BRATTLEBORO - On June 30, from 7 until 9 p.m. at the Brooks Memorial Library there will be a showing of two documentary films that reflect upon our corrupt justice system. A discussion with the filmmaker Deirdre Sinnott will follow. Refreshments will be available and the event is free. Donations are accepted.
"23 Reasons Why 23 Years is Enough" the first film, is about Pascual Carpenter, an unarmed lookout for the 1990 spur-of-the-moment subway robbery that went horribly wrong and resulted in the death of Utah tourist Brian Watkins. Watkins’ tragic death came soon after the Central Park jogger case and made for more splashy headlines and national news.
Pascual and six other teens, including the young man who actually stabbed Watkins, were convicted under the controversial felony-murder rule, a law that charges people with murder if they were involved in an underlying felony that resulted in the death of the victim, a fellow defendant, a police officer or a bystander.
The second documentary is titled "Multiple Injuries". This film is about Mark Gizewski who survived Thalidomide, a prescription drug his mother took for morning sickness. It caused thousands of people to be born with severe birth defects from 1957 to 1962.
He survived over 30 surgeries to "correct" those deformities with varying results. Right now, Mark is in the NYS prison system serving a LIFE sentence for a 1995 offense where he pretended to have a gun. He was released after 6 years, but sent back in 2009 for a parole violation.
He is not getting the proper care he needs to survive. DOCCS has him in Mohawk Correctional Facility locked in 24 when not at programming for minor offenses. Five Points Correctional Facility refused his requests for proper accommodations due him under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
On Jan. 5, 2014, Mark says that two Five Points guards threw him from his wheelchair, broke his arm in five places and caused a contusion on his chest in the shape of a boot. (Five Points claims he fell out of his chair. No explanation has been offered for the boot-shaped bruise).
Mark has very special needs in order to be able to survive. Join the British group The Thalidomide Trust and activists in demanding Mark be released before his fragile health deteriorates further.
Deirdre Sinnott is a New York City filmmaker with Fossil Fern Productions. She has recently been included for her work in the American Documentary Film Festival Library. She is very enthusiastic about hosting this event in Brattleboro. Pascual Carpenter is up for parole in November 2014.