Franklin Knifes Young
February 1945

Telegrams Protest Letter by Young Writ Quo Warranto

Henry Young 244-Az
Alcatraz, California

March 18, 1945

Mr. James B. Bennet, Washington D.C.

Dear Sir:

This is a complaint concerning the action Warden Johnston has taken regarding my recreational yard privileges. As you doubtless know, I was stabbed in the back recently by Franklin and Coulter as were men in isolation were returning to our cells from the yard. I have been absolutely exonerated by ever responsible official here of any aggression or agitation that could have brought that attack upon me. I have never spoken to Coulter -- not even so much as "hello" at any time. Franklin has been my avowed enemy for years. I hold no malice towards either of these men; for my past experience has proved to me that he who holds malice hurts himself more than he hurts the fellow towards whom it is directed. I do not mean ever again to be an aggressor. I retain, however, the fundamental human right of protecting myself against aggression. I have given both you and Warden Johnston perhaps the best proof either of you ever saw of a prisoner sincere in straightening out his life -- I have confessed to all my crimes, faced a murder charge as the result. Despite this obvious proof of my good intentions Warden Johnston now refuses to permit me to have that twice a week recreational yard that is accorded to the other inmates here in isolation. He told me that in the future we who are "feuding" may think differently. I am feuding with no man. Franklin has been my avowed enemy for years. No number of years in the future will change his attitude towards me, if the past can be a standard. Yet I am punished along with Franklin and Coulter for their aggression. And Franklin is the only person in isolation whom I watch for an attack from. I know of no other murderous enemies. Nor am I afraid of Franklin or Coulter -- or any other man. I need no special protection, above all, not this mentally detrimental protection of being locked up in my cell for days on end.

Since I have tried in every way to conform my thoughts and action towards perfect Catholic ethics, I have experienced the very tangible presence of God directing me in my daily conduct. I need no other special protection.

And I should like to indicate to you two very definite laws I have read: First -- That every man in Federal Prisons Isolation is to have one hour recreation every day. Second -- That is an inmate is in great danger of his life {e.g. -- I -- so Warden Johnston thinks} he is to be transferred to another institution. Surely, Mr. Bennet, you are aware of these laws.

Very respectfully yours,--Henri Young #244-Az

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