by John Clutchette ~
I have read your publication periodically over the years, and after some discussion with fellow prisoners, it was suggested I seek your assistance with getting the message out there that I need help!
The enclosed documents tell a lot of the story of what I’ve been up against for years. Most of my support system has died – mother, wife, daughter and sister. The Brother Keith Wattley took my case and fought it to a short lived victory.
Note, I was found suitable for parole in 2003, but that decision was reversed. Also, the court ruled in my favor on a Habeas Corpus; that’s when I found out they had 11 confidential 1030s (Confidential Information Disclosure Forms) against me containing all sort of allegations. I received copies in 2005. The courts later sealed that evidence and labeled it confidential to prevent my attorney from seeing the information.
Instead of taking me back before the Parole Board, I was locked up on a 114-D investigation order, validated a BGF (Black Guerilla Family) and sent to Corcoran SHU for six years.
Director Susan Hubbard let me out on the Step Down Program, bypassing the first four steps to Step 5, sending me straight to General Population. I had to postpone all hearings while in the SHU. They were giving guys 10 and 15 year denials, based on that alone. Jan. 27, 2015, was my first time going back before them since the 2003 hearing.
It would take more time and paper than I have right now to rehash over 45 years of history – bottom line being, I went before the Parole Board in 1972, after Fleeta Drumgo and I was acquitted, when all the events were fresh. They found me suitable and paroled me; in 2003 I was found suitable and in 2015 I was again found suitable.
The enclosed documents tell a lot of the story of what I’ve been up against for years. The Brother Keith Wattley took my case and fought it to a short lived victory.Gov. Brown “reversed” the Parole Board as though the events of 1971 were something new. I wasn’t charged or indicted with the San Quentin Six, yet the governor acts as if I was an unindicted conspirator.
Before I close, let me go on record by saying none of us – George, Fleeta, David, Willie, Luis, Johnny, Hugo, James, Ruchell, William – were BGF. I’ve always taken issue with those who used George as a recruitment tool, for lack of a better word, reducing all his efforts and sacrifice to what the prison authorities now call a “Black prison gang.” The Brother had evolved far beyond that.
What I am trying to do is get some funds for Keith Wattley. He has represented more prisoners than myself and is deserving some reward and benefit for his diligence.
What I am trying to do is get some funds for Keith Wattley. He has represented more prisoners than myself and is deserving some reward and benefit for his diligence.Thank you in advance for whatever assistance you can provide.
Send our brother some love and light: John Clutchette, C-23857, CSP Solano B7-139L, P.O. Box 4000, Vacaville, CA 95696
It’s time for the last Soledad Brother to go homeIn a March 15, 2007, story headlined, “Justices Look Past Notorious History for Inmate’s Parole,” the San Francisco Daily Journal quoted the divided appellate panel explaining why he deserves to be paroled: “The fact that Clutchette was one of the ‘Soledad Brothers’ denotes only an alleged involvement in the murder of a corrections officer, of which he was acquitted. It is no wonder the People have never, even in the trial court, attempted to explain how this historically interesting but otherwise irrelevant material was significant for denial of parole.”
Clutchette enclosed a clipping of the article in a packet of papers with his letter. Also in the packet is a 1982 CDC Form “Q” “Tip and Enemy Information” naming him a BGF member and “one of the Soledad Brothers. Involved in SQ adjustment center incident of 8-21-71.” He notes this is “the sole basis for the BGF designation … This is not a validation.”
Ironically, several credible reports are circulating that high CDC officials want to remove BGF from the list of prison gangs because it is a political organization and not a gang but that “internal politics” are preventing them from doing so. Clutchette is in his 70s; how much longer must he wait?