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Black Folks 3-12 Times More Likely to be Wrongfully Convicted

It is not surprising…And it is why black folks have so little faith in the criminal justice system. What is amazing to me is the number of TV Shows on cops on the air which are completely propaganda and bear no relationship to reality. Perhaps it is time to start suing the Networks for promoting propaganda which encourages police violence, lack of accountability, and wrongful actions. The reason so many white folks believe the police are doing a fine job is that is the only narrative they are ever exposed to. The reality, as this shows is quite something different, and without substantive change to make the system more fair and accountable – there just isn’t going to be any trust.

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Innocent Blacks More Likely Than Whites To Be Wrongfully Convicted

The U.S. set a record for exonerations in 2016 for the third consecutive year.

The majority of the 2,000 people in the United States formally exonerated of crimes they never committed are black, according to a new report examining the relationship between race and wrongful convictions.

In addition, the majority of more than 1,800 innocent defendants framed by law enforcement since 1989 in widespread police scandals are African American, says the report, “Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States,” published Tuesday as a companion to the annual National Registry of Exonerations.

“Judging from the cases we know, a substantial majority of innocent people who are convicted of crimes in the United States are African Americans,” the report declares.

The report examines exonerations for defendants who had been wrongly convicted of murder, sexual assault and drug crimes since 1989.

Murder

While African Americans make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population, half of all defendants exonerated for murder are black ― a rate seven times that for innocent whites. These wrongly convicted black Americans spent on average more than 14 years in prison, the report says.

Many more are innocent, but not yet cleared. “More often than not, they will die in prison,” researchers wrote.Related image

The false murder convictions of black defendants were 22 percent more likely to involve police misconduct than those of white defendants. On average, African Americans who were exonerated waited three years longer in prison before their release than whites in similar circumstances.

The major reason for the disproportionately high number of black murder exonerations is the high homicide rate in the black community, researchers say. But those who are wrongly convicted did not contribute to the murder rate, and instead are “deeply harmed by murders of others,” the report says.

Sexual Assault

A black person imprisoned for sexual assault is 3.5 times more likely to be innocent than a white inmate convicted on similar charges. Blacks also received much longer prison sentences than whites who were exonerated of sexual assault charges, spending an average of 4.5 years longer in prison before being cleared.

Researchers found that a major cause of this disparity was mistaken identification by white victims.

“It appears that innocent black sexual assault defendants receive harsher sentences than whites if they are convicted, and then face greater resistance to exoneration even in cases in which they are ultimately released,” the report reads.

Drug Crimes

While black and white Americans use illicit substances at about the same rate, African Americans are about five times more likely to go to prison for drug possession as whites. And innocent black people are about 12 times more likely to be wrongfully convicted of drug crimes than innocent white people, according to the report. 

The primary reason for the drug crime disparity is that police enforce drug laws more vigorously against the black community, according to the report. Blacks are more frequently “stopped, searched, arrested and convicted ― including in cases in which they are innocent,” researchers write.

“Of the many costs that the War on Drugs inflicts on the black community, the practice of deliberately charging innocent defendants with fabricated crimes may be the most shameful,” said Samuel Gross, a University of Michigan law professor who authored the race report and is senior editor of the national registry.

A Record Year

There were 166 exonerations in 2016, an average of three per week ― the most since the analysis began in 1989 and double the number in 2011, the National Registry of Exonerations annual report finds. It was the third consecutive year with a record number of exonerations.

“The room for growth is essentially unlimited,” the researchers conclude. That’s because the number of innocent defendants who are cleared is “a function of the resources that are available to reinvestigate and reconsider cases on the one hand, and the level of resistance to doing so on the other.”

The report found a range of factors leading to wrongful convictions, including including government misconduct, false guilty pleas by innocent people, and situations where it was later determined that no crime was committed.

The National Registry of Exonerations now lists 2,000 exonerations since 1989. On average, those who were cleared had served almost nine years in prison. Some had been on death row. Others were younger than 18 when they were convicted, or had intellectual disabilities.

Even after they are cleared and released, those exonerated often get little assistance as they adjust to freedom, update job skills and re-enter society. Thirty-one states, Washington, D.C., and the federal justice system offer some compensation, but the majority do not receive anything meaningful. 

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Yusef Salaam of the Central Park 5

 

 

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Texas Prison Bans Books By Langston Hughes… But Hitler and David Duke Are OK

Yeah…The Aryan Nations Criminal Gang is just fine…Because they are white.

