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Author Topic: Crime and Punishment  (Read 10506 times)
Dog Robertlk808
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« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2013, 03:58:52 PM »


Wow, that is just beyond f'd up.  Would have to contemplate but stepping outside of myself; would have to look into the law and crimes of passion.  I mean its not like he secretly found and then put forth a plan. It was more of a passionate reaction.  A whole lot of powerful emotions invoked in that moment.  Dang.
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"You see, it's not the blood you spill that gets you what you want, it's the blood you share. Your family, your friendships, your community, these are the most valuable things a man can have." Before Dishonor - Hatebreed
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2013, 05:20:15 PM »

The Texan phrase "He needed killing" comes to mind , , ,
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2013, 10:28:24 AM »

Justice Dept. Seeks to Curtail Stiff Drug Sentences
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
Published: August 12, 2013 188 Comments


WASHINGTON — In a major shift in criminal justice policy, the Obama administration will move on Monday to ease overcrowding in federal prisons by ordering prosecutors to omit listing quantities of illegal substances in indictments for low-level drug cases, sidestepping federal laws that impose strict mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offenses.


Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., in a speech at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco on Monday, is expected to announce the new policy as one of several steps intended to curb soaring taxpayer spending on prisons and help correct what he regards as unfairness in the justice system, according to his prepared remarks.

Saying that “too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no good law enforcement reason,” Mr. Holder is planning to justify his policy push in both moral and economic terms.

“Although incarceration has a role to play in our justice system, widespread incarceration at the federal, state and local levels is both ineffective and unsustainable,” Mr. Holder’s speech says. “It imposes a significant economic burden — totaling $80 billion in 2010 alone — and it comes with human and moral costs that are impossible to calculate.”

Mr. Holder will also introduce a related set of Justice Department policies that would leave more crimes to state courts to handle, increase the use of drug-treatment programs as alternatives to incarceration, and expand a program of “compassionate release” for “elderly inmates who did not commit violent crimes and have served significant portions of their sentences.”

The policy changes appear to be part of Mr. Holder’s effort, before he eventually steps down, to bolster his image and legacy. Turmoil over the Congressional investigation into the botched Operation Fast and Furious gun trafficking case ensnared him in the Obama administration’s first term, and more recently, controversy has flared over the department’s aggressive tactics in leak investigations.

In recent weeks, he has also tightened rules on obtaining reporters’ data in leak cases and started an effort to strengthen protections for minority voters after the Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The move continued an assertive approach to voting rights and other civil rights enforcement throughout his tenure.

Mr. Holder’s speech on Monday deplores the moral impact of the United States’ high incarceration rate: although it has only 5 percent of the world’s population, it has 25 percent of its prisoners, he notes. But he also attempts to pre-empt political controversy by painting his effort as following the lead of prison reform efforts in primarily conservative-led Southern states.

Under a policy memorandum being sent to all United States attorney offices on Monday, according to an administration official, prosecutors will be told that they may not write the specific quantity of drugs when drafting indictments for drug defendants who meet the following four criteria: their conduct did not involve violence, the use of a weapon or sales to minors; they are not leaders of a criminal organization; they have no significant ties to large-scale gangs or cartels; and they have no significant criminal history.

For example, in the case of a defendant accused of conspiring to sell five kilograms of cocaine — an amount that would set off a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence — the prosecutor would write that “the defendant conspired to distribute cocaine” without saying how much. The quantity would still factor in when prosecutors and judges consult sentencing guidelines, but depending on the circumstances, the result could be a sentence of less than the 10 years called for by the mandatory minimum law, the official said.

It is not clear whether current cases that have not yet been adjudicated would be recharged because of the new policy.

Amid a rise in crime rates a generation ago, state and federal lawmakers began passing a series of “tough on crime” laws, including mandatory minimum sentences for drug possession. But as crime rates have plummeted to 40-year lows and reduced the political potency of the fear of crime, fiscal pressures from the exploding cost of building and maintaining prisons have prompted states to find alternatives to incarceration.

Driven in part by a need to save money, several conservative-leaning states like Texas and Arkansas have experimented with finding ways to incarcerate fewer low-level drug offenders. The answers have included reducing prison terms for them or diverting them into treatment programs, releasing elderly or well-behaved inmates early, and expanding job training and re-entry programs.

The policy is seen as successful across the ideological divide. For example, in Texas, which was an early innovator, taxpayers have saved hundreds of millions of dollars on what had been projected as a need to build prison space. With crime rates remaining at generational lows, the space is no longer necessary.

Several years ago, a group called Right on Crime formed to push what it calls the “conservative case for reform.” Its Republican affiliates include Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor; Edwin R. Meese III, an attorney general during the Reagan administration; and Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker.

“While the federal prison system has continued to slowly expand, significant state-level reductions have led to three consecutive years of decline in America’s overall prison population — including, in 2012, the largest drop ever experienced in a single year,” Mr. Holder’s speech says. “Clearly, these strategies can work. They’ve attracted overwhelming, bipartisan support in ‘red states’ as well as ‘blue states.’ And it’s past time for others to take notice.”

Still, in states that have undertaken prison and parole overhauls, the changes were approved by state lawmakers. Mr. Holder’s reform is different: instead of going through Congress for legislation to modify mandatory minimum sentencing laws, he is invoking his power of prosecutorial discretion to sidestep them.

Earlier in Mr. Obama’s presidency, the administration went through Congress to achieve policy goals like reducing the sentencing disparity between crack and powder forms of cocaine. But it has increasingly pursued a strategy of invoking unilateral executive powers without Congress, which the White House sees as bogged down by Republican obstructionism.

Previous examples, like Mr. Obama’s decision last year to issue an executive order allowing immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children to remain without fear of deportation and to work, have drawn fire from Republicans as “power grabs” that usurp the role of Congress.

