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mr6666

Justice in America?

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Texas TribuneVerified account @TexasTribune Feb 16

 

75% of people in Texas jails have not been convicted of any crime. Many can’t afford bail.

Those defendants sit in jail, waiting, while others who can pay go free. #txlege

======================================

Courts have called Texas bail practices unconstitutional. Will that push this year's reform efforts to success?

Two years after a bail reform bill died in the Legislature, new bail legislation has other factors working in its favor.

"........To illustrate what he considers a flawed system, he cited the case of a grandmother who was kept in jail for about two months on a $150,000 bond after allegedly shoplifting $105 worth of clothes for her grandchildren.

The bipartisan legislation filed Monday aims to help poor, low-level defendants get out of jail on free bonds and keep in jail those thought to be flight risks or threats to public safety. The proposed risk-assessment tool would have to be used within two days of arrest to help judges determine the defendant’s level of risk based on criminal history, not just the current offense. The bills are similar to last session’s, when legislation passed the Senate but died before reaching the House floor.

Whitmire blamed his 2017 bill’s failure on the powerful bail bond industry,.............

https://www.texastribune.org/2019/02/04/bail-reform-texas-legislature-bills-filed/?utm_campaign=trib-social&utm_content=1549649774&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=1549892713&utm_content=1549996550&utm_content=1550257744

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One of America's harshest isolation units was exposed by a desperate, handwritten account from the inside

A Georgia solitary confinement unit was filled with the “cacophony of prisoner screams and cries for help,” a prisons expert said after visiting.

 

"........The inmate, a convicted rapist named Timothy Gumm, said he’d been put there after a failed escape attempt in January 2010 and was told he’d remain there indefinitely, even after the escape charge was wiped from his disciplinary record. He lost contact with loved ones, dropped 50 pounds and was “deprived of almost any environmental and sensory stimuli and of almost all human contact,” he wrote. He saw no way out.

 

“I hate that I even have to trouble you and the court with this matter,” Gumm wrote in a cover letter to the court clerk.

That longshot filing, written on 11 pages of loose-leaf paper without a lawyer’s help, persuaded a skeptical judge to listen, and to eventually force Georgia to open up its isolation unit to outsiders. A social psychologist who’d studied prison conditions for 40 years was shocked at what he saw: metal cells without openings, including one smeared with blood; mentally ill prisoners screaming in anguish; and a crudely drawn sign that said, “HELP.”

 

........... authorities are reconsidering solitary confinement through new laws, policies, court opinions and legal settlements. Many are influenced by harrowing recollections of life in solitary confinement — like the tale of Anthony Gay, who was locked up as a teen for allegedly stealing a dollar bill and ended up spending 22 years in solitary confinement in Illinois. Others react to a streak of inmate suicides, as in Alabama recently. .....

“When did it ever become OK to lock someone in a cell the size of a parking space 23 hours a day for years?” Raemisch says in a video tweeted last month by the American Civil Liberties Union. .......

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/one-america-s-harshest-isolation-units-was-exposed-desperate-handwritten-n969531

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ACLUVerified account @ACLU 3h3 hours ago

 
 

BREAKING: Today SCOTUS ruled that the Eighth Amendment protects people from state and local authorities' abusive fines, fees, and forfeitures to raise money.

This will help stop state and local authorities from using people in the justice system as their piggy banks.

 

https://apnews.com/ac4625d39d594afd8090a8923058ad73?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP_Politics&utm_campaign=SocialFlow

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On 2/17/2019 at 7:12 PM, mr6666 said:

Texas TribuneVerified account @TexasTribune Feb 16

 

75% of people in Texas jails have not been convicted of any crime. Many can’t afford bail.

Those defendants sit in jail, waiting, while others who can pay go free. #txlege

======================================

Courts have called Texas bail practices unconstitutional. Will that push this year's reform efforts to success?

Two years after a bail reform bill died in the Legislature, new bail legislation has other factors working in its favor.

"........To illustrate what he considers a flawed system, he cited the case of a grandmother who was kept in jail for about two months on a $150,000 bond after allegedly shoplifting $105 worth of clothes for her grandchildren.

