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I just freed an innocent man from death row. And I’m still furious.

I just freed an innocent man from death row. And I’m still furious. "Some people expect me to feel satisfied, or even happy. The truth is: I am angry. I am angry that we live in a world where two disabled boys can have their lives stolen from them, where cops can lie and intimidate with impunity, where innocent people can be condemned to die and where injustice is so difficult to bring to light. As I lie awake at night, mulling over the maddening details of this case, I wonder: How many more Henry McCollums are still imprisoned, waiting for help that will never come?" [more inside]
posted by scody on Sep 8, 2014 - 109 comments

I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look Inside the Justice System

"From Brownsville to downtown Manhattan, I would estimate that I passed more than 200 police officers, some from a distance, some close enough to touch. Though I was conspicuously casing high-profile public targets while holding graffiti instruments, not one of them stopped, frisked, searched, detained, summonsed, or arrested me. I would have to go further."
posted by katemonster on Dec 17, 2013 - 147 comments

Maybe somewhere down the line Congress will relieve the people in your position.......

Life Without Parole: Four Inmates' Stories
posted by lalochezia on Dec 13, 2012 - 26 comments

"If I had just kept walking...."

The Chicago Reader's current cover story, "The Color of His Skin," (parts 1 and 2,) revisits the murder of a black man on Chicago's South Side in 1970 by a gang of white teens. Last September, a similar article by the same author, "The Price of Intolerance," (parts 1 and 2,) examined an incident from 1971, in which a twelve year old boy and thirteen year old girl were killed.
posted by zarq on Mar 7, 2012 - 3 comments

Walking While Black

Walking While Black is still more of a problem to the NYPD than Biking While White. [SLYT] This recent incident, caught on video, demonstrates in real time the ways that law enforcement frequently ignores enforcing the law in favor of teaching a lesson to the law-abiding smart aleck. [more inside]
posted by whimsicalnymph on Apr 17, 2011 - 217 comments

Judge Amanda Williams's Very Bad Week

Ira Glass does an atypical bit of investigative reporting about an especially punitive drug court in rural Georgia. [more inside]
posted by jon1270 on Mar 31, 2011 - 106 comments

Moral crimes

"Sixteen-year-old Sabera, with a pretty yellow head scarf, frets that she is missing school. 'I was about to get engaged, and the boy came to ask me himself, before sending his parents. A lady in our neighbourhood saw us, and called the police,' she explains. She was sentenced to three years but, in an act of mercy, it was shortened to 18 months . . ." The BBC reports from an Afghan women's prison. [more inside]
posted by Jaltcoh on Jun 30, 2010 - 57 comments

In the Land of The Not so Free

Robert King spent decades battling for his release from the 'hell-hole' of America's notorious Angola Prison. Now free, he's still crusading for its inmates.
The late Anita Roddick was the powerhouse behind the making of the Documentary In Land of the Free.
Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox, and Robert King were charged with murders they did not commit and encarcerated in solitary confinement, for nearly 37 years. Robert was freed in 2001, but Herman and Albert remain behind bars.
Angola not only has solitary confinement it has the prison within solitary confinement – The Hole [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on May 26, 2010 - 33 comments

Iraqi shoe-thrower sentenced to three years in jail

Iraqi shoe-thrower sentenced to three years in jail. Can an internet campaign for his release be far behind?
posted by Silky Slim on Mar 12, 2009 - 67 comments

Growing Up In Guantánamo.

"Six days after the inauguration of President Obama, the U.S. is scheduled to begin the first trial of a child soldier accused of war crimes since World War II." via ACLU [more inside]
posted by ageispolis on Jan 15, 2009 - 34 comments

Ten Years in Jail for Selling Lightbulbs

Ten Years in Jail for Selling Lightbulbs
posted by lalochezia on Mar 6, 2008 - 91 comments

The Greater of Two Evils

Two lawyers have known since 1982 that an innocent man was behind bars for a murder their own client committed. The legal reason for this travesty: the absolutism of the client-attorney privilege, which guarantees that anything a client tells his lawyers will be kept in confidence forever.
posted by AceRock on Feb 1, 2008 - 55 comments

California Inspects Spector and cannot decide. There is more to this than meets the eye.

