12 posts tagged with Texas and prison.
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The worst of the worst.

Where the Death Penalty Still Lives. In the U.S., 20 states and the District of Columbia have abolished capital punishment and four others have imposed a moratorium on executions. Of the 26 states that remain, only 14 handed down death sentences last year for a total of 50 across the country — less than half the number six years before. California, which issued more than one-quarter of last year’s death sentences, hasn’t actually executed anyone since 2006. A new geography of capital punishment is taking shape, with just two percent of the nation’s counties now accounting for a majority of the people sitting on death row. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 25, 2016 - 18 comments

O Sister, Where Art Thou?

This past May on Metafilter, we looked at “Thirty Minutes Behind the Walls”, a wildly popular variety show that was broadcast every Wednesday night in the 1930's and 1940's from the state prison in Huntsville, TX. It featured performances by male and female prisoners. No recordings of the show have ever been found. In the early forties, eight inmates of the Goree State Farm prison unit formed one of the first all-female country and western acts in the country and their performances were broadcast on Thirty Minutes. The Goree All Girl String Band captured the hearts of millions of radio listeners but never cut a record or went on tour and have thus been ignored by music historians. When they were paroled, they nearly all vanished forever. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 9, 2016 - 2 comments

"You find out they made mistakes, thus proving that they are human.”

In 1938, as the Great Depression was winding down, a Texas radio station began airing “Thirty Minutes Behind the Walls,” a variety show broadcast every Wednesday night from the state prison in Huntsville. The show featured male and female prisoners singing, strumming, dancing, and acting. At one point, it had five million listeners, who sent in as many as a 100,000 fan letters each year. Executions were stayed so that they would not conflict with the show, which was performed in an auditorium 50 yards from Old Sparky, the state’s electric chair.
A Peek at the Golden Age of Prison RadioThe Marshall Project: Nonprofit journalism about criminal justice [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes on May 19, 2016 - 6 comments

“Slavery has always been a legal institution. And it never ended.”

prisoners are the slaves of today, and that slavery affects our society economically, morally and politically.” (pdf)
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 5, 2016 - 42 comments

“I’ve been here 33 years and I’ve never seen anything so bad,”

The Story Behind The Deadliest Prison Bus Crash In Texas History [BuzzFeed] In January 2015, a prison transport carrying 15 men — three guards and 12 chained-together inmates — ran off the road. It was one of the bloodiest days in the history of Texas prisons. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jan 18, 2016 - 20 comments

“You can’t rape someone who’s gay."

The New York Times and Jezebel profile Texas' refusal to comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act. (trigger warning: sexual assault, violence)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 14, 2015 - 59 comments

“During intake, I kept saying: ‘Hello? I’m trans? I’m a woman?’

Transgender Woman Cites Attacks and Abuse in Men’s Prison (trigger warning: descriptions of sexual assault) [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 6, 2015 - 33 comments

America's 10 Worst Prisons

"'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.' So goes the old saying. Yet conditions in some American facilities are so obscene that they amount to a form of extrajudicial punishment." Mother Jones is profiling "America's 10 Worst Prisons." Facilities were chosen for the list based on "...three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates." [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 14, 2013 - 88 comments

Penitentiary Palate...

Here are some ideas for Thanksgiving dinner, though not a circumstance I'd like to participate in. If ever there was a time to say Grace before dining, this certainly is one of those times. Pumpkin pie anyone?
posted by bluedaniel on Nov 27, 2003 - 10 comments

ACLU files a lawsuit on behalf of black gay prisoner Roderick Johnson against several Texas prisons who ignored his pleas for protection against gangs who "bought and sold Mr. Johnson as a chattel, raped and degraded him on a virtual daily basis, and threatened him with death if he resisted." During one hearing, Johnson was allegedly forced by a prison gang member to appear before the committee in makeup. This invited the alleged derision of the classification committee members: "If you want to be a ho, you'll be treated like a ho." Another member allegedly said, "You ain't nothing but a dirty tramp. Learn to fight or accept the f--king."
posted by ao4047 on Apr 19, 2002 - 72 comments

Final meal requests

Final meal requests. Is the Texas Department of Criminal Justice a bit sadistic or what?
posted by tremendo on May 30, 2000 - 18 comments

Steal a Snickers bar ---> Get 16 years in jail

Steal a Snickers bar ---> Get 16 years in jail This Texan appears to be extremely unfortunate, even when you read his past criminal record. How can stealing a Snickers equate to 16 years in prison? However, the audacious comment from the assistant attorney is worth noting:
"If it was a Milky Way, we probably wouldn't have even tried him on it".
posted by williamtry on Apr 7, 2000 - 11 comments

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