The bipartisan legislation filed Monday aims to help poor, low-level defendants get out of jail on free bonds and keep in jail those thought to be flight risks or threats to public safety. The proposed risk-assessment tool would have to be used within two days of arrest to help judges determine the defendant’s level of risk based on criminal history, not just the current offense. The bills are similar to last session’s, when legislation passed the Senate but died before reaching the House floor.

Whitmire blamed his 2017 bill’s failure on the powerful bail bond industry,.............

https://www.texastribune.org/2019/02/04/bail-reform-texas-legislature-bills-filed/?utm_campaign=trib-social&utm_content=1549649774&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=1549892713&utm_content=1549996550&utm_content=1550257744

 

I tried to find out her background (previous arrest / convictions) but came up empty.  This does affect bond and time in jail.

If this was her first arrest, the bond is excessive but can receive 6 months - far more then the grandmother served.

It's not the justice system's problem if one cannot afford bail.

https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/shoplifting-when-it-s-a-felony-23344

 

Like to add, if the grandmother was that desperate, why didn't she reach out to social services for help / vouchers?

 

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16 minutes ago, hamradio said:

 

I tried to find out her background (previous arrest / convictions) but came up empty.  This does affect bond and time in jail.

If this was her first arrest, the bond is excessive but can receive 6 months - far more then the grandmother served.

It's not the justice system's problem if one cannot afford bail.

https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/shoplifting-when-it-s-a-felony-23344

 

Like to add, if the grandmother was that desperate, why didn't she reach out to social services for help / vouchers?

 

People being locked up for months for minor offenses because they don't have the money for bail is strictly something that belongs in a Charles Dickens novel.

And so many of these states are in the South and a lot of their thinking maybe back in the nineteenth Century with their slavery roots or in the 20th century when they had Jim Crow.

This sort of stuff is Jim Crow light.

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4 hours ago, jakeem said:

The Supreme Court Just Struck a Huge, Unanimous Blow Against Policing for Profit

SCOTUS’s decision is a landmark victory for criminal justice reform.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/02/supreme-court-rules-against-civil-forfeitures-rbg-timbs.html?via=rss_socialflow_twitter

8D3_uH3E?format=jpg&name=600x314

 Needless to say this is a issue about racial discrimination as well.

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In regard to policing for profit, wish something is done about police quotas on tickets, aka ticket or it's your job.  Some states are putting an end to it.

17759286_BG2.jpg

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15 minutes ago, hamradio said:

In regard to policing for profit, wish something is done about police quotas on tickets, aka ticket or it's your job.  Some states are putting an end to it.

17759286_BG2.jpg

I've never been a speeder, but sometimes I might go 4 or 5 miles over the limit unknowingly. So I always watch out for the end of the month because that's when they have to get their quota in. And you would be surprised the places where they can hide their cars with those radar guns.

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Ari MelberVerified account @AriMelber

 

Paul Manafort’s lenient 4-year sentence — far below the recommended 20 years despite extensive felonies and post-conviction obstruction

— is a reminder of the blatant inequities in our justice system that we all know about,

because they reoccur every week in courts across America

<_<

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On 2/20/2019 at 3:46 PM, mr6666 said:

ACLUVerified account @ACLU 3h3 hours ago

 
 

BREAKING: Today SCOTUS ruled that the Eighth Amendment protects people from state and local authorities' abusive fines, fees, and forfeitures to raise money.

This will help stop state and local authorities from using people in the justice system as their piggy banks.

 

https://apnews.com/ac4625d39d594afd8090a8923058ad73?utm_source=Twitter&amp;utm_medium=AP_Politics&amp;utm_campaign=SocialFlow

:)
 
 
 
 

As I posted earlier on a different thread, some daily newspapers in S.C. have been doing in depth reporting on this.  The state legislature is on track to have fundamental reforms and have lots of bipartisan support.  BUT...law enforcement has reared its ugly head.  They are careful about how they say it, but they want the MONEY.  The proposal is that the person has to be convicted of a crime before the assets can be taken.  Also, the money goes to the state who then divides it with part going back to local law enforcement agencies.

One qualifier is that apparently the FEDS have a lot more latitude than even local law enforcement over seizing assets and keeping them.  Sometimes locals bring feds in just to facilitate seizing the assets.

