Dog Brothers Public Forum

DBMA Martial Arts Forum => Martial Arts Topics => Topic started by: Crafty_Dog on October 23, 2007, 12:11:32 PM

Title: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 23, 2007, 12:11:32 PM
Attacker of elderly man sentenced 
 
Mr Chaudhry walks with the aid of two walking sticks
A man who left a 96-year-old war veteran blind in one eye after attacking him on a packed tram has been given a three-year supervision order. Stephen Gordon, 44, launched his unprovoked attack on Shah Chaudhry in Croydon, south London, in December. Gordon, from Croydon, was found guilty of grievous bodily harm after the attack was caught on CCTV, Croydon Crown Court heard. The British Transport Police said they were "disappointed" with the sentence.

Walking sticks

"The blow to the victim's head caused serious injury, which has resulted in the victim losing sight in one eye," said Det Sgt Darren Stenning.

"And unfortunately since this assault, the victim's health has deteriorated and he now resides in a care home."

The attack took place on a tram travelling between Sandilands and East Croydon on December 14 last year. Gordon had tried to push past the victim, who was standing in the aisle leaning on his walking sticks. As he squeezed under the pensioner's arms his hat was knocked off and he swore at the man and punched him in the face. Police said two school children who were on the tram chased Gordon. They later gave evidence against him.
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/1/hi/england/london/7056325.stm
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 26, 2007, 06:59:40 AM
Innocent man shares his 20-year struggle behind bars

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Willie "Pete" Williams had no idea when he was pulled over by police that the criminal justice system was about to steal away half his life.

 Willie "Pete" Williams, 45, spent half of his life behind bars for a 1985 rape he did not commit.

Sitting in the flashing glow of Atlanta squad car lights along Georgia State Road 400, the 23-year-old part-time house painter didn't know police were looking for a rapist who had struck nearby three weeks earlier.
Police questioned -- and then arrested Williams, triggering a series of mistaken witness identifications that led to his unjust conviction for rape, kidnapping and aggravated sodomy.

It was 1985 and Williams was sentenced to serve 45 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. "I felt betrayed. ... I felt like these people had taken my life for something I didn't do. I felt like I was being treated unfairly. ... I felt very, very angry towards everybody," said Williams last week, a free man after nearly 22 years behind bars.

He said he spent many of those years stoking that anger by fighting guards and inmates, while his childhood friends were developing careers and raising families.

Earlier this year, after DNA science proved his innocence, the 45-year-old with a graying mustache stood again before a judge -- who this time exonerated Williams. Williams' troubling story provokes discomfort in a nation that prides itself on a justice system where the accused are innocent until proven guilty. So far, DNA evidence has directly exonerated 208 wrongly convicted people in the United States, according to the Innocence Project.It's unknown how many prisoners now locked up in American jails could be freed by new testing of DNA evidence.

A jury of Williams' peers convicted him in the April 5, 1985, rape, kidnapping and aggravated sodomy of a woman in Atlanta's Sandy Springs neighborhood.
The victim told police her attacker first approached her to ask if she could help him find someone named Paul. Then he produced a gun and forced her into her car, according to police. They then drove to a dead-end street where the assault occurred.

Because the science behind each person's unique DNA signature was new to police in 1985, the key evidence that sealed Williams' fate was the testimony of three eyewitnesses who mistakenly said they recognized him.
"Mistaken eyewitness identification has long been the single biggest factor in the conviction of innocents," said Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project.

"That has got to be important to everybody, because if we can reform identification procedures, it will keep more innocent people out of jail and convict criminals who really commit the crimes."

A national nonprofit group, the Innocence Project has inspired creation of state and regional organizations including the Georgia Innocence Project, which exonerated Williams.
As a new prisoner Williams said he fought a painful struggle against the raw deal the world had dealt him. When board members denied him parole the first of three times Williams said, "they had to escort me to 'the hole' [solitary confinement]."
"I couldn't function out there around the other inmates," Williams said. "I was mad, I was bitter. I felt the whole world just gave me up."

It wasn't until 1997 -- more than a decade after he was locked away -- that Williams' own voice freed him from the grip of his anger. At Valdosta State Prison, a close friend named Charlie Brown helped him join a Christian choir -- leading him to accept Jesus.

"Singing was like being out here, in a sense. It freed me from all the things, from all the fights, from the officers who were cruel, prison, stabbings," said Williams, who especially embraced the hymn "Amazing Grace."

After singing got a hold of Williams, he said the hardest part of his heart started to dissolve.
"I didn't feel angry anymore -- or any hate."

Witness ID
To prevent more tragedies like Williams', innocence projects in many states, including Georgia, have begun pressing lawmakers to adopt special witness ID procedures called sequential double-blind lineups. Such lineups are administrated by officials who don't know who the suspect is and present each member of a lineup one-by-one instead of simultaneously.

Witnesses who see several potential suspects simultaneously are more likely to choose a person who looks most like the perpetrator -- but who may not actually be the perpetrator, according to the Innocence Project. The group also cites research that says misidentification is reduced if the person overseeing the lineup is "blind" to which person in the lineup is the suspect.

Georgia's Legislature held hearings Monday in Atlanta to study the research and the proposed standards, which have been adopted by New Jersey and jurisdictions in Minnesota, California and elsewhere.
Louis M. Dekmar, vice chair of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies is skeptical of the research, but said the issue deserves further study.

"I don't believe the research is so compelling that we need to make swings and changes that don't bode well for criminal investigations and the criminal justice process," said Dekmar, a 30-year law enforcement veteran and chief of police for LaGrange, Georgia.

Dekmar argues investigators should be allowed to administer lineups to gauge reaction while they look at witness faces, to see if a witness is "stressed, weeping, nervous -- all those reactions that help detectives formulate whether this is a strong identification or a weak identification."

Williams' Case
Williams was convicted on the identification of three witnesses who first singled him out from a photo lineup, according to the Georgia Innocence Project.

More than 20 years later, Georgia Innocence Project attorneys arranged to compare Williams' DNA with DNA evidence collected from the 1985 rape. It was not a match, proving that Williams was not the attacker and opening the door to his release.

Shortly after Williams' exoneration, DNA science again played a role in the case when a genetic match resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of Kenneth G. Wicker for the crime that Williams had been wrongly convicted of. Years earlier Wicker had served four years in prison for another rape and two attempted sexual assaults, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

As Scheck's Innocence Project marks its 15th year, the 1995 O.J. Simpson defense attorney describes it as a movement for criminal justice as well as human rights.
"I think that it's going to be remembered for getting innocents out of jail, but also for changing the paradigm in the criminal justice system," said Scheck.

"There is a greater understanding now that sound scientific and critical research can go a long way toward proving injustice and prosecuting the guilty."
Sometimes an Innocence Project client is confirmed to be guilty by DNA evidence, but the group doesn't make the number of those cases available. Theoretically, If key DNA material in a case is properly preserved, there's no time limit on revisiting old cases, according to the Innocence Project.

Critics accuse the group of denying closure to communities and victims' families by giving new life to old cases. To that, project spokesman Eric Ferrero said, "Victims are not served by the wrong people being convicted."

Perhaps the most important victory for the project has been its role in sparing the lives of 15 people condemned to death. In 2000, 13 condemned prisoners were exonerated by a group of Northwestern University students affiliated with the Innocence Project.
Some of the innocent prisoners were freed through DNA testing, others were exonerated after new trials were ordered by appellate courts.

Those spared lives prompted then-Illinois Gov. George Ryan to declare a state moratorium on all executions and later, a blanket clemency of all 167 death row prisoners.
The moratorium remains in effect while Illinois authorities consider proposed reforms to the system.

Back in Georgia, during the ten months since Williams' friends and family welcomed him home with hugs and kisses, he's been taking his time rejoining society, attending electronics classes and dealing with his top complaint: 21st century traffic.

Williams has found a home in a church congregation and plans to join its choir, holding on to the spiritual anchor he formed in prison.
Money is tight for Williams, and, according to the Innocence Project, only 45 percent of those exonerated by DNA evidence have been financially compensated. He expects some compensation from Georgia, although the state has no law guiding such cases.

Regaining his freedom has renewed Williams' belief in the power of prayer, but he said it has done little to repair his faith in the nation's justice system. He wonders how many other Americans are still suffering injustices like his own. "When I see someone on television when they say, 'this is a suspect,' I have a difficult time believing that that actually is a suspect," Williams said.
Title: Wanted to teach Al Qaeda
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 07, 2007, 01:18:21 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Musician in Terror Case Gets 15 Years

November 7, 2007 - 3:15pm

By LARRY NEUMEISTER
Associated Press Writer


NEW YORK (AP) - A New York jazz musician who pledged to teach martial arts to al-Qaida members was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday by a judge who said it didn't matter that no one from the terrorist group was actually involved in the case.

Tarik Shah, a martial arts expert, pleaded guilty in the spring to conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaida. He was the third of four defendants to be sentenced for his role in a conspiracy to aid terrorist groups abroad.

Shah's lawyers had said he should get leniency because the plot originated when a government informant enlisted him to help al-Qaida, taking him away from an otherwise law-abiding life.

U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska, however, gave him the maximum sentence, noting that Shah was recorded embracing a chance to teach martial arts to al-Qaida operatives, and even boasting that he knew how to fashion prayer beads into a strangulation tool.

Before he was sentenced, Shah, 44, asked the judge for mercy.
"I guarantee you will never see me again, judge, unless it's on the television playing (music) with someone," said Shah, who plays bass.
Tapes played at the trial of a co-defendant, Dr. Rafiq Abdus Sabir, showed that Shah met with an undercover FBI agent he thought was an al-Qaida recruiter in May 2005.

During the meeting, he pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida and agreed to provide martial arts expertise to al-Qaida fighters, according to the tape.

Prosecutors also said Shah met multiple times from 2003 through May 2005 with a confidential source and an FBI undercover agent, expressing the desire to help al-Qaida by recruiting others.

Sabir, of Boca Raton, Fla., is to be sentenced next week. He was convicted in May of providing material support to terrorists by agreeing to treat injured al-Qaida fighters so they could return to Iraq to fight Americans.

Previously in the case, a Brooklyn bookstore owner who pleaded guilty to money laundering and lying to federal agents was sentenced to 13 years in prison, and a Washington, D.C., cab driver who pleaded guilty to conspiring to help a terrorist organization was sentenced to 15 years.

(Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Title: Vehicle flight a violent felony
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 10, 2011, 08:48:34 AM

Sent to me by a retired USMS friend:
==============================


The Supreme Court decided yesterday that fleeing the police in a vehicle could be considered a violent felony.
 
Back in 1990 I was involved in a car chase event.  Afterwards, among other things, I argued that the act of fleeing law enforcement in a car (indeed the predicate act of escape from custody as well which was the situation in this case), was in and of itself an act of desperation with a high risk of a dangerous outcome and a disregard for others.  The head of U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) personnel told me, and I quote almost verbatim, that 'until the guy actually hit somebody with the car he was not a danger to the public.'  I thought he was a moron then, and I am glad to see the Supreme Court essentially agrees.
 
Of particular interest back then was the number of mindless know it all drones who, although ostensibly operational personnel, had never been in any dangerous/complicated situation in their entire careers and who simply agreed in lockstep with this idiot who was head of USMS personnel.  For all practical purposes they were nothing more than, as most of them are right now, administrative employees who had been given a gun and a badge and who themselves would flee for their lives at the merest hint of danger like the cowards they are.  Most of them are an utter embarrassment to law enforcement in general, and the warrior ethos in particular.
Title: Re: Vehicle flight a violent felony
Post by: G M on June 10, 2011, 11:48:25 AM


 
Of particular interest back then was the number of mindless know it all drones who, although ostensibly operational personnel, had never been in any dangerous/complicated situation in their entire careers and who simply agreed in lockstep with this idiot who was head of USMS personnel.  For all practical purposes they were nothing more than, as most of them are right now, administrative employees who had been given a gun and a badge and who themselves would flee for their lives at the merest hint of danger like the cowards they are.  Most of them are an utter embarrassment to law enforcement in general, and the warrior ethos in particular.

JDN will of course be happy to be an advocate for them.  :wink:
Title: her secrets die with her
Post by: bigdog on June 14, 2011, 12:20:55 PM
I guess this goes here.

http://www.kmov.com/news/mobile/Secrets-of-woman-with-5-dead-husbands-die-with-her-123798659.html
Title: Re: her secrets die with her
Post by: G M on June 14, 2011, 02:36:58 PM
I guess this goes here.

http://www.kmov.com/news/mobile/Secrets-of-woman-with-5-dead-husbands-die-with-her-123798659.html

Interesting. Potentially what is known as a "Black widow" typology here.
Title: Crime and Punishment: Norway 'suspect'
Post by: DougMacG on July 24, 2011, 09:04:10 AM
Sad to see that by creating carnage this sick jerk gets his views publicized. 

Opinion polls have showed that only about 1 in 4 Norwegians supported the death penalty prior to this incident. http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/iriks/article3881217.ece.  The last execution in peacetime was carried out in 1876.

Makes sense (?), in no situation should killing be the answer...

People hate the abortion analogy but that's where the legal killings are.  There is widespread acceptance of killing 14,000 unborn Norwegians per year in the public 'health' system.  In these 14k/yr situations, killing is the answer.  (But not for an unprecedented mass murderer?)

Doing without the unwanted is good for the resources of the earth (?) (citation needed)

But for the most heinous of the heinous, a capital ending is immoral?  We (as a society) will house and feed and give him humane treatment, free health care, keep him comfortable and with full legal protections for life, while publicizing his filthy manifestos. 

I'm not Norwegian but the issues are the same everywhere.  Mark me down as disagreeing.  Protect the innocent, punish the guilty and provide a certain,  lethal ending for those who commit the very most heinous of crimes against society.  His prosecution is based on only the evidence and facts of the killings.  His other views are of no public interest IMO unless it is part of a larger movement that needs to be stopped.  There is no logical link between opposing the Muslim migration and killing innocent Norwegian children and citizens.
Title: America’s Most (and Least) Peaceful States
Post by: bigdog on May 06, 2012, 08:26:57 PM
http://247wallst.com/2012/04/26/americas-most-and-least-peaceful-states/


The United States is more peaceful now than at any time in the past 20 years. Nevertheless, violence still cost the economy at least $460 billion in 2010, through a combination of lost productivity and direct costs, according to a new report published by the Institute for Economics and Peace. 24/7 Wall St. analyzed the report in order to identify the most and least peaceful states, as well as how much they spend on violence.
Title: Rape should not be part of Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 29, 2012, 08:56:26 AM
As my nickname for the NY Times, "Pravda on the Hudson" suggests, often I hold it in low regard.  That said, this piece gets right the central point, one which I have made for many years now.  It is profoundly wrong morally, and profoundly counterproductive to have prisons where rape is part of the dynamic.

Unsafe Behind Bars
May 28, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/opinion/unsafe-behind-bars.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120529
 
After a three-year delay, the Justice Department has finally issued mandatory rape prevention policies for federal prisons and state correctional institutions that receive federal dollars. The new rules, which were given the force of an executive order, are a clear improvement over a draft version. If monitored and enforced, they could help curb the assaults that are shamefully endemic to the corrections system.

The new rules coincide with the release of a frightening study from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, which found that nearly 10 percent of former state prisoners said they had been sexually victimized during their most recent confinement. That is more than double the percentage found in a previous Bureau of Justice Statistics study released in 2010.

The rules say that all facilities must adopt zero-tolerance policies. And they include detailed requirements for prisons to investigate and report all allegations of sexual attack and improve medical and mental health care for victims. They also require that each correctional facility’s rape prevention programs be reviewed once every three years by outside auditors certified by the Justice Department. And the rules bar correctional agencies from imposing a deadline for inmates to report an allegation. Victims are typically traumatized by an attack and may take days or even months to gather the courage to speak out.

Unfortunately, the rules only discourage — but do not bar — the placement of youths in adult facilities, where they are at far greater risk of being sexually assaulted. Congress should end this practice once and for all. Until that happens, the new rules will better protect young people by requiring that they be housed separately from adults, prohibiting contact with adults in common areas and limiting the use of solitary confinement for young people, who are more vulnerable to suicide when left alone.

A state whose governor does not fully comply with the rules could lose 5 percent of any Department of Justice grant funds for prisons. If humanity is not enough to get prison systems to change their policies, maybe that penalty will work. Rape must not be part of a prison sentence.

Title: Juveniles in lockup
Post by: bigdog on June 01, 2012, 05:00:05 PM
"The issue of what to do with sociopathic teenage criminals can be a vexing one.  Just as your logic about the drawbacks and injustice of putting them in with adult criminals makes sense, so too does the logic of saying they don't belong in with juveniles who are of the sort intended to be helped by the juvenile system instead of being preyed upon by these sociopaths." (Crafty, moved from UN thread)

Agreed.  I do not think that juvenile murderers should be in a general population type environment with a kid who has consumed alcohol at a younger age than allowed by law (and several other examples, of course).

Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 01, 2012, 07:58:59 PM
It is a terrible thing, but IMHO some of the gangbanging teens have gone places and done things that it is hard to picture rehabilitation.   For them juvie hall and/or prisons are but finishing schools on the road to becoming criminal hellions.
Title: Crime falls in conjunction w increase in gun rights
Post by: prentice crawford on June 12, 2012, 03:05:25 AM
Woof,
 No mention of restoration of gunrights in most States and pro self defense laws being enacted.

         http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/11/12170947-fbi-violent-crime-rates-in-the-us-drop-approach-historic-lows?lite

                                                              P.C.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: JDN on June 12, 2012, 06:34:55 AM
Woof,
 No mention of restoration of gunrights in most States and pro self defense laws being enacted.

Is there any provable correlation? 
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: DougMacG on June 12, 2012, 07:21:38 AM
Woof,
 No mention of restoration of gunrights in most States and pro self defense laws being enacted.

         http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/11/12170947-fbi-violent-crime-rates-in-the-us-drop-approach-historic-lows?lite

                                                              P.C.

Excellemt point PC.  Imagine the story if it was higher crime associated with states running wild with concealed carry.

Correlated? Yes.  Provable? Probably.


Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 12, 2012, 09:32:47 AM
JDN:

Forgive me, but your effort at a point here is tedious.  Does the correlation prove cause and effect?  No, but it sure as heck raises the question, as no doubt the question would have been raised had crime rates risen.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: JDN on June 12, 2012, 09:55:10 AM
JDN:

Forgive me, but your effort at a point here is tedius.  Does the correlation prove cause and effect?  No, but it sure as heck raises the question, as no doubt the question would have been raised had crime rates risen.

Perhaps I wasn't clear.  I am not disagreeing with the premise.  I am a concealed carry advocate myself.  I was hoping in PC's reading that he might have come across some scholarly articles indicating a direct correlation, or even an indirect correlation.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 12, 2012, 12:43:02 PM
I'm still not following.  Wasn't PC's point precisely that there is a correlation and that this correlation has gone unremarked upon by the pravdas?  (Is said correlation in and of itself a proof of cause and effect?  No, though IMHO it does weigh to the contrary-- i.e. to challenge the notion that guns sales and CCW laws lead to greater gun crime.)
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: JDN on June 12, 2012, 08:27:10 PM
Yes, it was "PC's point precisely that there is a correlation..."

However, with all due respect to PC, I was hoping that in his reading he came across supporting documentation.  For example, has crime rate dropped greater in states with "pro self defense laws" as a percentage versus other states?  Is there ANY validation of PC's opinion?  I am not attacking his opinion, frankly, I may subjectively agree, but I don't know if that opinion has any basis.  If yes, then this is powerful.  But if there is no substantiation, then it's all conjecture without basis of fact.  An interesting opinion however....
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 13, 2012, 09:55:28 AM
I think a search for Prof. Lott will yield what you are looking for, but I'm realizing that this belongs in a gun rights or self-defense law thread instead of here.
Title: NYT: A push for clemency
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 16, 2012, 08:28:42 AM
I consider myself a supporter of capital punishment for certain crimes, but I must say that if the facts are as suggested by this piece then a grave injustice is about to be done.
=====================


NYT
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/us/a-push-for-clemency-in-pennsylvania-as-an-execution-nears.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120916

A Push for Clemency as an Execution Nears
By JON HURDLE
Published: September 15, 2012
•   
PHILADELPHIA — The scheduled execution of a convicted murderer has prompted pleas for clemency from thousands of people who argue that he should be spared because he had been sexually abused by his victim.

The inmate, Terrance Williams, 46, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Oct. 3 for killing a man after what his supporters say was years of being abused by the victim, as well as by a teacher and an older boy who first raped him when he was 6.   Mr. Williams was 18 in June 1984 when he beat to death Amos Norwood, 56.

Mr. Williams was also found guilty in a separate trial of third-degree murder, which does not carry the death penalty, for the killing in January 1984 of Herbert Hamilton, 50, who had made sexual advances toward him, according to court testimony. Mr. Hamilton was stabbed and beaten to death.

If the execution is carried out, Mr. Williams would be the first convict put to death involuntarily in Pennsylvania since 1962. Since reinstating capital punishment in 1978, Pennsylvania has executed only three people, all of whom asked for death after having exhausted their appeals.

A petition urging Gov. Tom Corbett and the state’s Board of Pardons to commute Mr. Williams’s sentence to life without parole has been signed, his lawyers said, by about 286,000 supporters, including former judges, religious leaders, mental health professionals and 35 advocates for children, who say his crimes resulted from a long history of abuse.

“Terry’s acts of violence have, alas, an explanation of the worst sort,” the advocates for children said in a joint letter in support of clemency. “Terry lashed out and killed two of the men who sexually abused him and caused him so much pain.”

The scheduled execution is opposed by the Roman Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles J. Chaput, whose 1.5-million-member archdiocese has been shaken in recent years by evidence that some of its priests abused children.   The archbishop wrote in a weekly column on the archdiocese Web site that Mr. Williams deserved punishment but did not deserve to die because a judicial execution would perpetuate the “wrongheaded lesson of violence ‘fixing’ the violent among us.”

Mr. Norwood’s widow, Mamie, has also asked for clemency for Mr. Williams. Ms. Norwood, 75, wrote that she had been “angry and resentful” toward Mr. Williams for many years but later concluded that the only way to have a “peaceful and happy” life was to forgive him.

