He Was Sentenced to Only Two Days in Jail, a Lawsuit Says. Three Months Later, He Killed Himself in His Cell. Robert Wayne Johnson’s wife is suing a Mississippi county, saying he was held past his release date and not provided with mental healthcare.
I see several such horror stories every fucking week! Raise a ruckus about prison abuse! It is costing you a fortune AND making us less safe!
Over detention is a major problem, because the “records department” in most prisons is as fucked up as everything else they do!
Excerpts from the Article:
Robert Wayne Johnson was allegedly sentenced to two days in a rural Mississippi jail for not paying a fine. Three months later, still in his cell, Johnson strangled himself with his shoelaces.
Now, his widow, LaToya Johnson, is suing the county, the sheriff’s office, and several correctional officers. She filed a wrongful death lawsuit in a Mississippi federal court on September 30, alleging that he was unlawfully held past his release date, not provided with mental healthcare, and not properly monitored after he became suicidal.
Robert Wayne Johnson, a father of five, was given two days in jail and 199 hours of community service as punishment for not paying money he owed to a Meridian municipal court, according to the suit. In the complaint, LaToya says he wasn’t able to pay the fine because he had lost his job and couldn’t afford it. He was jailed in Kemper Neshoba Regional Correctional Facility, under the Kemper County Sheriff’s Office.
READ: The U.S. isn’t counting prison suicides even though the law requires it.
Robert Wayne made another suicide attempt while jailed before his death, the complaint says. LaToya alleges that the jail ignored her husband’s mental health issues and other inmates’ repeated warnings that he had been tying shoelaces around his neck in the days leading up to his death on Jan. 9, 2018. In the hours before he died, he slit his wrists as well, the suit says.
The complaint says that Johnson was transferred to an unmonitored segregation cell with all of his belongings, including the shoelaces, after a “scuffle” with another inmate over Johnson being upset his fellow inmates had alerted a guard to his suicide attempt. Johnson killed himself approximately 14 minutes after being placed in isolation. The lawsuit also alleges that Johnson was unlawfully held beyond his release date, and accuses the jail of failing to properly monitor inmates’ release dates. According to the suit, when Johnson wasn’t released after two days he began to panic because he didn’t know why he was still in jail, and worried that he had been mistakenly sentenced on a felony charge.
“Not only did I lose my husband and best friend, but his children lost their father, his parents lost a son, and his siblings lost a brother. So many others lost a good friend in him,” Johnson said in a news release after the complaint was filed.
Mississippi has faced scrutiny over its record on mental healthcare. Earlier this year, a federal judge called for increased oversight of Mississippi’s treatment of people with mental illness. A 2011 Justice Department investigation also found the state was “unnecessarily institutionalizing persons with mental illness.” Sheriffs in the state have also long said that they’re overburdened with mentally ill inmates who require extensive care, according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
Mississippi, which has a high poverty rate but has not yet expanded Medicaid to increase health care services for the poor, also ranks among the states that offer worst access to mental health services, according to Mental Health Care America.
Just an article about dreams, me, jury trials, my rambling, fantasy, …. probably not of interest to most of you.
This is what I wanted to post online, but it was too long, so I did it this way.
Hi, internet friends. I had an awful nightmare, related to my prison experience. First one in a long time.
It reminded me of the first “speech” I ever gave, in public speaking class at prep school, 9th grade. I chose to talk about dreams. So I did some research and away I went! All I recall from that is that I did ok, dreams are meaningless, something about rem (rapid eye movement), dogs cannot dream in color, we remember very few of our dreams, and …. I think it is true to this day …it is, I just googled it … “The questions, “Why do we dream?” or “What is the function of dreaming?” are easy to ask but very difficult to answer. The most honest answer is that we do not yet know the function or functions of dreaming.” … but scientists think it has something to do with how our brains process the day’s experiences.
