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NEWS AROUND PRISON AND LAW / USA / 2006
22 June 2006
in den knästen von südflorida wurden 5.000 kartenspiele verteilt, die bilder von opfer ungelöster gewaltdelikten zeigen. die polizei erhofft sich davon informationen zur lösung der fälle.
Crime victims adorn playing cards
Robin Cornell and Lisa Story’s faces have haunted Cape Coral law enforcement for years. Now they adorn a pair of Kings on playing cards being distributed in Southwest Florida prisons.Five thousand decks of playing cards featuring a crime victim on every card are being distributed to inmates in Charlotte and Collier County jails. Police hope the cards lead to tips that help solve cold cases that have plagued Southwest Florida officials for years.The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced the program’s launch Thursday morning. Officials hope presenting the mug shots of 52 victims and a blurb about each case will inspire an inmate with information to call Crime Stoppers with a tip that helps solve the crime.
“As more time passes, people are more apt to talk about past crimes,” said Andrew Rose, a supervisor with the FDLE Fort Myers office. “Maybe someone will be bragging about it friends, or maybe an inmate will just hear a tidbit of information and will put it together when he sees one of those cards.”Two of those cards, the King of Clubs and the King of Spades, feature pictures of Cornell and Story, an 11-year-old girl and her 20-year-old babysitter who were suffocated in a Cape Coral home in 1990 by an unknown killer. Police have DNA, and have long believed it would be easy to convict a murderer once they have a good lead.“I still believe this case is solvable,” said Dep. Chief Rob Petrovich of the Cape Coral Police Department.
When FDLE went to local law enforcement agencies looking for cases for the cards, police in the Cape listed the Cornell-Story murder as a top priority.The hope is that an inmate, a member of the criminal sub-culture who nevertheless may be shocked about the brutal killing of a child, will get information of the deaths and piece it together with something they might hear in jail. The phone number for the Crime Stoppers tip line - 1-800-780-TIPS, is printed on every card.Rose brought the idea of the playing cards to Southwest Florida after hearing about a similar program’s success in Polk County.
Authorities in Polk County came up with the concept after hearing of military playing cards in the Iraq war which featured the faces of wanted officials in Saddam Hussein’s government. The idea of a deck of “Most Wanted” local criminals was considered, but cards featuring cold cases seemed easier to keep current.The cards led to success in Polk County after an inmate who saw a picture of Thomas Wayne Grammar on the Three of Spades. Grammar was robbed and killed after answering a knock at his front door.Police had no leads, but when an inmate saw Grammar’s picture, it sparked a memory. The prisoner had heard another inmate bragging about killing Grammar, but had not believed the story until he saw the same details relayed on the spade.
“He saw the picture on the card and realized there was actually a homicide,” said FDLE spokesman Larry Long.Now prosecutors have charged Reggie Jermaine Williams and Jason Kelly Seawright with Grammar’s murder.Tommy Ray, a special agent with Polk County FDLE, told Rose about this story while both officers were stationed in Mississippi last year providing hurricane relief.“Unfortunately, we have enough cold cases to fill a deck of cards,” Rose said. “We have enough to fill another whole deck if we want to.”
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers put up $9,000 to produce the cards. The funding comes from private donations public grants from the Attorney General’s Office, according to Paul Atkinson, president of the non-profit group. The grant money is generated from court fees paid by convicts.Will distributing decks finally draw out a lead in the Cornell-Story murder? Petrovich hopes so.“Not everyone in jail is a rapist or a murderer,” Petrovich said. “If one of them has information, hopefully this will help their conscience come forth.”
And of course, there are 50 other cases on the cards that authorities would like solved. Police will take any leads they are dealt.“If just one of those cases is solved because of this, it will be a great victory,” Atkinson said.
20 June 2006
ein gefangener in einem bezirksknast im warren county knast, kentucky, ein journalist, hat in einem artikel über "pay as you go to jail" geschrieben.
warren county knast ist so ein knast.
gefangenen wird $20 berechnet wenn sie eingeliefert werden, und weitere 20 für jeden knasttag.
"neuankommende bekommen eine matraze, eine decke, ein laken, ein handtuch, ein kleines stück seife und eine zahnbürste und für einmal putzen zahnpasta.
ein overall ist das einzige bekleidungsstück. keine unterwäsche, keine socken, keine schuhe - nichts.unterwäsche, schuhe und socken können zu extrem überteuerten preisen im knastladen gekauft werden."
ein arztbesuch kostet weitere $20, bei einem sanitäter / krankenschwester $5. auch wenn die menschen krankenversichert sind und medikamente nicht zusätzlich bezahlen müssen, wird gefangenen der volle preis dafür berechnet. bei aspirin wird $5 zusätzlich berechnet.
ein 23 jähriger der wegen mißachtung des gerichtes zu 60 tagen knast verurteilt wurde und medikamente benörigt, wird nach dem knast $5.000 bezahlen müssen.
Letter From Prison -- Jail Fees a Cruel Twist to 'Paying Your Dues'
A man imprisoned in a county jail in Kentucky says jailers are gouging inmates for what little they've got. Dannie Martin is currently behind bars in the Warren County Regional Jail in Bowling Green, Ky. He is co-author of "Committing Journalism: The Prison Writings of Red Hog" (W.W. Norton and Co., 1995).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky.--In a time when corporations are operating jails and prisons for profit, local jails are getting in on the act.
The Warren County jail in Bowling Green, Ky., is operating one such "pay as you go" jail.
Inmates are charged a $20 processing fee to be booked in and $20 dollars a day for every day they remain in the jail. A visit to the jail doctor runs $20, and $5 for a visit to the jail nurse.
If prescriptions are filled outside the jail, the actual cost is billed, and it's a $5 co-pay for jail medicine such as aspirin. The jail has a firm policy forbidding any narcotic medication. Apparently, severe pain is against jail rules here.
Danny Lindsay, 23, has been in Warren County jail for one week after being sentenced to 60 days for contempt of court. He says he takes medicine for a rare blood disorder and gets it free outside with his medical insurance. Jail staff, he says, would not let his family send in his medicine. They choose to fill it at a local pharmacy.
His family sent him $60 to spend at the jail commissary. The jail took $30 of it to apply toward his bill. That's standard procedure here. The bottom of his money receipt shows a balance due the jail of $589.
"That's over $600 a week, man. After 60 days I'll owe $5,000," Lindsay says.
About one-third of county jails in the United States charge inmates for their time behind bars, according to a May 23, 2004, Associated Press report. In Minnesota, Olmstead County suspended its "pay-to-stay" program after losing close to $6,000 in four months. The state of Missouri did better, gouging inmates for a total of $384,000 over several months, according to the AP.
Here, new arrivals are issued one mattress, one blanket, a sheet, a towel, a small bar of motel soap and a three-inch toothbrush with enough paste for one brushing. A jumpsuit is the only clothing issued. No shorts, no socks, no shoes -- no anything. Underwear, shoes and socks can be purchased at the commissary at exorbitant rates.
Food can also be purchased, and the jail fare is sparse to say the least. Some inmates try to ignore their medical needs to keep from going hungry all day. Hunger makes a day seem longer than illness.
One uneducated hillbilly from the far reaches of Harlan County, Kentucky, looks at his docked money slips and says something that sounds almost philosophical.
"We ain't presumed innocent no more. We are presumed in arrears!!"
A survey of the jail population reveals there are no rich people here. They are all out on bail. The middle-class is barely represented, so the cost of the jail falls on the abject poor, who make up the majority of the jail population.
Someone says to Danny Lindsay: "The hell with them. They can't make you pay that five grand once you get out."
"No, but if I don't pay it," Lindsay replies, "they will turn it over to a collection agency and ruin my credit for the rest of my life."
Life without credit seems like a harsh sentence for contempt of court.
19. June 2006
seit der eröffnung des florida civil commitment centers, einem knast für wegen sexualdelikten verurteilten menschen, in dem diese nach ihrer haftzeit therapiert werden sollen, gibt es immer wieder beschwerden über die medizinische und therapeutische behandlung in dem knast.
nach aussage einer krankenschwester die nach einem jahr kündigte und eines psychiaters, wird mit der begründung, die menschen seien sexualtäter, die insassen dort wie in einer anstalt des 18 jahrhunderts behandelt.
oft werden notwendige medikamente nicht verabreicht ( ein mann dessen arm amputiert wurde, mußte 10 tage im krabnkenhaus behandelt werden weil die pfleger ihm kein antibotikum gaben ), dafür wurde z.b. einem mann ohne jede indikation starke antidepressiva verabreicht.
eine 4 monatige überprüfung von berichten, gerichtsakten und internen akten belegen viele pannen in der medizinischen und psychiatrischen behandlung. medikamente wurden abgesetzt ohne das ärzte konsultiert wurden, anderen wurde jede medizinische behandlung verweigert und in einigen fällen wurden menschen mit pschiatrischen problemen isoliert, ohne therapie.
es wurden zwar gesetze erlassen um gegen diese mißstände vorzugehen, aber die gesetzgeber weigern sich mehr geld für das zentrum zur verfügung zustellen.
geführt wird das zentrum, ein heruntergekommener bau in der ecke eines ehemaligen knastes, von liberty. der vertrag läuft am 30. juni aus. dann wird das florida depertment of children und families, dem der knast untersteht, bis januar 2007 den knast selbst führen, ihn dann aber geo ( ehem. wackenhut) übergeben.
in florida wurde mittlerweile wegen der "inädaquaten behandlung" eine "class action"- klage gegen das zentrum und den staat zugelassen.
Sex predator facility failing to treat inmates
Breakdowns in healthcare and state oversight have left a treatment center for sexual offenders starved of resources and its neglected inmates in dire need of proper care.
ARCADIA - Holding the razor in his mouth, Ernest Contrillo ran the blade over his right wrist seven times as blood flowed from the crooked wounds.It wasn't the first time he mutilated himself inside the Florida Civil Commitment Center.A year earlier in the center, Contrillo, 52, lost his left arm to a gangrene infection he coaxed along by severing his flesh.State records show that for four decades Contrillo had sought comfort in pain, yet he managed to obtain razor blades and cut himself numerous times in what's supposed to be a secure mental health facility for Florida's most menacing sexual predators.
Since it opened in 1999, the center -- created to treat men for their sexual disorders after serving prison terms -- has struggled to meet its most basic mission, let alone deal with the medical needs of men like Contrillo.After his arm was amputated, he spent 10 days in the hospital because caregivers did not keep him on antibiotics.In fact, a four-month review of monitoring reports, court cases and internal documents show so many breakdowns in medical and mental care that drugs often were dispensed without doctors' approval, men languished without treatment, and in some cases, those with severe psychological disorders were forced into solitary confinement -- some never getting treatment for sexual problems.Gaps in care were often noted during state reviews, but problems continued. One man was given a powerful antipsychotic drug even though he was not diagnosed with a mental illness. Another was left in an infirmary for days while urine in his bedpan collected mold.
''All I ever heard from everybody was that they were sexual predators. But they're also human,'' said Beverly Babb, a former nurse who quit the center in 2004 after a year. Said Douglas Shadle, a psychiatrist who left because of conditions: ``This is an asylum-era institution that has no place in this century.''Despite problems, state lawmakers repeatedly refused requests to adequately fund the center. But they waived laws that require the civil commitment facility to meet state medical and mental care standards.Seven years later, those decisions have exposed the state to a class-action lawsuit that places the entire program in jeopardy and exposes taxpayers to millions in potential court fines, a Miami Herald investigation has found.
• For years, medical care has been plagued by shoddy record keeping, failure to provide basic checkups, delayed treatment of serious illnesses and potential violations of state and federal laws.
• Crucial medications, such as powerful psychotropic and cancer drugs, were often not available or provided to residents without proper documentation.
• Records show the center's use of solitary confinement defies state and federal guidelines.
• As the facility began filling up with mentally ill men, the private contractor hired to run the center, Liberty Behavioral Health, asked the state five times for more money and staff to provide psychiatric care. Each time, the state balked.
• As the center's population grew by more than 300 percent, its funding increased just 46 percent, leaving it to operate on a budget that's less than half of those found at other mental health facilities in Florida.
• The facility's staffing levels are now less than half of similar programs in other states.
''Anytime offenders are put in the position where they can pretend to have the moral high ground, then we have done something very stupid,'' said Don Ryce, the father of 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce, whose 1995 abduction, rape and murder led to the creation of Florida's civil commitment law, known as the Jimmy Ryce Act.
With Liberty's contract set to expire June 30, the Florida Department of Children & Families -- the agency that runs the program -- has the difficult job of cleaning up a treatment center it allowed to deteriorate during the past seven years.
DCF lays most of the blame for the center's woes on its Pennsylvania-based contractor and has decided to manage the center until January 2007, when the international corrections company GEO Group is slated to take over the contract.
But Liberty, which holds similar contracts in four other states, says the agency's decisions and the state's refusal to adequately fund the program caused it to falter.
''[Now] that the Department of Children & Families has chosen to publicly denounce our company and turn Liberty into a scapegoat for a legacy of its own poor decisions, we are prepared to speak out,'' Sue Nayda, Liberty's vice president, wrote in a 9-page letter to The Miami Herald on June 9.
Liberty says that since the program began, the DCF ''abdicated its responsibilities to establish formal, fundamental administrative rules, regulations or standards to govern the program,'' leaving Liberty to fend for itself as it struggled to treat offenders with a shoestring staff.
Florida now faces a class-action lawsuit that claims the center is failing to provide constitutionally adequate care.
One other state with a similar program, Washington, has racked up $10 million in court fines after losing a similar class-action case in 1992 -- and it spends twice as much per offender as Florida.
Already, the center in Northwest Florida lost one state case over its disciplinary methods.
Four offenders at the facility filed suit in DeSoto County Circuit Court in 2002, claiming the center violated their rights by placing them in confinement without telling them why or allowing them to contact lawyers.
Ruling in favor of the offenders, DeSoto County Circuit Court Judge Vincent T. Hall found the center not only broke rules governing mental health facilities, but also state prisons and standards set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tucked in a corner of a rundown former prison compound, the Florida Civil Commitment Center's infirmary is a one-story brown building with filthy walls and water-stained ceilings. Inside, a meager nursing staff with little support and virtually no oversight is charged with treating a myriad of maladies.
The nurses work amid stacks of medical files that have been badly kept.
The shoddy medical records have contributed to inadequate care at the facility -- a challenge the center still faces, and one the DCF acknowledges in its own reports.
Last year, one resident who complained of weight loss and rectal bleeding had no current weight in his file and no evidence of an examination, according to records.
Another man in the infirmary suffered from chronic lung disease and asthma but there was no documentation of follow-up for his conditions. He complained of blood in his stool, a lack of appetite, vomiting, blood and weight loss, but there was no record showing those symptoms had been explored, the DCF report stated.
Meanwhile, the man was prescribed a powerful antihistamine without documentation while the nurse on duty ''did not know why he was receiving the medication,'' the report said.
A review of nearly a dozen medical records by The Miami Herald found folders stuffed with loose leaf medical charts dating back years that were out of order and nearly impossible to follow.
Worse, the state knew records were incomplete, yet never bothered to ensure the system was fixed.
Five years after the center opened, DCF finally took a hard look, and found widespread problems, but two years later, medical care still remained ''a grave concern'' largely because of incomplete and inaccurate medical files, reports stated. Only three of 23 files examined met state standards.
''The medical care is a mess because they don't want to spend the money on proper care,'' said Babb, the former nurse who quit.
In a facility already rife with drug and alcohol abuse, documents and interviews show that for years the center dispensed powerful medications without proper safeguards. Former nurses claim they often were intimidated by residents who demanded everything from painkillers to cough syrup. When the nurses refused, they said some of the men threatened them or threw violent temper tantrums.
''They would come up maybe four times a day for narcotics, and if you didn't have them, they would intimidate you,'' said Marjorie Ranger, a nurse who worked there for three years before quitting in 2004.
Even worse, Ranger says, the center's administration often forced nurses to fill prescriptions without a doctor's signature or continue doling out drugs even after a doctor's orders expired -- both violations of state law.
''Every nurse working there knows her license is on the line,'' Ranger said. 'Xanax, Ativan, all kinds of medications were going out of there like they were candy. I would look at the charts and find doctors' orders were not signed. They were written up by nurses without signatures.''
Those claims are backed up by the DCF's own reports, which state in 2005 that ``Medication and other treatment are too often ordered without adequate explanation or records support.''
Last year, a resident -- who had no diagnosis of mental illness -- was given the powerful anti-psychotic medication Zyprexa after experiencing fear, suicidal thoughts and paranoia when the center changed his dormitory, according to the DCF's own report.
In other cases, drugs that doctors properly prescribed were not available.
One case noted by the DCF in 2003 found an offender waited nearly a month for cardiac medication. In other cases, the agency found psychotropic drugs prescribed by doctors were not available for seven to 10 days.
ATTEMPTS AT SUICIDE
Joseph Myers, 32, was first arrested for a sex crime at age 7. Diagnosed with schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder, Myers was hospitalized twice for attempted suicides before going to prison on sex charges in 1997.
Confined to the treatment center since 2001, Myers has slit his wrists with a plastic knife and attempted suicide there many times.
In November 2005, he was forced into solitary confinement for having sex with another resident -- though Myers filed complaints saying the man had been stalking him for months.
Records from his psychiatric file, which Myers let The Miami Herald examine, show that he complained of hearing voices telling him to kill himself after he was placed in confinement. But to this day, the only psychiatric counseling Myers receives inside the center are sessions with a contract psychiatrist about once a month.
Contrillo is in the same boat. Diagnosed with borderline personality and bipolar disorders, he has been placed in psychiatric hospitals nearly a dozen times since the age of 11.
He has mutilated himself repeatedly inside the center, which contributed to the infection that caused him to lose most of his arm. The only help he receives is psychotropic drugs and occasional visits with a contract psychiatrist.
TREATED `LIKE A DOG'
''My brother has mental and emotional problems, but they treat him like a dog,'' Contrillo's sister, Sue Alexander, told The Miami Herald.
While holding at least 125 men like Contrillo and Myers, the center had no stand-alone mental health program until 2004, when the DCF admitted the need for an additional 25 staff members to create a special unit after repeated requests by Liberty.
Yet the agency never bothered to provide funds for its own recommendation, forcing Liberty to divert staff from its sexual offender treatment program -- the facility's primary mission -- which already suffers from staffing shortages and provides as little as two hours of therapy a week. So far, the special therapeutic unit is not even run by a psychiatrist. It is overseen by a man who holds no mental health license in Florida.
Mental healthcare for men like Contrillo and Myers is at the heart of a federal class-action suit against the state. The case, filed in federal district court in Fort Myers, claims the program is failing to provide constitutionally adequate mental healthcare in what is supposed to be a mental health facility -- not a prison. Other facilities are guided by laws guaranteeing adequate care, but DCF waived those rules for the treatment center on Feb. 5, 2001.
''It's more evidence that it is providing constitutionally inadequate care for these people,'' said Kristen Cooley Lentz, the lead attorney in the class-action suit.
When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld civil commitment for sexually violent predators in 1997, it said the conditions should mirror those found in state mental institutions. Yet the state spends more than twice as much at other mental health facilities as it does at the Florida Civil Commitment Center, records show.
''It's remarkable what is going on over there,'' said Robert Bellino, a psychiatrist who worked at the center for 4 ½ years. ``But nothing is going to change, because no one is going to spend the money.''
12 June 2006
das staatsgefängnis in jean / nebraska plant, gefangene mit elektrischen armbänder zu überwachen.
Nevada Inmates to Get GPS Bracelets at Jean Prison
When the Nevada state prison reopens at Jean in about three months, inmates will be wearing bracelets.
In an experiment, prisoners will be required to wear global positioning devices on their wrists to track their locations at all times. An alarm will sound if the convict enters an off-limits area or tries to escape. In the case of a prison brawl, the devices will show the corrections staff who was in the area where the fight occurred.
And if an inmate claims to have been assaulted by a prison guard, there will be a record of whether the inmate was at the correctional officer's post.
"It substantially increases the level of control without increasing staff," said Howard Skolnik, deputy director of the state corrections department.
Last week, the state Board of Examiners approved a $1.1 million, four-year contract between the state corrections department and Elmo-Tech Inc., of Elmhurst, Ill., for the monitoring system. Each transmitter will cost $375. The contract still must be approved by the Legislative Interim Finance Committee on Tuesday.
Darrel Rexwinkel, the department's budget director, said the system would provide "historical retention" that, in the case of an inmate being injured, will record the time of the incident and who was in the vicinity, helping officials to determine what happened. If an inmate tries to remove the bracelet, an alarm would sound.
Gov. Kenny Guinn, chairman of the Board of Examiners, called the system "very efficient."
Rexwinkel told the board that the prison system sought 173 officers to staff the prison, but the Legislature reduced the figure to 140, while also allowing the prison to buy the surveillance equipment.
Noting that the extra officers requested would have cost the state $2 million to $3 million annually, he said the surveillance system is a far cheaper alternative.
Skolnik, who is stationed in Las Vegas, said the monitoring system would be a "one-time expenditure" as opposed to adding staff, which creates ongoing operational expenses.
The Southern Nevada Correctional Center at Jean, 25 miles south of Las Vegas off Interstate 15, has been closed while being redesigned as a 600-bed facility for male convicts 25 or younger. The monitoring system will be ready by the time the prison reopens in mid-September.
5 June 2006
US prison population continues to soar in 2005
The recent explosion of US government-authorized torture, renditions and indefinite detention demonstrates how the Bush administration and the wealthy elite it represents are spreading “freedom and democracy” throughout the world in the name of the “war on terror.” New statistics on the domestic prison population reinforce the notorious reputation the US has earned for injustice and inequality at home as well.
According to the federal Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics’ annual report, “Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005,” last year the nation’s prisons and jails held 2,186,230 prisoners-an increase of 56,428, or 2.6 percent over midyear 2004. This is an average of nearly 1,100 new inmates each week-more than twice the rate of population growth for both the US and the world, according to Census Bureau data.
The BJS statistics indicate that 738 per 100,000 of the population were incarcerated last year, up from 725 per 100,000 the year before. According to the report, as of midyear 2005, 1 in every 136 US residents were imprisoned. If this ratio excluded children from the total population, the percentage of those incarcerated would likely be closer to 1 in every 100 residents.
The US incarcerates by far the largest proportion of its population of any country in history, accounting for a quarter of the world’s prisoners in its corrections system. The US also has the most actions criminalized of any country, and routinely doles out mandatory sentences lasting decades. On any given day in America, more than 7 million of its residents are under some form of supervision of the corrections systems.
Since the late 1970s, when many “tough on crime” measures were adopted, the national prison population has increased sixfold. The most dramatic increase occurred in the past decade, coinciding with the economic polarization and dismantling of social programs during the Clinton and second Bush administrations. Minor theft, property and drug crimes have been “combated” with aggressive mandatory sentences. As social infrastructure and industry has crumbled, the richest 1 percent have accumulated unparalleled fortunes.
According to the BJS report, the incarcerated population has increased at an average rate of 3.4 percent annually in the decade between 1995 and 2005. The number in custody of the federal system expanded by 7.4 percent, state prisons increased their populations by 2.5 percent, and the number of inmates held in local jails grew by 3.9 percent over the decade. The incarceration rate over the decade is even more damning: overall, the state incarceration rate rose by about 14 percent, and the federal rate rose by 72 percent.
During this period, despite a drop in violent crime, the prison industry ballooned into a $40-billion-a-year industry thanks to the punitive “war on drugs” targeting the nation’s poorest and minorities. More essentially, the rise in incarceration-like the prevalence of drug addiction-is a result of the erosion of economic opportunities, industry, access to education, health care, and drug treatment programs, and the consequent despair of large numbers of the working class. This deterioration is coupled with fundamental changes in the legal system itself. Funding has significantly shifted away from public defense and rehabilitation toward more aggressive prosecution and policing. Simultaneously, legislatures have imposed rigid, severe sentencing policies, effectively removing much of the flexibility and thus independent power from the judicial system.
Of the different levels of facilities, the state system grew at an overall slower rate than federal or local systems. However, in the 2004-2005 period, 10 state systems grew by more than 5 percent, mostly in the Northwest and Midwest regions. States experiencing the highest growth rates included Montana (7.9 percent), South Dakota (7.8 percent) and Minnesota (6.7 percent). Meanwhile, Southern states continued to pull up the total number of new inmates in state prisons. Florida added 2,812 persons to its state facilities, the Texas state prison population rose by 2,228, and North Carolina was up by 1,482 state inmates. Together, these three state systems accounted for more than 40 percent of total growth in the state prison population. Twelve state systems reported decreased populations, with most in the Northeast, where sentencing is less draconian.
Not surprisingly, privately operated prison facilities absorbed the most inmates in the South and West, where racism, determinate sentencing policies and capital punishment dominate the courts. Texas reported holding 15,414 federal inmates in wholly privatized prisons in 2005, followed by Oklahoma (5,812 prisoners) and Florida (5,423). The BJS statistics reveal that four states, all in the West, held more than a quarter of their total inmate populations in privately run prisons. Overall, private facilities held 6.7 percent of state and federal inmates, representing a growth rate of 2.7 percent, slightly more than the total rate of 2.6 percent. Such for-profit facilities are most egregious and least accountable for mistreatment of prisoners and violating international and Constitutional rights of prisoners.
The penal system is privatized throughout, by degrees. Most prisons contract out food preparation, transportation and maintenance obligations to private corporations. Because incarceration has become such a lucrative venture for business and investors, rational sentencing limits and leniency for nonviolent violations are discouraged. The same conflict of interest afflicting all of capitalist society-the subjugation of human and social well-being to the profit motive-finds a sharp expression in America’s prisons.
Throughout the system, inmates are subjected to brutality from one another and from guards. Cost-cutting and close quarters have led to capacity rates exceeding 95 percent at the local level, 99 percent at the state level, and an intolerable 140 percent at the federal level, where violent and nonviolent offenders are forced into constant, often hostile contact. Serious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, mental illness, physical and sexual assault are all rampant and unmanaged in the large penitentiaries.
The BJS statistics reveal that the largest actual increase in incarcerations came at the local jail level, where 62 percent of prisoners are held without even being convicted of a crime. In 2005, US local jail authorities supervised nearly 820,000 persons, the vast majority held in overcrowded and ill-equipped facilities. Most who were held pretrial either were denied release by judges or could not afford to post bail. Between June 2004 and 2005, the number held in custody of local jails rose by 33,539, according to the BJS Census of Jail Inmates. In absolute numbers, this increase is the largest since 1997. The census data also demonstrate the sharp increase over the decade; since 1995, the national jail population on a per capita basis has increased by nearly a third.
The inequalities present in every facet of American life are starkly revealed in incarceration demographics. African-American men continue to suffer an extremely disproportionate rate of incarceration compared to that of white men. In 2005, blacks were five times as likely as whites to be jailed in local facilities. Consistent with rates over the past decade, an estimated 12 percent of young black men were incarcerated last year. This translates into an even more astonishing incarceration rate over the course of a lifetime, with nearly a third of all black men in America imprisoned at some point.