“I do not wish to see Terry Williams executed,” Ms. Norwood said in a signed declaration filed with the court, the prosecutor’s office and the Board of Pardons. “His execution would go against my Christian faith and my belief system.”

Pressure on Governor Corbett, a Republican, has also come from the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Committee on Capital Punishment, a bipartisan group that includes state lawmakers. On Thursday, the panel asked the governor to postpone planned executions until it completes a study of the death penalty and announces its findings in December 2013.

The case continues a recent focus on the sexual abuse of children in Pennsylvania after Jerry Sandusky, a former Pennsylvania State University football coach, was convicted of abusing young boys, and Msgr. William J. Lynn, a former senior official in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was convicted of child endangerment for failing to stop abuse by priests under his supervision.  Mr. Williams’s history as a victim of abuse was unknown to the jurors who sentenced him to death in 1986, according to affidavits signed by five of them who said they would have voted instead for life in prison without parole if they had known all the facts.

“I was not aware that the victim in that case had been having sex with Terrance and other teenage boys,” wrote one juror, whose name is redacted in a court document notarized in July. “If I had known those circumstances at that time — what had led him down that path — that definitely would have been a factor and my decision would have been different from the death sentence.”

Pennsylvania does not require judges to instruct jurors in first- and second-degree murder cases that a life sentence means there is no possibility of parole.   All five of the jurors who signed affidavits said they were unaware that if they voted for a life sentence, Mr. Williams would actually be incarcerated for the rest of his life.

“If I had known that a life sentence meant life without parole, I personally would have voted for a life sentence, and I think other people probably would have voted for life, too,” one juror wrote.

Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for District Attorney R. Seth Williams of Philadelphia, said jurors should have been in no doubt about the options before them. “In the case of a capital murder charge like this one, the law is very clear: either death or life in prison without the possibility of parole,” she wrote in an e-mail.

On Friday, Judge M. Teresa Sarmina of Philadelphia Common Pleas Court agreed to hear defense arguments that the killing of Mr. Norwood was motivated not by robbery — as stated by Marc Draper, a co-defendant at Mr. Williams’s trial — but by Mr. Norwood’s sexual abuse of Mr. Williams.

Mr. Williams’s lawyers, who are seeking a stay of execution, say the evidence of sexual abuse, to be presented at another hearing on Thursday, was improperly suppressed by the prosecution at trial.

After Friday’s hearing, the district attorney rejected the arguments that the killing had been motivated by sexual abuse and said they had been dismissed by various courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

On Monday, Mr. Williams’s case will be heard by the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons. A unanimous vote of the five-member body is required for a recommendation to overturn the death penalty, and it is expected to announce its decision the same day. But the board’s decision is not binding on Mr. Corbett, who signed a death warrant for Mr. Williams on Aug. 9.

Title: POTH on CA Three Strikes
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 09, 2012, 08:17:29 AM


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/opinion/three-strikes-of-injustice.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121009
Title: Re: POTH on CA Three Strikes
Post by: G M on October 09, 2012, 09:26:07 AM
Hey, just stop sending them to prison, see how that works out.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/opinion/three-strikes-of-injustice.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121009

Title: Re: POTH on CA Three Strikes
Post by: G M on October 09, 2012, 10:21:55 AM
Hey, just stop sending them to prison, see how that works out.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/opinion/three-strikes-of-injustice.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121009



Let's expand on this point. Prisons are expensive, but uncontained criminal populations are even more so.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 09, 2012, 03:51:48 PM
IIRC the US has the largest % of its population in prison of any country on the planet, so it's not like we're being entirely wimpy.

In the first case mentioned in the clip in the article, there were two burglaries of empty homes and years later $20 worth of meth possession mandatorily leading to life in prison does not seem to me to be a punishment that fits the crime for this man. 
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on October 09, 2012, 04:52:01 PM
IIRC the US has the largest % of its population in prison of any country on the planet, so it's not like we're being entirely wimpy.

In the first case mentioned in the clip in the article, there were two burglaries of empty homes and years later $20 worth of meth possession mandatorily leading to life in prison does not seem to me to be a punishment that fits the crime for this man. 

Aren't the first two felony convictions supposed to be a clue to someone? When do we attach consequences to actions?
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 09, 2012, 05:08:15 PM
Staying with the example in question, the impression I have is of a man who was badly stupid as a young man (the two burglaries of unoccupied homes) but now he seems to have a loving wife and child.  Denying the judge the option of giving him less than life for $20 of meth seems quite the blunderbuss approach to me.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on October 09, 2012, 05:13:55 PM
I can't view the video at the moment, forgive me.

I am curious if the documentary makers actually examined the legal documents related to the various sob stories or just went by the word of the subjects of the video.

Often, less serious sounding felonies end up on the paperwork after a plea bargain. What were the circumstances of the original charges? If it were your unoccupied home, would you be so tolerant of the burglaries?
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 09, 2012, 05:47:51 PM
Your point about plea bargaining is quite sound, we are in agreement here.  We are agreed that burglaries are serious and quite deserving of prison time.

What remains for you though is to answer my point about current law denying discretion to the judge to give less than life for $20 of meth-- (not likely that plea bargaining was a factor here!)
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on October 09, 2012, 05:56:54 PM
If someone has failed to learn from their first two felony convictions, then it's clear to me they need the supervision of the state and away from the public. The reason laws like 3 strikes came about, removing discretion from judges, was the many horror stories of career criminals sliding through the justice system like they were teflon coated. If we have to err, err on the side of the public.
Title: POTH: Mandatory sentences
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 12, 2012, 04:30:43 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/12/science/mandatory-prison-sentences-face-growing-skepticism.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121212&_r=0
Title: POTH: Can forgiveness play a role in criminal punishment?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 06, 2013, 08:21:15 AM
The first page of a long article:


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/magazine/can-forgiveness-play-a-role-in-criminal-justice.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130106

By PAUL TULLIS
Published: January 4, 2013


At 2:15 in the afternoon on March 28, 2010, Conor McBride, a tall, sandy-haired 19-year-old wearing jeans, a T-shirt and New Balance sneakers, walked into the Tallahassee Police Department and approached the desk in the main lobby. Gina Maddox, the officer on duty, noticed that he looked upset and asked him how she could help. “You need to arrest me,” McBride answered. “I just shot my fiancée in the head.” When Maddox, taken aback, didn’t respond right away, McBride added, “This is not a joke.”

Maddox called Lt. Jim Montgomery, the watch commander, to her desk and told him what she had just heard. He asked McBride to sit in his office, where the young man began to weep.

About an hour earlier, at his parents’ house, McBride shot Ann Margaret Grosmaire, his girlfriend of three years. Ann was a tall 19-year-old with long blond hair and, like McBride, a student at Tallahassee Community College. The couple had been fighting for 38 hours in person, by text message and over the phone. They fought about the mundane things that many couples might fight about, but instead of resolving their differences or shaking them off, they kept it up for two nights and two mornings, culminating in the moment that McBride shot Grosmaire, who was on her knees, in the face. Her last words were, “No, don’t!”

Friends couldn’t believe the news. Grosmaire was known as the empathetic listener of her group, the one in whom others would confide their problems, though she didn’t often reveal her own. McBride had been selected for a youth-leadership program through the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and was a top student at Leon County High School, where he and Grosmaire met. He had never been in any serious trouble. Rod Durham, who taught Conor and Ann in theater classes and was close to both, told me that when he saw “Conor shot Ann” in a text message, “I was like: ‘What? Is there another Conor and Ann?’ ”

At the police station, Conor gave Montgomery the key to his parents’ house. He had left Ann, certain he had killed her, but she was still alive, though unresponsive, when the county sheriff’s deputies and police arrived.

That night, Andy Grosmaire, Ann’s father, stood beside his daughter’s bed in the intensive-care unit of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. The room was silent except for the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator keeping her alive. Ann had some brainstem function, the doctors said, and although her parents, who are practicing Catholics, held out hope, it was clear to Andy that unless God did “wondrous things,” Ann would not survive her injuries. Ann’s mother, Kate, had gone home to try to get some sleep, so Andy was alone in the room, praying fervently over his daughter, “just listening,” he says, “for that first word that may come out.”

Ann’s face was covered in bandages, and she was intubated and unconscious, but Andy felt her say, “Forgive him.” His response was immediate. “No,” he said out loud. “No way. It’s impossible.” But Andy kept hearing his daughter’s voice: “Forgive him. Forgive him.”

Ann, the last of the Grosmaires’ three children, was still living at home, and Conor had become almost a part of their family. He lived at their house for several months when he wasn’t getting along with his own parents, and Andy, a financial regulator for the State of Florida, called in a favor from a friend to get Conor a job. When the police told Kate her daughter had been shot and taken to the hospital, her immediate reaction was to ask if Conor was with her, hoping he could comfort her daughter. The Grosmaires fully expected him to be the father of their grandchildren. Still, when Andy heard his daughter’s instruction, he told her, “You’re asking too much.”
Title: Punishing False Witness
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 24, 2013, 06:07:15 AM
Punishing False Witnesses
"You shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother"—Deuteronomy 19:19.
We are commanded to punish false witnesses by sentencing them to the exact punishment they wished to impose upon their innocent fellow. If their testimony was intended to expropriate money, they must pay the amount they wished the other to lose. If their testimony was intended to impose upon the defendant corporeal or capital punishment, they are the ones flogged or put to death.
Title: What sentence would you give?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 31, 2013, 03:23:35 PM


http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2008/Jul/22/ln/hawaii807220338.html
Title: POTH: In many capital cases, less culpable punished the most
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 06, 2013, 06:49:33 AM



PHOENIX — Members of a white supremacy group descended on a home here 11 years ago to scare a man into paying back the $200 his roommate had accused him of stealing. The attack ended in the man’s death.

Jeremy Johnson. Mr. Johnson, Ms. Nelson and Mr. Gaines killed a man in Phoenix, but brokered plea deals and were able to avoid trials. They could all be out of prison by 2028.

Three of the four people who were eventually arrested brokered plea deals, avoiding a trial. The roommate, Jessica Nelson, 37, who instigated the beating, and a skinhead recruit named Jeremy Johnson, 30, who pummeled the man, Mark Mathes, with a baseball bat, could be out of prison in four years. Sean Gaines, who shot Mr. Mathes as he was thrown naked from a car onto a county road, is scheduled for release in 2028, at the age of 47.

Only one of the perpetrators, a young man who by all accounts was not directly involved in the killing, received the death penalty. Patrick Bearup, 36, who helped dispose of Mr. Mathes’s body and severed one of its fingers to retrieve a ring, was convicted of kidnapping and first-degree murder.

Such cases, in which a defendant with lesser culpability draws the harshest sentence, are not uncommon in Arizona, and elsewhere around the country. Of the six inmates executed in this state last year, four were equally or less culpable than co-defendants implicated in the same crimes, according to Dale A. Baich, the supervisor of the capital habeas unit in the federal public defender’s office, which handles appeals of capital cases in federal court. (Prison records show that three of those four co-defendants have been released.)

In many of the 32 other states that carry the death penalty, similar stories unfold as prosecutors, when deciding whom to charge, weigh the cost of mounting a capital trial, which can reach $1 million, against the likelihood of a conviction.

In 2011 in Ohio, Gov. John R. Kasich, using his clemency powers, commuted to life in prison the death sentence of a man convicted of killing two people. The governor, a Republican, said it was unclear if he had been the one to actually commit the murders. Another Ohio inmate, John Getsy, was executed in 2009 for killing the mother of his intended target in a murder-for-hire plot, despite a clemency recommendation by the state parole board, which said that other participants in the crime, including its architect, had not been sentenced to die. (The governor at the time, Ted Strickland, a Democrat, overruled the board.)

Mr. Bearup’s case was one of 135 pending capital cases in Maricopa County in 2006, more than the combined number of cases in the next three jurisdictions at the top of the list: Los Angeles County and Clark County, Nev., each with 36; and Harris County, Tex., with 17.

“In an ideal world, the prosecution would have ironclad proof against all the co-defendants to be able to pick the worst for the death penalty, but we have an inequitable system, a bargaining system,” said Richard Dieter, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, which tracks the number of executions across the country.

“If you give the prosecution some help,” Mr. Dieter said of defendants in such cases, “you’ll get something out of it.”

In 1972, the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to invalidate all death penalty laws in the country because they had been too arbitrarily applied. One of the concurring justices, Potter Stewart, wrote that the Constitution could not “permit this unique penalty to be so wantonly and freakishly imposed.” States moved to rewrite their statutes, narrowing their definition of first-degree murder or the number of aggravating factors used to define a capital crime. The idea was to make sure the death penalty would be reserved for the worst of the worst.

In an interview, the Maricopa County attorney, Bill Montgomery, who was elected in 2010, said his prosecutors, who handle most death penalty cases in the state, abide by a guiding principle: “Is this a case where the death penalty would be a just punishment in light of how we’ve handled similar cases,” based on the “brutality of the particular case in question?”

It is not a “side-by-side” comparison, he said, but a decision based on whether the evidence can prove a capital crime and whether the death penalty is supported. (His office currently has 68 pending capital cases.)

Defense lawyers have long argued that the state’s statute leaves too much of the decision in prosecutors’ hands.

In a motion filed before the state’s Superior Court last month, Susan L. Corey and Garrett Simpson, public defenders in Maricopa County, which accounts for 63 percent of the inmates on Arizona’s death row, said the problem was that the law was too broad.

They pored over more than 200 first-degree murder cases from 2010 and 2011 to check if the aggravating factors — the state has 14, up from 6 in 1973 — separated the most egregious from the rest. What they found was that virtually every one could have been tried as a capital murder.

“The point I’m trying to make is, it can’t be random,” Ms. Corey said.

Sometimes, money determines whether a defendant’s life is on the line. Last year, Greg McPhillips, the deputy attorney in Mohave County, in northwestern Arizona, said in a motion that because of a “budgetary crisis,” the county could not afford to try more than one death penalty case at a time. He gave up on seeking the death penalty against a man facing charges of first-degree murder, child abuse and sexual assault in the 2010 death of his infant son, choosing instead to pursue a capital case against a man accused of killing a teenage girl and injuring her mother.

“Do people who commit equally heinous crimes get the same results? The answer is unquestionably no,” said Christopher Dupont, a lawyer in Phoenix who has served as a consultant in death penalty cases in several states, including California and Nevada. “It’s a total mystery who is going to face the death penalty and who is not.”

Mr. Bearup’s case was dogged by challenges from the start: an inexperienced lawyer, an implausible defense of not being there for the attack and a decision to represent himself at sentencing and offer no mitigating evidence which jurors could weigh against the death penalty.

Last summer, he filed a motion to waive all legal challenges to his sentence. Judge Warren J. Granville, who had presided over Mr. Bearup’s trial, ordered a doctor to assess his competency. The doctor’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder was challenged by the prosecutor. A hearing is scheduled for May 10.

Judge Granville, as the statute requires, had reviewed the legality of Mr. Bearup’s sentence, which he affirmed, though not before rebuking Andrew Thomas, the former county prosecutor, for pursuing a capital case against a man who “even under the state’s theory, did not cause the physical death” of Mr. Mathes. (Mr. Thomas was disbarred last year, over malicious criminal and civil charges brought against political opponents.) “Justice,” Judge Granville wrote, “was not done for Mr. Bearup.”

From death row, Mr. Bearup has been studying to become a pastor, a course he is set to finish as a motion challenging his conviction is due, in June. It is his last chance at challenging his conviction in the state courts.
Title: Judge's sentencing remarks
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 08, 2013, 02:45:35 PM

Mick Philpott jailed for life – judge's sentencing remarks in full
Mrs Justice Thirlwall says father was 'driving force' behind plot and says his 'callous stupidity' left six children dead in house fire

As I said yesterday in the course of argument, this is a unique sentencing exercise.

You have each been convicted of six counts of manslaughter. Each count represents the death of a child. They ranged in age from five to 13. They died as a direct result of the fire set in the hallway of 18 Victory Road in the early hours of 11 May last year. All three of you are responsible for the deliberate setting of that fire. All three of you are responsible for those deaths.

I have not the slightest doubt that you, Michael Philpott, were the driving force behind this shockingly dangerous enterprise. You, Mairead Philpott, the mother of all of those children and you, Paul Mosley, a family friend, assisted him.

The background to these offences has been rehearsed at length in this court and elsewhere but it is my duty to set it out in sufficient detail for my sentencing decisions properly to be understood.

 
Court artist's drawing of Mick Philpott, Mairead Philpott, and Paul Mosley at Nottingham crown court.

Michael Philpott

Until February 2012 you lived in one household with your wife and her six children, and with another woman, Lisa Willis, and her five children, making 11 children in all. You were the father of nine of the children. You were, by that time, 55 years old. Mairead Philpott was 31. Lisa Willis was 28. Those arrangements had been in place for around 10 years or so. During that period you married Mairead Philpott. Lisa Willis was a bridesmaid at your wedding. The children were, on the evidence, well fed and clothed. They attended school regularly.

You were obsessed with Lisa Willis. Indeed, it was plain to me when you were giving evidence over more than three days in the witness box that you still are. In the period before Lisa Willis left, on at least three occasions you asked Mairead Philpott to agree to a divorce so that you could marry Lisa. Apparently you expected Mairead to remain in the house with the children just as before. Mairead Philpott refused. I shall return to that later.

In February of last year Lisa Willis left you, taking her children with her. She did not dare tell you she was leaving. She told Mairead Philpott that she was taking her children swimming. She and the children left with the clothes they stood up in and their swimming things. You soon realised what had happened and you set about trying to bring her back. The evidence shows that you tried sweet-talking her. You tried cajoling and then bullying her. Sometimes you moved between the three tactics. She would not come back. You could not stand the fact that she had crossed you. You were determined to make sure that she came back and you began to put together your plan.

Before I turn to what you did next, it is necessary to look at the history of your relationships with other women.

The first with which I am concerned was a relationship with a girl in her teens. You were in your 20s. The relationship was characterised by violence; there were repeated beatings. On one occasion you broke her arm, on another you dislocated her knee with a sledgehammer. You were sure that she was having affairs and would come back from your posting in the army to check on her, repeatedly. Eventually she summoned the courage to bring your relationship to an end. You did not accept her decision.

You broke into her house, armed yourself with a knife and went to her bedroom where you stabbed her repeatedly in a ferocious attack which left her with life threatening injuries from which she has never fully recovered. You intended, as a jury were later to find, to kill her. When her mother intervened you turned on her. You stabbed her repeatedly in a further vicious attack and you caused her serious injuries. You were convicted of attempted murder and wounding with intent contrary to section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act. You have, I am rightly reminded, served your sentence for that but it is clear from the evidence that I excluded from the trial that you have repeatedly used that conviction as a means of controlling other women, terrifying them as to what you might do to them if they did not follow your will.

When you came out of prison you married your first wife. Three children were born. You subjected your wife to physical violence throughout your relationship. She never reported anything to the police. She was too afraid to do so. She knew of your past. She believed she could not leave you. She simply hoped that the time would come when you would leave her. And that time came when you took up with a very young Heather Kehoe. She was 16 when she ran away with you, you were in your 40s. She spoke tellingly of life with you: sometimes you were charming, always domineering, always in control. Your initial plan in the early days of your relationship was to find a house big enough to accommodate the children of your first marriage who were to be removed from their mother. In the event they remained living with their mother. Heather Kehoe had two children. You controlled her through physical and sexual violence, threats and emotional abuse. Eventually she ran away from you. You prevented her from taking the children and they remained with you for some six months. She achieved custody of them only after a protracted court battle. Ever since you have subjected her to repeated allegations, seeking to undermine her relationships with the children. She, like the two women before her, speaks of the life-long damage she has suffered as a result of her relationship with you.

You then met Mairead Philpott. At that time she was a young single mother of one little boy. She told the court that she saw you as her guardian angel and moved in with you. She loved you, as she told the court. She also found in that household in the early days of your relationship the security she craved and had not previously found. You then met Lisa Willis, as I have described. Mairead agreed to have her in the house. She told the court she was hurt. Of course she was. You did not care. You controlled and manipulated those women as you had controlled and manipulated their predecessors. They ran the household and looked after all the children. They went out to work. Their wages and their benefits went into your account, you controlled how money was spent. Your suggestion that this was a joint account and this was a normal family arrangement was frankly ridiculous. These two young women were not even permitted to have a front-door key. You checked on Lisa Willis's relationships at work. Exactly as you had done in your earlier relationships. I accept that the level of physical violence had reduced in recent years, but the level of control, aggression and fear most certainly did not. Women were your chattels, there to look after you and your children (for that is how you describe them all). You bark orders and they obey. Witness after witness described the dynamics in your household. You were kingpin, no one else mattered.

What was plain from the earliest stage of the evidence was the importance to you of your children. In addition to the 11 who formed the household in early 2012 you have another seven. Having heard the evidence and having observed you carefully throughout your trial I am quite satisfied that for you the principal purpose of your many children is to reflect on you. Their needs, desires and aspirations were very low on your list of priorities, if indeed they featured at all. You craved attention, you enjoyed the limelight. You courted publicity. You were and remain the centre of your world and it is plain that you require everyone in your life, but particularly the women, to make sure that you remain at the centre of their world. Your needs and desires took precedence over everything, everyone else, including your children. You so arranged your life and theirs so that everything was done for the pleasure of Michael Philpott.

I turn back then to the events of the spring of 2012. You wanted to achieve the return of Lisa Willis. The way of achieving that, you decided, was to engineer the return of the children to you. She would then surely follow. In March, on a pretext you engineered a confrontation with Lisa Willis and her family which ended with threats from her sister. Within a very short time you had formulated the plan which would lead to the death of those six children. You began to plant the idea that Lisa Willis and her family were threatening to set fire to your home. You mentioned it to acquaintances and friends. In April you persuaded Lisa Willis to meet you but she did not repeat the exercise. In May you posted an entry on Facebook identifying her brother-in-law as the father of her eldest child. This was another of your obsessions. Early in your relationship you had beaten her with a weapon to try and force her to agree with your suspicions. She never did. In early May in response to the Facebook posting she telephoned you. You say she threatened you. You were delighted with that. You called the police immediately and demanded that she be arrested. You were furious that the police refused to do that. You demanded that there be a change of supervising officer, just as (I note in passing) you had done in late 2011 in respect of an assault where the police would not dance to your tune. From the time she came back for clothing in February to the time of the fire you repeatedly sought to use the police to strengthen your position against Lisa Willis. They were not drawn in.