A man holds a French (L), a Finnish (C) and a Danish (R) edition of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle) at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich (AFP Photo/Matthias Balk)

Texas prisons ban books by Shakespeare and Langston Hughes — but Hitler and David Duke are OK

When a prisoner is behind bars, he or she typically has access to a library of donated books to pass the time. There are stories about incarcerated people getting their GED or even taking college classes, others learned enough law to fight for appeals. Then some just read the classics available on the shelves. That is, unless you’re in jail in Texas.

According to the Houston Press, the type of books available are growing smaller and smaller each year. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has consistently been working to rid jails of specific titles for decades, but after banning Wolf Boys due to finding a single page to be offensive, they’re finally drawing public outrage.

The new Dan Slater book is about two Mexican-American teenagers in Texas. They get drawn into a life of crime by the drug cartels and a Mexican-born Texas detective is tasked with finding them. According to reviews, the tale is a little violent and the outlook isn’t great, but according to The Guardian, it serves as a “thoughtful look at American society and the war on drugs.”

Before the book was even published, it was banned due to two sentences that described the way someone smuggled illegal drugs.

“The system is so aggressive and arbitrary,” the author said. “If you asked me to name 100 sentences that might have gotten my book banned those would not have made the list.”

But Slater’s book isn’t the only strange choice. Books by Langston Hughes, Gore Vidal, Flannery O’Connor, Sinclair Lewis and Thomas More have all been banned.

The guidelines for Texas are so loose that realistically anyone could ban any book for any reason. They were supposed to be banned if there is any mention of how to make weapons, drugs or explosives and if there is anything in the book that would “incite a prison riot” or has “sexually explicit images.” By that same logic, The Bible depicts murder, rape, sex and one of it’s leading characters encourages breaking laws and revolts against the King.

Strangely enough, books The Color Purple, which won a Pulitzer Prize, has been banned. A book of Shakespeare’s Sonnets was banned because of a nude painting on the cover. Dante’s Inferno and Buzz Bissinger’s Friday Night Lights are also on the blocked list. A collection of Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketches was also banned for nudity, but a kinky sex book titled The Pleasure’s All Mine passed through. To make matters worse, Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and David Duke’s My Awakening also get the Texas Corrections sign of approval. As does Che Guevara’s Guerrilla Warfare, proving the book ban is not only arbitrary but ridiculous.

A 2011 investigation from the Texas Civil Rights Project found about 11,800 titles on the banned list. In just five years that’s grown to over 15,000.

While the issue is a national problem, Michelle Dillon, program coordinator of the Seattle-based non-profit Books to Prisoners, told The Guardian, “Texas is less rational than other states.”

To make matters worse, the decision of whether to ban is essentially left up to a mail clerk, who decides when books come in if they’ll be passed through to the inmate or not.

“There is no accountability,” Dillon says. She also noted there’s no consistency because one clerk will let a book go to the inmate while another will ban the same book because he or she is having a bad day or even because he or she has conservative values.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2016 in Great American Rip-Off, The New Jim Crow

 

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Yet Another Tea Bagger Trumpazoid Busted

Another typical lowlife Teabagger criminal. Just like the Chumph – who is now looking down the barrel of a possible Felony Fraud charge for stiffing his various “charities”. Maybe he will get to share a cell with the Chumph…

Tea Partier who nearly destroyed Kentucky’s libraries busted for selling opiates

J.R. RothA Tea Party activist who frequently argues against anti-drug measures at government meetings has been arrested for illegally selling prescription drugs.

John “J.R.” Roth was arrested Thursday night in Highland Heights, Kentucky, and charged with felony trafficking in a controlled substance after police said he sold 10 oxycodone pills to an informant, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The 60-year-old Roth, who is a Donald Trump supporter and promotes “birther” conspiracy theories, is a fixture at local government meetings in Campbell County, where he complains about government spending for almost anything.

He was one of three plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit in 2012 to repeal the property tax that funds the county’s libraries.

Roth and two other members of the Northern Kentucky Tea Party hired a lawyer the year before, when the county library was considering a plan for a new branch, to investigate whether the library board was violating a state law regarding its debt level.

The lawyer determined the library had not exceeded its debt limit — but he found another statute that appeared to prohibit the library board from raising taxes without voter approval.

