Meet Donald Miller, "Un-Person"by Will Grigg
Oct. 14, 2013
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In the totalitarian lexicon invented by George Orwell, there is no more frightening term than “un-person.” That expression described a living human being of whom the State took no official notice, and who had no rights the government would recognize.
That term has been applied to tens of millions of people – from inmates of the Soviet gulag, to victims of official “disappearances” in Third World dictatorships, to detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Ohio resident Donald Eugene Miller Jr. recently had a similar experience when a judge informed him that he was legally dead.
In 1994, Miller disappeared from his home. He explains that he didn’t know what to do after losing his job, and succumbed to alcoholism. He worked odd jobs in several places before returning to Ohio in 2005. His parents informed him that a judge had ruled that he was legally deceased.
In early October, the same official, Hancock County Probate Court Judge Allan Davis, ruled that Miller is still dead in the eyes of the government, despite the fact that the healthy 61-year-old man was sitting in his courtroom. That ruling means that Miller will not get back his driver’s license, Social Security Number, or the other government-issued credentials certifying that an individual has the state’s permission to exist.