asked Neilson, how was I to accomplish that task when I was at a jail with no access to a computer or the Internet? Neilson's reply was along the lines of, "Mr. Shuler, that's up to you to figure out."

Given the court's tone, I saw almost no way to get out at any time during late 2013. I sensed that things might be softening a bit sometime in February 2014. Carol states that during her two phone conversations with Neilson, the judge was cordial and came across as fair and understanding. The court seemed open to making my release happen quickly, and I did not have that impression earlier.

In the interviews, I got emotional at several points, especially when discussing my reunion with Carol, who did heroic work to keep this blog going and to share my story with any reporters who wanted to listen. I also got emotional when discussing my fellow inmates, who generally treated me with respect and kindness. Several became friends, and I hope to stay in touch with them in the future. I noted that many inmates seem to have mental-health issues--drug and alcohol problems--that do not seem to get proper attention in the jail environment.

Here are links to the two interviews. The full Collins interview requires a subscription, but a preview clip is available to the general public:

Alan Colmes interview

Peter B. Collins interview

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, so Carol prepared a proposed order for the judge? I thought that those were conclusive evidence of judicial corruption.

legalschnauzer said...

I don't think anyone has claimed they are evidence of judicial corruption. I've learned that it's a pretty common practice in courts, and if one party can do it, it seems natural that it applies to the other party as well.

Anonymous said...

You may have taken down the posts but you can be sure they were passed around right and left shared on others sites and our own sites and hey maybe even saved on a thumb drive. you never know.. AND WE NEVER WILL FORGET what happened and who caused it when it comes to voting time. Hang in there keep fighting for your freedom of speech. THEN REALLY EXPOSE. I think some damage has been done to the KLANS of AL... the political KLAN.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your freedom and beautiful weather, you did stand up for what was right and that is all the matters in the end. God Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Roger, now that you're out of jail, what are you plans regarding the case in Jefferson County?

e.a.f. said...

So nice to see you are once again writing. Great you got the interviews.

Mental illness is the reason many are in prison. The failure of governments in North American to deal with the mentally ill in any meaningful, helpful manner has given rise to increased costs in law enforcement.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, a city of approx. 500K - 600K, the Vancouver Police Dept. did a study a couple of yrs ago. 40% of all call are related to mental health issues. In fact police officers are now considered the first contact for the mentally ill.

You made the right decision for yourself, at this time, in your life. The blog is not about anyone but you. It is your blog and you work it the way you want to,
...
just glad you are out of jail and home with Carol and the cats.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks, e.a.f., and thanks for your friendship. By far the top reasons for men being in the Shelby County Jail are drugs and alcohol. The No. 1 offense I heard about is "probation violation," and the underlying offense almost always involves drugs and alcohol.

Robert Morrow said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hello LS! Welcome home and thank you! Just remember, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. :^)

Thought you might be interested in the below, given your recent experience.

EEofDC

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/us/police-shootings-of-mentally-ill-suspects-are-on-the-upswing.html?action=click&contentCollection=U.S.&module=MostEmailed&version=Full&region=Marginalia&src=me&pgtype=article

Anonymous said...

What happened to Free Speech! Only in Alabama!

Anonymous said...

What happened to Free Speech! Only in Alabama!