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ATTN: Ed Cummings, M3 666 Walnut Street Easton, PA 18042
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Computer Hacker Severely Beaten
after Criticizing Prison Conditions
Target of Campaign by U.S. Secret Service
MEDICAL [ Sept, 11 1996 ]
Ed's uncle was a bit late attending the facial surgeon visit yesterday. Although the visit was successful, and Ed had the 26 stitches in his neck removed, there was a skirmish. Ed's uncle, Ben Howells, brought a camera to take photographs of Ed's face. Apparently _no_ investigation has been done as of yet regarding the assault on Ed last weekend. Deputy Ward (a sheriff's deputy) and a Northampton County prison officer transporting Ed to the visit were none too happy about Mr. Howells' attendance of the visit.
They asked him to leave but he did not, saying that he believed the doctor's office was a public place.
Mr. Howells then followed Ed and the officers out to the parking lot. He began taking photgraphs as Ed was being handcuffed and shackled for his return to prison. Deputy Ward, a 300lb.+ guy, jumped Mr. Howells and took the camera from him. We should point out that Mr. Howells is a retired politician, about 5'10 and slim build, aged 65+. There was apparently much shouting, after which Mr. Howells received his camera back.
Mr. Howells returned to Dr. Elstein's office and spoke with him for about 30 minutes. Dr. Elstein has clearly stated that he will assure that Ed receives his next follow up visit (in 2 weeks). He also agreed to contact Dr. Wood at the prison to attempt to assure that Ed received adequate antibiotics and pain medication.
During Ed's transport back to prison, Deputy Ward and the guard insisted that the appearance of Ed's uncle during the office visit was a security violation - that anyone could have appeared at the visit with guns, etc. to shoot at them. Ed pointed out to them that in fact it was his uncle who arranged the visit - there had been no leak of information out to him. They insisted that it was still a security breach and that Ed would have no further medical visits outside the prison.
Their promise seems to have held true - Ed was supposed to have a visit to his other surgeon, Dr. Jaeger, to have his arm evaluated and the surgical staples removed, TODAY at 8AM. This visit did not take place. It has been 10 days since the surgery and the staples should be removed to prevent undue scarring.
This morning we received a call from the Executive himself, a Mr. Frank Bilotta. He was very helpful and listened carefully to the detailed story about Ed's situation.
We have sent him a fax containing all the details. He mentioned to us that he was aware of Ed's transfer to Northampton County when it occurred last week. We have asked him to look into various aspects of Ed's situation including medical care, pain medication, visitation privileges, law library usage, and parole status. He has assured us he will do so and get back to us.
Ed assures me that PA state law requires state and county prisons to provide media access to inmates unless the prison feels that this type of access would endanger the security conditions at the facility. "Professional Visits" from lawyers and journalists are supposedly allowed at any time. Declan is going to follow up on this and attempt to do the interview within the next few days.
More information on this case can be found on the following web site: http://www.2600.com.
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