Mr. Holder’s speech marches through a litany of statistics about incarceration in the United States. The American population has grown by about a third since 1980, he said, but its prison rate has increased nearly 800 percent. At the federal level, more than 219,000 inmates are currently behind bars — nearly half for drug-related crimes — and the prisons are operating at nearly 40 percent above their official capacity.
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bigdog
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« Reply #53 on: August 13, 2013, 12:28:58 PM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/13/incarceration-rate-per-capita_n_3745291.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #54 on: August 14, 2013, 06:56:26 PM »

Eric Holder Gets One Right on Crime

If you added up every person incarcerated in the United States and considered them as a single town, where do you think it would rank among the most populous American cities? About the size of New Orleans, perhaps, number 52? Or Minneapolis, number 49? How about Washington, D.C., the 25th most populous? Surely not larger than Phoenix, number six?
In fact, if you lumped every American who is in prison -- all 2.3 million -- together into one city, it would rank just above Houston, Texas as the fourth largest in the United States. It would be larger than the populations of San Francisco, Boston, Denver, and Orlando combined.
Add in the 5.1 million Americans on probation or parole and, at 7.3 million people, Prison City is second only to New York, and larger than the next two -- Los Angeles and Chicago -- put together.
According to the Pew Center on the States, one in every 31 people in the U.S. is under correctional supervision, either in prison, on parole, or on probation.
The human cost is terrible. This is especially true in the African American community. At current rates, one in every three African American males born today is likely to end up in prison during his lifetime, according to the NAACP.
The fiscal cost, too, is becoming catastrophic. Prisons now cost taxpayers $60 billion per year. At 10 percent of the state’s budget, California now spends roughly as much on prisons as it does on higher education.
Beginning with Chuck Colson's courageous founding of Prison Fellowship and Pat Nolan's leadership since Chuck passed away, there has been a resurgence of serious conservative thought about prison reform. Right on Crime, a movement I am affiliated with, has led the way on this issue working closely with Prison Fellowship.
Conservative leaders at the state level have introduced major prison reforms in recent years, pioneering a less expensive and more humane system without compromising public safety and while maintaining the rule of law.
In Texas, Ohio, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, to name a few, conservative governors have taken steps to return non-violent offenders to community supervision rather than imprisonment, saving their states tens of millions of dollars. These innovative strategies have proven much more efficient at holding low-level offenders accountable, and they ensure states have the resources to keep behind bars those criminals who really need to be there.
Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced corrections reforms which follow the course these conservative governors have set toward more sensible sentencing laws. While it would have been better for Holder to ask Congress to make these changes rather than doing so by executive fiat, he has hit upon an important goal.
We lock up too many non-violent people, and the recidivism rate (the number of released prisoners who end up back in jail) is extremely high. As many as 60 percent are arrested again within three years. The corrections system is not correcting.
Seventy percent of prisoners rank in the lowest two levels of reading ability, according to the National Institute for Literacy. Many studies have shown that prisoners who obtain a G.E.D. while incarcerated are dramatically less likely to return to prison than those who do not. One of the greatest steps we could take toward rehabilitating prisoners and reduce the chances they return to prison is to use new learning technologies to give them better opportunities for work when they reenter society.
Every prisoner in America, unless they have a college degree, should spend a significant portion of their time working through free, personalized online learning systems like Khan Academy or Duolingo. At the same time, they should take digital courses focused on rehabilitation to help them learn to be decent members of society. Their privileges in prison and evaluations for parole should be tied to progress in such a program. Even a decade ago this would have been cost-prohibitive to implement for all prisoners, but today much of the material is available virtually for free.
Technology may also offer us better ways to hold people who aren’t dangerous accountable for breaking the law. For many non-violent offenders, electronically-monitored probation or parole could be much more productive than prison, allowing offenders to stay in the community, work, keep their families together, and avoid learning from the hardened criminals in prison, while still restricting them significantly. Some combination of GPS and video could monitor to make sure they go only where permitted, stay within a curfew, and avoid further criminal activity.
Finally, Van Jones (who will join me as a co-host of Crossfire on CNN this fall) has suggested an incentive system for wardens and prison personnel, to give them an interest in rehabilitating (rather than merely housing) the prisoners. Wardens, he proposes, should get a bonus for significant improvements in the rate of their prisoners who do not return.
When one in every 31 Americans is under correctional supervision, it’s clear that something is very wrong. The United States stands above all for freedom, and yet we have by far the highest rate of incarceration in the world. That's why we should do everything we can, including sensible prison reform, to help more Americans learn to live in freedom. It is good to see Attorney General Holder take a step in this direction.
Your Friend,
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #55 on: October 08, 2013, 04:01:15 PM »

http://michaelgraham.com/more-outrage-in-suv-case-assaulter-had-been-busted-for-drugs-guns-no-jail-time/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #56 on: November 17, 2013, 08:15:00 AM »

Although this comes from Pravda on the Hudson, which as always entails the risk of less than candid shading of the data, I confess to considerable sympathy for the point being made.

Sentenced to a Slow Death
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
NY Times
Published: November 16, 2013


If this were happening in any other country, Americans would be aghast. A sentence of life in prison, without the possibility of parole, for trying to sell $10 of marijuana to an undercover officer? For sharing LSD at a Grateful Dead concert? For siphoning gas from a truck? The punishment is so extreme, so irrational, so wildly disproportionate to the crime that it defies explanation.


And yet this is happening every day in federal and state courts across the United States. Judges, bound by mandatory sentencing laws that they openly denounce, are sending people away for the rest of their lives for committing nonviolent drug and property crimes. In nearly 20 percent of cases, it was the person’s first offense. (!!!)

As of 2012, there were 3,278 prisoners serving sentences of life without parole for such crimes, according to an extensive and astonishing report issued Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union. And that number is conservative. It doesn’t include inmates serving sentences of, say, 350 years for a series of nonviolent drug sales. Nor does it include those in prison for crimes legally classified as “violent” even though they did not involve actual violence, like failing to report to a halfway house or trying to steal an unoccupied car.

