Punishments / Prisons
Categories underneath Punishments / Prisons:
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Apr 04, 2013 As economy flails, debtors' prisons thrive (MoneyWatch)
QUOTE: Thousands of Americans are sent to jail not for committing a crime, but because they can't afford to pay for traffic tickets, medical bills and court fees. If that sounds like a debtors' prison, a legal relic which was abolished in this country in the 1830s, that's because it is. And courts and judges in states across the land are violating the Constitution by incarcerating people for being unable to pay such debts.
CBS News Aug 16, 2012 Elections Shape Judicial Sentencing, Study Finds
QUOTE: Making sure to account for whether cases were resolved via plea bargain or trial, and the criminal history of defendants, the authors identified a 10% increase in sentence length from the start of a judge’s term to the election (or, for judges who ran opposed, to the filing deadline for running, several months earlier).
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Aug 14, 2012 Factory owners: Federal prisoners stealing our business
QUOTE: Unicor is a government-run enterprise that employs over 13,000 inmates -- at wages as low as 23 cents an hour -- to make goods for the Pentagon and other federal agencies....If Unicor wants a contract, it gets it.
CNN/Money Magazine Aug 07, 2012 Texas Executes Man With IQ of 61
QUOTE: If 54-year-old Marvin Wilson is put to death on Tuesday, it will not be because Texas denies that he is intellectually disabled, or as the legal literature puts it, “mentally retarded.” This much, the state recognizes. It just does not believe that Wilson is disabled enough not to be executed in Texas—a flagrant violation of the 2002 Supreme Court ruling in Atkins v. Virginia, which held that “the mentally retarded should be categorically excluded from execution,” period.
Nation Jun 20, 2012 U.S. Push on Illegal Bias Against Hiring Those With Criminal Records
QUOTE: In April, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission signaled that it would begin to crack down on employers who use the criminal histories of job applicants to discriminate against them illegally....many small businesses had no idea there was anything wrong with practices like a blanket ban on hiring anybody with a criminal record.
New York Times Jan 11, 2012 Mississippi judge blocks release of pardoned prisoners
QUOTE: A Mississippi judge Wednesday evening issued a temporary injunction forbidding the release of any more prisoners pardoned or given clemency by outgoing Gov. Haley Barbour, whose actions created an uproar.
CNN (Cable News Network) Sep 08, 2011 The Lingering Injustice of Attica
QUOTE: FORTY years ago today, more than 1,000 inmates at Attica Correctional Facility began a major civil and human rights protest — an uprising that is barely mentioned in textbooks but nevertheless was one of the most important rebellions in American history....more than 500 state troopers burst in, riddling catwalks and exercise yards with thousands of bullets. Within 15 minutes the air was filled with screams, and the prison was littered with the bodies of 39 people — 29 inmates and 10 hostages — who lay dead or dying.
New York Times Sep 05, 2011 Leak Offers Look at Efforts by U.S. to Spy on Israel
QUOTE: While the American government routinely eavesdrops on some embassies inside the United States, intelligence collection against allies is always politically delicate, especially one as close as Israel.
New York Times Sep 04, 2011 Ex-Premier Faces Charges for Iceland’s Fiscal Woes
QUOTE: The dust from Iceland’s spectacular financial disaster — the failure of its three biggest banks and then the collapse of its economy in the fall of 2008 — had barely begun to settle when the country set about finding someone to blame... it is pursuing criminal charges against a politician, former Prime Minister Geir Haarde, for his government’s failure to avert the catastrophe.
New York Times Aug 19, 2011 In California, Victims’ Families Fight for the Dead
QUOTE: The rights of families like the Tays to be heard has been a fundamental tenet of a movement since California passed its first victims’ bill of rights three decades ago — a model that has been followed by states across the nation....with a United States Supreme Court mandate in May to reduce the populations of California’s overcrowded prisons, Gov. Jerry Brown has thus far upheld 207 of the parole board’s 253 decisions to release convicted killers.
New York Times Aug 09, 2011 Pimps feed on twisting Californian dream
QUOTE: the fight against prostitution has been refocused and now the prostitutes are treated as victims..."With us changing our focus to trying to arrest the pimps, pimping carries a three year mandatory sentence here in California, so to us we have more of an impact because if we can arrest one pimp we can in theory shut down three or four girls because if their pimp's out, it gives them the opportunity to escape the life that they're in."