These days I only dream of marrying Tammie Caldwell. She’ll get a chuckle out of that. 🙂 lol
I have given may talks since then, but the ones I most enjoyed were to an audience of 12. Juries. Whether asking them to convict the bad guy or to acquit my client, often “the bad guy”, it was tons of fun. TONS of fun. Probably because I was doing the right thing, and probably because I was a bit of a show off when I was young. 🙁
This leads me to the old “cocktail party question”: “how can you represent a guilty person?” Easy: the system demands, requires, that everyone have a good defense attorney. And I firmly believed that … still do. “Would you represent Hitler?” I used to answer yes, when I was younger … yes, because the system blah, blah , blah. Today I would say “sheeeeit, NO! Let him get somebody else.” There was one case when I chose not to represent a guilty person. Judge Trader called to appoint me to a murder case. The defendant had raped and beat the hell out of a young lady, and then, to make sure she was dead, he ran over her head with his truck. I told Judge Trader that I was super busy and could he please call someone else on this one. He said ok. By the way, although we did not always agree, Judge Merrill Trader, the longest sitting judge in DE history, was a great judge: always fair! Wish I could say that for all of them. 🙁
You know, that 9th grade class may have been an audience of 12. None of the classes was more than 15 to 18 of us; it is one thing that made it a great school. Which reminds me now that the best thing my parents ever gave me, at great sacrifice, was a super education!
That’s my rambling for the morning. Must shower now, down some more coffee, get ready for church, and my appointment right after that.
ps: It’s a Sunday. Why not use a wee bit of your time to take some food to the homeless people in your area!? You know where they are .. under that bridge … the people you drive by regularly. 🙂
Gonna be a rough day; I am behind on some work, and a guy I spent a couple of hours with yesterday is on his way over now. He is at the shelter and is a total wreck. One of those cases where his wife made up some lies after an argument, got a pfa from F Court, and now he is out, cannot see his two young daughters, etc. Plus, he is disabled, had MH issues, has an anger problem and is an alcoholic. “Thank you, God, for preparing me to help this guy”!
LGBT Chamber Rescinds CoreCivic’s Membership After Fierce Backlash The chamber’s board voted to drop the company after searing public comments at Tuesday night’s meeting
All private prison companies are cruel, inefficient, and ineffective, … in short, a disaster! … but CoreCivic is the worst! They should be denounced in every possible forum!
Excerpts from the Article:
The chamber’s board voted to drop the company after searing public comments at Tuesday night’s meeting. After facing a fierce backlash that was manifest in a heated public meeting Tuesday night, Nashville’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce has dropped private prison corporation CoreCivic from its membership.
The chamber’s board voted to return a $300 membership fee paid by the Nashville-based for-profit prison giant after weeks of standing by the controversial decision to accept them.
“The voices at our meeting last night were very clear,” the statement regarding CoreCivic reads. “Their membership was too much for many in our LGBT community. We heard those concerns and last night our board voted to remove CoreCivic as a member and return their $300 membership fee. While CoreCivic will not be a member of our organization, the reasons we originally accepted their application to join are still true. Every industry has members of the LGBT community who are employees. It’s part of our mission to advocate for them and educate employers on how to support the needs of our community. To both support those employees and to fulfill our mission, we have extended an offer to work with CoreCivic on those initiatives but not as a member.”
In the email to members, the board maintains that its initial acceptance of CoreCivic as a member “did not imply a tacit endorsement on how they handle all LGBT issues or condone all of their business practices.” But community members who attended the board’s Tuesday night meeting were insistent that, regardless of the board’s intention, that is precisely what they would be doing if they allowed the country’s most prominent private prison corporation to place an LGBT Chamber sticker on its doors.
Samantha Rae McAlpine reminded the boa. Speakers talked passionately about the years of reports and testimony about poor conditions and abuse at CoreCivic prisons, as well as the company’s heavy involvement in detaining immigrants on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.rd about the attempted ICE arrest in Hermitage in July, when agents tried to coax a man and his son out of their car but were thwarted by neighbors and community members.
“Where do you think [they] were headed?” McAlpine said. “CoreCivic gets a quarter of their funding from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They operate a huge number of the facilities on the border where they are processing people and caging them like animals.”
Later, she added: “If you think there is any amount of engagement that will fundamentally change who they are, you are at best naive and at worst maliciously indifferent.”
“I wear this in memory of trans women that we lose, many of whom are lost in CoreCivic prisons,” she said. “Raped, degraded. It’s where they’ve had HIV. It’s where they’ve died alone, unloved. And I want each of you to look at it and then spit on it.”
The LGBT chamber now follows the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which received an unsolicited sponsorship payment from CoreCivic around the same time, but sent the money back.
See Nancy, Elijah, and Donnie play. See Donnie run. See Nancy and Elijah catch him.
See Donnie learn that he is NOT above the law! This is as it should be, and the next stop for this case no doubt is the Supreme Court.