The report relies on data from the federal prison system and nine states. Four out of five prisoners were sentenced for drug crimes like possessing a crack pipe or acting as a go-between in a street drug sale. Most of the rest were sentenced for property crimes like trying to cash a stolen check or shoplifting. In more than 83 percent of the cases, the judge had no choice: federal or state law mandated a sentence of life without parole, usually under a mandatory-minimum or habitual offender statute.

Over the past four decades, those laws have helped push the American prison population to more than two million people, and to the highest incarceration rate in the world. As in the rest of the penal system, the racial disparity is vast: in the federal courts, blacks are 20 times more likely than whites to be sentenced to life without parole for nonviolent crimes.

The report estimates that the cost of imprisoning just these 3,278 people for life instead of a more proportionate length of time is $1.78 billion.

It is difficult to find anyone who defends such sentencing. Even Burl Cain, the longtime warden of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, which holds the most nonviolent lifers in the country, calls these sentences “ridiculous.” “Everybody forgets what corrections means. It means to correct deviant behavior,” Mr. Cain told the A.C.L.U. “If this person can go back and be a productive citizen and not commit crimes again,” he asked, why spend the money to keep him in prison? “I need to keep predators in these big old prisons, not dying old men.”

Several states are reforming sentencing laws to curb the mass incarceration binge. And Congress is considering at least two bipartisan bills that would partly restore to judges the power to issue appropriate sentences, unbound by mandatory minimums. These are positive steps, but they do not go far enough. As the report recommends, federal and state legislators should ban sentences of life without parole for nonviolent crimes, both for those already serving these sentences and in future cases. President Obama and state governors should also use executive clemency to commute existing sentences.

Just one-fifth of all countries allow a sentence of life without parole, and most of those reserve it for murder or repeated violent crimes. If the United States is to call itself a civilized nation, it must end this cruel and ineffective practice.
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G M
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« Reply #57 on: November 17, 2013, 09:29:30 AM »

I think that if you dealt with many of these offenders firsthand and saw the cases in context, you'd probably not be so sympathetic.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #58 on: November 17, 2013, 09:31:19 AM »

Could be, but tis hard to read these and not be moved , , ,
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G M
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« Reply #59 on: November 17, 2013, 09:36:39 AM »

If someone is catching "the bitch" (as it's known in the criminal subculture) they have to have multiple prior felony convictions.
How many bites at the apple should they get?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #60 on: November 17, 2013, 10:00:16 AM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/14/cole-and-mauer-reducing-crime-by-reducing-incarcer/
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G M
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« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2013, 10:12:46 AM »

A violent sex offender has two prior convictions and then gets caught selling a small quantity of drugs. What kind of sentence should a prosecutor seek?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2013, 11:44:10 AM »

Sometimes you can be really annoying with how well you make your points  cheesy
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #63 on: December 18, 2013, 06:34:47 AM »

http://capoliticalnews.com/2013/12/17/crime-skyrocketing-in-san-jose-cops-can-no-longer-protect-you/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #64 on: December 19, 2013, 03:13:14 PM »

Obama to Commute Sentences for 8 in Crack Cocaine Cases
President Obama, expanding his push to curtail severe penalties for drug offenses, is expected on Thursday to commute the sentences of eight federal inmates who were convicted of crack cocaine offenses. Each inmate has been imprisoned for at least 15 years, and six were sentenced to life in prison.
It would be the first time retroactive relief was provided to a group of inmates who most likely would have received significantly shorter terms if they had been sentenced under current drug laws, sentencing rules and charging policies.
Most of the eight would be released in 120 days.
READ MORE »
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/20/us/obama-commuting-sentences-in-crack-cocaine-cases.html?emc=edit_na_20131219

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #65 on: December 22, 2013, 11:56:44 AM »

It's POTH, so it is entirely possible some relevant facts are left out, but nonetheless the underlying point has appeal

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/us/a-dealer-serving-life-without-having-taken-one.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131222
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #66 on: February 21, 2014, 10:45:56 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/opinion/my-night-in-solitary.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20140221

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/opinion/new-york-rethinks-solitary-confinement.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20140221
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 10:48:40 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #67 on: February 23, 2014, 07:42:49 PM »

My father Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison for 20 years and has no possibility of parole. For non-violent, marijuana-only offenses, my father has been sentenced to die in prison because of a "three strikes" mandatory sentencing policy in the State of Missouri.
Dad's first offense was in 1984 when he sold an ounce to an undercover informant, and then was found to possess a half pound of marijuana when police raided his house the next day.  His next offense occurred in 1991, when he was caught in possession of a couple of ounces. But for my father's final strike in 1993, he became an easy fall guy in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana. My dad was driving a friend to a deal that turned out to be a sting operation. All of the other convicted men involved were set free years ago, but my dad was given a virtual death sentence.
My dad is, and always has been, a good man. He taught my brother and I all about construction and a good work ethic. He has never been violent and he is a model prisoner. And over the 20 years he has been in that little cell, he has watched as violent criminals, rapists, and murderers have "paid their debts" and left - sometimes just to return a few months later.
My father is 61 years old, and has been in prison since he was 41. His parents - my grandparents - have since passed. While my dad has been trapped behind bars, generations of kids and grandkids have been born into our family who have never even met the man. The State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000/year to keep him locked up. Meanwhile all my dad wants to do is be a productive part of society, work and pay taxes, be with his family. And I want my dad back.
Governor Jay Nixon is the only person who has the power to bring my dad home by granting clemency to Jeff and calling 20 years punishment enough. Please help us reach a just and reasonable end to his prison sentence by signing and sharing this petition.


https://www.change.org/petitions/my-dad-is-serving-life-without-parole-for-marijuana?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=49464&alert_id=YrJplLiJIp_OXriqjMNjT
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G M
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« Reply #68 on: February 23, 2014, 08:11:13 PM »

Life is tough, it's even tougher when you're stupid.