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 25, 2011 This Is Considered Punishment? (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: for anyone still hoping for justice in the wake of the financial crisis, the news was hardly encouraging. First, the Fed did not force Wells Fargo to admit guilt — and even let the company issue a press release blaming its wrongdoing on a “relatively small group.” The $85 million fine was a joke; in just the last quarter, Wells Fargo’s revenues exceeded $20 billion.
New York Times Jun 17, 2011 U.S. Pressing Its Crackdown Against Leaks
QUOTE: The Justice Department shows no sign of rethinking its campaign to punish unauthorized disclosures to the news media, with five criminal cases so far under President Obama, compared with three under all previous presidents combined....The string of cases reflects a broad belief across two administrations and in both parties in Congress that leaks have gotten out of hand, endangering intelligence agents and exposing American spying methods.
New York Times May 23, 2011 Justices, 5-4, Tell California to Cut Prisoner Population
QUOTE: Conditions in California’s overcrowded prisons are so bad that they violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday, ordering the state to reduce its prison population by more than 30,000 inmates.
New York Times May 20, 2011 States Seeking New Registries for Criminals
QUOTE: Lawmakers around the country are pushing for online registries, like those used for sex offenders, to track the whereabouts of people convicted of a wide variety of crimes, from arson and drunken driving to methamphetamine manufacturing and animal abuse....Critics say that while the registries are attractive to politicians who want to appear tough on crime, they often do little more than spread fear and encourage vigilantism.
New York Times May 14, 2011 In Prison Reform, Money Trumps Civil Rights
QUOTE: A majority of those swept into our nation’s prison system are poor people of color, but the sudden shift away from the “get tough” rhetoric that has dominated the national discourse on crime has not been inspired by a surge in concern about the devastating human toll of mass incarceration. Instead, as Professor Bell predicted, the changing tide is best explained by perceived white interests. In this economic climate, it is impossible to maintain the vast prison state without raising taxes on the (white) middle class.
New York Times May 04, 2011 North Korean Prison Camps Massive and Growing
QUOTE: Former inmates at the political labor camp... said they were frequently tortured and had been forced to watch the executions of fellow prisoners... the North’s network of political prisons is estimated to hold 200,000 inmates.
New York Times Apr 27, 2011 Great Leap Backward
QUOTE: First, the government is arresting not only dissidents and Christians but also their family members and even their lawyers. Second, after a long period in which police would torture working-class prisoners but usually not intellectuals, the authorities are again brutalizing white-collar dissidents.
New York Times Apr 20, 2011 Boot camp in Malaysia for effeminate boys slammed
QUOTE: An education department in one Malaysian state is sending effeminate boys to a boot camp to change their behavior… Donna Guest, deputy director of the Asia-Pacific program at Amnesty International, deplored the action, which "feeds into gender stereotyping and homophobia."
CNN (Cable News Network) Apr 20, 2011 Juvenile Killers in Jail for Life Seek a Reprieve
QUOTE: Teenagers deserved more lenient treatment than adults because they are immature, impulsive, susceptible to peer pressure and able to change for the better over time… Tammy Lotts said race figured in her stepson’s trial.
New York Times Apr 14, 2011 Egyptian Military to Review Cases of Jailed Protesters
QUOTE: “If they are retried in a military court there is no guarantee there will be a fair trial,” Ms. Morayef said. “All these people need to be retried in a civilian court and all peaceful protesters who were arbitrarily arrested should be immediately released and their charges dropped.”
New York Times Mar 27, 2011 The Dissident's Wife
QUOTE: A human rights group reports that more than a hundred bloggers and rights advocates have been interrogated or detained in connection to the “Jasmine Revolution...” The Chinese government must not be allowed to claim that China is a nation operating under the rule of law while persecuting those who try to ensure that it respects the law. And when the government silences dissent, the international community must speak up.
New York Times Mar 11, 2011 A Legal Privilege That Some Lawmakers See Broadly
QUOTE: (Steven F. Huefner) said the privilege, which is included in the United States Constitution and in many state constitutions, was designed to protect lawmakers from civil matters that would interfere with their legislative duties. “The legislative privilege should not become a get-out-of-jail-free card or escape-from-ever-being-put-in-jail card for state legislators."
