MIND AID ORGANIZES DEMONSTRATION IN COOPERATION WITH SUPPORT COALITION
INTERNATIONAL JUNE 26TH
DEMONSTRATE AT BROOKLYN MENTAL HEALTH COURT DURING THE APPEALS HEARING JUNE 26TH IN BROOKLYN ON UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL DAY IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE
NEW YORK -- Two individuals at risk of forced electroshock have at least an eight-week reprieve until their case can be heard on appeal, and a decision rendered. In Brooklyn, New York today, a panel of four appellate court judges granted a full stay of forced electroshock of Paul Henri Thomas, until the appellate division hears arguments about the appeal, reviews the case and renders a decision. The appeal will be heard on June 26. By coincidence, June 26, 2001 is also the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
BACKGROUND ON FORCED SHOCK APPEALS
Paul Henri Thomas has already received more than 60 forced electroshocks during his two years in Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in West Brentwood, New York. Paul currently has two court orders mandating that he may receive forced electroshock over his objections. One order for 25 more electroshocks dates back to October 2, 2000; there are three remaining electroshocks left on this old order, because 22 were already completed before Paul's first appeal was made. A second order is more recent. On April 20, 2001, State Supreme Court Justice W. Bromley Hall ordered that Paul may receive up to 40 more forced electroshocks.The four-judge panel granted a full stay on both of these orders until the appeal is heard on June 26, and rendered.
JUNE 26, 2001 -- UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE
Support Coalition International was already marking this international human rights day with a west coast cultural gathering in Oregon called "MindFest 2001." For information on events happening throughout the world on June 26 see: http://www.irct.org/26june.htm Now there will be a way for people in the New York City area to mark this important international day -- by attending the appeal of these three court orders for forced electroshock, involving two individuals.
FORCED ELECTROSHOCK IS ON THE RISE IN NEW YORK STATE NY
State Assembly Member Marty Luster has released information gathered by the New York State Mental Hygiene Legal Services that indicated indicated that applications for court-ordered, forced ECT has increased by over 73% from 1999 to 2000.Specifically, the New York State Office of Mental Health filed for forced electroshock of 52 individuals in New York State in 1999. That number climbed to 92 for the year 2001. Luster will hold a public hearing on electroshock, on May 18, 2001, in New York City. Luster's statistics revealed that Pilgrim Psychiatric Center has been one of the main centers for forced shock in New York State. Other facilities that tend to also be heavier users of forced electroshock include: * Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center in Manhattan (Wards Island)
STILL ANOTHER FORCED SHOCK CASE
On January 11, 2001, a psychiatric inmate given the court name of "Pam S." was also ordered to receive forced electroshock at an Orange County, New York psychiatric facility. The order is for one to three forced electroshocks for up to a six week period. The four-judge panel has also granted a full stay for Pam S. until her appeal. The appeal will also be at the same time, day and place as the appeal for Paul Henri Thomas.
MEANWHILE -- A THIRD INDIVIDUAL AWAITS APPELLATE COURT RULING ONAPPEAL
On March 29, 2001, attorneys for Adam Szyszko already delivered arguments in front of the same court to appeal the forced electroshock of this young man. A decision has not been rendered at this time.
HOW TO ATTEND THE FORCED SHOCK APPEAL
Here's how to attend the appeal about the three orders for forced electroshock (two for Paul Henri Thomas, and one for Pam S.): The appeal will be held on Tuesday, June 26, 2001. It is scheduled on the court calendar for 10 am. You should be there well before 10 am to get in, but the actual appeal may begin after 10 am. These proceedings will take place at the Appellate Division Courthouse, 45 Monroe Place, in Brooklyn, New York, USA. There is a wheelchair accessible entrance on the side of the courthouse, however, to access this entrance, it is necessary to make arrangements in advance by calling (718) 875-1300. Directions to the Appellate Division Courthouse:
Monroe Place is a one block street which runs between Clark Street and Pierrepont Street. Monroe Place runs parallel to and is west of Clinton Street. Clinton Street runs parallel to and is west of Court Street. The closest subway stop is the Clark Street stop on the 2 or the 3 train. Monroe Place is a longer walk from the Court Street stop on the M, N, or R, or the Borough Hall stop on the 4 or 5. From the Clark Street stop, walk east on Clark Street until you reach Monroe Place, which will be on your right. From the Court Street or Borough Hall (4/5) stops, walk west to Clinton Street, then take Clinton Street north to Pierrepont Street. Turn left (west) on Pierrepont Street and walk one block to Monroe Place, which will be on your right. The courthouse is across the street from a church.
From the LIE (Long Island Expressway, 495), take the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway, 278) south-west to Tillary Street (about 4.5 miles). Bear right on Tillary Street. Take Tillary Street about half a mile (where it ends) Then turn right on Cadman Plaza West. Turn left on Clark Street, which will be the first left you can make from Cadman Plaza West. Make a left onto Monroe Place, which will be the first left you can make from Clark Street. Parking: Municipal parking is available by taking Cadman Plaza West to the next light past Clark Street, and turning left at this light into an underground municipal parking garage. As you exit the municipal parking garage on foot, turn left on Henry Street and walk to Clark Street. Turn left on Clark Street, and walk one block to Monroe Place (on the right).