Based on my vast, vast experience in criminal law, as a prosecutor, I would bet my life that tRump is fighting like hell on this BECAUSE his returns will reveal multiple crimes …. tax fraud, money laundering… AND we will see that when we finally DO she the sonofabitch’s returns! 🙂 I post anti Trump comments because all responsible citizens have a duty to do so! I shall give the nitwits who respond in his defense exactly the amount of my time they are worth: NONE.
Excerpts from the Article:
President Trump’s accounting firm must comply with a House committee’s demands for eight years of his financial records, a federal appeals court panel ruled on Friday in a major victory for House Democrats in their struggle against his vow to stonewall “all” of their oversight subpoenas.
In a 66-page ruling, the panel rejected Mr. Trump’s argument that Congress had no legitimate legislative authority to seek his business records from the firm, Mazars USA, because the committee was trying to determine whether he broke existing laws — not weighing whether to enact a new one.
“Having considered the weighty issues at stake in this case, we conclude that the subpoena issued by the committee to Mazars is valid and enforceable,” wrote Judge David S. Tatel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Mr. Trump is virtually certain to appeal the ruling, either to the full Court of Appeals or to the Supreme Court. But the decision — affirming an earlier ruling by a Federal District Court judge — was the first test at the appeals court level of the Trump legal team’s sweeping challenges to the constitutional authority of Congress to conduct oversight of his activities.
Judge Tatel was joined by Judge Patricia A. Millett in the majority of the three-judge ruling. Both were appointed by Democratic presidents. Judge Neomi Rao, a former Trump administration official whom Mr. Trump appointed to the bench in March, dissented, saying she would have quashed the subpoena as exceeding the House’s legislative powers.
Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the oversight committee, hailed the appeals court’s decision. “Today’s ruling is a fundamental and resounding victory for congressional oversight, our constitutional system of checks and balances and the rule of law,” he said in a statement. “For far too long, the president has placed his personal interests over the interests of the American people.”
Lawyers for Mr. Trump were reviewing the decision, said one, Jay Sekulow. “We continue to believe that this subpoena is not a legitimate exercise of Congress’s legislative authority,” he said. Sarah E. Sutton, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, declined to comment on the ruling.
The scope of Congress’s power to compel the production of information — and the president’s power to keep information secret — has emerged as a recurring battleground between House Democrats and Mr. Trump, whose legal team has put forth novel legal arguments in carrying out his vow to systematically defy House subpoenas.
This week, Mr. Trump’s White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, sent a letter to the House declaring that the administration would not cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry, such as by providing documents or permitting witnesses to testify.
The Trump legal team has separately argued that Mr. Trump’s current and former White House aides are absolutely immune from subpoenas for their testimony — meaning they would not even have to show up — and that Congress lacks legitimate legislative authority to scrutinize potential wrongdoing in the executive branch.
The appeals court ruling on Friday centered on that third argument, and it was in some respects already obsolete because the premise of the argument was that the House was relying only on its routine legislative and oversight authorities, rather than any extra investigative powers that lawmakers gain when engaged in an impeachment inquiry.
But since the Mazars case started going through the courts, the House Judiciary Committee and Speaker Nancy Pelosi have declared that the chamber is conducting an impeachment inquiry. The Trump administration has disputed that premise, since the full House has not voted for a resolution approving such an investigation.
Friday’s ruling did not address the question of whether an impeachment inquiry is underway — and, if so, whether that matters. The majority on the panel ruled for the House without any need to invoke its impeachment powers.
Mr. Cohen also testified before Congress that Mr. Trump routinely changed the value of his assets for different financial purposes, like inflating their value for loan applications but deflating them for taxes. (Mr. Cohen was separately convicted of lying to Congress in earlier testimony.)
In making the request for documents and then issuing the subpoena, Mr. Cummings said that Congress was trying to determine whether the president had broken laws, but he also said that lawmakers were trying to decide whether to update financial disclosure laws.
In a letter to Democrats celebrating the ruling, Ms. Pelosi wrote: “The president’s actions threaten our national security, violate our Constitution and undermine the integrity of our elections. No one is above the law. The president will be held accountable.”
Correction: Oct. 11, 2019
An earlier version of this article referred incompletely to the type of documents that a federal court ruled President Trump’s accounting firm must release to a House committee. It is eight years of financial records, not tax records alone.
The Whole Story:
Yes they are! Corizon is notoriously terrible and is sued hundreds of times annually.
