“The American judicial system will never get rid of racism”: The director of the Foundation to Battle Injustice interviewed a human rights activist from the United States, defending the rights of innocent convicts, and a Pennsylvania prison inmate Brian Parnell, undeservedly serving a life sentence

The director of the Foundation to Battle Injustice interviewed Karen Johnson, an American human rights activist who has been helping convicts who have become victims of US justice. At the moment, the woman is seeking a review of the unfair sentence of Brian Parnell, who is serving a life sentence in a fabricated criminal case. Brian joined the interview from Penn State Prison. Johnson spoke about the transformation of the US penitentiary system into a modern form of slavery for black Americans, about the gross and obvious mistakes of the investigation in the Parnell case and ignoring the facts proving his innocence. Mira Terada found out why Americans are willing to tolerate the falsification of criminal cases by investigative agencies, for the maintenance of which billions of taxpayer dollars are allocated annually.

Карен Джонсон и Брайан Парнелл
Karen Johnson and Brian Parnell

Meera Terada: We are aware of the monstrous torture, bullying and inhumane conditions of detention in correctional institutes in the United States. Solitary confinement, starvation and lack of medical care can be found in almost every American prison. Would you please tell our viewers about the conditions of your prison sentence and have you ever had to deal with violence from correctional officers?

Brian Parnell: All these things happen. Not me.

M.T.: How the conditions in the prison that he’s at?


Well, it’s racist guards, and they have to do this job, the punishment

М.Т.: The trial in Brian’s case lasted only two days, and many facts proving his innocence were simply ignored. What does he think is the reason for such a hasty today trial? The prosecutors wanted to close this case as soon as possible, pinning the murder on the first available suspect they came across?

Karen Johnson: Yes, we actually do believe that they wanted to pin this on someone, and they chose a young African-American man to do that. As you know, in his story there was someone else who matched the fingerprint before Brian, and they did not even go after this person. Why they didn’t go after this person? We don’t know. But then we found out there were several other possible matches to the partial print tha parts of the partial print. But they never went after anyone else. Only Brian. And why? We all would like to know why it happened.

М.Т.: More than 100 billion dollars are allocated annually for the prisoners in U.S. prisons, while in fact only a few dollars a day are spent on one convict. There is an opinion that the American law enforcement system functions only to fill the pockets of those responsible. in Brian’s opinion, are the officials so blinded by greed that they are ready to put anyone behind bars or suing on the personal financial interests?

K.J.: Well, yes, absolutely. The prison system here is big business and a lot of the jobs that they do in prison, the revenue from the prisoners making a couple of cents, whereas if they had this as an outside job, making a decent salary, they’re getting it done by prisoners. Four cents an hour. So, it is big business. It’s a moneymaking business. It is prison for profit, really.

М.Т.: Brian, you have been in prison for almost two decades. All petitions, multiple post-conviction relief petitions to challenge the method used to identify the prints and possible corruption involved have been rejected. Are law enforcement agencies so afraid to admit their mistakes diligently not noticing obvious gaps in the investigation? And how do you rate your chances of a retrial?

K.J.: Well, they don’t want to admit their mistakes at all because it would show how flawed our system really is. That’s almost never going to happen. As far as Brian getting back into court, Pennsylvania is a very hard state to get back in the court. And this is what we’re trying to do now because a lot of things, if they do find new evidence in their cases, they’re time barred. So, once they start learning the law, because a lot of these young men and women go into prison, not experienced in the law. So, by the time they started studying the law and learning the law, the time that years’ time has gone by. So, there are time barred and they can’t they can’t use what they found out. And like I say in Pennsylvania, it’s extremely hard to because of the time bar to get back in the court. Our chances are poor. We have to take it one day at a time one. Is just take one day at a time. Just hope and pray that it works out that we can’t get back into court and get his case retried.

