Here’s another one; I see so many horrifying articles of prison abuse that I cannot post them all. YOUR money wasted! READ Prison Abuse – Why Massive Indifference is a Massive Mistake =
Excerpts from the Article:
Lincoln County officials and the mother of a man who died in 2016 from injuries related to a jail suicide attempt settled a lawsuit for $300,000 on Thursday.
The settlement, approved by a U.S. district judge, comes after Monica Brown, the mother of Mark Jaconski, filed a lawsuit against Lincoln County and its law enforcement and jail staff in 2017 alleging civil rights violations, medical malpractice and wrongful death.
Supporters of Jaconski started an online petition and social media pages accusing Lincoln County officials of denying him access to medication prescribed for his mental health.
Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies picked up Jaconski on outstanding traffic warrants on June 17, 2015, according to his estate’s complaint. Authorities took Jaconski to a hospital, where he was evaluated for mental health issues and injuries from being apprehended and detained. He was deemed “fit for confinement,” the complaint states.
Brown said she called the jail and left voicemails to let officials know her son had prescribed medication for his mental health issues, but she said she never heard back. According to the complaint, Jaconski told a corrections officer, Sgt. Caleb Noland, that he was bipolar and schizophrenic. Noland was aware of Brown’s calls but did not respond, the suit said.
After two days in jail, Jaconski appeared before a municipal court judge who authorized him to be released. During lunch that day, the suit said, Jaconski told Noland he needed his medication and that he was going to hurt himself, and the sergeant had corrections officers put Jaconski in an isolated cell. Approximately 40 minutes to an hour went by with Jaconski in the isolated cell before someone noticed Jaconski hanging by the neck from his pants tied to the top bunk rail.
Jaconski was taken to a hospital, where he suffered from anoxic encephalopathy, quadriplegia and seizure disorder for a number of months.
He was released from a rehabilitation center to his mother for hospice care, and he died on Jan. 22, 2016.
This is clearly racism and over criminalization! The officer ignored several other white people eating and drinking on the platform! Mr. Foster is likely to sue, and rightly so! See numerous articles on my website about racism, and READ this too:
Excerpts from the Article:
A police officer detained and cited a man eating a sandwich on a San Francisco train platform, a confrontation captured on a viral video.
In the video posted on social media, the Bay Area Rapid Transit policeman told the man, later identified as Steve Foster, that eating on the platform is against state law. The officer keeps his hand on Foster’s backpack while Foster angrily addresses the camera and the officer.
Foster insisted he was doing nothing wrong and refused to give his name. The November 4 incident escalated and Foster was handcuffed when a second officer arrived at the train platform. “I’m definitely upset, mad, a little frustrated, angry about it,” Foster told CNN affiliate KGO.
BART spokesperson Alicia Trost said Monday that an officer issued a citation to Foster but did not arrest him. “The court will determine level of fine he should pay,” she said.
“Eating in the paid area is banned and there are multiple signs inside every station saying as much,” the statement said. “As a transportation system our concern with eating is related to the cleanliness of our stations and system. This was not the case in the incident at Pleasant Hill station on Monday. ”
“The officer asked the rider not to eat while passing by on another call,” the statement continued. “It should have ended there, but it didn’t. When the officer walked by again and still saw him eating, he moved forward with the process of issuing him a citation. The individual refused to provide identification, cursed at and made homophobic slurs at the officer who remained calm through out the entire engagement.
Several BART riders upset with the incident held an “eat-in” on the platform in protest. “I hope they start focusing on stuff that actually matters like people shooting up dope, hopping the BART, people getting stabbed,” Foster told KGO.
Queens landlord will pay $1 million for denying apartments to previously incarcerated people – Good – kra!
Another moron will pay for his stupidity! Those in reentry who can afford an apartment are likely excellent tenants!
Excerpts from the Article:
A Queens landlord has agreed to pay $1 million for wrongly refusing to rent apartments to people who were previously incarcerated. The deal, which resolves a lawsuit filed in 2014 against the owners of the Sand Castle apartment complex in Far Rockaway, was hailed Tuesday by the Fortune Society as an important legal precedent.