Roth filed a lawsuit, along with Erik Hermes and Campbell County Commissioner Charlie “Coach” Coleman, seeking to repeal the property tax that funds libraries in Campbell County.

Similar lawsuits were filed in other counties throughout the state.

The tax repeal would have dramatically cut library funding and would have resulted in branch closures, reduced hours and services, and the loss of jobs.

Tax opponents argued that library patrons wouldn’t miss much because books and movies are readily available online sellers such as Amazon — although many patrons rely on libraries for free computer and Internet access.

The lawsuit ultimately failed, after the Kentucky Court of Appeals reversed two circuit decisions last year that had found library districts in Campbell and Kenton counties had improperly raised taxes for decades.

The appeals court ruled that libraries may raise taxes without voter approval as long as the amount does not bring in 4 percent more revenue than the previous year.

Roth, who has been previously cited for animal cruelty and accused of domestic violence, was released from jail on bond.

If convicted, the Tea Party activist faces up to five years in jail.

 

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Pre-School Is Where the Hatred Is

The School to Prison pipeline begins early…

Black preschool kids still get suspended much more frequently than white preschool kids

Schools suspend minority students at much higher rates than their peers, sometimes starting from the beginning — preschool.

The Civil Rights Data Collection, a national survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, surveyed over 50 million students at more than 95,000 schools and found that while suspensions decreased by almost 20 percentage points between the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 school years, gaps between the suspension rates of different groups of students remained, according to results released late Monday.

The survey included 1,439,188 preschool students enrolled in 28,783 schools. Of those,6,743 preschool students or .47% were suspended out of school once or more than once. While black girls represent 20 percent of preschool enrollment, 54 percent of preschool girls suspended once or more were black. And black preschool children overall were 3.6 times as likely to be suspended as young white children.

The results don’t “paint a very good picture,” said Liz King, senior policy analyst and director of education policy at the Leadership for Civil and Human Rights. She called parts of it “startling.”

Across all grades, 2.8 million students were suspended once or more than once. Black students were nearly four times as likely to be suspended and almost twice as likely to be expelled as white students. Students with disabilities were also twice as likely to be suspended as general education students.

The disparity “tears at the moral fabric of the nation,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. “We will not compromise away the civil right of all students to an excellent education.”

The findings come amid a major nationwide debate over school discipline, and just what statistics like these mean.

School districts across the country have reexamined the way they chastise students for misbehaving, in part because of previous civil rights survey results.

In 2013, the Los Angeles Unified School District banned suspensions for “willful defiance.” As a result, the district’s suspension rate dropped to .55 percent last school year from eight percent in 2007-2008. Instead, teachers were supposed to use “restorative justice,” tactics that include conflict resolution, to keep their classrooms orderly. But teachers have saidthat they haven’t been trained in these techniques sufficiently.

Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, a new law, states are required to review schools disciplinary statistics to reduce an “overuse of suspension.”

The disparities invite further investigation, said Catherine Lhamon, the assistant secretary of education responsible of the Office for Civil Rights. “Data by itself is not a reason to think there’s intentional discrimination, but they are a reason to ask further questions,” she said.

So why are there major disparities in school discipline?

Jason Okonofua, a social psychologist at Stanford University, began trying to answer this question in his research after reflecting on his own experiences. As a kid growing up in Memphis, Tenn., he attended seven different public schools and noticed that in some schools, teachers were more rigid; in others, they were more supportive. After tenth grade, though, came a bigger difference: he won a scholarship to an East coast prep school, where he was one of just several black kids, compared to the majority black schools he attended in Memphis.

At the prep school, he said, teachers treated students like adults. “Seeing how different school atmospheres can bring about different outcomes got me interested in this particular topic,” he said.

Okonofua found in his studies that the disparities stem from problems in the relationships between teachers and students. Minority students, he found, expect to be the victim of bias — which leads them to be less cooperative. On the other hand, he said, if a teacher feels disrespected, and as if the student is a troublemaker, the student will get punished more severely, causing the cycle to continue….More…

 

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Jared Fogle, Former Subway Guy Gets Beat-down in Prison

Child molesters tend to have a very rough time in prison. It may or may not be fair…But even felons have standards.

Former Subway Spokesman Jared Fogle Beaten in Prison Attack

Fogle was beaten by an inmate who hates pedophiles. 

It’s well known that pedophiles don’t do well in prison, and Jared Fogle isn’t an exception to that rule. The former Subway spokesman is spending the next 16 years of his life in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges of child pornography and crossing state lines to pay for sex with minors.