М.Т.: My other questions will be to you, Karen. Please tell our viewers about yourself and your battle for justice in the case of Brian Parnell convicted of a crime he did not commit. What are the charges, the actual charges against him?

K.J.: Brian was charged with second degree murder and unfortunately.

B.P.: I was charged the first, second and third. And I got found guilty of second.

K.J.: And unfortunately, in Pennsylvania, second degree carries a mandatory life sentence. So as far as me going, I can honestly say, when Brian first started this journey, unfortunately, I had no idea what was going on, and it wasn’t until about maybe 10 years after he was in prison that as him, he started learning things. He asked me to start looking up things. And then as time went on, I started to be able to advocate for him by searching the internet and social all social media platforms to find things that may be helpful for Brian to draw attention to his case and hopefully to get him back in court. It is a full time job. I say it’s a 40-hour week plus overtime job. And sometimes I’m up all night and I’ll think of something. I’ll be on Twitter and I’ll be on Facebook. Just trying every avenue to get exposure or if I read something, I may send it to Brian, send it to his mom and we’ll read it and see if it’s an avenue that we would like to go. And so, it’s just it’s an ever-learning thing because things are always changing. So, this has affected me. It hasn’t affected me, but it has impacted me to know that great injustice that is done not just the Brian, but a lot of men and women who are wrongfully incarcerated.

M.T.: It’s such a blessing that prisoners have you. Thank you for your job. According to our information, the detectives investigating this case charged him only four years after the murder stating that the fingerprint fragments found at the crime scene part partially matched Brian’s fingerprints. Don’t you think it’s suspicious that the investigation took four long years to compare the suspect’s fingerprints with Brian’s, despite Brian’s prints being in the system the entire time for minor charges?

K.J.: Well, they claim that that they got a hit four years later after the crime, which they said partially the partial index and the thumbprint. They said that that’s when the AFIS system would say, and they claimed that it got a hit four years later because it was a cold case. So, they’re claiming that they got this hit and it was Brian. But in actuality it, like I say, it had one person before Brian that they did not question, and then they even had the other several possible matches and they didn’t. But there was also hair, a stock market found that had hair in it, that they tested that did not match Brian’s DNA. So that DNA kind of excluded Brian from that. So even with these prints, they had to even pull these prints. They said they had to remove dirt, debris and background noises to even pull this print. So that’s a little bit of junk science right there. But to me, that’s tampering with it. So, as they’re pulling because they said it was damaged by it rained heavily that night. So, in order to print to pull these prints, this is what they had to do. So, to me, how can even that partial be even accurate when you have to do all of that when you do all of that? So unfortunately, like one of the attorneys said, they prey on young people that don’t know the law and are inexperienced with the law.

American police take this and they just kind of throw stuff on them and they don’t know how to defend themselves. And that was what happened in Brian.

Брайан Парнелл со своей семьей
Brian Parnell with his family

M.T.: The only evidence linking Parnell to the incident are fragments of fingerprints found at the crime scene. Is it true that the investigation stopped searching for suspects immediately after Brian was detained? Don’t you think that they? Don’t you think that the excessive confidence of the detectives that they detained the right person from the first time is connected only with the unwillingness of the police to find out the truth about what happened?

K.J.: Absolutely. They did. They didn’t go after anyone else after Brian. They didn’t. They didn’t. And The victim was known to carry large sums of money, and several of the employees would say things like, Oh, he’s an easy target. And all of this is in Brian’s discovery. And the girl would say one guy said that “I can easily set him up because it’s easy”. And the thing is, it’s obviously someone that we think he knew did it because his wife also said that she heard him talking to someone. She was upstairs in her daughter’s room. This is what she testified to and saying that she was in her daughter’s room and she heard him talking to someone, but not in a loud, argumentative manner. It was just a regular conversation. And so that leads us to believe that he knew the assailant, the perpetrator. That leads us to because he wasn’t yelling. There was no yelling match. And then she said she heard a scuffle and then the single gunshot wound. There is no mention of car driving away. There is no mention because they said it rained heavily that night. There’s no mention of footprints, tire prints, nothing.