A court hearing was set for 11 May in respect of the arrangements for the children. You told people that you had a plan, something up your sleeve. At trial you preposterously said that the plan was to ask for residence at the hearing on the 11 May. It was obvious nonsense. You knew perfectly well that there was no reason to remove those children from the care of their mother. You had to do something extreme to get your own way. And you did.

The means by which you were to achieve the removal of Lisa Willis from the care of her children were outside the comprehension of any right-thinking person. The plan, which you had plainly been considering for some time, was to set fire to your home on the night before the court hearing, making it look as though the fire had been set from outside. You would then rescue the children from upstairs via an external ladder. You would be the hero of the hour. Lisa Willis would be arrested and you would have achieved your aim. You had even arranged for the children's school places to be held open for them for the Monday morning.

It was a wicked and dangerous plan. And you put it into effect with the assistance of your two co-defendants. You poured petrol on the floor. Paul Mosley was responsible for removing the containers from your home. You set light to it. After a short while Mairead Philpott spoke to the emergency services. It became clear that there was no chance of a successful rescue and the children perished. The latter half of the 999 call is harrowing evidence of the unravelling of the plan.

The jury were spared some of the most harrowing details of the removal of the children from 18 Victory Road. Mercifully their deaths were swift and, it would seem, without pain. No one could have listened to the evidence of the firefighters and not be moved by what they had done and what they had seen in their efforts to combat the fire and save the children. Your neighbours were traumatised by what they saw; several of them tried to help. They risked their own safety to try and help. Their bravery was required as a result of your callous stupidity. It is clear that they have been shattered, as has the local community generally by the knowledge that you and your co-defendants started this fire deliberately. Within minutes of the fire you were telling people that this was the responsibility of Lisa Willis and her family. You blamed the police for not acting sooner. Lisa Willis was arrested and her children were taken into care. She had nothing to do with this fire, neither did her family. When your friends were gathering around you at the Premier Inn you were eager to hear that Adam Taylor, your neighbour, might be responsible, even though you knew perfectly well as the covert tapes show that he had nothing to do with it. You went to the police, reported it and he and his wife were arrested on six counts of murder, as you plainly intended.

I recognise as I must that the offences of which you have been convicted are offences of manslaughter and not murder. That means that I sentence on the basis that you did not intend either to kill your children or to cause them really serious harm.

But let me be clear: what you did intend, plainly, was to subject your children to a terrifying ordeal. They were to be woken from their beds in the middle of the night with their home on fire so you could rescue them and be the hero. Their terror was the price they were going to pay for your callous selfishness. In fact they paid with their six young lives. They had no chance of survival and I am quite sure that when you set that fire you were not thinking about them because you simply did not care. You were going to get your own way.

It has been said on your behalf that you were a good father. Lisa Willis said so, as did others. They said you loved your children. I cannot give that description to a man who acted as you did.

You lied to the police and you lied to the jury. Ever since the fire your life has been a performance for the public and the police, and then in this court. Your conduct has been punctuated by collapses and shows of distress designed to evoke sympathy where none is merited, designed to manipulate emotion.

I accept you have lost six children. I very much regret that everything about you suggests that your grief has very often been simulated for the public gaze.

You made sure that Mairead "stuck to the story", checking with her at every opportunity that she wasn't going to stray, as you put it. You knew that Mairead Philpott would do almost anything for your approval, to please you, to get your attention, as she put it. Without you she would never have become involved in this plan. Because she failed to put her children before you she has lost all of them. Nothing I have seen in your conduct before and during this trial gives me any reason to believe that you had the slightest concern for Mairead Philpott. She, too, was expendable.

The maximum sentence for manslaughter is life imprisonment. You are a disturbingly dangerous man. Your guiding principle is what Mick Philpott wants he gets. You have no moral compass. I have no hesitation in concluding that these six offences are so serious and the danger you pose is so great that the only proper sentence is one of life imprisonment and that is the sentence I impose upon you.

The law requires me to impose a period of years that you will serve before you are considered for parole. To reach that period I must identify the determinate sentence you would have served had I not imposed a life sentence. The determinate sentence would have been one of 30 years' imprisonment. I am required by parliament to halve that to reflect that were this a determinate sentence you would serve only half. The minimum period you must therefore serve before you are considered for parole is one of 15 years. From that I deduct 307 days to reflect the time you have already served on remand to give a term of 14 years and 58 days. Whether or not you are ever released will be a matter for the parole board.

Mairead Philpott

I am not going to repeat the history. Nor do I need to reiterate how serious these offences are.

As a result of what you did in the early hours of 11 May 2012 all your children lost their lives and you have lost all of your children. I accept that you feel their loss profoundly and that your grief is real. It is clear from what has been said about you by Mr Smith [Shaun Smith, her QC] that your children were your route to fulfilment. You loved them and cared for them.

I have already made clear that this was Michael Philpott's plan. I accept that he treated you as a skivvy or a slave, and you were prepared to put up with that. As became clear during the trial you were prepared to go to any lengths, however humiliating, to keep him happy. At an early stage of the trial it appeared that you were entirely downtrodden by Michael Philpott to the extent that it appeared that you felt you had no choice but to do whatever he wanted in whatever way he wanted in any aspect of your lives together. But as the evidence came out it was plain that this was not quite the position. This was put beyond doubt when you gave evidence. You pointed out that you had stood up to him in the past. That is why when he asked you for a divorce on no fewer than three occasions you refused him. That was a request you were simply not prepared to accommodate, whatever he said. It is inescapable therefore that when something was important enough to you, you were capable of exercising a choice which was not his choice.

These were your children; your first responsibility, surely, was to them. Instead you joined in with his plan, putting his obsession with Lisa above the safety of your children. The reality of the plan you went along with and helped execute was that your children were to be frightened out of sleep in the middle of the night and rescued by their father from a fire that should never have been started. The risks were obvious and overwhelming and anyone who has heard the harrowing wailing from you on the 999 call can hear your realisation that this had gone horribly wrong and your children were in mortal danger.

But by then it was too late and you bear your responsibility for that. You put Michael Philpott above your children and as a result they have died.

After the fire you threw your lot in with Michael Philpott. You supported him in his quest to get residence of the other children. You complied with his sexual demands to keep Paul Mosley onside.

You lied to the police and you stuck to the story, just as he asked you to, to the police and to the jury. You did not, I recognise, agree to lie about the relationship between Adam Taylor and Lisa Willis when Michael Philpott set about blaming him.

Before these offences you had committed no criminal offences. You now have convictions for six counts of the manslaughter of your children.

I am quite satisfied that a determinate sentence is appropriate in your case but it must reflect the magnitude of these offences. The sentence I pass is one of 17 years' imprisonment. Of that you will serve one half, at which point you will be released on licence. If you commit any further offences during the operational period of the licence you will be liable to be recalled and may have to serve the balance of your sentence. Any time that you have spent on remand will be deducted from the period you are to serve.

Paul Mosley

Everything that I have said about the seriousness of these offences applies to you.

Michael Philpott's obsession with Lisa Willis was nothing to do with you. Where his children lived had nothing to do with you. You have young children of your own. You must have appreciated the appalling risk to which these six children were to be exposed when this fire was started in their home. And yet you were prepared to go along with the plan and to join in with it to please your then friend, Michael Philpott. I am quite sure that one of your tasks that night was to remove the petrol containers from the scene so that the attack would appear to have come from outside. You enjoyed the attention that you gained from your proximity to the fire. You boasted of being arrested and bailed for six counts of murder. You could not help telling people that this was a plan that had gone wrong. You were going to hand yourself in as "it wasn't fair that Mick was taking all the blame", "what would you say if I told you we rehearsed it all six weeks earlier", and so on. When your clothes were analysed it became clear that petrol additive was on your jeans, your jumper and on one of your shoes just as it was on the clothing of your two co-defendants.

You, too, are responsible for the deaths of six children. As a result you have lost all contact with your own children. You may not see them now until they reach adulthood, if then. Unsurprisingly, your former partner wants nothing to do with you in the light of all that has become known about your conduct in the course of this trial.

Since you were convicted of robbery as a teenager you have not been in trouble with the police at all, but that good conduct is of little assistance when set against the seriousness of these offences.

I see no proper basis upon which to distinguish between you and Mairead Philpott. Accordingly the sentence I pass is one of 17 years' imprisonment. You will serve half of that period. Thereafter you will be released on licence. If you commit any further offences you will be recalled to prison and may have to serve the rest of your sentence. Any time that you have spent on remand will be deducted from the period you are to serve.

Title: Rr. Raine: The Criminal Mind
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 29, 2013, 10:30:04 AM
Some very difficult and dangerous questions are discussed in this piece:
==========================

The Criminal Mind
Advances in genetics and neuroscience are revolutionizing our understanding of violent behavior—as well as ideas about how to prevent and punish crime..
By ADRIAN RAINE
WSJ


In studying brain scans of criminals, researchers are discovering tell-tale signs of violent tendencies. WSJ's Jason Bellini speaks with Professor Adrian Raine about his latest discoveries.

The scientific study of crime got its start on a cold, gray November morning in 1871, on the east coast of Italy. Cesare Lombroso, a psychiatrist and prison doctor at an asylum for the criminally insane, was performing a routine autopsy on an infamous Calabrian brigand named Giuseppe Villella. Lombroso found an unusual indentation at the base of Villella's skull. From this singular observation, he would go on to become the founding father of modern criminology.
 
Lombroso's controversial theory had two key points: that crime originated in large measure from deformities of the brain and that criminals were an evolutionary throwback to more primitive species. Criminals, he believed, could be identified on the basis of physical characteristics, such as a large jaw and a sloping forehead. Based on his measurements of such traits, Lombroso created an evolutionary hierarchy, with Northern Italians and Jews at the top and Southern Italians (like Villella), along with Bolivians and Peruvians, at the bottom.
 
These beliefs, based partly on pseudoscientific phrenological theories about the shape and size of the human head, flourished throughout Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Lombroso was Jewish and a celebrated intellectual in his day, but the theory he spawned turned out to be socially and scientifically disastrous, not least by encouraging early-20th-century ideas about which human beings were and were not fit to reproduce—or to live at all.

The racial side of Lombroso's theory fell into justifiable disrepute after the horrors of World War II, but his emphasis on physiology and brain traits has proved to be prescient. Modern-day scientists have now developed a far more compelling argument for the genetic and neurological components of criminal behavior. They have uncovered, quite literally, the anatomy of violence, at a time when many of us are preoccupied by the persistence of violent outrages in our midst.
 
The field of neurocriminology—using neuroscience to understand and prevent crime—is revolutionizing our understanding of what drives "bad" behavior. More than 100 studies of twins and adopted children have confirmed that about half of the variance in aggressive and antisocial behavior can be attributed to genetics. Other research has begun to pinpoint which specific genes promote such behavior.
 


Brain-imaging techniques are identifying physical deformations and functional abnormalities that predispose some individuals to violence. In one recent study, brain scans correctly predicted which inmates in a New Mexico prison were most likely to commit another crime after release. Nor is the story exclusively genetic: A poor environment can change the early brain and make for antisocial behavior later in life.
 
Most people are still deeply uncomfortable with the implications of neurocriminology. Conservatives worry that acknowledging biological risk factors for violence will result in a society that takes a soft approach to crime, holding no one accountable for his or her actions. Liberals abhor the potential use of biology to stigmatize ostensibly innocent individuals. Both sides fear any seeming effort to erode the idea of human agency and free will.

It is growing harder and harder, however, to avoid the mounting evidence. With each passing year, neurocriminology is winning new adherents, researchers and practitioners who understand its potential to transform our approach to both crime prevention and criminal justice.
 
The genetic basis of criminal behavior is now well established. Numerous studies have found that identical twins, who have all of their genes in common, are much more similar to each other in terms of crime and aggression than are fraternal twins, who share only 50% of their genes.
 




Donta Page's brain scan, left, shows the reduced functioning of the ventral prefrontal cortex—the area of the brain that helps regulate emotions and control impulses—compared to a normal brain, right.

In a landmark 1984 study, my colleague Sarnoff Mednick found that children in Denmark who had been adopted from parents with a criminal record were more likely to become criminals in adulthood than were other adopted kids. The more offenses the biological parents had, the more likely it was that their offspring would be convicted of a crime. For biological parents who had no offenses, 13% of their sons had been convicted; for biological parents with three or more offenses, 25% of their sons had been convicted.

As for environmental factors that affect the young brain, lead is neurotoxic and particularly damages the prefrontal region, which regulates behavior. Measured lead levels in our bodies tend to peak at 21 months—an age when toddlers are apt to put their fingers into their mouths. Children generally pick up lead in soil that has been contaminated by air pollution and dumping.
 
Rising lead levels in the U.S. from 1950 through the 1970s neatly track increases in violence 20 years later, from the '70s through the '90s. (Violence peaks when individuals are in their late teens and early 20s.) As lead in the environment fell in the '70s and '80s—thanks in large part to the regulation of gasoline—violence fell correspondingly. No other single factor can account for both the inexplicable rise in violence in the U.S. until 1993 and the precipitous drop since then.

Lead isn't the only culprit. Other factors linked to higher aggression and violence in adulthood include smoking and drinking by the mother before birth, complications during birth and poor nutrition early in life.

Genetics and environment may work together to encourage violent behavior. One pioneering study in 2002 by Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt of Duke University genotyped over 1,000 individuals in a community in New Zealand and assessed their levels of antisocial behavior in adulthood. They found that a genotype conferring low levels of the enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), when combined with early child abuse, predisposed the individual to later antisocial behavior. Low MAOA has been linked to reduced volume in the amygdala—the emotional center of the brain—while physical child abuse can damage the frontal part of the brain, resulting in a double hit.
 
Brain-imaging studies have also documented impairments in offenders. Murderers, for instance, tend to have poorer functioning in the prefrontal cortex—the "guardian angel" that keeps the brakes on impulsive, disinhibited behavior and volatile emotions.
 
Of course, not everyone with a particular brain profile is a murderer—and not every offender fits the same mold. Those who plan their homicides, like serial killers, tend to have good prefrontal functioning. That makes sense, since they must be able to regulate their behavior carefully in order to escape detection for a long time.
 
So what explains coldblooded psychopathic behavior? About 1% of us are psychopaths—fearless antisocials who lack a conscience. In 2009, Yaling Yang, Robert Schug and I conducted structural brain scans on 27 psychopaths whom we had found in temporary-employment agencies in Los Angeles. All got high scores on the Psychopathy Checklist, the "gold standard" in the field, which assesses traits like lack of remorse, callousness and grandiosity. We found that, compared with 32 normal people in a control group, psychopaths had an 18% smaller amygdala, which is critical for emotions like fear and is part of the neural circuitry underlying moral decision-making. In subsequent research, Andrea Glenn and I found this same brain region to be significantly less active in psychopathic individuals when they contemplate moral issues. Psychopaths know at a cognitive level what is right and what is wrong, but they don't feel it.

What are the practical implications of all this evidence for the physical, genetic and environmental roots of violent behavior? What changes should be made in the criminal-justice system?
 
Let's start with two related questions: If early biological and genetic factors beyond the individual's control make some people more likely to become violent offenders than others, are these individuals fully blameworthy? And if they are not, how should they be punished?
 
Take the case of Donta Page, who in 1999 robbed a young woman in Denver named Peyton Tuthill, then raped her, slit her throat and killed her by plunging a kitchen knife into her chest. Mr. Page was found guilty of first-degree murder and was a prime candidate for the death penalty.
 
Working as an expert witness for Mr. Page's defense counsel, I brought him to a lab to assess his brain functioning. Scans revealed a distinct lack of activation in the ventral prefrontal cortex—the brain region that helps to regulate our emotions and control our impulses.
 
In testifying, I argued for a deep-rooted biosocial explanation for Mr. Page's violence. As his files documented, as a child he suffered from poor nutrition, severe parental neglect, sustained physical and sexual abuse, early head injuries, learning disabilities, poor cognitive functioning and lead exposure. He also had a family history of mental illness. By the age of 18, Mr. Page had been referred for psychological treatment 19 times, but he had never once received treatment. A three-judge panel ultimately decided not to have him executed, accepting our argument that a mix of biological and social factors mitigated Mr. Page's responsibility.
 
Mr. Page escaped the death penalty partly on the basis of brain pathology—a welcome result for those who believe that risk factors should partially exculpate socially disadvantaged offenders. But the neurocriminologist's sword is double-edged. Neurocriminology also might have told us that Mr. Page should never have been on the street in the first place. At the time he committed the murder, he had been out of prison for only four months. Sentenced to 20 years for robbery, he was released after serving just four years.
 
What if I had been asked to assess him just before he was released? I would have said exactly what I said in court when defending him. All the biosocial boxes were checked: He was at heightened risk for committing violence for reasons beyond his control. It wasn't exactly destiny, but he was much more likely to be impulsively violent than not.
 
This brings us to the second major change that may be wrought by neurocriminology: incorporating scientific evidence into decisions about which soon-to-be-released offenders are at the greatest risk for reoffending. Such risk assessment is currently based on factors like age, prior arrests and marital status. If we were to add biological and genetic information to the equation—along with recent statistical advances in forecasting—predictions about reoffending would become significantly more accurate.

In a 2013 study, Kent Kiehl of the University of New Mexico, looking at a population of 96 male offenders in the state's prison system, found that in the four years after their release, those with low activity in the anterior cingulate cortex—a brain area involved in regulating behavior—were twice as likely to commit another offense as those who had high activity in this region. Research soon to be published by Dustin Pardini of the University of Pittsburgh shows that men with a smaller amygdala are three times more likely to commit violence three years later.
 
Of course, if we can assess criminals for their propensity to reoffend, we can in theory assess any individual in society for his or her criminal propensity—making it possible to get ahead of the problem by stopping crime before it starts. Ultimately, we should try to reach a point where it is possible to deal with repeated acts of violence as a clinical disorder.

Randomized, controlled trials have clearly documented the efficacy of a host of medications—including stimulants, antipsychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilizers—in treating aggression in children and adolescents. Parents are understandably reluctant to have their children medicated for bad behavior, but when all else fails, treating children to stabilize their uncontrollable aggressive acts and to make them more amenable to psychological interventions is an attractive option.

Treatment doesn't have to be invasive. Randomized, controlled trials in England and the Netherlands have shown that a simple fix—omega-3 supplements in the diets of young offenders—reduces serious offending by about 35%. Studies have also found that early environmental enrichment—including better nutrition, physical exercise and cognitive stimulation—enhances later brain functioning in children and reduces adult crime.
 
Over the course of modern history, increasing scientific knowledge has given us deeper insights into epilepsy, psychosis and substance abuse, and has promoted a more humane perspective. Just as mental disorders were once viewed as a product of evil forces, the "evil" you see in violent offenders today may someday be reformulated as a symptom of a physiological disorder.
 
There is no question that neurocriminology puts us on difficult terrain, and some wish it didn't exist at all. How do we know that the bad old days of eugenics are truly over? Isn't research on the anatomy of violence a step toward a world where our fundamental human rights are lost?
 
We can avoid such dire outcomes. A more profound understanding of the early biological causes of violence can help us take a more empathetic, understanding and merciful approach toward both the victims of violence and the prisoners themselves. It would be a step forward in a process that should express the highest values of our civilization.
 —Dr. Raine is the Richard Perry University Professor of Criminology, Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and author of "The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime," to be published on April 30 by Pantheon, a division of Random House.
Dr. Raine is the Richard Perry University Professor of Criminology, Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of "The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime," to be published Tuesday by Pantheon, a division of Random House.
 
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on April 29, 2013, 03:40:49 PM

Rising lead levels in the U.S. from 1950 through the 1970s neatly track increases in violence 20 years later, from the '70s through the '90s. (Violence peaks when individuals are in their late teens and early 20s.) As lead in the environment fell in the '70s and '80s—thanks in large part to the regulation of gasoline—violence fell correspondingly. No other single factor can account for both the inexplicable rise in violence in the U.S. until 1993 and the precipitous drop since then.

Or, as the baby boomers aged, they stopped committing so many crimes, as crime is generally a young male thing.

Genetics and environment may work together to encourage violent behavior. One pioneering study in 2002 by Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt of Duke University genotyped over 1,000 individuals in a community in New Zealand and assessed their levels of antisocial behavior in adulthood. They found that a genotype conferring low levels of the enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), when combined with early child abuse, predisposed the individual to later antisocial behavior. Low MAOA has been linked to reduced volume in the amygdala—the emotional center of the brain—while physical child abuse can damage the frontal part of the brain, resulting in a double hit.

Or, being abused tends to make one prone to acting out of rage, and having had antisocial behavior modeled by one's parents, an abused child might then follow those behavior patterns of the parent when they become adults.

So what explains coldblooded psychopathic behavior? About 1% of us are psychopaths—fearless antisocials who lack a conscience. In 2009, Yaling Yang, Robert Schug and I conducted structural brain scans on 27 psychopaths whom we had found in temporary-employment agencies in Los Angeles. All got high scores on the Psychopathy Checklist, the "gold standard" in the field, which assesses traits like lack of remorse, callousness and grandiosity. We found that, compared with 32 normal people in a control group, psychopaths had an 18% smaller amygdala, which is critical for emotions like fear and is part of the neural circuitry underlying moral decision-making. In subsequent research, Andrea Glenn and I found this same brain region to be significantly less active in psychopathic individuals when they contemplate moral issues. Psychopaths know at a cognitive level what is right and what is wrong, but they don't feel it.

Would a brain scan show that the author of this piece is prone to seeing 27 as a meaningful number for an alleged scientic study of neurology and criminal behavior?  :roll:
Title: The Monsters that Walk Among Us
Post by: G M on May 14, 2013, 05:13:39 PM
http://pjmedia.com/blog/the-monsters-that-walk-among-us/?singlepage=true

The Monsters that Walk Among Us

If you sat next to Ariel Castro in a movie theater, you would never guess how evil he was.



by
Jack Dunphy


I remember the first person I arrested for murder.  I had been out of the LAPD academy only a month or two, and my training officer and I were assigned a radio call known as a “welfare check.” These calls most often arise when someone is unable to contact an elderly relative or friend.  We went to the house in question, the home of an elderly widow, and found no evidence of a forced entry or any other outward sign of trouble.  But given the woman’s age and the accumulation of mail and newspapers at her front door, and as none of her neighbors had seen her in some time, my partner made the decision that we should break in.  We did so, expecting to find the woman dead of a heart attack, a stroke, or any of the other natural causes that claim people her age.
 
