The death of Hernandez-Llach, and several other incidents, have placed Miami Beach police under intense public scrutiny, triggering protests calling for a change in the way officers use the stun guns known as Tasers. Four days ago, embattled Miami Beach Police Chief Ray Martinez announced he would resign next month. The death of Hernandez-Llach has also reignited a debate about whether the electrical shock the Taser delivers can sometimes trigger cardiac arrest when fired at the chest area. “The fact that he was shot in the chest is something we are analyzing,” said Jose J. Rodriguez, a lawyer for Hernandez-Llach’s family. “We’re working with the assumption for now that the Taser caused his death.”
LSPC strongly encourages the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), and all California counties to hold counties accountable for keeping local policies up-to-date with current state law; provide translated versions of all materials distributed to female prisoners, especially those that explain their pregnancy rights; educate medical professionals on their critical role in ensuring that restraints are removed from pregnant prisoners; and ensure that pregnant juvenile prisoners are afforded the same rights and anti-shackling protections as female adult prisoners.
“The conditions of the confinement of women were horrible — filthy, overcrowded, and at risk of sexual abuse from male guards. Rachel Welch became pregnant at Auburn while serving a punishment in a solitary cell; she died after childbirth as the result of a flogging by a prison official earlier in her pregnancy. Her death prompted New York officials to build the Mount Pleasant Prison Annex for women on the grounds of Sing Sing in Mount Pleasant, New York in 1839. The governor of New York had recommended separate facilities in 1828, but the legislature did not approve the measure because the washing, ironing, and sewing performed by the women saved the Auburn prison system money. A corrupt administration at the Indiana State Prison used the forced labor of female inmates to provide a prostitution service for male guards (p.134).”
“Robert Boyle and Phillip G. Dantes, attorneys for Conway, filed a motion on his behalf based on this ruling, arguing that the judge in Conway’s trial had not properly instructed the jury that this “beyond a reasonable doubt” proviso was mandatory for conviction. Based on this motion, they negotiated an agreement whereby Conway would be resentenced to time served and be released from prison. In exchange, Conway and his lawyers agreed not to litigate his case based on the Unger ruling[…] Scores of former Black Panthers are serving virtual life sentences in prison, largely the result of the efforts of J. Edgar Hoover, who ordered his FBI in the 1960s and ’70s to target the Black Panther Party – as revealed by the 1977 Church Committee Senate hearings. The first Panther chapter was started in 1966 in Oakland, California, but by the time a chapter was formed in Baltimore in 1968, the FBI had had ample time to insert more than its usual share of informants into the fledgling organization.”
Last week, President Obama unveiled his My Brothers Keeper initiative one day after the anniversary of the murder of Trayvon Martin and as the nation still grapples with the hung jury on the murder charge in the Michael Dunn case, the white male in Florida who killed the unarmed African American teenager Jordon Davis after an argument about loud music. Mychal Denzel Smith, writing about the Dunn verdict in The Nation, lamented: “We scream “Murder! Lynching!” We desperately reaffirm for ourselves and our children the value of black life in a country that declares us worthless. The cynic in me starts to believe this is exactly what white people want. It’s as though our cries of “Murder! Lynching!” only make it easier for white America to accept black death. I want to believe differently. But it’s hard not to see the same scene play out over and over again and not think that there’s a pleasure derived from seeing black suffering, then being berated by black rage. It starts to feel as if we’re trapped in some sadomasochistic fantasy of white American imagination.”
The pilot episode of the new one-hour format for the Resistance Report by Dennis Trainor, Jr. will premiere tonight on PopularResistance.org and Acronym TV. It will also air on Free Speech TV later this week. Trainor describes the new format as “What Meet the Press would look like if it wasn’t dominated by corporate advertising bias.” Trainor is a commentator, activist and filmmaker. He is the writer and director of AMERICAN AUTUMN: an occudoc, the documentary about the occupy movement hailed by The New York Times as “calm and smart, offsetting its stridency with discussion, music, even humor, while issuing a call to arms.” His first documentary, released in January 2011, was MANIFEST DESTINY’S CHILD on US foreign policy. The program was filmed in the Bond Street Studio in Brooklyn, New York on February 28. There are six segments.
Hundreds rallied Saturday in Tokyo to protest a decision by prosecutors to drop charges over the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns, meaning no one has been indicted, let alone punished, nearly three years after a calamity ruled “man-made.” Official records do not list anyone as having died as a direct result of radioactive fallout after tsunami unleashed by the 9.0-magnitude quake of March 11, 2011, crashed into the Fukushima No. 1 plant, swamping cooling systems and causing three reactor meltdowns. Excluded from those records are Fukushima residents who committed suicide owing to fears about the fallout showered on their hometowns, while others died during the evacuation process. Official data released last week showed that 1,656 people have died in the prefecture from stress and other illnesses related to the nuclear crisis.