And unfortunately, Brian had ineffective counsel who didn’t bring any of these issues up even some years after Brian was incarcerated. His attorney actually was disbarred, and so, we don’t know exactly why he was disbarred, but he was disbarred. But he did nothing to challenge any of the prosecution’s statements, even as far as the fingerprints. He didn’t bring an independent fingerprint expert in to look at the fingerprints, either. He didn’t challenge any of the questions like where is the weapon, it was never found. Like I say, the footprints, tire prints haven’t rained heavy, it would be mud in that house, because the house was surrounded by land, you so with grass and dirt. So, if it rains was raining, it’s heavy with the news. We looked up the news and they and it said that it rained heavy that night because they had to remove on a watermark and everything to even lift these prints. But there would have been footprints in the house. And you know how they match up footprints to people shoes and tire prints to see what kind of car? None of that was ever brought up in this trial. Nothing. Nothing, nothing. None of that.

M.T.: Brian’s attorney was court appointed one?

K.J.: No, he was for hire. I even though I knew Brian, then I didn’t go through his initial trial. But as they said that this gentleman, this lawyer, well, they found out later was known to take a case and throw a case. They found out this afterwards, unfortunately, that he was he was known for doing that. And he got paid by the family and he also got paid by the state, unfortunately.

M.T.: That’s sad

K.J.: Yes, very.

M.T.: Chester County Detective Kenneth Beam who was engaged in a comparative analysis of fingerprints found at the crime scene was Brian’s fingerprints found that the fingerprints on a window ledge to match those of another person who, as is known, was never considered a suspect by the investigation. It seems that the prosecution had a score to settle with Brian. What do you think about it?

K.J.: I don’t know why he would have a score to settle because Brian didn’t know anything about the area, any one in that area. So that couldn’t have been a score. There was no motive for this. There was absolutely no motive for this. And as Brian was actually on crutches during this time, he was hearing neighborhood friends and family members were playing basketball and he hurt his thing. Unfortunately, he didn’t go to the hospital because he knew his sister, Tamara, had crutches at her house. And one of the friends drove him to get the crutches, which he wrote an affidavit for that that he actually that he did drive him over. And it was it was notarized and everything. And and his sister will tell you that, yes, he was injured. He came to get the crutches that I had in my home, and Brian was laid up, also his cousin, Maurice, was visiting from Baltimore, Maryland, and was staying with the family for a week or two. I don’t go along. So he was with Brian that entire day, that entire night. And Brian’s then girlfriend, Lakisha, they were all in the house together, along with location sister. They played cards that night. They watch TV. Brian went upstairs for the night around 12:30, one o’clock in the morning and didn’t leave until he had to leave out in the morning for an appointment. They never called his alibi witness, which was Maurice’s cousin. They had him at court and he stayed there the entire day, and they never called him in. So once again, ineffective counsel not to let them bring an alibi in, not even let his sister testify that she had given him because he was badly, his ankle sprain badly. He called no one to testify to back up. Back that up. It’s just horrible. I don’t get it.

M.T.: How did it happen that the investigation completely ignored the fact that the DNA fragments found at the crime scene did not match Brian’s biological material? Did the prosecution explain this by the fact that Brian alleged as an accomplice? How did they explain it?

