Convicted murderers Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins, both 34-years old, recently escaped from a Florida prison within weeks of each other, but their departures were not nearly as exciting as the prison break-out scenes in The Shawshank Redemption or Escape from Alcatraz.
That’s because prison officials at Franklin Correctional Institute in Carrabelle, Florida willingly assisted them in their “transition”, through no fault of the authorities, who unwittingly relied on forged court documents delivered to the institution that indicated each of their life sentences had been reduced.
One of the men was driven to the bus depot while the other was picked up by his family at the gates of the prison. Neither of them has been seen since and embarrassed officials are trying to figure out what happened.
The bogus documents included an application purportedly filed by a prosecutor and a court order allegedly signed by a judge. It is unclear whether these two cases are related, but administrative “escapes” have occurred before.
Florida officials report that another inmate serving a life sentence for attempted murder was also scheduled to be released on the basis of forged documents, but the ruse was discovered before he was freed.
In Wisconsin in 2010 a convicted murderer was able to forge documents that expedited his release date, but he was recaptured within a week. In 2012 a Pennsylvania inmate was released after the institution received fake paperwork, remaining at large for several months before the correctional facility realized they had been duped.
Perhaps Emmanuel Goldstein, George Orwell’s “Brotherhood” character in his dystopian novel “1984” was correct when he said:
“The primary obligation of any prisoner is to escape. Whether that means actually leaving or simply figuring out a way to handle things so you don’t go crazy is up to you.”
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang