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Sally Yates Rips Jeff Sessions’ Defense For Harsher Criminal Sentences

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  • “While there is always room to debate the most effective approach to criminal justice, that debate should be based on facts, not fear.”
  • Related: Smart on Crime: An Alternative to the Tough vs. Soft Debate
  • Prison Reform: Justice vs. Revenge 

Sam Levine, HuffPost

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Sally%20Yates.jpg06/24/2017 | Sally Yates, the former deputy attorney general who was fired by President Donald Trump in January, criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ approach to fighting crime and accused him of distorting facts.

In a Washington Post op-ed, Yates rebuked Sessions for instructing Justice Department prosecutors to pursue the toughest sentences possible against criminal defendants. In a separate Post op-ed last week, Sessions accused the Obama administration of going easy on drug offenders and suggested its policies were responsible for a spike in crime. Sessions wrote he worried the United States was facing the start of a new upward trend in violent crime ― a claim that experts have questioned.

Sam Levine is an associate politics editor at HuffPost.

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Smart on Crime: An Alternative to the Tough vs. Soft Debate, Ed Chung, American Progress 

https://cdn.americanprogress.org/content/uploads/2017/05/10133812/smart-on-crime-1024x683.jpg An inmate uses the recreation room of one of the housing units at a correctional center in Elk Grove, California, May 30, 2013. AP/Rich Pedroncelli

  • The debate between being tough or soft on crime is rhetorical and has no value in the criminal justice conversation today.
  • Related: "We Don't Have the Rule of Law": Barrett Brown on Incarceration, Journalism and His Next Steps

 

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Related:

Prison Reform: Justice vs. Revenge, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • It’s nearly impossible to claim that the current system, where inmates languish in long-term punishment centers and return to a world they’re even less prepared for than when they entered, is fair. And inmates know it.
  • Part 1: Justice v. Revenge: The Question Beneath the Question of Prison Reform 
  • Part 2: Virtue Ethics: Justice vs. Revenge

 

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Special Report | The Philando Castile Acquittal: Week Ending June 24, 2017

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"I can't keep up with the number of people whose existence is being reduced to a hashtag, at the rate cops are realizing their GI Joe fantasies." --Anon

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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8 New Items including:

 

Philando Castile Verdict a Painful Result of Laws Rigged to Protect Cops, Shaun King, New York Daily News / Common Dreams

According to American case law, if cops believe their life is in danger, it does not matter if it truly is or isn't, all they have to do is believe it. The decades old cases of Tennessee v Garner and Graham v Connor both shaped for future juries what police could and could not get away with.

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http://cdn.billmoyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/takingaboutrace_606x154b.jpgThousands March for Justice for Black People Killed by Cops, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Part 1: There Is No Justice In America For Black People Killed By Cops
  • “The system continues to fail black people,” (Castile’s mother, Valerie,) said Friday after the verdict. 
  • Part 2: Thousands March In Saint Paul After Philando Castile Verdict
  • Protestors marched through the city after Officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty of manslaughter.

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http://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/white-people-the-philando-castile-acquittal-should-make-you-mad-as-hell-20170619/philando-castile.jpg/imageWhite People, the Philando Castile Acquittal Should Make You Mad as Hell, Zenobia Jeffries, Yes! Magazine  

  • Jun 19, 2017 | To protect the White supremacy narrative, you all have been duped.
  • You’ve been lied to.

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This Lying, Murdering Whore Called America, Michael Harriot, the Root

  • 6/16/17 | I bet America celebrated a little bit. I bet she even smiled as Philando Castile descended into the infinite darkness, still loving her, confused and wet with pieces of his own brain fluid.
  • America is a bitch.

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https://www.blackagendareport.com/sites/default/files/styles/image-400x300/public/Baraka_MilitarizedCops.jpeg?itok=hfzzc5nz Philando Castile, Charleena Lyles: The Body Count in the U.S. War against Black People Continues, Ajamu Baraka, Black Agenda Report

Tue, 06/20/2017 | Add the name of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant woman from Seattle, to the list of victims of the U.S. State. Her name will soon move down the column, since killer cops “are inherent in the logic of repression that has always characterized the relationship between the U.S. racist settler-state and black people.” Killing Black people comes easily, especially at this stage of capitalism in which their labor is no longer needed.