The incarceration rates of ethnic minorities reflect the pattern and purpose of the prison system as a means of containment for the social ills and discontent experienced by the working poor. Funding for work training and drug treatment programs falls far short of amounts required to effectively wage a “war on drugs” and raise the educational and cultural level of those who are behind bars. Rather, politicians at all levels of government bend over backward to bring the maximum security “industry” to poor regions and pour funding into high-visibility police enforcement, drug raids, prosecutorial advantage and long-term lockdowns.
The punitive rather than rehabilitative approach has led to very high levels of recidivism, particularly for those committing nonviolent offenses such as drug possession, shoplifting and child support non-payment. Various “three strikes” laws around the country effectively funnel the poorest prisoners, found guilty of the most minor crimes, into the most crowded, dangerous and oppressive conditions. And upon release, many former convicts are confronted with a permanent disenfranchisement in terms of voting rights and employment opportunities.
The detrimental effects of the prison cycle extend to entire families, amounting to a paralyzing form of collective punishment for the working class. The Bureau of Justice Statistics calculated that the rate of incarceration for women in the decade ending in June 2005 was 4.7 percent, much higher than the 3 percent rate of male imprisonment. According to a new report from the Women’s Prison Association, “Hard Hit: The Growth in the Imprisonment of Women, 1977-2004,” women are the fastest growing population in prison, surpassing the growth rate of the male population in every state. In fact, since 1977, the female prison population has surged by 757 percent. Like their male counterparts, minority women are disproportionately targeted for long sentences.
Most incarcerated women are low-income mothers of more than one child, and most are convicted of drug addiction or of aiding in the support of a male drug offender, such as a cohabiting boyfriend or husband. While drug addiction is indeed a significant problem confronting the working class in the US, addictions must be addressed as a social epidemic in need of infrastructure and support networks. When the poor and ill are criminalized, such infrastructure is further strained. The current management of those addicted to drugs and those involved by association is a direct reflection of the intimate and unsavory connection between the ever-more expansive war on drugs and the solvency of the prison industry. In order to remain profitable, more prisoners must be found.
[ The BJS report is available in PDF
[ The Women’s Prison Association report can be downloaded as a PDF
Romeo Hardin has been in continual incarceration since age 15, in violation of his civil and human rights. Romeo was (according to the Des Moines Register) the youngest person in the State of Iowa to be sentenced to life without parole. His sentence is in violation of Due Process to Iowa Code section 232.45 and, as well as International law. Iowa code 232.45 provides that a child cannot be waived to adult court unless there is no reasonable prospect of rehabilitation. In juvenile court, children are subject to residential treatment and released at age 18or 21. In adult court, children have no access to treatment and do life in a maximum security prison. At the waiver hearing to determine Romeo Hardin's fate, the state of Iowa juvenile court officer Chris Wayatt testified that "Romeo has never been in a residential treatment center. There are available programs in the juvenile court" and “there is likelihood of success for Romeo in these programs.”
It was Romeo’s right under Equal protection to remain in juvenile court and receive treatment. However, Romeo was unjustly and unnecessarily waived to adult court and sentenced to Life. In 1995 the United States signed CRC article 37(a), which prohibits capital punishment and life without parole for children as a human rights violation. Convention/International law was active at the time of Romeo's sentencing. There is new evidence that proves his actual innocence. Romeo's post-conviction appeal was filed November 18, 2002. According to Iowa code 822.6, the State of Iowa has 30 days to reply or a judgment is entered in favor of the Plaintiff/Applicant (Romeo, in this case). The State of Iowa did not respond until January 18th 2006- more than 3years too late. However, the Scott County District Court refused to issue an order ruling in favor of Romeo.
The Scott County District Court will stop at nothing to deny Romeo his freedom, even violating its own laws. Between November 2002 and today, Romeo has not requested one continuance, but Scott County District Court has forced continuances for 3 years to prevent Romeo from litigating this case. The court has appointed counsel who has refused to meet with Romeo, respond to his letters or represent Romeo's interests. Romeo will not agree to be represented by counsel he does not know or hasn’t communicated with. He has requested to represent himself because he can't afford competent representation, but the state refuses. Iowa has a long standing practice of waiving Black and Latino children. This state is 2% black, and yet Black people represent more than half of its prison population. Black youth made up of 58% population of juvenile offenders admitted in to adult prisons in 1997. Romeo is in prison in violation of his rights. He needs your support and assistance to see his day in court. If you can provide legal assistance, exposure, or donations to Romeo’s legal defense please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
11 May 2006
US-Studie: Bei "schwärzerem" Aussehen härteres Gerichtsurteil
Je "schwärzer" ein der Tötung eines Weissen angeklagter Afro-Amerikaner aussieht, desto höher ist in den USA die Wahrscheinlichkeit einer Verurteilung zum Tode. Dies belegt eine am Dienstag veröffentlichte Studie der Universität Standford.
[sda] - In der Studie seien Studenten aufgefordert worden, Fotos von Schwarzen zu beurteilen, die vor Gericht des Mordes an einem Weissen beschuldigt wurden, sagte Wissenschaftlerin Jennifer Eberhardt.
Die Angeklagten, denen die Studenten ein "stereotypes schwarzes Aussehen" wie eine sehr dunkle Hautfarbe zugeschrieben hätten, seien zu 57,5 Prozent auch tatsächlich zum Tode verurteilt worden. Unter den Angeklagten, die dem Klischee des "typischen Schwarzen" weniger entsprochen hätten, sei es indes nur eine Rate von 24,4 Prozent gewesen.
Das Ergebnis lasse darauf schliessen, dass die Geschworenen vor Gericht ein stereotypes schwarzes Aussehen als eher kriminelles Zeichen werten würden und solche Angeklagte strenger bestraften, sagte Eberhardt. Befragt wurden bei der Studie weisse und asiatisch-stämmige Studenten.
Ein anderes Ergebnis brachte die Studie bei der Frage zu Tage, wie das Verhältnis zwischen Aussehen und Strafe in solchen Fällen ist, in denen ein Schwarzer der Tötung eines Schwarzen angeklagt war. Hier gebe es keine Beziehung zwischen hartem Urteil und stereotypem schwarzen Aussehen
7 May 2006
der zweitgrößte knast in kentucky, das kentucky state reformatory in lagrange hat als erste jetzt ein totales tabakverbot umgesetzt.
seit 10 jahren durften die insassen der knäste nur im freien rauchen, jetzt wurde "zum schutz der gesundheitlich angegriffenenen insassen" jede form von tabak verboten.
tabak ist ein wichtiger wirtschaftsfaktor in dem bundesstaat und es gibt doch viele gegner eines rauchverbotes. mit einem tabakverbot im knast haben die aber kein problem und sehen dies als teil eines "tough-on-criminals"-programmes.
Kentucky prison bans tobacco; others may follow
LA GRANGE, Ky. - After 50 years as a smoker, Jess Hensley is dealing with the jittery nerves of a man who gave up tobacco cold turkey.
Hensley was among more than 1,000 prisoners forced to give up all forms of tobacco when a ban on smoking and chewing went into effect at the Kentucky State Reformatory last week.
"This is a cruel thing to do," said the 60-year-old convicted murderer serving a 50-year sentence. "They're trying to create a riot. They want a riot for one reason or another."
Corrections officials in Kentucky, the nation's No. 1 producer of burley, acknowledge that inmates in one of the state's largest prison are fuming about the decision.
However, Warden Larry Chandler said the aging and oftentimes sickly inmates at the reformatory, which houses most of the state's medically fragile prisoners, shouldn't be using tobacco and need to be shielded from the secondhand smoke of cigarettes, cigars and pipes.
Although tobacco is a key part of the state's economy, Kentucky, like the rest of the nation, has seen a proliferation of smoking bans in offices, public buildings, restaurants, even bars. Prisons are the latest targets, and even some of Kentucky's staunchest opponents of tobacco bans like that idea.
That includes state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis, one of the state's most vocal opponents to smoking bans. The western Kentucky Democrat who has bitterly opposed anti-smoking initiatives in the General Assembly said he finds no fault with the prison's no-tobacco policy. He said he supports it as a tough-on-criminals initiative.
Prisons in several states have implemented at least partial bans on smoking. The Kentucky State Reformatory bars even the 500 staffers from using tobacco, and several county jails across the state also have instituted such bans.
Brad Rodu, a pathologist at the University of Louisville who researches tobacco risks, said an all-out ban on tobacco like the one at the state reformatory is unnecessary if it's being done for health reasons.
"It's another example of an anti-tobacco control movement that is simply out of control," Rodu said. "They're just instituting bans without measuring the consequences."
Rodu said the prison could have banned cigarettes but continued to allow smokeless tobacco, which, he said, has far less health risks. Smokeless tobacco, he said, would satisfy the cravings for nicotine in a way that patches or gum containing low doses of the substance do not.
"In many studies, researchers have found that up to 60 to 80 percent of inmates smoke," Rodu said. "The anti-tobacco extremists would say that smoking and nicotine use are of no value, and they couldn't be more wrong. People smoke because nicotine does powerful things to our brains. It has powerful mood-modulating effects. It gives us a sense of well-being. People use it to help them through their daily lives."
Inmate James Calbough said he quit before the ban took effect, opting for nicotine lozenges to ease his craving for tobacco. Most smokers in the prison didn't do that, he said, and now they are scrounging for contraband tobacco. Calbough said a single roll-your-own cigarette can fetch as much as $10 in the prison in the wake of the ban. Some inmates, he said, are desperate.
"You can cut the tension with a knife," he said.
Inmate James Holbrook also turned to nicotine lozenges, mint flavored, to help with the cravings. Now 42, Holbrook had smoked since he was 14 years old.
"I'd much rather have a cigarette," he said.
For the past decade, Kentucky inmates could smoke only outdoors. The reformatory is the first state prison to institute the prison-wide prohibition.
It's not just a matter of personal health, Chandler said, but a matter of fiscal responsibility that could help to cut the $40 million a year the state pays for inmate medical care.
"Above all else, it's the right thing to do," Chandler said, standing next to a stack of nicotine gum, lozenges and patches, which are being made available at reduced prices to inmates struggling through withdrawal. "We can't in good conscience be the medical (prison) facility for the state of Kentucky and allow smoking."
Corrections Commissioner John Rees said the tobacco ban was announced to inmates and staffers more than a year ago, and the state has made smoking-cessation programs available so they could quit gradually.
"This isn't just something we took up willy-nilly, out of the blue," Rees said.
Rees said officials at other state prisons are monitoring the tobacco ban at the reformatory. He said he expects other prisons to follow the lead.
With cigarettes now contraband, Rees said he expects inmates will put more effort into obtaining tobacco, which could mean less illicit drug smuggling into the prison.
"And that's not a bad thing," he said.
5 May 2006
eine bundesgeschworenengericht hat einem mann, der zum tod verurteilt war und der nach einem dna test entlassen wurde , $ 2.25 millionen als entschädigung zugesprochen. die jury sah es als erwiesen an das die beweismittel gegen den mann fabriziert wurden.
Jury: Investigator must pay ex-death row inmate
It awards $2.25 million for fabricated confession
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (AP) -- A federal jury on Friday awarded $2.25 million to a Virginia man who claimed a police investigator fabricated a rape and murder confession that sent him to death row.
Earl Washington Jr., who came within nine days of being executed, had sued the estate of the state police investigator, Curtis Reese Wilmore, who died in 1994. Jurors awarded Washington damages upon finding that Wilmore deliberately fabricated evidence that led to his conviction and death sentence.
"I feel great -- and happy," a smiling Washington said after the verdict.
Washington spent nearly 18 years in prison. He was pardoned in 2000 by then-Gov. Jim Gilmore after sophisticated DNA testing, unavailable at the time of the crime, linked a convicted rapist to the murder.
William G. Broaddus, an attorney for the Wilmore estate, declined to comment after the verdict, other than to say he is considering an appeal.
Washington's attorneys claimed that Wilmore fed their client, who is mildly retarded, specific details that he used in his false confession to the slaying in 1982 of Rebecca Lynn Williams in Culpeper, Virginia.
For example, Washington said he left a bloodstained shirt in a dresser drawer in a back bedroom of the victim's home, his attorneys noted. Police never revealed the information publicly.
During the trial, a psychologist testified that investigators could easily manipulate Washington because of his mental deficit.
Washington's attorney, Peter Neufeld, said after the decision that the case boiled down to "two men in a room with the door closed. When they walk out, there's a confession with all kinds of nonpublished details."
Said Neufeld: "We learn years later that one of the men could not have possibly have known those details. Therefore, they had to come from the other fellow in this case, Special Agent Curtis Reese Wilmore."
Wilmore's lawyers acknowledged Washington's innocence but argued that Wilmore did not fabricate the confession.
Washington is now a maintenance worker in Virginia Beach.
Neufeld said Washington's attorneys will attempt get the state to pay the damages against Wilmore's estate.
"When he engaged in misconduct he did it as an agent of the commonwealth," Neufeld said, adding that the attorney general's office paid powerhouse law firm McGuireWoods to defend Wilmore's estate.
A telephone message left Friday with the attorney general's office was not immediately returned.
4 May 2006
ein bericht über florence , colorado, dem einzigen hochsicherheitsknast des bundes. der 1994 eröffnete knast soll der sicherste knast der welt sein.
Supermax prison, the Alcatraz of the Rockies
It is known as the Alcatraz of the Rockies. Built into a mountainside of Florence, Colorado, the Supermax prison is a notorious fortress-like jailhouse for America?s most dangerous criminals.
For Zacarias Moussaoui, the al Qaeda fantasist convicted for his role in the September 11 terrorist attacks, it will be home for the rest of his natural life.
He can look forward to a lifetime of solitary confinement in a facility that houses 399 other high security prisoners including former al Qaeda operatives, drug barons, and ganglords. Set in the middle of the desert and equipped with sophisticated surveillance technology, the prison is considered almost impossible to escape from.
Dubbed by the Guinness World Records as the most secure prison in the world, the 37 acre complex comprises four separate detention facilities, each with a different grade of security. Supermax is equipped with motion detectors, 1,400 steel remote-controlled steel doors, laser beams, barbed wire fences, pressure pads and attack dogs.
The prison opened in 1994 with the aim of incarcerating its inmates in solitary confinement for most of the day and keeping them in extreme conditions. The result is debilitating, say security officials, leading former prisoners to describe it as a living tomb.
Most of the prisoners are held in solitary confinement for 23 hours every day. For one hour each day they are allowed to exercise in a concrete chamber, fettered by leg irons and handcuffs. Prisoners stay in sound-proofed cells measuring seven feet by twelve. Each cell is bolted shut with a steel door.
Stark cells are lit by neon lighting and contain a bed, desk and stool. A shaft of natural light filters through a narrow slit window.
US security experts describe a highly-controlled environment designed to cut the prisoner off from the outside world and one another.
"They are in a security envelope, a security bubble. Their environment is sterile, they are isolated from the outside world and from the prison world," said James Aitken, a former US federal prison official.
"Moussaoui doesn't know yet, but under such conditions as time goes by, they rot."
The psychological effect of long-term solitary confinement is profound, leading to prisoners suffering from hallucinations, anxiety, depression and self-harm. One former prisoner David Clark told The Guardian in 2002 of extreme restraint methods used by the prison, even during family visits.
"Your family has to look at you chained up like Hannibal Lecter or something. They have to look at you in pain, squirming," he said.
Human Rights Watch has described the conditions at such prisons as being a violation of international laws on civil and political rights as well as torture conventions.
Other inmates at the Florence Supermax facility include the British shoe bomber Richard Reid and the blind Egyptian Muslim cleric Omar Abdel-Rahman who was implicated in the 1993 terror attack on the World Trade Centre.
30 April 2006
in einem neuen buch schreibt ein journalist über seine erfahrungen als vater eines psychisch kranken menschen, der hilfe suchte und dabei feststellte das die meisten psychisch kranken menschen entweder obdachlos oder im knast sind.
"[...]die wurzeln des komplexen problems liegt in der antipsychiatrie- bewegung die in den 1960ern begann und bis in die 1980er reichte. hunderttausende mental instabile patienten wurden auf die straße geschickt, angeblich im namen der patientenrechte, aber hauptsächlich um geld zu sparen sagt earley.[...]"
" [...]1955 waren 560.000 amerikanerinnen in staatlichen psychiatrien? sagte earley indem er eine statistik der justizbehörde von 1999 zitiert. ? hochgerechnet auf heute erwartet man etwa 930.000 psychiatriepatienten, aber es sind weniger als 50.000.[...]der rest ist obdachlos, lebt bei angehörigen oder ist inhaftiert. laut earley sind zur zeit 300.000 psychisch kranke menschen in gefängnissen[...]"
It's the system that's crazy
Seeking help for his mentally ill son, writer finds that jails are now asylums.
No one could say Pete Earley was naive or unsophisticated at the time his son Mike, then a college senior, had his first manic episode in 2001.
On the contrary, the former Washington Post reporter was a veteran true-crime author, with several best-selling books to his credit, including 1995's award-winning Circumstantial Evidence.
Yet Earley had no idea he would have to lie to doctors to get Mike help. Or that he would use his journalistic connections to browbeat an insurance company into letting his son stay in the hospital.
"I was so desperate I threatened to call The Washington Post and Mike Wallace with the story," Earley says. "Within an hour we received authorization for a 14-day stay."
By Earley's own judgment, that was a violation of journalistic ethics.
"You can't use your position to get special treatment," he says. "But I think every parent will understand it. Here I was, not only lying but threatening people. That's the only time I've done anything like that."
Indeed, Earley was so astonished by the barriers he encountered trying to find help for Mike that he began an investigation into the way the mentally ill are treated in America today, including more than a year spent interviewing guards and inmates at the Miami-Dade County jail.
What he found, detailed in his new book, Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness, is that treatment of mental illness -- bipolar disease, schizophrenia, and major depression -- has regressed to the standards of colonial times, when, as Earley says, "the mentally ill were thrown into jail as lunatics."
"It's a national crisis," Earley says. "If you're sick you shouldn't have to become a criminal to get help."
And law enforcement is seldom trained to deal with the mentally ill, which is how sick people get shot and killed, Earley says.
From streets to cells
The roots of this complex problem lie in the deinstitutionalization movement that started in the 1960s and ran through the 1980s. Hundreds of thousands of mentally unstable patients were turned out into the streets, partly in the name of patients' rights, Earley says, but mainly to save money.
"In 1955 there were 560,000 Americans in state mental hospitals," Earley says, citing a 1999 Bureau of Justice Statistics report. "If you extrapolate to today, you'd expect to find 930,000 hospitalized mental patients, but there are fewer than 50,000."
The rest are homeless, living with relatives, or incarcerated. According to Earley, 300,000 mentally ill people are currently in jails and prisons, with approximately 16 percent of prison inmates victims of bipolar disease or one of the other major psychological illnesses.
"The largest mental facility in the United States isn't a hospital," Earley says, "but the Los Angeles county jail."
Earley acknowledges problems existed with the old system of asylums, which, he says, were "awful." Sometimes patients were warehoused and forgotten, or abused; some of the patients' rights suits brought in behalf of patients had merit. But instead of reforming the hospitals, they were simply emptied.
For practical purposes, Earley says, mental illness ceased to be a medical diagnosis and became a matter of criminal justice.
"The real factor was the federal government said it would take care of the mentally ill," Earley says. "The states said great, and stopped funding the hospitals, but the federal money never came through. You can correlate that with when the mentally ill started showing up in jails and prisons."
Lying for salvation
Another problem, doubtless unforeseen by those working for patients' rights, is the difficulty parents and other relatives now have in trying to obtain help for ill loved ones. For example, while Mike was, in the words of a police officer, "clearly psychotic," the doctor released the young man as "no imminent danger" to himself or others.
Bring him back when he tries to kill you or himself, the doctor told Earley.
"So you take your son home and watch over the next 48 hours as he sinks deeper and deeper into the abyss," Earley says. "Those laws, though well-intentioned, now stop us from getting help for the people we love."
Mike wound up in jail after he broke into a house to take a bubble bath. Earley was shocked that his son was treated as a criminal rather than someone with an illness he did nothing to bring on himself. That's when a police officer advised Earley to lie if he wanted medical help for his son.
"A lot of studies show the first part of the brain that goes out of whack is the part that alerts you that something's wrong," Earley says. "And yet the mentally ill are allowed to refuse treatment. One thing that shocked me was even in the hospital Mike could not get treatment unless he agreed.
"That makes sense if you're talking about a lobotomy, but it's different with pills. The cop warned me if I didn't tell the social worker Mike had threatened to kill me, they'd turn him lose. So I lied to get my son in the hospital."
Earley chose Miami as the focus of his investigation because it's the city with the highest concentration of mentally ill people. Most communities have 3 percent, but in Miami you get an additional 3 percent from Cuba, released from Castro's jails, and another 3 percent who come here, like snowbirds, for the weather, Earley says.
Another reason was Judge Steven Leifman, who Earley says has crusaded for the mentally ill from the bench. It was Leifman, Early says, who gave him the numbers of mentally ill living in Miami.
"I think Miami is ahead of other communities and it's still terrible," Earley says.
To stop the unnecessary killing of unstable civilians who have, through their illness, run afoul of the law, Earley is "a big supporter" of crisis intervention training. Police and other agents who have had the training are much less likely to need deadly force to subdue a mentally ill person. But too few agencies fund the training, and too few officers, seeking something "sexier," like SWAT training, sign up for it, Earley says.
"In Miami-Dade one community refused to go along with the training," Earley says. "That's unfortunate. The bodies keep mounting up."
Earley is not without sympathy for police and prison guards, who are also put at risk by the criminalization of mental illness, even though he found cases of physical abuse at the Miami jail.
"Correctional officers are frustrated because they don't have the tools to deal with the mentally ill," Earley says. "Even a crazy person sometimes will get the message if you slap him, and that's what the guards resort to sometimes. One of the officers told me about beating a guy so bad they broke his arms. It's horrible for the officers and horrible for the mentally ill. You can't forcibly medicate them."
Now, says Earley, jails and prisons are under so much pressure from the influx of the mentally ill that funding is being provided for special jail facilities. "Which means we've just moved the old-style asylums into the jails," Earley says. "That's wrong in so many ways."
No happy ending
Although the owner of the house Mike broke into wanted to press charges, Earley was able to keep his son out of jail. After several years of trying different medications, Mike found one, Abilify, that works well with a minimum of side effects. Still, he faces challenging days, Earley says.
"The thing about this book I had to learn is there is no final chapter," Earley says. "No happy ending. I tried to end on a happy note, but after two years on the meds my son went off them and started to have a relapse.
"Fortunately my wife talked him into getting back on medication. There's treatment for this disease, but there's no cure. Someone with mental illness struggles with it daily. And so do their parents."
[ CRAZY: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness
30 April 2006
nach einem gesetz aus dem den 1930ern können die sheriffs in alabama nicht ausgegebenes essensgeld das sie für gefangene erhalten, als eigentum behalten.
Get rich or feed inmates?
Some sheriffs strike gold by pocketing unspent jail food money
Place a heaping $267,927 in a pot designated to feed inmates.
Add a dash of old state law and you have a dish with enough leftovers for sheriffs to rake into their pockets, taking them to another pay level.
The size of the dish varies among sheriffs in Alabama. Sometimes they make a profit and other times they take a loss.
If sheriffs house federal inmates, the extra money piles up ? almost a half million dollars in the case of one North Alabama sheriff last year.
A law that the Legislature passed in the 1930s created a fee system to pay public officeholders. After salaries were established for officials, the portion of the law that allows sheriffs to keep the unspent jail food money remained, and it is still effective today.
Sheriffs pocketing food money has become an issue recently with a Mobile County sheriff facing criminal charges and resigning from office.
Morgan is one of 52 counties among 67 in the state where the sheriff provides inmate meals and takes home the "green grub."
During a 24-month period, a state audit shows that Sheriff Greg Bartlett got nearly $104,000 for feeding inmates.
The state pays sheriffs $1.75 a day per inmate. The more inmates, the fatter the sheriffs' paychecks.
Bartlett received the money in addition to his regular annual salary of $58,000. Coupled with the food money, his pay was more than $200,000 for two years, according to the audit.
He told THE DAILY months ago that he felt money he receives from the food fund is personal and he gets a 1099, a tax form that shows income that's not a part of regular earnings.
The food fund is paid by state tax money.
The sheriff could receive even more money at the new Morgan County Jail, which should open in June.
The County Commission authorized Bartlett to negotiate a contract with the federal government to house federal inmates.
The federal government pays $3 per day for each inmate compared to the state's $1.75, according to Etowah County Administrator Patrick Simms.
Etowah County Sheriff James Hayes said weeks ago that he houses an average of 350 federal inmates, and he applies the state law in feeding them.
"The state law applies any time the sheriff has the responsibility of feeding inmates," Hayes said of the federal money. "If any of the proceeds are left over, the sheriff can keep it."
Hayes received a 1099 from the Etowah County Commission that showed he received $418,000 for 2005.
The amount included money from the federal government and the city of Gadsden for inmate meals. It did not include money the state paid for feeding inmates, according to news reports.
Bartlett said he doesn't know how many federal prisoners he will try to bargain for because he first has to see how much bed space he'll have after settling into the new jail.
Bartlett told the Morgan commission that federal funds would help pay for the $23 million jail here.
A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in Birmingham said no one from Morgan County has contacted him about a contract to house federal prisoners.
In Etowah County, the contract is between the County Commission and the federal government, and Simms explained that when the agreement was established the federal government pledged $8.4 million toward expanding the jail.
The county also got a bond issue for the construction project, and Simms said the federal money for inmates helps toward repayment.
Keeping leftover funds from feeding inmates led to a Mobile County sheriff facing criminal charges and his resignation from office recently.
Former Mobile Sheriff Jack Tillman entered a plea agreement with the prosecutor for theft charges against him for food money he took, according to news reports.
Tillman agreed to pay back money he took from the food fund and placed in a personal retirement account.
He received a 90-day suspended sentence for misdemeanor perjury and ethics charges. Also, he was placed on probation for a year, reports show.
Mobile Chief Assistant District Attorney Nicki Patterson said the County Commission there and Tillman had reached an agreement that the sheriff would not take the food money for his personal use, but spend it for the sheriff's office.
Patterson said the commission rescinded a resolution that authorized the commission to feed jail inmates rather than the sheriff.
She explained that Tillman reneged on the agreement and took the money for himself, and that's why she prosecuted him for theft.
Also, Patterson said, she believes that some officials have misinterpreted the old state law and it's not intended for sheriffs to prosper from the food fund.
Bartlett's audit, which covers May 1, 2003, to May 31, 2005, shows that he spent $163,991 for inmate food and service and he cleared $103,938 for himself.
Simms said higher government authorities should probe the food-money issue.
"It's something that probably needs to be addressed at the state or federal level," said Simms. "Local government hands are tied.
"From a civil liberties standpoint, because the system is allowing sheriffs to keep the money personally, it would be incentive to go as cheap as possible in feeding the inmates."
29 April 2006
für jugendliche zwischen 10 und 16, die speed nehmen wurde jetzt eine eigene abteilung im franklin county jugendknast / illinois eingerichtet. 6 monate sollen die jugendlichen dort "behandelt" werden.
New program aimed at juveniles hooked on methamphetamine
BENTON, Ill. A new methamphetamine (meth-am-FEHT'-uh-meen) treatment program in southern Illinois is aimed at the drug's youngest victims -- children ages ten to 16.
