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Posts Tagged with "U.S. Supreme Court"

The Black ones too

July 1, 2015



During the recent events surrounding the murder of unarmed Black males by white police officers in this country, it has been pointed out, and correctly so, that America has a steep and tortured history concerning the murders of Blacks by whites – legally and illegally! But what has for the most part been left out of this real life and death conversation is the fact that Black police officers have done, and are still doing, the same thing as their white police partners.

Pennsylvania prison bars Bay View; prisoner fights back – and wins

May 21, 2015



Rahsaan won his appeal and the release of his March Bay View. With his letter, he enclosed the “Final Appeal Decision,” dated April 30, 2015, and marked “Grant Inmate Appeal.” Now he is working to get his April and May Bay Views released. The Bay View thanks and congratulates this outstanding jailhouse lawyer and encourages others who encounter censorship to follow his lead.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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The Obamas lead a march in Selma on Saturday, March 7, marking the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the president holding the hands of two veterans of the struggle for voting rights, Congressman John Lewis and Amelia Boynton Robinson, 103. Both were severely beaten by state troopers on Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965. The other wheelchair user is educator Adelaide Sanford, a founder of Elder’s House, a history repository and learning center in Selma. – Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP

Mumia Abu Jamal: Unsaid at Selma

March 11, 2015



Who can question whether President Barack Obama is a master when it comes to speeches? Such a quality literally put him on the map when he mesmerized a crowd at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He did it again in the Selma, Alabama’s 50th anniversary at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. His central message: No one can doubt things are better since Selma. No one. His speech, delivered with quiet passion, was a master work. And yet … and yet.

After more than 400 years of Black history in this country, Black children must still remind the public of their humanity.

Pattern of practice: Centuries of racist oppression culminating in mass incarceration

January 26, 2015



After winning their freedom in the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history, Blacks were in many cases and places denied basic human, civil and political rights, literally forcing New Afrikans back into slavery by denying them a right to life. Over the years the government declared and waged war on the New Afrikan communities – war on unemployed “vagrants,’ war on crime, war on drugs, war on gangs – culminating in mass incarceration.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Ferguson grand juror sues prosecutor to lift gag order

January 7, 2015



A Ferguson grand juror who heard the case of Darren Wilson previewed potentially scathing criticism of St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch in a lawsuit alleging that McCulloch skewed the views of jurors when he delivered a lengthy public presentation to announce that the jury wouldn’t file any charges against Wilson for killing Michael Brown. The juror filed a federal lawsuit Monday anonymously to challenge a gag order.

During the trial over the wrongful death by San Francisco police of Asa Sullivan, Lisa Ganser and Nomy Lamm, friends of Asa’s mother, Kat Espinosa, made drawings of the proceedings. – Art: Lisa Ganser

Justice delayed and denied for eight years, Asa Sullivan’s family appeals federal court decision to clear killer cops

November 26, 2014



On Tuesday, June 6, 2006, around 8 p.m., an SFPD officer fatally shot Brother Asa as he crouched in an attic’s two-and-a-half-foot crawl space, hiding because he’d recently spent a short time in jail and was afraid of going back. According to press reports, officers were responding to a neighbor’s complaint of possible trespassers, yet Asa and his friend were there with the tenants’ permission.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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“Pelican Bay Censorship” – Art: Michael Russell, C-90473, PBSP D7-217, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532

Comments to CDCR: Banning the Bay View from California prisons would violate the First Amendment

November 13, 2014



This letter, Re: Comments on CDCR’s Proposed Regulations: Obscene Material, from attorney Leila Knox of Bryan Cave LLP, one of the world’s largest law firms, was emailed and mailed on Nov. 7, 2014, to Regulation and Policy Management Chief Timothy M. Lockwood, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, P.O. Box 942883, Sacramento, Calif. 94283-0001. The comment period is now closed.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Advocates celebrate Prop. 47 victory against mass incarceration and war on drugs but raise concerns about where the funding will go: four perspectives

November 6, 2014



On Nov. 4, California voters passed criminal justice reform measure Proposition 47. Proposition 47 changes the lowest level drug possession and petty theft crimes from felonies to simple misdemeanors for some people. Although re-sentencing is not guaranteed, up to 10,000 people in California’s prisons and jails will be eligible for resentencing, and newly sentenced individuals who meet the requirements will be under county jurisdiction.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Ammiano’s bill on prosecutor misconduct goes to governor

September 4, 2014



On Aug. 29, the California Assembly approved AB 885 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, passing a milestone measure to limit trial misconduct by prosecutors. The bill would allow judges to inform a jury when a district attorney has been found to have intentionally withheld significant evidence. The bill’s next step is to go to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

‘Mass Incarceration on Trial’

July 31, 2014



In “Mass Incarceration on Trial,” Jonathan Simon writes, the decisions in Madrid v. Gomez, Coleman v. Wilson, Plata v. Davis, Coleman-Plata v. Schwarzenegger and Brown v. Plata “are legal precedents with ongoing relevance to prison lawyers and officials, but they are also a public sociology text, addressed to all of us, concerning the threat that mass incarceration poses to prisoners, prison officers, and any society with pretensions to decency.”