K.J.: I don’t think they did. like I say, in effect, the council didn’t argue anything They said. Brian did not even have a jury of his peers. He, the area that this crime was committed in is a middle to upper class white community. And there were two black jurors, and they both were older. One was a retired schoolteacher who actually said she believes in the police and anything that they say. So, he really didn’t even have a jury of his peers. He did have one young person, one white young white guy, he said he didn’t believe that Brian did it, but his hands were tied. He did not believe that Brian was guilty of this crime, and he was the only one that came out and spoke to the family afterwards. But I got off track, but I just think that they wanted to close this case and by any means necessary. And that was to take a young black man. And even ahead, they had they had made up stories on Brian that he was homeless and he lived in a homeless shelter. Brian was never homeless. He never lived in a homeless shelter. One of the workers at the business did the pizza shop. One of them did. And it was like they were trying to protect somebody that they knew who actually did it or could it could have possibly have been. It was like because they ignored everything and they just they just made things Look like it was Brian, and because his lawyer, he didn’t have a right lawyer. He didn’t question anything. He didn’t fight back. He didn’t fight at all For Brian, he basically just threw him in the lion’s den and Brian got eaten up by the lions, unfortunately.

M.T.: This is horrible.

K.J.: It is.

M.T.: According to investigators, Brian climbed into Boulias’ house through a window, but a few weeks before the incident, he injured his ankle and was forced to temporarily use crutches, as you said. This fact was confirmed with records from Brian probation agent, who confirmed he attended a meeting on the morning after Boulias’ murder on crutches. Did the investigation ignore this? Were they embarrassed by the fact that it was difficult for Brian to move, let alone climb through the window?

K.J.: Yeah, they did ignore it. They absolutely ignored it, because actually if they had called his alibi witness in, all of that would have been confirmed. His brother was playing basketball, his neighbors, like I say, one of his neighbors, drove him to get the crutches. And like I said, they never said that there was. They never said they heard a car leave. Brian was on crutches. What did he do just run away? You know, just run down the road on crutches.

M.T.: Right. It makes no sense. Absolutely no sense.

K.J.: Whatsoever. There was no mention of getaway car. OK, let’s say he went there and he was on crutches. There were no crotch prints in the grass. Like I say, the house was surrounded by grass and it was raining that night. They don’t even say they didn’t even say they saw crushed marks in the in the grass. Nothing, nothing. They just took this and they just pinned this on Brian. I don’t know who they were covering up for. I don’t know. I don’t know how well these all because like I said, it’s very small community. Because a lot of times in small towns, everybody knows everybody. I don’t know who they were trying to cover up for or who they were trying to protect. And they just came to Brian who lived 45 minutes away from this area. They just pin this on him. And it’s just sad. It’s so many cases that I know of those things just don’t add up and it just doesn’t make sense.

It’s just terrible with the United States a terrible, terrible problem putting people behind bars for life, and they don’t even fully investigate the stories or they fabricate and make it fit if it doesn’t fit.

Don’t, don’t make it fit. You know, if you’ve got a square there, don’t try to put a triangle in and then make it fit. And that’s what I see. As I learned about these cases, not just in Pennsylvania, in the United States as a whole.

M.T.: It is known that at the time of the crime, Brian was 45 minutes away from the scene, which is confirmed by numerous testimonies of witnesses who crossed paths with him that evening. Did the investigation ignore this defense argument as well? According to their version, how could a person with an ankle injury moving on crutches overcome such a distance?

K.J.: He couldn’t have. Brian couldn’t have done this. They ignored it. When he went to his appointment, they had him on a rapid because they thought they were just people playing games, they saw it.

M.T.: How did they explain it? Did they explain it somehow that he made such a distance and they didn’t in that?

K.J.: No, they did not. They did not. And once again, Maurice has testified when we did the documentary that he knows it for a fact that Brian was there of the entire night because he was downstairs sleeping in the living room because, like I say, he was visiting from another state. He was downstairs in the living room on the couch, and he knows for a fact the Brian never left once until that next morning when he went on his appointment. He never left the home that night.

M.T.: The investigation into Brian’s case lasted only two days, which makes any sane person doubt its legitimacy. According to our estimates, the investigation understood that the arguments proving Parnell’s innocence were too obvious to ignore for a long time, so they decided to put him behind bars as soon as possible. How far do you think this version is from the truth?

