Archive for the Prison/Criminology Category

The Police v. The People: The War Expands (November 9, 2015)

Posted in Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Collapse, Crime/Punishment, Police, Prison/Criminology, Race, Republicans, Unions on November 9, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

2          “Petit bourgeoisie.  That is a more accurate description.”

. . .

1          “My nick name for her is ‘Mary Poppins.’  The cop barked at her to produce her insurance and registration.  Shook up, she found both in her glove box and produced them.  He screamed at her:  ‘This is your registration and insurance.  I said I want your insurance and registration.’”

2          “A picture of one of his grand kids stuck to his driver’s license.  The cop exploded that he didn’t tell him to give him pictures of his little bastards.”

1          “She said she was relieved to be pulled over.  The car behind her had been tailgating and flashing the high beams and speeding up and slowing down as she sped up and slowed down.  The cop was hostile and cited her for speeding and reckless driving.  She also displayed out-of-state tags.  In the South.”

2          “The cop laughed and said to produce a driver’s license and proof of insurance without taking his hands off the steering wheel.”

. . .

1          “All White, all polite, all contrite and all over 48.”

2          “And yet only in the petit bourgeoisie.  When a White person who abides the law cannot even abide the law, the system is profoundly broken.”

. . .

1          “One concern with the ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ movement is that the hands must go up when the police make a reasonable request and not later at some rally with all the usual glitterati.  The troubling concern with the ‘Pants Up, Don’t Loot’ movement is that the adherents do not like Blacks.”

. . .

1          “More so than at any time in the history of the Republic, might makes right today.  For a few moments, cops have absolute might.”

2          “More so than at any time in the history of the Republic, the police are militarized Legionnaires defending Rome in its last days.”

. . .

1          “Have you noticed that some Republican governors who attack unions do not challenge the police unions.”

2          “They know who has the guns.”

. . .

1          “The cops have expanded the enemies list to include more than the usual suspects.  Blacks and Browns are not alone.  The police now only exempt the very wealthy from their wrath.”

2          “That is a curious notion of equal protection.”

. . .

1          “There will be repercussions.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at Police Police (November 24, 2014) and at the Category “Police.”]

Bumper sticker of the week:

PIGs:  Pride, Integrity, Guts

Tea Party And Innocence Project Form ‘Liberty Alliance’ (September 9, 2013)

Posted in Civil War, Crime/Punishment, Hypocrisy, Law, Prison/Criminology, Tea Party on September 9, 2013 by e-commentary.org

. . .

C1        “The ‘Liberty Alliance’ is so natural.  A political group concerned with liberty aligns with a judicial group also concerned with liberty.”

C2        “The Tea Party and the Innocence Project concluded a Memorandum of Understanding to advance and promote liberty.”

. . .

C1       “Breaking news.  The Young Americans for Freedom voted to join the ‘Liberty Alliance’ today.”

. . .

C1        “Braking News.  Some members of the Tea Party demanded that the ‘Liberty Alliance’ seek liberty and freedom for Whites only.”

C2        “There is always a catch.”

. . .

C1        “More Heart Breaking News.  Some members of the Young Americans for Freedom demanded that the ‘Liberty Alliance’ seek liberty and freedom for Whites only.”

C2        “It’s catching but not catchy.”

. . .

This article must be revised to reflect the following correction:

Neither the Tea Party nor the Young Americans for Freedom has formed an alliance with the Innocence Project.

. . .

[See the website of the Innocence Project at http://www.innocenceproject.org/ and the article at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/12/us/justice-dept-seeks-to-curtail-stiff-drug-sentences.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Don’t tread on me [yes you a corrupt and expensive and inefficient and inequitable criminal justice system.]

Even if you don’t do the crime, you may do the time.

The Kids (At The Fed) Are Not Alright (January 30, 2012)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Bernanke, Federal Reserve, Greenspan, Kleptocracy, Prison/Criminology, Society on January 30, 2012 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “They sound like a bunch of seventh graders snapping their towels in the locker room and squealing at each other.”

J          “Seems that the model of adult life as ‘high school writ large’ has degenerated into ‘junior high school writ large.’”