New York Times Jan 18, 2011 Former Haitian Dictator to Face Charges
QUOTE: The charges filed on Tuesday seemed to be a modest list for a man who is widely blamed for one of the darkest chapters in the country’s history — and whose government has been accused of kidnapping, torturing and murdering thousands of political opponents. But the case against Mr. Duvalier represents a bold step by a country with a long history of impunity, and one where leaders have rarely faced prosecution.
New York Times Dec 22, 2010 Rape victims fear being jailed in Mauritania
QUOTE: Mahjouba was raped in March on the nighttime streets of Mauritania's capital, but she will not bring charges against the man she says did it...According to a local U.N.-funded group working with the victims, the law criminalizes the women instead of their rapists -- and society ostracizes the women.
CNN (Cable News Network) May 27, 2010 Anti-whaling activist goes on trial in Japan
QUOTE: Bethune's case is the first time a Sea Shepherd activist has been tried in a Japanese criminal court in the group's long-running battle with Japan's whalers in the icy waters of the Antarctic. Japan annually hunts whales in the Antarctic, despite a worldwide moratorium on whaling, under the loophole that a country may legally do so if its purpose is scientific research.
CNN (Cable News Network) May 22, 2010 Escape Attempt Led to Killings of Unarmed Inmates
QUOTE: Haitian officials here say they did not use lethal force but rather found lifeless bodies when they entered the prison....But an investigation by The New York Times casts doubt on the official version of events...
New York Times May 21, 2010 Defiant Judge Takes On Child Pornography Law
QUOTE: the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated a 20-year child pornography sentence by ruling that the sentencing guidelines for such cases, “unless applied with great care, can lead to unreasonable sentences.” The decision noted that the recommended sentences for looking at pictures of children being sexually abused sometimes eclipse those for actually sexually abusing a child.
New York Times May 18, 2010 Supreme Court restricts life without parole for juveniles
QUOTE: Juveniles may not be sentenced to life in prison without parole for any crime short of homicide, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday, expanding its command that young offenders must be treated differently from adults even for heinous crimes.
Washington Post May 17, 2010 Extended Civil Commitment of Sex Offenders Is Upheld
QUOTE: In a broad endorsement of federal power, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Congress has the authority under the Constitution to allow the continued civil commitment of sex offenders after they have completed their criminal sentences. The 7-to-2 decision touched off a heated debate among the justices on a question that has lately engaged the Tea Party movement and opponents of the new health care law: What limits does the Constitution impose on Congress’s power to legislate on matters not specifically delegated to it in Article I?
New York Times Apr 21, 2010 Secret Baghdad Jail Held Sunnis From the North
QUOTE: An Iraqi security force under Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s direct command held hundreds of detainees from northern Iraq in an undisclosed prison in Baghdad, torturing dozens of them, until the country’s human rights minister and the United States intervened late last month...
New York Times Mar 29, 2010 9 Teenagers Are Charged After Classmate’s Suicide
QUOTE: It is not clear what some students at South Hadley High School expected to achieve by subjecting a freshman to the relentless taunting described by a prosecutor and classmates. Certainly not her suicide. And certainly not the multiple felony indictments...
New York Times Feb 18, 2010 Girl's arrest for doodling raises concerns about zero tolerance
QUOTE: "We are arresting them at younger and younger ages [in cases] that used to be covered with a trip to the principal's office, not sending children to jail," said Emma Jordan-Simpson, executive director of the Children's Defense Fund, a national children's advocacy group.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 09, 2010 Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in Jail
QUOTE: thousands of pages of government documents, including scathing investigative reports that were kept under wraps, and a trail of confidential memos and BlackBerry messages that show officials working to stymie outside inquiry....107 deaths in detention counted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since October 2003...
New York Times Oct 23, 2009 Arizona May Put State Prisons in Private Hands
QUOTE: It is the first effort by a state [Arizona] to put its entire prison system under private control.
New York Times Oct 23, 2009 The Geek Defense: Do criminals with Asperger's syndrome deserve special treatment?
QUOTE: the legal system isn't always consistent in its treatment of criminals with developmental disabilities, and the sentences handed down to autistic defendants can vary widely depending on the court. Asperger's may prove even more challenging than autism, because it lacks the well-defined intellectual deficits that make the latter relatively easy to diagnose. How will a judge determine whether a given diagnosis of Asperger's is scientifically valid, let alone decide how the disorder relates to a particular crime?