The pilot program features an eight-bed unit in the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center. Kids in the program will stay for up to six months, with half of the day geared toward school work and the other half on treatment.
State Senator Gary Forby of Benton and Representative John Bradley of Marion helped push legislation that created and funded the program. They attended a brief ceremony to mark its opening yesterday.
Meth use has exploded over the past decade, especially in rural areas. Forby says he has received many pleas from parents desperate to find relief for their addicted children.
26 April 2006
der staat florida wird die boot camps für jugendliche schließen. auslöser war der tod eines jungen mannes ,den wärter eines boot camps zu tode prügelten. in den letzten 6 jahren sind 7 jugendliche in boot camps umgekommen.
mit $10,5 millionen sollen die vier bereits vorhandenen star-camps ausgebaut werden.
star bedeutet sheriff's training and respect programs . dabei soll die ausbildung der jugendlichen im vordergrund stehen. es gibt angebl. keine brutalen aufnahmerituale und den wärtern wurde verboten gewalt anzuwenden, außer "zur selbstverteidigung und um jugendliche zu schützen".
Legislature set to dismantle juvenile boot camps
TALLAHASSEE-Nearly four months after a Panhandle teen died after a beating by boot camp guards that was videotaped, lawmakers agreed Tuesday to do away with the military-style detention facilities altogether.
"Boot camps for juveniles are going to be deleted from the state of Florida and they are not going to exist in the state of Florida," Sen. Rod Smith, D-Alachua, said during budget negotiations between the House and Senate Tuesday evening. "They are going to be replaced with programs that we have more confidence in and programs that we think will result in success for our juveniles."
The boot camps will be replaced with Sheriffs Training and Respect facilities, based largely on the acclaimed Martin County Juvenile Offender Training Center, that focus on self-esteem and after-care and prohibit physical interaction of any kind between guards and detainees. Guards at the revamped camps will also be prohibited from using psychological intimidation on the youths.
The act doing away with the boot camps, at which at least seven youths have died in the past six years, is named after Martin Lee Anderson, a 14-year-old honor student who died after being beaten by Bay County Sheriff's Boot Camp guards on Jan. 5, the day he entered the facility.
No one has been charged in the case, and the sheriff's office has said the guards were trying to get Anderson to participate after he became uncooperative in doing exercises that were part of his admission to the camp. He was placed there for taking his grandmother's car on a joy ride.
The Panama City camp has since closed.
Rep. Gus Barreiro, chairman of the House Criminal Justice Appropriations Committee, has spearheaded efforts to close the camps.
On Tuesday, Senate budget negotiators agreed with Barreiro, allocating $10.5 million to convert the current camps to the new system.
That's about $500,000 more than lawmakers spent on seven boot camps last year, but the money will now be divided among four STAR camps. Although Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder has said he plans to close his camp this year and not reopen it because the legislature's proposed funding is inadequate, Barreiro, R-Miami Beach, said he has promised Crowder he would get Martin County enough money to reopen its camp as one of the STAR camps.
Youths entering the camps will now be told of their right to outside counsel, given abuse hot line telephone numbers and undergo physical exams that will also be performed when they exit the facilities.
"So we will know when you leave you were in the same shape you were in," Smith said. "In the end, today is the beginning of a new day in the sense of juvenile boot camps in Florida. They will not exist."
Barreiro said Tuesday that other sheriffs who operate boot camps in Florida were "alarmed at what happened at the Bay County boot camp."
"They understood that changes had to occur," he said.
In response to Anderson's death, college students last week staged a 33-hour sit-in outside Gov. Jeb Bush's office and 2,000 supporters marched on the Capitol Friday for a rally featuring Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who demanded the release of a second autopsy report.
The first autopsy by Bay County Medical Examiner Charles Seibert ruled that Anderson died of "natural causes" due to complications associated with sickle cell anemia trait.
Bush appointed Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark Ober to take over the case, and Ober ordered a second autopsy by the Hillsborough County medical examiner. A third medical examiner hired by Anderson's family observed that autopsy and said the teen died of asphyxiation.
Barreiro said that he expects the second autopsy results to be released within two weeks, and that Ober's investigation should be completed sometime shortly after that.
Department of Juvenile Justice chief of staff Christian Caballero told lawmakers on Tuesday that the agency welcomes the changes.
"I do think we can make this better. We have to make this better. Kids' lives are on the line," he said.
26 April 2006
auf einem ehemaligen müllplatz in der south bronx wird ein knast für 2. 000 menschen gebaut.
City Planning to Build a 2,000-Bed Jail in the South Bronx
New York City plans to build a 2,000-bed jail on an abandoned garbage dump on the East River in the South Bronx, a site that was rejected by city officials in 1991 amid allegations that its previous owner had ties to organized crime.
The city's Economic Development Corporation is negotiating with the current owner, Oak Point Energy, to acquire the 28-acre tract near the Oak Point railyard. The project would cost $375 million, and ground could be broken as early as 2008, said John Antonelli, senior deputy commissioner for the Department of Correction.
The jail would be the first freestanding one built in the city since 1991, correction officials said. A floating jail barge, which holds 800 beds, was anchored at nearby Hunts Point in 1992. The new jail will be used to house men and women arrested in the Bronx and awaiting trial.
City correction officials are moving to replace some of the aging buildings at the Rikers Island complex that have been ordered closed by a federal court because of poor conditions. The city also plans to spend $240 million to expand a jail in Brooklyn and add retail businesses at that site.
At a hearing yesterday, Mr. Antonelli said the money for the Bronx and the Brooklyn projects would come from the department's capital budget. "Our analysis of the capital and operating costs," he said, "shows that building in the boroughs will be more efficient than building and operating new capacity on Rikers Island."
The land in the Bronx is one of the largest privately owned pieces of undeveloped commercial real estate in the city. In 1988 it was bought by Britestarr Homes Inc., which proposed creating a modular-housing factory that could revitalize the area. Instead, the site was used as a garbage dump and, in 1991, Britestarr was investigated for possible ties to John A. Gotti, son of the reputed Gambino crime family boss.
By May 2002 the company had filed for bankruptcy, leaving the property with more than $60 million in claims against it, including $17 million owed to the state for environmental cleanup costs and fines, and $10 million more in back taxes claimed by the city. Oak Point Energy bought the land later that year.
Several Bronx community groups and environmentalists said yesterday that they opposed the city's plan for a new jail, saying they preferred the land be used for a recycling plant or retail and business development. Oak Point Energy had also proposed building a power plant at the site, but did not follow through.
Elena Conte, a staff member for Sustainable South Bronx, said the community was keenly interested in the development of the site and urged the city to include them in the process. "Deals are being made," she said, "but there's very little transparency and no real opportunity for public participation, and that's a major concern."
Norris McDonald, president of the African American Environmentalist Association, a national group that has an office in the Bronx, said that jails and power plants were not the solution. "I mean, who wants a prison in their neighborhood?" he said. "It isn't smart growth, or sustainable development, and frankly, there are dangerous individuals housed there."
But Mr. Antonelli said a new jail would generate economic revenue for the borough. He said the Oak Point site was reconsidered after the current owner approached the city about selling it. The economic development agency would not provide details about the negotiations.
Mr. Antonelli said that the Correction Department had agreed earlier to give up another jail site for redevelopment as part of the Bronx Terminal Market, and in exchange the department was promised a replacement site.
At the hearing, Councilman James Vacca, who represents the northeast Bronx, urged Mr. Antonelli to listen to the concerns of Bronx residents. "I would anticipate opposition to this," Mr. Vacca said. "But I think that your agency is going to have to come forth with a more detailed plan than what we have today."
"Post Incarceration Syndrome and Relapse"
By Terence T. Gorski
The Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS) is a serious problem that contributes to relapse in addicted and mentally ill offenders who are released from correctional institutions. Currently 60% of prisoners have been in prison before and there is growing evidence that the Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS) is a contributing factor to this high rate of recidivism.
The concept of a post incarceration syndrome (PICS) has emerged from clinical consultation work with criminal justice system rehabilitation programs working with currently incarcerated prisoners and with addiction treatment programs and community mental health centers working with recently released prisoners.This article will provide an operational definition of the Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS), describe the common symptoms, recommend approaches to diagnosis and treatment, explore the implications of this serious new syndrome for community safety, and discuss the need for political action to reduce the number of prisoners and assure more humane treatment within our prisons, jails, and correctional institutions as a means of prevention.
Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS) - Operational Definition
The Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS) is a mixed mental disorders with four clusters of symptoms:
(1) Institutionalized Personality Traits resulting from a chronic state of learned helplessness,
(2) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from both pre-incarceration trauma and institutional abuse,
(3) Antisocial Personality Traits (ASPT) developed as a coping response to institutional abuse, and
(4) a Social-Sensory Deprivation Syndrome caused by prolonged exposure to solitary confinement.
PICS often coexists with substance use disorders and a variety of affective and personality disorders.The Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS) is a set of symptoms that are present in many currently incarcerated and recently released prisoners that are caused by being subjected to prolonged incarceration in environments of punishment with few opportunities for education, job training, or rehabilitation. The symptoms are most severe in prisoners subjected to prolonged solitary confinement and severe institutional abuse.The severity of symptoms is related to the level of coping skills prior to incarceration, the length of incarceration, the restrictiveness of the incarceration environment, the number and severity of institutional abuse episodes experienced, the number and duration of episodes of solitary confinement, and the degree of involvement in educational, vocational, and rehabilitation programs.[...]
[ "Post Incarceration Syndrome and Relapse"
By Terence T. Gorski
[ Post Incarceration Syndrome and Relapse (PICS)
By Terence T. Gorski
22 April 2006
Tödliche Jagd auf US-Sexualstraftäter
Nach dem Mord an zwei Sexualstraftätern flammt in Amerika die Debatte über den Sinn von Internet-Prangern wieder auf. Trotz der jüngsten Bluttat wollen jetzt ausgerechnet im liberalen Kanada Politiker die Datenbanken für die Öffentlichkeit zugänglich machen.
Hamburg - Joseph Gray schlief in dieser Nacht auf seiner Couch, als seine Hunde draußen vor dem Haus im US-Bundesstaat Maine zu bellen begannen. Der 57-jährige Gray wurde von seiner verängstigten Frau geweckt: Da draußen laufe ein Fremder herum. Plötzlich krachten Schüsse, Glas splitterte. Der Fremde erschoss Gray durchs Fenster. Fünf Stunden nach dem Anschlag in Milo starb auch der 24 Jahre alte William Elliott. Jemand hatte an seinen Wohnwagen im nahen Corinth geklopft und durch die Tür gefeuert.
Weil sich Elliotts Freundin die Nummernschilder am Wagen des Täters merkte, kamen die Polizisten dem Schützen schnell auf die Spur: Er hieß Stephen A. Marshall und kam aus Nova Scotia in Kanada. Als die Polizisten ihn am Mittag in einem Bus stellen wollten, erschoss sich der 20-Jährige vor ihren Augen.
Der seltsame Fall von Doppelmord ist damit gelöst - doch noch immer rätseln die Ermittler darüber, warum der bislang unauffällige Marshall vor einer Woche die ihm unbekannten Männer als Opfer aussuchte. Eine der Thesen: Weil sie verfügbar waren. In Marshalls Gepäck fanden die Ermittler einen Laptop mit den Namen und Adressen von 34 Sexualstraftätern: Auch Gray und Elliott gehörten dazu. Marshall hatte die Daten aus einer der zahlreichen Internet-Datenbanken, in denen Sexualstraftäter in den USA registriert sind. Viele dieser auch als Pranger bekannten Internetlisten sind öffentlich zugänglich.
Verurteilt wegen Sex mit Freundin
"Predators", Raubtiere, werden die Leute, die auf diesen Listen stehen, in der amerikanischen Öffentlichkeit genannt. Die Taten der "Raubtiere" Gray und Elliott unterschieden sich allerdings deutlich: Gray war wegen mehrfacher Kindesvergewaltigung verurteilt worden. Elliott dagegen hatte man wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger verurteilt: Er hatte Sex mit seiner 15-jährigen Freundin gehabt.
Schon immer waren die öffentlichen Sextäter-Datenbanken in den USA umstritten. Ihre Grundlage bildet das sogenannte "Megan's Law": Im Juli 1994 war die sieben Jahre alte Megan Kanka in New Jersey von ihrem Nachbarn, einem vorbestraften Kinderschänder, missbraucht und ermordet worden. Von dessen Vergangenheit hatte keiner der Anwohner gewusst. Seitdem haben alle US-Bundesstaaten den Umgang mit den insgesamt 500.000 registrierten Sex-Straftätern drastisch verschärft. In Kalifornien beispielsweise werden ihre Namen mit Foto, Adresse, Vorstrafen und besonderen Merkmalen im Internet veröffentlicht. Zieht ein Täter um, werden in seiner neuen Nachbarschaft Warnhinweise ausgeteilt.
Einige Experten warnen vor den Folgen dieses lebenslangen Bloßstellens: "Wir haben viel dafür getan, um diese Sorte Straftäter zu dämonisieren", zitiert die "Washington Post" Strafverteidiger William Buckman aus New Jersey. "Es ist also vorhersehbar, dass sie das Opfer von Gewalt werden." Das Haus eines Klienten von Buckman wurde angezündet, einem anderen schüttete man Müll in den Vorgarten.
Schikanen und Gewalt gegen die "Raubtiere"
Einer US-Studie zufolge werden 50 Prozent aller registrierten Sextäter schikaniert. Die öffentlichen Täterlisten würden in der Öffentlichkeit den Eindruck erwecken, als seien die Aufgelisteten auch nach abgesessener Strafe noch Verbrecher, warnen Kriminologen. Erst im vergangenen August hatte sich in Washington ein Mann als FBI-Agent ausgegeben, um sich so Zugang zu den Wohnungen dreier Sextäter zu erschleichen, und zwei von ihnen getötet. Die Polizei nahm daraufhin die Hausnummer der Täter von ihrer Website. "Die öffentlichen Listen dienen nicht der Strafverfolgung", kritisiert die Sprecherin einer Bürgerrechtsorganisation. "Die Polizei hat die Informationen ja schon." Aus Angst und Scham könnten viele Täter in den Untergrund flüchten, fürchtet sie.
Dennoch: Dass die Datenbanken geschlossen werden, ist äußerst unwahrscheinlich. "Alles ist zugänglich und läuft wie bisher", heißt es aus Massachusetts. Dort hat gerade ein Strafverteidiger gefordert, die Internetpranger wenigstens solange zu sperren, bis man Sicherheitsrichtlinien für deren Benutzung entwickelt habe - vergeblich. Rechtlich ist an Megan's Law nicht zu rütteln. So bestätigte 2003 auch der Oberste Gerichtshof der USA, dass der Schutz der Öffentlichkeit wichtiger als die Persönlichkeitsrechte der Täter sei.
In Kanada, der Heimat des Todesschützen Marshall, hat man jetzt anscheinend Gefallen gefunden am restriktiven Umgang der US-Behörden mit den Tätern. Die konservative Partei Kanadas plant, die vorhandene landesweite Liste auf alle Sexualstraftäter auszudehnen - egal, wie lang die Tat schon zurückliegt. Bislang sind 12.000 Personen mit ihren Wohnorten registriert, die Daten sind aber nur der Polizei zugänglich. In der Provinz Ontario, die eine eigene, umfassendere Liste an Sexualstraftätern führt, will dagegen der Abgeordnete Gerry Martiniuk mit einer Gesetzesvorlage erreichen, dass zumindest die Provinz-Liste veröffentlicht wird - inklusive Namen, Fotos und Adressen.
20 April 2006
nach zwei monaten hat die leiterin der knastbehörde ihr amt aufgegeben und es wurde ein neuer interimsleiter eingesetzt. wie ihr vorgänger gab auch sie einmischung der politik in ihren job als kündigungsgrund an.
State Prisons Chief Resigns
After 2 Months on the Job Jeanne S. Woodford, as did her predecessor, reportedly complained of political interference.
SACRAMENTO ? Less than two months after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's corrections chief resigned because he felt politics were interfering with progress, his replacement abruptly followed suit Wednesday, leaving the governor scrambling to find a leader to run the state's deeply troubled prisons.
Jeanne S. Woodford, who began her corrections career 28 years ago as a guard at San Quentin State Prison, met with the governor at the Capitol and told him later that she was resigning, according to government officials familiar with the situation.
Woodford, who did not return a phone call to her home Wednesday night, will serve temporarily as undersecretary before officially leaving the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in July.
Her departure follows the resignation in February of Roderick Q. Hickman, who said he was moving on because he lacked sufficient political support to bring change to a prison system that is often called a revolving-door warehouse for felons.
California's "political environment and the power of special interests," Hickman said at the time, "work against efforts to bring about lasting reform."
In recent days, Woodford, 52, expressed some of the same concerns, said one official familiar with the situation, who asked not be named because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.
Woodford was particularly distressed that top aides to Schwarzenegger were consulting the prison guards union about her suggested candidates for warden jobs and other positions in the department, the official said.
One meeting between union officials and the aides took place as recently as Tuesday.
"She just did not like the signals she was getting from the administration," the official said of Woodford, who had been serving as acting secretary since Hickman's departure and was a leading candidate to win the job permanently. "She believed labor should go through proper channels [in expressing their input], and that wasn't happening anymore."
The back-to-back resignations create a management crisis for the governor at an agency with a multitude of troubles. In addition to Woodford, several other high- and medium-level executives have left since Hickman stepped down.
Morale within the sprawling agency - which oversees 173,000 adult and juvenile felons and 115,000 parolees ? is said to be dismally low.
The twin departures also undermine one of Schwarzenegger's most ambitious and widely praised initiatives since taking office: his oft-stated pledge to make California's dysfunctional prison system a national model once again. "Corrections," he has said time and again, "should correct."
With an annual budget of $8.6 billion, the department has many of its operations - from mental health care to its juvenile prisons - under federal court supervision. And this week its disgraced medical care system - which experts have blamed for an average of one inmate death a week - was placed in the hands of a federal receiver.
The convict population, meanwhile, has hit an all-time high, with many prisons at twice their intended capacity. Vacancies in officer positions are so numerous that guards are routinely working mandatory overtime, a situation their union leaders call untenable.
On Wednesday, a lobbyist with that union, the California Correctional Peace Officers' Assn., said Woodford had "failed to achieve what we felt was her potential to bring true change to the department."
Lance Corcoran said that if Woodford's departure suggests "the union is the bad guy again, then that's ridiculous." He said he was unaware of any meeting between the governor's staff and leaders of his union, but added: "So what if there was? Since when don't we have the right to communicate?"
A spokeswoman for the governor declined to comment. But in 2004, when Schwarzenegger appointed her director of corrections - the No. 2 job at the time - he praised Woodford for a "proven ability to lead," saying that "she shares my priorities of public safety and accountability and is a tremendous asset."
Woodford, in turn, said after she was named acting secretary that she believed Schwarzenegger remained committed to reform. "The departure of one person," she said then, "will not derail the progress we have made."
Experts have said that Schwarzenegger faces a major challenge in searching for a new corrections secretary with national credentials. UC Irvine criminologist Joan Petersilia said no leader in another state "is going to come to a place where the environment just makes it impossible to do the business of corrections."
With Woodford withdrawing from the scene, that task becomes more difficult than ever, officials said, especially during a year when Schwarzenegger is running for reelection.
20 April 2006
das oberste gericht in nord dakota urteilte das die knastbehörden des staates nicht die rechte eines gefangenen verletzten dem religiöse magazine und eine aus einer zeitung ausgeschnittenen us flagge weggenommen wurde.
lt. den vorschriften dürfen gefangene keine zeitungen, bücher, magazine etc. tauschen und sie dürfen nichts ausschneiden oder eigentum sonstwie verändern.
Court rules that prison did not violate inmate's rights
North Dakota prison officials did not violate an inmate's rights when they took away religious magazines and a likeness of the American flag, the state Supreme Court says.
Reuben Larson had filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to declare that prison officials were acting beyond their authority by taking his property. The high court, in a unanimous ruling Wednesday, declined to do so.
"We hold the rules adopted by the penitentiary are reasonable, and reasonably related to legitimate (prison) interests," says the opinion, written by Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle. "Thus, the rules do not violate Larson's constitutional rights."
Larson shot Northeast Central District Judge Lawrence Jahnke in his Grand Forks courtroom in May 1992 during a hearing on Larson's failure to pay child support. He is serving a 28-year sentence for attempted murder.
A former Grand Forks city councilman, Larson was well known to courthouse officials for his arguments that he shouldn't have to get a driver's license, and that tax laws were unconstitutional.
North Dakota prison inmates may keep books and magazines only if they are sent directly to the inmate from the publisher. Prisoners are not allowed to pass books and magazines among themselves.
The magazines taken from Larson were given to him by other inmates, which violated prison rules, court records say. One reason for the rule is that books and magazines can be used to transmit secret messages and contraband if shared by inmates.
Larson cut the likeness of the American flag from a newspaper, which was another violation of prison regulations, court documents say. Inmates are not allowed to have property that has been "altered from its original state," the prison's inmate handbook says.
"If Larson can cut out a patriotic symbol from a publication, then another inmate can cut out a symbol of white supremacy, and another inmate can cut out pornographic pictures," Ken Sorenson, an assistant attorney general, said in a court filing.
"Regardless of the content, if a magazine, newspaper, or book is not in its original state, there is a violation of the penitentiary's contraband, property, and publication rules," Sorenson wrote.
Larson argued the rules "do not violate or harm the order, security or housekeeping of the prison," the court's opinion says. "He argues the rules are arbitrary, unreasonable, and not remotely connected to the goal of preventing theft, strong-arming, escape or assault."
21 April 2006
nächste woche soll im abgeordnetenhaus von louisiana über ein gesetz entschieden werden, das hausbesetzungen während oder nach einer naturkatastrophe mit knast bis zu 1 jahr oder / und geldstrafe bis zu $ 1.500.
wieviel in new orleans besetzt ist, wird nicht angegeben nur das in manchen zerstörten häusern die menschen wohnungen in den noch ganzen etagen besetzt haben.
Squatters to face jail time
BATON ROUGE, LA, United States (UPI) -- A Louisiana house committee has approved a measure to convict squatters who take up residence in other people`s homes during and after an emergency or disaster.
Such squatters, if convicted could face up to a year in jail, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. They may also be fined up to $1,500.
Squatters have been reported to be living on the second floors of some damaged homes in some districts.
The bill now goes to full House for debate next week.
15 April 2006
in dem bericht über einen mann im south county knast in frostproof, der zwei wärter angriff und diese verletzte, steht am ende eine art chronologie über tote gefangene bzw. angriffe auf vollzugsbeamte im märz / april:
19. märz-tod eines mannes nachdem eine elektronischem anti- riotwaffe angewandt wurde;
1. april-tod eines mannes nach krämpfen; todesursache noch ungeklärt;
2. april- ungeklärter tod eines mannes
10. april-angriff auf sanitäter und wärter.
Inmate Hurts 2 Deputies in Fight
Detention officers suffer broken arms in melee, Sheriff's Office reports.
A jail inmate broke the arms of two detention deputies Thursday night at the South County Jail in Frostproof, the Polk County Sheriff's Office reported Friday afternoon.
The inmate at the center of Thursday night's fight was identified as Theodis Richardson, 30.
Richardson, in jail on attempted murder and other charges, is accused of attacking detention deputy Brian Leach as he attempted to handcuff the 6 feet, 1 inch tall, 269-pound inmate.
Leach and deputy Derrick Hartline, who came to Leach's aid, both suffered broken arms in the melee, according to the Polk Sheriff's Office.
They were taken to Lake Wales Medical Centers for treatment.
Both deputies are now recovering at home, sheriff's spokeswoman Carrie Rodgers said Friday afternoon.
Richardson was placed in an isolation cell.
The incident happened just after 7:30 p.m. Thursday, but was not reported publicly until Friday afternoon.
The fight is the latest incident in what's been a tumultuous few weeks for the Polk County Jail.
That period has seen the deaths of two inmates -- one after a confrontation with deputies -- and a violent attack on an infirmary nurse.
"Can you imagine being locked in a jail facility with 2600 inmates, 800 over capacity, who don't particularly care for each other? It's a recipe for trouble," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Friday night.
Judd said 100 inmates were moved Friday from the larger Frostproof jail to the Central County Jail in Bartow.
"It relieves some of the stress of the South County Jail," he said.
The entire county jail system now houses 2,767, according to the Sheriff's Office Web site.
That does not count an additional A Sheriff's Office news release gave the following account of how the fight unfolded:
About 7:30 p.m., Richardson, who was housed in the maximum protective custody dorm, complained to deputies about the requirement that the doors to his cell remain open at all times.
The requirement is a safety measure.
When deputies explained the policy to Richardson, he grew "tense and disruptive."
At that point, Leach tried to handcuff Richardson to "maintain control of the unruly inmate."
Richardson resisted and then attacked Leach.
Hartline came to Leach's aid, but Richardson fought with both deputies, who fell against the toilet and bunk inside the cell, causing their broken arms.
Other inmates gathered around the cell to watch the fight, which was soon broken up by several deputies, who restrained Richardson, the release said.
Thursday night's fight is the most recent of several high-profile incidents involving the Polk County Jail system. They include:
-The March 19 death of 21-year-old James Lee Griffin of Lake Wales. He'd been shocked with an electronic riot shield after he kicked his cell's window at the Bartow jail until it shattered.
The Medical Examiner's Office is waiting for toxicology reports, which have not been completed, to determine Griffin's cause of death.
-The April 1 death in the Frostproof jail of inmate David Cowles, 23, of Lake Wales, who died at Lake Wales Medical Centers after suffering convulsions. Toxicology reports have not been completed in Cowles' death.
-The April 2 death of Brian Shiba, 54, of Poinciana, who was participating in the jail's work release program when he collapsed in the parking lot of the Central County Jail in Bartow. Shiba was not working that day and had only gone to the office to be processed and released from the program.
-The April 10 attack on an infirmary nurse. Frostproof jail inmate Seymour Lennon, 30, was being examined in the jail's infirmary when he attacked a nurse, then assaulted two detention deputies, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Judd said jail overcrowding can lead to tensions that spark into physical altercations.
"We review every incident that occurs to see if there's any way to improve the process," Judd said.
Judd said the transfer of inmates is one method of dealing with problems.
"It's not uncommon to move troublemakers from one facility to the other."
But it also puts more stress on detention deputies at the Central County Jail in Bartow.
Asked whether Thursday night's fight could happen at Bartow's jail, Judd said: "I certainly hope not."
"Our detention deputies have done a remarkable job of reducing that friction, but occasionally incidents occur and that's what happened last night," Judd said.
Theodis Richardson has been arrested in Polk County 18 times since 1991.
His latest, a March 2005 arrest, was for charges of attempted 2nd-degree murder, sexual battery with physical force, home invasion robbery, aggravated battery, false imprisonment and violation of parole.
Richardson was recently sentenced to 40 years in state prison for the 2005 charges and will face further charges for fighting with deputies Thursday night, the news release said.
15 April 2006
Family of eight-year-old who was sent to jail reaches settlement
ESPANOLA, N.M. The family of a third-grade boy in New Mexico, who was handcuffed and jailed after misbehaving at school, has agreed to a settlement.
