21 Feb

Verdict Overturned, 149 Times

Dissident Voice: a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice

Verdict Overturned, 149 Times

by Tim Philippart

Last year, in the
The Land of the Free,
149 prisoners released.

47 drug dealers weren’t.
54 murderers didn’t.
149 not guilty.

Oh, it’s probably true.
Some were technicaliteed free.
But– 149?

2/3 Minority
1/2 African American
Blind Justice? 149 times?

Frightened confessions from mentally handicapped,
Sobbing guilty pleas from kids,
For crimes they didn’t commit.

Averaging 15 years of life deprivation
Swinging and missing the verdict, 149 times
2 millennia of getting it wrong.

(Author’s Note:  This is based on a University of Michigan Study showing 149 individuals were released in 2015 because they were improperly convicted. The Study was widely reported last week.)

The video below is provided by The McGlynn

Compliments of The Young Turks

Woman Spent 2 Years In Solitary Before Found NOT Guilty

Candie Hailey served a three year pretrial stay in jail, two of which in solitary confinement. When she finally got a trial she was found not guilty. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian hosts of The Young Turks discuss.

Candie Hailey did a three-year pretrial stint at Rikers Island before facing a jury on charges of attempted murder last year. She spent more than two thirds of that time in solitary confinement, and attempted suicide eight times. When Hailey finally got her day in court, the jury found her not guilty. “I would say I’ve been through hell and back,” Hailey told the Associated Press. “My soul died but my body is alive.”

An AP profile of Hailey published today shines light on the horrors of solitary and on the long pretrial jail terms that are commonly served by arrestees who are either denied bail or can’t afford it. Hailey, who suffers from borderline character disorder and other mental ailments, was first sent to what Rikers inmates call “the Bing” after a fight with another inmate over shower-cleaning duty. After that, she rarely left for any extended period of time.

The AP describes a counterintuitive strategy that Hailey adopted for escaping solitary: if she behaved badly enough, she would be granted reprieve in the form of temporary mental health treatment. But after that, of course, it’s back to the bing as penance for whatever transgression briefly got her out. “I would take the feces and I put it all over me,” she said when describing this method. “I said, ‘If you’re gonna treat me like a dog, I’m gonna act like one.’”

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