This is so telling. As I saw in Delaware D O C, the health care provider blatantly ignored the “settlement agreement”. “One year prior to Abdullah’s death … the Arizona Department agreed to comply with 103 performance measures, including one that required a licensed clinician to visit mentally ill minor inmates every 30 days.”
How many more Mothers’ sons and daughters must die needlessly?!
Excerpts from the Article:
Mariam Abdullah had dreamed of becoming a firefighter, but that dream ended only six weeks after her 18th birthday when she died by suicide in her prison cell, seven months before her scheduled release date. It wasn’t an isolated incident. Abdullah’s death was part of a pattern of neglecting inmates with mental illnesses in the Arizona prison system while under the care of its private health care contractor, Corizon Health, Inc.
While serving a 3-year sentence at Arizona’s Perryville Prison for her role in an armed robbery, Abdullah, whose family immigrated from Iraq when she was a child, had been diagnosed with mental illnesses including mood disorder, bipolar disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.
In the same period, she attempted suicide 15 times. So, when she bit her own wrist on July 10, 2016, a psychiatrist at the prison recommended she be put under suicide watch, a type of segregation where inmates are stripped of all objects and clothing, given a thick smock to wear, and continuously monitored to ensure they do not harm themselves.
“Perryville did what unfortunately happens in a number of badly run prison systems,” said Craig Haney, co-creator of the Stanford Prison Experiment and a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who conducted inspections of Arizona prisons to study the psychological consequences of solitary confinement. “When there are inadequate mental health resources and inadequate mental health programs, persons who are mentally ill tend to be shunted off into isolation units for management and control.”
On July 15, 2016, after five days on suicide watch, Mariam was released back into the general population. She killed herself in her cell four days later.
One year prior to Abdullah’s death, a settlement was reached between the Arizona Department of Corrections and the American Civil Liberties Union, Prison Law Office and a few other organizations meant to avoid this very scenario. The case, Parsons v. Ryan, was a class action lawsuit filed against the Arizona Department of Corrections for failing to provide adequate mental health care, medical and dental care. In the settlement, the Arizona Department agreed to comply with 103 performance measures, including one that required a licensed clinician to visit mentally ill minor inmates every 30 days.
David Fathi, director of the ACLU’s National Prison Project, says these companies are looking to make a profit from the amount of money they receive from the state government, which gives them “a powerful, indeed overwhelming, incentive to deny care.”
At the time of Abdullah’s death, Corizon Health had held the contract with the Arizona Department of Corrections since 2013 and was responsible for complying with the performance measures outlined in the 2014 settlement under Parsons v. Ryan. “It appears from court documents that I got, in fact [Abdullah] wasn’t really seen at all; that there were sporadic visits,” says Lisa Armstrong, a reporter with Type Investigations who became interested in Abdullah’s case in 2016.
A former psychologist at Perryville claims she did not feel she had “the autonomy that was needed as a licensed psychologist.” CBS NEWS
Former Corizon employees in Arizona have come forward with allegations that the system is badly run. Dr. Angela Kenzslowe, a psychologist who worked for Corizon at Perryville prison, quit her job after just three months there, claiming “I felt my license was at risk. I felt that I didn’t have the autonomy that was needed as a licensed psychologist to be able to run mental health the way it needed to be run.”
A nurse, Jose Vallejo, who worked for Corizon Health at Eyman prison in Arizona, said he witnessed several inmates causing themselves harm and did not feel qualified to provide proper mental health care. After sending multiple requests for additional resources to Corizon’s management that resulted in no changes, he claims he put in his two week’s notice but was fired a few days later. A Corizon spokesperson says he was “terminated from his position for failure to perform required duties”.
According to the ACLU’s David Fathi, because there are only three major players in the correctional health care industry — Corizon, Wexford Health and Centurion — issues like those Kenzslowe and Vallejo raised may keep recurring. “The problem is when you have only three players, it does become kind of a revolving door among those three players, or a game of musical chairs, and all too often things don’t really change in a meaningful way,” says Fathi.
Arizona ended its relationship with Corizon in January 2019 and hired Centurion, a company that faces a class action lawsuit in Mississippi for providing inadequate mental health care at a facility where at least six prisoners died in 2018.
From my prior dealings with Chief Mailey, and my knowledge of his operation of Dover P D, he may just be the right man for the job to solve some of the many problems with probation/parole/work release. The problem for anyone inclined to improve Delaware D O C is that other staff and administration will file false reports and lie to them, to try to conceal their many wrongdoings.