In January, according to TMZ, Fogle was beaten to a pulp by Steven Nigg, a 60-year-old inmate who hates the fact that child predators are in a low-security prison. Fogle’s injuries included a bloody nose, swollen face and multiple scratches.

It’s going to be a long 16 years for Fogle.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2016 in Men, News

 

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Another Prison Murder by Guards…And Coverup

Darren Rainey was an inmate in the Dade Correctional Institution in Miami, Florida. Like a number of inmates he suffered from mental illness, in his case schizophrenia, a severe disease which can cause episodes of hallucinations and erratic and irrational actions by the victim. He apparently had an episode while lock in his cell, where he stripped himself naked and defecated on himself. The guards decided to teach him a lesson by locking him in a shower located in a different part of the prison bypassing the showers in the unit where he was held, and turning the hot water on – where he was left for the better part of a day. He was scalded to death by the hot water.

There are a couple of issues here – including the fact that there are regulations on the hot water temperature when working with patients (or prisoners) who have mental issues, just as the doctors and government tells you when having a baby – you should turn the hot water heater in your house down to 10-20 degrees below the standard setting of 135 to prevent accidental scalding. Testimony by other prisoners at Dade claim that the other showers (the ones they didn’t put Rainey in) were the ones where the temperatures had been set to safe levels – and the one he was locked in was particularly hot.

Then there is the coverup.

Guards Cooked This Inmate to Death, Then Rushed to Burn the Evidence

Darren Rainey was locked in a scalding jail shower and when he came out, his skin melted off. The wait for an autopsy took years. The wait for justice continues.

For a man who died in a shower, officials were in a hurry to cremate his body.

Miami cops showed up at the doorstep of Andre Chapman in 2012 with news: his younger brother Darren Rainey died after “he collapsed in the shower” inside Dade Correctional Institution in Miami, Florida.

Chapman didn’t even know his schizophrenia-stricken brother had been moved to Miami.

And while he was forced to come to grips with the sudden loss, Chapman said he was already being pushed by a Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s officer to cremate his brother’s remains.

“I asked the man ‘What does his body look like?’ He says, ‘It looks fine,’” Chapman told The Daily Beast.

“This was before I found out he was put in the shower and scalded to death.”

After getting that news, Chapman called the same official who had prodded him to quickly cremate his brother—in other words, destroy the evidence.

The window to exhume Rainey’s body and perform an independent autopsy was closed once his corpse was cremated.

Chapman could only go off the officer’s word.

“After I found out I called him again: ‘Do you remember what I asked you?’

“And this time he had amnesia or something. He didn’t remember,” Chapman said.

According to a preliminary medical report, his brother’s 50-year-old body was far from “fine.” The report noted that Rainey’s body temperature when it was pulled without a pulse from the correctional facility’s shower was a volcanic 104.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Mr. Rainey was burned over 90% of his body, skin was hot/warm to touch and skin comes off when touched,” a note from the medical report included in Chapman’s federal lawsuit filed on Nov. 5, 2014 against the Florida Department of Corrections said.

he Miami Herald, whose years-long work by Julie K. Brown uncovered Rainey’s suspicious death, reported Friday he apparently suffered no “thermal” injuries, or burns, on his body, according to law-enforcement sources. Instead, the medical examiner ruled the cause of death as “accidental” as a result of “complications” from schizophrenia, heart disease, and “confinement” in the shower back on June 23, 2012.

That’s all that Chapman knows about what happened to his brother, medically speaking, because it’s taken an unbelievable three years for the medical examiner’s office to complete their report on Rainey’s death. Now that it’s finally finished, Chapman has been barred from learning about the results.

“I’m deeply bothered, man,” Chapman said. “They’re playing a game here. I’m just in the dark with this now. They don’t want to come clean.”

When the death certificate came it might as well have been written in wingdings.

“I have never gotten an autopsy; and on his death certificate it’s ‘death unknown.’”…Read The Rest Here

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Building the Carceral State – John Dilulio and the “Superpredators” Myth

The violent 1990’s spurred the development of a number of racial myths, from the mythical “Wilding” of NYC Youth resulting in the conviction and incarceration of 5 innocent black teens, to a Social scientist by the name of John Diiulio sensationally predicting the emergence of young sociopathic “superpredators” who would flood the streets with blood.

