The parole chairperson Ms.Thalheimer also told the crowd that “some of you will never get out of prison”. When asked by one prisoner, “who”? she did not reply. So much for meaningful parole hearings when the chairperson tells a packed crowd of murderers, rapist, arsonists, burglars, child molesters that SOME OF YOU ARE NEVER GETTING OUT OF PRISON. Even before stepping into a room.
In some ways the parole members suffer far greater, if not equally, to our men and women in the military. Sure our military in most cases have engaged in combat and witnessed horrific acts. Some have witnessed dismembered bodies or death, just like our parole board members have been told by surviving victims, detailed graphic things about crimes that simply make your skin crawl.
Many of our military suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), a real condition that affects the mind and body in ways that many citizens would never comprehend. Some resort to vices such as drug/alcohol abuse, some become violent, some suicidal. Often our military do not seek help due to the stigma associated with issues such as that.
Some become addicted to prescription drugs. Even with professional help, the intervention is not a magic pill. The affects of PTSD may last a lifetime. Once diagnosed such people generally get an honorable discharge from the military.
Many in attendance at the town hall meeting are asking, was the parole board chairperson Ms. Thalheimer asking for Help? Being the spokesperson, the boss who leads by example, the self professed person in charge (she stated there is the governor, the director and then her, that’s the chain of command). She is the voice for the other parole board members.
Ms. Thalheimer stated that LIFE MEANS LIFE. There is no grey area. True if a person were convicted and sentenced to life without possibility of parole, or if a person were convicted and sentenced to the death sentence, then her words would be 100% accurate.
However for the thousands of men and women in Ohio prisons who are serving a specific number of years TO LIFE, all of those prisoners are NOT being evaluated in accordance with the laws of this state. Nor are any of us getting fair, meaningful parole hearings when it is predetermined by those making the decisions regarding parole, that we are simply serving LIFE.
I was even asked at my last parole hearing, did I believe that life means life. Well yes it does, but I was not sentenced to life without parole or death. If I had been, then I would not be seeing a parole board because the law clearly states that life without parole and death sentences, are not paroleable. However all other sentences, be it 15-20-30-/life, those numbers mean something, the legislature voted and the governor signed into Ohio law that those eligibility numbers were there for a reason. They were not to be ignored, nor were the statues to be overruled by an entity (Ohio Parole Board) simply because they feel there is no oversight, no accountability, or that their blanket of immunity will outweigh all else. In essence enabling them the same powers as a dictatorship, if they so chose to behave in that manner.
As humans I would hope and prey that the parole board would not behave in that way, but when you take into account that they are likely suffering affects of PTSD and not seeking treatment, virtually anything could happen.
Do I think one of them may become addicted to alcohol and drive drunk, endangering the lives of innocent citizens on the roadway, getting arrested for DUI and claiming immunity because he is a parole board member, well I would not, BUT it indeed happened with parole member Michael Jackson.
The parole board chairperson also told a packed crowd that many of us are the “Worst of the Worst”, a term launched several years ago by a ODRC person and now it is widely used by many.
I am one of those people, to give you an idea of just how horrible I am, please go to https://www. lifeofalifer.com/ search for Jim Fussell interview. People change, crimes do not. None of us can change the past, we can not fix things from yesterday. We can become better humans and lead by example. I would challenge any parole board member or anyone in ODRC to match their charitable efforts to what mine have been consistently over the past 30 years. I quit drugs/alcohol and replaced those bad choices with worthwhile choices that have helped society, thousands upon thousands of ways.
I wonder, if Ohio parole board members judgment is compromised by horrific details of crimes against humanity, that prisoners are behind bars for, why do Ohio citizens allow an entity known as the Ohio Parole Board and chairperson to have any part in making decisions based on their emotions?
When they ignore change, ignore growth, ignore maturity, when they ignore the law, all of these factors are a red flag. When an entity has an impaired thought process, THAT is a major issue.
When the Governor and legislators discuss red flag provisions, perhaps someone needs to keep an eye out for the potential that something unheard of may indeed happen. None of us would ever imagine a parole member arming them self with an assault weapon and posting them self outside a prison recreation yard, opening fire on hundreds of prisoners. No one would ever dream of such an act as being possible, but with PTSD do any of us really know what could happen?
Experts questioned about the PTSD issue paint a picture that indeed is alarming. People need to stand up and admit that there is potentially a problem that needs to be examined, by experts. Mental health experts familiar with PTSD provide a very real concern.