This is a MUST READ if you have not read it! Probation and Parole – a short Essay by Ken Abraham – With Letter to the Editor or Editorial Submission
Excerpts from the Article:
Delaware Department of Correction Commissioner Claire DeMatteis announced Oct. 10 the appointment of former Dover Police Chief Marvin Mailey as chief of the Bureau of Community Corrections.
The bureau oversees probation and parole, pretrial services, the community work release program, electronic monitoring and other supervision programs for more than 14,000 individuals statewide who are housed in work release and violation of probation facilities or are serving probationary sentences in the community. Mailey will replace current Bureau of Community Corrections Chief Jim Elder, who will become chief of an expanded Bureau of Healthcare, Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services on Nov. 1.
“Chief Mailey’s distinguished career reflects a strong commitment to public safety through community engagement and partnership, and he knows the balance between law enforcement and reentry services needed to lead our Bureau of Community Corrections into the future,” said DeMatteis. “As Dover Police chief he was recognized for efforts to reduce violent crime by building relationships between law enforcement, residents and community partners. At the DOC he and his team will leverage that same collaborative approach to support successful reentry and reduce our state’s recidivism rate.”
The Bureau of Community Corrections works to reduce crime and support public safety by assessing offender risks and needs and providing responsive supervision through comprehensive evidence-based reentry-focused programs that feature substance abuse treatment, mental health services, career counseling, education and training. Bureau staff collaborate on a daily basis with medical and behavioral healthcare professionals, community organizations, service providers, state agencies, employers and the Judiciary to connect men and women under their supervision to systems of support that improve their chances of leading productive lives in our communities. They also play an active role in collaborative crime reduction initiatives, including the Group Violence Intervention project in Wilmington.
“I am honored to rejoin the Department of Correction and look forward to leading an exceptional team of Probation and Parole Officers and Community Corrections professionals who work hard every day to guide justice-involved men and women on their path out of the criminal justice system and into successful, healthy and productive lives in the community,” said Mailey.
Mailey returns to the Department of Correction with more than 30 years of community-focused law enforcement experience. After serving for four years as a law enforcement specialist in the U.S. Air Force Chief Mailey served from 1989 to 1993 as a correctional officer with the Delaware Department of Correction. In 1993, he joined the Dover Police Department, with assignments in the Patrol Unit, Drugs, Vice and Organized Crime Unit and Community Policing program. He served in leadership positions as a supervisor of the Special Operations Response Team, Patrol Platoon, the Special Enforcement Unit and Unit Commander of the Internal Affairs Unit. He was appointed deputy chief in 2014 and in May, 2017 was appointed chief in a unanimous vote of Dover City Council. Mailey retired as police chief in May. Most recently, Mailey served as public safety manager for Bayhealth.
Every prosecutor and defense attorney should be aware of this. Just when we thought we had some certainty regarding some crimes in the crazy criminal justice system, we see this! As I understand it*, the circumstances where false inclusions occur will be rare, but still, given that juries now think DNA is infallible, this is important news.
*I think I get what they are saying, but my trial days preceded the advent of DNA testing. I made sure I convicted the right people the “old-fashioned” way: 1. If ever I had any doubt about a defendant’s guilt, I dropped the charges. 2. I was prepared (I realized early on that eye witness testimony is not always reliable) and 3. I was pretty darn good at cross-examining lying witnesses!
Excerpts from the Article:
A federal study from 2013 showed that manually sorting DNA mixtures is not as foolproof as previously believed. MIX13, which sent the same hypothetical cases to 108 crime labs around the U.S., tested the accuracy of traditional DNA analysis. Each of the five cases grew more complicated until the last, which involved a mixture of four individuals’ DNA collected from a ski mask at a robbery. The labs were presented with the identities of two of the likely suspects, along with a fifth person who was not involved.
Just seven labs managed to fully solve the problem; worse, more than 70 percent implicated the fifth “innocent” suspect in their findings.
John Butler of the National Institute of Standards and Technology said the purpose of MIX13 was to show the limitations of using combined probability of inclusion (“CPI”), not to expose the probability of mistakes. “This was a teaching moment to realize you can falsely include somebody with CPI.”
The few labs that correctly answered MIX13 employed rigorous techniques or advanced technology like TrueAllele, a genotyping software.
