Via A Tiny Revolution–
(NYT) Edwina Nowlin, a poor Michigan resident, was ordered to reimburse a juvenile detention center $104 a month for holding her 16-year-old son. When she explained to the court that she could not afford to pay, Ms. Nowlin was sent to prison. The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, which helped get her out last week after she spent 28 days behind bars, says it is seeing more people being sent to jail because they cannot make various court-ordered payments. That is both barbaric and unconstitutional.
There was also the awful scam whereby judges were paid kickbacks by prison corporations to increase incarceration numbers in their juvenile facilities (“The judge’s whim is all that mattered in that courtroom. The law was basically irrelevant”). Thus sending thousands of kids to jail and possibly ruining their lives for ever in return for millions in bribes. Ain’t capitalism grand?
Which also reminds me a bit of this-
Clive Stafford Smith, acting in his role as an attorney for then-Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed, sent a letter to Barack Obama [PDF] detailing torture techniques inflicted upon his client. A Pentagon review team then censored all the details of this torture from Smith’s letter. (See Breaking: Pentagon Hiding Torture Evidence from Obama.)
Now Mohamed’s attorneys face up to six months in jail, accused by Robert Gates’ Department of Defense of breaking the rules for Guanatanamo attorneys and of “unprofessional conduct” in the writing of the letter to Obama.
That was the torture that UK judges hushed up under the whining lies of David Miliband, now Gates and the Pentagon want to collar Mohamed’s lawyers for attempting to tell the President the tortures they and their CIA chums were inflicting. Actually what that reminds me of is a report where volunteers tried to obtain a complaints form from Florida police stations and were intimidated and threatened with arrest. The journalist who produced the report was then targeted by the police with a wanted notice (incidentally… the original report on the TV station’s site is gone, but there is a report on a newspaper’s site).
I’d really like to see how the Obama administration explains it is different to the previous criminal one as it tries to put Clive Stafford Smith in jail, while continuing to obstruct any attempt to follow its own laws and treaty obligations and prosecute the Bush regime over its publicly admitted torture program.
PS. Actually it is different, if by different you mean worse.