William Coleman unsuccessfully fought back tears when he was asked how he felt when a prison doctor placed a tube in his nose and fed him against his will.
Coleman, a Connecticut inmate on a hunger strike to protest his marital rape conviction, said he felt “violated.”
“I’m just trying to put it out of my mind,” Coleman said from the witness stand Wednesday. “It was difficult to watch yesterday.”
Portions of the two force feeding procedures were shown in court Tuesday. Coleman’s attorney’s say Correction Department officials force fed him a dozen times over the past 17-months of the hunger strike.
The Correction Department is seeking a court order allowing it to continue force-feeding Coleman as long as he continues his hunger strike, while Coleman’s attorney’s argued the feedings violate his privacy and free speech rights.
“I never felt pain like that ever,” Coleman said describing the two nasogastric force-feedings conducted in October 2008.
When Coleman’s attorney William Murray asked his why he was on a hunger strike, Coleman explained that he was protesting a “broken and corrupt” judicial system that’s “not capable of deciphering truth.”
Coleman who has maintained his innocence said he did everything he could to show he was telling the truth when his ex-wife told Waterbury police that he raped her. Convicted by a Waterbury jury in 2005. Reportedly, no “rape kit” hospital examination was ever performed on Coleman’s ex-wife at the time of the complaint, nor did the court allow into evidence results of the polygraph test that Coleman passed.
Coleman said Wednesday that he was conned by his attorney in the criminal proceeding not to take the stand in his own defense.
Assistant Attorney General Lynn Wittenbrink objected several times to Coleman’s testimony regarding his description of the family and criminal court proceedings.
“I object to this continued diatribe,” Wittenbrink said. “It’s slandering many people.”
Judge James T. Graham overruled the objection because it went to Coleman’s state of mind.
In an attempt to make certain he understood Coleman’s protest, Graham asked, “What’s the goal of your protest?”
“I have no demands,” Coleman said. “There’s no goal in that I’ve got to get to the end zone.”
“It’s a protest. It is what it is,” he said trying to answer Graham’s questions.
“You have a protest that could lead to your death, but you don’t have a goal?” Graham asked.
“I don’t want to die your Honor, but there’s more people effected by this than just me,” Coleman said.
Graham reminded Coleman that his habeas trial was in five weeks. “I have no faith in the system” Coleman said. He said he doesn’t believe his habeas appeal will lead to his exoneration.
“I’m innocent,” Coleman said. “I don’t belong in prison.”
Graham is not expected to make a ruling in the case until mid-May. During the final day of the five-day trial Graham asked for post-trial briefs and reserved the right to call the attorney’s back in for closing arguments, which were not made Wednesday.