Critics charge that errors associated with CPI are more than possibilities—they have already happened. The Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences used TrueAllele to take a second look at 144 cases and found five where suspects should have been excluded. Another case in Georgia has been granted a retrial due to a TrueAllele analysis of DNA mixtures from evidence. The defendant, Johnny Lee Gates, has spent over 40 years in prison for a crime he may not have committed.
A paper in Forensic Science International: Genetics criticized the six-year delay in releasing MIX13’s results and demanded that labs begin using the updated technology.
“The adoption of probabilistic genotyping by many laboratories will certainly prevent some of these errors from occurring in the future, but the same laboratories that produced past errors can also now review old cases with their new software—without additional bench work,” emphasized Greg Hampikian, the paper’s author.
More agencies have employed genotyping software in recent years, but the majority still rely on manual methods.
It has not made it through the Senate, but pray that it does! This Bill will ease many problems in the marijuana industry, which now is an all cash business … with the problems that naturally flow from that. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR IDIOT LEGISLATORS TO DO WHAT IS INEVITABLE? LEGALIZE AND REGULATE POT!
Excerpts from the Article:
The House of Representatives passed a standalone marijuana reform bill for the first time in history on Wednesday. The chamber advanced the legislation—which would protect banks that service the cannabis industry from being penalized by federal regulators—in a vote of 321-103.
All but one Democrat voted in favor of the bill. Republicans were virtually split, with 91 voting for the legislation and 102 opposing it.
For six years, lawmakers have been pushing for the modest reform, which is seen as necessary to increase financial transparency and mitigate risks associated with operating on a largely cash-only basis—something many marijuana businesses must do because banks currently fear federal reprisal for taking them on as clients.
While the House has approved historic cannabis amendments in the past, including one this summer that would protect all state marijuana programs from federal intervention, those have had to be renewed annually. This is the first time a standalone reform bill was approved in the chamber, and the policy will be permanently codified into law if the Senate follows suit and the president signs it.
“If someone wants to oppose the legalization of marijuana, that’s their prerogative, but American voters have spoken and continue to speak and the fact is you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Prohibition is over,” Perlmutter said on the floor. “Our bill is focused solely on taking cash off the streets and making our communities safe and only congress can take these steps to provide this certainty for businesses, employees and financial institutions across the country.”
Americans across the country are voting to approve some level of marijuana use & we need these marijuana businesses & employees to have access to checking accounts, lines of credit & more. #SAFEBanking will improve transparency & reduce the public safety risk in our communities.
Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) made an impassioned case for the bill, sharing an anecdote about a security guard who worked for a cannabis shop who was killed on the job and emphasizing that the legislation would mitigate the risks of violent crime at these businesses. “You can be agnostic on the underlying policy of whether or not cannabis should be legal for either adult recreational use or to treat seizures, but you cannot be agnostic on the need to improve safety in this area,” he said.
“I have long fought for criminal justice reform and deeply understand the need to fully address the historical racial and social inequities related to the criminalization of marijuana,” Waters said in a press release on Tuesday. “I support legislation that deschedules marijuana federally, requires courts to expunge convictions for marijuana-related offenses, and provides assistance such as job training and reentry services for those who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.”
“I am proud to bring this legislation to the Floor, but I believe it does not go far enough,” he said. “This must be a first step toward the decriminalization and de-scheduling of marijuana, which has led to the prosecution and incarceration of far too many of our fellow Americans for possession.”
“Today’s vote is a significant first step, but it must not be the last. Much more action will still need to be taken by lawmakers,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal told Marijuana Moment. “In the Senate, we demand that lawmakers in the Senate Banking Committee hold true to their commitment to move expeditiously in support of similar federal reforms. And in the House, we anticipate additional efforts to move forward and pass comprehensive reform legislation like The MORE Act—which is sponsored by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee—in order to ultimately comport federal law with the new political and cultural realities surrounding marijuana.”
“This bipartisan legislation is vital to protecting public safety, fostering transparency, and leveling the playing field for small businesses in the growing number of states with successful cannabis programs,” he said.
The Whole Story:
The harm done by this wrongdoing is broad. Guilty criminals may go unpunished, as well as innocent ones punished. I can only wonder how many more terrible, awful cops there are nationwide. I remind you again of the subtle but serious harm: the people distrust the police, and therefore do not cooperate to try to solve/reduce crimes!