The family will receive 221-thousand dollars from the city (Espanola) and its insurer to settle a lawsuit.
Jerry Trujillo was eight years old at the time. His mother says he was sent to the school counselor's office after hitting another child with a basketball.
According to the juvenile citation, the boy "got out of control and refused to go back to class." Police were called, and the boy was booked into the city jail. The lawsuit says he was dressed in an orange jumpsuit and placed in a holding cell as adult inmates in a nearby cell taunted him.
He was released to his parents a half-hour later.
A jury had already been chosen to hear a federal civil rights lawsuit, which will now be dismissed.
14 April 2006
nach einem bundesberufungsgericht verstößt die anordnung der stadt los angeles, obdachlose die auf gehwegen sitzen, liegen oder schlafen zu verhaften, gegen den 8. zusatz der verfassung der grausamen bestrafung verbietet.
das gericht urteilte das sitzen, liegen oder schlafen auf der straße /gehweg oder plätzen eine "unvermeidliche konsequenz eines obdachlosen menschen ohne unterkunft" ist und das die anordnung "den status der obdachlosigkeit kriminalisiert indem es zur straftat wird obdachlos zu sein".
geklagt hatten sechs obdachlose die vor gericht von der american civil liberties union ( aclu) of southern california vertreten wurden.
Appeals Court Slaps LA Over Arrests of Homeless
Los Angeles' policy of arresting homeless people for sitting, lying or sleeping on public sidewalks as "an unavoidable consequence of being human and homeless without shelter" violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and punishment, a federal appeals court ruled today.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, decided in favor of six homeless persons, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. The suit challenged the city's practice of arresting persons for violating a municipal ordinance, which states that "no person shall sit, lie or sleep in or upon any street, sidewalk or public way."
The appeals court ruled that the manner in which the city has enforced the ordinance has criminalized "the status of homelessness by making it a crime to be homeless," and thereby violated the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
City officials had no immediate comment on the ruling, but it appeared that the decision could have significant ramifications for the city's policy on the burgeoning problem of homelessness.
In her ruling, Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw said that Los Angeles' Skid Row has the highest concentration of homeless individuals in the United States. She said that about 11,000 to 12,000 homeless people live in Skid Row, a 50-block area, bounded by Third, Seventh, Main and Alameda Streets.
"Because there is substantial and undisputed evidence that the number of homeless persons in Los Angeles far exceeds the number of available shelter beds at all times, including on the night" the plaintiffs were arrested or cited, "Los Angeles has encroached upon" the plaintiffs' 8th Amendment protections "by criminalizing the unavoidable act of sitting, lying or sleeping at night while being involuntarily homeless," Wardlaw wrote.
Her lengthy opinion states that the Los Angeles ordinance "is one of the most restrictive municipal laws regulating public spaces in the United States. The city can secure a conviction under the ordinance against anyone who merely sits, lies or sleeps in a public way at any time of day."
She added: "Other cities' ordinances similarly directed at the homeless provide ways to avoid criminalizing the status of homelessness by making an element of the crime some conduct in combination with sitting, lying, or sleeping in a state of homelessness."
Wardlaw cited numerous reports on the homeless situation in Los Angeles, including one written by city officials, which said "the gap between the homeless population needing a shelter bed and the inventory of shelter beds is severely large."
Consequently, the judge noted, "for many in Skid Row without the resources or luck to obtain shelter, sidewalks are the only place to be?.The evidence supports the reasonable inference that shelter is unavailable for thousands of homeless individuals in Los Angeles on any given night."
The judge said that evidence introduced in the case, entitled Edward Jones v. City of Los Angeles, showed the plaintiffs "are not on the streets of Skid Row by informed choice."
Wardlaw said that "as a result of the expansive reach of the [Los Angeles ordinance], the extreme lack of available shelter in Los Angeles, and the large homeless population, thousands of people violate the Los Angeles ordinance every day and night, and many are arrested, losing what few possessions they may have."
It is very unusual for a plaintiff to win a case based on the 8th Amendment to the Constitution, which bars cruel and unusual punishment. Courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, frequently rebuff challenges based on the 8th Amendment. For example, in recent years the high court had rejected 8th Amendment appeals challenging long sentences for minor crimes stemming from three strikes laws.
However, in this instance, Judge Wardlaw analogized to earlier rulings, which said the mere act of being a drug addict or an alcoholic is not a crime.
In 1962, the Supreme Court, in Robinson v. California, reversed the conviction of a California man who had been convicted of violating a state law which made it a criminal offense to "be addicted to the use of narcotics."
At the time, the high court, said, "it is unlikely that any state at this moment in history would attempt to make it a criminal offense for a person to be mentally ill, or a leper, or to be afflicted with a venereal disease?In the light of contemporary human knowledge, a law which made a criminal offense of such a disease would doubtless be universally thought to be an affliction of cruel and unusual punishment."
The Supreme Court said the California statute at issue clearly was in the same category, noting that the lawyer for the state acknowledged that narcotic addiction is an illness.
In today's decision, Judge Wardlaw said at the very least the Robinson case "establishes that the state may not criminalize `being'; that is, the state may not punish a person for who he is, independent of anything he has done."
More than 40 years later, Wardlaw said, that case stands for "the proposition that the Eighth Amendment prohibits the state from punishing an involuntary act or condition if it is the unavoidable consequence of one's status or being."
Wardlaw scoffed at the position Los Angeles officials took in the case.
"The City?apparently believes that [the plaintiffs] can avoid sitting, lying and sleeping for days, weeks, or months at a time to comply with the City's ordinance, as if human beings could remain in perpetual motion. That being an impossibility, by criminalizing, sitting lying, and sleeping, the City is in fact criminalizing [the plaintiffs] status as homeless individuals," Wardlaw wrote.
Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, hailed the ruling "as the most significant judicial decision involving homelessness in the history of the country. The case stands for the proposition that in America homelessness is not a crime."
"An individual can choose not to rob a bank, but where an individual is homeless and there are not available beds that individual is in constant violation of this ordinance with no way to establish his or her innocence," Rosenbaum said. "If a homeless person commits a theft, that, of course, can be prosecuted."
But the way the Los Angeles ordinance was being enforced individuals were being criminalized solely because they did not have a place to live, Rosenbaum said.
"I think what community leaders need to do now is deal with the problem, not by criminalizing homelessness, but by developing shelters, mental health programs and jobs," Rosenbaum said.
"That's not only humane, it is economically and socially wise. Once they do that, so many other social problems in the community," will be alleviated, including the high population in the county jail and pressure on emergency health services and foster care, he added.
8 April 2006
die electronic frontier foundation verklagt die telekommunikationsfirma at&t für ihre rolle bei den geheimen überwachung der internetkommunikation durch die national security agency.
Court filings may reveal role of AT&T in federal Net spying
A privacy rights group that is suing AT&T over its alleged role in secret government electronic surveillance says internal company documents support its claim that the telecommunications giant has illegally funneled millions of private Internet communications to the National Security Agency.
The documents, filed this week in federal court in San Francisco, were obtained by a former AT&T communications technician who spent 22 years with the company before retiring in 2004, the Electronic Frontier Foundation said.
The papers will help to establish that "AT&T is diverting Internet traffic into the hands of the NSA wholesale, in violation of federal wiretapping laws and the Fourth Amendment," Kevin Bankston, a lawyer for the foundation, said in a statement Thursday. The Fourth Amendment forbids unreasonable searches.
"More than just threatening individuals' privacy, AT&T's apparent choice to give the government secret, direct access to millions of ordinary Americans' Internet communications threatens the Constitution itself,'' Bankston said.
The foundation withheld details of the documents, which were filed under seal after both AT&T and the Bush administration opposed their disclosure. But the New York Times on Friday quoted the former employee, Mark Klein, as saying AT&T had cooperated with the National Security Agency in 2003 by installing computer equipment at a company facility in San Francisco that was capable of "vacuum-cleaner surveillance'' of e-mail messages and other Internet traffic.
The Times, which disclosed the existence of the federal agency's surveillance program in December, said Klein had provided some of his documents to the newspaper.
President Bush has acknowledged ordering the agency, shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, to intercept phone calls and e-mails between U.S. residents and alleged terror suspects abroad, without seeking court approval as required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
Bush has maintained that the program was authorized by his constitutional power as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and implicitly by the post-Sept. 11 congressional resolution authorizing use of military force against terrorists.
In the lawsuit, filed in January on behalf of AT&T residential customers, the Electronic Frontier Foundation accused the company of giving the National Security Agency access to its voice and data network and its databases of records of customers' calls and e-mails.
Other suits have been filed against the government over the program, but the foundation's suit is the only one against a telecommunications company. The suit seeks damages and a ban on AT&T's participation in the program.
AT&T has declined comment on the suit. But in a letter to the foundation on Tuesday, Bruce Ericson, a lawyer for the company, said the documents contained trade secrets and should be returned. The foundation instead filed them on Wednesday with Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker under rules that give AT&T until next Wednesday to ask Walker to keep them permanently sealed.
Derek Slater, a spokesman for the foundation, said Friday it wants Klein's documents released. "This information is very important to the public," he said.
8 April 2006
ein mann, der wegen graffiti im knast ist, hat angebl.in 6 zellenblöcke des milwaukee county knast seine signatur hinterlassen und wird jetzt, wegen "gewohnheitsmäßiger kriminalität" angeklagt.
Man accused of tagging his Milwaukee jail cell with graffiti
MILWAUKEE A man who faces sentencing on graffiti violations now faces another accusation _ that he tagged his jail cells, too.
According to a criminal complaint, Troy Lee Mosby placed his signature "Syrup" tag throughout his cells in six cell blocks _ on the walls, beds, tables, locker and mirrors.
The jail cells are at the Milwaukee County House of Correction.
The 20-year-old Mosby of Wauwatosa had been scheduled for sentencing today on 14 misdemeanor graffiti counts.
Instead, a judge adjourned the matter to April 21st so Mosby has time to answer the new accusation.
Mosby had been charged with habitual criminality, a felony. He
pleaded not guilty to that charge today. He faces up to two years in prison if convicted.
7 April 2006
Die kommission über sicherheit und mißbrauch in amerikanischen knästen ( csaap) wird in etwa 8 wochen einen abschlußbericht ihrer einjährigen ermittlungen in us- knästen veröffentlichen.
"[...] aber die aussagen zu gewalt, mißbrauch und überbelegung die bereits vorliegen haben nur wenige denen das größte dokumentierte gefängnissystem der welt bekannt / vertraut ist, schockiert.[...]"
? [...]die sichersten gefängnisse in den us sind die berüchtigten supermax anlagen, wie der vollzugskomplex in florence, colorado, wo der schuhbomber richard reid inhaftiert ist, und der unter dem namen alcatraz der rockys bekannt ist. straff kontrolliert, technologisch hochentwickelt und völlig niederschlagend sind solche einrichtungen und kleinere anlagen in anderen gefängnissen seit jahren eine quelle für kontroversen.[...]"
florence ist der einzige hochsicherheitsknast des bundes und wurde 1994 für $ 190 millionen gebaut.
The world's biggest prison system
About the same time that President Bush was condemning the abuse of prisoners in Iraq as un-American, a year-long inquiry began into the mistreatment of prisoners at home.
The Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons (CSAAP) issues its final report in about eight weeks time, but the testimony of violence, abuse and over-crowding it has already heard has shocked few familiar with the largest documented prison system in the world.
More than 2.1 million people are in jail in the US at any one time; that is about one in 140 Americans, or as many people as live in Namibia, or nearly five Luxembourgs - and it is a number that continues to rise.
One of the biggest drivers of the expanding population are the tough policies brought in over the last 20 years to tackle high crime rates - like the "three strikes" laws that hand out long, mandatory sentences to repeat offenders.
They are tactics the US government says are working - as recent figures have shown violent crime and murder falling.
But critics say that such policies have skewed the US system away from rehabilitation, storing up problems for the future.
End of the road
The most secure prisons in the US are the notorious Supermax facilities, like the correctional complex in Florence, Colorado that houses shoe bomber Richard Reid, and which is also known as the Alcatraz of the Rockies.
Tightly controlled, technologically advanced and utterly dispiriting, such facilities - and smaller blocks within general prisons - have been a source of controversy for many years.
Bland, bureaucratic phrases like management control or secured housing unit describe regimes where solitary confinement is an almost permanent way of life, with prisoners locked in spartan cells for at least 23 hours each day.
Built in 1994 at a cost of about $190m, the Supermax in Florence is said to be equipped with 1,400 remote-controlled steel doors, motion detectors, pressure pads and gun towers with perfect sightlines across the complex.
Supermaxes are the end of the road for those in the prison system - transfer to an even marginally less restrictive environment can require several years of good behaviour.
To supporters they are the most appropriate way to house the worst of the worst in the prison population, especially those criminals who attacked or killed guards and other prisoners.
To critics, they are a breeding ground for monsters, an affront to human rights tantamount to torture.
Gary Harkins, is an officer at the maximum security Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, and also a member of Corrections USA, a group which represents about 120,000 prison guards and opposes the growing number of private prisons.
Mr Harkins says OSP works on a "direct supervision" basis, encouraging officers to have interpersonal contact with inmates.
This, he says, reduces the threat of violence and makes for a safer institution for both inmates and staff, who are armed with only a radio, a whistle, and a pair of handcuffs.
He told the CSAAP inquiry: "Unfortunately, new prisons are being built to minimize the number of staff, both in architectural design and by using technologies such as remote cameras and sensor systems.
"This dehumanizes the inmates and staff alike.
"I also believe that you need to take the effort of actually walking among the inmates and engaging them in conversation.
"Unfortunately, with the drastic cutbacks in educational and vocational programs we are currently experiencing, this is becoming a harder task."
Prisons in the US are run on federal, state and local levels.
The US Department of Justice says it "protects society by confining offenders in the controlled environments of prisons and community-based facilities that are safe, humane, cost-efficient, and appropriately secure".
"Each federal prison provides services to help prepare inmates to return to their communities as productive citizens," it adds in a statement on its website.
Examples include educational, occupational and vocational training, work programmes and substance abuse treatment.
Roots of problem
America currently stands accused of acting as the world's jailer in its War on Terror. It is under fire for allegedly running secret jails in other countries, far from public scrutiny. From Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, to Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, activists say the US is trampling on human rights in its pursuit of terror suspects. But the roots of the problem may be closer to home, as suggested by words attributed to former Pennsylvania prison guard Charles Graner - ringleader of the Abu Ghraib abuses - which came out during court testimony.
"The Christian in me says it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, 'I love to make a grown man piss himself.'" No one would suggest Graner represents of the vast majority of prison officers. But Alexander Busansky, executive director of the CSAAP, told the BBC the US public was largely ignorant of the real state of America's prisons. "We have to get away from the idea that what happens in prisons stays in prisons. Prisons are public institutions and they must be held accountable." He said the CSAAP would be recommending expansion of the prison accreditation scheme, increased use of direct supervision in jails and tighter regulation over the use of weapons like pepper spray and stun guns in a bid to end abuses. "There has been a hardening of attitudes," Mr Busansky said. "People believe there is nothing they can do about it, they don't pay any attention to the consequences the treatment of prisoners has when they come out, and they don't participate in the debate. "But prison is a place of opportunity, and it can have a positive impact on people's lives."
7 April 2006
einer der 6 männer die im februar aus dem cook county knast geflohen waren, sagte dass der wärter, der wegen beihilfe zur flucht angeklagt ist, damit nichts zu tun hat. der sheriff behauptet dass der wärter bei der flucht half um die bevorstehnden wahlen zu beeinflussen.
die vorbereitungen zur flucht dauerten fast ein jahr.spätnachts, an einem Samstag im februar soll ein wärter sich falsch verhalten haben weil er einem gefangenen erlaubte zu duschen.einer der gefangenen sagte jetzt in einem telefongespräch das dies gängige praxis sei und der wärter sich an anordnungen hielt die inoffiziell gemacht wurden um unruhen zu verhindern.
Jail escapee claims guard is being set up
April 7, 2006 - One of six inmates who escaped from the Cook County Jail back in February says a jail guard is being set up. Cook County corrections officer Darren Gater is charged with helping the men get free. The sheriff claims Gater did it as part of a plot to influence an election. One of the inmates is now providing new details about the escape, its planning and how the guard became involved.
Nearly a dozen maximum security inmates reportedly spent many months counting the number of guards on duty, setting fires to determine response times and even mapping out escape routes during trips to the law library. One of the escapees says they saw vulnerabilities and made their move and they did not have help from the inside.
It was an escape plan nearly a year in the making. And, if you believe one of the six inmates who broke free in February, it happened because corrections officers, supervisors and even the superintendent of this maximum security lock-up thought it better to give in to inmate demands than face unrest inside.
"They told those officers if we wanted a shower or to go make a phone call, no matter what time it is, give it to 'em," said jail escapee David Earnest via telephone.
Late on a Saturday night in February, a guard is said to have broken policy by allowing an inmate out of his cell for a shower. That's when the inmate overpowered the guard, cuffed him to a steel bar, stole his uniform and flipped the switch that unlocked several cell doors.
From there, a half-dozen inmates used the uniforms, fires set as distractions and brute force to break out.
Several days after the escape, prosecutors charged corrections officer Darrin Gater with "helping" the inmates. Despite a record of military service and a dozen years with the Sheriff's office, they say Gater allowed himself to be overpowered and the inmates to escape as part of a plan to influence the upcoming election for Sheriff.
Inmate David Earnest says it didn't happen that way. He says the inmates selected three guards who they were pretty sure, because of their relatively small size ,could be over-powered.
"We thought those three would be the easiest ones," Earnest said. "Because they wouldn't put up much of a fight and they wouldn't have to be -- they may not have to be stabbed."
Earnest was in court Friday, his hands and legs shackled, surrounded by special trained guards.
Public defender Susan Smith says her client is convinced correction's officer Gater is being framed.
"I think his feeling is it's much easier for the sheriff's office to address this problem as something one bad apple did rather than to look at it as systemic and something that needs to be investigated further," said Susan Smith, escapee's attorney.
Seven inmates have managed to escape from the jail in the last eight months. Darrin Gater's attorney says that proves there are much bigger problem behind these bars.
"The real frightening thing is that all of us are in danger and the inmates know you don't have be a rocket scientist to escape from the Cook County Jail," Andre Grant, jail guard's attorney.
A spokeswoman for Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan points out that jail guard Darren Gater confessed on videotape to helping in the escape. She says one or two more corrections officers may face criminal charges.
Earnest is facing an unrelated murder charge. He is accused of killing a man who crossed a drug dealer.
3 April 2006
"[...]für ihre kooperation mit den behörden bei den ermittlungen in einer serie von mißhandlungen an insassen des wilson county gefängnis erhielten zwei ehemalige wärter am Freitag niedrigere urteile.[...]"
einer wurde zu 12 monate haft in einem bundesknast und zusätzlich zwei jahren bewährung , der zweite zu 2 jahren bewährung ohne knast verurteilt.
Two former guards get light sentences in jail beatings
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Two former guards received lighter sentences Friday in exchange for their cooperation with authorities in the investigation of a series of inmate beatings at the Wilson County Jail.
Brian Ferrell was sentenced to 12 months in federal prison and two years of conditional probation after previously pleading guilty to lesser charges and testifying against his former colleagues, The Lebanon Democrat reported.
Former guard Travis Bradley received no jail time and two years of conditional probation for lying to federal investigators about abuse at the jail. He quickly recanted his false statement to investigators and cooperated thereafter.
One of the beatings resulted in the death of Walter S. Kuntz, 43, who spent eight hours in the jail in January 2003 on drunken driving charges before he was taken to the hospital with three broken ribs and head injuries that left him brain dead.
Ferrell was still eligible to receive more time in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, but federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Court Judge Todd Campbell to reduce Ferrell's sentence further.
Campbell granted the request, complimenting Ferrell's credible testimony in the trial of former guards Patrick Marlowe, Shane Conatser and Robert Locke.
The jury convicted Marlowe of seven counts of violating inmates' civil rights and Conatser of one count of conspiracy. They are scheduled to be sentenced May 12. Locke was acquitted.
2 April 2006
ein mann aus hawaii, der im tallahatchie county knast / mississippi inhaftiert ist ,soll am 23. februar angebl. zwei wärter angegriffen haben. er wurde daraufhin in eine diziplinarzelle verlegt, wo er so verprügelt wurde daß er ins krankenhaus eingeliefert wurde. als beweis gibt es u.a. videoaufnehmen.
jetzt wurden drei wärter / knastbedienstete entlassen. als begründung für die entlassung wird angeführt dass, es zwar reguläre praxis für ein special operations response team sei gewalt anzuwenden, aber in dem fall sei übermäßige gewalt ausgeübt worden.
Three Mississippi officers fired for beating of Hawaii inmate
HONOLULU - Three workers at a privately run Mississippi prison were fired after they were videotaped beating an inmate from Hawaii, according to the Hawaii Department of Public Safety.
The inmate, 55-year-old Harry K. Hoopii, was taken to the hospital with injuries including multiple facial bruises, swelling and a cut lip, said Shari Kimoto, administrator of the department's branch on the mainland.
He was beaten after allegedly assaulting two corrections officers at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility on Feb. 23, Kimoto said. The prison is managed by Corrections Corporation of America.
He was then taken to a disciplinary holding cell in another part of the prison, where his beating allegedly occurred, she said.
It is regular procedure for a Special Operations Response Team to use force against a violent inmate, but the assistant warden and chief of security at the prison determined that this incident went too far, Kimoto said.
They "realized that excessive force had been used," she said.
Two captains and a sergeant were fired for violating the policies of Corrections Corporation of America. The other members of the response team, including the team member who operated the hand-held video camera, were suspended, she said. Their names were not released.
One of the officers who was allegedly assaulted by Hoopii suffered an injured right arm and thumb. The other officer had an injured arm and finger.
Hawaii officials were notified the day of the accident, and Public Safety officials were satisfied with the response, Kimoto said.
"As far as we're concerned, the matter was handled appropriately and immediately," Kimoto said.
Hoopii is serving two life sentences with the possibility of parole.
He was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder in the stabbing of a man in Kalihi in 1983. the second life sentence was for the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 6-year-old girl as she walked home from school later the same year.
Last July, about three dozen Hawaii inmates were accidentally released from the Tallahatchie facility. The Corrections Corporation of America blamed a guard for opening the cells, which caused a riot and the hospitalization of two prisoners.
1 April 2006
Trusties: Earning good time in jail
STERLING - Of the 130 inmate population in the Logan County Detention Center, nine or 10 are trusties.
Jail trusties are a group of inmates who help in the general maintenance and upkeep of the jail.
The inmate trusty program was originally implemented to allow nonviolent offenders to perform cleaning, car washing and other low level duties at sheriff's stations. Trusties are inmates who have proven themselves to be trustworthy.
Logan County jail administrator John Johnson said the trusty selection process starts with an application by inmates who are interested in the program.
"They have to apply for it. We don't accept applications from out-of-county, federal or DOC inmates," Johnson said.
An extensive background check is conducted with emphasis on prior problems in jail, violent history and any disciplinary problems an inmate might have with officers or other inmates.
While the check does not concentrate on the inmate's life inside the walls of the county jail, Johnson said that dealings with the outside also weigh in on decision making.
"The state allows so many days taken out of their sentence. Generally, it's a standard of two days for every 30 days of good behavior. A trusty can receive up to 10 days taken out of their sentence every month," Johnson said.
The sheriff's department utilizes the trusties in all matters of maintenance in the jail such as laundry, general maintenance, car washing and sometimes for additional labor in moving items in the facility.
Four trusties are currently assigned in the kitchen supervised by four employees of the county's food contractor.
"They are provided with the menus to prepare and are always supervised," Johnson said, adding that jail personnel constantly conduct walk-throughs to see if there is anything out of the ordinary in their food preparation.
Trusties are housed in a pod separate from the other inmates. Having only one female trusty, Johnson said separating her would be difficult and that she is still housed with the general population.
It's not all perks when it comes to being a trusty, Johnson said.
"They work to earn that time," he said citing that a trustie's day begins at 4 a.m. and can go as late as 7 p.m., seven days a week depending on the amount of work.
Trusties are still inmates and everywhere they are assigned, sheriff's deputies are on hand to watch and supervise their activities.
To date, Johnson said, there has been no major problems with inmates in the program
Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons
Savaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq?
By Deborah Davies
They are just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for BBC Channel 4 . It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying.The prison guards stand over their captives with electric cattle prods, stun guns, and dogs. Many of the prisoners have been ordered to strip naked. The guards are yelling abuse at them, ordering them to lie on the ground and crawl. ‘Crawl, motherf*****s, crawl.’
If a prisoner doesn’t drop to the ground fast enough, a guard kicks him or stamps on his back. There’s a high-pitched scream from one man as a dog clamps its teeth onto his lower leg.Another prisoner has a broken ankle. He can’t crawl fast enough so a guard jabs a stun gun onto his buttocks. The jolt of electricity zaps through his naked flesh and genitals. For hours afterwards his whole body shakes.Lines of men are now slithering across the floor of the cellblock while the guards stand over them shouting, prodding and kicking.
Second by second, their humiliation is captured on a video camera by one of the guards.The images of abuse and brutality he records are horrifyingly familiar. These were exactly the kind of pictures from inside Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad that shocked the world this time last year.And they are similar, too, to the images of brutality against Iraqi prisoners that this week led to the conviction of three British soldiers.But there is a difference. These prisoners are not caught up in a war zone. They are Americans, and the video comes from inside a prison in Texas[...]
[ Full Article: Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons
31 March 2006
Amnesty International reports 152 taser-related deaths in the US
Electric shock becomes accepted police procedure
The use of taser weapons by US police has been linked to 152 deaths since 2001, according to a report published Tuesday by Amnesty International. The report found that most fatal taser electrocutions involved unarmed subjects who posed no serious threat to cops or civilians at the time of weapon discharge. Many were electrocuted while already in restraints and/or received multiple electroshocks.
The report points to the systematic misuse of tasers by police and in prisons, documenting their utilization on the mentally ill, children, pregnant women and the elderly. It also highlights the widespread policy of using tasers as a routine compliance tool on subjects who are passively resisting or simply not perceived to be complying with orders. Amnesty International has also documented the use of tasers by jail guards and “anti-terrorism” interrogators as a means of punishment, degradation and torture.
Tasers are a “less-lethal” electrical discharge weapons that can be used for either long-range paralysis or short-range pain compliance. When used in ranged mode, the weapon propels a pair of barbed probes into a subject’s clothing or flesh at a range of up to 21 feet (6 meters). The probes are connected to the taser via insulated wires, through which the weapon delivers a 50,000-volt shock that instantaneously overrides the subject’s peripheral nervous system and causes extreme pain.[...]