“This settlement fires a warning shot across the bow of any landlord in America who blanketly refuses to rent apartments to people with criminal justice involvement,” Fortune Society CEO JoAnne Page said in a release announcing the deal.
“Landlords will take notice of its deterrent effect. Many will look more closely at whether they have policies that comport with the law, and they will be concerned about the exposure for costly litigation.”
The Fortune Society, which is a major provider of services for formerly incarcerated people, had charged in Brooklyn Federal Court that the 917-unit apartment complex on Seagirt Ave. had a policy of automatically refusing to rent an apartment to a person with a criminal record, regardless of the nature of the conviction or the amount of time that had passed since the crime.
It was unclear how many people were affected by Sand Castle’s ban on people who had done time. The Fortune Society learned of the policy in 2013 after receiving a grant to help cover rent for 25 apartments in Queens. The nonprofit tried to rent apartments in Sand Castle because it is safe, affordable and near a supermarket.
The society charged that Sand Castle violated the federal Fair Housing Act through the ban on ex-cons, which they said disproportionately affected black and Hispanic people. The group said the settlement of $1,187,500 is one of the largest, if not the largest, ever in a lawsuit involving similar allegations. Once Fortune inquired with Sand Castle, staffers informed them of the blanket ban on anyone with a criminal record from renting an apartment or living in the building.
“When housing providers deny basic rights to those who have been formerly incarcerated, they are imposing harsh limitations on where these individuals can live and work which perpetuate poverty and segregation, and dramatically increase the likelihood that they will return to prison,” John Relman, an attorney for the Fortune Society, said.
All of these are good ideas, and badly needed to curb injustice.
2020 Legislative Priorities for the Coalition for Smart Justice
We made historic progress in criminal justice reform this year. From expanding access to second chances to reforming the drug code and more, there’s a lot to be proud of! But our work isn’t done yet. You helped us get this far, so we wanted you to be the first to know about our priorities for the 2020 half of this legislative session.
Next year, we’ll be tackling these key issues:
Fines, Fees & Drivers’ License Suspensions
We want to end the criminalization of poverty that traps people in a punitive cycle by allowing the court to consider a person’s ability to pay court fines and fees, and ending the practice of automatic suspension of drivers’ licenses where someone is unable to pay.
Data Collection & Transparency – Collect and publish data to understand racial disparities, measure policy impacts and inform better policy choices.
Sentencing Reform – Eliminate most mandatory minimums and expand opportunities for sentence modification and early release.
Pretrial Reform – Reduce the number of people in prison before they’ve been convicted of a crime and ensure fairness through the pre-trial process from arrest to trial.
Probation Reform – End the revolving door to prison by implementing post-release policies that promote success after incarceration.
Treating Children as Children – House all children in juvenile facilities and increase the minimum age at which children can be prosecuted criminally.
Stay up-to-date on our work by following us on Twitter and Facebook, and keeping an eye out for emails as they come through.
We can’t wait to make more history with you as we continue to work toward our goal of ending mass incarceration and challenging the racial disparities in Delaware’s criminal justice system!
ACLU: 302-654-5326 ext. 106, 100 W. 10th Street, Suite 706, Wilmington, DE, 19801
At detention facilities, legal rights ‘in name only’ Whether we call them ‘concentration camps’ or detention centers, the lack of justice for those seeking refuge must end.
These ICE detention centers are atrocious, and are a national disgrace. Below I am pictured speaking about them 4 years ago in Wilmington, DE.
Excerpts from the Article:
As President Donald Trump prepares to pick a new secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is preparing to appear in a Brooklyn court. She is being sued for blocking a man on Twitter who criticized her for calling immigration detention sites “concentration camps.” Her opponents seized on the comment. One of their talking points: America’s hardworking immigration officers should not be equated with Nazis.
To some extent, I can understand their perspective.
I recently visited four Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention sites across the country. I met many of their workers. They carried clear plastic backpacks and lunchboxes as they filed through security in the morning, looking weary and bored. As I left each site, some asked me whether I had had a “nice visit” and wished me safe travels.
