07 Oct 08

John McCain Snubs Mentally Ill Vietnam Veteran In Home State Of Arizona
Two years ago, presidential nominee John McCain started receiving pleas for help from Mike Hunter, a mentally ill Vietnam vet eligible for parole who didn’t have the competency or outside help of family and friends to facilitate his release from Tucson prison.
In 2007, Mike Hunter received a response from John McCain acknowledging his office was investigating the matter, requesting more information and pledging to do whatever he could for Mike Hunter. Mike Hunter showed me the letter. Mike was unusually cheerful that day and sure that John McCain, a fellow Vietnam veteran and a former prisoner of war, would cut through the red tape to facilitate his release.
Mike Hunter waited patiently but no help from John McCain ever arrived. Mike Hunter has now been in prison for almost 2½ years past his release date of April 12 2006. Here is the link to Mike Hunter’s information at the Arizona Department of Corrections showing his parole release eligibility:


Mike Hunter suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder (as a consequence of his military service in Vietnam) and schizophrenia. John McCain’s status as prisoner of war made news headlines, whereas the public is oblivious to the plight of Mike Hunter. With no family or resources to help facilitate his release, Mike Hunter is trapped in the prison system. He risked his life in Vietnam out of love for America and was honourably discharged. Back in America, he got in an altercation with his father-in-law who died. Up against the vast resources of the State of Arizona and railroaded by a promotion-hungry prosecutor, Mike didn’t stand a chance in court. He was convicted of 1st Degree Murder and served twenty years for this crime in a prison system notorious for neglecting the needs of the mentally ill.

Staff at the Arizona Department of Corrections who were supposed to have prepared and processed Mike Hunter’s release package have failed to do so every year since 2006, showing not only their incompetence but also a complete disregard for Mike Hunter’s freedom.
Mike Hunter has paid his debt back to society, and it’s time for someone in society who cares more about the plight of Vietnam vets than John McCain apparently does to help him obtain the freedom that should have been his on April 12 2006.
Shame on you, John McCain.

“The mentally ill are some of the most tragic cases inhabiting the U.S. prison system.”
– Alan Elsner Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America’s Prisons

If you are in a position to help Mike Hunter then please email me at the address below. If you know a person or organisation that may be able to help Mike Hunter then please forward the link to this blog entry to them. There must be someone out there who can help remedy this injustice.
Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Shaun Attwood


Jon said...

Before anyone asks, yes, this is Slingblade.

Shaun Attwood

Anonymous said...

Unfucking believable. MAy those are held accountable for this travesty burn in hell.

I suggest we forward this story to CNN and other news outlets. Let the email bombardments begin.

-Jose in San Diego

Anonymous said...

Great that you are still helping those across the ocean who need help. I'll forward your e-mail to the American Friends Service Committee here in Tucson. They do a lot of stuff on prisoner's rights.

Dr. S.

Jon said...

Thanks Jose and Dr. S.,

Yes, I feel this warrants news attention. I forwarded it to the major newspapers last week and unfortunately none have responded.
It's up to us to do what we can to get Mike's plight noticed.
I am hoping someone who reads this blog can do more for Mike than John McCain.

Shaun Attwood

Anonymous said...

Hey Shaun,

Very good entry. As noted in my article, another prisoner blogged about Slingblade and seemed to indicate that he thought he was a danger to society.

If this is the case and he has trouble caring for himself (and really anyone being released with no outside help and a felony record has the cards stacked against them) the ideal would be that he get released to some other non-punitive mental health facility.

What are your thoughts?

--ande wanderer

Jon said...


yes, it would be great if he were released and able to receive the proper mental healthcare

Anonymous said...

I'm going to call the coming home place for vets in Tucson today

weird al

sparrow said...

There is an organization / home in Prescott, AZ Shaun. I've forwarded the letter and your email address to a friend at the VA there and am waiting for a response...


Anonymous said...

I'm posting your article on a few support prison sites. In hopes that not only does that mean that many more eyes on this article as well as asking people to send him cards of support, inspiration and love.
I hope your dedication to this gets this man what is rightfully his.....

Thank you Shaun.

Jessica Lynn

Jon said...

Thanks Jessica!

Anonymous said...

Why do you have to have help getting released? When your time is done aren't you just set free?


Anonymous said...

i think this might be a decent place to get some help or answers- my mom worked here as a case worker back in the day. hope it helps. i know how frustrating the dept of corrections can be. i was published in the new times in some series on the juvenile dept of corrections by amy silverman.

big j

Jonesy said...

I have posted on Prisontalk to see if we can generate some interest.

Rachel xx


Anonymous said...

McCain is a douchebag, HELLO!