K          “Civilization may be on the retrograde as our society slides into collapse.  Our national destiny may be heading toward a state of ‘kindergarten writ large.’  Too many of our politicians have problems ‘playing well with others.’  At least at the Fed, the clowns were all playing ‘Ring Around The Rosie’ with each other while disregarding the decline outside.”

J          “The Fed should be required to release transcripts every year rather than after five years.  What is transpiring and conspiring is too important to wait.”

K          “Years ago, the notion of ‘Groupthink’ was trendy.  The idea is that a group may be more concerned about maintaining harmony that developing a realistic perception of the situation they confront.  You wonder if even one of the Fed economists was writing internal e-mails warning of what was obvious to anyone who looked outside.”

J          “And got together after work with a friend over a beer and despaired about the situation.”

. . .

K          “Grab a sheet of paper and jot down the names of three individuals, trained as economists or not, who have a clue about what is going on in the economy.”

J          “. . .  How about two?”

K          “Two will do.”

J          “. . .  I am working on it.  . . .  How about one?”

K          “One is a start.”

J          “. . .  Can I have until tomorrow?”

K          “Take your time.  Larry Summers’ statement about women in scientific disciplines may be 180 degrees from the truth.”

J          “Summers is reliable because he is reliably wrong especially about the ‘dismal science.’”

K          “The only individuals who have a clue in our society about our economic circumstances are women – Brooksley Born, Sheila Bair, Elizabeth Warren, Yves Smith, Nicole Foss, Gretchen Morgenson, Terry Gross, Christine Lagarde, etc.”

J          “That is because women care.  When you think about it, the forte of our fellow males is starting wars and filling prisons.  When you get right down to it, the males who start the wars should fill our prisons.”

K          “Talent is a mix of a tutored and sage intellect, personal and intellectual integrity, and good old-fashioned courage.  America simply does not have talent at the top.  The élite is not élite.  And the current feeder system of universities, foundations and fellowships is designed to ferret out the same charlatans and promote them into positions of power in America.”

. . .

[See the article and comments in “The Washington Post” discussing the delusions at the Federal Reserve Bank six years ago at http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/greenspan-image-tarnished-by-newly-released-documents/2012/01/12/gIQAvh0mtP_story.html.]

[See the “Frontline” program titled “The Warning” discussing the shenanigans of Greenspan, Summers, Rubin and their ilk and the courage of Brooksley Born at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/.]

[See the “e-ssay” uploaded exactly six years ago to the minute titled “Greenspan’s Legacy – Apres moi, Le Meltdown (January 30, 2006).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The nerds won, but not the smart or courageous ones.

What clothes is the Emperor not wearing today?

Plus ca change . . .

Public Housing For Paris And Scooter (June 4, 2007)

Posted in Prison/Criminology on June 4, 2007 by e-commentary.org

America warehouses far too many Americans, particularly Black and Brown citizens, in prison.  However, there are some White hooligans who should be afforded some publicly-financed down time.  Sending a Black (or Brown) kid to prison has a negligible deterrent effect on the kid and on other young Black (or Brown) kids.  By contrast, sending one White guy to prison has a tremendous deterrent effect on the individual and on White society.  Sending a corporate executive, politician, lobbyist or inside trader to prison triggers tremendous fear, anxiety and reflection in the White community.  The sentence dominates conversation on the links and in the locker room.

Paris, the amateur porn star and celebrity who is famous just for being famous, earned a spot in the pokey.  Scooter is scheduled to be scooted off to the hoosegow, although Bush will pardon him.  Charles Colson, one of Nixon’s buddies, left prison committed to serious prison reform.  Perhaps the “Paris and Scooter Foundation” may undertake much needed prison reform in America (PSprisonproject.org).

While we are at it, Sandy Berger also should have done some down time for his theft of documents, but he too is White and well connected and well above the law.

Bumper sticker of the week:

If you don’t want to do the time, don’t do the crime

California Prisons Explode Again (February 13, 2006)

Posted in Law, Politics, Prison/Criminology, Supreme Court on February 13, 2006 by e-commentary.org

Almost a year after Johnson v. California was issued by the Supremes, the California prison system exploded again.  [See the February 28, 2005 e-ssay entitled “The Courts, the California prison experiment and the Y Chromosome.”]  Prisoners fight and fornicate.  The legal issue is black and white (and brown).  Prisoners of all stripes uniformly requested to be segregated.  The jury has spoken.  Respect the jury.  Separate the prisoners.