These workers don’t bring to mind cinematic villains. Yet they are part of a system that, no matter its appearances, is inflicting the horror of trapping people inside.
I saw it in the eyes of the people I interviewed in detention. A 28-year-old Cuban woman told me about spending five days sleeping on the ground in an outdoor cage run by Border Patrol, the “perrera” — a place for dogs. That was followed by 17 days in the “hielera,” a frigid room. She had been denied a shower the entire time.
She recounted this months later, when I met her at an ICE detention site in Adams County, Mississippi. She had not seen or talked to her husband for months, since U.S. authorities separated and detained them. She said that last summer, an asylum officer interviewed her and determined that her fear of persecution if she returned to Cuba was credible — the first step in an asylum case. But she said she had never seen a judge, had no court date, no lawyer, no ICE officer assigned to her. She was alone and trapped: She had no idea of what would happen to her next, how to move her asylum case forward and whether she would ever be released.
Adams County is part of the immigration detention boom. Detention levels have skyrocketed to a record high of about 50,000 people a day, at an annual cost of more than $2 billion. Counties are grabbing at detention contracts that provide jobs, although many will be filled by out-of-town residents. New detention sites are opening in the Deep South — hours from urban areas with networks of pro bono or low-cost attorneys. Even in big cities, the number of people detained far outpaces the number of attorneys available to help them. The result is that these immigration jails are effectively legal black holes, where legal rights often exist in name only.
“You come to this place and you can never win,” another woman told me. She had spent three months in an ICE detention center near Miami, separated from her then 5-month-old baby. Her husband, a U.S. citizen, was driving her to Walmart when local police questioned them during a random traffic stop. She was not accused of a crime, and she was in the process of petitioning for residency based on her marriage to a citizen. But police took her to a local jail and held her for ICE.
“I haven’t seen my baby in three months,” she said, and asked me what would happen to her.
Without a lawyer, she is likely to remain in detention for months or years — and ultimately be deported away from her husband and child. Just 3% of detained individuals without a lawyer succeeded in their cases, compared with 74% of nondetained and represented individuals who won in theirs, according to a study that focused on New York immigration cases. For asylum-seekers, the stakes are often life or death.
Yet immigrants have been denied the right to a government-appointed lawyer in their deportation proceedings. I met many who didn’t have enough money to make a phone call from prison, let alone pay a lawyer. Even those who could afford it struggled to find one, since they are stuck on the inside without access to Google, email or a cellphone.
Our immigration system is set up for them to fail, with Kafka-esque limits on their ability to apply for legal relief and appeal to federal courts. Navigating this complex and unforgiving set of legal rules is hard for lawyers, let alone for detained individuals. Some are offered release on bond, but in unaffordable amounts like $25,000.
Many people I met had never seen a judge, several months into their detention. They had no idea how or when they might ever be free. They were confused, scared and, in some cases, suicidal. A woman from Cameroon who fled its ongoing civil war after her father was murdered told me she prayed that God would provide her a way out.
Local governments should end ICE detention contracts, if they exist, and prohibit new ones. Cities and states should robustly fund free legal service providers and bond funds. Major law firms should send their lawyers to the Deep South to work with local pro bono providers to address the drastic shortfalls in legal services. Community groups should lobby Congress to cut funding for detention and pass comprehensive reform legislation like the Dignity For Detained Immigrants Act.
Trump’s new Homeland Security secretary is likely to ramp up immigration detention to even higher levels, using the specter of prison to deter people from coming here and the reality of it to punish those who do. We cannot afford to be divided by semantics.
Whatever we call them, America’s immigration prisons are antithetical to the free society we claim to be. We must do all we can to dismantle this system. Naureen Shah is the senior advocacy and policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, working on immigrant rights.
Thank God that more and more judges are starting to realize that prison abuse, truly atrocious abuse, is the norm all across the land, and they will not swallow attempts by officials to avoid or delay accountability.