My father Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison for 20 years and has no possibility of parole. For non-violent, marijuana-only offenses, my father has been sentenced to die in prison because of a "three strikes" mandatory sentencing policy in the State of Missouri.
Dad's first offense was in 1984 when he sold an ounce to an undercover informant, and then was found to possess a half pound of marijuana when police raided his house the next day.  His next offense occurred in 1991, when he was caught in possession of a couple of ounces. But for my father's final strike in 1993, he became an easy fall guy in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana. My dad was driving a friend to a deal that turned out to be a sting operation. All of the other convicted men involved were set free years ago, but my dad was given a virtual death sentence.
My dad is, and always has been, a good man. He taught my brother and I all about construction and a good work ethic. He has never been violent and he is a model prisoner. And over the 20 years he has been in that little cell, he has watched as violent criminals, rapists, and murderers have "paid their debts" and left - sometimes just to return a few months later.
My father is 61 years old, and has been in prison since he was 41. His parents - my grandparents - have since passed. While my dad has been trapped behind bars, generations of kids and grandkids have been born into our family who have never even met the man. The State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000/year to keep him locked up. Meanwhile all my dad wants to do is be a productive part of society, work and pay taxes, be with his family. And I want my dad back.
Governor Jay Nixon is the only person who has the power to bring my dad home by granting clemency to Jeff and calling 20 years punishment enough. Please help us reach a just and reasonable end to his prison sentence by signing and sharing this petition.


https://www.change.org/petitions/my-dad-is-serving-life-without-parole-for-marijuana?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=49464&alert_id=YrJplLiJIp_OXriqjMNjT

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c - Shadow Dog
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« Reply #69 on: February 23, 2014, 09:21:02 PM »


  Straight out of central casting, you play the role so well sometimes I think you may be a ............

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G M
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« Reply #70 on: February 24, 2014, 06:19:08 PM »

http://www.city-journal.org/2009/eon0807hm.html

Heather Mac Donald

Proactive Policing, Lax Jailing

As William Bratton leaves the LAPD, a horrific murder case highlights the importance of his reforms.

7 August 2009


The recent arrest of a vicious murderer in Los Angeles vindicates—tragically, only after-the-fact—several policing and sentencing policies that anti-law-enforcement advocates have fought for years. One of those policies—broken-windows policing—is among LAPD Chief William Bratton’s greatest legacies to Los Angeles. In the wake of Chief Bratton’s recent resignation, it is all the more important to affirm the value of his policing reforms, which remain contested to this day.

On July 24 at around 3 pm., 17-year-old Lily Burk was walking down a midtown Los Angeles street on an errand for her mother. A 50-year-old homeless parolee with a three-decade-long rap sheet confronted the high school senior as she approached her Volvo. Moments later, Charles Samuel was driving the Volvo away with Burk in the passenger seat. Samuel took Burk to an ATM on Los Angeles’s Skid Row, where she volunteered at a needle-exchange program and where he was enrolled in a drug rehab program as punishment for a parole violation. Burk tried several times to withdraw cash on a credit card without success, according to the Los Angeles Times. Over the next 25 minutes, she would separately call her mother and her father seeking help in getting cash on the credit card, but her father told her that doing so was not possible. At 4.52 pm, Samuel pulled the Volvo into a Skid Row parking lot at Alameda and 5th Street and abandoned it. Burk had already been murdered, her head beaten and throat slashed open with a broken bottle; her body was left in her car.

Samuel then walked nearly a mile through Skid Row, drinking beer from a paper bag in violation of L.A.’s open container law. Two LAPD officers on horseback stopped him for the public-drinking offense and questioned him. He told them that he was on parole and agreed to be searched, according to the police. They found a crack pipe in his pocket and arrested him. The post-arrest search of Samuel turned up a Volvo key and a cell phone. The next morning, a worker from a Skid Row business discovered Burk’s car with her body in it. Samuel’s prints were in the car; his clothes had blood on them.

Samuel’s apprehension shows the enormous power of broken-windows policing, which the American Civil Liberties Union has fought against on L.A.’s Skid Row and throughout the country. Enforcing quality-of-life laws not only restores a sense of order and safety to an area, it also nabs serious offenders. There is a great chain of being, it turns out, in criminal behavior. Hardened criminals are not usually scrupulous about obeying a whole range of laws—whether littering, loitering, or traffic codes. The guy lying across the entrance to someone’s business, drinking whiskey from a bag and tossing his trash on the sidewalk, most likely is not breaking the law for the first or the last time. When officers question people in high-crime areas for misdemeanor offenses, they regularly find warrant absconders and parole violators. In 1996, a New York police officer nabbed a young man jumping a subway turnstile, a crime that a decade earlier had been regarded as simply an inevitable response to poverty and too trivial for the police to worry about. The turnstile-jumper, John Royster, turned out to be wanted for an ongoing campaign of terror against women in New York that included murder, rape, and a nearly lethal beating; had he not been picked up for the subway offense, he undoubtedly would have gone on to assault more women.

In 2003, LAPD Chief William Bratton launched a campaign to reclaim the 50-block area of downtown Los Angeles known as Skid Row from the squalor and violence that had engulfed it for two decades. He announced that he would use broken-windows policing to restore order and to help locate the thousands of violent parole violators and absconders who hid among the area’s filthy, lawless homeless encampments. The ACLU and L.A.’s large retinue of professional cop scourges promptly unleashed what became a rolling series of federal lawsuits to shut down Skid Row policing. Merely questioning the homeless for littering, selling illegal merchandise, and jaywalking, they said, constituted illegal harassment of the poor. UCLA law professor Gary Blasi charged the LAPD with trying to “ethnically cleanse” downtown to make way for gentrification. A hostile federal judiciary lapped up every preposterous charge the advocates leveled against the police, but the LAPD continued enforcing public-order laws on Skid Row, producing some of the largest crime drops in Los Angeles and bringing a modicum of sanity to streets that had resembled bedlam just five years earlier. The beneficiaries of this crime drop included elderly residents of the neighborhood SROs, vagrants seeking to get clean and turn their lives around, and low-income workers in the area’s intrepid small wholesalers and factories, who no longer found themselves victimized by psychotic drug users as a matter of course.