Yes, she was dead all right, but there was nothing natural about what had killed her.

 


When the homicide detectives arrived and assessed the scene, they told us it appeared that the woman had been raped and then stabbed to death with a kitchen knife.  The killer, having worked up an appetite, cooked and ate a meal as the woman lay dying in the next room.  To this day I am haunted by the thought of the terror she must have felt in those final moments of her life.  Who could have done such a thing, I wondered.
 
Later, with the detectives still sifting the crime scene for evidence, there was little for my partner and me to do but stand near the yellow crime-scene tape and keep the curious at bay.  A young man of about 20 approached and asked us what was going on, and in the most perfunctory of terms we told him that the woman in the house had died.  A detective in the house contacted us by radio and told us to step out of earshot from the man, and when we had done so the detective informed us we had been talking with the likely killer.
 
As an eager rookie, my inclination was to slap the handcuffs on him as quickly as I could.  My partner, with his greater experience and accompanying wisdom, played it differently.  He continued to engage the man in small talk, cleverly eliciting some admissions that would later prove valuable in the murder case against him.  We would come to learn that the woman had befriended the killer — a neighbor — some years before and often hired him to perform odd jobs around the house.  He had completed one such job before raping and killing her.
 
While the man struck me as a bit odd, to my then-untutored eye there was nothing in his demeanor that suggested he was capable of the horrible crime he had just committed.  In speaking with other neighbors later, I didn’t find one who wasn’t completely shocked by what the man had done.
 
Which brings us to the unfathomable, decade-long ordeal of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, the three women recently freed from their kidnapper in Cleveland.  How, we wonder, could one man kidnap and hold in captivity even one person for so long without being discovered?  How twisted must a man be to carry out such a crime not just once but three times?  And how can so twisted a person move among us without our detecting the depth of his malevolence?
 
We want to comfort ourselves with the delusion that we can spot the dangerous people in our midst.  We look at the man accused in the Cleveland case, Ariel Castro, and we tell ourselves we would have known something was amiss behind the walls of his ordinary looking clapboard home.  Never in my neighborhood, we say.
 
But the truth is that most of us haven’t a clue about what goes on inside our neighbors’ homes, even in those neighborhoods described, like Ariel Castro’s, as “tight-knit.”  As anyone who reads the papers knows, this term is most often a press euphemism for “poor” or “crime-plagued,” and indeed the Cleveland Police Department’s crime map reveals that officers in Castro’s neighborhood are kept busy.  Zoom in on the map to the area just south and west of the I-90/I-71 interchange, expand the date range from the last seven days to the last 30, 60 and 90, and watch the dots on the map multiply like so many poisonous spores in a Petri dish.
 
I’ve spent most of my police career in Los Angeles working in similar neighborhoods, and even in those that genuinely are “tight-knit” there are always those few individuals who, like Ariel Castro, are themselves at varying stages of coming unraveled.  I’ve arrested murderers who had been living right under the noses of people who couldn’t bring themselves to believe that their friend, neighbor, or even family member had shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned someone to death.  Once he washes the blood off his hands, your typical murderer looks much the same as anyone else.
 
Did the police make mistakes in their handling of the three women’s disappearances?   Perhaps.  Michelle Knight’s name was dropped from an FBI database of missing persons only 15 months after her disappearance, but there is little cause to believe her continued presence in the database would have led to her recovery.  After all, Amada Berry’s and Gina DeJesus’s names were in the same database the entire time they were held, to no effect at all.  And as for those who say the police should have done more to find the women, one must ask: What more could they have done?  In all three abductions the police had no witnesses to describe a suspect and no crime scene from which to pluck forensic evidence.  And there was nothing about Ariel Castro that would have offered police cause to suspect him in the cases or to search his home.
 
No, it isn’t easy to spot the evil person next door.  Witness the various characterizations of the Tsarnaev brothers, the Boston Marathon bombers, whom most acquaintances described as ordinary young men incapable of such a horrific crime.  And now we know that the brothers have been implicated in a 2011 triple murder in Waltham, Mass., not far from the Watertown neighborhood where the elder brother was killed in a shootout with police and the younger one was captured.  How many of their friends suspected they were such cold-hearted killers?  How many of the strangers they encountered every day saw even a hint of the darkness in their souls?  None of them, I’m sure.
 
So it is with Ariel Castro.  Yes, now that he’s been identified as the proprietor of the Seymour Avenue Dungeon, his neighbors are making claims that they suspected him of bad things all along.  There was a naked woman chained up in the backyard, went one report, but the police failed to investigate.  All of these tales were concocted after the rescue, police say; there was nothing about Ariel Castro or his house that would have offered the slightest hint at what he was doing behind his closed door.
 
Ariel Castro is accused of unspeakably evil acts, but like the Tsarnaev brothers, like that murderer I arrested years ago, like all those killers on the loose in Chicago and most other cities you could name, he went unrecognized until the evidence of his crimes leapt out and grabbed someone’s attention.
 
Not every criminal — or even every murderer — sinks to the level of depravity occupied by the likes of the Tsarnaev brothers and Ariel Castro.  But consider: The Boston Globe reported that police solved 43 percent of the city’s murders in 2012, leaving 57 percent of the killers out and about and free to kill again.  In Ariel Castro’s Cleveland the police do a better job of things, with a 2012 murder clearance rate of 69 percent, but that still leaves 31 percent of its killers on the loose.  And in Chicago, a mere 132 of the city’s 507 murders that occurred in 2012 were solved, for a clearance rate of just 26 percent.  That’s a lot of killers running around out there going to restaurants and the movies and partaking in all the other pleasures the less homicidally inclined enjoy, maybe even sitting in the theater right next to . . . you.
 
Enjoy the show.
Title: Judge reduces sentence; interesting facts
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 21, 2013, 09:33:53 PM
Also posted in the Self Defense Law thread

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-murder-verdict-reduced-20130520,0,6854907.story
Title: Man charged for capturing boy vandals
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 16, 2013, 10:41:21 PM
http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/NY-man-who-says-4-kids-vandalized-home-is-charged-4603699.php
Title: Re: Man charged for capturing boy vandals
Post by: G M on June 17, 2013, 05:13:13 AM
http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/NY-man-who-says-4-kids-vandalized-home-is-charged-4603699.php


I guess common sense has been banned in New York as well.
Title: CA's catch and release program in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 26, 2013, 05:28:51 AM
Suspect in Hollywood stabbing an AB 109 inmate
By TAMI ABDOLLAH, Associated Press
Updated 7:48 pm, Tuesday, June 25, 2013
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The homeless man charged with murdering a woman at a popular Hollywood tourist attraction had a lengthy criminal record including dozens of arrests dating back six years, officials said Tuesday.

County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky asked Tuesday for a chronology of events between the release of Dustin Kinnear from state prison April 6 and the killing of Christine Calderon last week.

Yaroslavsky said Kinnear, 26, was released from prison and ordered to report to county probation for supervision instead of state parole as part of AB 109, the criminal justice realignment program pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The law, which took effect in October 2011, was in response to a federal court order to reduce California's prison population. Under it, nonviolent, non-sexual and non-serious criminals are sentenced to county jail instead of state prisons. The law also allows some inmates to report to county probation officers rather than state parole agents once they are released from custody.

That was the case with Kinnear, who began serving a three-year state prison sentence last December for violating terms of his release after he was sentenced to a year in county jail and three years of probation for a 2010 conviction of assault with a deadly weapon. In that incident he'd threatened a security officer with a broomstick, though it's unclear if the person was actually hit, Bingham said.

Kinnear was on probation in 2012 when he was found with brass knuckles and a dagger. He was sentenced to three years in state prison for violating his probation terms and was released April 6 after serving 96 days because of custody credits.

Dana Simas, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said assault with a deadly weapon is not defined as serious or violent under the state penal code.

"He was out in the community," Simas said. "He would have been in that exact place at that exact time regardless of AB 109."

Kinnear was picked up by police four times since his release — including an April 27 incident where he was arrested for lying to a peace officer. On May 28, he was convicted of battery and sentenced to three days in county jail, but he was released May 29 after serving two of his three days in custody while waiting for his case to be heard.

Kinnear's "extensive arrest history" includes more than two dozen arrests on assault, battery as well as drug-related charges dating to May 2007 and four convictions, Bingham said. The department is also researching his mental status. Kinnear had appeared in court last week wearing a yellow jail shirt, indicating psychological problems.

"We're all sitting here trying to figure out how could this happen," Yaroslavsky said. "How could somebody like this fall through so many cracks? The red flags were all over the place, and the entire system, from the state all the way down was colorblind."

Yaroslavsky said the issue is whether Los Angeles County officials were properly notified by the state and had enough time to adequately supervise Kinnear.

The state corrections department provided details on Kinnear to county officials one day before he was released from state prison, instead of the required 120 days, he said.

"On Monday you get a packet, on Tuesday he's on the streets of our county," Yaroslavsky said. "That's what happened here."

Luis Patino, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said the law requires 30 to 60 days' notice depending on the situation, though the department tries for 120 days, he said.

"It appears that we were told that we had to release him sooner than we thought because of the time that the judge had given him as credits," Patino said. "We do everything we can to try to give the counties as much as lead tie as we can, sometimes it's not just physically possible."

Yaroslavsky said the county departments of probation, mental health, public health and the Sherriff's Department need to determine whether laws and procedures are "adequate to protect against any of the possible gaps in the AB 109 process," states Yaroslavsky's motion Tuesday, which was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors.

Within 30 days, officials must also provide details on Kinnear's criminal and mental background, whether protocols for release were followed, and whether current laws and procedures are adequate to protect against possible gaps.

"What you have here is AB 109 was sold to the public as only impacting state prisoners who are nonviolent, non-sexual and non-serious (offenders)," Yaroslavsky said. "And here you have somebody who was in jail for assault with a deadly weapon and that is serious and it is violent by definition, and he ends up in the streets of Hollywood."

Bingham said the department is doing a thorough administrative review and will submit it to the board. "We take public safety very seriously and we're looking into this matter," Bingham said.
Title: POTH: Solitary
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 21, 2013, 08:20:43 AM

By JESSE WEGMAN
Published: July 20, 2013

 

Do you remember where you were standing at this moment five years ago? Ten years? Twenty? Seventy-eight men in Northern California do.
Today's Editorials



They have been held in solitary confinement for at least 20 years, each in his own 8-by-10-foot windowless cell at the Pelican Bay supermax prison, with about a thousand others — half of whom have been there for more than a decade. They are allowed only about an hour of “recreation” each day, often in shackles, in a cement enclosure not much larger than their cell.

Even among inmates accustomed to severe across-the-board restrictions of their liberties, there is a breaking point. This month, as many as 30,000 prisoners in California, most of whom are not in solitary confinement, went on hunger strikes to protest its mass use.

In truth, that breaking point was passed long ago. Every day, it seems, there is another news story, psychological study or official report demonstrating the severe damage caused by long-term solitary confinement.

A 2011 United Nations report said the practice can amount to torture and called for a ban on terms longer than 15 days. In this country, there are an estimated 25,000 prisoners in long-term solitary in supermax prisons; in California, the average stay is nearly seven years.

The inmates are isolated because prison officials have determined that they pose a threat to the safety of the guards and other prisoners, despite a growing body of evidence that such use of solitary does not reduce prison violence or promote safety.

At Pelican Bay, the overwhelming majority of the men in solitary don’t even have a record of violence; they are placed in solitary for their “gang associations,” despite the fact that such associations have hardly any predictive value for a prisoner’s likelihood to be violent.

The little hope these inmates have of leaving solitary lies mostly in what prison officials call “debriefing,” or snitching on other gang members. (California officials say that about 200 inmates statewide have been classified for return to the general prison population under a pilot program that considers behavior and other factors besides debriefing.)

Opponents of solitary do not deny that certain inmates are too dangerous or disruptive to live among the general prison population. The issue is whether depriving thousands of people of virtually all human contact for years on end, without real opportunities to get out, goes beyond any reasonable standard of proportionality in punishment. “They want to make these people suffer — it’s exactly what the goal is,” said Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama. “Whose interests are being undermined if you let someone for the first time in a year talk to their mother?”

Lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of solitary confinement are distressingly rare, mainly because of a strict federal law that limits litigation over prison conditions. But several recent suits have begun to make some headway, including one in California that relies on the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment to call for an outer limit of 10 years in solitary.

The Supreme Court has not ruled directly on the issue, but it has said that the length of a stay in solitary “cannot be ignored” when determining whether it violates the Eighth Amendment. And the court’s 2011 ruling that overcrowding in California’s prisons violates the Constitution might help pave the way for redress by suggesting that courts do not have to defer to prison officials on all matters of prison administration.

States that have recently reduced or nearly eliminated the use of solitary — from Mississippi to Ohio to Maine — have found it is possible to maintain safety and control in prisons while respecting basic human dignity. There is a difference, after all, between punishment and torture. Prisoners shouldn’t have to starve themselves for us to see that.

Meet The New York Times’s Editorial Board »
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on July 21, 2013, 08:51:38 AM
I can't speak for every corrections system obviously, but from what I've seen, inmates have to try real hard to end up in solitary. Correctional entities try to avoid it, as it's very expensive.
Title: POTH: Hi-tech, high risk forensics
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 25, 2013, 04:28:50 AM
 SAN FRANCISCO — WHEN the police arrived last November at the ransacked mansion of the millionaire investor Raveesh Kumra, outside of San Jose, Calif., they found Mr. Kumra had been blindfolded, tied and gagged. The robbers took cash, rare coins and ultimately Mr. Kumra’s life; he died at the scene, suffocated by the packaging tape used to stifle his screams. A forensics team found DNA on his fingernails that belonged to an unknown person, presumably one of the assailants. The sample was put into a DNA database and turned up a “hit” — a local man by the name of Lukis Anderson.

Bingo. Mr. Anderson was arrested and charged with murder.

There was one small problem: the 26-year-old Mr. Anderson couldn’t have been the culprit. During the night in question, he was at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, suffering from severe intoxication.

Yet he spent more than five months in jail with a possible death sentence hanging over his head. Once presented with Mr. Anderson’s hospital records, prosecutors struggled to figure out how an innocent man’s DNA could have ended up on a murder victim.

Late last month, prosecutors announced what they believe to be the answer: the paramedics who transported Mr. Anderson to the hospital were the very same individuals who responded to the crime scene at the mansion a few hours later. Prosecutors now conclude that at some point, Mr. Anderson’s DNA must have been accidentally transferred to Mr. Kumra’s body — likely by way of the paramedics’ clothing or equipment.

This theory of transference is still under investigation. Nevertheless, the certainty with which prosecutors charged Mr. Anderson with murder highlights the very real injustices that can occur when we place too much faith in DNA forensic technologies.

In the end, Mr. Anderson was lucky. His alibi was rock solid; prosecutors were forced to concede that there must have been some other explanation. It’s hard to believe that, out of the growing number of convictions based largely or exclusively on DNA evidence, there haven’t been any similar mistakes.

In one famous case of crime scene contamination, German police searched for around 15 years for a serial killer they called the “Phantom of Heilbronn” — an unknown female linked by traces of DNA to six murders across Germany and Austria. In 2009, the police found their “suspect”: a worker at a factory that produced the cotton swabs police used in their investigations had been accidentally contaminating them with her own DNA.

Contamination is not the only way DNA forensics can lead to injustice. Consider the frequent claim that it is highly unlikely, if not impossible, for two DNA profiles to match by coincidence. A 2005 audit of Arizona’s DNA database showed that, out of some 65,000 profiles, nearly 150 pairs matched at a level typically considered high enough to identify and prosecute suspects. Yet these profiles were clearly from different people.

There are also problems with the way DNA evidence is interpreted and presented to juries. In 2008, John Puckett — a California man in his 70s with a sexual assault record — was accused of a 1972 killing, after a trawl of the state database partially linked his DNA to crime scene evidence. As in the Anderson case, Mr. Puckett was identified and implicated primarily by this evidence. Jurors — told that there was only a one-in-1.1 million chance that this DNA match was pure coincidence — convicted him. He is now serving a life sentence.

But that one-in-1.1 million figure is misleading, according to two different expert committees, one convened by the F.B.I., the other by the National Research Council. It reflects the chance of a coincidental match in relation to the size of the general population (assuming that the suspect is the only one examined and is not related to the real culprit). Instead of the general population, we should be looking at only the number of profiles in the DNA database. Taking the size of the database into account in Mr. Puckett’s case (and, again, assuming the real culprit’s profile is not in the database) would have led to a dramatic change in the estimate, to one in three.

One juror was asked whether this figure would have affected the jury’s deliberations. “Of course it would have changed things,” he told reporters. “It would have changed a lot of things.”

DNA forensics is an invaluable tool for law enforcement. But it is most useful when it corroborates other evidence pointing to a suspect, or when used to determine whether any two individual samples match, like in the exonerations pursued by the Innocence Project.

But when the government gets into the business of warehousing millions of DNA profiles to seek “cold hits” as the primary basis for prosecutions, much more oversight by and accountability to the public is warranted. For far too long, we have allowed the myth of DNA infallibility to chip away at our skepticism of government’s prosecutorial power, undoubtedly leading to untold injustices.

In the Anderson case, thankfully, prosecutors acknowledged the obvious: their suspect could not have been in two places at once. But he was dangerously close to being on his way to death row because of that speck of DNA. That one piece of evidence — obtained from a technology with known limitations, and susceptible to human error and prosecutorial misuse — might mistakenly lead to execution at the hands of the state should send chills down every one of our spines. The next Lukis Anderson could be you. Better hope your alibi is as well documented as his.

Osagie K. Obasogie, a professor of law at the University of California, Hastings, and a senior fellow at the Center for Genetics and Society, is the author of the forthcoming book “Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind.”
Title: Death penalty for cop killer in NY
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 25, 2013, 12:41:30 PM
http://www.officer.com/news/11062190/man-who-killed-nypd-officers-gets-death-penalty?utm_source=Officer.com+Newsday+E-Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CPS130719002
Title: POTH: US Prison populations decline
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 26, 2013, 07:57:38 AM
U.S. Prison Populations Decline, Reflecting New Approach to Crime
By ERICA GOODE
Published: July 25, 2013 30 Comments

   

The prison population in the United States dropped in 2012 for the third consecutive year, according to federal statistics released on Thursday, in what criminal justice experts said was the biggest decline in the nation’s recent history, signaling a shift away from an almost four-decade policy of mass imprisonment.



The number of inmates in state and federal prisons decreased by 1.7 percent, to an estimated 1,571,013 in 2012 from 1,598,783 in 2011, according to figures released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an arm of the Justice Department. Although the percentage decline appeared small, the fact that it followed decreases in 2011 and 2010 offers persuasive evidence of what some experts say is a “sea change” in America’s approach to criminal punishment.

“This is the beginning of the end of mass incarceration,” said Natasha Frost, associate dean of Northeastern University’s school of criminology and criminal justice.

About half the 2012 decline — 15,035 prisoners — occurred in California, which has decreased its prison population in response to a Supreme Court order to relieve prison overcrowding. But eight other states, including New York, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina, showed substantial decreases, of more than 1,000 inmates, and more than half the states reported some drop in the number of prisoners. (Figures for three states were estimated because they had not submitted data in time for the report.) The population of federal prisons increased slightly, but at a slower rate than in previous years, the report found.

Imprisonment rates in the United States have been on an upward march since the early 1970s. From 1978, when there were 307,276 inmates in state and federal prisons, the population increased annually, reaching a peak of 1,615,487 inmates in 2009.

But in recent years, tightened state budgets, plummeting crime rates, changes in sentencing laws and shifts in public opinion have combined to reverse the trend. Experts on prison policy said that the continuing decline appears to be more than a random fluctuation.

“A year or even two years is a blip and we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, but three years starts to look like a trend,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, a nonprofit research group based in Washington. But he said that the rate of inmates incarcerated in the United States continued to be “dramatically higher” than in other countries and that the changes so far were “relatively modest compared to the scale of the problem.”

Most observers agree that the recession has played a role in shrinking prison populations. In 2011 and 2012, at least 17 states closed or were considering closing prisons partly for budgetary reasons, representing a reduction of 28,525 beds, according to a report by the Sentencing Project published last year.

But Adam Gelb, director of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ public safety performance project, said that while fiscal concerns might have led to the turnaround in some states, the need to cut budgets had not been the deciding factor.

“They’re not simply pinching pennies,” Mr. Gelb said. “Policy makers are not holding their noses and saying we have to scale back prisons to save money. The states that are showing drops are states that are thinking about how they can apply research-based alternatives that work better and cost less.”

Changes in state and federal sentencing laws for lower-level offenses like those involving drugs have played a central role in the shift, he and others said, with many states setting up diversion programs for offenders as an alternative to prison. And some states have softened their policies on parole, no longer automatically sending people back to prison for parole violations.

But changing public attitudes are also a major driver behind the declining prison numbers. Dropping crime rates over the last 20 years have reduced public fears and diminished the interest of politicians in running tough-on-crime campaigns. And public polls consistently show that Americans are now more interested in spending money on education and health care than on building more prisons.

“People don’t care so much about crime, and it’s less of a political focus,” said Professor Frost, who is a co-author of a forthcoming book, “The Punishment Imperative.”

The result has been an unusual bipartisan effort to reduce the nation’s reliance on prisons, with groups like Right on Crime, devoted to what it calls the “conservative case for reform,” pushing for lower-cost and less punitive solutions than incarceration for nonviolent offenders.

Marc Levin, senior policy adviser for Right on Crime, described the change in conservatives’ position on parole violators: It used to be “Trail ’em, nail ’em and jail ’em,” he said, “but there’s been a move to say, ‘Yes, there’s a surveillance function, but we also want them to succeed.’ ”

Some of the most substantial prison reductions have taken place in conservative states like Texas, which reduced the number of inmates in its prisons by more than 5,000 in 2012. In 2007, when the state faced a lack of 17,000 beds for inmates, the State Legislature decided to change its approach to parole violations and provide drug treatment for nonviolent offenders instead of building more prisons.

