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Special “Justice” fo “Special” People and The Case of Bresha Meadows

Just yesterday, a white man attacked a black man, dragged him from his car and shot him dead…And was released from jail without charges.

Bresha Meadows is a 14 year old girl, who after years of domestic abuse and beatings by her father, shot him dead. She was locked up immediately, and 6 months later is still incarcerated awaiting trial.

Once more “justice” in America depends a lot more on the color of the purported criminal…Than the commission of a crime.

Bresha Meadows Isn’t a Murderer. She’s a Hero.

After years of suffering abuse at the hands of her father, a 14-year-old girl picked up a gun and put an end to it all. Now, she faces a new monster: the criminal justice system.

Bresha Meadows knows what monsters looked like. 

She saw one daily, his presence unavoidable as he tormented her family through the shadows of the night and even in the broad daylight. She watched helplessly as he brutalized her mother, threatening and beating his children, hoping against hope that the looming horrors would end.

Jonathan Meadows, she says, repeatedly threatened to kill them all.

But when the then 14-year-old Ohio girl picked up a gun and shot her father in the head last July 28, ending a years-long campaign of terror, she woke to a new monster—one that was supposed to protect her: the criminal justice system.    

Bresha was arrested and held in a Warren County juvenile detention center, charged with aggravated murder. Warren County prosecutors fought to push to try her case into the adult system where she would face a possible life sentence. The district attorney reversed course Thursday, but the question remains: Should she face charges at all?

Like Bresha, I’ve met my share of monsters. There was my father who pushed my mother’s face through a plate glass window and, later, her live-in boyfriend forced me into a bathtub filled with scalding hot water. I was five years old at the time, but I can still see the redness and the yellow blisters that swelled on my pale bony legs. I can still hear my screams roaring in my ears. My then 14-year-old brother Donnie kicked down the bathroom door and pulled me from the tub. My sister Lori Ann, who was 12, called my mother at work.

Mama shot Tony in the leg that night, leaving him with a permanent limp. Years later, she brandished her pistol again after he threatened to kill her and dump her body in the Mississippi River.

She was arrested on a gun possession charge. Nearly four decades later, my mother thought the case was closed until it was discovered in a background check for a concealed carry license.

I will never forget the night that Tony beat her savagely, upending our living room furniture as she struggled to get away. My brother Christopher, best friend Debbie and I locked ourselves in a bedroom, stuffing metal and wooden toys into pillow cases and barricading the door. We were children– eight and nine years old– preparing to defend ourselves with anything we could get our hands on.

I ran away from home at least twice that year, trying to escape the madness. Debbie helped me pack an overnight bag with clothes, a few toiletries, my favorite dolls and a sandwich she took from her mother’s kitchen. But, at eight years old, I had barely enough money—between my allowance and hers– to catch a Bi-State bus down St. Charles Rock Road in St. Ann, Missouri and cross into the city limits of St. Louis to get to my Aunt Doris Jean’s house.

Tony circled the block, looking for me. I hid out in the county library, clutching the bus schedule, until the next one came by. I watched him turn the corner, then I hurried aboard, dropped two quarters into the slot and slunk down into the nearest seat. I didn’t feel safe until the bus reached the stop near Martin Luther King Drive and Taylor Avenue. I walked the last block, lugging my suitcase down an unpaved alleyway. 

Nobody was home when I got to my auntie’s run-down, walk-up apartment, except her feral old cat Samantha and a mutt named Lady. I waited on the porch with the dog until my Uncle Willie Byrd stumbled in drunk after nightfall.

That was 1976. 

Our physical wounds have healed, but the emotional scars remain. I was told that Anthony Gino Delgado died in prison after he was convicted on capital murder charges. My brother Donnie said Tony was in jail because he decapitated a man with the sickle.

Like my mother, I would later face down my own abuser. I repeatedly tried to leave and was stabbed in the back the day I finally got out. We were lucky.

“Approximately 75 percent of women who are killed by their batterers are murdered when they attempt to leave or after they have left an abusive relationship,”researchers found, and “women are 70 percent more likely to be killed in the two weeks after leaving than at any other time during the relationship,” experts say.

One in three women are victims of domestic violence, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the presence of a gun in the household increases the likelihood by 500 percent. “One in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90 percent of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.”

Children are not only witnesses, but are often victimized—as both Bresha and I were– by the same abuser. The impacts are life-long.  We are “six times more likely to commit suicide,” according to Brian F. Martin, who founded the nonprofit advocacy group Children of Domestic Violence.

Despite the facts of the Meadows case and the body of research that clearly spells out the dangers of domestic violence, prosecutors chose to charge Bresha in her father’s death. The announcement that her case will be tried by a juvenile judge was welcome news. However, if convicted, Bresha, who is the niece of a Cleveland police officer, can still be incarcerated until her 21stbirthday.

“I am obviously thrilled with the decision by the prosecutor to keep Bresha’s case in the juvenile court,” defense attorney Ian Friedman said. “This doesn’t change our position that this was a self-defense scenario and we will press on with our effort to get Bresha home with her family right away. Today is a great day.”

There is a national movement to free Bresha. “Over 100 domestic violence organizations have endorsed a call to drop the charges against her and grant her an immediate release,” according to Huffington Post. “A petition with the same request has over 24,000 signatures.” 

Before the shooting, Officer Martina Latessa said Bresha ran away from home and opened up about her father’s brutality. She reportedly told her aunt that her father had beaten her mother and “threatened to kill the entire family.” Bresha, she said, was “suicidal.”

“We didn’t know for months what was going to happen,” she said. “Now we know she will not spend the rest of her life in prison, no matter what.” 