Like most myths – none of that ever happened. And it’s cling on to the American white psyche had more to do with racism than reality.

White racist conservatives scaring white people…Again.

12th Century “Wilding”

John Diilulio’s “Superpredator” Fear-Mongering Changed the US Criminal Legal System and Locked Away a Generation of Black Youth

Reginald Dwayne Betts – an “escapee” from the American Prison Complex

This is a story about the ginned-up “superpredator” scare of the 1990s, the imprisonment of tens of thousands of black youth, and the survival of Reginald Dwayne Betts.

In the early 1990s, John Dilulio, a Princeton political scientist, coined the term “superpredator” to call attention to “stone-cold predators,” “kids that have absolutely no respect for human life and no sense of the future.” DiIulio and co-authors described these young people as “fatherless, Godless, and jobless” and as “radically impulsive, brutally remorseless youngsters, including ever more teenage boys, who murder, assault, rob, burglarize, deal deadly drugs, join gun-toting gangs, and create serious [linked] disorders.” Criminologist James A. Fox warned of a juvenile “crime wave storm” and an impending “bloodbath” of teen violence.

Reginald Dwayne Betts was one of the teens caught up in the wave of imprisonment that resulted from these myths. Now, after a long, and sometimes tortuous journey that included eight and a half years in prison, he is now a poet, teacher and law student. He was born months before Ronald Reagan won the White House, and came of age during the Reagan/George H.W. Bush/Bill Clinton administrations, when crack cocaine saturated inner-city streets, fear reigned supreme, the criminalization of young black people became the order of the day, and “lock ’em up and throw away the key” was the criminal legal system’s mantra.

Last year, The New York Times’ “Retro Report” pointed out that the “superpredator jeremiads … proved to be nonsense. They were based on a notion that there would be hordes upon hordes of depraved teenagers resorting to unspeakable brutality, not tethered by conscience … Chaos was upon us, DiIulio proclaimed back then in scholarly articles and television interviews. The demographics, he said, were inexorable. Politicians from both major parties, though more so on the right, picked up the cry. Many news organizations pounced on these sensational predictions and ran with them like a punt returner finding daylight.”

Reality didn’t match the dire superpredator predictions: “Instead of exploding, violence by children sharply declines. Murders committed by those ages 10 to 17 fell by roughly two-thirds from 1994 to 2011, according to statistics kept by the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Mugged by reality, a chastened Mr. DiIulio has offered a mea culpa. ‘Demography,’ he says, ‘is not fate.’ The trouble with his superpredator forecast, he told Retro Report, is that ‘once it was out there, there was no reeling it in.'”

Dilulio’s career, however, took off; he was suddenly viewed as an expert on issues of criminal justice. His reputation was enhanced, he was often quoted by hardliners in both political parties, and, onerous new laws were passed, including state laws allowing 13 and 14 year-olds to be tried as adults. Thousands of juveniles were sent to prison, some for life.

Dilulio later became the first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives under President George W. Bush. He is currently the Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society and Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

What did wash over the land was the fear and loathing of black youth; the building of more prisons; the incarceration of a generation of black, poor and minority youth; and the rise of the prison industrial complex.

John Dilulio the right wing racist who helped drive the Prison Complex

Dwayne Betts survived prison and solitary confinement. He has written a memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison, and two books of poetry, including the recently published Bastards of the Reagan Era. His work has been described as “fierce, lyrical and unsparing.” Betts is a 2010 Soros Justice Fellow, 2011 Radcliffe Fellow, and 2012 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow, and in 2012, President Obama appointed him to the coordinating council of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. He is now attending Yale Law School.

Nevertheless, Betts remembers the pain of prison well. Betts is a 2010 Soros Justice Fellow, 2011 Radcliffe Fellow, and 2012 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow, and in 2012, President Obama appointed him to the coordinating council of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Last year, he wrote an essay titled “I Was 16 and in Solitary Before I Ever Even Went to Trial.” In a recent interview, “On Point’s” Tom Ashbrook asked: “Are you scarred for life by eight years in prison?” and Betts answered: “The bigger question is what do you do with the trauma you inherit?” The interview includes a quote from Dostoyevsky’s The House of the Dead: “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” Ashbrook noted Betts’ incisive response in his book, Bastards of the Reagan Era: “Had he [Dostoyevsky] said you judge by our crimes, this van runs off the rails and back into the Atlantic from whence we came. But see he didn’t say that. And so what does all this say about America?”

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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