In Arkansas, which reduced its prison population by just over 1,400 inmates in 2012, legislators in 2011 also passed a package of laws softening sentencing guidelines for low-level offenders and steering them to diversion programs.

“It’s a great example of a state that made some deliberate policy choices to say we can actually reduce recidivism and cut our prison group at the same time,” Mr. Gelb said.

Joan Petersilia, a law professor at Stanford and a co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, said in an interview last year that she thought Americans had “gotten the message that locking up a lot of people doesn’t necessarily bring public safety.” California’s example, she said, has also spurred other states to consider downsizing for fear of facing similar litigation.

But Professor Petersilia added that though the trend may have begun out of a need for belt-tightening, it had grown into a national effort to rethink who should go to prison and for how long.

“I don’t think in modern history we’ve seen anything like this,” she said.
Title: Son finds wife and dad fg on his son's bed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 07, 2013, 08:33:33 AM
Tragic facts here.  What punishment for the son?

http://www.guns.com/2013/08/06/deputy-faces-assault-charges-after-catching-his-wife-in-bed-with-his-dad/
Title: Re: Son finds wife and dad fg on his son's bed
Post by: jcordova on August 07, 2013, 12:38:31 PM
Tragic facts here.  What punishment for the son?

http://www.guns.com/2013/08/06/deputy-faces-assault-charges-after-catching-his-wife-in-bed-with-his-dad/


So sad and even made his son lose his job. No bueno  :-(
Title: Re: Son finds wife and dad fg on his son's bed
Post by: Dog Robertlk808 on August 07, 2013, 01:58:52 PM
Tragic facts here.  What punishment for the son?

http://www.guns.com/2013/08/06/deputy-faces-assault-charges-after-catching-his-wife-in-bed-with-his-dad/

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.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 07, 2013, 03:20:15 PM
The Texan phrase "He needed killing" comes to mind , , ,
Title: POTH: Holder & DOJ seek to curtail stiff drug sentences
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 12, 2013, 08:28:24 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.
Title: global incarceration rates (as % of population)
Post by: bigdog on August 13, 2013, 10:28:58 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/13/incarceration-rate-per-capita_n_3745291.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 14, 2013, 04:56:26 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,
Newt
Title: a strand from the SUV-Biker case in NYC
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 08, 2013, 02:01:15 PM
http://michaelgraham.com/more-outrage-in-suv-case-assaulter-had-been-busted-for-drugs-guns-no-jail-time/
Title: Setenced to a slow death
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 17, 2013, 06:15:00 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.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on November 17, 2013, 07:29:30 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.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 17, 2013, 07:31:19 AM
Could be, but tis hard to read these and not be moved , , ,
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on November 17, 2013, 07:36:39 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?
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 17, 2013, 08:00:16 AM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/14/cole-and-mauer-reducing-crime-by-reducing-incarcer/
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on November 17, 2013, 08:12:46 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?
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 17, 2013, 09:44:10 AM
Sometimes you can be really annoying with how well you make your points  :lol:
Title: Response times going up in San Jose, CA
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 18, 2013, 04:34:47 AM
http://capoliticalnews.com/2013/12/17/crime-skyrocketing-in-san-jose-cops-can-no-longer-protect-you/
Title: Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack cases
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 19, 2013, 01:13:14 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

Title: Life sentence without have taken one
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 22, 2013, 09:56:44 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
Title: Thoughts on Solitary Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 21, 2014, 08:45:56 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
Title: Life for 3 pot strikes
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 23, 2014, 05:42:49 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
Title: Re: Life for 3 pot strikes
Post by: G M on February 23, 2014, 06:11:13 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

Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: c - Shadow Dog on February 23, 2014, 07:21:02 PM

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

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMEe7JqBgvg[/youtube]
Title: 3 strikes...
Post by: G M on February 24, 2014, 04:19:08 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.
Title: Prager: Bryan Stow and the Legal System
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 25, 2014, 08:45:35 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.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on February 25, 2014, 04:04:14 PM
Is it OK that LAPD SWAT arrested the career gangster that kicked Bryan Stow over and over?
Title: Pay up or go to jail
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 04, 2014, 02:19:40 PM


http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/mar/02/poor-
Title: Re: Pay up or go to jail
Post by: G M on March 05, 2014, 03:48:50 PM


http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/mar/02/poor-

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.
Title: CO prison chief does 20 hours in solitary
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 16, 2014, 10:51:37 AM
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
Title: Re: CO prison chief does 20 hours in solitary
Post by: G M on March 16, 2014, 12:32:52 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

Stupid pandering to inane lefty audiences.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 16, 2014, 01:16:49 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.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on March 16, 2014, 02:30:22 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.
Title: POTH: Rikers Island surges with violence and mental illness
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 19, 2014, 07:22:08 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
Title: Thailand: thugs have to fight MT fighters
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 25, 2014, 06:25:12 AM
http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/04/22/local-thugs-go-head-to-head-with-muay-thai-fighters-during-thai-new-year-festival/
Title: Botched execution in OK
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 29, 2014, 07:36:53 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

Title: Re: Botched execution in OK
Post by: G M on April 30, 2014, 04:19:30 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.
Title: 80 years for warning shots?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 13, 2014, 08:19:06 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/
Title: Father deals out justice
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 20, 2014, 08:34:38 AM
http://www.tpnn.com/2014/07/18/swift-justice-what-one-father-did-to-the-man-he-caught-molesting-his-son/
Title: Re: Father deals out justice
Post by: DDF on July 20, 2014, 05:22:53 PM
http://www.tpnn.com/2014/07/18/swift-justice-what-one-father-did-to-the-man-he-caught-molesting-his-son/

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.
Title: Former NYPD commisioner Bernard Kerik in fascinating interview
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 20, 2014, 09:39:30 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vfDZ22hTik&feature=share
Title: Innocence Project?
Post by: G M on November 10, 2014, 05:51:24 AM
http://m.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/duped-by-innocence-project-milwaukee-man-now-free-b99386015z1-281852841.html
Title: Newt: Prison Sentencing Reform
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 05, 2014, 06:47:03 PM
Seize the Moment to Reform Our Failed Prison System
Originally published at CNN.com.
By Newt Gingrich and Van Jones  :-o :-o :-o

With Republican majorities coming in both houses of Congress and a Democrat in the White House, many people in Washington believe nothing will get done. We'd like to nominate an exception to that expectation: Criminal justice reform.

Newt has talked about the need for "confidence-building measures" between the President and Republicans in Congress. The idea is that we should work on easier things first, so that we can work on harder things next.

Transforming our nation's failed prison system looks like it could be easier now than anyone expected. Leaders in both parties agree on the need and direction for reform.

They recognize that locking up millions of people for very long periods of time at ballooning costs is not a wise response to nonviolent crime. Warehousing nonviolent offenders for years behind bars has been an economic, moral and human catastrophe.

The United States has 5% of the world's population, but 25% of its incarcerated population. During the past four decades, the rate of incarceration in the U.S. has more than quadrupled, costing us more than $80 billion a year. There are now roughly 2.3 million people in prison or in jail, which is nearly one in every 100 Americans.

Today in a Florida prison, a 19-year-old man is serving a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence for drug possession. His incarceration will cost taxpayers $60,000 a year. He will receive no job training, no education and no drug treatment. He will leave prison beaten down. He'll carry the stigma and the barriers that come with being a felon, making it difficult for him to find a job and more likely that he will end up back in prison.

As a corrections system, this makes no sense. We must rethink our approach from the ground up. And for federal crimes, we can start by building on bipartisan reforms that are spreading across the country at the state level.

In the true spirit of federalism, states have led the way in passing reforms that protect public safety, more effectively punish and correct nonviolent offenders, save taxpayers money and ensure hardened and violent criminals remain behind bars.

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal has implemented a bold overhaul of the state's criminal justice system, slashing prison spending and reducing harsh penalties for nonviolent offenses. The result has been a 20% reduction over five years in the number of African-American men incarcerated.

In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry has been so successful at using probation, parole and sentencing reform to both reduce the prison population while also reducing crime that people have termed his approach the "Texas Model."

Out west, California recently passed one of the most transformational examples of bipartisan criminal justice reform. Proposition 47, the "Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act," was a sensible measure to reduce incarceration for nonviolent crimes and to increase investments in crime prevention, treatment and education.

The initiative changed six low-level offenses, including simple drug possession, from felonies to misdemeanors, and will save California hundreds of millions of dollars each year in prison spending that wasn't working, reinvesting those savings into mental health and drug treatment, K-12 schools and victim services.

While there is a lot to learn from the policy reforms brought about by Prop 47, there may be even more to learn from its politics.

The initiative had the support of crime survivors, victims groups, business groups and 1,500 clergy across the state. Everyone from rapper Jay Z and the ACLU to Sen. Rand Paul and Grover Norquist lined up behind the measure. (We both endorsed it, too.) Conservative California businessman B. Wayne Hughes Jr. was the single largest individual donor to the effort, giving more than $1.25 million.

Because of its broad-based support, Proposition 47 passed by a huge margin of 59-41 percent. It even won in some conservative strongholds, such as Orange County and Riverside County.

California isn't the only place where criminal justice reform did well on the ballot. Deal, and senators such as John Cornyn and Cory Booker were re-elected by big margins, campaigning in part on their criminal justice reform efforts. And in New Jersey, voters passed a state constitutional amendment reforming the bail system that was championed by both Republican Gov. Chris Christie and the Drug Policy Alliance.

If criminal justice reform can happen in places as diverse as Georgia, Texas, California and New Jersey, then it should be possible to bring similar reforms to the federal level in Washington, D.C.

There are a number of good bipartisan bills in the U.S. Senate that should be our starting point. One of the most important is the "Smarter Sentencing Act," authored by conservative Sen. Mike Lee and liberal Sen. Dick Durbin. It would reduce mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. Senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker have also introduced important, bipartisan legislation.

Even more than the current debate in the Senate, however, the approaching 2016 election season offers the opportunity for the American people to make criminal justice reform a priority. Voters should demand of each presidential and gubernatorial candidate a vision for reducing incarceration and cutting prison spending while improving public safety and helping nonviolent offenders live full, productive lives within the law.

In the interest of ensuring criminal justice reform is part of the conversation about who should be our next president, we will convene a national summit on criminal justice reform under the banner of #cut50 -- a new bipartisan initiative of Rebuild the Dream, which Van leads, to help cut the prison population in half over the next 10 years.
Our overreliance on prisons has failed America.

It is past time for both political parties to come together and fix a bad system of their own making. We believe this moment offers a once-in-a generation opportunity for reforms that will save entire communities and transform the lives of millions of Americans. We must not let it pass.

Your Friend,
Newt
Title: 17 year old gets 35 years for credit card fraud
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 16, 2015, 07:10:24 PM


https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=604207289667019
Title: Re: 17 year old gets 35 years for credit card fraud
Post by: G M on January 17, 2015, 04:17:08 AM


https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=604207289667019

My bs detector is going off. Looked and can't find anything from an actual media source.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 17, 2015, 08:36:07 AM
Thank you very much GM.
Title: CA inmates killed at 2x the national average, esp'ly sex offenders
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 18, 2015, 08:55:45 AM


http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20150216/california-inmates-killed-at-rate-double-national-average-sex-offenders-among-most-targeted
Title: POTH: Justice Kennedy speaks
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 05, 2015, 08:25:52 AM
Members of the Supreme Court rarely speak publicly about their views on the sorts of issues that are likely to come before them. So it was notable when Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer sat before a House appropriations subcommittee recently and talked about the plight of the American criminal justice system.

Justice Kennedy did not mince his words. “In many respects, I think it’s broken,” he said.

It was a good reminder of the urgency of the problem, and a stark challenge to a Congress that remains unable to pass any meaningful sentencing reform, despite the introduction of multiple bipartisan bills over the past two years.

The main topic of the subcommittee hearing was the Supreme Court’s budget, but a question on prison overcrowding from Representative Steve Womack, Republican of Arkansas, gave Justice Kennedy a chance to lay out his views.
Continue reading the main story
Related in Opinion

    Inmates watching television at Angola State Penitentiary, Louisiana, 2002.
    Opinion: Let Prisoners Take College CoursesAPRIL 4, 2015

“The corrections system is one of the most overlooked, misunderstood institutions we have in our entire government,” he said. He chastised the legal profession for being focused only on questions of guilt and innocence, and not what comes after. “We have no interest in corrections,” he said. “Nobody looks at it.”

That is not entirely fair; many lawyers and legal scholars have devoted their careers to studying the phenomenon of mass incarceration in America and to improving intolerable prison conditions. But Justice Kennedy was right that all too often decisions about sentencing and corrections are made without meaningful consideration of their long-term costs and benefits, or of their effect on the millions of people who spend decades behind bars.

“This idea of total incarceration just isn’t working,” he said. “And it’s not humane.”

Justice Kennedy has often talked about human dignity in his nearly three decades on the court, and that principle figured into his assessment of one of the most widely used control techniques in modern American prisons: solitary confinement. The practice “literally drives men mad,” he said, describing one case the justices heard recently involving a man who had been held in isolation for 25 years.
Continue reading the main story
Recent Comments
Madamoiselle
2 minutes ago

Maybe we should adopt a system more closely related to Singapore. They abolished trial by jury in the 1970's, are considered one of the...
Pat Marks
9 minutes ago

The article did not mention that over the past twenty five years There is a strong effort to divert many non violent criminals into...
niobium
10 minutes ago

America, Land of the Free.What a joke.The US has more people in jail than any other country (25% of all the jailed people in the world) as...

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One obvious way to end this practice would be for the court to ban it under the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishments. Justice Kennedy — whose regular role as the swing vote on a closely divided court gives him tremendous power — has a mixed record on that amendment. Several times he has voted to uphold breathtakingly long sentences for nonviolent crimes. For example, in two 2003 cases, he joined the five-member majority that let stand sentences of 25 years to life and 50 years to life for men convicted in California of thefts totaling a few hundred dollars.

Justice Kennedy’s response to such manifestly unjust results is that fixing prison sentences is the job of lawmakers, not the courts. But that too easily absolves the justices of their constitutional responsibility. The four justices dissenting in the California cases argued that those grossly disproportionate sentences violated the Eighth Amendment.

In more recent years, Justice Kennedy has increasingly invoked the amendment in sentencing cases, as he did in writing the 2008 decision prohibiting the death penalty as a punishment for child rape, and in 2010 and 2012 when he voted to bar sentences of life without parole for juveniles in most circumstances. He also relied on it in a 2011 decision ordering California to reduce overcrowding in its prisons, a condition that threatened inmates’ physical and mental health.

Justice Breyer, who before joining the court helped design the modern federal sentencing guidelines in the 1980s, told the committee of his own concerns about the justice system, and in particular was sharply critical of mandatory minimum sentences. Such sentences, he told the representatives, are “a terrible idea.”

The justices were right to lay these issues directly at Congress’s door. They can accomplish only so much on their own. Meanwhile, states from Texas to California to New York to Mississippi have been reforming their prisons and their sentencing laws for several years now, with overwhelmingly positive results. Now it is Congress’s turn to reform the unjustly harsh and ineffective sentencing laws it passed in the first place.
Title: Wrongly incarcerated for 39 years
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 13, 2015, 08:27:43 AM
http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2015/03/clevelands_newest_millionaire.html
Title: A felony murder case
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 21, 2015, 05:14:42 AM
This case here is an example of the issues in the notion of "felony murder".
Title: Man executed in TX after DA hid evidence
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 09, 2015, 03:29:32 PM


http://deadstate.org/rick-perry-executed-a-father-of-three-after-a-texas-prosecutor-hid-evidence-proving-him-innocent/
Title: Baltimore jail
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 10, 2015, 07:57:01 AM
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/04/14/this-is-my-jail 
 :-o :-o :-o
Title: Re: Baltimore jail
Post by: G M on May 10, 2015, 08:52:57 AM
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/04/14/this-is-my-jail 
 :-o :-o :-o

Well, government is a name for something we do together, according to our president.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on May 10, 2015, 04:55:28 PM
Funny how deep blue states seems to be awash with both debt and corruption.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 11, 2015, 06:23:32 AM
http://www.salon.com/2015/05/10/prisons_are_a_cash_cow_how_privatization_forged_an_incarceration_industrial_complex_partner/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

I've a couple of friends/ideological opposites on FB who have been chewing my ear about the evils of privatization of prisons e.g. http://www.salon.com/2015/05/10/prisons_are_a_cash_cow_how_privatization_forged_an_incarceration_industrial_complex_partner/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

Your thoughts on this?
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on May 11, 2015, 07:06:39 AM
Once a correctional facility is built, the biggest cost is staffing. The only way private facilities are profitable is by low wages and benefits for staff. Low wages and benefits, no job protection for staff means constant turnover. That means that the facility is dangerous and STGs form.

There are no power vacuums in human affairs. If staff doesn't run the facility, then the inmates do. Eventually, the end result is the riots and millions in damage to the facility.

All paid for by the taxpayers.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 11, 2015, 12:05:00 PM
But didn't we see the Black Guerilla Family running the Baltimore jail, even though it was city owned and run, due to low wages and high turnover?
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on May 11, 2015, 12:24:04 PM
But didn't we see the Black Guerilla Family running the Baltimore jail, even though it was city owned and run, due to low wages and high turnover?


A well run facility isn't a given when it is directly run by a governmental entity, but it has a better chance. I have never seen a private facility that wasn't a problem. Some being worse than others.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: DougMacG on May 12, 2015, 08:05:49 AM
In a world where there are cameras everywhere and in a part of this world, prisons, where people already have limited rights of liberty and privacy, how does an inmate knock up four young, female prison guards?  Doing it on your own time ought to involve waiting until he gets out.  Yes, the pay scale should be high enough that most wouldn't want to lose their job.

I would optimistically think that the publicizing of this story would cause reforms.  It is quite a large financial setback for a private firm to lose a contract like this.

I wonder if the problem is not the private management but the government sector rules placed on them that enables this.  My initial thought is to make cells smaller, bars thicker and punishments harsher until problems like this go away.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 12, 2015, 09:14:25 AM
Doug:  Are you thinking that the BGF in the Baltimore jail was privately run?
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on May 12, 2015, 10:06:15 AM
Jails are as mentioned in the article, very difficult to run, and unless an inmate is serving a short term sentence, they are not convicted of a crime. That limits the degree of control you have over those in custody.

A good Intel and internal affairs unit is crucial.
Title: POTH on rape in jail
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 14, 2015, 09:24:54 AM
A quintessential Pravda on the Hudson article-- but the larger point I think is sound.  Rape does not belong as part of punishment and our tolerance of it makes for far more brutal felons when they get out.
Title: Re: POTH on rape in jail
Post by: G M on May 14, 2015, 10:13:49 AM
A quintessential Pravda on the Hudson article-- but the larger point I think is sound.  Rape does not belong as part of punishment and our tolerance of it makes for far more brutal felons when they get out.


Donde esta ?
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 14, 2015, 01:50:33 PM
Oops!  Brain fart!  :oops:

Push to End Prison Rapes Loses Earlier Momentum
By DEBORAH SONTAGMAY 12, 2015
Photo

Passion Star, a transgender inmate at the Barry B. Telford prison complex in New Boston, Tex. The scars are the result of a slashing by a gang member that required 36 stitches. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

NEW BOSTON, Tex. — The inmate, dressed in prison whites with a shaved head and incongruously tender eyes behind wire-rimmed glasses, entered the visiting room with her wrists joined as if she were handcuffed. At 31, she had spent her whole adult life behind bars, and it looked like a posture of habit.

She introduced herself: “My given name at birth was Joshua Zollicoffer, but my preferred name is Passion Star.”

A transgender woman whose gender identity has been challenged by the Texas authorities, Ms. Star herself is challenging Texas’ refusal to accept new national standards intended to eliminate rape in prison, which disproportionately affects gay and transgender prisoners. Last spring, Gov. Rick Perry declared in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. that Texas had its own “safe prisons program” and did not need the “unnecessarily cumbersome and costly” intrusion of another federal mandate.

Ms. Star, who says she is a victim of repeated sexual harassment, coercion, abuse and assault in Texas’ maximum-security prisons for men, disagrees.
Photo
 
Ms. Star accepted a plea deal of 20 years on a charge of aggravated kidnapping, the same deal as her former boyfriend and co-defendant. He was released two years ago. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

“Look, I got 36 stitches and have scars on my face that prove the prisons are not safe and the current system does not work,” she said. “Somebody needs to be intrusive into this state’s business. Because if somebody was intruding, probably these things would not happen.”

After decades of societal indifference to prison rape, Congress, in a rare show of support for inmates’ rights, unanimously passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act in 2003, and Mr. Perry’s predecessor as governor, President George W. Bush, signed it into law.

“The emerging consensus was that ‘Don’t drop the soap’ jokes were no longer funny, and that rape is not a penalty we assign in sentencing,” said Jael Humphrey, a lawyer with Lambda Legal, a national group that represents Ms. Star in a federal lawsuit alleging that Texas officials failed to protect her from sexual victimization despite her persistent, well-documented pleas for help.

But over 12 years, even as reported sexual victimization in prisons remained high, the urgency behind that consensus dissipated. It took almost a decade for the Justice Department to issue the final standards on how to prevent, detect and respond to sexual abuse in custody. And it took a couple of years more before governors were required to report to Washington, which revealed that only New Jersey and New Hampshire were ready to certify full compliance.

With May 15 being the second annual reporting deadline, advocates for inmates and half of the members of the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, a bipartisan group charged with drafting the standards, say the plodding pace of change has disheartened them despite pockets of progress.

“I am encouraged by what several states have done, discouraged by most and dismayed by states like Texas,” said Judge Reggie B. Walton of United States District Court for the District of Columbia, who was appointed chairman of the now-disbanded commission by Mr. Bush.
 
Some commissioners fault the Justice Department for failing to promote the standards vigorously. Others blame the correctional industry and unions for resisting practices long known to curb “state-sanctioned abuse,” as one put it. All lament that Congress has sought to weaken the modest penalties for noncompliance, and that five governors joined Mr. Perry last year in snubbing the standards.