California Where the Rich do Fine While the Poor are Doing Time "Hell, you got to live with it, there's nothing else to live with except mendacity, is there?" Big Daddy, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
posted by Rancid Badger on Sep 26, 2007 - 37 comments

No Laughing Matter

Rosato was arrested after repeatedly complaining to police that his wife and their infant daughter had been replaced by imposters. Tony Rosato, former Saturday Night Live (81-82) and SCTV cast member, has been in jail in Canada for two years without as trial. He has been diagnosed with Capgras syndrome.
posted by Joey Michaels on May 14, 2007 - 73 comments

Men face jail for rape if a woman is drunk (UK Law)

Men face jail for rape if women are 'too drunk' to consent in bed to boost convictions. Men who have sex with drunken women will be at risk of being convicted of rape under new laws to be considered by ministers. The legal shake-up would mean a woman would be considered incapable of giving consent to sex if she had been drinking heavily.
posted by IronWolve on Dec 28, 2006 - 268 comments

And the hell with the law.

New York Justice. Because every woman needs a good pounding every now and then.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great on Sep 26, 2006 - 106 comments

Yay! Family values!

Loving v. Missouri: In February, Olivia Shelltrack and Fondrey Loving were denied an occupancy permit because they have three children and are not married. "This ordinance is outdated. We are a family," says Shelltrack, 31. "There's a mom, there's a dad, there's three children. We are a family." Whether Shelltrack, a stay-at-home mom, and Loving, 33, who works for a payroll-administration company, are married "should not be anybody's business, if I pay my taxes, if I'm able to buy the house," she says.
posted by dash_slot- on May 17, 2006 - 50 comments

How do you pronounce 'Kaf-ka-esque'?

"Yousry is not a practicing Muslim. He is not a fundamentalist," prosecutor Anthony Barkow acknowledged in his closing arguments to a jury in federal district court in Manhattan earlier this year. "Mohammed Yousry is not someone who supports or believes in the use of violence." So why is Yousry now awaiting sentencing in March, when he could face 20 years in prison for translating a letter from imprisoned Muslim cleric Omar Abdel Rahman to Rahman's lawyer in Egypt?
posted by dash_slot- on Jan 16, 2006 - 63 comments

Haymarket: Four people were hung fighting for the 8-hour workday

Four anarchist labor organizers were hung on this day in 1887 based entirely on their words. On May 4, 1886, a bomb exploded at a rally in Haymarket square in Chicago. One policeman was killed. The rally had been called to protest police violence against strikers who were supporting the 8-hour workday movement. Police rounded up the city's radical labor organizers and eventually tried eight for the murder of the policeman at Haymarket. While most of the eight had not even been present at the meeting, the others were shown to have nothing to do with the throwing of the bomb. After the defense appealed as far as they could, five of the defendants were sentenced to death. One committed suicide in his cell the day before the execution was to take place. The other four were hung on Nov. 11, 1887, the birthday of their defense lawyer, Capt. Black.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink on Nov 11, 2005 - 13 comments

CAE on Trial

When Taste Politics Meet Terror: The Critical Art Ensemble on Trial. Steve Kurtz was previously discussed here. [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on Jun 27, 2005 - 4 comments

Chika Honda in her own words

Chika Honda, falsely imprisoned for ten years by Australian authorities for heroin smuggling, and never pardoned, tells her story in her own words [Real Audio] in this Walkley Award-nominated documentary. This is a wrenching story of incompetence by the federal police, legal aid services, media-influenced juries and the problem of translation in legal investigations. Listen to her story and decide on her innocence for yourself.
posted by DirtyCreature on Jan 16, 2005 - 6 comments

Chika Honda

In 1992 Chika Honda was a 36-year-old Japanese woman who accepted an offer from a regular customer, Mistuo at the pub she worked nights in, to join him and his brothers on a holiday to Australia - her first ever overseas trip. During a stopover in Kuala Lumpur their suitcases were stolen. Charlie, a business associate of Mistuo, offered to sort everything out and returned the next morning with their belongings in a new set of suitcases, claiming their luggage had been slashed with a knife. When the group arrived in Melbourne, customs found 13kg of heroin in the lining of their suitcases. Chika and the others were arrested, investigated, charged and later tried and sentenced.

Chika was eventually released and deported in 2002 after having served 10 years in Victorian prisons. She still maintains her innocence. Several documentaries about this case, known in Japan as the Melbourne Incident have been aired in Japan but very little coverage has been given in Australia. In one of the documentaries, Charlie completely exonerates Chika (PDF : See page 5). In 2002, her Japanese lawyers filed a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva to clear her name. Two years later and nothing has yet been achieved. The Australian government still admits no miscarriage of justice.