 

On 2/22/2019 at 11:45 AM, hamradio said:

In regard to policing for profit, wish something is done about police quotas on tickets, aka ticket or it's your job.  Some states are putting an end to it.

17759286_BG2.jpg

NUMBER ONE.  If the vehicle was violating the law, what is wrong with giving out tickets?  Not saying for these picky things that are used to justify civil forfeiture, such as not driving in center of lane, coming too close to edge of lane, etc.

It's not a speed trap if you were speeding and the speed was posted.

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Read that the Republican governor of Texas is rewarding the Texas judges who were unseated in the recent elections.  Texas elects judges, but apparently the governor can appoint some as well.  Republican judges who lost their reelection bids are being appointed to other judicial positions.  I think one was appointed to a circuit where he will be 1 of 3 judges, with the other two being women who defeated him in the past.

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On 2/19/2019 at 3:42 PM, mr6666 said:

One of America's harshest isolation units was exposed by a desperate, handwritten account from the inside

A Georgia solitary confinement unit was filled with the “cacophony of prisoner screams and cries for help,” a prisons expert said after visiting.

 

"........The inmate, a convicted rapist named Timothy Gumm, said he’d been put there after a failed escape attempt in January 2010 and was told he’d remain there indefinitely, even after the escape charge was wiped from his disciplinary record. He lost contact with loved ones, dropped 50 pounds and was “deprived of almost any environmental and sensory stimuli and of almost all human contact,” he wrote. He saw no way out.

 

“I hate that I even have to trouble you and the court with this matter,” Gumm wrote in a cover letter to the court clerk.

That longshot filing, written on 11 pages of loose-leaf paper without a lawyer’s help, persuaded a skeptical judge to listen, and to eventually force Georgia to open up its isolation unit to outsiders. A social psychologist who’d studied prison conditions for 40 years was shocked at what he saw: metal cells without openings, including one smeared with blood; mentally ill prisoners screaming in anguish; and a crudely drawn sign that said, “HELP.”

 

........... authorities are reconsidering solitary confinement through new laws, policies, court opinions and legal settlements. Many are influenced by harrowing recollections of life in solitary confinement — like the tale of Anthony Gay, who was locked up as a teen for allegedly stealing a dollar bill and ended up spending 22 years in solitary confinement in Illinois. Others react to a streak of inmate suicides, as in Alabama recently. .....

“When did it ever become OK to lock someone in a cell the size of a parking space 23 hours a day for years?” Raemisch says in a video tweeted last month by the American Civil Liberties Union. .......

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/one-america-s-harshest-isolation-units-was-exposed-desperate-handwritten-n969531

quote-the-state-calls-its-own-violence-l

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“There Are Innocent People on Death Row” —

Citing Wrongful Convictions, California Governor Halts Executions

"...... emphasized racial disparities and the risk of executing innocent people, ....wrongful convictions remain a profound danger. “You had someone just last year that was released from death row after serving 26 years in San Quentin,” he said, referring to the case of Vicente Benavides, exonerated in April 2018.

Newsom’s order leaves intact the sentences of all 737 condemned people in the state, the largest death row in the country. It also does nothing to stop prosecutors from seeking new death sentences, something California district attorneys have proven eager to do. In this sense, Newsom’s announcement merely formalizes the status quo in a state whose death penalty system has come to be defined by disarray — and where no executions have been carried out in more than 13 years.....

 

As Newsom made clear at the Wednesday press conference, the enduring unfairness inherent in the death penalty was what forced him to act. More than 60 percent of California’s death row population are people of color; overall, 61 percent of Californians are white.

“Our death penalty system has been — by any measure — a failure,” Newsom said. “It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can’t afford expensive legal representation.” It does not act as a deterrent and has wasted billions, he said.

“But most of all, the death penalty is absolute. Irreversible and irreparable in the event of human error.” .....

 

https://theintercept.com/2019/03/13/california-death-penalty-moratorium/

 

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Supreme Court Justices Seem Incredulous At Repeated Racial Bias In Jury Selection

"The U.S. Supreme Court signaled strongly on Wednesday that it is likely to rule for a death-row inmate in Mississippi who was prosecuted six times for the same crime by a prosecutor with a history of racial bias in jury selection.