“There’s a whole kind of backlash, which is very depressing,” said Jamie Fellner, a former commissioner who is senior counsel for the United States program of Human Rights Watch. “It’s 12 years since the law passed. I mean, really. We’re still dealing with all these officials saying, ‘Trust us. We’ll take care of it’?”

Last year, 42 governors signed a form providing “assurance” to the Justice Department that they were advancing toward compliance. But they were allowed to make that assurance without having conducted any outside audits; the commissioners protested this in a letter to Mr. Holder in November, expressing concern about “efforts to delay or weaken” adherence to the standards.

In fact, the ambitious goal to audit every prison, jail, detention center, lockup and halfway house in this country over a three-year period is far behind schedule.
Some 8,000 institutions are supposed to be audited for sexual safety by August 2016, but only 335 audits had been completed by March, according to a Justice Department document obtained from the office of Senator John Cornyn of Texas; the department declined to provide numbers.

The Justice Department said it “remains steadfast in its commitment to the implementation of the National PREA Standards” — PREA is the acronym for the Prison Rape Elimination Act — and hopes for “full participation” from all states this year.

But states face only a small penalty, the loss of 5 percent of prison-related federal grants, if they opt out of the process entirely. “There are a lot of carrots in PREA, and not enough sticks,” said Brenda V. Smith, an American University law professor and another former commissioner.

Texas forfeited $810,796 — a minuscule fraction of its multibillion-dollar corrections budget — after Mr. Perry declined to sign an assurance letter. According to a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, this loss “will not have any effect on T.D.C.J. operations.”

The other renegade states, as advocates called them, were Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana and Utah.

Texas’ opting out was considered especially significant, however, because it has the largest prison population in the country and by far the most reports of sexual assault and abuse. Texas had three and a half times as many allegations as California in 2011, when California still had more inmates than Texas, according to the federal data.
The Texas authorities attribute this to “extensive efforts to encourage and facilitate reporting.” Declining to discuss Ms. Star’s case, they said their “goal is to be as compliant as possible with PREA standards without jeopardizing the safety and security of our institutions.”

Twenty-seven of their 109 prisons have passed outside audits, they said, including the one where Ms. Star is now locked up for a teenage offense that the authorities considered kidnapping.

A Predatory Culture

In this rural area just west of Texarkana, the Barry B. Telford prison complex sits behind chain-link fences topped with coils of razor ribbon. It is where Ms. Star began her incarceration the year that Congress passed the prison rape law and where, after an odyssey through six other prisons, she unexpectedly returned at the end of March.
She is used to moving around. Born in Mississippi in late 1983, Ms. Star lived the peripatetic life of a military child, shuttling from state to state and twice to Germany before settling near Fort Hood, Tex., as a teenager.

On a summer day when she was 18, she accompanied her boyfriend, who was 23, to a Chevrolet dealership to test-drive a car. Her boyfriend took the wheel of a maroon Impala, a salesman got in the front passenger seat and Ms. Star sat in the rear.

When the salesman indicated it was time to return to the lot, the boyfriend said no, in Ms. Star’s recounting.

“I’m like, ‘Wow. What do you mean?’” she said. “And he’s like, ‘Be quiet.’ It was one of those things where keeping it real goes wrong. Where I could have been like, ‘Well, you need to stop,’ or gotten out, and I didn’t. We make bad decisions when we’re young.”

(Note: Some inmates reported experiencing victimization by both another inmate and facility staff. Mental health statuses were determined by screenings as a part of the survey.)

*Rates for transgender inmates are combined estimates from three surveys since 2007 and have a 95 percent confidence level at +/- 6.3 percentage points and +/- 6.5 percentage points.
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Inmate Survey, 2011–12

After 40 miles, they deposited the salesman on a rural road. He eventually flagged down a police car, and an alert was issued for the stolen Chevy. The couple kept driving north, even picking up a hitchhiker at one point, until, with the authorities in pursuit, their flight ended in a ditch.

Charged with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony that carries a penalty of five to 99 years, Ms. Star accepted the same plea deal of 20 years as her boyfriend.
“The law applies a rule of parties, which allows them to charge the passenger with the same level of culpability as the primary actor,” said M. Bryon Barnhill, who was Ms. Star’s court-appointed lawyer. But, he added, the boyfriend (and the hitchhiker) told the authorities “they were acting in concert with the intention of stealing the car and traveling to Canada to start a new life.”

Ms. Star was 19 when she arrived at Telford, with no possibility of parole for a decade. She was quickly inducted into a gang-ruled world with an ultimatum, she said: “You’re going to ride with us, or you’re going to fight.”

“In the state of Texas, in the general population, there is a culture where gay men and transgender women in prison are basically preyed on by the stronger inmates,” she said. “They have to be the property of a person who’s in a gang, and this person is the individual who speaks for them. So basically, they’re coerced into being sexually active to survive.”

Ms. Star said that after complaining fruitlessly to prison employees, she submitted to a coerced sexual relationship. She tried to leave the inmate once, she said, but he choked her in response.

The most recent national inmate survey by the Justice Department found that sexual victimization was reported by 3.1 percent of heterosexual prisoners, 14 percent of gay, lesbian and bisexual prisoners and 40 percent of transgender inmates.

Because gay and transgender inmates are at such high risk, a prison’s efforts to protect them are seen by experts as a barometer of its commitment to eliminating rape. That is why Ms. Star’s advocates believe her case represents a pervasive problem in Texas; those defendants who filed a legal response to her complaint deny all allegations against them and contend they acted “in good faith.”

In her early years in prison, Ms. Star considered herself gay. She knew she was “additionally different,” but it would take a few more years for her to identify as a transgender woman, to adopt a “feminine alias” and to start feeling comfortable in her own skin.

“You know how penguins are?” she asked. “On land, if you look at a penguin when it walks around, it’s just an ungainly, clumsy creature. But in water, a penguin is one of the most graceful animals in the world.” She added, “I didn’t feel like I was in my element until, at all types of personal risk to myself, I became Passion.”

Becoming Passion in a maximum-security men’s prison in Texas was not easy. “Basically, they frown on us expressing our gender,” she said. “I did at one point wear my hair longer, arch my eyebrows, shave my legs and my body and everything. I wore small, form-fitting clothes and made myself feminine underwear. But I was actually disciplined for it.”

It was only in 2014 that she learned from a notice in the prison newspaper that inmates were allowed to request classification as transgender, she said, and she did so.
But in their response to her lawsuit, Texas officials refer to Ms. Star as Mr. Zollicoffer, use male pronouns and “deny” she is transgender, “as no such medical diagnosis has been made.”

“If she were seeking medical care — and she does intend to transition, but until now she has been in survival mode — a diagnosis could be relevant,” Ms. Humphrey, her lawyer, said. “But whether or not she was diagnosed as transgender has nothing to do with whether or not she deserves protection from sexual assault.”
‘The Day-to-Day Horror’

As a researcher who studied prison rape when nobody wanted to know about it, Cindy Struckman-Johnson, a social psychologist at the University of South Dakota, was astonished when Congress passed the rape legislation.

“To me, it was like a miracle,” said Ms. Struckman-Johnson, a former commissioner who described how she had become “persona non grata” in Nebraska in the 1990s after finding a high rate of prison rape there. “Ever since PREA, nobody can really be in denial.”

The law described prison rape as epidemic. Ideologically evenhanded, it referred at once to “the day-to-day horror of victimized inmates” and to “brutalized inmates more likely to commit crimes when they are released.” It spoke of the potential spread of H.I.V. and of the need for Congress to protect the constitutional rights of prisoners in states where officials displayed deliberate indifference.

The law, which established the commission, laid out a timetable under which the attorney general would publish the final antirape standards by 2007.
But after eight public hearings, 11 site visits and two public comment periods on draft standards, the commission did not release its final report and proposed standards until 2009.

“What took so long?” Ms. Smith, the American University law professor, asked. “Resistance was coming from and still is coming from many correctional agencies. The resistance was: This is going to cost us too much money. But also, we were developing standards not just around preventing rape, but around respect and dignity and changing the culture that permitted or even encouraged rape in custody.”

It then took the Justice Department three additional years to issue final standards that were in the end “almost identical — very frustrating,” one commissioner said.
The 52 standards for prisons and jails apply to everything from hiring and staffing levels to investigation and evidence collection to medical treatment and rape crisis counseling.

State officials found some standards particularly intrusive. Mr. Perry protested that limitations on cross-gender strip searches, pat downs and bathroom supervision would force Texas to discriminate against its female officers. He said the requirement that youths in adult prisons be “separated by sight and sound” from grown-up inmates infringed on Texas’ right to set its age of

Telford Prison is where Ms. Star began her incarceration and where, after an odyssey through six other prisons, she returned at the end of March. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Training and technical assistance related to the coming regulations began in 2004. Since 2011, the Justice Department has doled out some $31 million in PREA-related grants, and tens of millions more to set up and run the National PREA Resource Center.

And indeed, judged through a long lens, considerable progress has been made. That wardens across the country now profess zero tolerance for sexual abuse represents a cultural transformation itself. There are antirape posters on prison bulletin boards, hotlines to report sexual abuse, educational videos for inmates, and training sessions for guards. Statistics show some prisons and jails with very low or even no reported sexual abuse.

“I’m not on the top deck, I’m in the engine room with Scotty, and I see behavioral change on the yards and in the cellblocks,” said James E. Aiken, a correctional consultant and former commissioner. “This is not a speedboat; it’s a very big ship.”

John Kaneb, a business executive and former vice chairman of the commission, said he also thought “things are going well now.”

Over 500 specialized auditors have been certified, and, he said, the pace of audits is accelerating: “They’re not going to get 8,000 done in the next 15 months, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had 1,000 done by end of year.”

Yet others are disappointed that the states are moving slowly and that the Justice Department declines to say how much longer it will allow governors to provide “assurances” instead of certifying compliance.

“This leaves open the absurd possibility that a state could kick the can down the road in perpetuity without ever incurring a financial penalty,” said Lovisa Stannow, the executive director of Just Detention International.

Pat Nolan, director of the Center for Criminal Justice Reform at the American Conservative Union Foundation and a former commissioner, said that Mr. Perry’s public challenge to the standards caused ripples of anxiety that linger.

“The fear is that if you get enough states thumbing their nose at this, the whole thing could unravel,” he said.

In the end, the former commissioners said, oversight might have to become the provenance of the courts.

“I think that’s the greatest hope, that the standards become the legal standards of care,” Judge Walton said. “If states realize they’re going to have multimillion-dollar lawsuits, that will be an incentive for them.”

A Quest for ‘Safekeeping’

At Lambda Legal’s offices on Wall Street, not long after Mr. Perry’s declaration to Washington, Ms. Humphrey started combing through letters from inmates complaining about sexual abuse.

“I was looking in our mailbag for a plaintiff who could illustrate the problems Texas was having,” Ms. Humphrey said. “And there she was.”

What Ms. Humphrey found was a thick envelope from Ms. Star containing the proposed draft of a legal complaint along with medical files, grievance reports and appeals — a meticulous record of her years behind bars.

In 2006, Ms. Star was transferred to the James V. Allred Unit in Wichita Falls.

Sexual slavery is basically what goes on in most prison in the United States - the participation by employees makes it even more hideous. No...

Allred would soon be singled out by the Justice Department as one of the 10 most sexually violent prisons in the country. Five of the 10, in fact, were in Texas, and Ms. Star would end up doing time in three of them.

At Allred, she was immediately targeted because she had been at Telford, she said, but she was older and unwilling “to lay down and accept these things happening to me.”

So she embarked on what became her unrelenting quest to be placed in “safekeeping,” which is what Texas calls separate housing units for vulnerable inmates. She sought safekeeping not only because of recurrent sexual harassment, coercion and threats of violence, but also because of retaliation for reporting these incidents — from staff members as well as inmates, she said.

At Allred, when she told a prison official she feared for her life after refusing sexual demands, the official told her she would be fine because she is black, she claims in her lawsuit. Over the years, she came to believe the system’s protection program was racially discriminatory.

A racial breakdown of the inmates in safekeeping, provided by Texas, indicates she may have had a point. Of the 1,569 inmates with that status now, 57 percent are white, while whites constitute 30 percent of the inmate population. Twenty-three percent in safekeeping are black, compared with 35 percent over all, and 19 percent are Hispanic, compared with 33 percent.

In March 2007, Ms. Star was assigned to a cell with a gang member who instantly started demanding sexual favors. She informed a guard and asked for help, she said. Two days later, the cellmate raped her at knife point. After she reported the attack, he threw a fan at her head. It was the “worst moment of my life,” she said, making her feel “utterly powerless,” briefly suicidal and extremely fearful “it would happen to me again and again.”

Ms. Star said she did not know what happened to her cellmate after she went to the infirmary to be treated; under the standards, victims are supposed to be kept apprised.

A national panel, established after the rape law to examine institutions with the best and worst records, visited Allred and could find no indication that any sexual abuse claims had been substantiated. It noted that a significant number of claims had been filed by gay inmates — “whom staff members referred to as queens.”

Lambda Legal, a national group that represents Ms. Star in a federal lawsuit, held a rally in support of her on Friday. Later, the group delivered a petition to the governor's office protesting her treatment. Credit Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times

“A question remains as to whether complaints from homosexual inmates are treated as seriously as they deserve,” the panel said of Allred.

Texas has a very low rate of substantiating allegations. Of 743 reports of sexual assault and abuse in the 2013 budget year, 20 cases, or 2.7 percent, were corroborated; the national rate is 10 percent. One prison rape case was sent to a grand jury that year.

After the rape, Ms. Star was moved into “protective custody,” a form of solitary confinement that the standards say should be used for rape victims only short-term and if no alternative, such as safekeeping, is available.

Two weeks later, Ms. Star was transferred to a third prison, where her new cellmate made her watch him masturbate, she said.

“I freaked,” she said. “Immediately, I was like, ‘I can’t deal with this.’ For a long time, I bounced from cell to cell, cell to cell, cell to cell. And that’s when the tag ‘snitch’ started to stick to me, because I was complaining constantly about people trying to force me into things.”

She said that over the years, some prison officials had called her “faggot” and “punk”; others blamed her for bringing problems on herself. One suggested, using language that cannot be printed, that she perform oral sex, “fight or quit doing gay” stuff, her lawsuit says.

In her fourth and fifth prisons, Ms. Star’s complaints of continuing abuse and assault were dismissed with “formulaic” responses, her lawsuit says.

In denying her requests for safekeeping, Texas made references to her “assaultive history,” suggesting she could endanger other vulnerable inmates. Ms. Star says that her disciplinary history “is a direct reflection of T.D.C.J.’s not protecting me.”

“I have a disciplinary history for defending myself three or four times over 13 years,” she said. “I’ve never hurt anybody. But I’ve been hurt.”

Ms. Star was also denied parole — though her former boyfriend and co-defendant was released in April 2013, something Ms. Star learned in the interview.
“Wow,” she said. “That kind of makes me want to cry.”

On Nov. 19, 2013, with threats against her mounting, Ms. Star filed an emergency grievance appealing the most recent denial of her request for safekeeping. The next morning, heading to breakfast, Ms. Star found her path blocked by gang members. One repeatedly slashed her face with a razor. This was the attack that required the 36 stitches.

After that, she was transferred to her sixth prison. The same problems ensued. Begging again for safekeeping, Ms. Star wrote in a grievance: “Just recommending that I be transferred to another unit will not ensure my safety, just as it did not after the 3-29-07 sexual assault, nor after the 11-20-13 assault with a weapon. I am an offender with a ‘potential for victimization,’ otherwise I wouldn’t be constantly victimized and threatened by other offenders.”

This time, somebody listened. The prison’s classification committee agreed she should be put in safekeeping. The state, however, overruled it.

By this point, Ms. Star had been reaching out beyond prison walls — writing to the state-level corrections officials as well as to civil rights and advocacy groups, which report that they get more reports of sexual abuse from inmates in Texas than anywhere else.

“Passion is hardly alone, but she is incredibly intelligent, incredibly well organized, and her perseverance is unparalleled,” Ms. Humphrey said.

After the lawyer’s first visit with Ms. Star last summer, Ms. Star was moved into protective custody and spent 110 days in an 80-square-foot cell. Her lawsuit alleges that Texas officials “use confinement in isolation and the threat of isolation to deter people in custody from complaining about sexual abuse, threats and other assaults.”

Last November, Ms. Star was transferred to her seventh prison, William P. Clements, another prison with a very high rate of sexual victimization. She immediately found herself back among gang members she knew and encountered escalating threats of assault and rape.

In March, her lawyers filed an emergency motion asking that the court order Texas to place her in safekeeping or explain how it would otherwise keep her safe.

“I’m afraid Passion is going to get murdered — like this weekend,” Ms. Humphrey said then.

For that weekend, her lawyers agreed to let the authorities place Ms. Star back in solitary confinement while they negotiated a resolution. At that point, Texas appeared to be arguing that Ms. Star’s only alternative was to remain in isolation.

On March 20, The New York Times asked Texas for permission to interview Ms. Star.

On March 30, more than a decade after she says she first requested it, Texas put Passion Star in safekeeping. Her lawsuit, which seeks damages from the officials who allegedly failed to protect her, is continuing.

At the time of the interview, she had been in safekeeping only a couple of days, but already found the new atmosphere a relief. “Everybody’s calmer,” she said. “The tension level is extremely low. There are no gang influences that basically are threatening our lives. So it’s a change — a change for the better.”

As a reporter left the prison that day, an officer at the security entrance said, “So, did you see him-her?”

Fumbling for an answer, the reporter said yes, and that Ms. Star had been “very nice.”

“For a kidnapper,” the officer replied.

Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on May 14, 2015, 02:05:19 PM
Not much sympathy for the plaintiff here.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 15, 2015, 09:24:03 AM
I confess myself to be bewildered at this notion of calling someone with a penis "she".
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on May 15, 2015, 10:37:54 AM
I confess myself to be bewildered at this notion of calling someone with a penis "she".

In detentions/corrections, the litmus test for gender is the genitalia you currently possess. You might self identify as a German Shepard, it doesn't mean you will be housed in the dog pound.
Title: Judge gets 28 years for selling kids to private prisons
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 17, 2015, 09:21:37 AM
http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/09/24/this-judge-sold-children-to-private-prisons-for-cash-hes-going-down-for-28-years/
Title: Section 851
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 02, 2015, 10:29:33 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/opinion/reining-in-federal-prosecutors.html?emc=edit_th_20150602&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
Title: The many causes of America's crime decline
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 11, 2015, 01:46:36 PM
http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/the-many-causes-of-americas-decline-in-crime/385364/
Title: Education in prison reduces recidivism
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 13, 2015, 11:58:28 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/07/09/want-to-help-prisoners-stay-out-of-jail-teach-them-to-speak-chinese/?wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1
Title: Re: Education in prison reduces recidivism
Post by: G M on July 13, 2015, 07:34:29 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/07/09/want-to-help-prisoners-stay-out-of-jail-teach-them-to-speak-chinese/?wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1

 :roll:
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 13, 2015, 10:46:24 PM
Why the eye roll?
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on July 14, 2015, 05:29:52 AM
The author of this piece is like many well intentioned types who really don't understand who they are working with.
Title: Re: The many causes of America's crime decline
Post by: G M on July 14, 2015, 07:27:34 AM
http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/the-many-causes-of-americas-decline-in-crime/385364/


http://www.city-journal.org/2015/cjc0710jd.html

Decline?
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on July 14, 2015, 04:51:20 PM
I currently am assigned to registering and tracking sex offenders, and as a result work with a variety of jurisdictions, including the feds. I have more work than hours in the day. I have donated a huge amount of time because my agency's lack of overtime funds. I wish I had the luxury of worrying about a lack of things to do to justify my position.

Who are they dealing with? The same criminal personalities that fill cells everywhere. The same ones that cry about missing their kids and swear they are never coming back that always do. They same ones that do well in the classes while they work on "downing a duck" the teacher/volunteer/chaplain.
Title: Long term solitary
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 04, 2015, 09:20:52 AM
Solitary Confinement: Punished for Life

By ERICA GOODEAUG. 3, 2015
Photo
Joseph Harmon spent eight years in solitary at Pelican Bay State Prison in California. He is now a preacher, but still feels the need to withdraw. Credit Max Whittaker for The New York Times

In 1993, Craig Haney, a social psychologist, interviewed a group of inmates in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison, California’s toughest penal institution.

He was studying the psychological effects of isolation on prisoners, and Pelican Bay was among the first of a new breed of super-maximum-security prisons that states around the country were beginning to build.

Twenty years later, he returned to the prison for another set of interviews. He was startled to find himself facing some of the same prisoners he had met before, inmates who now had spent more than two decades alone in windowless cells.

“It was shocking, frankly,” Dr. Haney said.

Few social scientists question that isolation can have harmful effects. Research over the last half-century has demonstrated that it can worsen mental illness and produce symptoms even in prisoners who start out psychologically robust.

But most studies have focused on laboratory volunteers or prison inmates who have been isolated for relatively short periods. Dr. Haney’s interviews offer the first systematic look at inmates isolated from normal human contact for much of their adult lives and the profound losses that such confinement appears to produce.

The interviews, conducted over the last two years as part of a lawsuit over prolonged solitary confinement at Pelican Bay, have not yet been written up as a formal study or reviewed by other researchers. But Dr. Haney’s work provides a vivid portrait of men so severely isolated that, to use Dr. Haney’s term, they have undergone a “social death.”

Sealed for years in a hermetic environment — one inmate likened the prison’s solitary confinement unit to “a weapons lab or a place for human experiments” — prisoners recounted struggling daily to maintain their sanity. They spoke of longing to catch sight of a tree or a bird. Many responded to their isolation by shutting down their emotions and withdrawing even further, shunning even the meager human conversation and company they were afforded.

“If you put a parakeet in a cage for years and you take it out, it will die,” one older prisoner said. “So I stay in my cage.”

In recent weeks, the use of prolonged solitary confinement, a practice that has been widespread in the United States, has received unprecedented levels of attention.
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President Obama, who last month became the first president to visit a federal prison, questioned whether “we really think it makes sense to lock so many people alone in tiny cells for 23 hours a day, sometimes for months or even years at a time.”


And in a Supreme Court ruling in June, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing about solitary confinement, noted that “near-total isolation exacts a terrible price.”

