Press Release Video From Sachs Media

By BitcoDavid

This video was created by Dave Heller, and sent to me by Porsche Haynes of Sachs Media Group, via Pat Bliss. It can also be seen on Vimeo.

Pat has shared with me, some of the monumental effort she put into this hearing – the travel, the personal financial expense, the sleeplessness and the endless meetings and interviews. She assures me that she will be submitting posts on the hearing, including Felix’s reactions to this devastating news.

She also told me that although we didn’t get what we wanted, we’re not complete losers in the outcome of this case. Felix’s next parole hearing will be in 3 years, which could have been 7. And he has received a 1 year reduction in the overall sentence. Frank on the other hand, whose hearing also took place on the same day, did not receive any of these benefits.

Here’s a link to coverage on Tampa Bay Times.

DeafInPrison.com will continue to work towards obtaining justice for this innocent Deaf man, and will continue reporting on this story, whenever we have information to share.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Felix Garcia Gets First Parole Hearing

By BitcoDavid

At 9:30AM, Eastern Standard Time, Felix Garcia – the innocent Deaf man who is currently serving his 31st year of a life sentence – will plead his case in front of a parole board.

Although we all hope desperately, that Felix finally gets a scintilla of the justice he so rightly deserves, parole would not have been my option of choice. There are 4 ways an inmate can be released. Exoneration, clemency, pardon and parole. Exoneration is when the court admits that they were wrong, and the individual is innocent. Clemency is a way the court can say they may or may not have been wrong, but they are willing to defer on the side of the defendant. Pardon is when the Governor – or the President of the United States – releases the inmate based on mercy. It means the inmate is guilty, but society is of a higher mind than simple punishment, and capable of taking mercy on the deserving. Parole on the other hand, requires an admission of guilt. In order to even qualify for parole, the inmate must show contrition and demonstrate rehabilitation.

Felix's most recent shot December 2013 Tomoka. Image Courtesy Pat Bliss

Felix’s most recent shot December 2013 Tomoka.
Image Courtesy Pat Bliss

Personally, I think that might be impossible for Felix. He has maintained his innocence for his entire life behind bars. I think he will struggle with the integral hypocrisy of admitting to being contrite over a crime he didn’t commit. Furthermore, parole isn’t freedom. It’s a qualified release. Felix will have to report to a parole officer who can violate him at any time, and at whim. He will be expected to take whatever job they assign him, and he will be subjected to regular drug tests.

Felix could easily qualify to teach ASL, or to work in the computer industry, but he’ll end up working in a car wash, until his parole is satisfied. I know of a certain blog site that would jump at the chance to have him on staff. And I have no doubt our readers would welcome his work. As a parolee, that would be difficult – if not impossible.

Porsche Haynes of Sachs Media Group, who has also worked very hard on obtaining justice for Felix, asked me to send a letter to the parole board, for this hearing. Since it is now 11:00, and I can assume the letter has been read, I know of no reason why you shouldn’t be able to see it.

Regardless of my personal feelings, we wish Felix all the best possible luck in this hearing. If a single Human being ever deserved freedom, that Human being is Felix Garcia.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Some Thoughts on Sign Videos

By BitcoDavid

Stephen Torrence made Sign Language versions of popular rock videos, and he’s not alone. He’s not the first, and he won’t be the last, but he’s the first to shut down his channel, and halt all future production. He has also taken down his revenue channel.

Torrence is Hearing, but has an interest in ASL, as well as acting and dance. He combined those talents – and with others, both Deaf and Hearing – helped to launch a burgeoning new artform. Sign Language Music Video. He states that an outcry from the Deaf Community, citing the damage these videos do to Deaf culture, as his reason for stopping the work.

I strongly disagree with Torrence on this, and with those members of the Deaf community who pushed him into that decision. Here’s why. Many of us who are struggling to learn Sign, can use these videos as a tool to aid in our mastery. We already know the songs, so there’s no distraction with subtitles or listening to an audio interpreter. That allows us to concentrate solely on the Signing, and to follow the translation directly.

Furthermore, many Deaf can hear music – at least to some degree – and this allows them to benefit from the songs, creating a further inclusion into mainstream culture.

