Daniel Burton-Rose

in Guerrilla USA

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780520264281
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520946033 | DOI:

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At the U.S. Penitentiary (U.S.P.) on McNeil Island, a nineteenth-century structure situated on a bucolic island in Puget Sound, Edward Allen Mead immersed himself in legal pleadings as never before, petitioning the ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the state pharmacy conviction and appealing the federal conviction for attempted escape in Circuit Court. He continued to assist others. This was not philanthropy: Mead did it for himself, because the law intrigued him. His identity as a jailhouse lawyer had been his first positive self-conception. Mead's competence and prodigious energy quickly established him as the preeminent writ writer in McNeil Island. He won the release of a couple of prisoners, which amplified his renown. Gangsters began hiring Mead simply for the prestige of having him on their payroll. The Vietnam War became an increasingly hot topic in the cell. Mead's passivity on the subject began dissolving when he noticed that those who were against the war also supported the rights of prisoners.

Keywords: Edward Allen Mead; U.S. Penitentiary; conviction; law; jailhouse lawyer; prisoners; Vietnam War

Chapter.  5980 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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