And now Charles Samuel will be taken off the streets and brought to justice, thanks to two Skid Row officers’ willingness to ignore ACLU propaganda and accost a vagrant drinking in public.

But while sound policing was able to get a homicidal criminal off the streets before he could strike again, sound incarceration policy was unfortunately not given the chance to prevent him from murdering Lily Burk in the first place. California’s “three strikes and you’re out” law is the most reviled sentencing policy in the country—reviled, that is, by the anti-incarceration lobby. It allows prosecutors to seek a sentence of 25 years to life against an offender who has already served time for two violent or serious felonies when he is convicted of a third felony. California legislators passed the three-strikes law in 1994 in reaction to rising crime from repeat offenders, who served short sentences before going on to victimize the public again and again. Anti-law-enforcement advocates fancifully charge that the law’s main effect is to send away hapless sad sacks whose only misstep was to succumb to the urge for a pizza when they didn’t have enough change in their pockets to buy a slice. These advocates regularly lobby Sacramento to loosen or repeal the law.

Samuel was a good candidate for a third-strike sentence, thanks to an earlier attack that foreshadowed Burk’s murder. In 1986, he walked up to an elderly man sitting on his porch in San Bernardino (in the so-called Inland Empire east of Los Angeles), grabbed the man’s cane and beat him with it, then forced him inside his home and demanded money. When the old man could only come up with ten dollars, Samuel commandeered the man’s car and drove the owner to an ATM. The terrified senior citizen was unable to withdraw any money, however, whereupon Samuel struck him with his cane again, punched him in the stomach, and threatened to kill him if he called the police, according to the Los Angeles Times. Samuel pled guilty in 1987 to robbery, residential burglary, and car theft and was sentenced to six years. He became eligible for a three-strikes sentence in 1997, following a conviction for another San Bernardino burglary (the 1986 robbery and burglary charges counted as his first two felonies). But his rap sheet failed to note that the 1986 burglary was a residential burglary, as opposed to a non-residential break-in. Only residential burglaries count as “serious” felonies for three-strikes purposes; breaking into a store, office building, or commercial space is regarded as “non-serious” and can be repeated indefinitely without triggering a three-strike step-up in sentencing. (So much for the idea that the three-strikes law is blindly draconian; in fact, it makes careful—perhaps overly careful—distinctions between felonies.)

In the 1990s, the San Bernardino County prosecutor’s office was aggressively using its three-strikes power. It would likely have sought a 25-year sentence for Samuel following his conviction for the 1997 burglary had his rap sheet correctly classified the two felonies from his 1986 assault. Whether a judge would have granted the sentence is less certain, for, contrary to advocate propaganda, judges retain sentencing discretion under the three-strikes law. Samuel could have qualified for a three-strike sentence again in 2006, following conviction for petty theft in Los Angeles. By then, however, the anti-three-strike campaign had begun affecting prosecutorial behavior. Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley only seeks third-strike sentences for “serious” or violent third strikes and would not have deemed Samuel’s theft conviction “serious,” even if he had known about the prior residential burglary.

The Samuel case demonstrates just how artificial the distinctions that underlie the anti-three-strikes advocacy are, however. Someone who has already demonstrated a predilection for crime is not necessarily any less of a threat to public safety just because his latest known infraction falls below some “seriousness” threshold. The lack of impulse control manifested in a convict’s record may be just as dangerous, even if his last opportunistic crime was “mere” theft. That is not to say, of course, that every criminal with a history of violent and property crime is likely to commit murder. But it shows the value of discretionary sentencing tools, like three-strikes laws, that allow prosecutors to acknowledge the cumulative significance of a crime career in assessing a criminal’s risk.

The heart-wrenching Burk case could not have come at a worse time for anti-law-enforcement advocates. California’s budget crisis had given the anti-incarceration, anti-policing lobby new ammunition to push for cutbacks in incarceration budgets and weakened parole policies. As usual, the advocates argue that mere “technical violations” of parole should not be grounds for reincarceration, but the Samuel case reminds us that a technical violation of parole can be a sign of far worse things. Samuel’s drug-treatment facility had given him a four-hour day pass to go to a DMV office on the morning he murdered Burk. It is not known whether the facility had sought and obtained permission from Samuel’s parole agent. Rather than returning to the rehab center after arriving at the DMV office (which was closed), he continued hanging out in midtown Los Angeles. By the time he picked up Burk, he had well exceeded his four-hour time limit and may have been in violation of his parole. “Technical” parole conditions such as keeping appointments, following the clock, and staying away from drugs exist for a reason: to keep tabs on potentially explosive criminals and to foster in them self-control and conformity to positive social norms. A parolee who violates such “technical” conditions may be doing so for highly dangerous reasons.

Other budget-related prison proposals—including Governor Schwarzenegger’s plan to put an end to parole for nonviolent ex-convicts and to release 27,000 prison inmates, or a recent federal court order to release as many as 43,000 inmates—all take on dire new significance in the wake of the Lily Burk murder. To date, policing and incarceration are the only known social programs that can be shown to reduce crime; others may eventually be found, but until they are, it is folly to undermine them for fiscal or ideological reasons. California’s enormous prison costs should be reduced by radical pension reform, not by the wholesale release of prisoners. And even today, in the aftermath of the Samuel arrest, Los Angeles’s anti-cop forces continue to attack misdemeanor enforcement in high-crime areas such as Skid Row: “The LAPD doesn’t deserve any praise when it comes to the needs of the homeless,” anti-police attorney Carol Sobel told the Los Angeles Times following Bratton’s resignation announcement.

These activists are dangerously wrong. Attention to broken-windows disorder must remain a vital component of proactive policing.

Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor of City Journal and the John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
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« Reply #71 on: February 25, 2014, 10:45:35 AM »

Bryan Stow and a Justice System that Is Criminal
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014


On March 31, 2011, the opening day of baseball at Dodger Stadium, four San Francisco Giants fans, all paramedics, were there to cheer on their team.

As they left the stadium, in the parking lot, one of them, Bryan Stow, was attacked by a Dodger fan, who hit him so suddenly and with such force that Stow hit his head on the ground without being able to break his fall, which fractured his skull. But the attack didn’t end there. Once on the ground, Stow was repeatedly kicked in the head and ribs.

As reported by CBS Los Angeles, “Stow’s friend said he saw the assailant — whom he described as a Hispanic man between 20 and 30 years old — repeatedly kick Stow in the head with ‘full wind-up’ kicks after knocking him to the pavement with a ‘haymaker punch’ to the left side of his head.”

A witness to the beating, Joann Cerda, stood over Bryan Stow as he lay motionless, and said she saw “Blood gushing from his ears,” and didn’t think Stow was still alive.

The result was severe brain damage.

He was left unable to walk, lost motor skills in his arms and hands, and is incapable of carrying on a normal conversation, controlling his bodily functions or caring for himself. He will require long-term care and 24-hour assistance for the rest of his life. He has a confused short-term memory, which makes work impossible. The care he will need for the remainder of his life is projected to cost 34 million dollars.

At the time of the attack, Bryan Stow was a 42-year-old father of two young children, an 11-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl.

His aging parents’ lives have been transformed into that of full-time caregivers for their adult son. His children have half a father, his friends have essentially lost their friend, and his sisters have been devastated. At the home he shares with his parents, Stow must wear an adult diaper, cannot shower without help, can barely close his left hand, and because of his memory problems, has to be reminded why a plastic shunt protrudes from the base of his skull.

His medical care has already exceeded five million dollars and is estimated to end up costing an additional 34 million dollards over the course of his life, according to his family’s attorney, Tom Girardi.

Get the idea?

Now what punishment do you think Marvin Norwood, 33, and Louie Sanchez, 31, the two sadists who did this, deserve?

I’ll tell you what I think they deserve.

Sanchez, the primary assailant, deserves to be punched so hard in the head that he falls to the ground and his head smashes into concrete, and then violently kicked in the head three more times in the hope that he spends the rest of his life in diapers.

Of course, we don’t do such things.

Instead we sentence such human debris to prison.

So, then, how much prison time do Norwood and Sanchez deserve? Given the life sentence they imposed on Bryan Stow and his family, I cannot see an argument for anything less than, let us say, 40 years to life.

What they got was not close.

Norwood has been sentenced to four years in prison and Sanchez eight years. (Norwood’s time has already been served, but he is being held on a separate federal warrant on a weapons violation charge.)

As for restitution, that will be determined at a hearing scheduled for six months from now. Of two things, however, I am certain:

One is that they will have to pay virtually nothing approaching the needs of Bryan Stow. Yes, I know, they don’t have anything near millions of dollars. But they should be forced to pay some significant percentage of whatever they money they ever acquire to Bryan Stow. The notion that people who permanently hurt other people “pay their debt to society” just because society has paid to house them in prison is not only absurd; it is meaningless. Norwood and Sanchez owe “society” very little. They owe Bryan Stow a fortune, and being imprisoned does absolutely nothing to meet that obligation.

The other thing of which I am certain is that Norwood and Sanchez will be harmed financially far less than tens of millions of divorced men who hurt no one, yet suffered financial devastation in the nation’s family law courts.

Sanchez, the puncher and head-kicker, smirked during the heart-rending victim impact statements and the judge’s castigation of the defendants’ actions and unrepentant attitudes. That this man, who destroyed and damaged so many lives, will be out of prison in about four years mocks the notion of an American criminal justice system. The only valid part of that phrase is that our justice is very often criminal.

Louie Sanchez is why I so fervently hope there is a hell.

Until he goes there, however, we can help Bryan Stow and his family through support4bryanstow.com.
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« Reply #72 on: February 25, 2014, 06:04:14 PM »

Is it OK that LAPD SWAT arrested the career gangster that kicked Bryan Stow over and over?
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« Reply #73 on: March 04, 2014, 04:19:40 PM »



http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/mar/02/poor-
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« Reply #74 on: March 05, 2014, 05:48:50 PM »


In many ways, probation for profit seems worse than private prisons.

Then again, the ACLU and HRW are free to create non-profits that could perform those services.
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« Reply #75 on: March 16, 2014, 12:51:37 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/us/after-20-hours-in-solitary-colorados-prisons-chief-wins-praise.html?emc=edit_th_20140316&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
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« Reply #76 on: March 16, 2014, 02:32:52 PM »


Stupid pandering to inane lefty audiences.
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« Reply #77 on: March 16, 2014, 03:16:49 PM »

I confess to considerable sympathy for the notion that solitary is quite overused and is to the detriment of our society for those people who are eventually released but are crazier than when they went in due to solitary.
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« Reply #78 on: March 16, 2014, 04:30:22 PM »

I'd suggest working at the line level as a C.O. in the prisons with the inmates that earn their way into solitary would be more educational than this little publicity stunt. Now, there are mentally ill inmates caught up in the system that need treatment that often doesn't happen, but that's a separate issue.
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« Reply #79 on: March 19, 2014, 09:22:08 AM »

dddddRikers Island Struggles With a Surge in Violence and Mental Illness

By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZMARCH 18, 2014


About 40 percent of Rikers Island inmates have a diagnosed mental illness, the New York Correction Department says. The proportion has doubled in eight years. Credit
   
With dry bureaucratic precision, the daily incident reports from Rikers Island chronicle a surge of violence and disorder churning within the vast New York City jail complex.