[ Amnesty International reports 152 taser-related deaths in the US
Tödliche "nichttödliche" Waffen
Die Zahl der Menschen, die beim Einsatz von Elektroschock-Waffen sterben, steigt, Amnesty kritisiert, dass sie gerne missbraucht werden
Man nennt sie dort, wo man sie haben möchte, gerne Elektroimpulsgeräte. Andere sprechen von Elektroschockwaffen, was der Realität schon näher kommt. Gemeint sind die angeblich nichttödlichen Distanzwaffen, die von der amerikanischen Firma Taser hergestellt werden. Bis zu einer Entfernung von 7 Metern werden mit einer Pistole zwei Pfeile mit Widerhaken an dünnen Drähten verschossen, durch die ein Stromstoß von 50.000 Volt gejagt wird, der das zentrale Nervensystem kurzzeitig lähmt und so das Opfer bewegungsunfähig macht. Neuere Modelle, die von anderen Anbietern entwickelt werden, verzichten auf die Drähte, um größere Reichweiten zu ermöglichen ([local] "Blitzkrieg" mit elektrischen Massenbetäubungswaffen; [local] Lähmende Kugeln) Auch Taser selbst hat mit XREP eine drahtlose Elektroschock-Distanzwaffe für eine Entfernung bis zu 30 Metern entwickelt.[...]
[ Tödliche "nichttödliche" Waffen
Amnesty International’s continuing concerns about taser use
28 March 2006
In November 2004 Amnesty International published a report detailing its concerns about taser use in the USA, including the circumstances in which more than 70 people had died in the USA and Canada after being struck with the weapons.(1) While coroners had usually attributed the deaths to other factors, such as drug intoxication, there was increasing concern as to whether the taser could exacerbate a risk of heart failure or other adverse effects in such cases. Amnesty International also raised concern about the lack of strict guidelines governing taser use in the USA, as well as the risk of abuse inherent in electro-shock weapons which, portable and easy to use, have the capacity to inflict severe pain at the push of a button, often without leaving marks. Amnesty International called on all US police departments and authorities to suspend their deployment of tasers pending a rigorous, independent inquiry into their use and effects. It made a similar call to the Canadian authorities.(2) For those departments who continue to deploy tasers, Amnesty International has called for their use to be strictly limited to situations where there is an immediate threat of death or serious injury, which cannot be contained by lesser means, and where a police officer would otherwise resort to firearms to protect life.8...]
[ Amnesty International’s continuing concerns about taser use / pdf
Nichttödliche Waffen wie Elektroschockpistolen senken die Schwelle zur Gewaltanwendung, wie ein Fall in Florida zeigt, über den es ein Video gibt
Elektroschockpistolen wie diejenigen, die das US-Unternehmen Taser herstellt und mit denen bereits viele Sicherheitskräfte ausgerüstet sind, gelten als nichttödliche oder, wie man manchmal sicherheitshalber sagt, weniger tödliche Waffen mit einer Reichweite von bis zu 7 Metern. Sie sollen die Notwendigkeit des Einsatzes von Schusswaffen verringern und trotzdem die Träger der Waffe schützen, während Verletzungen bei den Opfern vermieden werden. Wie ein besonders drastisches Exempel zeigt, senken solche angeblich harmlosen Waffen die Schwelle zur Gewaltanwendung erheblich.[...]
[ Wer nicht kuscht, wird getasert
United States of America Excessive and lethal force? Amnesty International's concerns about deaths and ill-treatment involving police use of tasers
30 Nov 2004
[...]More than 5,000 US law enforcement agencies are currently using tasers: hand-held stun guns which fire two barbed darts at a target from a distance of up to 21 feet, causing instant incapacitation by delivering a 50,000 volt five-second shock. The weapons can also be applied close-up as “touch” stun guns. Although first introduced in the 1970s, the take-up rate for tasers has increased dramatically in the past four years with the marketing of the M26 and X26 “advanced taser” models, which are which are several times more powerful than the original version. In addition to US police and correctional agencies, they are also deployed by the US army in Iraq; are available to members of the public; and are deployed or are being trialled in a number of other countries. Police departments deploying tasers claim that they reduce injuries and save lives by providing officers with an alternative to using their firearms or batons.
However, Amnesty International’s research shows that tasers are being used in situations where police use of lethal force - or even batons - would never be justified. In addition, Amnesty International is concerned by the growing number of fatalities involving police tasers. In the past three years, more than 70 people are reported to have died in the USA and Canada after being struck by M26 or X26 tasers, with the numbers rising annually. While coroners have usually attributed the deaths to other factors, such as drug intoxication, some medical experts believe taser shocks may exacerbate a risk of heart failure in cases where people are agitated or under the influence of drugs, or have underlying health problems. In at least five recent cases, coroners have found the taser to have directly contributed to the deaths, along with factors such as drug intoxication and heart disease. As discussed in the report, the rising death toll heightens Amnesty International’s concerns about the safety of stun weapons and the lack of rigorous, independent testing of their medical effects.[...]
[ United States of America Excessive and lethal force? Amnesty International's concerns about deaths and ill-treatment involving police use of tasers
The stun belt: Torture at the push of a button
19 June 1999
“I woke up a short time later to very intense shocking pain running through my body. This electrical current was so intense that I thought that I was actually dying. I had not been causing any trouble, I was belly chained, shackled, seat belted in, and there was a fence between the officers and me, so there was absolutely no reason for them to be using this device on me... I think they shocked me a second time while I was still in the van. When we arrived, I was unloaded from the van and taken to a holding cell.... Once I was in the cell, several officers came into the cell and again I was shocked by the stun belt. This electrical blast knocked me to the floor, and I could hear the officers laughing and making jokes.”-testimony of an inmate as he was transported in a prison van to a mental health unit[...]
[ The stun belt: Torture at the push of a button
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An electroshock gun, also referred to as a stun gun, is a weapon used for subduing a person by firing something which administers electric shock which disrupts superficial muscle functions. A Taser is a well-known device of this type.A stun baton does the same by administering an electric shock by contact without firing anything.[...]
[ Electroshock gun
aus Wikipedia, der freien Enzyklopädie
Eine Elektroschockpistole ist eine pistolenähnliche Waffe, die zwei oder vier mit Widerhaken versehene Projektile gegen den Körper der Zielperson schießt und danach, je nach Bauart, nur während der Betätigung des Abzugshebels (Stinger) oder ca. 5 Sekunden (Air Taser) lang kurze Elektroschocks von etwa 17.500 V bis 50.000 V (Leerlaufspannung) durch die mit den Projektilen verbundenen Drähte schickt. In Deutschland benötigt man zum Führen dieser Waffen einen Waffenschein. Taser sind ohne Kartusche und ohne den in Deutschland für Privatpersonen nicht zulässigen Laserzielmarkierer (quasi als „Elektroschocker“) frei erhältlich. Die Einstufung der Waffe nach dem deutschen Waffenrecht ist zur Zeit noch eine rechtliche Grauzone. Der Hersteller der Taser-Modelle sieht diese als Druckluftwaffen an, während Stinger Feuerwaffen sind.
Die bekanntesten Modelle sind zur Zeit (Sommer 2005) die Modelle Taser der Firmen Taserton (von Taser International übernommen) und Taser International und Stinger. Einfachere Modelle, getarnt als Taschenlampe, sind schon seit den 70er Jahren des vorigen Jahrhunderts in Gebrauch.[...]
30 March 2006
ein bundesrichter verurteilte die kalifornische knastbehörde dazu innerhalb von zwei monaten $ 58 millionen an ausstehenden ärztehonoraren zu bezahlen.
viele ärzte weigern sich wegen der nicht bezahlten rechnungen gefangene zu behandeln.
64 vermeidbare todesfälle gibt es durchschnittlich jedes jahr wegen unzureichender medizinischer versorgung.
der selbe richter hat anfang des jahres die für die medizinische versorgung der knäste zuständige abteilung unter eine bundeszwangsverwaltung gestellt.
State Prisons Ordered to Pay Millions Owed to Doctors
SACRAMENTO -- Managers of California's beleaguered prison system received a double dose of bad news today as a federal judge ordered them to pay tens of millions of dollars owed to doctors who treat inmates, and the state launched an audit of their agency.
Some of the doctors have not been paid in four years. Some of their contracts have lapsed. And some who deliver cardiology, radiology and a wide range of other services to prisoners are no longer responding when called.
U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson, who recently put the state prisons' healthcare system in the hands of a federal receiver, ordered that outstanding doctor bills --- which total more than $58 million --- be paid within two months.
Henderson also had harsh words for corrections leaders, saying they have stuck "their collective heads in the sand" instead of resolving the contracting mess. "Predictably," he added, "this stunning example of the state's bureaucratic inaction ? is now culminating in a crisis."
Lax healthcare in California prisons is blamed for an average of 64 preventable deaths a year. In naming a federal receiver to take over this year, Henderson determined that corrections officials were incapable of solving the problem alone. Meanwhile, state Controller Steve Westly said his office will audit the department to determine why prison healthcare is so poor, despite a doubling of funding since 2000. "The taxpayers have nothing to show for the billions spent on prison healthcare. Instead, we've seen the first federal takeover of a state agency in California history," said, Westly, who is also a candidate for governor.
Dr. John Henry, a general surgeon in San Luis Obispo County, hasn't been paid since September. Henry said treating inmates at Avenal State Prison makes up about 40% of his caseload.
Until recently, he was performing about 20 surgeries a month on prisoners. But then the anesthesiologists at the local hospital stopped providing service to inmates because of nonpayment by the state. Now, Henry performs only emergencies, such as appendectomies, and even those "reluctantly."
"I won't tell you how much I'm owed, but it's a lot," Henry said. "Nobody wants to stop providing care, but this is ridiculous. We can't keep working for free."
30 March 2006
in den knästen in tennessee wird es keine erdnussbutter mehr geben, weil behauptet wird das ein handy welches zur koordination einer flucht benutzt wurde in einem glas erdnussbutter eingeschmuggelt wurde.
Peanut butter banned from state prisons
And there will be no more peanut butter in Tennessee state prisons and George Hyatte may be to blame.
Hyatte's the man charged along with his wife with ambushing two Brushy Mountain prison guards, killing one, during their escape outside the Roane County Courthouse last August.
Prison officials say Hyatte concealed a cell phone in a jar of peanut butter inside the prison and used it to coordinate his escape.
Guards say drugs and guns have also been found in peanut butter jars in other areas of the prison.
30 March 2006
ein new yorker berufungsgericht hat das urteil eines stattlichen supreme courts, das die anordnung 12 sexualstraftäter nach ihrer haft in psychiatrien zwangseinzuweisen als illegal bezeichnete, widerrufen.
seit oktober letzten jahres wurden laut aussage des new yorker governors 49 männer zwangseingewiesen.
Court says NY sex criminals can be held past end of sentences
NEW YORK An appeals court handed Governor Pataki a legal victory today when it ruled that state officials can keep convicted sex criminals in psychiatric facilities as civilly committed patients after their prison sentences end.
The state Appellate Division's decision reversed a lower court ruling that directed the examination of 12 inmates who were sent to mental hospitals after their sentences ended and ordered their release if they were not found to be mentally ill.
Pataki says his executive order so far has civilly confined 49 sexually violent predators in state mental facilities since October.
In November 2005, a state Supreme Court found 12 inmates were held illegally when they were involuntarily committed to mental hospitals after their sentences ended.
But the appeals court says that because the sex offenders had been released from prison, the lower court judge erroneously applied provisions in the state's Correction Law, which governs psychiatric confinement of prison inmates.
24 March 2006
am 22. märz mußte ein 37 jähriger mann wegen mißachtung des gerichtes eine 45 tägige haftstrafe antreten.
shareef aleem trug während seines prozesses am 1. märz ein t-shirt mit dem bild von stanley williams und dem wort "redemption" (erlösung). der richter ordnete an daß er das t-shirt ausziehen soll, was aleem verweigerte.
Activist sent to Adams jail for refusing to remove shirt
A community activist was jailed Wednesday for 45 days by an Adams County judge for wearing a T-shirt in court with a photograph of executed killer Stanley "Tookie" Williams and the word "redemption."
Shareef Aleem, 37, was found in contempt March 1 for wearing the shirt during his trial on charges he assaulted a police officer.
Aleem apparently refused Judge Katherine Delgado's order to remove the shirt, citing his First Amendment rights.
Williams was a former gang member convicted of homicide in California who was executed in December despite pleas from supporters who said he had reformed.
"There are limits to the judge's powers concerning free speech," Aleem's attorney, Mark Burton, said. He promised an appeal and said Aleem planned a hunger strike while in jail.
Mark Silverstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, said he doesn't believe Aleem's shirt rises to the level of contempt.
"It sounds like an abuse of power to order someone to jail for 45 days because he doesn't respect the integrity of the court," Silverstein said. "He probably has grounds for an appeal."
Delgado didn't return a phone call Wednesday.
Aleem was arrested Feb. 3, 2005, during a University of Colorado Board of Regents meeting about professor Ward Churchill. Police say Aleem became combative at the meeting, then ripped off an officer's badge and grabbed an officer by the throat.
Aleem pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault of a peace officer, which carries a 16-year prison term.
The trial ended in a hung jury. Prosecutors are set to retry the case May 8.
On Wednesday, Burton sought a dismissal of the contempt citation. But Delgado sent Aleem to jail, where he is being held without bail.
According to Burton's motion, Aleem removed a T-shirt on Feb. 28 that prosecutors found offensive. That shirt had the words "U.S. History 101" and included a picture in which a white overseer whipped a black slave.
The next day Aleem refused to remove the shirt depicting Williams after prosecutors objected.
According to the motion, "He was exercising his free speech and religious rights to wear this shirt, and the shirt did not detract or interfere with the judicial process."
Prosecutors on Wednesday would not say why they objected to the shirts.
Miles Madorin, staff attorney for Colorado District Attorney's Council, wouldn't comment on Aleem's case but said judges need contempt power.
"The courts operate on the fact that people willingly go along with decorum of the court," he said. "Contempt enforcement helps the courts to continue to function."
However, Burton's motion said jurors were allowed to wear T-shirts portraying musician Bob Marley, "a political figure ... closely associated with black nationalism."
22 March 2006
in einer 5 zu 3 entscheidung hat der supreme court geurteilt daß die polizei eine wohnung nicht durchsuchen kann wenn sie keinen durchsuchungsbefehl haben und ein bewohner einspruch einlegt.
der fall:die polizei kommt zu einer wohnung wegen eines streites zwischen einem ehepaar . die frau sagt den polizisten ihr mann hätte drogen im haus und gibt die einwilligung zur durchsuchung. der mann widersprach, die polizisten durchsuchten trotzdem und fanden drogen.
der mann klagte gegen den als beweis benutzten fund mit der begründung die durchsuchung sei illegal gewesen.
Supreme Court puts constraints on house searches with co-tenants
Recognizing that a man's home is, indeed, his castle, the Supreme Court said Wednesday that police can't search a house without a warrant if one occupant invites them in but another objects to their presence.
Writing for a sharply divided court, Justice David Souter said the ruling's logic was drawn from common social courtesies. The vote in the case was 5-3; Justice Samuel Alito, who wasn't on the court when the case was argued, didn't vote.
"There is no common understanding that one co-tenant generally has a right or authority to prevail over the express wishes of another, whether the issue is the color of the curtains or invitations to outsiders," Souter wrote. Under the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches, police who come knocking without a warrant can't bypass consent any more easily than a salesman or other guest could, he said. Justices John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer joined Souter in the majority.
The ruling could have wide-ranging implications for authorities, who regularly confront the question of how and when someone has sufficiently waived his or her privacy rights to justify a search.
The ruling also inspired the first written dissent from Chief Justice John G. Roberts.
Roberts accused the court of falsely reading a social assumption into the Constitution - "that an invited guest who arrives at the door of a shared residence, and is greeted by a disagreeable co-occupant shouting `stay out,' would simply go away."
Roberts said that different social situations could produce different outcomes.
"Such shifting expectations are not a promising foundation on which to ground a constitutional rule," Roberts wrote. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas also dissented.
Roberts also disagreed with another of the court's assumptions: that a person who chooses to live with someone else has the same expectations of privacy as a person who chooses to live alone.
"Even in our most private relationships, our observable actions and possessions are private at the discretion of those around us," Roberts wrote. Someone who lives with others "assume the risk that those who have access to and control over his shared property might consent to a search."
The case arose from a domestic dispute involving spouses Scott and Janet Randolph in Americus, Ga. When police showed to resolve things, Janet Randolph told them that her husband had drugs in their home and agreed to let the officers inside to look for evidence.
Scott Randolph objected, but the police went ahead on Janet Randolph's word; she led them to drug paraphernalia in the couple's bedroom.
Scott Randolph later tried to have the evidence tossed out because he said the search was illegal. A lower court agreed with him and the justices were asked to decide the matter finally.
The court had never directly confronted the issue of two people, both present at a home, giving different answers to a request for a search.
Souter noted that the court has long decided whether warrantless searches are "reasonable" by looking to the expectations that people would have in normal social situations.
The court also has ruled before that if only one occupant is present when police ask to search, that person's consent is sufficient, even if other occupants who weren't present later object to the search.
In the Randolph case, however, Souter said the social expectations were clear.
"A caller standing at the door of shared premises would have no confidence that one occupant's invitation was a sufficiently good reason to enter when a fellow tenant stood there saying, `Stay out,'" Souter wrote. "Without some very good reason, no sensible person would go inside under those conditions."
Souter made clear, though, that the court was drawing a fine line: A co-occupant's objection is relevant only if the person is at the door, voicing his or her wishes to the police. Someone who's not on the premises, or even asleep in a bedroom, "loses out," Souter said.
That thinking was the focus of Roberts' dissent.
"That the rule is so random in its application confirms that it bears no real relation to the privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment," Roberts wrote. "What the majority's rule protects is not so much privacy as the good luck of a co-owner who just happens to be present at the door when the police arrive."
Roberts also said that the court's ruling would have undesirable effects on victims of domestic violence.
"The majority's rule apparently forbids police from entering to assist with a domestic dispute if the abuser whose behavior prompted the request for police assistance objects," he said, echoing concerns that Breyer had raised during oral arguments.
Breyer, however, sided with the court majority and wrote separately to address the questions about domestic violence.
Breyer said police responding to instances of domestic abuse are often dealing with "emergency" situations in which normal search rules wouldn't apply.
Other justices also weighed in.
Stevens wrote a concurrence using the case to point out what he saw as a flaw in Scalia's preferred method of resolving cases, which is to divine the "original" meaning of constitutional provisions.
The Randolph case, Stevens said, could be resolved only by looking at "evolving" social standards. Only in modern times have women been recognized as equal partners in households, Stevens said. When the Fourth Amendment was written, "only the consent of the husband would matter" because women had lesser rights.
Scalia wrote to respond specifically to Stevens' charge. What had changed, he noted, were laws governing property rights, not the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.
Stevens had confused the "original import of the Fourth Amendment with the background sources of law to which the Amendment, on its original meaning, referred."
Thomas also dissented, saying the circumstances in Randolph's case weren't a search at all, but an instance of a spouse of a suspected criminal leading police to potential evidence and as such were beyond the reach of the Fourth Amendment's protection against illegal searches.
19 March 2006
ein richter hat einem angeklagten, nach einer "obszöne tirade" bei einer anhörung angedroht, daß bei seinem prozeß im april sein mund mit band zugeklebt wird.
Judge threatens to have man's mouth taped shut
A judge threatened to have a defendant's mouth taped shut the next time he appears in court following an obscene tirade.
During a hearing Friday in Superior Court in southwestern Indiana's Warrick County, Judge Robert Aylsworth asked that the record reflect that Aaron J- Vaughn's mouth would be taped closed for his April Seventh court appearance.
The 31-year-old faces a felony charge of intimidation for allegedly threatening to kill two guards while he was in jail on burglary charges.
Vaughn went into an insult- and obscenity-laced rant during the hearing, causing deputies to lead him out of the courtroom.
Investigators believe Vaughn is responsible for more than 150 burglaries in Indiana and Illinois.
18 March 2006
nach 5 jahren in einem flüchtlingslager wurde ein asylbewerber aus sri lanka entlassen.
nach dem urteil eines berufungsgerichtes in san fransisco sei die dauer der inhaftierung ?unangemessen?.
der 25 jährige wird verdächtigt ein mitglied der verbotenen ltte zusein.
US court orders release of suspected LTTE member
In a significant ruling, a US court has ordered the release of a Sri Lankan asylum seeker, kept in detention for the last five years on suspicion of being a member of the banned LTTE.
The Circuit Court of Appeals in San Fransisco ruled that 25-year-old Ahilan Nadarajah should be released as the length of the detention in the case had been "unreasonable."
Nadaraj claimed to have fled Sri Lanka after he was allegedly abused by Sri Lankan soldiers and was arrested when he crossed the California border from Mexico.
The Government had claimed that it had secret evidence that, Nadarajah, detained in a San Diego county since October 2001, was a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, designated as Foreign Terrorist Organisation by US government.
"In sum,... the government does not possess the authority under the general detention statutes to hold Nadarajah, or any other alien who is similarly situated, indefinitely. The length of the detention in this case has been unreasonable" Judge Sidney Thomas wrote in a strongly worded statement.
The decision of the three member panel yesterday is among the first to challenge the Government's assertion that it could hold on to suspects on terrorism charges indefinitely while seeking to remove them from the country.
"Nadarajah has established that there is no significant likelihood of removal in the foreseeable future. The government has failed to respond with evidence sufficient to rebut that showing," the Federal Judge was quoted as saying by the daily 'The Washington Post'.
The government has not indicated immediately if it would appeal the ruling.
14 March 2006
Case History: U.S. v. Moussaoui
wer mehr über den prozess u.s. gegen moussaoui wissen will, kann unter folgender website die prozeßakten lesen.im droht als angebl. 20. attentäter des 11.9. die todesstrafe obwohl er zum zeitpunkt des anschlages bereits inhaftiert war. die begründung dafür ist das er mit einer aussage den anschlag hätte verhindern können und somit mitschuldig an dem tod von über 3.000 menschen ist.
[ Case History: U.S. v. Moussaoui
14 March 2006
bericht zu dem vertrag zwischen kellogg, brown und root und der us-regierung über neue flüchtlingslager bzw. abschiebeknäste.
an vier bisher noch nicht genannten orten sollen innerhalb der nächsten 5 jahre lager für 40.000 menschen gebaut werden.
am 3. januar wurde der vertrag erweitert. jetzt sollen zusätzlich noch 20.000 plätze für unterbringung bei naturkatastrophen oder politischen auseinandersetzungen ( als beispiel wird da von ? politischen unruhen? in einem land in lateinamerika gesprochen die eventuell in der aus dem land kommenden bevölkerung der usa weitergeführt werden) und weitere 20.000 im jahr 2008.
der autor des artikels stellt dabei eine zur zeit in den usa aktuelle frage:
ist dieser vertrag und das damit verbundene programm die basis für internierungslager wie während des 2.weltkrieges?
Bush's Mysterious 'New Programs'
February 23, 2006.
Is the Pentagon building U.S.-based prison camps for Muslim immigrants? Evidence points to the possibility.
Not that George W. Bush needs much encouragement, but Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a new target for the administration's domestic operations -- Fifth Columnists, supposedly disloyal Americans who sympathize and collaborate with the enemy."The administration has not only the right, but the duty, in my opinion, to pursue Fifth Column movements," Graham, R-S.C., told Gonzales during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Feb. 6."I stand by this president's ability, inherent to being commander in chief, to find out about Fifth Column movements, and I don't think you need a warrant to do that," Graham added, volunteering to work with the administration to draft guidelines for how best to neutralize this alleged threat."Senator," a smiling Gonzales responded, "the president already said we'd be happy to listen to your ideas."[...]
[ Bush's Mysterious 'New Programs' / part one
March 14, 2006.
The government's plans for an 'immigration emergency' include relocation and detention centers -- courtesy of Kellogg, Brown and Root.
[...]Some time between now and 2010, the U.S. government expects some uninvited guests -- a massive influx of undocumented immigrants. In preparation for their arrival, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) backed the National Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which mandates 40,000 new beds and barracks for foreign-born refugees at four undisclosed locations over the next five years.On Jan. 3, 2006, the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) expanded an existing contract held by Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) and renewed it to accommodate up to 20,000 refugees from environmental and political disasters. A future expansion in 2008 calls for another 20,000 beds.[...]
[ alternet.orgHotel U.S.A. /part two
[ HALLIBURTON Detention Centers For America
13 March 2006
neue website für einen seit 23 jahren inhaftierten mann.
1983 hat dieser sich wegen dem schmuggel von marijuana schuldig bekannt und sollte dafür 10 jahre knast kriegen. der richter setzte sich über dieses abkommen hinweg und hat den mann zu lebenslänglich ohne aussicht auf entlassung verurteilt.
der mann war nicht vorbestraft und ist jetzt seit 23 jahren im knast.
Author embraces technology - launches Internet portal from behind the walls of a maximum security federal prison.
TAMPA, FL. Author, screenwriter George Martorano has assisted in launching the website www.georgemartorano.com. Martorano, in his 23rd year of a life without-the-possibility-of-parole sentence, has found a world-wide audience for 23 years worth of writings- including 10 novels, 20 short stories and numerous screenplays.
George Martorano is currently serving his 23rd year of an LWP (Life-without Parole) sentence in a maximum security federal prison in Coleman, Florida.
Mr. Martorano plead guilty to drug conspiracy charges in 1983. Despite a plea agreement which intended Martorano to serve 10 years in prison, a federal judge ignored the plea agreement and sentenced George Martorano to serve a life sentence without parole for his first-time, non-violent marijuana offense. The reason given was Mr. Martorano's failure to outline activities about his father's alleged, unrelated illegal business activities that the judge had hoped he knew.
Mr. Martorano is the longest serving first-time, non-violent offender in the history of America. Despite the circumstances surrounding George Martorano's living conditions over the last 23 years, he has overcome, raised above and far exceeded expectations by educating himself, maintaining a healthy positive mental attitude and teaching and counseling hundreds of inmates over the years.
George Martorano.com, The We Believe Group and Michael Productions have entered a joint distribution venture with proceeds going towards an as of yet undecided organization that fosters reform, personal growth and community revitalization through education, training and support.
12 March 2006
vier ehemalige insassen des cirus county knastes haben eine klage gegen cca ( corrections corp.of america) eingereicht , in der zwei wärter des knastes beschuldigt werden das essen der männer mit urin und fäkalien verunreingt zu haben und die männer gezwungen wurden dies zu essen.
Ex-inmates' suit says food in jail tainted with waste
A suit filed by 4 men in federal court faults 2 former Citrus County guards.
Four former inmates of the Citrus County Detention Facility filed a federal lawsuit against the private company that runs the jail, alleging two former officers put human waste in their food and drinks.
The inmates were subject to cruel punishment, torture and battery in 2004, when they were forced to eat the contaminated food, claims the lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Tampa.
A spokesman for Tennessee-based Corrections Corp. of America said company officials took immediate action once they heard about the incident.
"Management immediately investigated and terminated three employees right there and then," company spokesman Steve Owen said Saturday.
"The company does have a zero-tolerance policy for conduct of that nature."
Owen said the company had not been served with the lawsuit, which accuses it of negligent hiring.
Former inmates Javon Walker, Jeffrey Young, Larry Robbins and Greg Platt had been held in the jail's segregation unit, reserved for inmates who are considered a safety risk at the Lecanto jail.
The inmates complained that the food had a foul odor and didn't taste right, but they were forced to eat the food or go hungry, the lawsuit said. After eating the food, they suffered from "vomiting, stomach cramps and nausea," the lawsuit said.
The incidents occurred several times between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, 2004, according to the lawsuit.
"The very people they depend on to protect and keep them safe are the very ones abusing them," said attorney William Grant, who filed the suit.
