Mass Incarceration: Points of Agreement on the Right and the Left

susan burton

Diane Lefer: When a community sees daily injustice and doesn’t see the rule of law equally applied, it becomes morally and ethically easier to choose to live in a lawless way.

Friday Feedback: Fixing the Prison-Industrial Complex

B. Cayenne Bird: The California legislature uses prisons and jails as a means by which to finance the bureaucracy. They use it for job creation and the $1.8 million that Brown took from CCPOA dictates his loyalty to the prison guards.

Is California Reducing Prison Overcrowding Without Fixing Its Cause?

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Sharon Kyle: In a relatively short period of time, our nation has incarcerated enough people to create the second largest city in the United States. Releasing a few tens of thousand prisoners for overcrowding won’t change much or will it?

Dead Under the “Custody and Care” of…

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Bruce Reilly: Christian Gomez was one of thousands in California struggling for things such as food, sunlight, and changes to the segregation policies — the everyday torture in America’s prisons.

Census Bureau Prison Miscounts Burden Local Governments

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Leah Sakala: Rather than forcing counties and municipalities that house prisons to grapple individually with the distortions caused by flawed population data, it is far more logical for the Census Bureau to count incarcerated people at home in the first place.

Replacing the Death Penalty

Tani Cantil-Sakauye

Andy Love: Being on the front lines, capital defense practitioners have experienced first hand the unfairness, arbitrariness and unreliability of California’s capital punishment scheme.

The Torture of Mumia Abu-Jamal Continues Off Death Row

mumia

Hans Bennett: Abu-Jamal has asked for supporters to not just call for his release from the hole, but to challenge the very practice of solitary confinement and what are called in Pennsylvania “Restricted Housing Units.”

Dr. King’s Stance Against the Death Penalty

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David A. Love: Executions in the U.S. are part of a racially-coded system of retribution. Poor people and members of racial minorities are more likely to receive a death sentence, as are those who are charged with murdering a white victim.

California Ending Funding of Child Prisons

juvenile hall

Bruce Reilly: I am not too troubled possible financial bankruptcy due to prisons, particularly child prisons. The possible moral bankruptcy, however, runs much deeper than any bottom line.

Ending California’s Death Penalty in 2012

aclu death penalty forum

At the ACLU Public Forum in Pasadena on January 10th, James Clark of the SAFE California Campaign and Brent Tonik of CCV will discuss the history of California’s death penalty and lay out the case for its abolition.

Growing Consensus That California’s Death Penalty Must Be Replaced

death penalty vigil

Andy Love: California’s death penalty is incredibly costly, and the money would be far better spent keeping kids in school, keeping teachers and counselors in their schools and giving the juvenile justice system the resources it needs.

Ending California’s Wasteful Tinkering With The Machinery Of Death

death penalty vigil

Andy Love: California’s death penalty needs to be abolished. Putting aside the philosophical and spiritual questions about the immorality of the death penalty, it is costly, arbitrary, discriminatory, and unworkable.

Evolution/Devolution

death penalty vigil

Andy Love: With recent polling that shows support for the death penalty has hit a 39-year low, and widespread discomfort over the execution of Troy Davis, a backlash is to be expected.

Final Hours

christine merulis

Christine Meuris: It is impossible to imagine what this is like, as impossible as finding the right words to say, when a man in this position, in his last hours, calls on the phone.

Where America Stands on the Death Penalty

dick dieter

Richard C. Dieter: The public is deeply skeptical of the capital punishment process, shocked at its enormous costs, and quite ready to replace it with alternative sentences.

Death: And Law & Order

law and order jerry orbach

James Clark: California taxpayers spend $184 million each year to support a dysfunctional death penalty system that operates like an upscale life without parole: more death row inmates die of illness and old age than they do of execution.

SB 490: Let the Voters Make an Informed Death Penalty Decision

don heller

James Clark: No one is surprised to learn that California’s death penalty is a broken and dysfunctional system. After all, you don’t have to go far in California to find any government bureaucracy that’s broken or dysfunctional – it’s finding a functional government program that might take a while.

Sheriff’s Department Supervising Parolees?

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Anthony Samad: Los Angeles County’s best option is to overhaul the Probation Department. Put it in receivership like they did the Health Department and Children & Family Services.

The Myth of California’s Death Penalty

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James Clark: Out of more than 900 men and women sentenced to die in California only 13 have ever been executed. Victims’ family members are dragged through decades of appeals and hearings while they wait for an execution that rarely comes.

California’s Death Penalty Prevents True Community Justice

Aqeela Sherrils

Aqeela Sherrills: The great irony, of course, is that while the state props up a failed system that discriminates against African-Americans and Latinos and anyone who is poor, it fails to provide justice to victims.

Private Prisons Spend Millions to Put More People in Jail

private prisons

Andrea Nill-Sanchez: In Arizona, 30 of the 36 legislators who co-sponsored the state’s controversial immigration law that would undoubtedly put more immigrants behind bars received campaign contributions from private prison lobbyists or companies.

California Prison Typify the Incarceration Society

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Sherwood Ross: If you want a glimpse into the soul of a nation, visit one of its prisons. California is no exception. It’s typical.

Tide Turning on California’s Death Penalty

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James Clark: The dominoes are falling fast as more and more people in California are learning what a waste the death penalty has become.

Hey Gov. Brown, Can You Hear Us Now?

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James Clark: Jerry Brown said “it’s all on the table.” If that’s true, why is he prioritizing death row over real help—like counseling—for victims’ families?

Illinois Ends the Death Penalty: Wake-up Call for California

Aqeela Sherrills,

Natasha Minsker: It’s time to stop playing the killing game. Let’s use the hundreds of millions of dollars we’ll save to protect some of those essential services now threatened with death. Let’s stop asking people like me to lie to those victim’s family members.

Prisons or Higher Education, Which Do We Fund?

Incarceration timeline

Sharon Kyle: Either large segments of the American population suddenly decided to engage in criminal activity or there were changes in sentencing law and prison policy that dramatically increased America’s prison population. Whatever the reason, states are spending more on prisons and less on higher education.

More Black Men Are in Prison Today Than Enslaved in 1850

Black Man Exercise

Dick Price: “More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Michelle Alexander told a standing room only house at the Pasadena Main Library this past Wednesday

Lethal Injustice

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Diane Lefer: The death penalty means “the State can kill you as long as they give you a trial. The State doesn’t say your lawyer has to be awake.

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Portantino Proposes Alternative to Early Release Prison Reform Efforts

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino

Anthony Portantino: Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) has introduced legislation that shifts the prison reform debate from an early release and sentencing reform emphasis to stopping the revolving door at California’s prisons.

Bradley Manning’s Torture Commonplace in U.S. Prisons

Sherwood Ross: Those supporting Manning need to recognize he is an icon for the bizarre, systemic destruction of tens of thousands of other human beings locked away in perpetual silence by their tormentors, often for mere infractions of prison rules, without the review of any judge or jury.

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