Despite Barack Obama’s promise in 2009 – one of his first as president – to shut down “Gitmo,” the U.S. evidently has no intention of doing so anytime soon. In fact, the only thing concerning Gitmo that the Obama administration has shut down is the office of the special envoy, Daniel Fried, who had been tasked with its closure. The U.S. State Department reassigned Fried in late January, and he will not be replaced.Read more »
The justice ministry said judges were ready to work around the clock to implement the pardon because they have to visit each of more than 30 prisons and assess every prisoner who may qualify for release.
Supporters of the amnesty say it will reduce prison overcrowding.Read more »
Katherine Olejnik and Matt Duran Have Not Been Charged with Any Crime, and Yet They Have Been Locked Up for Three Months and Counting.Read more »
Home to nearly a quarter of the nation’s death row population and in a state coping with budget crisis, independent analysts estimate that getting rid of the death penalty could save California taxpayers $130 million annually. The latest polls show a narrow margin of Californians oppose Prop 34, and that significant percentages are still undecided.Read more »
Under California’s three strikes, a person convicted of a felony who has two or more prior convictions for certain offenses must be sentenced to at least 25 years to life in state prison, even if the third offense is nonviolent. Critics have argued it is the harshest sentencing law in the United States. Life sentences have been handed down for stealing a pair of pants, shoplifting, forging a check and breaking into a soup kitchen.Read more »
Shane Bauer was one of three Americans detained in 2009 while hiking in Iraq’s Kurdish region near the Iranian border. He and Josh Fattal were held for 26 months, and Sarah Shourd — now Bauer’s wife — was held for 13 months, much of it in solitary confinement. Seven months after being freed from prison in Iran, Bauer began investigating solitary confinement in the United States. Now, in his first major article since his release for Mother Jones magazine, Bauer finds California prisoners are being held for years in isolation based on allegations they are connected to prison gangs.Read more »
"When everything is illegal, everyone is a criminal." The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world—more even than China or Russia. Prof. Daniel J. D'Amico explains that as of 2010 more than 1.6 million people were serving jail sentences in America. Professor D'Amico suggests that "prisons are not what we think about when we think of America, and they shouldn't have to be." According to D'Amico, a free country should not have 1.6 million people in prison, and a fiscally responsible country cannot afford to. As Prof.Read more »
PHILADELPHIA — “It’s been a rough week” is how the Rev. Charles Zlock, pastor of the St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, started his 10 a.m. homily on Sunday. It seemed like an obvious reference to the searing trial that ended Friday with the conviction of a senior Philadelphia archdiocese official, Msgr. William J. Lynn, on a charge of endangering children by placing a known pedophile in an unwary parish. But the 120 worshipers attending St.Read more »
The population of aging and elderly prisoners in U.S. prisons exploded over the past three decades, with nearly 125,000 inmates aged 55 or older now behind bars, according to a report published Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union. This represents an increase of over 1,300 percent since the early 1980s. More than $16 billion is spent annually by states and the federal government to incarcerate elderly prisoners, despite ample evidence that most prisoners over age 50 pose little or no threat to public safety, the report said.Read more »
If the jailed lived in one place, the 2.3 million would be the fourth largest American city, between Chicago and Houston. Every day, 35,948 people are newly incarcerated (source), and the only people who even bother to talk about it are considered to be on the fringe left, crazy people who can’t stop pleading for special interests.Read more »
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