The lawsuit said correction officers Kevin Hessler and Alexander Diaz "intentionally and repeatedly fed the plaintiffs urine and fecal matter, even after the plaintiffs protested and resisted" because the food tasted and smelled bad.
Grant said a supervisor should have reported the complaints to the jail warden sooner.
Charles Mulligan, a former supervisor employed by Corrections Corp. of America, said one of the corrections officers acknowledged putting human waste in an inmate's drinking jug, according to transcripts of a telephone hearing with the Office of Employment Appeals in Tallahassee on Feb. 16, 2005.
Mulligan was fired because he did not report the incident, the jail's warden, Carlos Melendez, testified at the hearing. Hessler and Diaz, who are accused of battery in the suit, also were fired.
The Corrections Corp. of America is the sixth-largest corrections system in the nation and has about 60,000 inmates in more than 60 facilities around the country, according to its Web site. The company runs six other facilities in Florida, including Bay County Correctional Facility, Bay County Jail and Hernando County Jail.
10 March 2006
safe streets, strong communities, ein in new orleans arbeitende organisation hat einen auf hunderte interviews basiernden bericht über gefangenen die vor dem hurricane inhaftiert wurden und immer noch in haft sind veröffentlicht.
die menschen sind in 13 oft hunderte kilometer entfernte knäste gebracht worden.
die durchschnittliche u- haft der menschen beträgt 385 tage. ein mensch war 1.289 tage ohne prozeß im knast.
laut einen bericht der metropolitan crime commission der sich auf die zeit vor dem hurricane bezieht, werden durchschnittlich 65% der inhaftierten ohne jede anklage wieder entlassen.
ein gefangener berichtet daß er mit 200 leuten in eine fitnesshalle gebracht wurde und man ihnen drei müllbeutel als toilettenersatz gab. zwei tage mußten die männer dort bleiben bevor sie in den hunt knast im ländlichen luisiana gebracht wurden. dort waren etwa 5.000 menschen im freien auf einem in drei teile abgetrennten gelände eingesperrt, mit wenig essen und trinken und in brütender hitze.
danach wurde der mann in den oakdale knast gebracht wo er von Montag bis Freitag 23 stunden und Samstag und Sonntag 24 stunden in einer zelle eingesperrt wurde.
viele gefangene waren noch schlimmer dran als die in oakdale.
zitat einer für safe streets arbeitenden frau:
"viele gefangene wurden in das jena gefängnis gebracht, welches erst vor kurzem wegen der brutalität des personals geschlossen wurde. ich habe keine ahnung warum gedacht wurde es wäre akzeptabel es jetzt wieder mit der selben belegschaft zu öffnen. menschen wurden geschlagen, ein raum voller männer wurde gezwungen sich auszuziehen nackt auf und abzuspringen und sexualisierte gebärdenspiele miteinander zu machen. ich kann den terror nicht beschreiben den die jungen männer mit denen wir sprachen uns übermittelten."
Guantanamo on the Mississippi
Sometimes the injustices here in New Orleans leave me numb. But the continuing debacle of our criminal justice system inspires in me a sense of indignation I thought was lost to cynicism long ago. Ursula Price, a staff investigator for the indigent defense organization A Fighting Chance, has met with several thousand hurricane survivors who were imprisoned at the time of the hurricane, and her stories chill me "I grew up in small town Mississippi," she tells me. "We had the Klan marching down our main street. But still, I've never seen anything like this."
Safe Streets, Strong Communities, a New Orleans-based criminal justice reform coalition that Price also works with, has just released a report based on more than a hundred recent interviews with prisoners who have been locked up since pre-Katrina and are currently spread across thirteen prisons and hundreds of miles. They found the average number of days people had been locked up without a trial was 385 days. One person had been locked up for 1,289 days. None of them have been convicted of any crime.
"I've been working in the system for the while, I do capital cases and I've seen the worst that the criminal justice system has to offer," Price told me. "But even I am shocked that there has been so much disregard for the value of these peoples lives, especially people who have not been proved to have done anything wrong." As lawyers, advocates, and former prisoners stressed to me in interviews over the last couple of weeks, arrest is not the same as conviction. According to a pre-Katrina report from the Metropolitan Crime Commission, 65% of those arrested in New Orleans are eventually released without ever having been charged with any crime.
Samuel Nicholas (his friends call him Nick) was imprisoned in Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) on a misdemeanor charge, and was due to be released August 31. Instead, after a harrowing journey of several months, he was released February 1. Nick told me he still shudders when he thinks of those days in OPP.
"We heard boats leaving, and one of the guys said 'hey man, all the deputies gone,' Nick relates. "We took it upon ourselves to try to survive. They left us in the gym for two days with nothing. Some of those guys stayed in a cell for or five days. People were hollering, 'get me out, I don't want to drown, I don't want to die,' we were locked in with no ventilation, no water, nothing to eat. Its just the grace of god that a lot of us survived."
Benny Flowers, a friend of Nick's from the same Central City neighborhood, was on a work release program, and locked in a different building in the sprawling OPP complex. In his building there were, by his count, about 30 incarcerated youth, some as young as 14 years old. "I don't know why they left the children like that. Locked up, no food, no water. Why would you do that? They couldn't swim, most of them were scared to get into the water. We were on work release, so we didn't have much time left. We weren't trying to escape, we weren't worried about ourselves, we were worried about the children. The guards abandoned us, so we had to do it for ourselves. We made sure everyone was secured and taken care of. The deputies didn't do nothing. It was inmates taking care of inmates, old inmates taking care of young inmates. We had to do it for ourselves."
Benny Hitchens, another former inmate, was imprisoned for unpaid parking tickets. "They put us in a gym, about 200 of us, and they gave us three trash bags, two for defecation and one for urination. That was all we had for 200 people for two days."
State Department of Corrections officers eventually brought them, and thousands of other inmates, to Hunts Prison, in rural Louisiana, where evacuees were kept in a field, day and night, with no shelter and little or no food and water. "They didn't do us no kind of justice," Flowers told me. "We woke up early in the morning with the dew all over us, then in the afternoon we were burning up in the summer sun. There were about 5,000 of us in three yards."
Nick was taken from Hunts prison to Oakdale prison. "At Oakdale they had us on lockdown 23 hours, on Friday and Saturday it was 24 hours. We hadn't even been convicted yet. Why did we have to be treated bad? Twenty-three and one ain't nothing nice, especially when you aint been convicted of a crime yet. But here in New Orleans you're guilty 'til you're proven innocent. Its just the opposite of how its supposed to be."
From reports that Price received, some prisoners had it worse than Oakdale. "Many prisoners were sent to Jena prison, which had been previously shut down due to the abusiveness of the staff there. I have no idea why they thought it was acceptable to reopen it with the same staff. People were beaten, an entire room of men was forced to strip and jump up and down and make sexual gestures towards one another. I cannot describe to you the terror that the young men we spoke to conveyed to us."
According to the report from Safe Streets Strong Communities, the incarcerated people they interviewed described their attorney's as "passive," "not interested," and "absent." Interviewers were told that "attorneys acted as functionaries for the court rather than advocates for the poor people they represented....the customs of the criminal court excused -- and often encouraged -- poor policing and wrongful arrests. The Orleans Indigent Defender Program acted as a cog in this system rather than a check on its dysfunction."
Pre-Katrina, the New Orleans public defender system was already dangerously overloaded, with 42 attorneys and six investigators. Today, New Orleans has 6 public defenders, and one investigator. And these defenders are not necessarily full-time, nor committed to their clients. One of those attorneys is known to spend his days in court working on crossword puzzles instead of talking to his clients. All of these attorneys are allowed to take an unlimited number of additional cases for pay. In most cases, these attorneys have been reported to do a much more vigorous job on behalf of their paid clients.
"We have a system that was broken before Katrina," Price tells me, "that was then torn apart, and is waiting to be rebuilt. Four thousand people are still in prison, waiting for this to be repaired. There's a young man, I speak to his mother every day, who has been in the hole since the storm, and is being abused daily. This boy is 19 years old, and not very big, and he has no lawyer. His mother doesn't know what to do, and without her son having council, I don't know what to tell her."
Pre-hurricane, according to the Safe Streets report, some detainees were brought to a magistrate court shortly after being arrested, "where a public defender was appointed 'solely for the purposes of this hearing.' The assigned attorney did not do even the most cursory interview about the arrestee's ties to the community, charges, or any other information relevant to setting a bond. Other interviewees were brought to a room where they faced a judge on a video screen. These individuals uniformly reported there was no defense lawyer present."
The report continues, "after appointment, (defense attorneys) by and large did not visit the crime scene, did not interview witnesses, did not check out alibis, did not procure expert assistance, did not review evidence, did not know the facts of the case, did not do any legal research, and did not otherwise prepare for trial...with few exceptions, attorneys with the Orleans Indigent Defender program never met with their clients to discuss their case. Appointed council did not take calls from the jail, did not respond to letters or other written correspondence, and generally did not take calls or make appointments with family members...(defenders) frequently did not know the names of their clients."
"This ain't just started, its been going on," Nick tells me. "I want to talk about it, but at the same time it hurts to talk about it. Someone's gotta start talking about it. It's not the judge, its not the lawyers, it's the criminal justice system. Everybody who goes to jail isn't guilty. You got guys who were drunk in public, treated like they committed murder."
I asked Price what has to happen to fix this system. "First, we establish who was left behind, collect their stories and substantiate them. Next, we're going to organize among the inmates and former inmates to change the system. The inmates are going to have a voice in what happens in our criminal justice system. If you ask anyone living in New Orleans, the police, the justice system, may be the single most influential element in poor communities. Its what beaks up families, its what keeps people poor."
How can people from around the US help? "Education, health care, mental health. All these issues that exist in the larger community, exist among the prisoners, and no one is serving them. We need psychiatrists, doctors, teachers, we need all kinds of help," Price says.
"One thing I can't forget is those children," Benny Flowers tells me. "Why would they leave those children behind? I'm trying to forget it, but I can't forget it"
Sitting across the table from Benny, Nick is resolute. "I'm making this interview so that things get better," he tells me. "The prison system, the judicial system, the police. We got to make a change, and we all got to come together as a community to make this change. I want to stop all this harassment and brutality."
Other Resources for information and action:
[ Reconstruction Watch
[ New Orleans Network
[ Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children
[ A Fighting Chance
[ Peoples Hurricane Relief Fund
[ Justice for New Orleans
[ Common Ground
[ Four Directions Solidarity Network
[ Color Of Change
[ Black Commentator
[ Comprehensive website for information and action related to prisoners in New Orleans
10 March 2006
ein unbewaffneter mann wurde erschossen als dieser sich, so sagt der zeitungsartikel, auf der flucht aus dem knast befand.
laut zeitungsartikel wurde der mann nach einer verfolgungsjagd in einer waschanlage erschossen.
laut den polizeizeugen solle er ausgerufen haben:"wer von euch will sterben" und währenddessen, in einer sogenannten "aggressiven art" seine hand aus der hosentasche gezogen.
allerdings fand man später keine waffe bei dem opfer.
Man police killed was prison escapee
The man shot and killed by a rookie police officer Tuesday night was wanted on a U.S. Marshals warrant for escaping from prison.According to the National Crime Information Center, a criminal history database used by law enforcement, there was a warrant for the arrest of Todd Julius Pruitt, 32, for a prior conviction of a bank robbery, said Tucson Police Sgt. Mark Robinson.
Pruitt was shot late Tuesday night after being pulled over in a stolen vehicle on Silverbell Road, just south of Speedway Boulevard, according to police. He was killed following a chase down a wash and a confrontation with officers where he asked "Which one of you ... wants to die," while pulling his hand out of his pants "in an aggressive manner," said Sgt. Decio Hopffer. Officers later learned that Pruitt did not have a gun.Pruitt was sentenced to 70 months in the Pennsylvania State Prison in Bradford County for a August 1997 bank robbery in Jacksonville, Fla. Five months later he escaped, records show.After his capture, he was sent back to prison in July 1998 after being convicted of felony escape and flight, according to records.NCIC records do not indicate when he again escaped from prison, but do show him being charged by the U.S. Marshals Service in Tennessee with bank robbery in August 1999. He has been on the run ever since.
Pruitt was recently named a suspect in a Feb. 8 bank robbery in Toledo, Ohio. Robinson said his name, date of birth and Social Security number matched that of the Toledo suspect.Robinson said his death in Tucson is still being investigated."The more that we are learning about Mr. Pruitt and his criminal past and the method in which he committed some of the crimes (implying a weapon, but none seen), the more it leads us to believe that his intentions that night were to force officer (Brandon) Azuelo to take the actions that he took," Robinson said. "We know he had served prison time, we know by the statements he made to his girlfriend over the phone (that he would not be taken alive), that he was desperate and would do anything to avoid going back to prison."He did not have the means to take his own life (he was unarmed) and even though we will never know exactly what he was thinking, we believe he knew his actions would cause the officer to shoot," he said. "That's commonly referred to as 'suicide by cop.' "
Todd Julius Pruitt's criminal history:
• 12/19/1991: Charged by the Monroe County Sheriff's Department, in Monroe Mich., with larceny. He was sentenced to seven days in jail.
• 2/11/1993: Charged by the Stueben County Sheriff's Department in Angola, Ind., with recklessness, vehicle theft, theft, driving while suspended, receiving a stolen vehicle, resisting law enforcement and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The disposition of this case was unavailable.
• 6/11/1993: Charged in Stueben County with burglary. Disposition unknown.
• 3/23/1994: Charged in Shelby County, Memphis, Tenn., with theft of property over $500, and possession of a deadly weapon during the offense. Disposition unknown.
• 4/7/1994: Charged by the Lorain Correctional Institution in Ohio for receiving stolen property.
• 1/6/1995: Charged in Stueben County with theft. Disposition unknown.
• 4/16/1996: Charged in Monroe County with felony stolen property. Pruitt pleaded guilty in May 1996 and was sentenced to time in prison.
• 8/28/1996: Charged in Monroe, Mich., with possession of a stolen vehicle. He pleaded guilty in September 1996.
• 7/22/1997: Charged by the Cocoa Police Department in Cocoa, Fla., with marijuana possession and possession of narcotic equipment. He pleaded guilty that same day.
• 7/28/1997: Charged in Brevard County, Titusville, Fla., with robbery. The case was turned over to another agency. Disposition unknown.
• 8/1/1997: Charged by the Ocala Police Department, in Ocala, Fla., for bank robbery. The charge was dismissed on Aug. 20, 1997.
• 8/22/1997: Charged by the U.S. Marshals Service in Jacksonville, Fla., with bank robbery. Convicted on Sept. 11, 1997 and sentenced to 70 months in prison Dec. 11, 1997.
• 5/1/1998: Charged in Monroe County with felony escape and flight. Sentenced on July 2, 1998.
• 5/21/1998: Charged in Monroe County with felony stolen property. Charges were dismissed.
• 8/13/1999: Charged by the Nashville Metro Police in Tennessee with robbery.
• 8/16/1999: Warrant issued by the U.S. Marshal's Service in Nashville, Tenn., for bank robbery.
• 2/8/2006: Toledo Police name Pruitt a suspect in a bank robbery.
• 3/7/2006: Pruitt is shot and killed by Tucson Police Officer Brandon Azuelo just hours after he is suspected of stealing a car in Phoenix.
6 March 2006
das oberste gericht in kalifornien urteilte daß ein 22 jähriger mann, der einvernehmlichen oralen sex mit einer 16 jährigen frau hatte, nicht lebenslang in einer sexualstraftäter gespeichert werden kann.
COURT says California oral sex law violates rights
A 22-year-old Californian man who received oral sex from a sixteen-year-old girl should not be forced to register for life as a sex offender, the California Supreme Court ruled on Monday.
The state's top court found that California denied Vincent Hofsheier equal protection under the law because those having intercourse in such circumstances would not be forced to register as lifetime sex offenders.
Hofsheier appealed after being ordered to register his name on the list, which is shared with the public and carries significant stigma.
"Requiring mandatory lifetime registration of all persons who, like defendant here, were convicted of voluntary oral copulation with a minor of the age of 16 or 17, but not of someone convicted of voluntary sexual intercourse with a minor of the same age, violates the equal protection clauses of the federal and state Constitutions," the court ruled.
"We perceive no reason why the legislature would conclude that persons who are convicted of voluntary oral copulation with adolescents 16 to 17 years old...constitute a class of 'particularly incorrigible offenders'... who require lifetime surveillance as sex offenders."
U.S. law on oral sex has evolved over the years, and it was not until 1975 that oral sex between consenting adults was decriminalized in California. Today, in 38 of the 50 U.S. states consensual sex with a 16- or 17-year old is legal.
In the case, Hofsheier pleaded guilty and received probation after meeting the teenager in an Internet chat room and sharing rum and orange juice with her at a beach.
The California Supreme Court's decision returns the case to a lower court to decide whether he should still be subject to registration under that court's discretionary authority.
9 March 2006
im dezember letzten jahres wurde durch die new york times bekannt das die us regierung illegal abhören läßt und e-mails liest. schon damals hatte die aclu im namen von journalistinnen, anwältinnen, aktivistinnen und ngo's klage eingereicht. die aclu hatte angegeben das dieses ausspionieren die rechte aller us bürgerinnen auf privatssphäre und freie meinungsäußerung, die im ersten und vierten zusatz zur verfassung geregelt sind, verletzt.
jetzt hat die aclu die klage erweitert und hat hinzugefügt daß die illegale bespitzelung ihrer klienten
"konkrete nachteile" bringt.
ACLU Asks Federal Court to Block Illegal Spying Program, Citing "Concrete Harm" to Americans
NEW YORK - Saying that the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping of Americans is flatly illegal and unconstitutional, the American Civil Liberties Union today asked a federal court in Detroit to block the program immediately.
The ACLU also criticized Congress for brokering a reported deal that allows the White House to bypass judicial oversight of the controversial program. "In America, no one is above the law, not even the president," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. "The president's allies in Congress are preparing to cover up his illegal program, while others in Congress are standing on the sidelines. When the President breaks the law, Congress should not be giving him a get-out-of-jail free card."
The NSA spying program, authorized by President Bush just after September 11, 2001, allows the agency to monitor and collect e-mails and phone calls from innocent Americans without ever having to go to a court and prove even the remotest hint of suspicion.
Shortly after the program was exposed by The New York Times last December, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the program on behalf of a group of prominent journalists, nonprofit groups, terrorism experts and community advocates. The ACLU, which is also a client in the lawsuit, charged that the spying violates all Americans' rights to free speech and privacy under the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution.
In legal papers filed today before Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit, the ACLU pointed further to the "concrete harm" of the illegal spying program to its clients, saying it disrupts their ability to "talk with sources, locate witnesses, conduct scholarship and engage in advocacy."
"To avoid the giant ear of the NSA, journalists and lawyers now have to make expensive trips overseas to speak with their sources and clients," said ACLU Associate Legal Director and lead counsel Ann Beeson. "We are asking the court to halt the illegal spying program now to prevent even more harm to the free speech and privacy rights of Americans."
The need for legal action is even more acute, Beeson noted, after members of Congress announced support yesterday for what amounts to a whitewash of the spying program.
An agreement announced by Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence would support legislation allowing the administration to report about the spying program to a smaller group of senators than is required by current federal law. The legislation also would remove prompt judicial oversight of every single intelligence wiretap of Americans, substituting a pre-approved stamp of approval for real judicial review.
Government stonewalling on an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request for details about the spying program continued late yesterday with the release of documents that the ACLU called little more than a rehash of publicly available information. The release did, however include a series of e-mails between a top national security lawyer at the Justice Department and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, in which the attorney, who has since departed, sharply criticized the government's rationale for the spying program.
The plaintiffs in the ACLU's challenge to NSA spying are:
Authors and journalists James Bamford, Christopher Hitchens and Tara McKelvey.
Afghanistan scholar Barnett Rubin of New York University's Center on International Cooperation and democracy scholar Larry Diamond, a fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Nonprofit advocacy groups NACDL, Greenpeace, ACLU and Council on American Islamic Relations, which joined the lawsuit on behalf of its staff and membership.
Diamond, McKelvey, and Nancy Hollander and Bill Swor of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers all submitted declarations to the court today describing how the spying program has affected their activities.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is also suing President Bush in federal court, asserting that the program interferes with their ability to represent their clients in numerous challenges to the Bush administration's practices.
Legal documents, client profiles and other information about the ACLU lawsuit can be found online at
Links to the documents released under the ACLU's FOIA request about NSA spying are online at
[ Department of Justice Office of Information and Privacy Release 1 (3/9/2006)
[ Department of Justice Office of Information and Privacy Release 2 (3/9/2006)
[ Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel Release 1 (3/9/2006)
[ Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel Release 2 (3/9/2006)
6 March 2006
das restriktivste abtreibungsgesetz der usa wurde jetzt in south dakota vom governor unterzeichnet.
planned parenthood , eine organisation die die einzige abtreibungsklinik in south dakota leitet, hat angekündigt gegen das am 1. juli inkraft tretende gesetz zu klagen.
nach dem neuen gesetz kann eine abtreibung nur dann vorgenohmen werden wenn das leben der frau in gefahr ist. es gibt auch keine ausnahme bei vergewaltigung oder inzest.
die höchststrafe für ärzte ist fünf jahre.
SOUTH Dakota Abortion Ban Sets Up Supreme Court Challenge
Abortion foes celebrated a victory Monday (March 6) when South Dakota's governor signed into law one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the country, helping set up a court battle intended to challenge the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
The South Dakota law signed by Governor Mike Rounds makes it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless it is necessary to save the woman's life, with no exception in cases of rape or incest, according to an Associated Press report.
In a sign that the measure was largely ceremonial and passed in an attempt to challenge the Roe decision, Rounds said in a written statement that he expects the law to be tied up in the courts for years and is unlikely to take effect unless the Supreme Court upholds it.
"In the history of the world, the true test of a civilization is how well people treat the most vulnerable and most helpless in their society," Rounds said in the statement. "The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society. I agree with them.
"Because this new law is a direct challenge to the Roe versus Wade interpretation of the Constitution, I expect this law will be taken to court and prevented from going into effect this July," Rounds continued. "That challenge will likely take years to be settled and it may ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court. Our existing laws regulating abortions will remain in effect."
The ban is slated to take effect July 1, but a federal judge is likely to suspend the ban during the legal challenge, which means it will not likely take effect unless the case goes all the way to the Supreme Court and wins.
"The reversal of a Supreme Court opinion is possible," Rounds' statement said, citing the reversal of the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case, which had cleared the way for racial segregation in public places. That decision was overturned in 1954's Brown v. Board of Education, which found that "separate" could not be "equal." He said South Dakota's new law will give the Supreme Court "a similar opportunity to reconsider an earlier opinion."
Planned Parenthood, which operates South Dakota's only abortion clinic, in Sioux Falls, has pledged it will challenge the measure in court, the AP reported. About 800 abortions are done each year in South Dakota.
Rounds said abortion opponents have already offered money to help the state with legal bills in the anticipated court challenge, including an anonymous donor who pledged $1 million to defend the ban, according to the AP.
Under the new law, doctors could get up to five years in prison for performing an abortion. It also has language that says the state legislature found that scientific advances since Roe was decided in 1973 have demonstrated that life begins at conception, a crucial point in challenging Roe.
Supporters of the measure, which had some bipartisan support in the legislature, believe that the recent appointments of Supreme Court justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito helps their cause and that President Bush may have a chance to appoint a third justice before his second term is over. If Bush is able to appoint a third justice before the legal battle over the South Dakota law reaches the Supreme Court, state lawmakers believe the court might then be more likely to overturn Roe.
SOUTH DAKOTA GOV. SIGNS LAW BANNING MOST ABORTIONS
South Dakota's Gov. Mike Rounds signs into law HB 1215 ("Women?s Health and Human Life Protection Act"), the state's legislative ban on most abortions, posing a challenge to the Supreme Court's 1973 precedent in Roe v. Wade.
[ U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade Decision
6 March 2006
die zu halliburton gehörende kbr ( früher kellogg, brown and root ) hat mit der regierung einen $ 385 millionen vertrag über den bau von "vorläufigen haftanlagen".
als begründung wird ein "immigrations- notfall" angegeben, die knäste sollen in erster linie für migrantinnen sein, als flüchtlingslager, aber auch für den fall einer nationalen katastrophe wie z.b.ein hurricane.
HALLIBURTON Detention Centers For America
Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their country and become unapologetically paranoid. Paranoia should now be the normal state of mind for thinking people. Sneers and dismissive remarks about "conspiracy theorists" must be ignored. We don't want to end up like the proverbial frog who boils to death because the heat was turned up slowly.
The Bush administration is becoming ever more brazen in its effort to snoop on the American people. The Attorney General is making the case that warrants aren't needed if the government wants to spy on us. Unlimited government power is predictably effective. Anyone not wire tapped, investigated or banned from airplanes will be too intimidated to speak up or even to "Google."
The Bushmen are too smart to only go after political opponents. Instead they are honing their tactics on everyone who does an internet search, a majority of people in the nation. Under the guise of investigating the extent of child pornography on the internet, the ironically named Justice Department demanded that the largest search engines in the country turn over the results of millions of internet searches in the country. Yahoo, MSN and AOL all gave up without a fight and handed big brother the results of your inquiries on any and every issue or topic. Only Google challenged the subpoena in court.
If internet snooping doesn't give one pause, then Halliburton can always be counted on to frighten anyone with half a brain. Vice President Dick Cheney's personal cash cow is the lucky beneficiary of yet another government contract. The Halliburton story of banana republic corruption is well known to anyone not living under a rock. Because their crimes have gone unpunished, news of Halliburton chicanery barely raises eyebrows anymore. Halliburton's latest contract strikes close to home, literally, and doesn't allow them to build barracks in Iraq or clean up after hurricane Katrina.
What ought to shock and terrify every American is that KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary, was awarded a $385 million contract to build "temporary detention facilities" in case of an "immigration emergency":
"The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other U.S. Government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster. In the event of a natural disaster, the contractor could be tasked with providing housing for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) personnel performing law enforcement functions in support of relief efforts."
Anyone paying a little bit of attention will ask, "What immigration emergency?" If there is an immigration emergency looming on the horizon it is a big secret. Of course immigrants will be the first ensnared in the net that big brother Bush has in mind, but the net won't stop with them.
What sort of national emergency requires detention centers? America has plenty of prisons. More of our population is behind bars than in any country on earth. There are detention centers for immigration in existence already. As for helping in case of a natural disaster, hurricane Katrina proved that saving American lives is not on the Bush agenda.
When the word detention comes up, hairs should rise on the back of every neck. Thanks to the Patriot Act and the creation of "enemy combatants" these detention centers can be used to lock up anyone for any reason for any length of time that Uncle Sam wishes.
In the best case scenario, this contract may be just the latest hand out to the welfare queen of corporate America. It is a sad day indeed when we must hope that good old fashioned greed, and nothing more, is at work with this latest theft from the United States treasury. Even if greed is the larger part of the equation, the threat of taking our rights and subjecting us to fear cannot be far from the minds of Dick Cheney and his ilk.
