Justice for John Carter (1980-2012)

John Carter, dead at 32 in SCI Rockview, Bellafonte PA
According to multiple witness accounts, staff at SCI Rockview killed John Carter, a 32-year-old man from Pittsburgh, during a cell extraction in the prison's solitary confinement unit on April 26, 2012.
John Carter had been held in solitary confinement in several different prisons for the last eight to eleven years where he had developed a reputation as a jailhouse lawyer willing to speak out against the rampant and endless cycle of human rights violations in prisons throughout the PA DOC. A fellow prisoner wrote of Carter: “He was a person of integrity. He did not believe in abuse of others, especially the abuse of prisoners from prison guards. If he could help someone in understanding the law, he was there. And he had a lot of patience with others, especially the mentally impaired.”

A cell extraction is a procedure where six guards in riot gear, armed with pepper spray, a stun shield and a taser, enter a prisoner’s solitary confinement cell and forcibly subdue, handcuff and shackle him. According to witness accounts, on the day of his death prison guards filled Carter’s solitary confinement cell with an extraordinary quantity of pepper spray prior to opening his cell door, tasering and assaulting him. One report stated that the incident began after Carter protested being deprived of food. Another prisoner reported that during the cell extraction he could hear Carter say, “Alright, alright, I’m coming out. Let me cuff up.” The same report stated that he then heard a guard say, “No, you should’ve come out when we asked you the first time,” and that the guards continued to spray Carter, “turning his cell into a gas chamber.”

Listed below are documents HRC has gathered in relation to killing of John Carter at SCI-
Rockview. They are provided here to raise awareness, to garner support for his family seeking justice, and to inspire action against deliberate torture and killing of prisoners inside Pennsylvania Prisons.
Restricted Release List brief

Declaration of Andre Jacobs

Affidavit of Andre Jacobs

Suppport Letter from S. Muhammad Hyland

SCI Rockview Petition

"The Real John Carter" new commentary from Mumia Abu-Jamal August 19, 2012
HRC's Coverage of the Killing of John Carter: PA Prison Report May 7, PA Prison Report May 14, PA Prison Report May 21

Rustbelt Radio Coverage: May 7 interview with Michelle Williams, John Carter's sister; June 4 interview with HRC investigator (begins at 4 minutes - the audio is not self-contained, but is instead several mp3 links, so linking to the whole show is probably better

Black Agenda Report interview

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Coverage: Prisoners death in cell at State Correctional Institution Rockview raises questions  see also: In 'the hole': Pa. prisons' solitary confinement policy

Pittsburgh City Paper article: Conflicting Reports