A day after officials at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago rejected his request to be returned to the general prison population, Steven Mandell pleaded with the judge overseeing his case to get him out of solitary confinement.
“My life now absolutely depends on that, since the situation is extremely dire,” wrote Mandell, who is awaiting sentencing after being convicted in February of plotting to kidnap, torture, extort and kill Riverside businessman Steven Campbell in order to get cash and property from him.
Mandell faces up to life in prison.
Judge Amy St. Eve on April 14 publicly released the hand-written letter, which was penned by Mandell in his jail cell on April 4, a day after the MCC notified him of their decision to deny his request and three days after Mandell’s lawyer filed a motion to acquit Mandell, claiming his client did not receive a fair trial.
“I have never ever bothered anyone in my entire life. No one! Not a soul!” Mandell wrote, brushing off a 1983 altercation with his girlfriend that resulted in charges that were dropped.
“There is NO danger,” Mandell wrote. “There NEVER was a danger.”
For someone who never hurt anyone, trouble has had a habit of finding Mandell. In 1993, Mandell was convicted of murder and was sentenced to death, but the conviction was thrown out on appeal. A year earlier, Mandell was convicted of kidnapping in Missouri and sentenced to life in prison; that case was also overturned on appeal.
Mandell’s name has also been suspected of being linked to the deaths of other people, including his own father.
He accused the government of engaging in an all-out campaign to imprison him in retaliation for suing the federal government after his murder conviction was overturned — and winning a multi-million dollar settlement. Mandell, however, was unable to ever collect on the settlement.
Mandell claims in his letter he still has lawsuits pending against the FBI, calling those lawsuits “the 800-pound gorilla still sitting at the federal courthouse. … The government does not want to even admit to it’s [sic] assistance or talk about it.”
According to Mandell, “the FBI cannot get over the fact [of the lawsuits].”
Mandell claims in his letter to Judge St. Eve that his confinement to the solitary housing unit of the MCC is harming his health.
“The current [solitary] housing ‘designation’ serves NO purpose other than to harass, stifle ongoing litigations and further accelerate my already aggravated health conditions,” Mandell wrote.
“The FBI’s unending animosities towards me needs to end.”
According to a Chicago Tribune report, Judge St. Eve at a hearing last week called Mandell’s letter “inappropriate.”