Bush has successfully used fear to stay in power and quiet the ineffectual opposition. When questions arose about the legality of warrantless wiretaps, suddenly Bush revealed a three year old plot to crash a plane into a Los Angeles skyscraper. This announcement was even news to the mayor of Los Angeles, leading the cynical among us, the smart people, to ask if such a threat ever existed in the first place.
What sort of national emergency will trigger the beginning of detentions? Probably not Mexicans heading for the border. If Democrats show uncharacteristic boldness and begin impeachment proceedings against Bush, we will begin to see Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib on U.S. soil. The endless war on terror would no doubt be a pretext for detentions of immigrants or Americans. Just ask Jose Padilla, the American citizen accused of planning "dirty bomb" attacks. Actually you can't ask Padilla anything. He hasn't seen the outside of a jail in years. An entirely new category of criminals, enemy combatants, was created to justify endless incarceration. If our government is planning to create more Padillas, Halliburton definitely needs a new contract.
You can look it up, if
you dare. Searching for the words "Halliburton" and "detention" may bring more than you bargained for.
5 March 2006
von 2003 bis 2005 haben sich geheime bundesgerichtsverhandlungen mehr als verdoppelt. bei 5.116 prozessen werden alle akten geheim gehalten.
laut einer associated press recherche sind es meist prozesse von kronzeugInnen .
"die meisten der angeklagten sind an drogengangs beteiligt , allerdings sind in letzter zeit auch eine sehr kleine anzahl von terrorismusfällen hinzugekommen."
Secret court cases increase under Bush administration
WASHINGTON -- Despite the 6th Amendment's guarantee of public trials, nearly all records are being kept secret for more than 5,000 defendants who completed their journey through the federal courts in the past three years.
Instances of such secrecy more than doubled from 2003 to 2005.
An Associated Press investigation found, and court observers agree, that most of these defendants are cooperating government witnesses, but the secrecy surrounding their records prevents the public from knowing details of their plea bargains.
Most of these defendants are involved in drug gangs, though lately a very small number come from terrorism cases.
In Washington, which has had a serious problem with drug gangs murdering government witnesses, the secrecy has reached another level: the use of secret dockets. For hundreds of such defendants in the past few years, should someone acquire the actual case number for them and enter it in the U.S. District Court's computerized record system, the computer will falsely reply, "No such case," rather than acknowledging that it is a sealed case.
At the request of the AP, the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts conducted its first tally of secrecy in federal criminal cases. The nationwide data showed that the bulk of the records for 5,116 defendants whose cases were completed in 2003, 2004 and 2005 remain secret.
"The constitutional presumption is for openness in the courts, but we have to ask whether we are really honoring that," said Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and now a law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
The courts' administrative office and the Justice Department declined to comment on the numbers.
The data show a sharp increase in secret case files as the Bush administration's reliance on secrecy in the executive branch has crept into the federal courts through the war on drugs, anti-terrorism efforts and other criminal matters.
"This follows the pattern of this administration," said John Wesley Hall, an Arkansas defense attorney and second vice president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "I am astonished and shocked that this many criminal proceedings in federal court escape public scrutiny or become buried."
The percentage of defendants who have reached verdicts and been sentenced but who still have most of their records sealed has gone from 1.1 percent in 2003 to 2.7 percent last year, the court office's tally shows.
1 March 2006
eine anklageschrift der us-regierung gegen mitglieder der kolumbianische farc.
angeblich haben diese eine kriminelle verschwörung vor und wollten die usa und andere länder mit kokain "fluten".
U.S. V. PEDRO ANTONIO MARIN, ET AL.
The superseding federal grand jury indictment of members of FARC, a Colombian narco-terrorist guerrilla group charging them with a criminal conspiracy to flood the U.S. and other countries with some $25 billion worth of cocaine.
[ U.S. V. PEDRO ANTONIO MARIN, ET AL
[ U.S. Department of Justice
[ Criminal Defense Attorneys
[ Drug Trafficking Crimes
28 February 2006
leonard peltier , ein aim ( american indian movement ) aktivist der 1975 wegen mordes an zwei fbi agenten verurteilt wurde, hat eine klage über die aushändigung von geheimen regierungsdokumenten erneut verloren.
Jailed Indian activist loses bid for FBI data
Leonard Peltier, the American Indian activist convicted of killing two FBI agents in 1975, has lost another round in his local court battle over secret government documents.
Citing national security concerns, U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny rejected Peltier's request for five pages of documents held by the FBI. Michael Kuzma, a Buffalo lawyer and a member of Peltier's defense team, expressed frustration with the time it took Skretny to rule. Court papers indicate the judge reviewed the documents last June.
"We're appealing," said Kuzma. "It's incredible that it took him 254 days to render a decision." Supporters have long considered Peltier, a nativ
e of Grand Forks, N.D., a "political prisoner."
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
28. February 2006
die auseinandersetzungen in den kalifornischen knästen gehen weiter.
dabei wurden im north county correctional knast 14 gefangene verwundet. die wärter benutzten tränengas, gummigeschoße und pfefferspray gegen die etwa 90 beteiligten gefangenen.
san quentin ist wieder unter lockdown weil es auch dort erneut zu kämpfen kam.
14 Inmates Hurt in Another LA Jail Brawl
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Black and Hispanic inmates brawled Tuesday in a new round of racial violence in Los Angeles County's jails, authorities said. Fourteen inmates were reported injured.
Guards used tear gas, rubber ``stingballs'' and pepperballs to quell the fighting among more than 90 inmates at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.
One inmate was hospitalized with head cuts, Whitmore said.
The fighting was the latest in a series of brawls that began Feb. 4. One inmate was killed and another collapsed and died during the battles.
SAN Quentin Prison On Lockdown After Riot
27. februar 2006
Quentin State Prison is on lockdown tonight after a racially motivated riot broke out Sunday.
Officials say about 40 Hispanic and black inmates began fightingabout 1 p.m. in the exercise yard following Black History Month event.
Prison spokesman Vernell Crittendon called it a "planned assault" by the Hispanic prisoners. One inmate was injured, and at least four homemade knives were found.
Officials say about 1,800 inmates in the general population are on lockdown until Tuesday morning.
Earlier this month, 16 inmates were injured in another racially motivated riot at San Quentin in which prisoners used weapons made from razors, pens and bed springs.
[ check more details about the riots in cal
27. February 2006
da richter beweismaterial bei der urteilsfindung benutzt haben welches nicht in die prozesse eingeführt wurde, müssen jetzt nach dem urteil des obersten bundesgericht hunderte prozesse neugeführt werden.
Hundreds face new sentences in Ohio
State Supreme Court finds sentencing law unconstitutional
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Hundreds of defendants in Ohio will have to be resentenced because judges considered evidence that was not presented at trial, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday.
The unanimous ruling found parts of Ohio's sentencing law unconstitutional.
The law required judges to consider evidence that a defendant had not admitted to at trial, such as criminal record, which often resulted in longer sentences.
Most of the cases affected by the ruling involved repeat offenders or serious drug offenders, the court said.
The ruling follows a 2004 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that threw out similar sentencing guidelines in Washington state on the basis they violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of a jury trial.
"Although new sentencing hearings will impose significant time and resource demands on the trial courts ... we must follow the dictates of the United States Supreme Court," Ohio Justice Judith Lanzinger wrote in Monday's ruling.
The ruling singles out six sentencing guidelines included in the 1996 law, in which the state Legislature required strict prison terms and allowed judges little leeway. The remainder of the law is not affected, the court said.
27. February 2006
nachdem ein tunnel von tijuana nach san diego entdeckt wurde, haben jetzt eine demokratische senatorin aus kalifornien und ein republikanischer senator aus arizona gemeinsam ein gesetz im kongreß eingebracht, das die erbauer und finanzier solcher tunnel mit bis zu 20 jahren knast bestrafen soll.
bisher ist es legal einen tunnel von mexiko in die usa zu bauen, seit 2001 sind angebl. 40 tunnel entdeckt worden.
Congress tackles illegal border tunnels
WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- Two U.S. senators have introduced a bill in Congress that would make it illegal to build tunnels from Mexico beneath the border.
Sponsors Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., propose punishment of up to 20 years in prison for builders or financiers of the tunnels, up to 10 years for landholders, and double the sentences for those using the tunnels to transfer weapons, drugs, terrorists, or illegal goods.
Their bill came in response to the recent discovery of a half-mile tunnel from Tijuana into San Diego, considered the largest cross-border tunnel ever discovered, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
The California Department of Justice said 40 tunnels have been discovered since 2001.
When a tunnel into the border town of Naco, Ariz., was discovered, federal agents found $1.5 million in cash, 2,600 pounds of cocaine, and evidence of human smuggling. However, as there is no law against tunneling into the country, only two of 10 people got prison sentences, the report said.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
26. February 2006
die gruppe anakbayan, eine von phillippinischen menschen organisierte jugendgruppe in jersey, die sich wegen dam seit dem 11. sept. 2001 zunehmenden "racial profiling" und den mißhandlungen von migrantinnen durch polizisten gegründet hat, haben jetzt ein unterstützerinnen-netzwerk gegründet das legale unterstützung für migrantinnen in jersey city bereit stellt.
anlass war die mißhandlung und unbegründete festnahme eines 19 jährigen mannes.
Jersey City fights Police Repression
Filipino youth have organized to address immigrant repression in response to a racially motivated police attack in Jersey City. While the repression of immigrants did not start on September 11, 2001, it has since become the standard. Now it is common practice for authorities to criminalize immigrants in the U.S., and local groups are working to fight this.
Racial Profiling in Jersey City
25-year-old Alan James Alda, originally from Manila, was the victim of racial profiling and police brutality on the night of Saturday, February 18. According to Alda, he was on his way home with friend Arcy Yuson on Columbus Avenue in the Grove Street area in Jersey City when the incident occurred. When the two attempted to board a taxi cab the driver asked for $10 before servicing them. Alda said at a February 25 press conference held by Jersey City Filipino youth group Anakbayan, the two youths disputed the fare, exited the cab and walked to the nearest police station to report the incident.
When they attempted to file a complaint, two officers later identified as Sgt. Dennis Halleran and Officer A. Nunez of the Jersey City Police Department disregarded Alda and Yuson’s complaint and told them to go home. When they attempted to file a complaint, the two officers who were later identified, disregarded what they were saying and told them to just go walk home. At this point Alda accused the two officers of disregarding their complaint because they were not white. Alda and Yuson then attempted to write down their badge numbers, and the officers forcefully dragged Alda into the station and arrested him.
Alda said the two officers roughly grabbed him, did not explain why he was being arrested. Inside the precinct, two more officers attempted to subdue him. When Yuson, who was outside with a friend, he asked Nunez what was happening and why his friend was being arrested, but she told him to go away.Alda was detained for two hours inside the holding cell—he went through the standard arrest procedures, handing his identification and personal belongings to the police, but Sgt. Halleran then asked him if he was a terrorist. Alda, in a state of shock confusion, denied this and told them he was not, in fact, a terrorist.He was taken outside to be transferred to the Hudson County Administration Building on Newark Avenue, in the Journal Square area. As he was being processed, Nunez asked him what he had learned. He again denied that he did anything wrong, and Halleran told him to shut up. When he released, Alda found out he was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
“This is not an unusual case,” said Dr. Robyn Rodriguez, a sociology professor who specializes immigrant rights issues at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. According to Rodriguez, the criminalization of immigrants is not just specific to the Jersey City Police Department, but in the state of New Jersey there is a “pattern of immigrants being profiled” which she said is “linked to a national phenomenon in which this sort of criminalization has been institutionalized.”One such snippet of legislation to further that repression of immigrants is House Bill 4437, or the “Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005”. The bill, which claims to “amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to strengthen enforcement of the immigration laws, to enhance border security, and for other purposes,” was proposed by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, R-W.I., was passed on December 16, 2005 in the U.S. House of Representatives and is slated to be voted on in the Senate.
This bill would limit immigrants’ access to courts, make it a criminal act to not file with the Department of Homeland Security, criminalize employers who hire undocumented workers and others who aid immigrants, and it would expand local police powers.Rodriguez says legislation like this has been proposed and passed “left and right” since September 11—all of which are contracting the immigrant rights and adding to the “climate of suspicion and fear” that exists in this country. Much of this climate has been propagated by the Patriot Act, and reinforced by illegal detentions of thousands of immigrants in county jails throughout New Jersey and New York in the last five years. While groups such as the New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee and the ACLU of New Jersey have formed to fight such repression, Rodriguez said there are still relatively few organizations and a small number of people doing this.
Although the Jersey City police’s racist profiling of Alda is “not unusual,” as every police response like this is indicative of the increasing level of suspicion and criminalization, Rodriguez said what is unusual about this case is the community response.Anakbayan spokesman Yancy Gandionco said they are in the process of creating a support network for victims of police brutality and racial profiling. Specifically, he said Anakbayan will provide legal support and education for immigrants in Jersey City.As for Alan James Alda, his charges were dismissed on February 21, and he was given a $133 fine for a “breach of peace.” Anakbayan say they hope to file civil suit against the two arresting officers.Rodriguez said that it is important “that the Jersey City immigrant youth are taking a stand…because no small act of police repression should go unnoticed.”
ein aufruf von studentinnen sich an der kampagne "stop die geschäftemacherei mit knästen" zu beteiligen
eine kampagne gegen farallon capital management , "dump farallon" wird es in 25 colleges und universitäten geben. farallon ist eine investmentfirma die für die colleges und universitäten das geld anlegt. farallon hat als firma etwa 1,7 millionen aktien der cca. dies macht die firma zu einem der größten investoren bei cca.
mit der kampagne soll versucht werden die leitungen der colleges und unis unter druck zusetzen und die geschäfte mit der firma zu beenden
Does your university invest in for-profit prisons?
March 28, 2006 is the National Student Day to Stop Prison Profiteering
On Tuesday, March 28 students and faculty across the country will participate in theNational Student Day otStop Prison Profiteeringto protest university investments in for-profit private prison corporations. Students will hold rallies, teach-ins, film screenings and press conferences highlighting the controversial practices of the for-profit private prison industry.
Students have called for divestment of university funds from private prison corporations through the "Dump Farallon" campaign. Farallon Capital Management invests endowment money for over 25 colleges and universities nationwide. As of September, 2005, Farallon held over 1.7 million shares in Corrections Corporation of America (NYSE: CXW) making Farallon one of the top institutional investors in CCA.
Corrections Corporation of America is the world's largest for-profit private prison corporation. The private prison system has come under serious criticism for chronic employee turnover, higher rates of violence than corresponding public facilities, and cutting corners on basic inmate services.
Amnesty International has documented a history of prisoner abuse at CCA prisons, In addition, many faith communities condemn the private prison industry as abdicating public responsibility towards incarcerated people. The Presbyterian Church USA, the United Methodist Church, and the Southern
Catholic Bishops have issued statements opposing for-profit private prisons.
Within the last 25 years in the United States, public and private investments in the prison industry fueled an explosive growth in the prison population ?and to the detriment of education and socially responsible policy. Private prison corporations have not simply waited and responded to the demand of state and federal prison populations in order to fill their beds. Instead, CCA, as part of a national network of conservative legislators, helped draft model punitive criminal justice legislation ensuring a steady flow of prisoners.
Farallon invests endowment money for universities including Bowdoin College, Brandeis University, Case Western Reserve University, Christian Theological Seminary, The Cleveland Institute of Music, Denison University, Drew University, Duke University, Indiana University and Foundation, Kalamazoo, Lebanese American University, Michigan State University, Mills College, National University, Oberlin College, Princeton University, Scripps College, Stonehill College, Tufts University, University of Michigan, University of Nevada Foundation, University of Pennsylvania, University of Richmond, University of Texas System, Virginia Tech Foundation, Washington University, Whitman College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Wyoming, Yale University (Endowment and Pension), and the UVA Law School.
The "Dump Farallon" campaign is sponsored by Graduate Employees Student Organization at Yale University and Not With Our Money! campaign of Grassroots Leadership.
For more information, visit[ www.dumpfarallon.org
20 February 2006
in mississippi werden namen und bilder von wegen sexualdelikten verurteilten menschen zukünftig auf großen plakatwänden angeprangert. dabei soll es besonders um männer gehen die wegen statutory rape( unzucht mit minderjährigen ) verurteilt wurden.
State to put rapists on posters
The US state of Mississippi plans to put the names and faces of convicted sex offenders on roadside billboards.
About 100 posters showing offenders, particularly those who prey on minors, will be put up, a state official said.
Don Taylor, head of the state's Department of Human Services, told a local newspaper the aim was to make the public aware of their crimes.
But human rights campaigners say the measure is unnecessary as the public is already aware once convicts are jailed.
Mr Taylor is especially keen to name and shame those who make minors pregnant.
He says he wants the state's health department to check the ages parents list on new-borns' birth certificates and report to him any cases of statutory rape.
The age of consent in Mississippi is 16, but mothers in the state sometimes are listed as being as young as 10, Mr Taylor told the local Clarion-Ledger newspaper.
Mississippi has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the US.
He said the statistics had helped him determine that 111 men were guilty of statutory rape in the year 2002 alone.
"So, if you want to get your name and face in high places, get convicted," he told the newspaper.
The American Civil Liberties Union in Mississippi said the billboards would be a waste of money.
"Why is it necessary to put them on billboards if they're already serving?" its head, Nsombi Lambright, asked.
"If they have criminal charges before them, the information is public, the victims are notified. The people already know in these communities who these folks are once they're arrested."
It is not the first time Mr Taylor's department has used controversial means to highlight problems.
Among others, it has "Mississippi's Ten Most Wanted" posters of parents who have failed to pay child support.
A few US states require sex offenders to be identified as such on their driver's licences.
19. February 2006
gefangene die an einer lebensgefährlichen/ tödlichen krankheit leiden sollen in zukunft in iowa eine sog, medizinische bewährung kriegen um ihre krankheit behandeln zu lassen.
sollte sich der gesundheitszustand bessern, müssen die menschen wieder in den knast.
was hier als mitmenschliche maßnahme verkauft wird, ist allerdings eher eine kostenfrage.
Bill to Grant Sick Inmates Parole
A bill to grant parole to sick inmates has passed the Iowa Senate:
Prison inmates who suffer from debilitating illnesses, even those serving life sentences, could be granted medical parole under a bill that cleared the Iowa Senate Monday. Supporters of the measure, approved on a 49-0 vote, argue that Iowa's Department of Corrections currently must cover the cost of treatment for inmates incapacitated by chronic or even terminal conditions. Placing them on parole would make them eligible for Medicaid and other benefits.
The Iowa Board of Parole would make the final decision on medical parole applications. Prison officials would make recommendations to the board. "Even in justice there's room for compassion," said Sen. David Miller, R-Batavia, the bill's sponsor. If an inmate's medical condition changed, under the bill, the parole board could return them to prison. Passage sends the bill to the House.
What a great line - it bears repeating: "Even in justice there's room for compassion."
18. februar 2006
bericht über den ersten tag von 9 jugendlichen in einem bootcamp. seit dem tod eines 14 jährigen, der laut autopsiebericht an einer inneren blutung starb die angebl. nicht durch die auf video dokumentierten schläge der wärter zurückzuführen sei, wird über die abschaffung der bootcamps diskutiert.
in florida gibt es seit 1993 5 camps in denen etwa 600 männer im alter zwischen 14 und 18 jahren inhaftiert sind.
Attention! This is boot camp
Follow a new crop of boot camp detainees through their first day; a day when they lose their freedom, their hair, and learn a little bit about chaos.
LARGO - Ever since a 14-year-old boy died after spending one day at a North Florida boot camp, a debate has raged about whether these tough programs for juvenile offenders should shut down.
But for nine juveniles who entered the Pinellas County Boot Camp last week, there was no time to debate public policy. Last Thursday was a day to bow their heads and submit to a set of hair clippers and the thunderous commands of a dozen drill instructors.
It didn't take long before piles of hair - and streams of tears - hit the floor.
To supporters, boot camps like this one are a great way to break the bad habits of teenage offenders, of instilling discipline and self-esteem, and of saving lives that otherwise seem destined for prison. Boot camps gained popularity in Florida during the 1990s to toughen a system many lawmakers believed had grown lax.
But today, several legislators say the programs are ineffective, harsh and downright dangerous. Their complaints gathered steam Friday when state officials released a grainy video showing several guards at the Bay County Boot Camp knocking Martin Lee Anderson to the ground, kneeing him and striking him.
An autopsy concluded the boy died not from the blows, but from internal bleeding caused by a blood disorder.
Still, the controversy continues. So the St. Petersburg Times got permission to witness the intake of this new platoon, the 61st group to enter the Pinellas camp on 49th Street near the jail.
Drill instructors wearing black pants and shirts, black boots and wide black hats drove to the nearby Juvenile Detention Center shortly after 7 a.m. and returned with their nine. The teenagers got out of a van, wearing sneakers, baggy pants and T-shirts. One had a black eye from trying to escape the night before.
They were told to take off their shoes to prove they had no weapons or drugs. Drill instructors questioned them harshly.
"What's your claim to fame?" Cpl. Beverly Rosenberry asked one. "I'm telling you what," she said to another, the largest boy in the platoon, "you're going to change your nasty ways."
She barked a command to another youth, who told her, "Sir, yes sir!"
That brought her a centimeter away from his face.
"Oh, don't you call me sir, don't . . . call me sir!"
"Ma'am, yes ma'am!" the boy said.
The boys moved inside a concrete block room, facing a wall. They eventually went to staff members for medical and psychological screening.
Rosenberry and others kept questioning the boys, and their stories began to emerge. One short, athletic teen in black pants and a red shirt said he had been arrested for selling cocaine, but insisted he had stopped all that now.
"Of course you're not a . . . drug dealer now, you're locked up!" Rosenberry screamed.
Another boy staring at the concrete said he was arrested for burglary after setting off fireworks in an abandoned house.
"What are you shaking for?" a drill instructor asked.
He was nervous, he admitted.
"Now you're nervous, but on the outs, you're all off the chain."
The boy kept shaking.
The hard part hadn't started yet.
One by one, the youths left the room and ran - nobody was allowed to walk - down a long hall of cells with camouflage paint, past a small library and into a room to be strip-searched. They came out wearing black sneakers, khaki shorts and white T-shirts. They were weighed, measured and photographed.
One tall, skinny boy came out with tears streaming down his face, saying a friend got him in trouble.
"You know what the tears are for?" a drill instructor asked.
"Sir, no, sir," the boy said.
"To bring back dead grass. Your tears don't matter nothing to me."
The drill instructor asked if the boy had ever cried over his crimes. The boy said yes.
"No you weren't, don't lie to me!"
The questions and the yelling came so fast and so loud that the boys got confused about what to say.
"Underwear or boxers?" said one drill instructor as he handed out clothes to recruits.
"Sir, yes, sir!" the boy said.
Next stop: the barber's chair. Drill instructor Richard Stotts put his clippers on the No. 1 setting, to shear mounds of hair off the boys' heads, and tufts of peach fuzz from their chins.
The cocaine seller sat down. He had been crying, and his chest was still heaving.
"Why are you shaking?" Stotts said.
A boy with six months' worth of dreadlocks sat down and Stotts began working his clippers around the boy's head. Soon his hair looked like a floppy wig someone had tossed on top of him. Then the pieces fell, curling into his lap and dropping to the floor.
The hard part still hadn't started.
After every hair had been cut, the boys were lined against a camouflage wall in the hallway, with more than a dozen drill instructors lined on the opposite wall a few feet away. Boot camp Commander Kimberly Klein stood between them.
"For the next 12 months," she told them, "you are the property of the Pinellas County Boot Camp."
She told the boys not to fight, not to threaten or disrespect staff. If they do, "there may come a time when you'll stay here until you're 19 years old. That choice is yours."
And then it hit.
The drill instructors rushed across the hall like a Buccaneers blitz.
With lightning speed, they crowded into the boys' faces, grabbing their shoulders, jostling them down to the ground, demanding push-ups.
One boy, the most athletic of the bunch, froze on his belly, looking terrified. The biggest of the group slowly pushed up and two drill instructors yelled in his face the whole way.
The hallway turned into a scene of chaos, with boys littered across the floor like they had been thrown there, and the black-suited drill instructors bent over and barking commands that echoed like shouts in a tunnel. At any moment, some of the boys were feebly cranking out push-ups while others laid on their backs and raised their legs. The instructors yanked some up and told them to do jumping jacks, and then told the others to get back, bellowing at every move.
They lined the boys against the wall and let them catch their breath. One drill instructor loudly complained the boys weren't showing any motivation.
"Is that the . . . problem here, girls?"
And the blitz came back. More screaming, more push-ups, more chaos.
Later the boys were lined in front of individual cells, and each given a number corresponding to their cell. The tall skinny boy started crying again. A drill instructor asked his number, and he had already forgotten that he was now called No. 3.
"This is not stinkin' Burger King," drill instructor Matthew Kingsley said afterward, "and you will not have it your way here."
The boys were sent to a classroom to be lectured on boot camp rules, and later to the chow hall.
The boot camp is open only to kids who are at least 14, have committed at least one felony, who pass medical and psychological screenings and are not taking psychotropic medications.
They also must be classified "moderate risk." So the boy who tried to escape the night before would be incarcerated elsewhere.
But for the other eight, this was a preview of the next year of their life. They are scheduled to stay in the boot camp for four months, move into a transitional phase with some home visits for four months and to be on "conditional release" for four months after that.
The point of all this yelling and intimidation, said Klein, was "putting the boys in a state of confusion to try to get them to understand that they're no longer in control. It's that breaking-down piece, and then we start to build them back up."
Later, she said, the boys will work on drill and ceremony, cadences and especially school, to improve their self-confidence and steer them toward law-abiding habits. The goal, she said, is to let the boys realize they can turn away from the kinds of crimes they have been committing.
She stressed that physical punishment is forbidden.
Florida grew enthusiastic about boot camps in the mid-1990s after a series of tourist murders created international publicity and prompted lawmakers to overhaul and toughen the state juvenile justice system.
Thomas Blomberg, dean of Florida State University's College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, noted that boot camps originally were sold as a way to improve the success rate for rehabilitating young offenders.
But statistics generally indicate that bootcamps have proven no more successful than other residential programs for "moderate risk" juvenile offenders. "If I'm a legislator, I'm going to have a hard time justifying the expenditure of funds on a program that is not only not producing what we hoped it would produce, but it's having these unintended consequences as well," Blomberg said.
The Pinellas County Boot Camp staff sees it differently. Composed of sheriff's deputies, most of whom previously worked in the adult jail, the staff says they like the chance to help youths turn their lives around.
"Hopefully," Lt. Klein told the boys on Thursday morning, "you will learn to make better choices."
14. February 2006
schwer bewaffnete fbi agenten haben 5 wohnungen und ein büro von für die unabhängigkeit eintretenden menschen durchsucht und dabei bei einer durchsuchung journalisten und unterstützerinnen mit pfefferspray, tritten und schläge angegriffen .
angeblich sollte mit den durchsuchungen ein potentieller terroristischer anschlag verhindert werden.
FBI stages violent raids in Puerto Rico
Heavily armed US agents backed by helicopters raided five homes and an office in Puerto Rico last Friday in what federal officials claimed was an operation aimed at foiling a “potential terrorist attack.”The raids, which come five months after federal agents assassinated the fugitive leader of a pro-independence group, are another indication that Washington is utilizing its “global war on terrorism” to violently suppress political opposition in the US island colony.The simultaneous raids were launched in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan and in the towns of Trujillo Alto, San German, Mayaguez, Aguadilla and Isabela and involved scores of agents, many of them masked, wearing helmets and flak jackets and carrying automatic weapons. The targets were Puerto Rican independence supporters, community activists and union leaders.
