What It Means: LA Sheriff’s Deputies Rough Up Foreign Diplomat

By: Wednesday December 11, 2013 7:14 pm

You’d think America had enough problems with its foreign image, what with drone killings, NSA spying and the president shooting selfie’s at Mandela’s funeral. But you’d be wrong. LA Sheriff’s Deputies roughed up two foreign consuls in the course of official diplomatic business.

 

The Inhumanity of Sentencing a Person to Life Without Parole for a Nonviolent Crime

By: Wednesday November 13, 2013 5:40 pm

Sharanda Purlette Jones is an African-American woman, who has been incarcerated for more than 14 years. She is 45 years old and has a twenty-two year-old daughter named Clenesha Garland. She has no more appeals. A petition for commutation is pending. She was sentenced to life without parole for the nonviolent crimes involving crack cocaine, which “co-conspirators” told prosecutors she had committed.

Herman Wallace, Held in Solitary Confinement for 41 Years, Dies After Three Days of Freedom

By: Friday October 4, 2013 2:07 pm

The movement for human rights and justice mourns the loss of Herman Wallace, a former prisoner of the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola prison) who was held in solitary confinement for forty-one years before having his conviction and sentence for murder vacated by a judge this week.

Wallace was released from prison because his Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the law had been violated when he was convicted by a jury that no women. The judge immediately moved to have Wallace released. Only after the district court judge threatened to hold the state in contempt of court if they did not obey him and let him go free did the prison allow him to be put into an ambulance that would take him to a hospital.

Torture by Design: Saying No to the Architecture of Solitary Confinement

By: Saturday August 17, 2013 5:20 pm

Friday, August 16 marked the 40th consecutive day of a multi-ethnic statewide prisoner hunger strike initiated from inside the Security Housing Unit (SHU) of California’s Pelican Bay State Prison. When the strike first began on July 8, the ‘California Department of Corrections and Reform’ (CDCR) reported 30,000 participants statewide, which the Los Angeles Times reported “could be the largest prison protest in state history.”

California Prison Officials Demonize Prisoners by Claiming Hunger Strike a Part of Gang Conspiracy

By: Tuesday July 23, 2013 3:25 pm

“We’re learning more about the large hunger strike going on behind bars of several California prisons,” a local radio station in Fresno, California reported yesterday. “State prison officials say the whole thing was orchestrated by prison gangs in order to sell drugs and make money.”

Opening the Box: Sarah Shourd on Herman Wallace, California Hunger Strikers and the Horror of Solitary Confinement

By: Sunday July 21, 2013 4:00 pm

Last month, we were devastated to learn that the Angola 3’s Herman Wallace had been diagnosed with liver cancer, and that he was continuing to be held in isolation in a locked room at Hunt Correctional Center’s prison infirmary. Reflecting on his confinement while battling cancer, Herman said: “My own body has now become a tool of torture against me.”

Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC on Compassionate Release for Herman Wallace of the Angola 3

By: Sunday July 7, 2013 5:20 pm

Yesterday Herman Wallace’s lawyer, Nick Trenticosta, was a guest on Melissa Harris-Perry’s MSNBC TV show, where he explained the seriousness of Herman Wallace’s diagnosis with liver cancer: “He’s lost about 55 pounds in four months, and he is being treated completely negligently. I would say he’s being killed through intentional neglect.”

Prisons Full of Innocents

By: Thursday June 20, 2013 5:03 pm

There are probably more innocent men and women in prison in the United States now than there were people in prison here total — innocent and guilty — 30 years ago, or than there are total people in prison (proportionately or as an absolute number) in most nations on earth.

I don’t mean that people are locked up for actions that shouldn’t be considered crimes, although they are. I don’t mean that people are policed and indicted and prosecuted by a racist system that makes some people far more likely to end up in prison than other people guilty of the same actions, although that is true, just as it’s also true that the justice system works better for the wealthy than for the poor. I am referring rather to men (it’s mostly men) who have been wrongly convicted of crimes they simply did not commit. I’m not even counting Guantanamo or Bagram or immigrants’ prisons. I’m talking about the prisons just up the road, full of people from just down the road.

Why Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz Must Be Released From Solitary Confinement

By: Wednesday April 24, 2013 2:00 pm

–An interview with Theresa Shoatz and Matt Meyer

This month, a 30-day action campaign was launched demanding the release of Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz from solitary confinement, where he has been held for over 23 consecutive years, and 28 of the last 30 years, in Pennsylvania prisons. On April 8, when the campaign began, Maroon’s legal team sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC), demanding his release from solitary confinement and promising litigation against the PA DOC if he is not transferred to general population by May 8.

The action campaign describes Maroon as “a former leader of the Black Panthers and the Black freedom movement, born in Philadelphia in 1943 and originally imprisoned in January 1972 for actions relating to his political involvement. With an extraordinary thirty-plus years spent in solitary confinement…Maroon’s case is one of the most shocking examples of U.S. torture of political prisoners, and one of the most egregious examples of human rights violations regarding prison conditions anywhere in the world. His ‘Maroon’ nickname is, in part, due to his continued resistance—which twice led him to escape confinement; it is also based on his continued clear analysis, including recent writings on ecology and matriarchy.”

The Cruelty of Obama’s Gulag at Guantanamo Bay

By: Monday April 15, 2013 10:45 am

“Today, even George Orwell would have been pressed to conceive the plight of the 86: cleared for release, but denied freedom, using a hunger strike as their last weapon, only to be kept alive by the very people who will not let them go.” —Rupert Cornwell, The Independent

Over the weekend, US forces raided a part of the Guantanamo Bay prison and moved some of the prisoners from communal areas to “single-cells.” The Pentagon reported the action was in response to “efforts by detainees to limit the guard force’s ability to observe the detainees by covering surveillance cameras, windows, and glass partitions.”

The Pentagon also stated, according to coverage by Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald, “Some detainees resisted with improvised weapons and, in response, four less-than-lethal rounds were fired.” Army Col. Gregory Julian at US Southern Command, “which has oversight of the prison camps operation,” apparently claimed that captives had “resisted the assault with broom and mop handles as well as plastic water bottles that had been wrapped and modified into clubs.”

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