Monday, December 18, 2006

Habeas Corpus Takes the Weekend Cake

Wow, a 48 hour plus hiatus from blogging has done wonders for the soul.

Emily Bazelon weighed in on Habeas Corpus this weekend with a piece that ran in Slate and the Washington Post Outlook. This should be read with Fareed Zakaria's piece in the New York Times. He reviewed books by John Yoo and Bruce Ackerman on terrorism, Habeas Corpus (the great writ) and "the rule of law." Fareed is the editor of Newsweek International, the author of "The Future of Freedom" and the host of the PBS program "Foreign Exchange."

Here is an article from Salon (by Alex Koppelman) showing why Habeas Corpus and judicial review is still badly needed. The quote from Jonathan Turley refers to the inhuman "treatment" of terrorist suspect Padilla. Turley is professor of law at George Washington University and specializes in constitutional criminal procedure.

Turley says that is symptomatic of problems with the administration's strategy in prosecuting terror cases generally. He believes that by abandoning traditional methods, such as those used in the Crocker case, it has crippled its own efforts.

"In some ways, this president is the best friend of the criminal defense bar. His inclination to ignore legal standards serves to undermine even the strongest case," Turley says. And had they tried Padilla in the way terror suspects had been prosecuted for years, Turley says, he believes that "Jose Padilla probably could have been convicted by now."

Here is your comprehensive guide to "collateral consequences" of a conviction, said to be an invaluable resource for attorneys, policymakers, and citizens, (from Sentencing Project dot org) and, here at this link you'll find a "prison consultant" (Dr. Prison) claiming to, well, take a guess, is it survival or comfort we are looking for? I make no claims as to either of these products, but here is what Dr. Prison says:

If you don't know how to act in prison, you will have...
25-30% chance of getting killed during your prison sentence.
10-15% chance of getting raped during your prison sentence.
30-40% chance of getting stabbed during your prison sentence.
80-90% chance of getting beaten during your prison sentence.
- If you make trouble in prison, you could face...
23-hour solitary confinement, with 1 hour outside, all alone.
No visits or privileges of any kind.
A cell worse than this.

Other notes about prison:
Prison guards care very little if at all about you.
Prison riots last an hour on average.
Prisoner jobs throughout prison generally pay less than $200 a month.

I happen to know that Texas State prisoners get no pay whatsoever, and one three minute telephone call every 90 days, if they are lucky (and behave).

Here is a book that looks interesting:

The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice (Hardcover)
by Paul Craig Roberts, Lawrence M. Stratton

AND, did you know there are 7 millions incarcerated in the United States? What
happens to these folks concerning employment when they come out? Learn about a program which will work to provide meaningful employment for those persons being released from prison, or those presently on probation. It may be too late to click the following link:

http://www.acbradio .org/pweb/ index.php? module=pagemaste r&PAGE_user_ op=view_p
age&PAGE_id= 8&MMN_position= 14:14

but there it is. Maybe there's a way to track it back.

Okay, enough for now. Thoughts, comments, feedback is appreciated. Blog on!

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