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The week in patriarchy: the latest US shootings are an awful reminder of how normal they feel, Jessica Valenti, the Guardian

Friday 16 June 2017 | In a time when shootings are commonplace, this week didn’t necessarily feel remarkable. It felt normal and that makes me fear for my daughter

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https://theafricanamericanathlete.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/gregoryking-300x225.jpgCleveland Police Officer Bravely Cracks The ‘Blue Wall Of Silence’, Rickey L. Hampton Sr., African American Athlete

  • June 22, 2017 | On Wednesday, Cleveland police officer Gregory King testified in the 2015 shooting death of Brandon Jones that his partner, Officer Alan Buford, should not have shot Jones.
  • King said he was never in fear of his life from Jones, who was unarmed.

Full story ...

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Join a Grassroots Campaign to Fight Police Militarization, NationAction, the Nation

  • Last year, activists were able to kick Urban Shield out of Oakland. Now they’re fighting to get rid of this potent symbol of police militarization for good.
  • Establishing Policies to Restrict Military Recruiting in K-12 Schools

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Thousands March for Justice for Black People Killed by Cops

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  • Part 1: There Is No Justice In America For Black People Killed By Cops
  • “The system continues to fail black people,” (Castile’s mother, Valerie,) said Friday after the verdict. 
  • Part 2: Thousands March In Saint Paul After Philando Castile Verdict
  • Protestors marched through the city after Officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty of manslaughter.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/scalefit_720_noupscale/59444c70210000290033ca34.jpegPart 1: There Is No Justice In America For Black People Killed By Cops

Valerie Castile looks at a photo button of her son Philando during a press conference on the state Capitol grounds in Saint Paul, Minnesota, July 12, 2016. Eric Miller / Reuters 

“The system continues to fail black people,” (Castile’s mother, Valerie,) said Friday after the verdict. “My son loved this city, and this city killed my son. And the murderer gets away! Are you kidding me right now?”

Julia Craven, Huff Post 

06/16/2017 | It’s happening again.

I have to write about Philando Castile, the 32-year-old black man who was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer last July. I have to compose myself, sit at this laptop and write something profound about another black life taken by a police officer, another officer found not guilty for killing a black person.

And, you know, I have nothing much to say.

On Friday, St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty in Castile’s death. In audio recording from just before the encounter, Yanez can be heard saying: “I’m going to stop a car. I’m going to check IDs. I have reason to pull it over. The two occupants just look like people that were involved in a robbery.”

Julia Craven: Civil Rights Reporter, HuffPost

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Part 2: Thousands March In Saint Paul After Philando Castile Verdict

Protestors marched through the city after Officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty of manslaughter.

Carla Herreria, Huff Post

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06/16/2017 | Protesters rallied in front of the state Capitol in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on Friday after a jury found a police officer not guilty in the July 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile.

Jeronimo Yanez, a police officer in the suburb of St. Anthony, shot and killed Castile, who was black, during a traffic stop. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, was in the car with him and filmed the aftermath of the shooting. Yanez was found not guilty of several charges Friday, including manslaughter. 

Carla Herreria is an Hawaii-based Huff Post reporter.

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Smart on Crime: An Alternative to the Tough vs. Soft Debate

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An inmate uses the recreation room of one of the housing units at a correctional center in Elk Grove, California, May 30, 2013. AP/Rich Pedroncelli

  • The debate between being tough or soft on crime is rhetorical and has no value in the criminal justice conversation today.
  • Related: "We Don't Have the Rule of Law": Barrett Brown on Incarceration, Journalism and His Next Steps

Ed Chung, American Progress

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May 12, 2017 | Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed federal prosecutors to pursue the most aggressive approach against federal criminal defendants, rescinding part of former Attorney General Eric Holder “Smart on Crime” initiative. Over the past five years, the momentum to reform the criminal justice system reached a crescendo as communities and their elected http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/01/11/opinion/justice190v.jpg leaders across the country looked to enact smart criminal justice policies to make the system more effective and equitable for all. Yet the widespread attention and energy behind reform efforts is relatively recent and is at risk because government leaders still guard against being labeled “soft on crime.” 

However, the debate between being tough or soft on crime is rhetorical and has no value in the criminal justice conversation today. Communities now are looking to be “Smart on Crime”—that is, to pursue policies that are thoughtful, fair, and effective. Smart on Crime is shorthand for a set of criminal justice principles that supports a comprehensive approach to criminal justice reform. It is time to move beyond political sound bites and the false choice between being either tough or soft on crime and focus instead on being smart on crime.

Ed Chung is Vice President for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress. The author (thanks) Sarah Shapiro for her contribution to this column.

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"We Don't Have the Rule of Law": Barrett Brown on Incarceration, Journalism and His Next Steps, Candice Bernd, Truthout 

http://www.truth-out.org/images/images_2017_05/2017_0603rrcb_.jpg Barrett Brown at his residence in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Photo: Candice Bernd)

The government is frankly illegitimate in many ways and should be treated as such. I think that will become more evident. Let's say, even if they successfully remove this administration, we still have this 35 percent of people in this country who will support any fascist authoritarian like this, and they're still there. They may increase in number.