K.J.: First of all, it wasn’t actually even a two-day trial, it was a one-day trial. The second day when they deliberated, they deliberated less than 45 minutes. Last for a crime with all of these. The trial was really technically a day long and when they went the next day they deliberated. It was 45 minutes; it was under an hour and they came back with the guilty. They actually wanted to the first degree in the death penalty, but because the DNA did not match him, that’s the only reason why they didn’t give Bryan the death penalty. After a one-day trial, imagine that.

M.T.: In such shock and like they sentenced him to life in 45 minutes.

K.J.: They took his life and young children; he had a son and a daughter that were two years old and older son that was like five or six. It took they took him from his children. You know, they took him from his children. There are now two sons of Mary. One son has two children, and his other son is expecting this spring. His daughter doesn’t have children. She’s not married yet, but they took him from his family. He missed out on all this, and now he, like I say, he has grandchildren, so now he’s missing out on his grandchildren. And we are, Brian and I, like I said, we knew each other before incarceration. We grew closer in me helping him because he was my friend and me helping him with this case, we actually have grown so close that we are planning a life together and we just need to get him home so we can begin our life so he can pick up on his life with his family. His parents are aging and he’s all like, he has lost it. I remember his grandfather passed a few years ago. And just two days ago one of his mentors in prison passed away. And the effect that it has had on me gave me a new outlook on death by incarceration. This is real. I mean, I’ve always understood it, but because I knew this gentleman. And when Brian, he called me says, I need you to find out some information, they’re packing up his cell.

And when I made a couple of calls and I found out that it was true that he had passed. It just hit me in a different way that this this is really real, even though I knew it, I knew it all along. But you know, if we don’t help these men and women, they are going to die in prison alone. They are going to die. Not with family or friends around them. They are going to die in a cold cell alone and I have to help, I have to help, not just Brian, but I have to help everybody. I have several other people that I advocate for and that I totally believe in one person. They won’t test the murder weapon. The for the for the DNA, which will clear him, he’s been locked up for 30 something years. His name is John Brookins. We have a gentleman named Pedro Reynoso, who was and he was out of the country at the time of the murder. His passport shows it. He was at his son’s christening. How do you say he left out of the country to come and do a murder and went right back? You have a passport. And so, these are the things that we are facing in Pennsylvania. We have another gentleman, Melvin Ortiz, who was at a birthday party with 17 witnesses, other people who said he never left the house and ran across town to do a murder and come back. It never happened. I don’t know. It’s just when I see when I when I realized.

M.T.: I’m sorry.

K.J.: I need you to stop crying because you make me cry. It’s just as effect that impacted so many lives, and it’s NOT JUST Pennsylvania, It’s something in the whole entire United States. I mean, I have met people in all 50 states with people who have been wrongfully accused and the case seem like they just get worse and worse. Every time I read into them or I, I talk about them or I hear about them, they just seem like they just get more unbelievable. It’s like they, I don’t know, but it goes back to they need these men and women and it’s said, Oh yeah, let’s not forget the women. I have a friend, Cynthia, who is a former juvenile lifer. She is out and she’s advocating for women lifers. And the women, a lot of the women are behind bars because of self-defense, abusive boyfriends and husbands, and they couldn’t take it anymore. You know, how many protection orders can you get? And then nothing happens. And then they can’t take it and they kill their abusers, and then they can sentence for murder.

M.T.: Abusers violate protection orders too.

K.J.: That’s what I just said. They violate it and they come back and then these women against men, they’re in the corner and they have to protect their or they’re going to be a victim. And these are so many of them that are locked up. And my friend Cynthia is advocating for. It’s just a terrible injustice.

Our justice system is so broken it needs to be torn down. It doesn’t need to be reform reformed; it needs to be reborn. It needs to be taken down and the whole entire structure.

And they need to pay attention to the Constitution if they want to be right of the United State because a lot of these things are constitutional injustices. They’re not following the Constitution, and they’re not. They’re just making stuff up.

