Disenfranchisement of Ex-Felons Bars 2 Million from Voting in Key Swing States Virginia and Florida

By: Friday November 2, 2012 10:00 am

The above graphic comes from the Prison Policy Initiative, and it shows the impact of summary disenfranchisement of adult-age ex-convicts in our political system, unique around the world. No other country disenfranchises ex-felons to the degree we do here in America. Prisoners pay their debt to society but their ability to have a voice in [...]

US Hands Over Bagram Prison to Afghans – Sort Of

By: Monday September 10, 2012 1:04 pm

The US has handed over the prison at Bagram Air Force base to Afghanistan, in the latest in a series of transitions to have the Afghans take control of their own security. The prison transfer was part of a bargain won months ago by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. However, hundreds of prisoners at the facility [...]

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Will End in Chaos at Polls, Official Says

By: Thursday August 2, 2012 12:22 pm

A court case in Harrisburg over Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law continues this week. And one election official from Philadelphia warned of carnage at the polls in testimony yesterday. The state’s new voter identification law is expected to create great confusion in Philadelphia on Election Day, when thousands may discover they are ineligible to cast [...]

Probation as a Revenue Scheme for Cash-Strapped States

By: Tuesday July 3, 2012 8:10 am

If you liked for-profit prisons pushing tougher sentencing and leading to a sharp increase in the warehousing of US citizens, then you’ll love for-profit probation: Three years ago, Gina Ray, who is now 31 and unemployed, was fined $179 for speeding. She failed to show up at court (she says the ticket bore the wrong [...]

Cuomo Calls for Decriminalization of Public Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana

By: Tuesday June 5, 2012 2:17 pm

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for the decriminalization of public possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana. In a state with fairly harsh Rockefeller-era drug laws, this would be a modest change. Saying the aim was to avoid unnecessary misdemeanor charges against thousands of New Yorkers — “disproportionately black and Hispanic youth,” [...]

Federal Judge Calls for End to Sentencing Insanity from Federal Prosecutors

By: Tuesday May 29, 2012 1:40 pm

I’ve been reading a tremendous book about the drug war and mass incarceration called The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, which I can’t recommend enough. It shines the light on our out-of-whack criminal justice policies and how they disproportionately impact African-Americans, as well as how the stigma of a criminal record ends up attaching [...]

Exoneration Registry Shows Incidents of Wrongful Convictions

By: Monday May 21, 2012 2:15 pm

A remarkable new registry of exonerations of convicted criminals shows that since 1989, over 2,000 Americans were convicted of crimes they did not commit, and were eventually set free. The National Registry of Exonerations, a joint project of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University, tracks these incidents and uses the data to study how [...]

Arizona Becomes Latest State to Raid Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Funds

By: Friday May 11, 2012 8:55 am

We now have yet another state diverting a large portion of the hard dollar funds they received from the foreclosure fraud settlement, and instead of using them to help homeowners, moving them to cover a budget hole. The latest example concerns Arizona, one of the major states suffering from the foreclosure crisis, with an overwhelming [...]

The Failed American Voter Registration System

By: Monday May 7, 2012 1:38 pm

It never becomes the top-shelf, salient issue in American elections until after one or two get stolen. But the permanent discriminated class we’re building out of voter suppression laws should be the headline story to the party that stands to lose the most from the situation. Voter registration among Hispanics and African-Americans has dropped significantly [...]

Supreme Court Rules for Strip Searches for Even Those Arrested for Minor Offenses

By: Monday April 2, 2012 10:55 am

Circling back to the debate about whether the Supreme Court cares very much about its own legitimacy, here’s a ruling that it handed down today. The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials [...]

US Inks Prison Transfer Agreement With Afghanistan

By: Friday March 9, 2012 9:35 am

The United States and Afghanistan have signed a deal to transfer all prisoners in the military-run prisons at Bagram Air Force Base to the control of the Afghans, a move that paves the way for a long-term security arrangement. The Strategic Partnership Agreement, which Washington and Kabul have been discussing for over a year, will [...]

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