That is 114 young people, someone’s son, brother, father … in ONE FRIGGIN’ WEEKEND. More that 1,800 so far this year. And the authorities still don’t get it! More federal agents, crackdowns … are pure political bullshit: “Look at me, I am doing something about this”. ONLY ENDING THE DRUG WAR WILL END THE HORRENDOUS VIOLENCE!
“The Trump Administration will not let the bloodshed go on; we cannot accept these levels of violence,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. BULLSHIT. LOOK AT CHICAGO VIOLENCE IN 6 MONTHS AND YOU TELL ME … HAS THE SITUATION IMPROVED?!
Excerpts from the Article:
More than 100 people were shot in Chicago over the long Independence Day weekend as a deadly wave of violence once again rocked the massive city besieged by unrelenting gun crime. At least 14 of the gunshot victims died, police said Wednesday.
Officer Jose Estrada, spokesman for the police department, said he could not verify but would not dispute reports by The Chicago Tribune and other local media that at least 101 people were shot between 3 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Wednesday.
49 shot in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend — and that’s a sign of progress
2 killed, 8 wounded in shooting at Chicago memorial
Estrada told USA TODAY the department logged 71 shooting incidents between 6 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Wednesday. He said an official count of wounded wouldn’t be available for several days.
Most of violence took place in a 6-hour period Monday night and early Tuesday, predominantly on the South and West sides of the city, Estrada said. Detectives investigating the shootings “suspect several incidents were retaliatory in nature and alcohol was a factor in others,” he said.
The vast majority of the 762 murders and more than 4,000 shooting incidents in Chicago last year occurred in a few predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods on the city’s West and South Sides, and were driven by gang-related feuds and drug wars.
The Trump administration announced Friday it was dispatching an additional 20 ATF agents to the city to stem gun violence that has left more than 1,000 dead over the past 18 months. The Justice Department and the city also announced the formation of a joint strike force of federal and local law enforcement officials to ramp up prosecution of gun-related crimes.
“The Trump Administration will not let the bloodshed go on; we cannot accept these levels of violence,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
This past weekend’s grim tally comes weeks after Memorial Day weekend, historically one of the most violent times of the year in the city, experienced a relatively low number of shootings. Five people were killed and 44 wounded in shootings over that holiday weekend, an improvement over last year’s total of 7 killed and 61 injured.
The Tribune said the last time the Independence Day holiday weekend spanned four days was in 2013, when July 4 fell on a Thursday and many people took Friday off work. At least 74 people were shot between Wednesday evening and early Monday that year, and 12 of them died, according to Tribune data.
These are some of the reasons why I must tell callers every day that the chances of release on Parole are slim to none. It is nearly as bad as the article about prison officials sleeping through time for parole hearings and then lying by saying the hearings were held!!
This is not just a New Hampshire problem; it is all over America … I know from the calls I get from everywhere.
Excerpts from the Article:
The New Hampshire parole board plays a key role in the state’s criminal justice system. Its nine members decide which inmates get out on parole, and which parolees return to prison. Although parole hearings are open to the public, they take place with little oversight or public scrutiny. And, unlike most legal proceedings, they can be surprisingly unrefined affairs.
We recommend listening to this story. It contains language some may find objectionable.
Sytek is one of nine members who take turns sitting in groups of three, for five hours a day, twice a week. Three of the members are lawyers. These often serve on Tuesdays, when the parole board decides which parolees have violated enough parole conditions to be sent back to prison. Parolees have a right to an attorney at those hearings, which often are more formal. On Thursdays, the board decides which inmates should be granted parole. It’s these hearings that tend to be the most profane and confrontational.
“I know I shouldn’t be chewing your ass like this but you know damn well what I’m talkin’ about,” board member Jeff Brown said to an inmate during a hearing in February.
“The thing about a good car salesman is they know how to blow smoke up your ass while smiling to your face and telling you absolutely lies,” Leslie Mendenhall, also a board member, told another inmate the month before.
NHPR reviewed 20 hours of parole hearings from the last year: hearings during which public officials make decisions about people’s liberty and community safety. Where we expected civility, we found foul language and confrontation.