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"We Don't Have the Rule of Law": Barrett Brown on Incarceration, Journalism and His Next Steps

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Barrett Brown at his residence in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Photo: Candice Bernd)

The government is frankly illegitimate in many ways and should be treated as such. I think that will become more evident. Let's say, even if they successfully remove this administration, we still have this 35 percent of people in this country who will support any fascist authoritarian like this, and they're still there. They may increase in number.

Candice Bernd, Truthout

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Saturday, June 03, 2017 | Barrett Brown, who was arrested in 2012 and subsequently imprisoned for his reporting on hacked emails from private intelligence contracting firms, was unexpectedly back in the news recently after he was rearrested during a check-in for "failure to obtain permission" to speak to the press.

In 2011, Brown not only exposed that the private intelligence firm Stratfor had been snooping on activists on behalf of corporations, but also revealed plans by intelligence contractors to hack and smear activists.

Candice Bernd, is an editor/staff reporter at Truthout <http://www.truth-out.org>, and a contributor to Truthout's anthology on police violence, Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? With her partner, she wrote and produced Don't Frack With Denton, a documentary chronicling how their hometown became the first city to ban fracking in Texas, and its subsequent overturn in the state legislature. She was honored with the Dallas Peace and Justice Center's "Media Peacemaker of the Year" award in December. 

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A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup, John W. Whitehead, Counterpunch 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Lighted%20%27Illusion%20of%20Democracy%27%20with%20Fireworks.jpg

  • As long as government officials—elected and unelected alike—are allowed to operate beyond the reach of the Constitution, the courts and the citizenry, the threat to our freedoms remains undiminished.
  • So the next time you find yourselves despondent over the 2016 presidential candidates, remember that it’s just a puppet show intended to distract you from the silent coup being carried out by America’s shadow government.
  • Related: From the Archives | Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change

Section(s): 

White Racism in America's Police Departments Is So Much Worse Than Most Americans Understand

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CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues' new book exposes the under-reported "ghost skins": hidden white supremacists in law enforcement.

Jeff Pegues, Prometheus Books / Alternet

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http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_295048607_0.jpg?itok=ZQOSynSY San Francisco, May 15, 2015: SFPD officers pat down a black man in San Francisco. Overall, black Americans are arrested at 2.6 times the per-capita rate of other Americans. Photo Credit: ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock

AlterNet Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from the new book Black and Blue: Inside the Divide Between the Police and Black America by Jeff Pegues (Prometheus Books, May 2017).

Ghost Skins

The vast majority of police officers across the nation are doing the right thing. But there is a small percentage who are tarnishing the badge. Over the last several years, in addition http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/black_and_blue_cover.jpgto the police shootings that have sparked calls for reform, there have been scandals in departments from coast to coast. Some of those scandals have highlighted explicit racism within the ranks. Once again, technology plays a role in how that racism is exposed, as text messages often unearth bigotry in the rank and file. In 2015, an internal investigation in Miami Beach, Florida, revealed that sixteen officers had sent hundreds of racially offensive, sexist, and pornographic e-mails. Two of the officers were high-ranking and were believed to be the main instigators.

According to CBS reporting, Miami Beach police chief Daniel Oates informed reporters that the internal investigation uncovered 230 e-mails that were demeaning to African Americans and women or pornographic in nature. Many were reported to be depictions of crude racial jokes involving President Obama or black celebrities such as golfer Tiger Woods. One showed a woman with a black eye and the caption, “Domestic violence. Because sometimes, you have to tell her more than once.” One of the racially offensive e-mails depicted a board game called “Black Monopoly” in which every square says “go to jail.”

Jeff Pegues is the justice and homeland security correspondent for CBS News. In this capacity he has participated in closed-door interviews with FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. In the aftermath of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, Pegues orchestrated an interview with the chiefs of police representing four major U.S. cities. In 2015, he covered all angles of the Charleston, South Carolina, church killings, beginning with the manhunt for the suspect and culminating with a special report analyzing President Obama's eulogy at the funeral of State Senator Clementa Pinckney.

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How America Outlawed Adolescence

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André Chung

  • At least 22 states make it a crime to disturb school in ways that teenagers are wired to do. Why did this happen?
  • Related: From the Archives | Where Do We Draw the Line When It Comes to Zero Tolerance in Schools?