Here, a 27 year old transgender lady with epilepsy and schizophrenia died while in jail because she could not post $500 bail on a misdemeanor charge!
Did she die from medical neglect? Did she commit suicide? Did guards beat her to death? Did another inmate kill her? The truth will out!
Excerpts from the Article:
Before a nearly full courtroom Friday, a federal magistrate refused to pause a lawsuit filed by the mother of a transgender woman who died in solitary confinement on Rikers Island last summer. The city had asked to delay the case twice in October, saying it did not want to interfere with the ongoing investigations into Layleen Polanco’s death by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Corrections.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara wasn’t buying it.
The city “relied on inapposite authority, misapplied the state of the law, and attempted to invoke privileges in an improper manner,” Bulsara said in Brooklyn today, calling any potential interference during the discovery process with a state investigation totally speculative.
“There are parallel investigations going on all the time,” Bulsara said, going on to emphasize that it was the defendants, not Polanco, who were the subject of the investigations.
Relatives of Polanco said she had epilepsy and schizophrenia before she died at age 27, locked up because she had not been able to pay $500 bail on misdemeanor charges. In New York City, her death has become a rallying cry for criminal justice reform, particularly for black trans women.
The District Attorney’s Office has not issued a report or charged anyone yet, despite having reportedly completed the interviewing and document collection phases of its case.
In Oct. 16 court papers, David Shanies, attorney for the Polanco family, objected to the request for a stay. “It would be … perverse if the city were permitted to block a civil action by declaring that its own ‘investigation’ precludes litigation against it,” he wrote.
Polanco’s mother, Arecelis Polanco, appeared in court Friday with her lawyers in turquoise-rimmed glasses and a black blazer. In Spanish after the proceedings, she said her faith in the U.S. justice system had essentially come full circle. When she first came to the country, she had confidence in the law, but she said the death of her child in jail shattered that trust. She said Layleen gave her “the greatest joy in this world.”
“This judge on this case gave me faith back,” Arecelis Polanco said, her remarks translated by Layleen Polanco’s sister Melania Brown. “It gave me faith that there’s justice in America.”
“I’m not clear that this couldn’t happen again,” he said. “The entire city should be concerned.”
Defendants also include officers, a Corrections Department official, and a doctor. The plaintiffs said they anticipated adding one or two other defendants. “I’m thinking specifically of the officers who were in the housing unit where Layleen died,” Shanies said.
Kimberly Mckenzie, director of outreach and community engagement at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, said she was pleased with Friday’s proceedings. The day was about supporting Layleen Polanco and her family, she explained.
“Our lives matter,” Mckenzie said, “black trans women. This should never happen at the hands of our city.”
The Whole Story
THE UNITED STATES TRUTH POLICE
The advent of the IRS Criminal Investigations Division was a good idea.
Establishing the FBI was a good idea.
But now it is time for THE UNITED STATES TRUTH POLICE!
Yes, a federal agency tasked with monitoring every individual, media (can you say “Fox News”), corporation, organization or group for untruths or lies. Empowered to fine and/or imprison any violator for “speaking, uttering, broadcasting, or publishing any patently, clearly demonstrably false information”!
If it takes a new Amendment to modify the First Amendment, so be it!
The liars are so diabolical and so out of control that this measure is needed for the good of our Nation.
This will also be a huge boon to the economy!
The litigation will be through the roof! Think if it!
Thousands of lawyers and politicians will be imprisoned!
Bail bondsmen will thrive.
All manner of fact checking and “truth verification” companies will blossom. Hell, the industry leader may eclipse Google and Apple in its size and influence!
Stock in polygraph machine manufacturers will soar, and new lie detector devices will fly off the shelves.
No more impeachment proceedings! Any state in which tRump opens his mouth can arrest and jail him; huge problem solved!
Just read so many of the articles on my website, field just a few of the calls I get every week, to realize the sad truth of My Little Statue, below!
