Showing posts with label Jail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jail. Show all posts

February 3, 2019

This Anti Gay Mousey Rejected Offer of 12 Yrs For Assaulting 2 Guys With Knife Gets 21 Instead

James Thomas, aka rapper Mousey Baby, having rejected a 12-year sentence in a pre-trial plea deal offer, was sentenced to 21 years in prison for assaults on three men near a Brooklyn LGBTQ nightclub.
A Brooklyn man who was convicted in November for slashing or stabbing two men with a knife and menacing a third man near a Bedford-Stuyvesant LGBTQ nightclub was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
“It is clear that his conduct was not in self-defense,” Judge Donald Leo said at the February 1 sentencing of James Thomas in Brooklyn Supreme Court. “This is a circumstance of uncontrollable rage.”
Thomas, 34, had originally faced multiple felony and misdemeanor counts with some charged as hate crimes in the 2017 attack, but the hate crime counts in two of the assaults were dropped after grand jury testimony did not support them. At the start of Thomas’ trial, prosecutors expected the third man to testify and support the hate crime charges, but that man ultimately refused to take the witness stand. Those hate crime charges were dropped after the prosecution rested its case.
Thomas was always going to have a difficult winning an acquittal. The jury was shown video of him making some of the attacks, then he elected to take the stand and testify that he was acting in self-defense when he slashed one man in the face, menaced a second, and stabbed a third man twice. By saying he was defending himself, he had to admit that he made the attacks he was charged with.
Under New York law, when a defendant claims he or she acted in self-defense, prosecutors are required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant was not justified in using physical force.
“This was a terrifying attack carried out for no reason that left three innocent men traumatized,” Eric Gonzalez, the Brooklyn district attorney, said in a statement. “I am committed to protecting all of the people of Brooklyn from such brutal violence. Today’s sentence holds the defendant accountable.” 
Before trial, Kelli Muse, chief of the Hate Crimes Bureau in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, and Peter Choi, an assistant district attorney, offered Thomas a sentence of 12 years in prison and five years post-release supervision in exchange for a guilty plea to assault and misdemeanor charges. At sentencing, Choi asked for 16 years and five years post-release supervision.
Barry Krinsky, Thomas’ attorney, argued that Thomas had been released on bail prior to trial and had consistently made his court appearances. He also treated Leo respectfully throughout the proceedings. 
“The problem is that behavior doesn’t reflect his behavior in spring 2017,” Leo said.
In asking for the “minimum amount allowable under law,” Krinsky noted that Thomas had been employed, enjoyed the continued support of his family and friends, some of whom attended the sentencing, and had a career as a rapper. Thomas used the stage name Mousey Baby and did not have a successful career. 
As Leo announced his sentence on each of the five counts that Thomas was convicted on, the question was would he serve those sentences concurrently or consecutively. Leo used a mix of concurrent and consecutive sentences, but when he announced the 21-year total, a Thomas supporter said “Oh my God” and could be heard weeping. As his friends and family left the courtroom, one man yelled out, “Love you, Mouse, love you.”

December 7, 2018

Nearly Half of All US Adults Have Had An Immediate Family Member Incarcerated

                                            Image result for rikers island
Nearly half of all US adults have had an immediate family member incarcerated at some point in their lives, according to a new study.
Researchers also reported one in seven adults have seen immediate family incarcerated for over a year, with minorities most impacted.
The study by criminal justice non-profit and Cornell University surveyed over 4,000 American adults.
Over 2 million Americans are currently in prison in the US. 
The report estimates 64% of US adults have had someone in their family spend at least one night in jail or prison.
The study's authors said it pointed to a nationwide "incarceration crisis".
"These numbers are stunning, all the more so if you think of them not as numbers but as stories like mine," Felicity Rose, FWD director said in a foreword to the report. 
"One of the worst parts of growing up with a father in and out of prison was the isolation and shame I felt," she added. 
One in five US adults has had a parent incarcerated, according to the study, resulting in serious financial and emotional consequences. 
What were the findings?
The study said that 113 million US adults have had an immediate family member incarcerated.
At the time of the research, 6.5 million adults said an immediate family member was currently in jail or prison.
One in seven adults have had a spouse incarcerated; one in eight have had a child locked up. And only one in four are ever able to visit an incarcerated family member.
There was no difference in incarceration rates along political lines, but the researchers did find that people of colour were most negatively impacted.
African American adults were 50% more likely than white Americans to have had a family member jailed, and three times as likely to have family jailed for 10 years or more, found the research.
A woman helps out with a fellow inmate's child at a correctional centre in IllinoisImage copyright

Image captionA woman helps out with a fellow inmate's child at a correctional centre in IllinoisGetty image
Latino adults were 70% more likely than white Americans to have a loved one incarcerated for over a year.
Low income families were also disproportionately affected, with adults making less than $25,000 (£19,000) a year 61% more likely to have family incarcerated than those earning over $100,000 a year.
And 54% of jailed parents were the breadwinners of their families.
Incarceration rates were highest in the southern and western states, with residents 60% more likely to experience family incarceration than people in the northeast.
According to the Prison Policy Initiative, the US incarcerates more people per capita than anywhere else in the world. 
FWD reports local jails have admitted over 10 million people every year for the past two decades.
Despite recent declines in imprisonment rates, the US still incarcerates 710 people per 100,000.
The UK's incarceration rate is 147 per 100,000, according to FWD.
Rikers an American Jail~ This blog highly recomends this film by PBS 
Click the link above or go to PBS

August 18, 2018

It Turns Out Throwing Hundreds of Asylum Seekers in Jail Was Another Bad Idea from DDT, After All