That isn’t enough. The charges should be dropped altogether and the family should be given the resources necessary to rebuild their lives. The profound and traumatic impacts to Bresha, whose mother called her a “hero,” will be long lasting. By the time Bresha makes the next court appearance on January 20, she will have spent nearly six months behind bars.

That will be six months too long.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2016 in Domestic terrorism, Men, The New Jim Crow, Women

 

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Baltimore…No Justice Expected

The American (in)Justice system has claimed any trust in the willingness of the State to deliver Justice.

What most people (and activists) miss, is this extends to the Civil Courts.

Baltimore Residents Never Expected A Cop To Be Punished For Killing Freddie Gray

Black Americans don’t have a lot of faith in the justice system, and history is on their side.

Aaron Sims knew a manslaughter conviction in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray was a long shot.

“There’s no justice,” the West Baltimore resident told The Huffington Post.

Sims believed Baltimore Police Officer William Porter, the first of six to be tried in Gray’s death, would likely be convicted of misconduct in office. But he figured Porter’s attorneys would maintain that the officer was simply doing his job and that the more severe charges — involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment — wouldn’t hold up.

Sims was right. After deliberating for three days, a jury informed Judge Barry G. Williams that its members couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict on any of the four charges against Porter — including the most serious charge of manslaughter. Williams declared a mistrial.

Jurors split 11 to 1 in favor of acquittal on the most serious charge of involuntary manslaughter, according to The Baltimore Sun. The jury split 8 to 2 in favor of acquittal on second-degree assault, 7 to 3 in favor of conviction on reckless endangerment and 10 to 1 in favor of conviction on misconduct in office.

Cynicism like Sims’ is common. Forty-seven percent of African-Americans said they believed the officers would be punished too leniently, according to HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted in December while the trial was ongoing.

And 70 percent of black Americans believe the judicial system is unfair, based on data from a 2013 Pew Research Center survey.

Why do black people expect so little from the justice system? Experience. …Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Jennifer Hudson Family Killer Conviction

One of the most dispicable lies told by black conservatives about the black community has to do with crime. That somehow the black community has failed in policing it’s own. This is despite the fact that more black men have been incarcerated sine Raygun’s “War on Drugs” than were held in slavery in 1860, at the start of the Civil War.

Because 90% of crime is intra-racial – this means that it’s within the community, AND if the Justice System is selecting a “Jury of Peers”…

That many of the jurors are black.

So the community that is supposedly doing nothing, or in the most racist screeds by the Uncle Tom black conservative set is acquiescent to the criminality…

Is the same one that has put 1.5 million black men in jail for their crimes.

Hardly “doing nothing”.

The problem is – the “Criminal Industrial System” in America is a failure – taking small time users, giving them sentences with hard core felons…

And making more felons.

Indeed the sole purpose of the “War on Drugs” is to suppress the vote. There is an excellent book on the subject by Michelle Alexander – “The New Jim Crow – Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”.

Read it.

Jennifer Hudson Family Murder Trial: William Balfour found guilty on all counts

After three days of deliberation, jurors found William Balfour guilty in the October 2008 shooting deaths of the Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew.

Balfour has been convicted on all seven counts against him, which include three counts of first-degree murder, one count of home invasion, one count aggravated kidnapping, one count residential burglary, and one count possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Hudson, who expressed her undisguised disdain for William Balfour when she took the witness stand and who endured weeks of excruciating testimony about the October 2008 killings, was visibly overcome with emotion as the verdict was read. Hudson’s eyes filled with tears and she shook her head and bit her lip. Afterward, she looked over at her sister, Julia Hudson, and smiled.

Balfour, the ex-husband of Hudson’s sister, killed 57-year-old Darnell Hudson, 29-year-old Jason Hudson and 7-year-old Julian King. Prosecuters believe that Balfour shot the family in a jealous rage because ex-wife Julia Hudson was dating another man.

Balfour, 31, now faces a life sentence in prison.

Just for the heck of it… One of my favorite artists, Howard Hewitt…

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2012 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Judge Mathis on Troy Davis Execution

Judge Mathis weighs in with a powerful condemnation of the Legal System and Georgia’s execution of Troy Davis.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2011 in Domestic terrorism

 

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The New Jim Crow – Why the US Justices System is an Injustice

Hat Tip to Truthout for this marvelous analysis and dissection of Justice in America.

The New Jim Crow, Just Like The Old Jim Crow - Just Fashionable

Fourteen Examples of Systemic Racism in the US Criminal Justice System

The biggest crime in the US criminal justice system is that it is a race-based institution where African-Americans are directly targeted and punished in a much more aggressive way than white people.

Saying the US criminal system is racist may be politically controversial in some circles. But the facts are overwhelming. No real debate about that. Below, I set out numerous examples of these facts.

The question is – are these facts the mistakes of an otherwise good system, or are they evidence that the racist criminal justice system is working exactly as intended? Is the US criminal justice system operated to marginalize and control millions of African-Americans?

Information on race is available for each step of the criminal justice system – from the use of drugs, police stops, arrests, getting out on bail, legal representation, jury selection, trial, sentencing, prison, parole and freedom. Look what these facts show.

One. The US has seen a surge in arrests and putting people in jail over the last four decades. Most of the reason is the war on drugs. Yet, whites and blacks engage in drug offenses, possession and sales at roughly comparable rates – according to a report on race and drug enforcement published by Human Rights Watch in May 2008. While African-Americans comprise 13 percent of the US population and 14 percent of monthly drug users, they are 37 percent of the people arrested for drug offenses – according to 2009 Congressional testimony by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2010 in The New Jim Crow

 

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