Raise some hell about it. Here is How: READ Practical Tip – Get Empowered! How YOU Can Create a Powerful, Effective Force for Reform of our Criminal Justice System
These Machines Can Put You in Jail. Don’t Trust Them. Alcohol breath tests, a linchpin of the criminal justice system, are often unreliable, a Times investigation found.
This excellent article was sent to me by my good friend and great lawyer, Stephen Hampton, Esq*. It really is pretty scary! As if we don’t have enough innocent people in prison already – somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 (nobody knows the actual number) – here is cause for more! 🙁
This article is as exhaustive (Because these articles go to my newsletter, and this is so long,I have had to omit much of it) as it is illuminating. IF YOU ARE A PROSECUTOR OR A DEFENSE LAWYER, YOU SHOULD – MUST – READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE! It discusses various types of machines/devices and their problems. IT’S A SHOCKER!
I handled at least 1,000 DUI cases, tried over 100, and never had this problem, because I made sure the machines had been properly calibrated, and the exact ones described here did not yet exist.
Grady and Hampton LLC
6 North Bradford Street
Dover, DE 19904
For DUI cases in Delaware, contact my friend and excellent Defense Attorney,
John Garey, Esq.:
48 The Green, Dover, DE 19901
You can’t do better than John!
Excerpts from the Article:
A million Americans a year are arrested for drunken driving, and most stops begin the same way: flashing blue lights in the rearview mirror, then a battery of tests that might include standing on one foot or reciting the alphabet.
What matters most, though, happens next. By the side of the road or at the police station, the drivers blow into a miniature science lab that estimates the concentration of alcohol in their blood. If the level is 0.08 or higher, they are all but certain to be convicted of a crime.
But those tests — a bedrock of the criminal justice system — are often unreliable, a New York Times investigation found. The devices, found in virtually every police station in America, generate skewed results with alarming frequency, even though they are marketed as precise to the third decimal place.
Judges in Massachusetts and New Jersey have thrown out more than 30,000 breath tests in the past 12 months alone, largely because of human errors and lax governmental oversight. Across the country, thousands of other tests also have been invalidated in recent years.
The machines are sensitive scientific instruments, and in many cases they haven’t been properly calibrated, yielding results that were at times 40 percent too high. Maintaining machines is up to police departments that sometimes have shoddy standards and lack expertise. In some cities, lab officials have used stale or home-brewed chemical solutions that warped results. In Massachusetts, officers used a machine with rats nesting inside.
There are more than a million drunken driving arrests in America each year, but the devices the police use to test drivers’ breath may not even work.
Technical experts have found serious programming mistakes in the machines’ software. States have picked devices that their own experts didn’t trust and have disabled safeguards meant to ensure the tests’ accuracy.
The Times interviewed more than 100 lawyers, scientists, executives and police officers and reviewed tens of thousands of pages of court records, corporate filings, confidential emails and contracts. Together, they reveal the depth of a nationwide problem that has attracted only sporadic attention.
A county judge in Pennsylvania called it “extremely questionable” whether any of his state’s breath tests could withstand serious scrutiny. In response, local prosecutors stopped using them. In Florida, a panel of judges described their state’s instrument as a “magic black box” with “significant and continued anomalies.”
Even some industry veterans say the machines should not be de facto arbiters of guilt. “The tests were never meant to be used that way,” said John Fusco, who ran National Patent Analytical Systems, a maker of breath-testing devices. Yet the tests have become all but unavoidable. Every state punishes drivers who refuse to take one when ordered by a police officer.
The consequences of the legal system’s reliance on these tests are far-reaching. People are wrongfully convicted based on dubious evidence. Hundreds were never notified that their cases were built on faulty tests. And when flaws are discovered, the solution has been to discard the results — letting potentially dangerous drivers off the hook.
… Massachusetts was forced to throw out their breath tests — along with more than 36,000 others — in one of the largest exclusions of forensic evidence in American history.
In most of the country, the threshold for illegal drunkenness is 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. The only way to measure that directly is to draw blood, which requires a warrant. Breath tests are simpler.
Testing machines can go for $10,000 or more, and some two dozen companies sell them in the United States. The biggest contracts, with state police crime labs, are worth millions.