In the course of the raids, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) attacked journalists and protesters with pepper gas, kicks and blows. The violence against the media was unleashed after a reporter attempted to interview a resident of one of the homes that was being invaded by the FBI.“The number one priority of the FBI is to prevent future terrorist attacks,” said the FBI’s special agent in charge of Puerto Rico, Luis Fraticelli, in the wake of the raids. “As a result, the FBI is committed to aggressively investigating all matters related to national security and the security of the citizens of the United States.”These alarmist official claims that the operation was promoted by a supposed threat of a terrorist attack with an “explosive device” were immediately called into question both by the failure of federal officials to arrest anyone in the raids and by the Puerto Rican government’s insistence that federal authorities had given it no warning of any supposed terrorist threat.
In several areas, the raids prompted protests by neighbors, and federal agents were pelted with stones and their vehicles kicked as they left the scene.One of the sites raided was the Ecumenical Committee for Community Economic Development, a church-linked community group, where two independence supporters apparently worked.Scenes of violence that were broadcast over Puerto Rican television took place outside an apartment complex in the Rio Piedras section of San Juan, where dozens of paramilitary FBI agents were raiding the home of Liliana Laboy, a writer and well-known supporter of Puerto Rican independence. Several reporters were overcome by pepper gas sprayed by FBI agents, and one had to be taken to the hospital.
“This is part of a campaign of intimidation against the independence movement,” commented Roxanna Badillo, an attorney representing Laboy.The raids come just five months after the FBI mortally wounded Puerto Rican nationalist leader Filberto Ojeda Rios and left him to bleed to death on the floor of his home. Ojeda, 72, was the founder of the Boricua Popular Army, also known as the Macheteros. He was wanted in connection with his alleged part in the planning of a 1983 Wells Fargo armored car robbery in Hartford, Connecticut.The Puerto Rican government is continuing an investigation of the FBI’s actions in the September 23 killing of Ojeda and has called upon the US Justice Department to conduct its own probe.
The latest raids promoted widespread protests and demonstrations, with even the island’s colonial government being forced to disassociate itself from the FBI’s actions.“There is no justification for the excessive use of force that we have seen in the media,” said Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila. He added that the actions of the FBI violence were “repudiated by all Puerto Ricans who love democracy and value the right to be informed.”The chief of Puerto Rico’s national police stressed that no one in the local government had been told anything about an alleged terrorist threat. “Nobody mentioned terrorist attacks to me,” said the chief, Pedro Toledo. “The police were not informed, the police did not know, the police did not participate,” he said.
Toledo called the FBI’s use of force “uncalled for.” He said that the attack on the journalists was “totally outside the norm. This gas is used when your life is in danger, against an attacker, not against a journalist.”
The use of heavily armed “task forces” sent from the US to murder and raid supporters of Puerto Rican independence only underscores the colonial status of the Caribbean island, which since 1952 has been classified as a “commonwealth” or “associated free state” belonging to the US.At the same time, it is becoming clear that Washington is utilizing its colonial possession as a testing ground for police-state measures that will be employed against opponents of the government’s policies within the US as well.
27. January 2006
168.000 menschen sind in kalifornien inhaftiert. bis zum ende des jahres werden es angebl. 171.000 sein.
die 33 knäste des bundesstaates sind überfüllt, obwohl erst letztes jahr ein 10 jahres bauprogramm endete bei dem 22 neue knäste gebaut wurden.
die von schwarzenegger angekündigten bewährungsprogramme wurden entweder erst garnicht begonnen oder haben nur wenig geld und sind ungenügend ausgestattet.
Packed prisons, elusive reforms
State's inmate population soars as governor's promised overhaul of parole system fails to materialize
Despite Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's promise of major parole reforms to reduce California's spiraling prison population, the number of inmates has soared to a record high as the parole programs have floundered, and the state says overcrowding will get much worse.
In early 2004, the Schwarzenegger administration said the governor's programs, which emphasized treatment and rehabilitation of some nonviolent parole violators rather than re-incarceration, would reduce what was then a statewide inmate population of 161,000 to 148,390 by mid-2005.
Instead, many of the parole programs were either gutted or never implemented fully, while more criminals were sentenced to prison by county judges. As a result, the inmate count has rocketed to a record 168,000, nearly double the capacity of the state's 33 prisons -- in spite of the fact that just last year the state finished a decades-long construction program that resulted in 22 new prisons.
In his latest budget, which calls for a $600 million increase in corrections spending to $7.9 billion, Schwarzenegger projects that the inmate count will rise even further, to 171,000 inmates this year, which experts say is overwhelming many treatment and training programs.
Aggravating the crisis is the fact that the prison system suffers from soaring vacancy rates in key jobs, including guards, nurses and doctors.
"This is about the failure, and I underline and emphasize the word failure, of this administration to manage its prison population," said state Sen. Gloria Romero, chairwoman of a committee that oversees the corrections system. She singled out the failed parole programs as a key factor. "It's not something magical, and it's not sudden."
The vast overcrowding is so bad that John Dovey, director of adult institutions in the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said in an internal memo to the department's secretary in October that the system was in a "population crisis." He said he was ordering "unprecedented" emergency steps to alleviate the strain, such as rapidly moving some inmates from one prison to another to seek out empty beds.
"We believe that an imminent and substantial threat to the public safety exists requiring immediate action," Dovey wrote.
The corrections department places the blame on prosecutors and the courts.
"The courts make their decision, and we have to deal with them," said J.P. Tremblay, the chief spokesman for the corrections department. "The people of California have said they want these people locked up, and we have to deal with it."
Tremblay said that, at best, the corrections department expects the inmate population growth rate to level off slightly in coming years, but the overall numbers will not decline.
One result of the bulging prison population is that, in his recent proposal for a huge state construction program, Schwarzenegger suggested spending $13.1 billion to build 83,000 new cells, some in prisons and some in county jails, over the next decade.
Democrats complained this week that Schwarzenegger has largely abandoned the rehabilitation efforts, which, they argue, would lower the inmate population and alleviate the need for more prisons.
"Where is the plan to reduce recidivism?'' said Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who oversaw a legislative hearing Wednesday on the new prison construction plan. "Instead, it's 'Let's spend money on more cells.' "
In the short term, the state has been left to improvise emergency solutions to the overcrowding, Tremblay said. In his budget, Schwarzenegger said the corrections department will have to contract with privately run prisons and county jails for 8,500 additional beds as a temporary measure to handle the inmate overflow by the end of the next fiscal year.
For now, nearly every prison gym is filled with bunks. Chuckawalla Valley State Prison near Blythe, for instance, is operating at 234 percent of its capacity; the reception center for newly convicted inmates at High Desert State Prison near Susanville is holding more than five times the number for which it was designed.
California continues to suffer from one of the worst recidivism rates in the country, 60 percent. Inmate violence is up at the same time that many prisoners are jammed into small spaces, and essential services, such as health care, are breaking down. A federal district court judge has ordered a takeover of the billion-dollar-a-year prison health care system because of what he has described as its shocking deterioration.
Romero, D-Los Angeles, said that, because the problems have only gotten worse under Schwarzenegger, she may try to prevent the reconfirmation of the corrections department's secretary, Roderick Hickman, at hearings likely to begin next month.
"That's what the power of confirmation hearings is all about," said Romero.
Prison officials concede that one reason for the expensive overcrowding is the scarcity of programs for treating parole violators -- many of whom have drug-related problems.
As of June 30 of last year, the latest period for which figures are available, 58,356 parolees either were returned to prison or were being reviewed for violations, according to the department's figures; that is almost unchanged from 58,042 around the time Schwarzenegger took office.
The state pays an estimated $1.5 billion a year for parolees returned to prison. At one time, parole reform was considered one of the most promising ways to reduce the prison population. Most other states are far ahead of California in reducing their recidivism rates through rehabilitation and parole diversion programs.
Michael Bien is a lawyer who successfully represented California parolees in a class-action lawsuit against the state that required the implementation of the new parole programs. He said the state had reneged on its promises and that court action was a possibility because of the repeated failures of the Schwarzenegger administration to fulfill the terms of the court settlement.
"We thought, based on what they told us, that the programs would be implemented by September or October at the latest," said Bien. "But they tell us they have made very little progress. There is a real breakdown in the system."
Things were not supposed to go this way.
On his first full day in office, Schwarzenegger appointed Hickman, an advocate of reform, to lead the corrections department. And Hickman spoke at several state Senate hearings early in 2004 at which he enthusiastically embraced a series of programs, called "the new parole model," that promised to divert many parole violators to three programs -- two involving drug treatment and the use of halfway houses, one involving electronic monitoring and home detention of violators.
One of Hickman's first acts in office was to settle Bien's class-action suit against the state claiming the parole system was flawed and unfair. Under the terms of the consent decree, the state was required to institute the parole diversion programs, among other measures.
But, under pressure from victims' rights groups and the guards union, Hickman abruptly abandoned the diversion programs in April. He said they were not working, but he also admitted that they had never been fully implemented.
A federal judge angrily ordered that the state reinstate the programs, but corrections officials concede that they are still months away from that goal.
Use of the diversion programs was cut by 76 percent in 2005, even though corrections officials say they are working to expand them. They handle a minuscule fraction of the roughly 115,000 former inmates on parole.
For instance, in December 2004, 1,816 parolees were undergoing drug treatment in county jails or living at halfway homes providing treatment, two of the parole reforms begun earlier in 2004. By December 2005, only 429 parolees were in the same programs, according to the department's population reports.
In many regions, the programs were barely used at all. For example, more than 6,000 parolees in the Central Valley region faced parole revocations for violating conditions of their release; only 18 were in the two types of diversion programs.
Bien, the attorney for parolees, said that what is puzzling about the state's failure is that everyone acknowledges that solid programs for parolees and parole violators have proven to be highly successful in many states. They save money by keeping large numbers of men out of prison, and they increase public safety, he said.
Jim L'Etoile, head of the corrections department's parole division, said the department only recently had completed training parole agents to use one of the new tools, electronic monitoring devices for in-home detention. The department hopes to have 2,000 in place by mid-2006, but "only a handful" are in use now, he said.
The department has about 200 beds in county jails available for drug rehabilitation, and L'Etoile said the plan was to have 570 spots available sometime in 2006.
He insisted that the new programs were better than the ones shut down earlier. For instance, the drug treatment programs will last 60 days, not 30, and provide for more follow-up.
L'Etoile argued that the suspension of the programs "gave us a chance to stop, re-evaluate and do a better job."
But the number of places available in the programs is still a fraction of what is required, said Bien.
California's prison population has hit record numbers, in part because parole programs have faltered under the administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Number of inmates, in thousands
2006, projected: 171,000
Source: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
22. January 2006
nach einem neuen gesetz in vermont können polizisten in zukunft selbst erklären ob sie eine situation als riot einschätzen und ob sie sog. nichttödliche waffen ( pfefferspray, taser etc.) einsetzen.
bisher war dazu die einwilligung eines richters notwendig.
Senate committee to vote on new riot law
A legislative committee is expected to vote Tuesday on a bill that would update the state's 200-year-old law and allow police to declare riots.
Only to district judges, sheriffs and deputies and constables have that authority under current law.
"The law hasn't been changed since 1797," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Sears, D-Bennington. "Nobody had a problem with it for over 200 years."
Police chiefs view the bill as a technicality but said it was important for them to have the authority to respond to defiant crowds such as the one that broke out at University of Vermont when the Red Sox beat the Yankees in 2004.
UVM's Police Chief Gary Margolis said the change will help protect police if they use physical force, pepper spray, or other means to break up the crowd.
Calling an incident a riot also brings stiffer penalties for anyone arrested.
Burlington Police Chief Tom Tremblay said he remembered thinking in 1998 when the police faced an unruly, drunken mob on Church and Main streets that he wasn't allowed to declare the event a riot.
"You want to be very clear about your authority," Tremblay said.
If the committee approves the bill it goes to the full Senate for consideration and then on to the House.
22. January 2006
am 9. dezember 2005, vier tage vor der hinrichtung von tookie williams wurden 10 männer aus ihren zellen im todestrakt in isolationshaft verlegt. bis zum 15. januar waren alle noch in isolation.
als begründung wurde angegeben die männer hätten am tag der hinrichtung einen riot und angriffe auf wärter geplant.
die 10 männer wurden zu 90 tage isohaft verurteilt..
CRACKDOWN Inside San Quentin
hy are They Rounding Up Tookie Williams' Friends?
On December 9, 2005, four days before Tookie Williams' execution, ten of his fellow inmates were dislodged from their cells by guards in full riot gear and put in solitary confinement in the San Quentin Adjustment Center, where they remain as of this writing (January 15).
According to two of these men, Steve Champion and Anthony Ross, all are under investigation on charges that they conspired to incite a riot and harm guards if Tookie were executed.Family and friends of Steve and Anthony are deeply concerned about their status and welfare while being investigated for participating in a conspiracy that each explicitly disavows and that would, at this time in their lives, be entirely out of character.Both Steve and Anthony have requested polygraph tests to prove their innocence of the charge under investigation, and both have adamantly protested their innocence to family and friends.
For many years, Tookie Williams participated in a study and writing group with Steve Champion and Anthony Ross, both men also former Crip gang members awaiting execution on San Quentin's Death Row. All were, and the latter two continue to be, passionately dedicated to their own and others' education, creative expression, and peaceful self-transformation.As the editor of Steve Champion's still-unpublished prison memoir, I have over the last three years corresponded extensively with him. In the spring of 2005, I spent three and a half hours with him at San Quentin. I have also recently edited other work-an inmate self-help pamphlet and a chapbook of philosophical aphorisms-co-authored by Tookie, Steve, and Anthony. This work emphasizes non-violence as a necessary pre-condition to personal and social change of any kind.
It was therefore shocking for me to learn in a December 21 letter that Steve had been "peremptorily uprooted from East Block and put in solitary confinement at the Adjustment Center" on grounds that he may have been involved in a conspiracy to retaliate violently for the loss of his friend. "Nothing," he tells me in the correspondence, "could be further from the truth."Steve reports that on December 16th he appeared in front of the Institutional Classification Committee (ICC), at which time the warden informed him that the "incident is pending investigation" and that he would be placed on "property control for 90 days." This means he has no access to his personal belongings, including books and writings, which are precious to him.
In his letter Steve explains that his official status in Adjustment Center is "walk alone-meaning I go to a Guantanamo Bay type cage with a toilet and sink combo." And based on his experience, this 90 days of administrative segregation may, at the discretion of prison officials, be prolonged indefinitely. "Last time I was here," he writes, "I did over a year."A family member who visited Anthony Ross at the end of December reports that, as a result of his being held isolation on property control, he has lost weight and his health is steadily deteriorating.
Steve's actual response to the loss of his friend and co-author, a response in keeping with the man I know, is reflected in excerpts from the poem wrote in the hole, awake with grief in the middle of the night, several days after Tookie's death:
My Brother Is Gone
for Stanley "Tookie" Williams, 1953-2005
I want the world to know
I walked, lived and blossomed
during the time of his presence.
My emotions are too raw,
my senses too frayed
to tell them,
for 20 brass-knuckled years
we struggled together,
forging a bond
cemented by our
faith, love, and brotherhood.
Our way was not always as smooth
as a well-manicured lawn;
We blazed the path as warriors,
knowing in the end
the highest form of bravery
is laying down the sword. . . .
My brother is gone.
No longer will I
gaze upon his glistening,
mahogany colored skin,
look into his gentle eyes, or
grip his Hulk-shaped hands.
No longer will we greet
with a brotherly hug, or
No longer will I
hear his soft-spoken voice,
see his warm smile,
or bask in his charisma. . . .
My brother was murdered
At San Quentin Prison,
December 13, 2005, 12:36 a.m.
My brother is gone.
I curse those who rejoiced
upon hearing the news of his death,
now that they are spared from
the muscle of his mind.
Though my heart aches,
and my rage festers,
no revenge of bullets, blades or bloodshed
will bring my brother back.
My brother is gone.
I watched him shed the shackles
of his wild image,
in a new spirit.
I named him Ajamu,
"He who fights for what he wants."
He fought against all odds,
against all naysayers who
sought to pigeon-hole and fossilize
him in his lowest state.
He rose above it to build
a peaceful legacy
that will be talked about
for years to come. . .
The explicit rejection of violence expressed in these excerpts is noteworthy. Not only is the rejection consistent with the body of Steve's own work, it is also consistent with the campaign for non-violence mounted by Williams himself in the final quarter of his life.
In San Quentin's response to my email query concerning Steve and Anthony's status, the prison ombudsman promptly sent me the following email:
"I have contacted staff at SQ. Due to safety and security reasons I am
unable to provide you with information. I can tell you that he is being seen by the Classification Committees as required."
Needless to say, such a standard official response is woefully inadequate, rendering administrative conduct at San Quentin effectively inscrutable to American citizens, friends, and family of inmates.Let us assume that prison administrators and guards are acting in perfectly good faith with respect to the human and legal rights of Steve, Anthony, and others associated with Williams. How would we know? How do we see inside San Quentin? How do we see inside any of America's prisons? Where's the transparency democracies value? If friends and family can't get specific information about official actions that carry tremendous consequences for prisoners, who can?
American prisons supposedly act on American citizens' behalf. We need continually to remind prison administrators, especially those who administer the death penalty, that a lot of us-not just family and friends--pay attention to the way our fellow Americans, our fellow human beings, are treated when in their custody.
Please write or call San Quentin (see contact information below) and express your civic interest in the fair and humane treatment of Steve Champion, Anthony Ross, and the other eight men currently being held under investigation in solitary confinement concerning an alleged conspiracy to incite a riot on the occasion of Tookie Williams' execution.
San Quentin Contact Information:
Mr. Steven Ornoski, Warden
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, CA 94964
Phone: (415) 454-1460.
10. Januar 2006
das höchste gericht in new jersey hat entschieden das bei durchsuchungen nach einer festnahme immer ein durchsuchungsbefehl gebraucht wird. in dem vorliegenden fall ging es um die durchsuchung eines autos nach der festnahme eines mannes.
NJ high court rules warrants needed once suspect in custody
New Jersey's highest court ruled Tuesday that police cannot conduct searches without warrants once a suspect is in custody. The decision gives greater protection against warrantless searches to people in New Jersey compared to those given under federal law.
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled unanimously on the issue, and said the decision "respectfully parts company with the U.S. Supreme Court."
The case stemmed from a 2002 case involving William B. Eckel, who was arrested before his car was searched by police in Cape May County who did not have a warrant. Eckel's attorney moved to suppress the evidence but the trial court concluded the police were justified in their search. Eckel appealed and an appellate court said the search was not justified. The New Jersey Supreme Court upheld that ruling.
Both the appellate and state Supreme Court rulings said the U.S. Supreme Court's rule on warrantless searches does not represent the law in New Jersey.
The state's high court said that, if a suspect has been arrested and removed from the scene, the officers are not in danger, and the scene is not in danger of being altered, then police need to use search warrants.
In New York v. Belton, the U.S. Supreme Court said a police officer who has arrested a car's occupant could search the car as part of the arrest. In its decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court pointed out that while some states follow the Belton ruling, others do not "based on their own state constitutional provisions."
"This court has not hesitated to afford New Jersey citizens greater protection against unreasonable searches and seizures" under the state's Constitution, the state Supreme Court ruling said. "The U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of the federal Constitution establishes not the ceiling but the floor of minimum constitutional protections."
The state Supreme Court on Tuesday also upheld an appellate ruling that reversed the conviction of Johnel D. Dunlap because of a warrantless search of his car.
10. Januar 2006
über die prisonactivist mailling liste kam folgende kurze meldung:
mindestens 8 männer der death row in san quentin die mit stan tookie williams befreundet waren, sind seit dem 8. dezember in isolation.
angeblich hätten die männer wegen der hinrichtung von williams einen riot geplant.
My name is Gloria Ross and my uncle, Anthony Ross is an inmate on San Quentin's Death Row. I have very unfortunate news regarding the situation of approximately eight (8) inmates (figure is yet to be verified) sitting on San Quentin's death row who were very good friends of Stan Tookie Williams.
On December 8, 2005, these men (including my uncle) were taken from their cells by guards in riot gear and told that they were going to be questioned and investigated under the charges that they were conspiring to incite a riot and harm guards following the execution of Tookie. San Quentin charges that they have a confidential source to prove their claims. They are currently being held in solitary confinement in San Quentin's Adjustment Center. They are being denied access to their property. As of yet, there has been no formal investigation and the inmates have not received questioning or a polygraph test. I just visited my uncle, Anthony Ross, he has lost a lot of weight and his health is steadily deteriorating. His friend, Steve Champion, is also in the hole.
They have requested that individuals and organizations contact San Quentin's warden at (415) 454-1460. These calls should stress that there are individuals AND ORGANIZATIONS on the outside very concerned about their well-being. As long as they are aware that folks have an eye out, they are less likely to abuse their power further.
Thanks so much for your support. Please feel free to call or write me if you have any concerns or questions.
7. Januar 2006
über Free Battered Women wurde untenstehende presseerklärung zugeschickt.
schwarzenegger hat in seiner state-of the state- rede, sowas wie eine regierungserklärung, angekündigt das durch umbauten und neubauten 83.000 neue haftplätze entstehen werden.
PUBLIC SAFETY SHOCKER: 83,000 MORE PRISONERS-
Public Safety Advocates dismayed by return of prison boom
Sacramento, CA - Yesterday's State of the State address left public safety experts and community leaders from around the state the most surprised --and angry --over Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to increase state prison and jail population numbers by 83,000 people.
The proposal, part of a sweeping "Strategic Growth Plan," with which the Governor hopes to salvage his political career from last year's special election debacle, includes more than $7 billion in prison and jail construction bonds, and two controversial new state prisons.
The plan is a stark departure from his own Corrections Review Panel, which in 2004 recommended shrinking, not expanding, the prison system. That panel, led by former Governor George Deukmejian, declared that "shrinking the numbers" of prisoners was key to change. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office has also consistently recommended reductions to the prison population.
Education leaders also received Schwarzenegger's plan skeptically. "Schwarzenegger's prison and jail building plan will grab even more state funds from education, health care and transportation to continue a massive and dangerous increase in imprisoment," said Oakland teacher Jonah Zern. "Protecting public safety means shrinking prisons and jails to restore funds to education and health care."
"We just witnessed the absolute end of any hope that the Governor has any intention of making a positive different in public safety in California," explained John Lum, Sacramento spokesperson for the Coalition for Effective Public Safety and former Chief Probation Officer for San Luis Obispo County. "Californians have rejected bonds for prison construction consistently since the early 1990s, and a strong majority of us favor decreasing the number of prisoners, not increasing. The Governor campaigned to reform California's prisons. Yesterday, he broke that promise and told us he plans a return to the building prison after prison like Govs. Davis and Wilson."
For Debbie Reyes, a community organizer in Fresno with the Prison Moratorium Project, the news is one more example of rural Californians getting the raw end of a deal. "More than 20 prisons have been built in the Central Valley since the 1980s. But Fresno is the poorest city in the nation. The south San Joaquin Valley has some of the worst air in the nation. In many of our communities, we can't even drink the water - so how exactly have these prisons helped? We need to increase the minimum wage and school funding. Give him credit for that. But neither the Valley nor the state can afford one more single cage."
Schwarzenegger got the attention of national observers as well. "This is one of the most destructive, least appropriate, all-around worst plan for public safety I've seen anywhere in a long, long time," said Rose Braz, Director of Critical Resistance, a national organization based in Oakland. "After correctly pointing out that decades of runaway prison growth has been a disaster for California, he now proposes that another decade of runaway prison growth is what's needed."
7. Januar 2006
eine aussergerichtliche einigung über $ 100.000 wurde in dem prozeß eines afroamerikanischen mannes erreicht der von weißen gefangenen des creek county knastes verprügelt wurde.
Settlement reached in lawsuit alleging jail beating
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A $100,000 settlement has been reached in the case of a black man who alleged he was beaten by white inmates in the Creek County Jail.Rameses Gibbs, 34, filed a federal lawsuit in Tulsa in July 2003 against Creek County commissioners, Sheriff Steve Toliver, Undersheriff Rick Ishmael and two jailers. The lawsuit was dismissed Friday after the settlement was reached.Toliver criticized the settlement, saying it was the idea of lawyers and insurance company officials.“This whole thing was crazy. There was no case there,” he said.
Gibbs, a former Bristow resident who now lives in Texas, claimed that on Nov. 22, 2001, he was the victim of a “brutal gang beating” by white cellmates in the former Creek County Jail.He alleged that jailers placed him in the cell knowing that the other inmates were white and that the cell walls “were emblazoned with Confederate flags and swastikas.”Gibbs alleged that the jailers either were deliberately indifferent to the safety risk or intended for him to be harmed.
In a November 2003 pleading, he claimed that he was “brutally kicked and beaten” by the white inmates.He said he was bruised and had a broken hand and lacerations, including a cut over his eye that required eight stitches.Toliver said Friday that he doesn’t dispute that Gibbs received stitches. However, he said, the cut was from a fight instead of a gang beating. He said Gibbs’ reported broken hand also was more consistent with a fight than with a group attack.
A defense pleading argued that “making housing decisions based solely on race, on the inherent belief that people of different races are inclined to commit violence against one another, smacks of racial discrimination.”
It added that state jail standards prohibit making housing decisions based solely on race.Gibbs’ attorney, Steven Novick, said putting Gibbs in the cell reflected a “twisted form of political correctness.”Novick said race can be a factor in the placement of inmates when their safety is at stake.
4. Januar 2006
einem seit 1961 inhaftierten 76 jährigen mann, der ursprünglich zum tod verurteilt war und zweimal kurz vor seiner hinrichtung stand bevor das urteil umgewandelt wurde, wurde zum 8.mal eine entlassung verweigert.
Elderly convict denied parole for eighth time in Thermal killings
An elderly inmate convicted of the sledgehammer deaths of two sisters in 1961 was denied parole for the eighth time despite pleas from a family member who cited his failing health.The parole board decided Tuesday that 76-year-old Lawrence Glenn Modesto should remain in Ironwood Prison for at least four more years.
Modesto, born and raised on the Torres-Martinez Indian Reservation, was sentenced to death for killing Mary Mack, 9, and Connie Mack, 12, of Thermal.His sentence was commuted to life with the possibility of parole after the state Supreme Court abolished the death penalty in 1972.At his latest parole hearing, Modesto said he hit the girls only once and by accident — but the board didn't buy it, Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Linda Dunn said.
Modesto's wife of 55 years, who is also in poor health, had earlier pleaded with the board to grant his release. She said he has had a stroke and has chronic high blood pressure. She added that he had become a spiritual leader for other inmates.Prosecutors said Modesto was on parole for slitting a man's throat in a bar fight in San Diego County in 1955 when he killed the Mack sisters. He found them home alone after arguing with their father at a nearby bar.Modesto spent nearly 11 years on death row at San Quentin before his sentence was commuted. He came within days of being executed on two occasions.
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