The Courts, the California prison experiment and the Y Chromosome (February 28, 2005)

Posted in Law, Politics, Prison/Criminology, Race, Supreme Court on February 28, 2005 by e-commentary.org

California has tried with courage and innovation to do something about the problem of prison violence in its state prisons.  The Ninth Circuit said they did an acceptable job.  The Supreme Court recently dissented.

The state of California established a practice of providing a short-term delay before integrating a new or newly transferred inmate into the prison population.  The practice was not motivated by malice toward anyone and was undertaken with as much charity toward all as possible.  The practice was undertaken to protect the prisoner.

Mr. R. P. McMurphy, the philosopher and sports enthusiast in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” observed that males really want to do two things in life – fight and write poetry.  This is known among well meaning social scientists and cultural anthropologists as the “F & F passions” or “F2 Passions.”  Cage a bunch of misfits and rascals and cattle rustlers and others who lacked an older, strong male influence in their youth and you will find that males revert to their atavistic pursuits.

California tried to abate the pastimes in the American prison system that make the Skull & Bones antics at abu Ghraib prison look like a Sunday school camping trip.  Republican jurispruds seek to outlaw consensual anal sex among males and also impose it on unconsenting males; those who violate the Republican prohibition will be sent to prison immediately.  Reducing the violence in America’s prison is problematic, but it is a problem that requires much more public attention.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the “Wild West Circuit” or the “Niners,” is the largest (case load, population, geography, lattes and lassoes) and most entertaining of the federal courts of appeals.  The circuit encompasses the state-nation of California and other blue states (Washington, Oregon, Hawaii) that are part of the Western Province of the Blue Nation.  Some red states are members (Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada); the bottom half of the class makes the top half possible.  Decisions of the Niners are appealed to the Big Court, the Supreme Court, the “Supremes.”  The Niners and the Supremes have a running institutional hissy fit.  At times, there has been more talent and insight and understanding on the Niners than on the Supremes.  Even per capita.  However, the Supremes have the last say.

The thing involves Race, so things got dicey.  America is still desperately and frantically trying to figure out what to do with the R issue.  When matters involving R arise, all logic and clear thinking often goes to hell.

The forces of light (O’Connor, Ginsburg, Souter, Breyer and Kennedy) wrote the majority but flawed opinion for the Supremes.  Two years earlier, some of these justices were willing to grant deference to a graduate school of law (the University of Michigan Law School) but this year not to a graduate school of crime (the California criminal justice system).  The California criminal justice system is one of the affiliates of the criminal American justice system.  The majority stated that “[i]n the prison context, when the government’s power is at its apex, we think that searching judicial review of racial classifications is necessary to guard against invidious discrimination.”  In the prison context, the government’s power, however, is at its nadir.  The government does deny an individual his liberty interest.  However, the prisoners run the prison.  Commentators have remarked recently that the number of former convicts on the Supremes who could share their insights is at an all time low.

Justice Stevens reacted rather than reflecting by proposing a wooden rule.  The Dynamic Duo (Thomas and Scalia) contended that “[t]he Constitution has always demanded less within the prison walls.”  The Constitution must demand more within the prison walls.  The Constitution does not preclude the efforts and innovation undertaken by the California system.

The case has been shipped back to the Niners.  They should do the legal dance and allow lengthy briefing and conduct a protracted and windy oral argument.  After taking the matter under advisement and waiting long enough to raise the excitement to a crescendo, they should issue a lengthy treatise with enough footnotes to make it look like a completed crossword puzzle.  The decision should find that “gang violence and rape in prisons are bad; gang violent and rape in prisons should be abated; California’s practice of short-term delayed integration into the prison population has been strictly scrutinized; California’s practice advances the goal of abating gang violence and rape and therefore passes searching strict judicial scrutiny.”  Despite all the institutional and individual impediments, clear thinking may prevail.

Johnson v. California, No. 03-636.