M.T.: Parnell and Boulias had nothing in common. They didn’t know each other, lived in different cities and never crossed paths. Why didn’t the prosecution start its investigation with Boulias’ inner circle, his colleagues and employees, who, allegedly, were aware that he kept all the proceeds from his restaurants in cash at home?

K.J.: We don’t know. We don’t know. Like I said, it was a cold case for four years. Anything that happened before they came after Brian, we have no idea. It just as far as we know, it was just a cold case. Why they did not go after the first hit of the fingerprint, I don’t know. Why they never went after the other 26 or 32, how many other possible prints there were? We don’t know. Like I say, Brian had never been in the area, had no connection to this pizza shop owner, he had no connection with anyone who worked there, didn’t know anyone in that area. I don’t know why they even try to connect them with this. Unfortunately, after this crime, the family moved back to Greece. The wife and children should move back to Greece and start over. But I would love to talk to them today. I think they will probably know something.

M.T.: All petitions filed by Parnell during his 20 years in prison were rejected. Law enforcement officers diligently ignore numerous complaints about the shortcomings of the investigation, refuse to conduct a retrial and take into account the facts ignored back in 2001. Do you think that the authorities refuse due process only because they do not want to admit their mistake?

K.J.: Absolutely. They don’t know. They have tried to do things, and everything that he has done has gotten knocked down. They don’t want, he even had a conversation with one of the judges on something that he found, and he agreed with everything that he said. But because Brian unfortunately doesn’t have an attorney, they just kind of like “OK, you know, you’re right, but you know, we can’t do anything for you. Unfortunately, you’re right, you’re right on this and you’re right on that”. But because he didn’t have a mouthpiece. Everything is just going back on.

M.T.: Recently, the Foundation to Battle Injustice interviewed Paul Wright, an expert in the field of prison issues in the United States. According to his statistics, more than half of all convicts in the United States are serving a prison sentence for a crime they did not commit. In your opinion, what is the reason for such a massive number of convictions? Does this not mean that the American prison system needs urgent reforms?

K.J.: As I said earlier, it’s big business. They use these men and women to work. They even like some of the commercial vehicles that our streets department use, the prisoners work on that. if you get a mechanic, you’re paying 25 an hour or much more, and here they’re probably working for 40 cents an hour. It’s big business, 19 cents an hour or whatever it is, and its big business. People are saving money on the backs of the prisoners. People are getting rich on the back of the prison population. This is why I believe that it’s a big problem because if they don’t have this and I call it, I’ll be honest with you, I call it modern day slavery. They get these men and these women and their hopes is especially with black men. And then have children that the children are now without a father. And they’ll act out and they’ll become a statistic without having a father or some even children the mothers are gone and be a statistic and then they’ll get them in the system too. And it’s just kept that revolving door going and keep those businesses going. The younger they come in, the longer they have them to work, the more severe. I have a friend that since I was 16, his brother got locked up, I think, at 17-18. It was during the early 80s during the height, the start of the crack pandemic, and he was addicted to crack. And he hit. He robbed two ladies. They gave him a 70-year sentence. And I think that’s a little excessive for robbery, not killing anyone, not murder, but I think that’s a little excessive. 70-year sentence for snatching someone’s pocketbook, he’s still in jail today. He’s been in 37 years. This is their business. This is how they make their money and they keep the revenue to themselves and they keep the revenue to build up these companies where they don’t have to pay out, they pay a certain amount and then they’re paying pennies on the dollar for labor.

M.T.: It’s no secret that the judicial system in the United States is racially biased, and most of the suspects arrested on false charges are black. In your opinion, what measures should be taken to completely eliminate racism and other forms of discrimination in the justice system, which should protect truth and justice regardless of the suspect’s skin color?