Back in June, Reuters reported that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was preparing to transfer up to 1,600 immigrant detainees to five federal prisons across the country, with the largest number (up to a thousand) going to the federal prison in Victorville, CA. Pretty much everyone with a brain, including a former ICE official under Obama and the president of a local union for prison employees, said at the time that this was a very bad idea. It turns out that it was.
The number reportedly fluctuates daily, but as of Wednesday afternoon, according to HuffPost, 460 asylum seekers were still at the Federal Correctional Complex in Victorville. Congressman Mark Takano, one of eight members of Congress who visited the facility on Wednesday, told the site that conditions at the prison are “marginally better,” but this is apparently what “marginally better” looks like, per HuffPost:
Takano said a large percentage of the immigrants he met Wednesday are Sikh or Hindu and were initially being served sandwiches containing lunch meat. Many of these immigrants are practicing vegetarians, so they were effectively subsisting almost entirely on bread.
The food has since improved, as have other religious sensitivities like permitting detainees to wear traditional Sikh head coverings.
John Kostelnik, the union representative for prison employees, told HuffPost that so far, two migrant detainees have attempted suicide and another is on suicide watch. There’s also apparently been an outbreak of chickenpox and scabies; HuffPost reports that there have been 11 new cases of chickenpox in “recent weeks.”
And when these new chickenpox cases come up, Kostelnik told HuffPost, the whole unit goes on quarantine for three straight weeks. “21 days they sit in their cells, basically locked and confined into their cells all day long. They’re fed in their cells,” Kostelnik told HuffPost. “One of the guys [who attempted suicide] had literally been quarantined three times.” 
Who could have seen this disaster coming, you ask? Here’s a quote from Kostelnik from the Reuters story back in June:
At Victorville, the prison getting the largest number of people, workers are moving about 500 inmates in a medium-security facility to make space, said John Kostelnik, local president for the American Federation of Government Employees Council of Prison Locals union.
“There is so much movement going on,” said Kostelnik. “Everyone is running around like a chicken without their head.”
The fault for this lies solely with the Trump administration; under former president Barack Obama, as Reuters noted back in June, most immigrants who didn’t have serious criminal records were allowed to wait for their court dates outside of prison, and those who weren’t were usually detained in ICE holding facilities or local prisons. But those have been stretched thin by the Trump administration’s frenzy to arrest any immigrant it can get its grubby paws on. As DocumentedNY reported earlier this month, one jail in Bergen County, NJ, with a capacity for 128 ICE detainees, held an average of 336 per day from October to November 2018. 
A Bureau of Prisons spokesperson told HuffPost that the agency has a contract with ICE to jail up to 1,672 migrants in five prisons. ICE spokesperson Lori Haley admitted to the site that the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy has created the need for “additional immigrant detention space.”
Takano posted a video to Twitter last night following his visit: 

After visiting the Victorville federal prison for a second time, I remain concerned about asylum seekers being held in these facilities. The Trump Administration’s immigration policies are not only inhumane—they‘re a huge waste of taxpayer dollars.

“The president’s excessive zero-tolerance policies are driving the unnecessary incarceration of people who do not really pose a danger to society,” Takano said in the video. “I think this needs to end. This is an insane use of taxpayer resources.”
Paul Blest
News editor, Splinter

March 31, 2018

Did You Vote? This Texas Woman Voted and Got Five Years For It

[by Jane C. Timm] 
A Texas woman was sentenced to five years behind bars this week for voting illegally in the 2016 election while on supervised releasefrom federal prison.
Crystal Mason, 43, testified in court that she did not know that she was ineligible to vote due to her 2011 fraud conviction before casting a provisional ballot in the presidential election. In Texas, knowingly voting illegally is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
 Crystal Mason was sentenced to a five year prison sentence this week, after she tried to vote while on supervised release from federal prison, in Tarrant County, Texas. Tarrant County Jail

 Crystal Maso 

"A second-degree felony for voting illegally? That's outrageous," J. Warren St. John, her defense attorney, told NBC News on Friday. "The punishment does not fit this crime."
Texas' ballot asks voters to certify that they have completed their sentences — including supervision — if they have previously been convicted of a felony. Mason testified in court that she did not read the fine print because an election worker was helping her with the provisional ballot.
"She voted in good faith," St. John said, noting that she accurately filled out her own information and wasn't trying to obscure her identity. "She didn’t intentionally vote illegally and that’s the whole issue."
Mason had pleaded guilty in 2011 to inflating tax returns while working as a tax preparer and was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison, according to her attorney. She had served roughly three years before being released in 2016.
St. John said that Mason was never told in court, prison, or her halfway house that she couldn't vote until the entirety of her sentence was complete. Her probation officer also testified in court that he had not told her she couldn't vote.
Mason is appealing the judge's ruling, and out on bond pending that appeal. Because the crime is also a violation of her supervised release, she could still be arrested by federal authorities and sentenced to additional federal jail time for violating the terms of her release. St. John said federal court had not yet issued a warrant for the violation, however.
Mason is not the first to receive a severe sentence for voting illegally. A Texas resident and Mexican citizen with a green card, Rosa Maria Ortega, was sentenced to eight years in prison for casting an illegal ballot. Ortega had even served as a poll worker, and she, too, reportedly said she did not know she couldn’t vote.
Still, not everyone gets hard time. A North Carolina prosecutor declined to bring charges against a woman who said she cast an illegal vote for Donald Trump in order to fulfill her mother's dying wish. "She made a mistake out of sheer ignorance without any intent to defraud or commit a crime," the prosecutor said, according to a local report.
An estimated 6.1 million Americans are disenfranchised by a felony conviction, something many states are rethinking as those numbers continue to rise alongside skyrocketing incarceration rates.
NBC News

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