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Urban Culture News SFBayView Help Myrtle Green Go Home
SFBayView Help Myrtle Green Go Home PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFBayView.com ID4193   
Thursday, 28 February 2008 23:23

"There is not much to say about my life except I had it all," says Myrtle Green, a prisoner at the California Institution for Women. "Now, suffice to say, it's better to have had and lost, than never to have had at all.

"In my free state, I was a law school graduate, owned for 35 years my own tax, accounting investment and real estate brokerage firms. All the while my partner raised and I raised two children. She stays in touch and supports me financially even though I have not spoken to her in 17 years. My daughter lives in Mississippi with my granddaughter, who will turn 18 this month. She graduates this year, plans to attend university.

"I have written my autobiography and am looking for a publisher. The title I have in mind is ‘From Cottonseed to Coca Leaf and All the Points Between.''"

The book should be fascinating. Ms. Green is the great, great granddaughter of a slave woman and an English slave owner and was born on the farm that her ancestor was given at the end of the Civil War, when the slaves were freed.

She was a successful woman before this conviction, and this conviction only came about because she refused to testify against a drug dealer that her daughter had been involved with and Myrtle had helped her flee from. He threatened to pursue and kill both daughter and granddaughter if Myrtle testified, but it's his testimony that convicted Myrtle - jailhouse witness given a deal, basically.

Myrtle Green is very active in many groups in prison: Long Timers, Convicted Women Against Abuse, African American Women's Prisoner Association and Yes, I Can! an inmate tutorial group and others.

This is a letter that Myrtle drafted, and she is asking that people send it to the Parole Board and Gov. Schwarzenegger. Just copy, sign and mail it to these two addresses:

"Board of Parole Hearings, Chairman James Davis, P.O. Box 4036, Sacramento, CA 95812-4036 and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Office of Legal Affairs, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.

"Request for release of Myrtle E. Green, W-32887, California Institution for Women, Corona, CA 92880-9508.

"Ms. Green, now aged 76, was found to be suitable for parole on Dec. 28, 2005, with a parole date June 8, 2010. She has now served 18 years in a case of conspiracy, where no harm came to anyone nor was there any attempt made on anyone's life. Both the Parole Commissioners and the District Attorney agreed she would be no threat to the public safety. This begs the question, "Why should she serve 27 years for murder when there was neither murder nor any attempt?"

"Ms. Green suffers from multiple disabilities, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension, causing the second stroke on Jan. 5, 2007, leaving her blind in one eye. She also suffers from deafness.

"In these days of severe prison overcrowding, would it not make better sense to free the California taxpayers from the cost of her incarceration and medical care? The odds are against her living until 2010.

"Would you please consider an earlier release for her?"

Dignity denied

The Parole Board was told that Myrtle had no place to parole to, no vocation, and her illnesses were fabricated. As you can see from Myrtle's letter, that's far from the truth. Almost a million dollars have been spent on her health care to date, and she's terrified that she's not going to make it home to see her girls. It's purely fighting spirit and determination that's keeping her going.

Readers are urged to write to the governor and pass Myrtle's details along to anyone else who''d be willing to write. Also, please drop Myrtle a card of support if you can; she really appreciates it. Her address is Myrtle Green, #32887, CIW/ MA31L, 16756 Chino-Corona Rd. Corona CA 92880.

Urban Culture News SFBayView Help Myrtle Green Go Home

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