Lifer Wants Wife To Have Part Of Him
Sep. 18, 1986
BOSTON (AP) _ A man serving a life term for violent crimes has received permission to artificially inseminate the woman he married while behind bars, according to reports published today.
Glenn Mattson, 35, who will not be eligible for parole until 1994, asked the state two years ago to permit the procedure. The request was granted July 25, the Boston Herald said.
Massachusetts does not permit conjugal prison visits, and the couple has not consummated their marriage.
Correction Commissioner Michael V. Fair said Mattson's wife, Lita, is 30 years old and has an enlarged heart resulting from congenital defects. Because of the heart problems and advancing age, wrote Dr. Donald Murray of Brockton, Mrs. Mattson should not delay pregnancy.
''Therefore, rather than require that he wait until such time as he is furlough-eligible and able to reunite with his wife under more normal circumstances, I have requested that our health service staff make an effort to establish a procedure whereby artfifical insemination take place,'' Fair said.
Mattson, angered at the delay, filed a $2 million suit against the state last month alleging his civil rights were being violated. He said he will not withdraw the suit until arrangements are made for the artificial insemination.
''I don't want to wait another two years,'' he told The Boston Globe. ''I'm talking about her rights, too. She is being punished along with me.''
Mattson, a former Brockton roofer, was convicted in 1976 of attempted murder, assault and battery and other crimes. He met his wife-to-be a few weeks before he was convicted, and they were married in 1979 at the state prison at Walpole.
She lives with her parents in East Bridgewater and works as an accounting clerk for a shoe company. He now is serving his sentence at the Southeastern Correctional Center in Bridgewater.
Mattson said he thinks a baby ''will give the marriage that bond and will be an expression of the love we have for each other.''
''I love kids. I'm rehabilitated. I want to return to society with a wife and a child,'' he said.
His wife thinks he will be a good father. ''He has changed immenseley in jail. He's got patience that I never expected years ago to see.''
Asked what he wants for his child, Mattson said, ''Just to be happy and to stay out of trouble.''
Gail Darnell, a spokeswoman for the state Correction Department, said to her knowledge, Mattson's request was the first in the state. ''I've never heard anything like it,'' she said.
''We get all kinds of lawsuits on conjugal visits, even between gays, but I've never heard of anything lioke this in my life,'' said Mary Follett, director of Fortune Society, a New York-based inmate advocacy group.
Minnestoa authorities reportedly denied a similar inmate request, saying it would have to grant permission to everyone.