Amanda Ripley, the Atlantic

November, 2016 | One monday morning last fall, at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, a 16-year-old girl refused to hand over her cellphone to her algebra teacher. After multiple requests, the teacher called an administrator, who eventually summoned a sheriff’s deputy who was stationed at the school. The deputy walked over to the girl’s desk. “Are you going to come with me,” he said, “or am I going to make you?”

Niya Kenny, a student sitting nearby, did not know the name of the girl who was in trouble. That girl was new to class and rarely spoke. But Kenny had heard stories about the deputy, Ben Fields, who also coached football at the school, and she had a feeling he might do something extreme. “Take out your phones,” she whispered to the boys sitting next to her, and she did the same. The girl still hadn’t moved. While Kenny watched, recording with her iPhone, Fields wrenched the girl’s right arm behind her and grabbed her left leg. The girl flailed a fist in his direction. As he tried to wrestle her out of her chair, the desk it was attached to flipped over, slamming the girl backwards. Then he reached for her again, extracting her this time, and hurled her across the classroom floor.

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From the Archives | Where Do We Draw the Line When It Comes to Zero Tolerance in Schools? T.C. Kelly, Free Advice Legal

  • It is with good reason that the Justice Department has urged schools to abandon their zealous enforcement of zero tolerance policies. Some administrators are reluctant to do so because zero tolerance policies allow administrators to deflect blame for their actions by saying “I’m just enforcing the policy.” But the Due Process Clause requires schools to treat students fairly. That means exercising judgment to distinguish behaviors that merit punishment from those that don’t. The wise exercise of discretion might be more difficult than the blind enforcement of a zero tolerance policy, but it is also more just.
  • Related: The West’s War on Children

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With Executive Order on Policing, Trump Declares Racialized War on Dissent

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A protester faces a line of police officers in the days after the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 10, 2016. (Photo: Edmund D. Fountain / New York Times)

  • The order can be read as an official authorization, from one white supremacist -- Steve Bannon -- to another -- Jeff Sessions -- to pursue the most racist and reactionary criminal legal policies in recent memory.
  • Related: Can Customs and Border Officials Search Your Phone? These Are Your Rights

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Being totally honest we have a lot of people who visit Evergreene Digest all the time and do not donate. That misses the point. This is not an entertainment site. If you want to entertained head on over to the New York Times. That way you get progressive news plus hype, tabloid titillation and good old fashioned T&A. 

This is Evergreene Digest.  if you want to be a part of changing things, be a part of this. EGD is supported by hard working people of limited means. Don't let them carry the burden by themselves. Chip in, sign up and get on board. You are needed and welcome here. 

In solidarity, 

Dave & the Crew


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Friday, February 10, 2017 | On the heels of the much ballyhooed meeting that an obsequious Donald Trump conducted this week with local law enforcement officials from across the country, the president titillated the gendarmes with a threat to destroy -- COINTELPRO style -- an unnamed Texas state senator rumored to be introducing legislation to prevent law enforcement from financing police operations by seizing arrestees' property before they have been found guilty in a court of law. On Thursday, Trump followed up with an executive order that gave the recently confirmed Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions a carte blanche to bring down the wrath of the federal government on anyone who is unfortunate enough to have a confrontation with a cop, a prison guard, a border patrol officer or who knows who else outfitted with a badge and carrying a gun.

At first blush, the order could be seen simply as a wildly unpopular president playing macho man to our nation's police departments and their reactionary police unions. The unions have been chafing over being curbed by the previous administration's Department of Justice (DOJ), which, by means of pattern-or-practice investigations and consent decrees, started to put the brakes on racist police violence. On its face, Trump's new order looks like much bluster, with no enforcement mechanisms. Many of the provisions will need to be passed by Congress, receive funding and ultimately, pass constitutional muster -- a hurdle that the authoritarian Trump administration, with its white supremacist hatchet men at the helm, seems unwilling to pay even a trifling respect.

Flint Taylor has been litigating cases against police torture in Chicago for 30 years and is one of the lawyers for the families of slain Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. Together with his law partner Jeffrey Haas, Taylor was trial counsel in the marathon 1976 civil trial. For more information on the Hampton/Clark case, the history of the Black Panther Party and the FBI's program to destroy it, visit PeoplesLawOffice.com.

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http://www.truth-out.org/images/Images_2017_03/2017_0317phone.jpg (Photo: Deyvi Romero)  

Can Customs and Border Officials Search Your Phone? These Are Your Rights, Patrick G. Lee, ProPublica / Truth-out

  • Recent incidents have revived confusion and alarm over what powers border officials actually have and, perhaps more importantly, how to know when they are overstepping their authority.
  • Related: What you — yes, you! — can do to save America from tyranny.

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