A Boston prison’s lack of dragon blood has resulted in one inmate suing the state claiming the lack of the unusual material, among others, is making it impossible for him to practice his religion.
Convicted murderer and devoted Wiccan Daniel LaPlante filed a lawsuit against Massachusetts recently, claiming he is unable to gain access to objects such as “dragon’s blood,” “black opium” and “honeysuckle” in order to practice Wicca, a religion whose followers utilize natural magic practices, Boston magazine reported Tuesday.
U.S. District Court documents show that LaPlante, who has spent the last two decades at MCI-Norfolk Jail after being convicted of a triple murder in 1987, is suing the state’s Department of Corrections for not providing 30 essential oils and 26 herbs required to practice the religion. LaPlante claims that his inability to obtain the materials while incarcerated “hinders” him from being able to remove jinxes, chase away demons and connect to goddesses.
MCI-Norfolk Jail is also accused of not providing inmates, many who practice Wicca within the insitution, traditional robes, carrot cake and medallions that are described as appearing similar to “Thor’s hammer,” all materials reportedly necessary in order to fulfill religious ceremonies. A complaint that inmates are not provided with a decent view of the moon, whose phases Wiccans use in their religion, is also stated in the lawsuit.
While LaPlante is reportedly suing the state on behalf of himself and other Wicca worshippers in the prison, fellow Massachusetts Wiccan, Von Thompson, said such materials are unnecessary to be devout, calling the convicted killer a bad representation of the religion.
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“We've got so much misinformation spread about our religion, about our practices, that even a hint of anything about the ordinary associate with Wicca gets blown out of proportion,” said Thompson, who admitted Wicca tends to attract “crazy people.”
LaPlante is currently serving three consecutive life sentences after being convicted of murdering his neighbors, 33-year-old Priscilla Gustafson and her two children, 7-year-old Abigail and 5-year-old William, in their Townsend, Mass., home more than 20 years ago when he was a teenager, according to the Boston Globe.
“There are some who would say that you should receive the same sentence that you imposed on the Gustafson family -- that is death by ligature or hanging,” said Judge Robert A. Barton, admitting that he would have sentenced the then 18-year-old to death if it was legalized in the state.
LaPlante is reportedly representing himself in the lawsuit against the Department of Corrections.