Since New Year’s Eve, according to the internal reports, at least 12 inmates have been slashed or stabbed, eight of them in the face or neck. Inmates and correction officers suffered lacerations, concussions, punctured eardrums, and fractures to noses, eye sockets, jaws and hips. In one recent brawl, a chunk of an inmate’s ear was bitten off, according to the confidential reports, which were obtained by The New York Times.


Not since the gang riots of the 1980s and early 1990s has violence at Rikers Island so alarmed oversight officials, union leaders and inmate advocates. Over the past decade, the use of force by correction officers has jumped nearly 240 percent, even as the daily population has declined by almost 15 percent over the same period, according to data from the city’s Correction Department obtained under the Freedom of Information Law.


The mayhem inside city jails is especially striking given the historic declines in rates of homicide and other violent crimes outside of them. At the heart of the rising violence is an inmate population that has changed significantly in recent years and has in many ways grown more volatile.

In particular, correction officers have struggled with an increasing concentration of mentally ill inmates who experts say often respond defiantly or erratically to the harsh, zero-tolerance disciplinary measures successfully employed in the past.

While conditions today are far from the near-anarchy of 20 years ago, the tools used to bring that era of violence under control may now be partly responsible for creating further disorder.

Reports of Abuse

In interviews, current and former inmates described arbitrary and wanton abuse by other inmates and correction officers.

Robert Hinton, who takes medication for aggression and paranoia, said he and another Rikers prisoner were set upon by correction officers. “I was cuffed, they kicked us, punched us, threw garbage on us, and Maced me all at the same time,” Mr. Hinton said in an interview.

In another confrontation, Mr. Hinton said, he was beaten by at least 10 correction officers in April 2012 after he refused to leave his cell. He had a fractured nose and vertebra and said he was choked until he passed out.

He said one officer told him: “You’re going to die today.”

Mr. Hinton, 26, who is suing the city over the altercation, was brought back to Rikers last week on a parole violation.

A spokesman for the Correction Department said the agency would not comment on Mr. Hinton’s lawsuit because it was active litigation.

Another inmate, Rodney Brye, 40, was acquitted after spending nearly four years at Rikers Island for a weapons charge. He left in 2012 with two fused vertebrae and a plate in his neck and now walks with a cane as a result of a what he says was a beating by correction officers. He is also suing the city.

“They will hit you with anything; they’ll hit you with a radio,” he said. “You can actually take somebody’s life like that, and they do it on a regular basis.”

Norman Seabrook, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, said officers were overwhelmed by a difficult and often violent inmate population. Officers are routinely punched and kicked, and sometimes doused with urine and feces, Mr. Seabrook said. This month, an officer was stabbed in the face with a pen.
Continue reading the main story

The violence has simmered behind the walls and barbed wire of Rikers Island, overshadowed by other priorities at City Hall.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who entered office in January vowing to curtail abuses in the Police Department and to enact education reform, has spoken little of the jails, though he has acknowledged the need for changes. Last week, he appointed Joseph Ponte, a longtime corrections official known for reforming violence-plagued prisons and jails around the country, to lead the Correction Department.


In introducing Mr. Ponte, the mayor said the department had “sadly lagged behind other corrections systems in terms of updating its practices and procedures.”

The situation at Rikers Island mirrors an “epidemic of violence” in big-city jails across the country, said Dr. James Gilligan, a clinical professor of psychiatry and co-author of a 2013 report that found the treatment of mentally ill inmates at Rikers Island violated the city’s mental health standards. He said an overreliance on solitary confinement and force at Rikers Island and elsewhere perpetuated violence among inmates, particularly the mentally ill, who have crowded the nation’s correctional facilities as mental hospitals and other institutions have closed.

“A jail like Rikers Island has a subculture of violence,” Dr. Gilligan said. On a recent tour of a juvenile solitary confinement unit at Rikers, he said, “We saw young kids who had been really beaten to a pulp.”

One young inmate, Dr. Gilligan said, had been handcuffed by correction officers, who then banged his head against the floor. The inmate, he said, had a concussion and had lost a tooth, and he was vomiting and urinating blood. The inmate was taken to a medical unit for treatment, he said.

A Vulnerable Group

With 10 jails housing an average daily population of nearly 12,000 inmates, Rikers Island — on an East River island of the same name, near La Guardia Airport — is one of the largest jail complexes in the country. Though primarily a pretrial center, it houses some sentenced inmates.

Inside, the tension is acute. Rival gangs — the Crips, the Bloods, the Latin Kings and Trinitarios — wage bloody power struggles like a cellblock game of thrones. Vicious fights erupt over the telephone or the television channel, inmates and correction officers said. The officers, wearing body armor and armed with pepper spray and clubs, resort to force frequently and, critics say, overzealously.

In this environment, mentally ill inmates are particularly vulnerable, experts say. The proportion of inmates with a diagnosed mental illness has grown to 40 percent, from 20 percent, over the last eight years, according to the Correction Department. These inmates are responsible for about two-thirds of infractions at city jails, the department said.

The monotony, the isolation and the aggression of officers and inmates can worsen mental illness, causing inmates to lash out, said Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University who specializes in violence at prisons and jails.

“Right now, jails and prisons are grappling with a population they are not prepared to deal with,” Dr. Lee said. “It is not so much a fault on the part of the correction system. They are simply not equipped and have not been able to adjust quickly enough.”

Inmates who receive mental health treatment were five times as likely to require an “injury visit” to a jail clinic after a violent altercation with officers or inmates, according to a 2012 study by the city’s health department. They also stay in jail much longer than those not treated for a mental illness and have higher rates of recidivism.
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Shateek Bilal, 40, who has paranoid schizophrenia, has been in and out of Rikers Island since 1991, mostly for drug crimes and parole violations. Last year, he served three stints in custody, two at Rikers and one in the Manhattan Detention Complex, another city-run jail, for a total of seven months. He was released on Dec. 12 and now lives with his sister.

The jail time, he said, “exacerbated my mental illness, made me paranoid, made me more apt not to take the medication.”