“There is a perception that the parole board is like the Wild West,” said attorney David Hendricks, “the rules are loosely applied.”
In a court, Hendricks said, lawyers take things for granted that go by the wayside in parole hearings. For example, hearsay and unsworn testimony are accepted by the parole board, but would be disregarded in a courtroom. Decorum, he said, can also go out the window.
Hendricks spent hundreds of hours in parole revocation hearings during his decade as a public defense attorney.
“I have seen habitual cynicism toward parolees, disrespect, unprofessionalism, and informality,” he said. “Most of it occurs in between hearings, when you are waiting for other inmates to be brought forward.”
While they may review cases beforehand, the parole board has only about 15 minutes to speak with people convicted of charges including sex offenses, drug crimes, and domestic violence before deciding if they can live safely outside prison walls. Members receive no training and appointment requires no prerequisite experience. Most of the time, inmates who meet minimum requirements are granted parole.
A few months back, I sat through a day of parole hearings including that of Adam Smart. His mother sat next me at the back of the room. Both of us were asked to explain our presence to the board.
During the hearing, Smart told the board he struggles with addiction. He said he didn’t get as much drug treatment as he would have liked behind bars, and that he’s on a waiting list for treatment in the community. At some point as he spoke, board member Leslie Mendenhall decided Smart was making excuses. She raised her voice.
“I think you’re full of shit, and I think you’re trying to sell a nice boat down the river,” she said. “You’re full of it. You’re full of yourself. Every single time. And what are you taking for medications?” “Nothing,” he replied. “Nothing! Why?” “Because they want to put me on sleep meds for anxiety,” said Smart. “Right, because do you know one of the best things you can do for bipolar is to make sure that you get a solid amount of sleep because that helps stable your mood?” Mendenhall asked.“I don’t know if I have bipolar,” Smart said. “All I know is I have anxiety.” “You’re sure presenting like a bipolar,” she replied.
Phil Utter is a private defense attorney who I met at a previous parole hearing. “It strikes me as completely inappropriate,” he said, after hearing a recording of the exchange. “It is certainly not the parole board’s role to advise them on their mental health issues. And swearing at an inmate? How can that possibly be helpful. This is a person who’s going to be reintegrating into society at some point. If you start belittling them… It’s just wrong. It’s just wrong.”
Here we see the Supreme Court hod that the First Amendment trumps the tradmark law barring disparraging names. I quite agree; even in distasteful situations, we must honor the Free Speech provision, and the Court so held, unanimously. Similar to a parade permit being gratned to Nazis allowilng a march in a city with a large Jewish population.
Now I am just waiting for the grand opening of the “Customers First – We Love All You Motherfuckers” grocery store!
Excerpts from the Article:
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down part of a law that bans offensive trademarks in a ruling that is expected to help the Washington Redskins in their legal fight over the team name. The justices ruled that the 71-year-old trademark law barring disparaging terms infringes free speech rights. The ruling is a victory for the Asian-American rock band called the Slants, but the case was closely watched for the impact it would have on the separate dispute involving the Washington football team.
Slants founder Simon Tam tried to trademark the band name in 2011, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the request on the ground that it disparages Asians. A federal appeals court in Washington later said the law barring offensive trademarks is unconstitutional.
The Redskins made similar arguments after the trademark office ruled in 2014 that the name offends American Indians and canceled the team’s trademark. A federal appeals court in Richmond put the team’s case on hold while waiting for the Supreme Court to rule in the Slants case.
In his opinion for the court, Justice Samuel Alito rejected arguments that trademarks are government speech, not private speech. Alito also said trademarks are not immune from First Amendment protection as part of a government program or subsidy. Tam insisted he was not trying to be offensive, but wanted to transform a derisive term into a statement of pride. The Redskins also contend their name honors American Indians, but the team has faced decades of legal challenges from Indian groups that say the name is racist.