In 2012, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed suit in federal court against state officials on behalf of Pelican Bay inmates who had spent more than 10 years in solitary confinement, claiming that their prolonged isolation violated their Eighth Amendment rights. The parties are now in settlement negotiations, said Jules Lobel, the president of the center and a constitutional law professor at the University of Pittsburgh who is the lead lawyer for the case.

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Dr. Haney and several other expert witnesses retained by the plaintiffs’ lawyers prepared reports in the case, copies of which were obtained by The New York Times.

Dr. Haney, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, interviewed 56 prisoners who had spent 10 to 28 years in solitary confinement in Pelican Bay’s security housing unit, or S.H.U., including seven men he had interviewed in 1993, eight plaintiffs in the lawsuit and 41 randomly selected inmates. For comparison, he also interviewed 25 maximum-security inmates who were not in solitary.

The inmates landed in prison following convictions for serious, often violent crimes. Paul Redd, 58, murdered a competing drug dealer; Gabriel Reyes, 49, was found guilty of burglary and sentenced under California’s three-strikes law. The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, Todd Ashker, 52, was convicted of second-degree murder, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a deadly weapon.

But most were placed in the isolation unit not because of their original crimes but because they were deemed to be gang members or gang associates, under California’s policy at the time. The state corrections department said that such long-term confinement was necessary because of gang killings in the prisons and attacks on staff members and other inmates.

Prison administrators say there are some inmates so violent or unmanageable they must be kept apart from other people. But consigning inmates to solitary for years — or even decades, as California has done — is viewed by an increasing number of top corrections officials around the country as unnecessary and ineffective, and some human rights groups have called it torture.

Many of the inmates Dr. Haney interviewed talked wistfully about mothers, wives and children they had neither touched nor spoken to for years — prisoners in the isolation unit were not allowed personal phone calls and were prohibited from physical contact during visits. Some had not had a single visitor during their years in solitary.

“I got a 15-minute phone call when my father died,” said one inmate who had been isolated for 24 years. “I realized I have family I don’t really know anymore, or even their voices.”

Another prisoner described placing photographs of his family facing the television in his cell and talking to them while he watched.

“Maybe I’m crazy, but it makes me feel like I’m with them,” he told Dr. Haney. “Maybe someday I’ll get to hug them.”

Some prisoners became so disoriented they began to question their own existence.
Photo
A guard handcuffed a prisoner in his cell in the secured housing unit at California's Pelican Bay State Prison before opening the door. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Another inmate said that the hour or so he had spent in the interview was “the most I’ve talked in years.”


The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, citing the continuing litigation, declined to comment on the lawsuit or on the reports of Dr. Haney or other expert witnesses for the plaintiffs. But since the lawsuit was filed, the department has moved many inmates who had been in isolation at Pelican Bay for more than a decade to other settings. All but two of the 10 inmates originally named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are now in other facilities, according to Jeffrey Callison, a department spokesman.


In an interview, Dr. Haney said that he was especially struck by the profound sadness that many of the inmates he interviewed seemed to carry with them.

“The weight of what they had been through was apparent on them and in them,” he said.

“They were grieving for their lost lives, for their loss of connectedness to the social world and their families outside, and also for their lost selves,” he said. “Most of them really did understand that they had lost who they were, and weren’t sure of who they had become.”
‘There Is No Other Reality’

An estimated 75,000 state and federal prisoners in the United States are held in solitary confinement, according to prison experts. Most spend 23 or more hours a day in their cells, allowed out only for showers, brief exercise or activities like medical visits.

Prison experts say the use of long-term isolation escalated in the 1980s and 1990s, when many states, dealing with gang violence and overcrowding caused by stiffer sentences, built super-maximum-security facilities intended to house “the worst of the worst.”

In recent years, however, a growing number of states — driven by lawsuits, budgetary constraints and public opinion — have begun to reduce the number of prisoners in isolation. Prison consultants called in by state systems to assess the risks posed by the prisoners in solitary have often found that only a small minority require such restricted confinement.

Pelican Bay, when it opened in 1989 in a remote area near the Oregon border, quickly gained a reputation as one of the most severe penal institutions in the nation. The sprawling complex houses more than 2,700 prisoners, more than 1,000 of them in solitary confinement.

Other California prisons also have isolation units. But Pelican Bay’s S.H.U. was designed to minimize human interaction. The windowless, 7.6-feet-by-11.6-feet cells were built to face concrete walls. Doors opened and closed electronically. Corrections officers spoke to the inmates through intercoms.

Although prisoners could communicate with other inmates by shouting through steel doors perforated with little holes, or the ventilation shafts, they otherwise had little interaction.
Photo
At the Pelican Bay State prison, any sort of contact, such as this pinky shake between a guard, left, and a prisoner is rare. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

“If you go to Corcoran, there’s a window; if you go to Tehachapi, there’s a window,” said Joseph Harmon, 51, a former gang leader who spent eight years in isolation at Pelican Bay after five years in solitary confinement at other prisons.

“At Pelican Bay, there is no other reality,” said Mr. Harmon, who said he was sent there after a violent attack on another inmate but eventually renounced gang activity and became a pastor in Stockton, Calif. “It was a tomb. It is concrete tomb.”

Gang members make up a significant portion of the inmates in solitary confinement around the country, in most cases placed there for acts of violence or disruption.

But until recently in California, any prisoner deemed to be a gang member or an associate of gang members, regardless of the prisoner’s behavior, was sent to Pelican Bay or one of the state’s three other security housing units for an indefinite period.

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The state’s gang policy shifted after several hunger strikes by inmates at Pelican Bay and other prisons and criticism by civil rights groups. The corrections department now uses different criteria to place inmates in isolation, and it has created a program that allows them to eventually work their way out.

Mr. Callison, the department spokesman, said that 1,081 inmates were currently housed in the security housing unit at Pelican Bay for indefinite terms. Of those, 34 have been there for more than 10 years and 28 for more than 20 years; in 2012, there were 308 inmates in the security unit who had been there for more than a decade. Most of those longtime inmates have entered the step-down program, Mr. Callison said.

Civil rights lawyers, however, have criticized the department’s program, saying that it takes too long to complete and that inmates are still held in isolation unnecessarily.

In a report prepared for the plaintiffs’ lawyers in the suit, James F. Austin, a corrections consultant, called the department’s revised procedures for assigning inmates to isolation “grossly inadequate.”

The step-down program, Dr. Austin added, was “flawed in its basic structure and needs to be significantly revised.”
‘Just Give Me the Death Penalty’

In 1993, the prisoners Dr. Haney interviewed reported high rates of psychiatric complaints like depression, irrational anger and confused thinking, and stress symptoms like dizziness and sweating hands.

When he returned to Pelican Bay, he expected that over two decades, those men would have adjusted to their circumstances.
Photo
Pelican Bay State Prison, near the Oregon border, has prisoners associated with gangs in isolation in the security housing unit. Credit California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

But the inmates, Dr. Haney found, still had many of the same symptoms. “The passage of time had not significantly ameliorated their pain,” he wrote.

For comparison, Dr. Haney also interviewed 25 randomly selected maximum-security inmates at Pelican Bay who were not in solitary confinement.

While 63 percent of the men in solitary for more than 10 years said they felt close to an “impending breakdown,” only 4 percent of the maximum-security inmates reported feeling that way.

Similarly, among the prisoners in isolation, 73 percent reported chronic depression and 78 percent said they felt emotionally flat, compared with 48 percent and 36 percent among the maximum-security inmates.

In depositions prepared for the Pelican Bay lawsuit, the inmates in long-term solitary also described having anxiety, paranoia, perceptual disturbances and deep depression.

One plaintiff, Mr. Reyes,said he had severe insomnia and that in the silence of the isolation unit, he sometimes heard a voice calling his name and cell number. Other times, he said, “I just see spots, just little things move.”

Mr. Redd, said that his dreams were often violent but that they became that way only after coming to Pelican Bay.

“I didn’t even have dreams,” he said. “I didn’t even have thoughts of looking up at the top of my bunk and you see cracks on the bunk and say, ‘Hey, man, if they got a little earthquake, this wall, this top bunk is going to fall down on you.’ You know, you start getting a little nervous thing.”

Locked in his cell, Mr. Redd said, he often plunged into despair.

“It’s not to the point where you want to commit suicide,” he said, “but sometimes, I’m at the point that I’d be wanting to write the judge and say, ‘Just give me the death penalty. Just give me the death penalty, man.’ ”

Studies have found that suicides among prisoners in solitary confinement, who make up 3 to 8 percent of the nation’s prison population, account for about 50 percent of prison suicides. Cutting and other forms of self-harm are also more common in isolation units than in less restrictive settings.

Mr. Redd, who spent more than 11 years in Pelican Bay, has now been moved to a treatment facility at the State Prison at Corcoran.
Photo
Lonnie Rose, 64, who was released in 2013 after eight years in solitary, says he has difficulty in crowds and with obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Credit Max Whittaker for The New York Times

But other inmates’ experiences suggest the effects of his incarceration at Pelican Bay are likely to linger.

Dr. Terry Kupers, a psychiatrist and an expert on prison mental health issues, found in interviews of former Pelican Bay inmates conducted for the lawsuit that even years after their release, many still carried the psychological legacy of their confinement. They startled easily, avoided crowds, sought out confined spaces and were overwhelmed by sensory stimulation.

“They become very impaired in terms of relating to other people,” Dr. Kupers said.

Lonnie Rose, 64, was convicted of drug possession and sentenced under California’s three-strikes law. He was released in 2013 after eight years in isolation. At Pelican Bay, he said, he had worked hard to stay healthy.

“I was pretty much resigned to spend the rest of my life in that cell,” he said. “But what we do is make the best of a bad situation. I studied, I exercised; one day turns into another.”

Still, he said, he has difficulty in crowds, and his obsessive-compulsive tendencies, which worsened in solitary, have persisted.

“Everything has to be just so,” he said. “Being in a concrete box for a long time makes you even more O.C.D.”

Mr. Harmon, the former gang leader who was released from Pelican Bay in 2010, said that even five years later, he does not like people touching him.

“As a pastor, it’s hard,” he said. “People come up and want to touch you, they want to hug you.”

Mr. Harmon is married now and said he had put his past life behind him. But a few times a month, he is seized with the urge be alone in a small, silent space. He tells his wife, “Don’t talk to me,” and retreats to the bedroom.

“It’s just something that takes over my being,” he said.

Mr. Harmon said he thought he deserved to be in solitary confinement for a time.

“There are violent men in prison, and I was one of them,” he said. But, he added, “I’m against long-term mental torture.”

He compared an inmate in long-term isolation at Pelican Bay to a dog kept in a kennel for 10 years.

“Let that dog out of that cage and see how many people it bites,” he said. “I don’t understand why people can’t understand that concept. It’s simple.”
Title: Re: Long term solitary
Post by: G M on August 04, 2015, 06:29:01 PM
Everyone in solitary worked hard to get there.


Solitary Confinement: Punished for Life

By ERICA GOODEAUG. 3, 2015
Photo
Joseph Harmon spent eight years in solitary at Pelican Bay State Prison in California. He is now a preacher, but still feels the need to withdraw. Credit Max Whittaker for The New York Times

In 1993, Craig Haney, a social psychologist, interviewed a group of inmates in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison, California’s toughest penal institution.

He was studying the psychological effects of isolation on prisoners, and Pelican Bay was among the first of a new breed of super-maximum-security prisons that states around the country were beginning to build.

Twenty years later, he returned to the prison for another set of interviews. He was startled to find himself facing some of the same prisoners he had met before, inmates who now had spent more than two decades alone in windowless cells.

“It was shocking, frankly,” Dr. Haney said.

Few social scientists question that isolation can have harmful effects. Research over the last half-century has demonstrated that it can worsen mental illness and produce symptoms even in prisoners who start out psychologically robust.

But most studies have focused on laboratory volunteers or prison inmates who have been isolated for relatively short periods. Dr. Haney’s interviews offer the first systematic look at inmates isolated from normal human contact for much of their adult lives and the profound losses that such confinement appears to produce.

The interviews, conducted over the last two years as part of a lawsuit over prolonged solitary confinement at Pelican Bay, have not yet been written up as a formal study or reviewed by other researchers. But Dr. Haney’s work provides a vivid portrait of men so severely isolated that, to use Dr. Haney’s term, they have undergone a “social death.”

Sealed for years in a hermetic environment — one inmate likened the prison’s solitary confinement unit to “a weapons lab or a place for human experiments” — prisoners recounted struggling daily to maintain their sanity. They spoke of longing to catch sight of a tree or a bird. Many responded to their isolation by shutting down their emotions and withdrawing even further, shunning even the meager human conversation and company they were afforded.

“If you put a parakeet in a cage for years and you take it out, it will die,” one older prisoner said. “So I stay in my cage.”

In recent weeks, the use of prolonged solitary confinement, a practice that has been widespread in the United States, has received unprecedented levels of attention.
Continue reading the main story
Related Coverage



President Obama, who last month became the first president to visit a federal prison, questioned whether “we really think it makes sense to lock so many people alone in tiny cells for 23 hours a day, sometimes for months or even years at a time.”


And in a Supreme Court ruling in June, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing about solitary confinement, noted that “near-total isolation exacts a terrible price.”

In 2012, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed suit in federal court against state officials on behalf of Pelican Bay inmates who had spent more than 10 years in solitary confinement, claiming that their prolonged isolation violated their Eighth Amendment rights. The parties are now in settlement negotiations, said Jules Lobel, the president of the center and a constitutional law professor at the University of Pittsburgh who is the lead lawyer for the case.

Advertisement
Continue reading the main story

Dr. Haney and several other expert witnesses retained by the plaintiffs’ lawyers prepared reports in the case, copies of which were obtained by The New York Times.

Dr. Haney, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, interviewed 56 prisoners who had spent 10 to 28 years in solitary confinement in Pelican Bay’s security housing unit, or S.H.U., including seven men he had interviewed in 1993, eight plaintiffs in the lawsuit and 41 randomly selected inmates. For comparison, he also interviewed 25 maximum-security inmates who were not in solitary.

The inmates landed in prison following convictions for serious, often violent crimes. Paul Redd, 58, murdered a competing drug dealer; Gabriel Reyes, 49, was found guilty of burglary and sentenced under California’s three-strikes law. The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, Todd Ashker, 52, was convicted of second-degree murder, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a deadly weapon.

But most were placed in the isolation unit not because of their original crimes but because they were deemed to be gang members or gang associates, under California’s policy at the time. The state corrections department said that such long-term confinement was necessary because of gang killings in the prisons and attacks on staff members and other inmates.

Prison administrators say there are some inmates so violent or unmanageable they must be kept apart from other people. But consigning inmates to solitary for years — or even decades, as California has done — is viewed by an increasing number of top corrections officials around the country as unnecessary and ineffective, and some human rights groups have called it torture.

Many of the inmates Dr. Haney interviewed talked wistfully about mothers, wives and children they had neither touched nor spoken to for years — prisoners in the isolation unit were not allowed personal phone calls and were prohibited from physical contact during visits. Some had not had a single visitor during their years in solitary.

“I got a 15-minute phone call when my father died,” said one inmate who had been isolated for 24 years. “I realized I have family I don’t really know anymore, or even their voices.”

Another prisoner described placing photographs of his family facing the television in his cell and talking to them while he watched.

“Maybe I’m crazy, but it makes me feel like I’m with them,” he told Dr. Haney. “Maybe someday I’ll get to hug them.”

Some prisoners became so disoriented they began to question their own existence.
Photo
A guard handcuffed a prisoner in his cell in the secured housing unit at California's Pelican Bay State Prison before opening the door. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Another inmate said that the hour or so he had spent in the interview was “the most I’ve talked in years.”


The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, citing the continuing litigation, declined to comment on the lawsuit or on the reports of Dr. Haney or other expert witnesses for the plaintiffs. But since the lawsuit was filed, the department has moved many inmates who had been in isolation at Pelican Bay for more than a decade to other settings. All but two of the 10 inmates originally named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are now in other facilities, according to Jeffrey Callison, a department spokesman.


In an interview, Dr. Haney said that he was especially struck by the profound sadness that many of the inmates he interviewed seemed to carry with them.

“The weight of what they had been through was apparent on them and in them,” he said.

“They were grieving for their lost lives, for their loss of connectedness to the social world and their families outside, and also for their lost selves,” he said. “Most of them really did understand that they had lost who they were, and weren’t sure of who they had become.”
‘There Is No Other Reality’

An estimated 75,000 state and federal prisoners in the United States are held in solitary confinement, according to prison experts. Most spend 23 or more hours a day in their cells, allowed out only for showers, brief exercise or activities like medical visits.

Prison experts say the use of long-term isolation escalated in the 1980s and 1990s, when many states, dealing with gang violence and overcrowding caused by stiffer sentences, built super-maximum-security facilities intended to house “the worst of the worst.”

In recent years, however, a growing number of states — driven by lawsuits, budgetary constraints and public opinion — have begun to reduce the number of prisoners in isolation. Prison consultants called in by state systems to assess the risks posed by the prisoners in solitary have often found that only a small minority require such restricted confinement.

Pelican Bay, when it opened in 1989 in a remote area near the Oregon border, quickly gained a reputation as one of the most severe penal institutions in the nation. The sprawling complex houses more than 2,700 prisoners, more than 1,000 of them in solitary confinement.

Other California prisons also have isolation units. But Pelican Bay’s S.H.U. was designed to minimize human interaction. The windowless, 7.6-feet-by-11.6-feet cells were built to face concrete walls. Doors opened and closed electronically. Corrections officers spoke to the inmates through intercoms.

Although prisoners could communicate with other inmates by shouting through steel doors perforated with little holes, or the ventilation shafts, they otherwise had little interaction.
Photo
At the Pelican Bay State prison, any sort of contact, such as this pinky shake between a guard, left, and a prisoner is rare. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

“If you go to Corcoran, there’s a window; if you go to Tehachapi, there’s a window,” said Joseph Harmon, 51, a former gang leader who spent eight years in isolation at Pelican Bay after five years in solitary confinement at other prisons.

“At Pelican Bay, there is no other reality,” said Mr. Harmon, who said he was sent there after a violent attack on another inmate but eventually renounced gang activity and became a pastor in Stockton, Calif. “It was a tomb. It is concrete tomb.”

Gang members make up a significant portion of the inmates in solitary confinement around the country, in most cases placed there for acts of violence or disruption.

But until recently in California, any prisoner deemed to be a gang member or an associate of gang members, regardless of the prisoner’s behavior, was sent to Pelican Bay or one of the state’s three other security housing units for an indefinite period.

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The state’s gang policy shifted after several hunger strikes by inmates at Pelican Bay and other prisons and criticism by civil rights groups. The corrections department now uses different criteria to place inmates in isolation, and it has created a program that allows them to eventually work their way out.

Mr. Callison, the department spokesman, said that 1,081 inmates were currently housed in the security housing unit at Pelican Bay for indefinite terms. Of those, 34 have been there for more than 10 years and 28 for more than 20 years; in 2012, there were 308 inmates in the security unit who had been there for more than a decade. Most of those longtime inmates have entered the step-down program, Mr. Callison said.

Civil rights lawyers, however, have criticized the department’s program, saying that it takes too long to complete and that inmates are still held in isolation unnecessarily.

In a report prepared for the plaintiffs’ lawyers in the suit, James F. Austin, a corrections consultant, called the department’s revised procedures for assigning inmates to isolation “grossly inadequate.”

The step-down program, Dr. Austin added, was “flawed in its basic structure and needs to be significantly revised.”
‘Just Give Me the Death Penalty’

In 1993, the prisoners Dr. Haney interviewed reported high rates of psychiatric complaints like depression, irrational anger and confused thinking, and stress symptoms like dizziness and sweating hands.

When he returned to Pelican Bay, he expected that over two decades, those men would have adjusted to their circumstances.
Photo
Pelican Bay State Prison, near the Oregon border, has prisoners associated with gangs in isolation in the security housing unit. Credit California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

But the inmates, Dr. Haney found, still had many of the same symptoms. “The passage of time had not significantly ameliorated their pain,” he wrote.

For comparison, Dr. Haney also interviewed 25 randomly selected maximum-security inmates at Pelican Bay who were not in solitary confinement.

While 63 percent of the men in solitary for more than 10 years said they felt close to an “impending breakdown,” only 4 percent of the maximum-security inmates reported feeling that way.

Similarly, among the prisoners in isolation, 73 percent reported chronic depression and 78 percent said they felt emotionally flat, compared with 48 percent and 36 percent among the maximum-security inmates.

In depositions prepared for the Pelican Bay lawsuit, the inmates in long-term solitary also described having anxiety, paranoia, perceptual disturbances and deep depression.

One plaintiff, Mr. Reyes,said he had severe insomnia and that in the silence of the isolation unit, he sometimes heard a voice calling his name and cell number. Other times, he said, “I just see spots, just little things move.”

Mr. Redd, said that his dreams were often violent but that they became that way only after coming to Pelican Bay.

“I didn’t even have dreams,” he said. “I didn’t even have thoughts of looking up at the top of my bunk and you see cracks on the bunk and say, ‘Hey, man, if they got a little earthquake, this wall, this top bunk is going to fall down on you.’ You know, you start getting a little nervous thing.”

Locked in his cell, Mr. Redd said, he often plunged into despair.

“It’s not to the point where you want to commit suicide,” he said, “but sometimes, I’m at the point that I’d be wanting to write the judge and say, ‘Just give me the death penalty. Just give me the death penalty, man.’ ”

Studies have found that suicides among prisoners in solitary confinement, who make up 3 to 8 percent of the nation’s prison population, account for about 50 percent of prison suicides. Cutting and other forms of self-harm are also more common in isolation units than in less restrictive settings.

Mr. Redd, who spent more than 11 years in Pelican Bay, has now been moved to a treatment facility at the State Prison at Corcoran.
Photo
Lonnie Rose, 64, who was released in 2013 after eight years in solitary, says he has difficulty in crowds and with obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Credit Max Whittaker for The New York Times

But other inmates’ experiences suggest the effects of his incarceration at Pelican Bay are likely to linger.

