Prisons

Remember, Law and Order Folk: A Prison Sentence is a Very Serious Thing

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Reminder for those who like to pat themselves on the back for how much more civilized we are what with our modern prison-based penology over, say, a few hours in the public stockades, out of Florida, where inmate Latandra Ellington died this week in Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala.

FreeThoughtProject

This was a few weeks after warning her family that a guard had threatened to kill her, and 24 hours after her family had called the prison to warn them about the threats.

Her family's lawyers are seeking federal investigation, Flagerlive reports:

Benjamin Crump and Darryl Parks, lawyers representing Ellington's aunt Algerene Jennings, wrote in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday that a private autopsy by a doctor hired by the family "revealed hemorrhaging caused by blunt force trauma consistent with kicking or punches to the lower abdomen."

The state medical examiner contradicts that report, saying that 

 "that there was no identifiable trauma anywhere in the body," [Department of Corrections Secretary Mike] Crews said. Toxicology reports have not yet been completed and a cause of death has not yet been determined, he said.

"At this point, that's all we know. So right now what we have is conflicting information between the medical examiner and whoever this physician is or doctor is that the family decided to hire," Crews said.

FreeThoughtProject reports that:

According to family members, Latandra may have been planning to speak out about rampant sexual abuse that the correctional officers at the prison have been inflicting on the inmates.

For what crime was Ellington segregated from decent society in a form of modern, sophisticated punishment that turned out to be a death sentence?

Fraud charges for filing fake tax returns.

I wrote on a similar theme in June, involving a woman who died in prison (at least not murdered) because of not paying fines for her kids being truant, and last July about a kid beaten in prison for making obvious ridiculous threats in the context of online gaming.

As I wrote then:

This is worth contemplating and thinking more about: being behind bars in America is a goddamn serious thing with goddamn serious consequences, and it's horrible to be used as a quick general interest problem-solving tool.

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  1. Regardless of what actually occurred, when a scumbag like Crump involves himself, you can guarantee the facts WILL be muddled.

  2. Agreed, except for the use of the Deity’s name.

    1. You mean “goddamn”?

      I though his name was YHVH.

  3. Best to pay the protection fee, lest the mobsters gun you down.

  4. The system only locks up the bad people. I learned that from watching crime dramas on TV. Well, sometimes the good cops have to break the rules to lock up the right guy, but that’s how they keep me and my little snowflakes safe.

    1. I think that’s why support for cops is so high. Most people have no interaction with them at all and the media message is unrelentingly positive to the point of being propaganda.

      1. OT it’s also the reason why white people and black people view the OJ verdict completely differently.

        White people, in general, think that cops are noble hero protecting them.

        Black people, in general, think that cops are at best a necessary evil. And have had enough interactions with them to no that the job attracts the worst sort of scum.

        After the OJ verdict it came out that LAPD had a number of rogue divisions operating in South Central LA that were framing innocent people and running criminal operations. The people of that area were aware of such but everyone else thought that it was just crazy conspiracy bullshit.

        So the key issue in the OJ trial wasn’t that the jury was too dumb to trust dna evidence, it was that they were too savy to trust the cops to impartially gather and analyze that evidence. Especially when the cops brazenly lied about their investigation in the first place.

  5. “At this point, that’s all we know. So right now what we have is conflicting information between the medical examiner that the state decided to hire and whoever this physician is or doctor is that the family decided to hire,” Crews said.

    FTFY

    1. That might be why Doherty led that part with “The state medical examiner contradicts that report”; not that there really is much doubt about who employs a medical examiner for the police.

      1. Of course, I’m just noting that Crews is trying to insinuate some conflict of interest on the part of the family’s examiner, while his guy has the same potential for COI.

        1. Eh I would think “whoever this such or such is” would be more risable than the failure to mention the ME is employed by the state.

          1. Possibly. There’s a lot to take issue with in his statement, I just chose one part.

  6. We can’t have slavery. We can’t have Jim Crow. Now we can’t put them in prisons.

    How do you propose we keep them out of our school districts, Mister Smartypants?

