On Wednesday, William Van Poyck was executed
by the state of Florida for murdering a prison guard during a botched 1987 attempt to free an imprisoned friend. Poyck spent 25 years in solitary confinement on death row, during which time he wrote to his sister about his life in prison. Since 2005 she has published those letters to a blog called Death Row Diary
. 'Poyck used to write about everything from the novels and history books he was reading and shows he watched on PBS to the state of the world and his own philosophy of life – punctuated by news of the deaths of those around him, from illness, suicide, and execution.' Excerpts
. His final letter.
posted by zarq
on Jun 13, 2013 -
William Blake has been held in solitary confinement at Elmira Correctional Facility in New York State for nearly 26 years, after he murdered a Sheriff's Deputy and wounded another in a failed escape attempt back in 1987. Sentenced to 77 years to life, he will be eligible for parole in 2064. But Blake has no chance of ever leaving prison alive, and almost no chance of ever leaving solitary — a fate he considers "a sentence worse than death.
" (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Mar 16, 2013 -
On Saturday, Cuba issued an unprecedented public report on the status of an imprisoned dissident. Guillermo Fariñas Hernández
began his hunger strike in February, the day after the first Cuban hunger striker death in almost forty years. He is now near death
. [more inside]
posted by hat
on Jul 6, 2010 -
Cheyney the Torturer?
According to Dan Froomkin
today, Lawrence Wilkerson (former chief of staff to the secretary of state) said that he had uncovered a "visible audit trail" tracing the practice of prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers directly back to Vice President Cheney's office.
posted by shiska
on Nov 4, 2005 -
The Incentives for Silence:
[login or Google required]
An Army intelligence sergeant was ordered to a psychologist for voicing concerns about the safety of Iraqi prisoners. After finding nothing wrong with him, his commanding officer told the psychologist that, “I don't care what you saw or heard, he is imbalanced, and I want him out of here.”
“The next day... the soldier was evacuated from Iraq in restraints on a stretcher to a military hospital in Germany, despite having been given no official diagnosis”
posted by trinarian
on Mar 6, 2005 -
Watch out for the giant robot ball.
, the autonomous rolling sentry on the Prisoner
was really just a weather balloon, University of Uppsala researchers have developed a real
that chases burglars. “Once alerted, it can summon help, sound an alarm or pursue the intruders, taking pictures ... While the current version can only raise the alarm, it could be adapted to corner an intruder if the customer wanted”.
NASA/JPL has also developed a similar Tumbleweed Polar Rover
, which has been tested in Greenland and Antarctica.
How many does Homeland Security
have on order?
posted by Geo
on Feb 16, 2005 -
Pentagon officials tell NBC News that late last year, at the same time U.S. military police were allegedly abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered that one Iraqi prisoner be held “off the books” — hidden entirely from the International Red Cross
and anyone else — in possible violation of international law.
posted by hipnerd
on Jun 17, 2004 -
Is forcing a prisoner on death row to take antipsychotic medication to make him sane enough to execute cruel and unusual punishment? (NYT link)
A federal appeals court ruled that officials in Arkansas can force a prisoner on death row to take antipsychotic medication to make him sane enough to execute. The problem is that the American Medical Association's ethical guidelines prohibits precisely that.
To make the case more surreal, a representative of the Arkansas attorney general's office who argued for the state later said: "The ethical decisions involving doctors are difficult ones, but they are not ones for the courts". Does this mean that COs -Correction Officers- are to figure out for themselves which medication to administer? Do they also call the shots when deciding if the "waiting" patient is sane enough???
posted by magullo
on Feb 11, 2003 -
A report commissioned by outgoing Maryland governor Parris Glendening has found interesting racial disparities in the death penalty
: although it appears the race of the defendant
is irrelevant individually in the application of capital punishment, such is is not the case when one weighs in the race of the victim
of a crime, in which the killing of a white person by a black person nearly doubles the likelihood of the defendant receiving the death penalty, "primarily because they are substantially more likely to be charged by the state's attorney with a capital offense."
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Jan 7, 2003 -
The story of Huang Qi,
the man who started the first human-rights website
in China, is one of the most depressing internet stories I've read. Now that he is jailed for "subverting state power," no US internet firms are sticking for him, as they're too busy trying to market their sites and services in China. I've participated in protests
before, but I really wish we could get together and protest bigger things, things that might improve or save others' lives. I hope the proposed data havens like Sealand
get online and allow sites such as Qi's to continue.
posted by mathowie
on Jul 6, 2000 -