Daniel McGowan
Daniel McGowan
Daniel McGowan
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Archive for March, 2013

New motions filed in Daniel’s CMU lawsuit (Aref v. Holder)

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Daniel’s lawyers at the Center for Constitutional Rights have filed a motion in opposition to the government’s motion to dismiss! Now, that’s a mouthful!

You can read this excellent bit of legal writing here.

To learn more about Aref v. Holder and the problems with the Communication Management Unit, see CCR’s CMU Fact Sheet.

Spring update

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Dear friends,


It has been some time before we sent out a proper update about Daniel. The last 3 months have been busy with helping Daniel adjust to life outside of prison. We wanted to thank everyone for the supportive emails we have received since December. Not only has Daniel seen and read all of them but we are all appreciative of the support that people have continued to show him since 2005.


How is Daniel doing since release?

This is the question we get the most and its a tough one for a few reasons. We want to protect Daniel’s privacy and his desire to move forward but he also wants people to know he is doing well. As you may know, Daniel is working for  a law firm in NYC and started two days after he got to the halfway house. He is working full-time, seeing his wife Jenny, family and friends on weekends and counting the days until he comes home for good. He is not doing media interviews  nor can he attend public speaking events at the moment. We will continue to share emails sent to friendsofdanielmcg@yahoo.com with Daniel.


Is Daniel still in custody? What’s the deal with the halfway house?

Daniel was released from prison on December 11, 2012 and is serving the last 6 months of his sentence at a halfway house in New York. Because he is in BoP custody and still serving is sentence, his activity is limited to work, home and medical appointments. He cannot get unannounced visitors or calls at the halfway house. Unfortunately, Daniel was denied home detention, which would have allowed him to come home month ago and report to the halfway house weekly. There was little reason given other than that it relates to Daniel’s charges. The Bureau of Prisons continues to punish Daniel and ignore his complete lack of disciplinary violations. Thankfully on June 5th his sentence ends and he starts a three year term of supervised released (probation).


What ever happened with Daniel’s lawsuit against the Bureau of Prisons?


We have had a number of small victories in the Aref v Holder  lawsuit that Daniel is a plaintiff on. This is the lawsuit filed in April 2010 against the Department of Justice and BoP for designating Daniel (and other prisoners) to a  Communication Management Unit (CMU).  [The suit's defendants are  Attorney General Eric Holder; Charles Samuels, Director of the BOP; D. Scott Dodrill, Assistant Director of the Correctional Programs Division of the BOP and Leslie Smith, head of the BOP’s Counter Terrorism Unit].


In the last few months, we were granted the right  to file an amended complaint charging that the BoP retaliated against Daniel for his Constitutionally-protected political activism and speech. It was confirmed through the viewing of previously-secret documents in the legal discovery process that Daniel’s political speech was the rationale for sending Daniel to a CMU two separate times (a total of 47 months).  You can read the amended complaint here.


A few weeks ago, Daniel won an order denying a summary judgment motion filed by defendants over a year ago that argued that he had only complained to the facility that the transfer violated his  constitutional  rights and did not specify that it was retaliatory. Our lawyers countered that Daniel’s administrative complaint was more than adequate.  Nearly 16 months later the Court agreed, denying the motion for summary judgment.


In February, the defendants filed yet another motion to dismiss (read here) which reiterates the same arguments they raised in the last motion to dismiss. In this one, they released  redacted memos written by Counter Terrorist Unit staff regarding Daniel’s placement in the CMU. Theses are very interesting and contrary to the written rationale given to Daniel for CMU placement. You can read them below.


Motion to Dismiss Exhibit 3:   March 27, 2008, Memo of Leslie Smith, Chief, CTU

Motion to Dismiss Exhibit 5:   March 22, 2010, Memo of Leslie Smith, Chief, CTU

Motion to Dismiss Exhibit 4:   February 1, 2011 Memo of Leslie Smith, Chief, CTU


Next up, we will be filing a response to the defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the week of March 18, 2013. Big thanks to our lawyers and the staff at  the Center for Constitutional Rights for their efforts with this lawsuit.  You can download the latest two-page CMU flyer here.


T-Shirt sale is on!


We are having a T-shirt sale this weekend!!!


All Support Daniel T-shirts, with the beautiful image made by Kristine Virsis, have been discounted. These shirts have been printed since early 2006 in order to raise funds for Daniel’s legal defense and commissary fund but we are now at an end. There are roughly 20 shirts left and we wanted to sell these ones to our supporters at a discount. We will not be printing these again!


For only $13, you can get a Support Daniel T-Shirt (printed on American Apparel). The price includes domestic shipping. Questions & International orders? Contact us at friendsofdanielmcg@yahoo.com


What’s next for Daniel?

We are going to leave that one up to Daniel. As for us, our group will be disbanding once Daniel is home. For the last 8 years, we have kept up a steady and energetic campaign of legal defense, prison support and release/re-entry help for our friend. While this all continues offline, we are ceasing our public work. Daniel is one of many political prisoners in the system and while he is out, there are many people still inside. We want to lend our efforts and support to those people. We will be using the Support Daniel list serveswebsiteFacebook profiles and Twitter feed to that end.


Please check out the following support websites for Political prisoners and more specifically, eco prisoners. These people are all in need of your support.


Eric McDavid 

Marie Mason

Walter Bond

Steve Murphy 

Other ecoprisoners 

NYC ABC Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners

Portland ABC

Denver ABC 


Thank you all for your continued support of Daniel these past 8 years. We want to thank all the people who donated for the Welcome Home registry we set up and came out for the various December 7th events held in NYC, Eugene, Portland and Niagara Falls. Those events and your efforts have made it so Daniel did not have to worry about buying essential items like clothes etc.


Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan

Support Daniel T-Shirt Sale is on!

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

We are having a T-shirt sale this weekend!!!

All Support Daniel T-shirts, with the beautiful image made by Kristine Virsis, have been discounted. These shirts have been printed since early 2006 in order to raise funds for Daniel’s legal defense and commissary fund but we are now at an end. There are roughly 25 shirts left and we wanted to sell these ones to our supporters at a discount. 

For only $13, you can get a Support Daniel T-Shirt (printed on American Apparel).
The price includes domestic shipping.

Questions & International orders? Contact us at friendsofdanielmcg@yahoo.com
Thank you for your generosity!!!

Support Daniel Olive Green T-Shirt

New flyer about Communication Management Units (CMUs)

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Daniel’s lawyers at Center for Constitutional Rights have released a new flyer about the Communication Management Units (CMU) that the Bureau of Prisons operates. These are the units Daniel was held in for most of his prison sentence and the subject of a lawsuit (Aref v Holder) brought by Daniel and former/current CMU prisoners.

You can read the text of the flyer here.
You can download a PDF of the two page flyer here.

A more substantial update on the case and how Daniel is doing on the outside is coming soon.