We have nearly 60k signatures calling for leniency in the March 5th sentencing of the MI-CATS 3! Help us put 100k + signatures in the hands of the judge this week. Residents affected by the Kalamazoo river tar sands spill of 2010(still being cleaned up) will be delivering every signature and every voice to judge. We need your support to in the final 3 days of this petition drive! http://www.credomobilize.com/p/MI-CATS3 Please Sign and Share this petition to show solidarity with the MI CATS 3, for their efforts to reverse ecological collapse and defend future generations’ access to fresh water, a stable climate, and clean breathable air. http://www.credomobilize.com/p/MI-CATS3 #MICATStrial #Hope
Demonstrating a stunning abuse of power, Florida State Prosecutor, Angela Corey, announced that she aims to increase the prison sentence for Marissa Alexander from 20 to 60 years in the upcoming July 28th trial. In 2012, Alexander – an African American mother of three in Jacksonville, Florida — was sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 20 years for firing a warning shot upwards into a wall to defend her life from her abusive estranged husband. She caused no injuries. Alexander successfully appealed the unjust trial and was granted a new trial. In November 2013, after serving nearly three years in prison, she was released on bond to home detention until her new trial. Yet as a consequence of winning the appeal to hopefully secure a more fair trial, Alexander now faces the alarming prospect that the original devastating sentence could be tripled in the new trial.
Maroon’s son, Russell Shoatz III, said, “We are very excited that this day has finally come. My father being released from solitary confinement is proof of the power of people organizing against injustice, and the importance of building strong coalitions. I especially want to thank all of those who have supported the collective struggle to end my father’s solitary confinement, including my siblings and members of the Shoatz family, the Human Rights Coalition, Abolitionist Law Center, Scientific Soul Sessions, the entire legal team, UN Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez, the 5 Nobel Peace Laureates, the National Lawyers Guild, Center for Constitutional Rights, along with the dozens of other organizations and thousands of individuals who have participated in this effort.”
It’s already (clearly) been a landmark year for Colorado, America’s first legal weed state. Legalization has been a full-fledged success, other states are now following (or hoping to follow suit), and the state is reaping in the rewards of its marijuana sales tax. And while Governor Hickenlooper may have had some initial hesitations (and resisted/opposed) legalization, the trend-setting legislator is thankfully not content standing still with just legal weed. And after seeing the national attention garnered by legalization–and the estimated total north of 100 million dollars from cannabis tax dollars, he’s seen the light. Because wow, Hickenlooper wants to take the next step toward justice: he wants his state’s marijuana prisoners (yep, they still exist) to be freed from the chains and have their records cleared so they can go on living normal lives–and not be stalked by the shadow of prohibition.
In a major development in the Cecily McMillan prosecution, the trial scheduled to begin on March 3rd has been delayed again. The Justice for Cecily campaign has announced the new schedule this morning. On March 19th there will be a motions hearing on the motion submitted by Cecily’s attorney, Martin Stolar to unseal the personnel record of the sole eye witness in the case, Officer Bovell. This is a major development as such motions are rarely even taken seriously. In this case we already know that Officer Bovell has been reprimanded for his involvement in the Bronx ticket fixing scandal and is being sued for alleged assault on a young African American. Among the police misconduct in the ticket fixing was officers not showing up in court or testifying falsely by claiming not to remember the incident when the ticket was given. The personnel file of Officer Bovell should provide details of his wrong doing. In other trials jurors have rejected the testimony of officers involved in the ticket fixing scandal.
Has our country become one giant correctional institution? Americans are not typically aware of how their federal and state prison systems work. What we think we know, we learned from watching television. When I took my first walk through at FCI (Federal Correctional Institution) El Reno Oklahoma as a new employee, I was surprised at how non-Hollywood real prison life is. Frankly, all I knew about prison life was what I saw on television or at the movies. Not even close. As I got closer to retiring from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP), it began to dawn on me that the security practices we used in the prison system were being implemented outside those walls. “Free worlders” is prison slang for the non-incarcerated who reside in the “free world.” In this article I am going to compare a number of practices used in federal prisons to those being used today in the “free world.”
Take Action Now To Support Cecily McMillan: NY District Attorney Cy Vance said: “I believe that prosecutors should be among the most skeptical actors in the criminal justice system about what that concept means and how our decision-making process gets us there. Otherwise, we risk the phrase ‘doing justice’ devolving into an empty shibboleth.” District Attorney Vance’s words will be an “empty shibboleth” if he does not reconsider the prosecution of Cecily McMillan based on the testimony of a police officer who sexually assaulted her, who lacks credibility and whose testimony is inconsistent with other evidence. Mr. Vance has the opportunity to seek justice for Cecily McMillan but the only way to do so is to dismiss the charges against her.