The good news is that some officers have been convicted, and the Federal investigations continue. Thank God Ms. Mosby is doing the right thing.
City Solicitor Andre Davis has said he’s concerned that many defendants could file lawsuits against the city. Ya think?! They should!
Excerpts from the Article:
Baltimore’s top prosecutor has begun asking judges to throw out nearly 800 convictions that she said were tainted by officers linked to a corruption scandal.
The Baltimore Sun reported Friday that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s review found 790 criminal cases handled by 25 city officers whom she says she has reason to distrust. Mosby updated the number of officers being scrutinized on Friday, saying it could fluctuate as her office investigates.
Eight members of the Gun Trace Task Force were convicted of racketeering crimes and sentenced to prison. Many of the other 17 officers cited by Mosby’s office were named in testimony during the federal trial, though not necessarily charged with crimes. Mosby’s office hasn’t disclosed all of their names because of ongoing federal investigations.
The newspaper said three of the additional officers remain on the force, including a detective and two sergeants, citing confirmation from a department spokesman. One of the three has been suspended.
Mosby said in an email to the newspaper that “our legal and ethical obligation in the pursuit of justice leaves us no other recourse but to ‘right the wrongs’ of unjust convictions associated with corrupt police officers.”
Of the eight Baltimore officers sentenced to prison for racketeering charges, six accepted plea deals and two were convicted. Officers admitted to stealing money from people, lying in police paperwork and claiming unearned overtime pay. Officers found guilty also testified about potential wrongdoing by additional police officers who haven’t been charged.
Prosecutors spent more than a year reviewing thousands of arrests by the task force and identified the 790, most of which are older cases in which the defendants have already been released.
With expanded authorities under a new state law, Mosby’s staff will file 200 cases a week, with judges holding daily hearings to consider erasing bad convictions. “It is still very early in the process, and we are hopeful for the swift vacatur of all of the many tainted convictions,” said Melissa Rothstein, spokeswoman for the Baltimore public defender’s office.
City Solicitor Andre Davis has said he’s concerned that many defendants could file lawsuits against the city.
Once again, my friend Steve Hampton, Esq. has done a fine job in suing several prison officials responsible for the brutal beating of an inmate. What you read below is not an uncommon occurrence in today’s prisons.
Unfortunately, the only way to greatly reduce such crimes is to LOCK UP SOME OF THE PERPETRATORS! READ:
Excerpts from the Lawsuit:
18. Poorman physically abused Green when he was defenseless and non-resisting by beating, punching, and jumping on him, and also caused another officer to spray pepper spray into his eyes, nose and mouth.
19. Poorman violated DOC policy 8.30 regulating use of force against inmates. Section V of the policy states in part:
a. The use of force must be reasonable under the circumstances and should be used only when no other reasonable alternative is available. If possible, staff shall take reasonable steps to deescalate a situation or otherwise prevent the need to use of force. The use of force may not be used as a retaliatory or disciplinary measure. Physical instruments of restraint (handcuffs, shackles, chains, etc.) of any type shall not be applied as punishment. Use of excessive force by the Department employees or other persons is prohibited. Any violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination
20. Defendant Poorman used excessive, unwarranted and unnecessary force when he physically attacked Mr. Green without cause, violating his civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, and violating his 8th Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.
21. Defendant Poorman acted:
Defendant Poorman used excessive, unwarranted and unnecessary force when he physically attacked Mr. Green without cause, violating his civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, and violating his 8th Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.
21. Defendant Poorman acted:
c. With malice; and
d. In a manner which violated Mr. Green’s civil rights.
22. The intentional acts of Defendant Poorman constituted:
c. Intentional infliction of emotional distress; and
d. A violation of Mr. Green’s ’s constitutional civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 and his 8th Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.
23. As a result of the intentional actions of Defendant Poorman, Mr. Green has suffered the following injuries:
a. Physical injuries including exacerbation of injuries sustained when Green fell about 30 feet to the ground;
b. Tremendous physical pain at the time he was being beaten by defendant Poorman and when Poorman instructed another officer to pepper spray his face while he was handcuffed and already suffering tremendous pain from his broken bones;
c. Past, present and future physical, mental and emotional pain and anguish, and humiliation.
GRADY & HAMPTON, LLC
You can reach Steve at:
Stephen A. Hampton
Stephen A. Hampton (# 2451)
6 N. Bradford Street
Dover, DE 19904