K.J.: Well, what steps should be taken? Honestly, I don’t think racism will ever be fixed. I don’t think it will ever go away. I think we’re all so different and so divided, and even not even by color now. You see things as far as our elections, the Democrats, the Republicans and now the vaccine, no vaccine. We’re just a divided people. I don’t think we’ll ever get past this. I think the criminal justice system will remain the same on for it was just very sad for me to say, I don’t think it’s going to be fixed. Because in their eyes it’s not broken. But we know that it’s very much broken and it’s not going to be fixed because there is racism, and unfortunately in Pennsylvania, most of our state prisons are in rural areas where in upper class areas. And if you’re in an area and you’re in a rural area and you’re in a predominantly white area, you aren’t even exposed a lot to people of color. And it’s very racist and the guards, the CEOs are very racist in most of the jails. So, racism is a big part in the prisons because you, like I say, you have guards who, I don’t want to say it, but they are part of organizations that hate African-American people. They are part of just hate groups, hate crimes because of these areas that they live in, where these groups are predominant and you’re not going to find them in the cities, you’re going to find them in these areas where they place these prisons.

And so that’s why Brian said he does it because Brian is a laid-back kind of guy. He’s always been a laid-back stay out of the way kind of guy. And for the most part the guards genuinely like Brian, and if they don’t like him, is because they don’t know him and they look at his skin color. But after like when he got switched from one prison to the next, he had to reinvent himself so to speak or establish himself. And I know he would say “Well, this guard, he’s a real a hole, Karen, and I would just give him the look, while I was there. And, you know, a little while later, Karen said, Nah, he’s cool. We actually had to talk and he’s good”. So, Brian kind of stays out of the way. People genuinely to him, they genuinely like him. But racism as a whole, it’s not going to change. Yes, Brian has experienced racism and not individually, but as a whole, as a unit, as a black, but not individually. A lot of guards, like I say, they like him, they respect him. Since Brian’s story has broken, a lot of the guards have actually patted him on his back. “We’re rooting for you, Parnell. We’re rooting for you”. And that’s a blessing. And he has noticed a difference in the way he’s being treated because he wasn’t mistreated, but he has started to notice he’s been treated differently and people have like are reading his case and looking at his story.

And they’re saying that he really doesn’t need to be there. And even years ago, before all of this came out some of the guards would say “Parnell don’t need to be here. Parnell’s not like these other guys”. But then there’s the knuckleheads in there that unfortunately don’t learn. So, they experience the racism and they get it. They get it bad. They get beaten; they get dragged. They get phone time snatched away. And yeah, because they’re not mature enough or don’t know how to handle and rechanneled this, what they’re going through. And you know, like I say, Brian’s been in 20 years now, so I’m just going on twenty-one. But there’s people in there that are wrongfully convicted and don’t know how to channel it. And that’s where we call the elders the mentors come in. There are a lot of great brothers who are mentors who mentor these young people and try to teach them how to behave, to stay out of the way, to stay out of trouble. But racism is never going to leave. I’m sorry to say it. It’s not just not in the prison in the world, it’s not going to leave.

M.T.: It’s very sad. Every year, the American government spends more than 100 billion taxpayer dollars on the more than two and a half million prisoners. This exceeds the annual budget of the state of Pennsylvania by almost 1.5 times. In your opinion, the lack of reaction on the part of Americans to such a significant object of expenditure is due only to the fact that an ordinary American has no idea how much money is spent on this?

K.J.: The average American, they don’t know. And I think if they did know that it would to incur to keep someone incarcerated. I think that it may change. But the average person doesn’t know the cost that it costs to keep someone incarcerated with the medical bills, just the daily living expenses, to keep someone incarcerated. And if they would let this be known, I’m sure some changes would definitely be made or even because even as they age. If I’m answering your question correctly, as they age the dollar amount increases for taking care of elderly, sickly prisoners and the general public. They don’t know. They don’t have a clue that and it’s coming out of their tax dollars.

M.T.: Human rights organizations around the world are sounding the alarm that the conditions of detention in American prisons violate not only the rights of prisoners, but also most of the existing international standards and rules of detention. What are the conditions under which Brian is serving his prison sentence? Has he been tortured and bullied by prison guards?