Slate Sep 28, 2009 Supreme Court to consider juvenile 'lifers:' Does life without parole for minors who didn't kill constitute cruel and unusual punishment?
QUOTE: At issue [in a future Supreme Court case] is whether it is cruel and unusual punishment to imprison a minor until he or she dies when the crime does not involve murder.
Los Angeles Times Sep 16, 2009 Where are the subprime perp walks?: Three years after the housing bubble popped, prosecutors have yet to bring a major case tied to the subprime fiasco. What gives?
QUOTE: Three years after the housing bubble popped, federal prosecutors have yet to bring a case against the executives whose firms took part in some of the worst excesses of the subprime mortgage market.
Fortune Sep 11, 2009 Report Notes Sexual Misconduct by Prison Workers
QUOTE: Reports of sexual misconduct by prison staff members with federal inmates doubled over the past eight years, and government watchdogs called Thursday for more training and sensitivity to combat the growing problem.
Washington Post Sep 02, 2009 Dugard case: Is California's parole system overstretched?
QUOTE: criminal justice experts say the arrest of Phillip Garrido, a registered sex offender who was under GPS monitoring, for Ms. Dugard's 1991 abduction is just one example of why the state's [California's] parole system needs to be overhauled.
Christian Science Monitor Aug 25, 2009 Hawaii to Remove Inmates Over Abuse Charges
QUOTE: Hawaii prison officials said Tuesday that all of the state’s 168 female inmates at a privately run Kentucky prison will be removed by the end of September because of charges of sexual abuse by guards.
New York Times Aug 24, 2009 Report Cites Abuse at State Juvenile Prison Centers
QUOTE: Children at four juvenile detention centers in New York were so severely abused by workers that it constituted a violation of their constitutional rights, according to a report by the United States Department of Justice made public on Monday.
New York Times Aug 17, 2009 Officials Say Detainee Fatalities Were Missed
QUOTE: More than one in 10 deaths in immigration detention in the last six years have been overlooked and were omitted from an official list of detainee fatalities issued to Congress in March, the Obama administration said Monday.
New York Times Aug 16, 2009 A bold gambit to reduce demand for child porn: Federal prosecutors and a New York lawyer are persuading courts to order anyone caught with illicit images to pay financial restitution to child victims.
QUOTE: Federal prosecutors are embracing an aggressive approach to fight the spread of child pornography on the Internet, urging judges across the country to order full restitution to identified child victims in cases where the defendant possessed the images but played no role in their creation.
Christian Science Monitor Aug 11, 2009 Oldies but Baddies: Can someone be too old for jail? (Explainer)
QUOTE: Can someone be too old for jail?
Slate Aug 10, 2009 As Dubai's Glitter Fades, Foreigners See Dark Side: More Jailings, Prosecutions Follow Downturn
QUOTE: Dubai is still far more free and more predictable than most of its neighbors, but a chill has taken hold as property values tumble, jobs vanish and businessmen are detained.
Washington Post Aug 10, 2009 Calif. Prison Rocked by Riot Has Troubled Past
QUOTE: A California prison badly damaged over the weekend by a riot that injured 250 inmates has a record of poor maintenance, shoddy safety protocols, dangerous overcrowding and riots, three inspection reports since 2006 show.
New York Times Aug 10, 2009 Mexico’s Drug Traffickers Continue Trade in Prison (War Without Borders)
QUOTE: Mexico’s prisons, as described by inmates and insiders and viewed during several visits, are places where drug traffickers find a new base of operations for their criminal empires, recruit underlings, and bribe their way out for the right price.
New York Times Aug 09, 2009 Mentally Ill Offenders Strain Juvenile System
QUOTE: As cash-starved states slash mental health programs in communities and schools, they are increasingly relying on the juvenile corrections system to handle a generation of young offenders with psychiatric disorders.
New York Times Aug 07, 2009 Reforming Crack-Cocaine Laws, but Leaving Injustice Intact?
QUOTE: reformers of drug sentencing laws are closing in on a goal that was unthinkable even a few years ago: scrapping the federal sentencing structure established in 1986 that gives far harsher penalties for crack cocaine than for powder cocaine, resulting in prisons packed with low-level, predominantly African American offenders.
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