The arguments, more passionate and fact-filled than usual, also had a surprise ending when Justice Clarence Thomas for the first time in three years, posed a question.

Though his colleagues focused mainly on the prosecutor's exclusion of African American jurors, Thomas asked whether the defense had struck any white jurors. No, replied defense lawyer Sheri Johnson.........

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/20/705211168/supreme-court-justices-seem-incredulous-at-repeated-racial-bias-in-jury-selectio?utm_source=twitter.com&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_campaign=npr&amp;utm_term=nprnews&amp;utm_content=20190320

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Terrorism's Double Standards-

"..... 268 right-wing extremists prosecuted in federal court since 9/11 were allegedly involved in crimes that appear to meet the legal definition of domestic terrorism. Yet the Justice Department applied anti-terrorism laws against only 34 of them, compared to more than 500 alleged international terrorists. ...

 

The FBI has acknowledged that federal prosecutors charge many violent domestic extremists with crimes other than terrorism, saying that simpler charges are often more effective in such cases. But the consequences of treating domestic and international terrorism differently are broad and deep. Terrorism charges carry stiffer penalties and often serve as an official statement about the severity of the offense.

“Terrorism is considered the most important kind of crime,” said Jesse Norris, a criminal justice professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia. “It’s not a crime against some; it’s a crime against all. When you put people and crimes in that category, it places more importance on them. People take these crimes more seriously. That’s why it’s a problem that we have this double standard in classifying international terrorism violence as terrorism and domestic terrorism violence as not terrorism.”........

...

the case for Hasson, the Coast Guard lieutenant living in Maryland who put together a cache of firearms and steroids and a target list of journalists and prominent Democrats. A self-described white nationalist, Hasson allegedly plotted an attack that he hoped would spark a race war.

“The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct,” federal prosecutors wrote in a court filing last month.

Although those prosecutors announced after Hasson’s arrest that they were considering the addition of terrorism-related charges, they haven’t filed any. Hasson faces charges of firearms and drug violations.

He’s like many right-wing extremists in the United States: labeled a terrorist, but not prosecuted as one."

https://theintercept.com/2019/03/23/domestic-terrorism-fbi-prosecutions/

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Jury Acquits White Former Police Officer In Fatal Shooting Of Unarmed Black Teen

"....he pulled over an unlicensed taxi that had been involved in a drive-by shooting and that Rose and another occupant fled the vehicle. Rosfeld told the jury that he thought Rose or the other suspect had a gun. He shot the fleeing Rose in the back, arm and side of the face.

Rosfeld testified that he had shot Rose to protect himself and the community.

Another occupant of the car, Zaijuan Hester, 18, pleaded guilty last week to gun charges, telling a judge that he, not Rose, did the drive-by shooting.......

 

Rosfeld was acquitted by a jury of seven men and five women — a panel that included three black jurors — who viewed the video recording. They deliberated for less than four hours on the fourth day of the trial.

In his closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Fodi said that Rosfeld had acted as "judge, jury and executioner."

"We don't shoot first and ask questions later," said Fodi........

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/22/706106885/jury-acquits-white-former-police-officer-in-fatal-shooting-of-unarmed-black-teen?utm_source=facebook.com&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_campaign=npr&amp;utm_term=nprnews&amp;utm_content=20190322&amp;fbclid=IwAR15Ddhkh-wnNuqtOhF8guT_G58v1XO7Hvupy9ypQxEX9JRJkG50v2LImDU

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Prosecutors Drop Charges Against 'Empire' Actor Jussie Smollett, Angering Police, Mayor...

"After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollet's volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his [$10,000] bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case," the office led by State's Attorney Kim Foxx said in a statement emailed to NPR.

 

The city's police and mayor vehemently disagree ...

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, together with police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, railed against it as a "whitewash of justice."

"It is not on the level, from beginning to end," a visibly angry Emanuel told reporters. "There needs to be a level of accountability throughout the system, and this sends an unambiguous message that there is no accountability. And that is wrong.".........

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/26/706857658/prosecutors-drop-all-charges-against-empire-actor-jussie-smollett?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20190326

 

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