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Andy Singer | Prison Industrial Complex media.cagle.com

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The nation’s criminal justice system is broken.

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  • Can we get our society to begin to acknowledge the cruelty, the barbarism of these institutions and what that means and what that says about us?
  • Hopelessness' Is the Enemy of Justice
  • Part 1: 8 Facts You Should Know About the Criminal Justice System and People of Color
  • Get These Killer Cops Off the Streets
  • Part 2: Dean Strang Interviews Bryan Stevenson, An "Exceptional" Trial Lawyer 

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: 8 Facts You Should Know About the Criminal Justice System and People of Color

The nation’s criminal justice system is broken. 

Jamal Hagler, Think Progress

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Madison, Wisconsin, Mayor Paul Soglin (D) addresses a crowd of protestors on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Madison on March 9, 2015, during a protest of the shooting death of Tony Robinson. Source: AP/Andy Manis

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | The nation’s criminal justice system is broken. People of color, particularly African Americans and Latinos, are unfairly targeted by the police and face harsher prison sentences than their white counterparts. Given the nation’s coming demographic shift, in which there will be no clear racial or ethnic majority by 2044, the United States cannot afford for these trends to continue. Not only could the money spent on mass incarceration—$80 billion in 2010—be put to better use, but the consequences for people who become entangled in the criminal justice system are also lifelong, leading to barriers to employment and housing, among many other things.

The shocking deaths at the hands of police in New York City; Ferguson, Missouri; North Charleston, South Carolina; and Baltimore, to name a few, have awakened the nation to the criminal justice system’s disparate impact on people of color. Tensions have flared throughout the country as news stories about how people of color are targeted and mistreated have come to light. As Americans reflect on the devastating recent events and as momentum builds to reform the U.S. criminal justice system, it is important to take note of the many ways in which the current system disproportionately affects people of color and creates significant barriers to opportunity for people with criminal records. Consider the following eight facts:

Jamal Hagler is the Special Assistant for Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress.

Full story …

Related:

Get These Killer Cops Off the Streets, Scott Roberts, ColorOfChange.org

http://movetoamend.org/sites/default/files/sign-btn.png Sign the Petition. Tell Mayor de Blasio to Fire Officer Richard Haste and all the officers responsible for killing Ramarley now.


Part 2: Dean Strang Interviews Bryan Stevenson, An "Exceptional" Trial Lawyer 

'Hopelessness' Is the Enemy of Justice

Dean A. Strang, Progressive

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Charlie Bloss for this contribution.

http://www.progressive.org/sites/default/public_files/8jY6IkYbs0QcqtwoKa1RHhk6ZyenA5V4BEPZjIZYCOc.jpgPhoto of Bryan Stevenson by Nina Subin

December 28, 2015 | Most trial lawyers engage, daily, with the emotions and vices that underlie human conflict—anger, jealousy, greed, spite. Some do more than engage: They adopt these vices. Bryan Stevenson is the rare exception. He has dedicated his life to healing anger and fear, and bringing light to the darkest corners of our criminal justice system. 

Harvard graduate, MacArthur fellow, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, Stevenson is vibrantly bright and thoughtful. He exudes hope. He lives much of his life among the dispossessed and hopeless. 

Dean A. Strang is a criminal defense lawyer in Madison, Wisconsin. He is the author of Worse Than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow, and Justice in a Time of Terror (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013) 

Full story … 

Most Rape Accusations Are False, Idaho Sheriff Says

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Craig Rowland wants the power to toss rape kits because the majority of rape complaints are "consensual sex."

Andy Campbell, Reporter, Huffington Post

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http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/scalefit_630_noupscale/56e9724b1500002a000b2352.png Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland said most rape allegations his department receives are consensual sex. Press conference via YouTube

03/16/2016 | In the state of Idaho, officers like Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland get to decide whether to have a rape kit tested.

The problem is Rowland doesn't believe most rape victims were assaulted in the first place.

Rowland complained that state lawmakers were trying to force local agencies to get every rape kit tested. Rape kits contain DNA samples taken from the victim that include the assailant's blood, saliva or semen. A lab can cross-reference the DNA with a national database to identify the assailant.

Andy Campbell: Reporter, Huffington Post

Full story … 

Get These Killer Cops Off the Streets

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http://movetoamend.org/sites/default/files/sign-btn.png Sign the Petition. Tell Mayor de Blasio to Fire Officer Richard Haste and all the officers responsible for killing Ramarley now.

Scott Roberts, ColorOfChange.org

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Frank%20Graham%20Statement.jpgMarch 9, 2016 In 2012, Ramarley Graham was stalked and gunned down by NYPD Officer Richard Haste. Murdered in what should have been the safety of his own home, Ramarley was fatally shot by Officer Haste in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother after entering their residency without a warrant. Following the unjust shooting, police officers quickly began covering their tracks by promoting false statements about the incident, some of which were later retracted. NYPD officers even tried to intimidate Ramarley's family by interrogating his grandmother for 7 hours and assaulting his mother at the precinct.

After a local judge threw out a grand jury indictment and a second grand jury failed to indict, the Department of Justice launched and investigation but after two years of waiting, Ramarley's family has learned that there will not be any charges filed in the killing. Throughout the investigation, the NYPD refused to move forward with any discipline for Officer Haste or any of the cops involved in the attempted cover up, claiming they could not move forward until the DOJ investigation concluded. The DOJ has disputed that claim but there has still been no accountability.

http://movetoamend.org/sites/default/files/sign-btn.png Sign the Petition. Tell Mayor de Blasio to Fire Officer Richard Haste and all the officers responsible for killing Ramarley now.

ColorOfChange.org exists to strengthen Black America's political voice. Our goal is to empower our members - Black Americans and our allies - to make government more responsive to the concerns of Black Americans and to bring about positive political and social change for everyone.

Full story … 

America has locked up so many black people it has warped our sense of reality.

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  • Mass incarceration's ill effects are concentrated in places already in distress. Researchers once estimated that, in some inner-city neighborhoods, up to one-fifth of the young black men are behind bars at any given moment.
  • Due Process is Dead: A Staggering 95% of All Inmates in America Have Never Received a Trial.

Jeff Guo, Washington (DC) Post

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February 26,2016 | For as long as the government has kept track, the economic statistics have shown a troubling racial gap. Black people are twice as likely as white people to be out of work and looking for a job. This fact was as true in 1954 as it is today.

The most recent report puts the white unemployment rate at around 4.5 percent. The black unemployment rate? About 8.8 percent.

Jeff Guo is a reporter covering economics, domestic policy, and everything empirical. He's from Maryland, but outside the Beltway.

Full story … 

Related:


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Due Process is Dead: A Staggering 95% of All Inmates in America Have Never Received a Trial, Claire Bernish, Free Thought Project

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  • Justice, as an untold — though no doubt, appalling — number can attest, has been utterly abandoned for the interests of the careless expedience, apathetic convenience, and unabashed profiteering of the U.S. prison-industrial machine.
  • Scalia Funeral | Crooks rule; Officialdom Honors a Partisan Shameless Grafter

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