What’s more, these translations tend to be more Signed Exact English, rather than strict ASL. That’s because songs aren’t written in ASL grammar, and because music lyrics tend to be metaphorical. Katy Perry wrote a song called, “Firework,” about bullying. The gist of the song is that victims of bullying need to look inside themselves for their own self-esteem, and shouldn’t let others dictate their self worth. But the lyrics never actually say any of that. The song is metaphorical, with the title line – you’re a firework – representing the inner beauty and power of the bullied individual. Watching ASL interpretations of this song, helps us to learn ASL idioms and advanced communication methods that we might not get from other ASL learning sources.

ASL is a language, and as such is no longer owned by the Deaf community. French people don’t get angry when others learn French. And French authors certainly don’t get angry when their books are translated into English, or any other language.

English: ASL sign I-LOVE-YOU (wikt:en:ILY@Side...

ASL sign I-LOVE-YOU (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nations conquer other nations. People intermarry and conduct trade. Language – all language – is living, communal, subject to constant growth and change, and never owned by its originators.

I’m a music lover, a video professional and an ASL enthusiast. As such, I couldn’t be happier about the emergence and popularity of this exiting new artform. Long live ASL music videos. And Mr. Torrence – please reconsider.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

An Evening with C.J. Jones

By Jean F. Andrews

C. J. Jones from Los Angeles, California, performed for 150 Lamar University students, faculty and community members last week in Beaumont, Texas. C.J. used visual storytelling, American Sign Language, mime, and audience participation to “bring down the house” with humor, laughter and heart-warming stories about his youth and early adulthood.  C.J. told the audience he was born in a world with a “double-whammy” being both Deaf and African-American. But he did not dwell on the negative impact of discrimination and oppression, which he no doubt was subjected to.  Siting in the front and center of the audience, what hit me was C.J.s enormous capacity for inclusion. He not only pulled in the CART reporters and the sign language interpreters into his comedy routine, he also pulled in his family in his stories. He then pulled in the adults in the audience who did not know sign language as he invited them to the stage and he gave them a quick and humorous crash course in ASL. He did the same with children. C.J. left the audience laughing “in stitches,” with inspiration and hope to realize one’s potential whatever circumstances come one’s way. C.J. is not only is a comedian, but he also is an actor, producer and runs two businesses.  He has a company, Sign World TV which employs both Deaf and hearing people.

C.J. Jones performance in Beaumont was part of Deaf Awareness Week.  To learn more about C. J. Jones and his work, visit www.cjjoneslive.com

Jean F. Andrews is a Reading Specialist and Professor of Deaf Studies/Deaf Education at Lamar University.

Cop Block Video on Kelly Thomas Case

By BitcoDavid

This is the most in depth telling of this tragic story, I have ever seen. As always, I put forth the invitation to anyone in Law Enforcement, who can present a cogent rebuttal to this film.

Don’t forget to send a birthday card to Felix. Suppose you had served 33 years of a life sentence, for a crime you didn’t commit. Imagine on top of that, that you had been discriminated against and isolated because you were Deaf. While in prison you had been raped, beaten and abused. When you went to the infirmary for help, the advice you were given was that you should kill yourself. Imagine all that, and then ask yourself – wouldn’t you like to see birthday cards from your supporters? The address to send cards can be found here.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

This is Still Going On?

By BitcoDavid

Since we launched this Web site, almost 3 years ago, we’ve been reporting on cases where the police have beaten or jailed a Deaf person, because they didn’t realize that Sign language is not a threat. We’ve called for training of officers, and tried to post suggestions for Deaf citizens during police interactions. And we’re not alone. Dozens of blogs, activist groups and organizations have also tried to provide solutions to this tragic epidemic.

Yet, it still happens – and almost daily – somewhere in the U.S.

Here’s the latest case.

You’ll probably have to zoom in, to read the full article, as it is a WebCap. Or you can go see the original at:

AddictingInfo.org

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

The Pay Off

By BitcoDavid

All the Online study, all the DVDs and all the meetups have culminated in this. DeafInPrison.com’s first ever ASL video jokes. Please enjoy these immensely funny jokes, presented in full video splendor.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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