Sponsored by U.N.I.O.N. (United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect)
Topic: Compassionate Release of Beverly Diaz [Dias] Approved, Friday, Dec 21st, Beverly will detail her physical and psychological torture and medical neglect
Release Scheduled for Monday, December 22, 2003 from Valley State Prison, California
Beverly will not be making statements to the press until her press conference the next day.
News Conference to be held: Sacramento, West Capitol Bldg. Steps,
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2003 at 11 A. M.
(Set up time 10 A.M.)
Beverly Diaz, a 51 year old mother dying of liver disease and cancer, was approved for Compassionate Release by her sentencing judge, Rene Navarro, on Friday, December 19, 2003. Director of California Department of Corrections (CDC) Edward Alameida had previously denied compassionate of Beverly Diaz throughout the month of November. With strong community pressure, U.N.I.O.N. who has conducted this campaign since February, 2003 were able to get Beverly's case reconsidered.
Beverly Diaz had 20 months left to serve of a six year sentence for possession of 6.3 grams of cocaine. Beverly Diaz was repeatedly denied a liver transplant based on her current prisoner status when her suffering became obvious from Hepatitis C, liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver.
U.N.I.O.N. Director B. Cayenne Bird and 60 doctors, teachers, nurses, social workers and other families of prisoners filled Senator Jeff Denham's office on March 13, 2003 to campaign for the rights of Beverly Diaz and other prisoners suffering and in need of critical organ transplants to be given required life sustaining medications, transplants or compassionate release for terminal illnesses when physicians rule a prisoner has Six months or less life expectancy.
Only two organ transplants have been given to California prisoners since 1996, neither of those were for women prisoners. Yet almost half the prisoners have Hepatitis, a deadly disease that usually ends in the need for a transplant. On August 19, 2003 Beverly Diaz' mother, Ann Kilitz then 70 years old and terminally ill with cancer herself, and Beverly's two of four children, Michael 19 years old and Karma 10 years old were taped on a new television series " Cayenne Common Sense" in a heart wrenching plea for compassion and assistance in allowing Beverly Diaz to come home from prison to die with her family attending her. Ann Kilitz died two weeks ago after a brief coma with her daughter's release denied on her death bed.
Beverly Diaz was not granted permission to attend her mother's funeral, even though after the show was taped, two doctors approved the compassionate release. As B. Cayenne Bird began circulating copies of this program to U.N.I.O.N. member lists who had donated proceeds to have the tape edited and distributed to 100 television stations, another group came in on the tail end of our year long campaign and asked for letters for community support for Beverly Diaz' release. Accusations that help for compassionate release were met with "callous" negative responses are reported to be on the family interview tape naming Matthew Gray of Senator Vasconcellos' Office, Mr. Zimmerman of Senator Denham's Office, Ken Hurdle of CDC, various physicians and other politicians including Assembly member Plescia. Copies of the controversial interview in super vhs format are available for TV station programs through U.N.I.O.N. Director B. Cayenne Bird at Rightor1@aol.com sequel of the show will be filmed at the press conference where Beverly Diaz will personally detail her physical and psychological torture and the callousness of everyone concerned in allowing an operable condition to advance to an inoperable and terminal situation.
Diaz is in constant pain and cannot walk very well, but she has vowed to stand with the UNION for whatever time she has left. Estimates are at two months. She will not be active with other groups who jumped in at the end and tried to claim credit instead of helping her spread the message of inmates who are dying to unlawful adherence to California's compassionate release laws.
Each year Center for Disease Control Atlanta estimates that approximately 8,000 new cases of Hepatitis is transmitted in California's prisons alone. The UNION believes there is a great deal that can be done to clean up the filthy conditions in which Hepatitis thrives.
Although, Beverly Diaz is reported in constant pain and needing to sleep 12 to 15 hours each day, with an anticipated 2 months to live, she will be at the U.N.I.O.N. press conference, Tuesday Dec 23 at 10 am, at the West Capitol Bldg. steps to thank her supporters and activists for their assistance in allowing her to spend her last holiday with her children outside of the prison walls. The Diaz family wishes to thank the individuals who wrote letters, attended the UNION March 13 protest, assisted in financing the video productions, or contacted their representatives to expedite and make possible this Holiday Present for Beverly and her 10 year old daughter, Karma, who said "I don't want my mommy to die in prison. I want her to be here with me so I have memories of her." Merry Christmas, Karma, your mother is coming home. Although a mixed blessing of joy and sadness, we are glad to have taken a firm stand against murder by medical neglect.
Press packets or additional information can be obtained from:
Story of Beverly Diaz
Compassionate Release Law
Organ Donor Letters
Medical Neglect Lawsuits
March 13 Protest
March 13, 2003 Protest Speeches