The report said the Alcotest 9510 was “not a sophisticated scientific measurement instrument” and “does not adhere to even basic standards of measurement.” It described a calculation error that Mr. Walker and Mr. Momot believed could round up some results. And it found that certain safeguards had been disabled.
The decision caused paralysis. Prosecutors froze thousands of cases until the review was finished.
The software experts and scientists who inspected the Alcotest 9510 machines found troubling mistakes, according to their reports to the court. In some circumstances — when the devices’ two testing methods produced substantially different results, for example — the machines were supposed to generate error messages and terminate the test. Instead, the devices printed a result. (Dräger blamed an error by its computer programmers, which it said has now been fixed.)
But the machines weren’t the only problem. The Massachusetts forensic lab, which for years had been plagued by scandals over faked drug test results and tampered evidence, lacked a written procedure to set up and test machines, the lab’s technical director testified. The justice hearing the case, Robert A. Brennan, said the lab could not prove that it had followed a “scientifically sound methodology,” and in 2017 he threw out all of its breath test results from 2012 through 2014. That was only the beginning. Lawyers soon discovered that the lab had hidden records of hundreds of failed calibrations. The discovery provoked a state investigation that blasted the lab’s leadership for “serious errors of judgment.” Justice Brennan later expanded his previous order: No tests from the lab were admissible until it was accredited by a national board that oversees forensic labs. Eight years of tests — more than 36,000, according to defense lawyers — were suddenly off-limits.
Nearly 29,000 of the invalidated tests in Massachusetts were already used to convict drivers, state records show. This month, the state will begin informing those defendants that they can seek a new trial, and lawyers are bracing for a flood of requests. So are lawyers in New Jersey, where more than 13,000 people were found guilty based on breath tests from machines that hadn’t been properly set up. Between those two states, at least 42,000 convictions are at risk. Thousands of other defendants have already been acquitted in cases that prosecutors believe they would have won if they had been able to use their most powerful piece of evidence.
And recognition of the tests’ problems is spreading. In Minnesota, a judge ruled last year that the state’s machines appeared to be rounding up results, falsely nudging some defendants over the legal limit. (A spokeswoman for the state’s testing program said the judge misunderstood the technology.)
And in courts around the country — including one last year in Queens County, N.Y. — judges continue to toss out individual cases when questions arise about the tests’ accuracy.
“If we are going to put people in jail and punish people, take their liberties away, take their licenses away, we have an obligation to be accurate,” said Joseph Bernard, the defense lawyer who helped Mr. Mottor get a new trial and is representing dozens of others in Massachusetts.
But there is a cost. Throwing out tens of thousands of faulty breath tests will inevitably let some dangerous drivers back on the road.
“Let’s not fool each other,” Mr. Bernard said. “I am not going to sit here and tell you that situation and that dynamic isn’t going to happen. Of course it’s going to happen. The question is, whose fault is it?”
The Whole Story:
Oklahoma Set to Release 462 Inmates Monday in Largest-Ever Single-Day U.S. Mass Commutation – Grrrrrreat! – kra
ALL states should be doing this, for it will greatly reduce prison costs, and make us safer! Voters approved a state question in 2016 that made simple drug possession and low-level property crimes misdemeanors instead of felonies. Stitt signed a bill earlier this year that applied those sentences retroactively.
And there need not be a public vote! The Governor’s office can take the initiative and make it happen!
Excerpts from the Article:
Oklahoma will release more than 400 inmates after a state panel approved what they say is the largest single-day mass commutation in U.S. history.
The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board unanimously approved the commutations Friday, and Gov. Kevin Stitt said his office would process the recommendations for final approval. The 462 inmates are expected to leave prison Monday.
Voters approved a state question in 2016 that made simple drug possession and low-level property crimes misdemeanors instead of felonies. Stitt signed a bill earlier this year that applied those sentences retroactively.
Pardon and Parole board head Steve Bickley says the mass release is the most on one day since former President Barack Obama commuted the drug sentences of 330 federal prisoners on his last day in office.