Since the 1990s, new correction officers have received a 35-hour course on mental health and suicide prevention, the department said. In recent years, officers assigned to mental health units at city jails have received additional training from the health department.

The addition of video surveillance in many sections of the jail has made officers and inmates think twice about resorting to force, officials said.

In January, the Correction Department announced that it would no longer punish mentally ill inmates with solitary confinement, which had expanded under the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Instead, the department plans to send such inmates to therapeutic units that have been set up over the last few years and are staffed by mental health professionals.

But while the most seriously mentally ill inmates now receive some therapy, isolation remains a widespread punitive tool, oversight officials said.

Solitary confinement and some therapeutic units are rife with abuse and neglect, city officials and inmate advocates said. They described walls that are covered with feces and body fluids, and inmates who scream incessantly and throw themselves into walls and doors. Inmates are housed in the units 22 to 24 hours a day, while inmates in the jails can watch television, work out and interact with others.

At a January meeting of the Board of Correction, which oversees city jails, Bryanne Hamill, one of its members, said that on a recent visit to a specialized housing unit, she and other board members knocked on the door to a cell after noticing the window had been covered in feces. After failing to get a response, they asked correction officers to open the door.

Ms. Hamill said it took over an hour before a medical team arrived, opened the door and found the female inmate, naked, wrapped in a blanket with some kind of ligature around her neck.

“The medical, one in particular screamed, ‘She’s trying to kill herself; we need help,’ ” Ms. Hamill said.

Mr. Seabrook, the president of the correction officers’ union, faulted the department’s leaders for not adequately training officers to handle mentally ill inmates and then punishing his members when they use force to protect themselves. “The inmate can use and abuse and do whatever it is he wants, and when a correction officer attempts to restrain the inmate and use whatever force is necessary to defuse the incident, the officer goes to be charged with a crime,” he said.

Speaking of mentally ill inmates, he said: “They need medication, treatment, psychological help. They don’t need a corrections officer.”

Some of the most severe abuse of inmates appears to stem not from a lack of training, but from what critics have described as a culture of indifference.

On Aug. 18, 2012, a 25-year-old inmate named Jason Echevarria, who had bipolar disorder, swallowed toxic soap that had been given to inmates in a mental health unit. The inmates were expected to use the soap balls — which, according to court papers, contained bleach, sodium carbonate and ammonium chloride — to clean their cells after the toilets overflowed with raw sewage.

Over the next several hours, correction officers ignored Mr. Echevarria’s cries for help, even as he began vomiting blood, according to court documents. At one point, according to the documents, Capt. Terrence Pendergrass, who was in charge of the unit, told an officer who had come to seek help: “Don’t call me if you have live, breathing bodies. Only call me if you need an extraction, or if you have a dead body.”

Mr. Pendergrass has told city investigators that he did not know that Mr. Echevarria was sick, according to the union that represents Rikers captains.

Mr. Echevarria was found dead in his cell the next day.

The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide, citing “neglect and denial of medical care.”

A version of this article appears in print on March 19, 2014, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Rikers Island Struggles With a Rise in Violence. Order Reprints|Today's Paper|Subscribe
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« Reply #80 on: April 25, 2014, 08:25:12 AM »

http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/04/22/local-thugs-go-head-to-head-with-muay-thai-fighters-during-thai-new-year-festival/
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« Reply #81 on: April 29, 2014, 09:36:53 PM »

Oklahoma Postpones Second Execution After First Is Botched
What was supposed to be the first of two executions in McAlester, Okla., on Tuesday was halted when the prisoner, Clayton D. Lockett, began to twitch and gasp after he had already been declared unconscious and called out “man” and “something’s wrong,” according to witnesses.
The administering doctor intervened and discovered that “the line had blown,” said the director of corrections, Robert Patton, meaning that drugs were no longer flowing into his vein. At 7:06 p.m., Mr. Patton said, Mr. Lockett died of a heart attack.
Mr. Patton said he had requested a stay of 14 days in the second execution scheduled for Tuesday night, of Charles F. Warner.
READ MORE »
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/30/us/oklahoma-executions.html?emc=edit_na_20140429

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« Reply #82 on: April 30, 2014, 06:19:30 AM »

Oklahoma Postpones Second Execution After First Is Botched
What was supposed to be the first of two executions in McAlester, Okla., on Tuesday was halted when the prisoner, Clayton D. Lockett, began to twitch and gasp after he had already been declared unconscious and called out “man” and “something’s wrong,” according to witnesses.
The administering doctor intervened and discovered that “the line had blown,” said the director of corrections, Robert Patton, meaning that drugs were no longer flowing into his vein. At 7:06 p.m., Mr. Patton said, Mr. Lockett died of a heart attack.
Mr. Patton said he had requested a stay of 14 days in the second execution scheduled for Tuesday night, of Charles F. Warner.
READ MORE »
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/30/us/oklahoma-executions.html?emc=edit_na_20140429



http://www.oklahomalegalgroup.com/news/appeals-court-upholds-death-penalty-for-ponca-city-man

Before anyone gets too teareyed over Lockett, read up on why he got the death penalty.
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« Reply #83 on: June 13, 2014, 10:19:06 AM »



http://jonathanturley.org/2014/06/09/florida-man-fires-four-shots-into-the-air-and-is-given-20-years-per-shot-to-run-consecutively-or-80-years-in-prison/
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« Reply #84 on: July 20, 2014, 10:34:38 AM »

http://www.tpnn.com/2014/07/18/swift-justice-what-one-father-did-to-the-man-he-caught-molesting-his-son/
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« Reply #85 on: July 20, 2014, 07:22:53 PM »


With the recidivism rate with these guys, I don't know why the father let him live. I wouldn't have. Not a chance in hell. There are some things one just doesn't do...this being one of them.
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We all die. The second one accepts that, only then are they capable of living.
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« Reply #86 on: August 20, 2014, 11:39:30 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vfDZ22hTik&feature=share
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