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Hale held with worst of worst

Chicago Sun-Times, USA
Apr. 28, 2005
Natasha Korecki, Federal Courts Reporter
www.suntimes.com

ReligionNewsBlog.com • Saturday April 30, 2005

White supremacist Matthew Hale has arrived at the nation’s highest-security prison in Colorado, a place typically reserved for the federal government’s most dangerous inmates.

Hale will serve his 40-year sentence in Florence, Colo., at ADMAX — Administrative Maximum United States Penitentiary. He arrived there April 21, according to prison officials. That’s the same prison where Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph is expected to serve a life sentence; where Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski is serving four consecutive life sentences, and where Timothy McVeigh was held before he was executed for killing 168 people by blowing up the federal courthouse in Oklahoma City.

On April 6, Hale was sentenced to 40 years in prison for soliciting an undercover informant to murder U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow. Lefkow upheld a higher court’s ruling that forced his white supremacist group to change its name in a trademark case. Lefkow is the same judge whose husband and mother were slain earlier this year by a disgruntled litigant not connected to Hale.

Special restrictions imposed

Hale, who has always maintained that he is not guilty, is still being held under strict “special administrative measures,” said Wendy Montgomery, executive assistant public information officer at the supermax prison. She would not go into specifics about what the restrictions will mean and Bureau of Prison officials would not return calls.

While he was held in Chicago, Hale spent 23 hours a day in solitary confinement. He was allowed one hour a day for exercise and banned from communicating with anyone but attorneys and his family. His mail, phone calls and conversations were monitored, and that is expected to continue in Colorado.

In March, his parents were banned from seeing him for a year after they broke a rule that prohibits them from transmitting any messages from Hale to the public. Hale’s mother, Evelyn Hutcheson, relayed a statement from her son denouncing the Lefkow family murders. During that investigation, a previous Hale attorney also disclosed that Hutcheson at one time relayed a coded message to him from Hale.

Appealing his conviction

At Hale’s request, U.S. District Judge James Moody had recommended that Hale be placed in a Downstate Pekin jailhouse only a 20-minute drive away from his parents. But the ultimate decision lies with the Bureau of Prisons, which placed Hale in Colorado along with the nation’s worst of the worst.

“It’s quite a blow to us, but I’m not surprised,” said Russell Hale, Matt Hale’s father. “The government will do what they want to do when they want to do it.”

It is unclear how long Hale will continue to be held under special administrative measures. The restrictions are rare and reserved for inmates — typically terrorists — who might incite violence from prison.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has said the government still believes Hale is dangerous but he said the restrictions come up for review every six months.

Russell Hale said his son has already started the appeal process, and one Florida businessman is trying to get a legal fund going to challenge the restrictions placed on Hale.

“They’re punishing us all for something he didn’t do in the first place, and we’re going to prove that on down the line,” Russell Hale said.

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