So the whole reason we need more prisons built is to house non-violent drug offenders?
LTMC: And 80-90% of those so-called drug offenders are Black, despite the fact that all racial groups commit crime at remarkably similar rates, and some studies suggest that Blacks actually use drugs less frequently than whites.
Nothing like being labeled a criminal and suspected of Meth dealing by your neighbors after 40 police storm into your house and find…nothing.
Note that this was an “excellent example of police and citizens working together.” Note also that some of the neighbors were not fond of the family’s children, who would invite their friends over, and “were often loud.”
Which obviously justifies calling in a border-line racist report of drug activity to the Police Department, and 40 police officers storming through your front door.
When you expand the realm of criminal behavior, you also expand the ability of citizens to painlessly
abuseinvoke the Police State for private purposes. This is an example of precisely such an invocation.
Those are all false confessions. Undoubtedly coerced by police investigators.
UPDATE: this paper suggests that a particular 9-step interrogation technique convinced innocent people to confess to crimes they didn’t commit at a rate of 43%.
This is probably Comedy at first glance to some people. But it is only Comedy due to its absurd Tragedy. It is a symptom of just how ineffective and broken our current model for “corrections” is.
Because if you want a person to behave like a civilized human being, you lock them in prison for 26 years inside an insular community of anti-social, dangerous people, then release them back into society, right? Makes sense.
With no DNA evidence involved in the case, Bermudez was in a he-said, she-said battle with prosecutors, who, based on initial witness testimony, maintained that he was responsible for killing Blount. But here’s the irony — just one year after his conviction, the five witnesses who originally testified against him recanted.
In sworn affidavits, they claimed that police and prosecutors “coerced or manipulated” them to identify Bermudez as the killer. These admissions, which wasn’t officially uncovered until years later, did little to prevent him from spending another 17 years behind bars. But they were later relied upon in the eventual court battle that led to his release.
The little-known law at issue is called the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. It was enacted in 1986 to punish computer hacking. But Congress has broadened the law every few years, and today it extends far beyond hacking. The law now criminalizes computer use that “exceeds authorized access” to any computer. Today that violation is a misdemeanor, but the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to meet this morning to vote on making it a felony.
Breaching an agreement or ignoring your boss might be bad. But should it be a federal crime just because it involves a computer? If interpreted this way, the law gives computer owners the power to criminalize any computer use they don’t like. Imagine the Democratic Party setting up a public website and announcing that no Republicans can visit. Every Republican who checked out the site could be a criminal for exceeding authorized access.
If that sounds far-fetched, consider a few recent cases. In 2009, the Justice Department prosecuted a woman for violating the “terms of service” of the social networking site MySpace.com. The woman had been part of a group that set up a MySpace profile using a fake picture. The feds charged her with conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Prosecutors say the woman exceeded authorized access because MySpace required all profile information to be truthful. But people routinely misstate the truth in online profiles, about everything from their age to their name. What happens when each instance is a felony?
What happens is merely another step toward the complete criminalization of everyday life.
Cops find a man experiencing a diabetic seizure, rather than call for medical help they chose to strike him with a baton and handcuff him, only because he started to bleed from his head, the cops decided to call paramedics. When the paramedics arrived, they found the man’s diabetes card and…
don’t worry, it’s just a five minute inconvenience. It’s entirely reasonable for the American Public to be split over whether this is morally acceptable.
incase your wednesday morning was too pleasant, read this.
Tyler Cabot tells Noor Uthman Muhammed’s story:
It is a strange population, the 171 men still left at Guantánamo. There is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and another two dozen hardened militants, who will never be released. This class of prisoner represents a small minority of the population. Then there are the others — about a hundred men, mostly Yemeni, who have been cleared to leave but have no place to go, as no country will take them. And there are another thirty-five or so like Noor. They are nameless, low-level operatives, or hapless men who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are the detritus of a decade-long war.
They can’t simply be released. That would be admitting that they aren’t as bad as the government once said they were. And most can’t be tried, either, because much of the evidence against them — if there is any — is too fraught, as it was gotten by torture, and would never have even been considered to be evidence in any American judicial proceeding before September 11, 2001. And no serious person would have ever argued for it as such.
The majority of the prisoners currently in Guantanamo are not being held on charges or serving any sentence.
i was just listening to a this american life episode about that: #331: habeas schmabeas.