Every now and then … every once in a while … they get caught! 🙂
Too many cops and prison guards lie to cover up their wrongdoing! Now let us pray that these three get prison time! READ Why only PROSECUTION and IMPRISONMENT Will Stop Prison Abuse and Police Abuse! Demand It!! How to Avoid the Deaths of More Prison Guards!
Excerpts from the Article:
Three current or former police officers in Chicago were indicted Tuesday on charges of conspiring to cover up the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager killed by an officer in 2014. McDonald’s death, captured in a video released the following year that shows him being shot while moving away from officers, set off protests and continues to reverberate through the Chicago police department. The officer who opened fire was charged with murder, while investigators have also focused on the behavior of other officers following the shooting. The indictment, announced by the special prosecutor investigating McDonald’s shooting, charges the three veteran officers with trying to “conceal the true facts of the events surrounding the killing of Laquan McDonald.”
“The indictment makes clear that these defendants did more than merely obey an unofficial ‘code of silence,’ rather it alleges that they lied about what occurred to prevent independent criminal investigators from learning the truth,” Patricia Brown Holmes, the special prosecutor, said in a statement.
McDonald’s death in October 2014 has continued to rock the Chicago Police Department, leading to a sprawling federal investigation and the ouster of the department’s superintendent. More than a year after McDonald was killed, authorities released video showing Officer Jason Van Dyke firing 16 rounds at the teenager. Van Dyke was charged with murder the day the video was publicly released.
While the police union had said McDonald was holding a knife and approaching officers when he was killed, graphic video showed that the 17-year-old was veering away from officers when he was shot. An attorney for Van Dyke has said he feared for his life at the time.
The video recording spurred outrage in Chicago, during which Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) dismissed Garry F. McCarthy, the police superintendent. Not long after, the Justice Department began a probe into the Chicago police, concluding this year that the department has a pattern of routinely using excessive force and violating the rights of minority residents. The Justice Department and Chicago officials had pledged to seek a court-enforceable order imposing reforms, but that plan was thrown into question after the Trump administration took office.
Chicago officials, who have been confronting a spike in homicides, have also reckoned with the fallout from the McDonald video. The city announced a series of policing reforms in the wake of the outcry over McDonald’s death, while the Chicago Police Department last year also recommended firing several officers for lying about McDonald’s killing, including Van Dyke.
The three-count indictment filed Tuesday said that Detective David March, 58, and patrol officers Joseph Walsh, 48, and Thomas Gaffney, 43, filed false police reports in the hours and days after the shooting “in an attempt to prevent or shape any criminal investigation.” The three officers were each charged with conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice. It was not immediately clear whether any of the officers had attorneys.
A Chicago police spokesman said only Gaffney was still with the department as of Tuesday, adding that he would be suspended without pay due to the indictment.
The indictment also suggested that more people were involved in the plot, saying that “others known and unknown” to the grand jury failed to properly find witnesses and physical evidence, coordinated their actions and then sought to cover up these activities. Several unidentified people are also described in the indictment as giving false statements. After announcing the charges against the three officers on Tuesday, Holmes said the grand jury investigation into the shooting will continue.
They tell it like it is.
Many – scores of good articles – articles about Pot .. Health/Science, Business, Legal, Politics, Culture … it is all here in one weekly newsletter!
Two articles of particular interest to me:
Nevada’s On-Again, Off-Again Marijuana Sales Back On One by one, increasingly more states are legalizing … BECAUSE it makes sense! We see that the alcohol industry has gotten its mits on the issue in Nevada … ok for now, so be it. Did you know that in many states they have spent a fortune opposing legal Pot because they fear the competition?
Nevada regulators reaffirmed their intentions Friday to issue licenses necessary for retailers to begin selling pot for recreational use on July 1 while complying with a court order in a lawsuit filed by alcohol wholesalers who want a piece of the pot distribution business.
The retail licensees could include as many as 25 medical dispensaries in the Las Vegas area and four others in Reno that already have medical retail licenses, as long as they adhere to packaging requirements in an emergency regulation to be adopted Monday, state Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said.