But she'll be right mate, we Aussies know what we're doing.
posted by DirtyCreature on Dec 11, 2004 - 34 comments

You Say Double Standard, I Say Institutionalized Misogyny

Two Women Sentenced to Death for Adultery, Men Released for Lack of Evidence
"Islamic courts in Nigeria sentenced two women to death by stoning for having sex out of wedlock, but two men whom they said they slept with were acquitted for lack of evidence."
posted by fenriq on Oct 12, 2004 - 30 comments

So This is Justice?

Janklow Gets 100 Days for Manslaughter
A career of willful and flagrant disregard for traffic laws and other people's safety that ended in the death of a motorcyclist.
Must be nice to be pals with the president. Although I'm sure that had nothing to do with his slap-on-the-wrist sentence. I was just saying that it must be nice to be pals with the president.
posted by fenriq on Jan 22, 2004 - 41 comments

Justice, Las Vegas Style

Framed for defending herself. On August 28th, 2002 in Las Vegas, Nevada a woman named Kirstin Lobato was sentenced to life in prison. She was the victim of an attempted rape in May 2001, and had defended herself against her rapist. prosecutors used this "confession" of self defense to convict her of a murder that happened months later and in a town where she didn't even live. How "innocent until proven guilty" can you be if prosecutors are willing to use known perjurers and refuse to allow expert testimony?
posted by dejah420 on Nov 26, 2003 - 17 comments

room 101

A crackdown in Texas. America - land of the free. And to guarantee that freedom, everyone has to be constantly watchful. Like the photo store clerk from Eckerd who dutifully reported a Peruvian-born couple's lewd shots of their infants to the Richardson (Dallas/Texas suburbs) police. The photos showed the parents' two infants bathing naked, lying together in bed with their mother (again naked) and the 1-year-old Rodrigo suckling his mother's (naked) breast. So the couple was arrested -- the maximum prison sentence for the crime in question being 20 years -- and the children taken away. (verbatim k5)
posted by The Jesse Helms on Apr 20, 2003 - 77 comments

Lets not forget the good things

Cesar Chavez Day With our focus on the war lets not forget what DOES make this country great, its people! I have to confess ignorance of this mans accomplishments until I turned my calendar today. Read,enjoy, learn something about a man who fought injustice with the most powerful weapon...his mind!
posted by hoopyfrood on Mar 31, 2003 - 10 comments

Jerrold Schwartz, who pleaded guilty to sodomizing a Boy Scout, is free on bail and allowed to continue running his tour business for Scouts and students this summer. His company, Adventure Trails Inc., runs summer camps in Colorado, and winter and year-around camps in the Northeast.
posted by Vek on May 15, 2002 - 28 comments

The Kansas State Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling

The Kansas State Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling sentencing an 18-year-old man to 17 years in prison. His crime was performing consensual fellatio on a 15-year-old boy. Had this been a heterosexual act, his sentence would have been a year and three months maximum.
posted by grrarrgh00 on Feb 8, 2002 - 60 comments

Stephen Downing

Stephen Downing, aged 17, was arrested and interrogated for 8 hours by the police without caution and without legal counsel. Despite having the reading age of an 11 year old, he was allowed to sign a confession to the brutal slaughter of typist Wendy Sewell. 27 years later at the UK Court of Appeal, he became today the victim of the longest miscarriage of justice in the Britain's history.
posted by dlewis on Jan 15, 2002 - 7 comments

All men are created equal.

All men are created equal. (Just some more equal than others.)
posted by rushmc on Oct 12, 2001 - 6 comments

Chandra Levy disappearance solved?

Chandra Levy disappearance solved? A deaf man with a serious mental illness who cannot speak was wrongly jailed for nearly two years in the nation's capital even though minor charges against him were dismissed, prison officials said on Friday... Department of Corrections Director Odie... was ... quoted as telling the Post: ``It was kind of unbelievable to me that we could hold a guy for nearly two years who should not have been there,'' he said. Color photographs with arrows and pictures and a paragraph on the back to follow...
posted by dchase on Aug 31, 2001 - 7 comments

Fatima Polattas filed charges against Turkish police for raping her while she was in their custody; she's now facing charges for insulting the security forces and her country's moral integrity for talking about what happened to her, and could spend up to six years behind bars. This is easily the most disturbing thing I've read all day.
posted by lia on Apr 4, 2001 - 8 comments

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