What should a court clerk do about an inmate who sends “legal mail” containing blood, semen, and urine? That’s the dilemma faced by the St. Louis Circuit Clerk’s office when it gets letters from Tyler Johnson, 25, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Clerk Mariano Favazza cannot legally refuse letters from jail. Federal authorities said they are unlikely to convict Johnson of any postal violations because they believe he is mentally ill.
Jail officials now are searching all of Johnson’s outgoing mail, including those marked “legal mail.” While his trial on robbery charges has been pending, Johnson has mailed at least 72 letters to the circuit clerk. Most were motions asking for things like a new attorney, a dismissal of charges and a speedy trial. He also threatened a judge and Barack Obama. Favazza said postal inspectors “have done all they can do.” He added, “Their hands are tied by the man’s mental state.”