The Pennsylvania Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Youth is collecting photos and statements like this in their effort to abolish sentences of life without parole for youth. Tweet yours to @PACFSY or email pacfsy@gmail.com for posting on their Facebook page.

Child sentenced to 227 years – is it justice?

May 17, 2014



A child who kills vs. a child who was present but did not kill – what sentence does he deserve? A child of color vs. a Caucasian child – does the system treat them the same? How about the youthful offender vs. the adult offender? Personally, it has been my experience with the law that child killers and children who committed assaults are more likely than adults to be treated to the most cruel punishments.

Debo Adegbile speaks press conf outside Supreme Court

Behind the flash mob attack on Obama’s civil rights nominee Debo Adegbile

March 8, 2014



On Wednesday, March 5, the full U.S. Senate failed on a procedural vote to support the nomination of Debo Adegbile to be the next assistant attorney general for civil rights. According to an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Adegbile’s representation of Mumia Abu-Jamal when he headed the NAACP LDF is reason enough to derail his nomination.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Judges give up on years of failed prison talks, will craft own solution to overcrowding

January 23, 2014



A panel of three federal judges, frustrated with California’s failed five-year effort to sufficiently reduce prison overcrowding, said they will draw up their own solution within a month. U.S. District Judges Lawrence K. Karlton and Thelton E. Henderson and U.S. 9th Circuit Court Judge Stephen Reinhardt concluded Monday that months of talks between the state and lawyers representing prisoners were going nowhere.

Mutawally Joka Kambon-Cooperwood 100512, 1st pic in 20 yrs,, cropped, web

Gov. Brown’s plans to reduce prison overcrowding ignore early release

December 28, 2013



Gov. Brown’s reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of his appeal was to announce that he would reduce the state prison overcrowding by 1) leasing county jail space in local areas, 2) obtain contracts with private prison operators and 3) send prisoners in California prisons to out-of-state facilities. These three approaches, he said, will allow the CDCR to avoid early release for the nearly 10,000 inmates.

After 30 years in solitary, can SB 260 set me free?

October 28, 2013



California Senate Bill 260 by Sen. Loni Hancock requires the parole board to consider release of offenders who committed offenses prior to being 18 years of age. I was just 16 when I was sent off to prison some 32 years ago. I am hoping a lawyer who isn’t afraid to roll up his or her sleeves will adequately represent me at this youth offender hearing.

STOP Solitary by ACLU

Margaret Winter, ACLU: California can be in the vanguard of the movement to limit solitary confinement

October 22, 2013



Solitary confinement does little or nothing to promote public safety or prison safety. It is not only harmful but unnecessary and incredibly costly. Violence levels plummeted by 70 percent of previous levels when the commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections reduced the number of prisoners held in solitary confinement by 85 percent.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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The Omaha Two: How long is life?

September 26, 2013



New information revealed at Omaha’s annual Black August Weekend, held at the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation, may engender a glint of hope for Nebraska political prisoners, Mondo we Langa and Ed Poindexter. The two await the answer to an age-old question: How long is life? We Langa and Poindexter, also known as the “Omaha Two,” have been imprisoned 43 years.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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California billboard ‘Welcome to America, home to 5 of the world’s people & 25 of the world’s prisoners’ 2011 by NAACP

Alternatives to Jerry Brown’s ‘more cages’ prison plan proposed

September 5, 2013



Gov. Jerry Brown’s just-proposed plan to ease overcrowding in California prisons without releasing inmates early has drawn quick opposition from prison reform activists across the state and has spawned an alternative approach from a contingent of moderate and liberal Democrats in the state legislature, creating an unusual rift among senior Democrats in the age-old incarceration-rehabilitation divide.

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Criminologists tell Gov. Brown: Negotiate with hunger strikers now before there is blood on your hands

August 29, 2013



“It is now time to return the control of our prison system to California,” says Gov. Brown. We say it’s time to return California’s criminal justice system to a sense of human dignity and social justice. We call upon the governor and Legislature to immediately sit down at the bargaining table with representatives of the current prison hunger strike and enter into meaningful negotiations before prisoners die or suffer irreparable damage to their health. Stop the political posturing and name-calling, and start negotiating before there is blood on your hands.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Beard must go: California needs a fresh start in Corrections, not a cover-up for business as usual

August 22, 2013



Secretary Beard’s public statements since coming to the job reflect a complete failure to acknowledge the gravity of the human rights abuses his agency is guilty of and an apparent commitment to defend the status quo at any cost. Now his public statements demonizing the hunger strikers and defending California’s indefensible SHUs make clear that all hope for change in this administration should be abandoned.

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