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- #DeadInmates #ScaldedToDeath American Bar Association Barack Obama Bob Graham Charlie Crist Chris White CIA coerced confession Connick v Thompson conviction corruption Corizon Crosley Green Darren Rainey David Cameron Davontae Sanford death penalty Department of Justice detain without charge or trial DOJ Eric Holder false conviction FBI Florida Bar Association Florida Department of Corrections Florida Today frame-up Gannett Gary Bennett George W. Bush Gerald Stano Guantánamo Imbler v Pachtman Innocence Project IRS Oversight Board Jack Parker Jeb Bush Jeff Abramowski Jeff Ashton John Dean Moxley John Preston Juan Ramos judicial misconduct Julie Jones Justice Department Keith Pikett LabCorp Lawson Lamar Linroy Bottoson malicious prosecution Miami Herald Norm Wolfinger Orchid Cellmark Orlando Sentinel Pam Bondi Phil Archer prison industrial complex prosecutorial misconduct rendition Reprieve Richard Mair Rick Scott Robert Mueller scent evidence Stephen Epperly torture Trayvon Martin UK UN Committee on Human Rights USA Today Van de Kamp v Goldstein Wayne Ivey William "Tommy" Zeigler William Dillon Wilton Dedge
Senate Reaches Significant Deal to Reduce Prison Population and Reform Mandatory Minimums
Criminal Justice Legislation Lowers Drug Sentences, Increases Early Release and Returns Some Discretion to Judges
Bipartisan Compromise Bill Backed by Top Democrats And Republicans Amid Public Demands to End Mass Incarceration
Today, a bipartisan group of Senators announced a historic deal on criminal justice reform, rounding out a negotiation process that has lasted almost five months. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, spearheaded by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), will involve reductions in mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, an expansion of the federal “safety valve” (which allows judges to use their discretion to sentence people below statutory mandatory minimums), and will expand reentry programming and early release, among other things.
“The legislation is recognition from leadership in both parties that the war on drugs has failed and that the harsh sentencing laws that appealed to lawmakers in the 80s and 90s have had disastrous consequences – especially for communities of color,” said Michael Collins, Policy Manager at the Drug Policy Alliance. “There are things we like about the bill and things we don’t, and much more action is needed to tackle mass incarceration, but this is a worthy compromise.”
Senators Grassley and Durbin (D-IL) are being applauded by DPA for their leadership in bringing both sides to the table and drafting the deal. The bill was also negotiated and is backed by Sens. Lee (R-UT), Whitehouse (D-RI), Cornyn (R-TX), Leahy (D-VT), Graham (R-SC), Booker (D-NJ), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Schumer (D-NY). Text of the bill is expected later today.
“The war on drugs and ‘tough-on-crime’ wave was orchestrated and embraced by both parties – so it’s significant and encouraging that we have a bipartisan dream team cosponsoring this legislation,” said Collins. “We have high hopes that this is the bill that will land on the president’s desk.”
With less than 5 percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of its incarcerated population, the United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world – in large part due to misguided drug laws and draconian sentencing requirements that have produced profoundly unequal outcomes for communities of color.
“I spent 12 years behind bars because of draconian mandatory minimum sentences and I appreciate the significance of Congress rolling back our country’s drug war,” said Anthony Papa, manager of media relations at the Drug Policy Alliance. “This is a first step in bringing our brothers and sisters home and healing our families and our communities.”
Michael Collins 404 539 6437
Tony Newman 646 335 5384
Even though the senate agreement affects only federal sentences and does not eliminate mandatory minimums entirely, please ask your senator to cosponsor the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act by signing the petition from the link below … reform has to start somewhere. Thank you.
PRISON KIDS Trailer: A Fusion Investigative Documentary
Published on Sep 25, 2015
Fusion traveled across the country, gathering the stories of kids who grew up in jail or prison. We found a system that’s supposed to help kids, but often sets them adrift instead. Prison Kids, Fusion’s hourlong documentary investigation into the American way of jailing children, premieres online on October 2. Watch a preview here.
Link to the petition: http://www.fusion.net/prisonkids
Tell Congress: Ban private for-profit prisons
Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and poor people and people of color suffer the most at the hands of our out-of-control incarceration industry.2That’s partly because the corporations that operate for-profit prisons are primarily concerned with their bottom lines. To maximize profits, those corporations advocate for increased incarcerations and unreasonably strict parole and release laws. And they win.