    1. Oh, that’s easy. Eliminate school districts.

      It’s not as if we could depend on government to actually provide a decent education, anyway…

  7. To the people at the various levels of the criminal justice system, incarceration is not a big thing. They see it, sentence it, enact it every day to the subhumans who inconvenience them by breaking whichever law they’ve decided to enforce whatever given day.

    1. This is exactly it. The manner in which they destroy lives is so mind-nummingly routine to them. Just as I spend my day grinding through Excel spreadsheets, they spend their days sending people off to be locked away in prisons for years at a time. They aren’t people, they’re just work.

      1. How do you propose to arrange the criminal justice system then? In a way that the people who run it don’t get used to it.

        I see a lot of criticism of the CJS we have with very few proposals for non-laughable alternatives.

        1. Maybe make them visit prisons with some regularity, so that they can see how horrible and dehumanizing it is. If you think that a couple of years is a light sentence, you really have no idea what incarceration really is.

        2. Corporal punishment.

          And if you find it laughable, that’s your problem.

          1. Of course, that still doesn’t really “solve” anything since prison sentences aren’t supposed to be deadly or even physically harmful.

          2. Given the choice, I’d probably take a good ass whooping over even a short prison sentence.

            1. Yeah, although it’s occurring to me that with the goons we have, “a good ass whooping” would just devolve into another “cops get away with murder” shitshow.

              1. People are always the problem, aren’t they?

  8. Tulpa-bait…

    1. Ahh, there he is. Barely took 30 minutes.

      1. The sad thing is that this time his unimaginative handle choice coincides with a real human being, who might have his career hurt by being confused with a pedantic fuck.

  9. Fraud charges for filing fake tax returns.

    According to Van Jones, that’s one of the worst crimes you can commit.

  10. I would rate the chance that guards were trading favors for sex at approaching 100%. Why in the world they would bother with unwilling women mystifies me, but its possible. Especially female guards. So I’d say there is a strong chance that sex abuse was happening. After being a contractor for FLDOC, my informed opinion is that most of the COs just haven’t been caught and sentenced yet.

    1. Apparently you didn’t get the memo. Rape culture is and exclusively Male culture.

    2. Why in the world they would bother with unwilling women mystifies me

      Knowing what kind of people are attracted to that line of work (prison guard), it’s probably because they can’t find any willing women.

  11. Well, it is a crime with actual victims (people whose refunds were stolen). That said, seems like the sort of thing that a few minutes under the pain ray and restitution should resolve, without requiring the barbarism of putting people into cages.

    1. It’s not the prison sentence that’s the problem, it’s the conditions within the prison.

      If I’m committing fraud I expect to go to jail. However, when I get there, I sort of, you know, expect to live through the experience. Especially if I’m in the pokey for a non-violent offense.

      1. Even if prison conditions were ideal and all the rules were followed, it is still a horrible dehumanizing thing. Some people probably need to be there, but I think that even most crimes with victims there are other, less inhuman ways to punish people. Prison is good for people who are too violent or otherwise dangerous to be trusted to function well with other people. Otherwise, fines, restitution and a taser to the nutsack should do it.

        1. Tasering someone in the nutsack is less inhuman? Can you people read what you’re writing?

          1. And a firing squad is less barbaric than the pseudo-medical freakshow known as lethal injection. Sometimes, your delicate sensibilities and reality don’t quite align as well as you think.

            1. And that has what to do with all this again?

              I actually support bringing back the firing squads, and keeping them busy.

              1. I actually support bringing back the firing squads, and keeping them busy.

                WTF? If there aren’t enough criminals, we’ll just find some schmucks for the firing squad to have some practice on?

                And that has what to do with all this again?

                Tasering lasts a few seconds and you recover in a few minutes. Prison lasts a few years and there are aspects of it (such as death! also, loss of job, loss of property, etc.) that you never recover from.

                The example of the firing squad has nothing to do with it, but neither does your point-free pontificating.

                1. WTF? If there aren’t enough criminals, we’ll just find some schmucks for the firing squad to have some practice on?

                  There are plenty of criminals, a massive backlog of them in fact.