The fate of the recreational program has been in limbo since a Carson City judge ruled Tuesday that the ballot measure voters approved requires that alcohol wholesalers have exclusive rights to pot distribution licenses for 18 months. Distribution licenses allow pot to be moved between locations and are different than retail licenses.
The state had wanted the option of licensing existing medical marijuana businesses to serve as distributors when recreational sales begin. But District Judge James Wilson issued a temporary injunction barring distribution licenses for anyone except alcohol wholesalers. Klapstein said Friday that won’t hold up licensing of marijuana establishments. “The injunction has no effect on the other license types,” she said.
The on-again, off-again plan to launch recreational sales has medical marijuana outlets scrambling to stockpile enough pot to meet what’s expected to be extremely high demand.
Tax Commission is expected to approve on Monday — would mandate child-proof packaging with warning labels and prohibit the sale of products that appeal to children such as lollipops and gummies. They also make clear that edible products sold for recreational use can’t carry as high a percentage of THC as allowed in items used for medicinal purposes.
Read the Whole Story:
States frequently reject use of medical marijuana for opioid treatment See the video and read this article. I say opioid treatment certainly should be included, because it works!
While legislators and health regulators across the country have considered using medical marijuana to address opioid addiction, states have frequently turned down the idea. From New Hampshire to New Mexico, several states that allow medical marijuana for issues like cancer and glaucoma have considered adding opioid addiction to a list of approved uses. But several states recently rejected the measure.
On May 30, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a bill to allow businesses like massage therapists to use topical products that contained marijuana and hemp, and it would have added opioid addiction to the list of approved conditions.
The bill’s lead sponsor, state Sen. Tick Segerblom, said he personally thinks doctors can prescribe medical marijuana for opioid addiction due to pain issues, but he added that the bill could have clarified the issue and made a statement. He said the veto was tragic because of the legislation’s “huge potential to address the opioid crisis.”
Last July, Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services rejected a request to add opioid addiction to the list of approved conditions for medical marijuana, saying there was not sufficient evidence to support adding it.
A recent study showed that hospitalization rates for opioid painkiller dependence and abuse dropped 23 percent on average in states after marijuana was adopted for medicinal purposes, and hospitalization rates for opioid overdoses dropped 13 percent on average, Reuters reported in March.
God Bless Dick Gregory!
Some used soaring rhetoric (MLK), Some marched (MANY!), … Dick Gregory used those and HUMOR or COMEDY to advance the cause of equality for Blacks in America!
Read the report here. I love what he says about being an “agitator”! See how he went from earning $200 a week, to $5,000 a night, by sitting on Jack Parr’s couch!
Gregory talked about his role with the late Ed Bradley during a “60 minutes” profile in 1989: “I chose to be an agitator,” he said. “The next time you put your underwear in the washing machine, take the agitator out, and all you’re going to end up with are some dirty, wet drawers!”
About 5 years ago, when I started my current efforts to improve the criminal justice system and to help thousands of people being unjustly harmed by it, VERY FEW people were discussing the problems. Today, although our overall prison population has decreased by only about 2%, we are seeing changes … some big, many small, nowhere near enough … but it IS happening. The failed “war on drugs”, prison abuse, mandatory minimum sentences, out of control “piss-poor” lawyers, folks are focusing on all of the issues.
Why? Here’s why: People have persisted in getting the word out!!
We are making a difference! A BIG difference. kra 1/9/18 Good to be Recognized – and Good for the Public!
Here is what usually happens:
Your loved one in prison is abused by prison staff … beaten for no reason (he has mental health problems, and he “talked back” to a nurse) , left with broken bones and told that if he tries to go to the infirmary he will be beaten again! [If you don’t think this happens, you are clueless about what goes on in our prisons!]. So you complain to the prison, call 4o law firms, none of whom will take your case, notify your elected officials, and you even join a demonstration and post about the incident all over Facebook. For a few weeks or months, and then you give up!