Corporations should not be able to profit from mass incarceration.
Please sign and share this petition from the link above.
Prison profiteers view inmates as inventory, and they have succeeded in making it possible – via their lobbying dollars – to profit wildly from treating inmates as perishable goods (like groceries) rather than durable goods (like automobiles). Malnourishment, rotting teeth and untreated medical conditions are the norm.
Prison profiteers view their prison personnel as perishable goods, too, and – again via their lobbying dollars – have frozen or undercut wages, and undercut or taken away benefit packages. The flight of top notch personnel to employers that appreciate quality work is the norm.
In Florida, our legislators and governors have sold out corrections officers: Even C.O.’s that work their way up into management make less than Florida fish and wildlife officers.
Until profiteers are kicked out of corrections, it is reasonable to expect prison mortality stats to keep rising, like the mortality stats at Martin Correctional Institution available from the Florida Department of Corrections website, below.
Reprieve +44 (0) 207 553 8140
For immediate release: Wed Sept 30, 2015
Paraplegic set to hang in Pakistan appeals to President for mercy
A paraplegic – whose execution was stayed after he had been dressed in black, had his hands and feet tied, and was about to be lifted onto the gallows – has appealed to Pakistan’s President for mercy, in a petition filed yesterday (Tuesday).
Abdul Basit, who has been paralyzed from the waist down since contracting meningitis in jail and receiving inadequate treatment, was due to be hanged last week. Basit’s family told his lawyers at Justice Project Pakistan that on the day of his planned execution, Abdul was made to change into black clothes and had his hands and feet tied. He was about to be mounted onto the scaffold when prison officials announced that the execution would be stopped. After several hours of waiting it was confirmed that Basit’s hanging would not proceed that night.
Basit’s family, acting through his lawyers, yesterday filed a petition for mercy to the Pakistani President asking that his execution be permanently halted because Pakistan’s Prison Rules do not provide for the hanging of people unable to stand. This leaves Basit open to the possibility of a botched execution, resulting in prolonged suffering, and violating both the prison rules and the country’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. They also referred to the last minute stay, citing the agony of waiting for Basit to be hanged, and the hope engendered by the decision of the jail authorities.
A recent jail medical report confirmed that Basit is “bed-bound” with “almost no chance of recovery.” Speaking to Basit’s lawyers at JPP last week, his mother pleaded with the President to grant her son mercy: “My son has already suffered a lot. He is half dead. It was all because of the jail authorities that he is disabled today. I appeal to Pakistan’s President for mercy.
“I am not educated but I know and I am sure this is not what Islam teaches – this is not what the law tells. Can’t they see that he has suffered for years? Who says that this is justice? How can they do this to a paralyzed man? Please have mercy on my son.” [emphasis added]
Commenting, Kate Higham, caseworker at Reprieve, said: “It is almost unimaginable that someone would be looking up at the hangman’s noose, about to be mounted on the gallows, before being told that they are in fact not set to die. Basit’s hanging would not only violate basic standards of decency but Pakistan’s obligations under international law. Basit’s execution must be stopped.”
Notes to editors
1. For further information, please contact Reprieve’s press office: + 44 (0) 207 553 8161 / email@example.com
Originally posted on Helpmybrotherharoldhempstead's Blog:
After reading the article below I am horrified but not surprised!This is just 1 reason why we fight to change the Fl.Dept. of Corruptions.We will not stop till we see the changes taking place.Each day we add more members to our army,more supporters of prison reform,and more people willing to help those who can not help themselves.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2015
Miami Herald investigation: Young inmates beaten and raped in prison broomstick ritual
The ritual is so well known, It’s called a “test of heart”
The attacks have resulted in more than a dozen beatings, sexual assaults by inmates
At Lancaster Correctional Institution, the assaults go beyond inmate-on-inmate violence
Robert Walker, a convicted rapist, is accused, but not charged, with orchestrating a “Test of Heart” beating. Gesnerson Louisius, left, was brutally beaten and raped at Lancaster Correctional Institution. Hakiem Blount, right, is the only suspect charged so far. Gesnerson…
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