            2. And a firing squad is less barbaric than the pseudo-medical freakshow known as lethal injection.

              I’m not sure I buy that. Whatever your thoughts on the morality of the death sentence, if we can claim we allow people to kill themselves through medically assisted suicide painlessly and with dignity, I’m not convinced that lethal injection is more barbaric than a firing squad.

              1. I’m going to bet that the firing squad could be brought back much sooner than genuinely humane lethal injections will occur. Also, I find it troubling to associate the concept of “medicine” with the mandatory (as opposed to voluntary) termination of a human life.

                1. Also we don’t depend on the idiot Europeans for ammunition, like we do for the killdrugs.

    2. For what crime was Ellington segregated from decent society in a form of modern, sophisticated punishment that turned out to be a death sentence?

      Fraud charges for filing fake tax returns.

      Was responding to this, not the fact that she was killed by the blue mafia:

      1. I took issue with that as well. Is fraud now OK by Reason’s standards because a black woman died in prison?

        1. Reason isn’t very good with logic these days.

    3. Wait a minute, now even imprisonment is “barbarism”? How do you deal with situations where the defrauder is unable to pay restitution? The punishment also has to be severe enough to deter people from gambling that they won’t get caught.

      You guys are really transforming into bleeding heart liberals when it comes to criminal justice.

      1. If you don’t want your prison called barbaric, you should probably not kill the inmates.

        1. The person I was responding to said all imprisonment is barbaric.

          1. Well, risk of death is now part of the process, isn’t it?

  12. Fraud charges for filing fake tax returns.

    I should note this doesn’t mean she filed her returns with incorrect information on them; it means she filed returns claiming to be other people so that she could steal their refunds.

    1. Reason doesn’t give a shit about fraud any more.

      1. Did you get hurt tripping over your rage boner?

    2. I should note this doesn’t mean she filed her returns with incorrect information on them; it means she filed returns claiming to be other people so that she could steal their refunds.

      And this can be a very major burden on these other people: the IRS levies nasty fines and doesn’t give a shit where it gets its money. As far as the IRS is concerned a person is guilty until they prove themselves innocent. And the false tax returns generally involve the SSN’s of people who aren’t in a position to hire the lawyers who can prove them innocent.

      1. It is a real crime with real victims. But I’m surprised they bothered to catch her.
        My boss has had someone filing fake returns with his SSN for several years. He hasn’t lost anything, but it is always a hassle. He even figured out who it was and told the IRS, but they have done nothing.

  13. Is fraud now OK by Reason’s standards because a black woman died in prison?

    Oh, for fuck’s sake.

    And fuck you, too, skwerlz.

    1. Better watch out Brooksie. The squirrels will attach your post as a reply deep within instead of as a seperate post.

  14. For what crime was Ellington segregated from decent society in a form of modern, sophisticated punishment that turned out to be a death sentence?

    Fraud charges for filing fake tax returns.

    Depriving the glorious state of its money should carry a death sentence. /Prog-DERP

    1. Eh, filing tax returns in others’ names is more “collecting unearned money from the state treasury and depriving others of their own refunds”. Of course, most likely those “refunds” were really EITC and other credits. Not sure how prison address fraud, though, except to teach you how to do it better so you don’t get caught next time.

  15. You guys are really transforming into bleeding heart liberals when it comes to criminal justice.

    Coming from an insufferable weeping pustule like you, I’ll take that as a compliment.

  16. The thing that always gets me about how people talk about prison sentences is how casually they will discuss taking years of people’s lives. Losing a year of your life is a big fucking deal, especially if you aren’t a full time criminal. But people will talk about it as if a year is little more than a slap on the wrist.

    1. *Losing a year of your life is a big fucking deal, especially if you aren’t a full time criminal. But people will talk about it as if a year is little more than a slap on the wrist.*

      Golly gee, then, don’t commit a crime that lands you in the pokey for a year.

  17. Why the hell should I “remember” that prison is “serious”? I don’t plan on committing tax fraud any time soon.

    Perhaps you should be warning the scum of the streets and other dirtbags that prison is serious, and that bad things might happen should they end up there.

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