Here is what you MUST DO:
Commit to stay with the problem and get it solved! Sure, prison abuse is one of the most difficult problems in the system to solve, but, like any problem, it can be solved! Read Why only PROSECUTION and IMPRISONMENT Will Stop Prison Abuse! Demand It!! How to Avoid the Deaths of More Prison Guards! and see the ACTION PLAN! Join a group like Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, and do something every month – it may take you a half hour! – to help fix the system and thus improve America! Please take a moment to JOIN our Facebook group Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE if you have not already! https://www.facebook.com/groups/588838431158009/
This website is loaded with great practical tips and the solutions for every problem. Read, for example: Get Empowered! How YOU Can Create a Powerful, Effective Force for Reform of our Criminal Justice System
But, dabnabbit wabbit, you have got to STICK TO IT! 🙂
Folks, it took more than 40 years for the problems to form – I remember when the system worked well, as it should! – and no significant change will happen fast. YOU MUST NOT EXPECT MIRACLES, AND YOU MUST NOT UNDERESTIMATE YOUR SIGNIFICANCE IN THE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE. You CAN make a difference!
T. T. T.
Put up in a place
where it’s easy to see
the cryptic admonishment
T. T. T.
When you feel how depressingly
slowly you climb,
it’s well to remember that
Things Take Time! T T T
Innocent, on Death Row, exonerated! A huge statement about the level of dysfunction – injustice – in the criminal justice system! Outrageous!
The inmate-produced show “Ear Hustle,” set at San Quentin state prison in California, will tell stories of daily life behind bars.
Thanks, Jim Panos, for sending me this one.
Because the production is edited by the prison, I doubt that they will talk about prison abuse! Nonetheless, this is a great project: The more that the public knows about prisons and prisoners, the better, and the greater likelihood for change!
Excerpts from the Article:
This week, the podcast network Radiotopia will launch the first episode of”Ear Hustle,” a podcast produced at San Quentin State Prison. Each of the first season’s ten episodes, running every other week, will delve into a different corner of life inside: cellmates, pets, family relationships, fashion. The much-anticipated series already has been hovering at the top of the iTunes podcast charts.
“Ear Hustle”—slang for eavesdropping—is a collaboration between Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, both prisoners at San Quentin, and Nigel Poor, a Bay Area visual artist who teaches photography classes at the prison. Williams, 29, has served more than ten years on a 15-year sentence for armed robbery. Woods, 45, has served more than 19 years of a 31-years–to-life sentence for attempted second-degree robbery. Their chemistry is one of the best parts of the show: the three share a deep rapport that is at times funny, frank, and raw.
But it’s still a prison. The media lab has no internet access or telephones. And all the episodes must be vetted by the facility’s public information officer. “This is Lt. Sam Robinson,” he intones at the end of each episode, “and I approve this story.” But Robinson insists, “I’m not in a position to censor what’s in these guys’ hearts. Our only issue is public safety.”
San Quentin is famous for its newspaper. How is your approach different than a newspaper reporter’s?
Antwan Williams: With the News, for as long as they’ve been in business it’s been about facts. They pride themselves on being professional journalists. We wanted to be a little more creative, to shed light on what it’s like in prison, what day to day life is like in here. The little moments that create prison. They’re hilarious, some are very tender. Some are heartbreaking. It’s a lot of those small moments that not only bring out the humanity in us, but it shows a different side to who these incarcerated men are.
The subject matter, at least on its face, is not explicitly political. Did you choose to not make a political podcast?
If people don’t know exactly who it is that’s incarcerated—if they don’t know people on a personal level—it’s hard to care about the laws that dictate the lives in here. We can try to get to rules that are bigger than us, as far as sentencing reform, juveniles, three strikes. But if we don’t know who they affect, how can we begin to ask people to care about it? We think putting names and faces to the people that are incarcerated, it is speaking towards the politics. People start to think, “You remind me of my son, my father, a brother of mine, of my best friends.” That will make them interested in being more involved in the political side of prison.
Antwan Williams: That’s the hard part for us, is not just telling a story because it sounds good, or because it’s powerful, or it tugs at your heartstrings. But telling a story that actually sheds light on prison. We want to bring more of the truth out.
What do you want listeners to know about you, as people, going into this show?
Antwan Williams: We’re just average people, suspended in animation.