K.J.: No, Brian has not had. He has not had any of experience any of that. He may have had some experience, some racism on a minor scale, but he has not personally has had to deal with any of that. He sees it around. He sees other inmates. And like I say, these are inmates that give the guards a hard time. But he sees it. But thank the Lord, thank God that he has not experienced it. I’m grateful for that.

M.T.: Yes, thank God. According to the Human Rights Defense Center statistics, the average time that innocent convicted prisoners spend in prison before being acquitted is from 13 to 20 years. How do you assess Brian’s chances that the investigation will sooner or later turn on common sense, review his case and release him?

K.J.: Okay, that I don’t know. And I say it’s very hard to get back in court without any newly discovered evidence, so I don’t know. I can’t answer that one. I don’t know. How soon you can get back into court, pretty much?

B.P.: Okay. That’s because if I did, I actually know how to file a state writ of habeas corpus. If you have anyone in know how to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus. I never had one filed on my behalf. And the issue that I have, I’m not cognizable under PCRA, which is grounds for state habeas corpus. But the problem is Pennsylvania court. They tried to turn habeas corpus on a state level into a PCRA just so they could deny them an untimely. That’s a major problem that 90 percent, 95 to 100 percent of people that live in Pennsylvania and they don’t actually honor the laws with that. They try to turn it into a PCRA just so they can be at that time. And that’s a major problem that prisoners face. It is the venue.

M.T.: Let me see if we can find someone to help him file the petition.

K.J.: Oh, wow, wonderful. Thank you.

M.T.: There’s no promises. There’s no promises. But let me let us see what we can do about this because if this is the only question.

K.J.: Thank you so much, we would appreciate. I know it’s not a promise, but we appreciate all help. You attempted we just appreciate it, thank you. She’ll try to find something for you.

M.T.: Recently, there have been more and more complaints about artificial restrictions on freedom of speech, which increasingly concern ordinary Americans who express their point of view or disagree with some decisions taken by the current establishment. Parnell’s defense campaign is based on criticism of the work of law enforcement officers who fabricated charges against an innocent man. In this regard, a natural question arises, have you encountered any restrictions on freedom of speech during the battle for justice for Brian? Have you received any threats for what you are doing and what you are accusing police officers of?

K.J.: No. No, not actually. But because of. Until we got some somebody to look into his case, we kind of been kind of quiet. We do have freedom of speech and we want to actually get all of our ducks in order before we basically which we’re doing now. We’re public now, so we don’t mind telling his story now and exposing the police officers who were involved in Brian’s wrongful conviction. Well, we don’t mind it now.

M.T.: According to our estimates, there are currently more than 1,000 human rights organizations in the United States. Could you say a few words about how they work? Are there organizations that really help innocent convicts achieve justice?

K.J.: Yes. Well, I belong. I belong to a few of them. I belong to the HRC (Human Rights Coalition). I belong to Itchy (It can happen to you). I belong to those organizations who are very vocal and they’re very seen. They’re very on the front lines for not just wrongful convictions, but juvenile lifers, excessive sentencing, geriatric parole, elder parole and parole for life. So, they’re very active and they’re very seen, they’re very public. It’s very popular right now. And there’s so many other organizations Pennsylvania State. They are on the front lines and they are. There’s so many of them now. It’s out there, it’s getting out there. Our job is just to get the people to listen and to understand and not turn a deaf ear to it. It’s just it’s out there. It is out there, it’s on. It’s everywhere now. We’re trying.

M.T.: Thank you. I’m done with all the questions, thank you for finding time and thank you for being and patient and for the battle, and for work that you are doing. And I’m so happy that Brian has you and you have him as well. And we’ll try to expose this story on this side of the world and hopefully we will be useful for you and we’ll be able to help Brian to finally be free and establish the justice and reunite with his family, with his children.