Dr. Terry Kupers, a psychiatrist and an expert on prison mental health issues, found in interviews of former Pelican Bay inmates conducted for the lawsuit that even years after their release, many still carried the psychological legacy of their confinement. They startled easily, avoided crowds, sought out confined spaces and were overwhelmed by sensory stimulation.

“They become very impaired in terms of relating to other people,” Dr. Kupers said.

Lonnie Rose, 64, was convicted of drug possession and sentenced under California’s three-strikes law. He was released in 2013 after eight years in isolation. At Pelican Bay, he said, he had worked hard to stay healthy.

“I was pretty much resigned to spend the rest of my life in that cell,” he said. “But what we do is make the best of a bad situation. I studied, I exercised; one day turns into another.”

Still, he said, he has difficulty in crowds, and his obsessive-compulsive tendencies, which worsened in solitary, have persisted.

“Everything has to be just so,” he said. “Being in a concrete box for a long time makes you even more O.C.D.”

Mr. Harmon, the former gang leader who was released from Pelican Bay in 2010, said that even five years later, he does not like people touching him.

“As a pastor, it’s hard,” he said. “People come up and want to touch you, they want to hug you.”

Mr. Harmon is married now and said he had put his past life behind him. But a few times a month, he is seized with the urge be alone in a small, silent space. He tells his wife, “Don’t talk to me,” and retreats to the bedroom.

“It’s just something that takes over my being,” he said.

Mr. Harmon said he thought he deserved to be in solitary confinement for a time.

“There are violent men in prison, and I was one of them,” he said. But, he added, “I’m against long-term mental torture.”

He compared an inmate in long-term isolation at Pelican Bay to a dog kept in a kennel for 10 years.

“Let that dog out of that cage and see how many people it bites,” he said. “I don’t understand why people can’t understand that concept. It’s simple.”
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 05, 2015, 07:01:52 AM
Then keep them locked up, but the mass use of long term solitary seems over the top to me.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on August 05, 2015, 05:55:24 PM
Then keep them locked up, but the mass use of long term solitary seems over the top to me.

Do the violent acts, including murders that occur both inside and outside the facilities when these offenders are in GPOP seem over the top? What is a better option?
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 05, 2015, 07:08:15 PM
Keep them locked up but with human interaction, even if through the bars of the cells, as part of the equation.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on August 05, 2015, 07:13:01 PM
Keep them locked up but with human interaction, even if through the bars of the cells, as part of the equation.


So they can stab passers by with improvised weapons and toss bodily fluids and pass notes on who to kill?
Title: Gassing, aka correctional cocktail
Post by: G M on August 05, 2015, 07:15:30 PM
http://www.latimes.com/local/crime/la-me-jail-gassing-20140711-story.html
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: G M on August 05, 2015, 07:27:08 PM
http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/09/how-gangs-took-over-prisons/379330/
Title: Heather MacDonald: Busting the myths of over-incarceration
Post by: DougMacG on October 19, 2015, 06:01:02 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvHGSCk4gVc

Heather MacDonald: Crime, Not Incarceration, Eroding Opportunity
Title: WSJ: Rising Crime is the Problem
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 28, 2015, 12:06:04 AM
Obama’s Tragic Let ’em Out Fantasy
The president leads the charge to cut the prison population, but mass incarceration isn’t the problem. Rising crime is.
President Obama tours the federal prison in El Reno, Okla., July 16. ENLARGE
President Obama tours the federal prison in El Reno, Okla., July 16. Photo: saul loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
By Heather Mac Donald
Oct. 23, 2015 6:25 p.m. ET
651 COMMENTS

President Obama paid a media-saturated visit in July to a federal penitentiary in Oklahoma. The cell blocks that he toured had been evacuated in anticipation of his arrival, but after talking to six prescreened inmates he drew some conclusions about the path to prison. “These are young people who made mistakes that aren’t that different than the mistakes I made and the mistakes that a lot of you guys made,” the president told the waiting journalists. The implication was that anyone who had smoked marijuana and tried cocaine (as Mr. Obama had) could land in a place like the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution.

The conceit was preposterous. It takes a lot more than marijuana or cocaine use to end up in federal prison. But the truth didn’t matter. Mr. Obama’s prison tour came amid the biggest delegitimation of law enforcement in recent memory. Activists, politicians and the media have spent the past year broadcasting a daily message that the criminal-justice system is biased against blacks and insanely draconian. The immediate trigger for this movement, known as Black Lives Matter, was a series of highly publicized deaths of black males at the hands of the police. But the movement also builds on a long-standing discourse from the academic left about “mass incarceration,” policing and race.

Now that discourse is going mainstream. As the media never tire of pointing out, some high-profile figures on the right are joining the chorus on the left for deincarceration and decriminalization. Newt Gingrich is pairing with left-wing activist Van Jones, and the Koch brothers have teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union to call for lowered prison counts and less law enforcement. Republican leaders on Capitol Hill support reducing or eliminating mandatory sentences for federal drug-trafficking crimes, in the name of racial equity.

At the state and city levels, hardly a single criminal-justice practice exists that is not under fire for oppressing blacks. Traffic monitoring, antitheft statutes, drug patrols, public-order policing, trespass arrests, pedestrian stops, bail, warrant enforcement, fines for absconding from court, parole revocations, probation oversight, sentences for repeat felony offenders—all have been criticized as part of a de facto system for locking away black men and destroying black communities.
Opinion Journal Video
Manhattan Institute Fellow Heather Mac Donald on President Obama's criminal sentencing reform efforts. Photo credit: Getty Images.

There may be good reasons for radically reducing the prison census and the enforcement of criminal laws. But so far the arguments advanced in favor of that agenda have been as deceptive as the claim that prisons are filled with casual drug users. It is worth examining the gap between the reality of law enforcement and the current campaign against it, since policy based on fiction is unlikely to yield positive results.

Two days before his Oklahoma penitentiary visit, Mr. Obama addressed the NAACP national conference in Philadelphia and raised the same themes. The “real reason our prison population is so high,” he said to applause, is that we have “locked up more and more nonviolent drug offenders than ever before, for longer than ever before.”

This assertion is the most common fallacy of the deincarceration movement, given widespread currency by Michelle Alexander’s 2010 book, “The New Jim Crow.” That a president would repeat the myth is a demonstration of the extent to which ideology now rules the White House.

Pace Mr. Obama, the state-prison population (which accounts for 87% of the nation’s prisoners) is dominated by violent criminals and serial thieves. In 2013 drug offenders made up less than 16% of the state-prison population; violent felons were 54% and property offenders 19%. Reducing drug-related admissions to 15 large state penitentiaries by half would lower those states’ prison count by only 7%, according to the Urban Institute.

In federal prisons—which hold only 13% of the nation’s prisoners—drug offenders make up half of the inmate population. But these offenders aren’t casual drug users; overwhelmingly, they are serious traffickers. Fewer than 1% of drug offenders sentenced in federal court in 2014 were convicted of simple drug possession, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Most of those possession convictions were plea-bargained down from trafficking charges.

Another myth promoted by the deincarceration movement is that blacks are disproportionately targeted by federal drug prosecutions. The numbers tell a different story: Hispanics made up 48% of drug offenders sentenced in federal court in 2013; blacks were 27%, and whites 22%.

Even on the state level, drug-possession convicts are rare. In 2013 only 3.6% of state prisoners were serving time for drug possession—again, often the result of a plea bargain on more serious charges—compared with 12% of prisoners convicted of trafficking. Virtually all the possession offenders had long prior arrest and conviction records.

Nor is it true that rising drug prosecutions drove the increase in the prison population from the late 1970s to today. Even during the most rapid period of prison growth—from 1980 to 1990—violent prisoners accounted for 36% of the rise in the state prison population, compared with 33% from drug offenders. From 1990 to 2000, violent offenders accounted for 53% of the census increase and all of the increase from 1999 to 2004.

Mr. Obama and other incarceration critics have targeted mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug crimes. The current penalty structure is hardly sacrosanct, but mandatory sentences are an important prosecutorial tool for inducing cooperation from defendants. The federal minimums are also not lightly levied. A 10-year sentence for heroin trafficking requires possession of a kilogram of heroin, enough for 10,000 individual doses, with a typical street value of at least $70,000. Traffickers without a serious criminal history can avoid application of a mandatory sentence by cooperating with investigators. It is their choice not to do so.

Critics of “mass incarceration” love to compare American incarceration rates unfavorably with European rates. Crime is inevitably left out of the analysis. The U.S. homicide rate is seven times higher than the combined rate of 21 Western developed nations plus Japan, according to a 2011 study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the UCLA School of Public Health. The same people who denounce American gun violence (responsible for the great majority of U.S. homicides) and call for gun control in a domestic context go silent about such violence when using Europe as a cudgel against the American prison system.

Contrary to the advocates’ claim that the U.S. criminal-justice system is mindlessly draconian, most crime goes unpunished, certainly by a prison term. For every 31 people convicted of a violent felony, another 69 people arrested for violence are released back to the streets, according to a 2007 analysis of state courts by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. That low arrest-to-conviction rate reflects, among other things, prosecutors’ decisions not to go forward with a case for lack of cooperative witnesses or technical errors in police paperwork. The JFA Institute estimated in 2007 that in only 3% of violent victimizations and property crimes does the offender end up in prison.

Far from being prison-happy, the criminal-justice system tries to divert as many people as possible from long-term confinement. “Most cases are triaged with deferred judgments, deferred sentences, probation, workender jail sentences, weekender jail sentences,” writes Iowa State University sociologist Matt DeLisi in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Criminal Justice.

Offenders given community alternatives “are afforded multiple opportunities to violate these sanctions only to receive additional conditions, additional months on their sentence, or often, no additional punishments at all,” Mr. DeLisi adds. In 2009, 27% of convicted felons in the 75 largest counties received a community sentence of probation or treatment, and 37% were sentenced not to prison but to jail, where sentences top out at one year but are usually completed in a few weeks or months. Only 36% of convicted felons in 2009 got a prison term.

Statistical war continues to be waged over incarceration’s role in the last two decades’ decline in crime, with activists and many academics denying that incarceration contributed to the drop. Given the nonstop pressure from the Black Lives Matter movement, we may be embarking on another real-world experiment testing the relationship between incapacitation and crime.

If the country is really serious about lowering the prison count, it is going to have to put aside the fictions about the prison population. The legendary pot-smoker clogging up the rolls is long gone, if he ever existed. Cutting the prison population will require slashing the sentences of violent criminals and property offenders (many of whom have violent histories) and keeping more of them in the community after their convictions.

On Tuesday night, New York Police Officer Randolph Holder was fatally shot in the head. His killer, according to law-enforcement authorities, was a career criminal who had been diverted to drug treatment after his latest conviction, in lieu of a prison term. The shooter had absconded from his drug program, authorities said, and was gang-banging in an East Harlem housing project when he killed Officer Holder, who had responded to reports of shots fired.

Clearly, if community alternatives to incarceration are going to work, far tighter screening and supervision will be required.

A more promising alternative to incarceration is policing—above all, pedestrian stops and Broken Windows policing. New York’s prison population dropped 17% between 2000 and 2009, while the number of prisoners in the rest of the country continued to rise. The decrease in the New York prison population is all the more surprising, since the average sentence meted out to convicted felons over that period increased considerably, contradicting the standard deincarceration line of attack.

The different trajectories of the New York and national prison counts reflect the onset, in 1994, of the New York City Police Department’s practice of aggressively enforcing quality-of-life laws and stopping and questioning people engaged in suspicious behavior. Misdemeanor arrests in the city doubled from 1990 to 2009, while felony arrests (and thus, felony convictions) plummeted, as documented by Michael Jacobson and James Austin, in a 2013 study for the Brennan Center for Justice. Even though convicted felons in New York were being sentenced to longer terms, there were far fewer such convicts, so the overall incarcerated population fell. And the reason for that drop in felony crime is that the NYPD was apprehending potential felons for lower-level quality-of-life offenses and getting them off the street before they had the opportunity to commit more serious crimes.

Reasonable-suspicion stops represent an even earlier intervention in potentially serious criminal behavior: Questioning someone who looks to be casing a jewelry store in an area plagued by burglaries may prevent a subsequent break-in. And the possibility of getting stopped deters crime in the first place. Yet the political opposition to policing, especially to misdemeanor enforcement and pedestrian stops, is even more pointed now than the opposition to incarceration.

The demonization of the police and the criminal-justice system must end. As the Black Lives Matter movement marches forward with no apparent diminution of strength, there are signs that the very legitimacy of law and order is breaking down in urban areas. Resistance to lawful police action is becoming routine. Officers are reluctant to engage, given the nonstop campaign against them. Homicides in 35 large U.S. cities this year were up nearly 20% by August. Liberal elites have successfully kept attention focused exclusively on phantom police and criminal-justice racism while squelching even the most nascent discussion of the crime-breeding chaos of broken families at the heart of inner-city underclass culture. We are playing with fire.

Ms. Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. This op-ed was adapted from the 25th-anniversary issue of the institute’s City Journal, where Ms. Mac Donald is a contributing editor.
 
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment, Use RICO laws to prosecute deadly street gangs
Post by: DougMacG on November 11, 2015, 08:59:37 AM
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/11/09/use_rico_law_on_deadly_street_gangs_128671.html
Use RICO Law on Deadly Street Gangs

Kind of an obvious answer; hard to believe we aren't doing this already.  Great article IMO.
Title: Perverse Incentive Policing
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on November 27, 2015, 01:45:03 PM
Asset confiscation gone wild:

https://reason.com/archives/2015/11/27/cops-now-take-more-than-robbers
Title: CA-- what could go wrong with this?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 15, 2016, 07:51:48 AM
http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/guv-brown-i-demand-we-put-40000-prisoners-back-on-our-streets-who-needs-safety/
Title: Ohio Family Massacre
Post by: DDF on April 26, 2016, 08:55:10 AM
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/did-mexican-drug-cartel-carry-out-ohio-family-murders/
Title: Re: Ohio Family Massacre
Post by: G M on April 26, 2016, 09:30:24 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/did-mexican-drug-cartel-carry-out-ohio-family-murders/

Not possible. I've been told that marijuana is totally peaceful and Mexicans that illegally cross the border are wonderful individuals only here to work hard.

Title: Re: Ohio Family Massacre
Post by: DDF on April 27, 2016, 10:09:47 AM
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/did-mexican-drug-cartel-carry-out-ohio-family-murders/

Not possible. I've been told that marijuana is totally peaceful and Mexicans that illegally cross the border are wonderful individuals only here to work hard.



Funniest thing I've heard all week. Thanks for the laugh.  :-D  :-D  :-D
Title: Kerik on prison reform
Post by: ccp on May 04, 2016, 08:48:44 AM
http://www.justice-integrity.org/faq/622-bernard-kerik-delivers-compelling-call-for-prison-reform
Title: Re: Kerik on prison reform
Post by: G M on May 04, 2016, 08:57:12 AM
http://www.justice-integrity.org/faq/622-bernard-kerik-delivers-compelling-call-for-prison-reform

Imagine if federal prosecutors went after Hillary like they did Kerik.
Title: But your honor, he needed killing!
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 18, 2016, 07:46:14 AM
http://ktul.com/news/local/man-who-killed-daughters-sexual-abuser-gets-40-year-sentence
Title: Lucky boy "raped" for nine months, teacher gets 10 years
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 16, 2017, 09:21:35 AM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/01/15/texas-teacher-who-had-sex-almost-daily-with-13-year-old-student-gets-10-years-in-prison/?utm_term=.b13a0a3e44e4&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1
Title: Pedophile decapitated
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 22, 2017, 11:44:48 AM


http://yournewswire.com/pedophile-decapitated-corpse/
Title: Re: Pedophile decapitated
Post by: G M on September 22, 2017, 11:57:10 AM


http://yournewswire.com/pedophile-decapitated-corpse/

This seems to be a bogus story. Unfortunately.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 22, 2017, 01:56:21 PM
Ah well , , , but thanks for the Truth.
Title: NYC crime rates continue to decline
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 28, 2017, 11:12:02 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/27/nyregion/new-york-city-crime-2017.html?emc=edit_th_20171228&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0
Title: Blame the Gentrification?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 29, 2017, 08:22:50 PM
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454997/new-york-city-homicide-rate-drop-lessons-proactive-policing?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NR%20Daily%20Monday%20through%20Friday%202017-12-29&utm_term=NR5PM%20Actives
Title: NRO: Does DeBlasio deserve an "I told you so"?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 02, 2018, 11:10:46 AM
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455035/new-york-city-stop-and-frisk-crime-decline-conservatives-wrong?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NR%20Daily%20Monday%20through%20Friday%202018-01-01&utm_term=NR5PM%20Actives
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 30, 2018, 06:46:48 AM
http://www.nationalreview.com/morning-jolt/455860/expect-criminal-justice-and-prison-reform-president-trump-tuesday-night?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=180129_Jolt&utm_term=Jolt
Title: Murders concentrated
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 12, 2018, 06:00:27 PM
https://crimeresearch.org/2017/04/number-murders-county-54-us-counties-2014-zero-murders-69-1-murder/
Title: Re: Murders concentrated
Post by: G M on March 12, 2018, 06:55:29 PM
https://crimeresearch.org/2017/04/number-murders-county-54-us-counties-2014-zero-murders-69-1-murder/


Now, look at the county by county vote map for Clinton vs. Trump.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 13, 2018, 05:31:05 PM
Heh heh.
Title: Re: Crime and Punishment
Post by: DDF on March 17, 2018, 08:44:34 PM
Great work GM. Very interesting.
Title: Bail, and Bail Bondsmen
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 01, 2018, 10:03:33 AM


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/31/us/bail-bonds-extortion.html?nl=top-stories&nlid=49641193ries&ref=cta
Title: Re: Bail, and Bail Bondsmen
Post by: G M on April 02, 2018, 05:51:42 AM


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/31/us/bail-bonds-extortion.html?nl=top-stories&nlid=49641193ries&ref=cta

And then they will push bail bonds companies out of business. Coming soon, a NY Times expose on how poor defendants can’t get bail.
Title: Capital punishment and the Pope
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 11, 2018, 11:48:03 AM
https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/270969/death-penalty-pope-francis-rewrites-bible-dennis-prager
Title: Re: Capital punishment and the Pope
Post by: G M on August 14, 2018, 11:23:14 AM
https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/270969/death-penalty-pope-francis-rewrites-bible-dennis-prager

Is the Pope Catholic? More and more, that's a serious question.
Title: Texas judge takes voters' message to heart
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 13, 2018, 02:01:21 PM


https://www.policeone.com/judge/articles/482018006-Texas-judge-releases-juvenile-defendants-after-losing-election/?fbclid=IwAR1UyJ8Ux2r7w9q_7xiTiQNxyg3xdNPIa2s8Ud7yIP60he9GSEZmEyj-PtI
Title: Separate prison for illegal aliens
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 14, 2019, 10:47:08 PM


https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/a-new-study-uncovers-troubling-information-about-immigrant-only-prisons?utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_031319&utm_medium=email&bxid=5be9d3fa3f92a40469e2d85c&user_id=50142053&esrc=&utm_term=TNY_Daily
Title: Re: Separate prison for illegal aliens
Post by: DougMacG on March 15, 2019, 09:25:03 AM


https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/a-new-study-uncovers-troubling-information-about-immigrant-only-prisons?utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_031319&utm_medium=email&bxid=5be9d3fa3f92a40469e2d85c&user_id=50142053&esrc=&utm_term=TNY_Daily

Instead of investing in better health care and better treatment for illegals, how about we try to keep them out.

New Yorker: An epileptic illegal died in custody without getting needed medicine.  What is learned from a tragic human story?  We should have fully stocked pharmacies at the border?  Did he have medication when he arrived and we took it from him?  He should have immediate high quality healthcare for free awaiting his arrival just for crossing illegally?  That won't lure people in.  What was he in prison for?  Did he communicate his medical need before the seizure?  In what language?  Do we need interpreters awaiting the illegals crossers too?  Would he have died if was in his country?  Would have an American have died in the same situation? 

The more we send free [stuff] to the illegals including healthcare, food, clothing, housing, transportation, all the essentials of life, the more illegals will come.  If a man brings a purchased, trafficked, hostage underage girl with him that he has raped, we welcome them as a family?  What is wrong with this escalating cycle? 

The way to have fewer treatment issues of illegals is to have fewer illegals coming in.
Title: Re: Separate prison for illegal aliens
Post by: G M on March 15, 2019, 02:44:37 PM
Yeah, but the dems can't vote-farm them if they aren't here.



https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/a-new-study-uncovers-troubling-information-about-immigrant-only-prisons?utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_031319&utm_medium=email&bxid=5be9d3fa3f92a40469e2d85c&user_id=50142053&esrc=&utm_term=TNY_Daily

Instead of investing in better health care and better treatment for illegals, how about we try to keep them out.

New Yorker: An epileptic illegal died in custody without getting needed medicine.  What is learned from a tragic human story?  We should have fully stocked pharmacies at the border?  Did he have medication when he arrived and we took it from him?  He should have immediate high quality healthcare for free awaiting his arrival just for crossing illegally?  That won't lure people in.  What was he in prison for?  Did he communicate his medical need before the seizure?  In what language?  Do we need interpreters awaiting the illegals crossers too?  Would he have died if was in his country?  Would have an American have died in the same situation? 

The more we send free [stuff] to the illegals including healthcare, food, clothing, housing, transportation, all the essentials of life, the more illegals will come.  If a man brings a purchased, trafficked, hostage underage girl with him that he has raped, we welcome them as a family?  What is wrong with this escalating cycle? 

The way to have fewer treatment issues of illegals is to have fewer illegals coming in.
Title: RICO & the Mongols MC
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 30, 2019, 11:04:40 PM
https://www.motorcycleprofilingproject.com/mongols-mc-sentencing/?fbclid=IwAR1V7w-dMjyuzAFcv1qBOXhi1g6pwDHuulGPvb5tBtWqMU5c_xhf46Vaudc
Title: Interesting legal questions presented
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 17, 2019, 05:50:40 PM
https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/cancun-lynch-mob-target-gets-37-years/

https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/guilty-verdict-for-russian-who-was-target-of-cancun-lynch-mob/
Title: Criminologists mislead us
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 05, 2019, 10:31:27 AM
https://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2019/09/04/criminologists-mislead-us-n2552448