Prisoner mail oddities

I’m not suggesting there is anything afoul here, just unusual and coincidental.

Virtually every attorney gets mail from prison inmates, whether because they represent them or unsolicited. Last month, I got a letter from an inmate I was appointed to represent in a habeas corpus action. The letter didn’t make any sense as it referred to meeting in preparation for the habeas hearing and the file had been closed since 1999. I looked once again at the date of the letter. It was from 1997! The postmark, however, was December 2005.

Today, I received an unsolicited letter from a prison inmate in Iowa. After reading it, I noticed it was dated December 2002. While I imagine that could be a typo, this was a typewritten letter, not one from a computer printer. The postmark, however, was last week.

It doesn’t make sense that the inmates just found the letters and decided to mail them anyway. At the same time, it seems odd the letters got misplaced or lost in either the prison mailing system or the USPS for such a long period of time. As I say, not only are the events unusual, so is their proximity in time.

Maybe we ought to turn inflation over to the post office. They may not stop it, but they’ll damn well slow it down.

U.S Rep. Morris Udall, National Press Club, 1975

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