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Sesame Street composer: U.S. ‘perverted’ my music to torture prisoners | The Raw Story


Sesame Street composer: U.S. ‘perverted’ my music to torture prisoners | The Raw Story.

Please, read the whole article here!

Sesame Street composer: U.S. ‘perverted’ my music to torture prisoners
By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, May 31, 2012 9:27 EDT Share on facebookShare on redditShare on diggShare on twitterShare on farkShare on stumbleupon26 Topics: bush administration ♦ Christopher Cerf ♦ guantanamo bay

 Christopher Cerf, creator of the children’s program The Electric Company and an award-winning composer who produced the theme song to Sesame Street, told a reporter recently that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) “perverted” his music “to serve evil” by using his most famous composition to torture prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Documents made public in 2010 revealed that ten specific torture techniques were recommended by Bush administration attorneys, although the CIA had proposed 12. Among those rejected were mock burials and prolonged diapering, but among the legal tactics, loud music, threatening prisoners with power drills or guns, physical abuse, simulated drowning and sensory deprivation were all commonly deployed.

In a documentary aired Wednesday, Al Jazeera World captures Cerf on camera as he learns for the first time that his music was used by U.S. interrogators. ….

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REMEMBER ME! This Film was made by a 15-year old girl!


This film was made by a 15 year old girl REMEMBER ME!

 

http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/ervaMPt4Ha0%26autoplay=1

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FRAIL & ELDERLY PRISONERS: DO THEY STILL BELONG BEHIND BARS?


Viewpoints.

Viewpoints
Share PrintFont Size:AAA  More Sharing ServicesShare Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on facebook_likeBy Jamie Fellner
Frail and Elderly Prisoners: Do They Still Belong Behind Bars?

As the US confronts a growing population of geriatric prisoners, it is time to reconsider whether they really need to be locked up. Prison keeps dangerous people off the streets. But how many prisoners whose minds and bodies have been whittled away by age are dangerous?

According to prison statistics, hardly any.

In Ohio, 26.7 percent of former prisoners commit new crimes within three years of their release from prison.  But only 5.6 percent of those released between the ages of 65 and 69—and 2.9 percent of those released between the ages of 70 and 74—commit new crimes. Of those released at age 75 or older, none revert to criminal behavior.

In New York, you can count on two hands the number of older prisoners who have gone on to commit violent crimes after release.

Of 1,511 prisoners aged 65 and older when released between 1995 and 2008, only 8 were  returned to prison  for committing a violent felony.  Among the released older prisoners were 469 who had originally been sent to prison because of a violent crime. Only one has returned to prison because of a new crime of violence.

These statistics quantify what criminal justice professionals know from experience: as a group, released older prisoners are not likely to pose much of a risk to the public.  The risk is no doubt even less if the released prisoners are ill or infirm.

Among the more than 26,000 state and federal prisoners  aged 65 or older are some who have severe physical and mental impairments.

One 87-year-old I met last year while conducting research on older prisoners could not tell me his name. He had been in prison for 27 years, 20 of them in a special unit because of his severe cognitive impairments.

I met prisoners who were dying and could not breathe without assistance; prisoners so old and frail they needed help getting up from their bed and into their wheelchairs; prisoners who lacked the mental and physical ability to bathe or eat or go to the bathroom by themselves.

In theory, of course, a deathly ill or feeble prisoner could suddenly rise from his bed and commit a serious crime.  But it isn’t likely. 

Noting the forgetfulness that can come with old age, one prisoner told me that by the time one of “these guys manages to get up from his wheelchair he’ll have forgotten what he was going to do.” 

Wholly apart from the effects of age and infirmity, years in prison also leave older prisoners with little desire to pick up a gun or hit the streets looking for trouble even if they were physically able to do so. They want to spend their remaining time on earth with family and friends. They do not want to die behind bars.

Ensuring just deserts for those who harm others is a legitimate criminal justice goal. But age and infirmity can change the calculus of when the time served is long enough.

At some point in a prisoner’s life, parole supervision and perhaps restrictions on movement (e.g. home confinement)   may suffice as a cost-effective and sensible punishment. It won’t satisfy those who think prisoners who have killed or maimed should only leave prison in a pine box.  But, while understandable, this “eye for an eye” perspective is not a sound basis for determining how to use scarce prison resources.

The growing number of prisoners who use walkers and wheelchairs, are tethered to oxygen tanks or completely bedridden, is forcing the country to ask  why we keep people in prison into their dotage

Most states and the federal government have laws permitting the early release of prisoners who are terminally ill, permanently incapacitated , or in some cases, simply old, as long as public safety would not be jeopardized.

Unfortunately, the laws exclude certain prisoners based on the nature of their crimes (e.g. those convicted of murder); or officials making release decisions decide to exclude them because of those crimes. In either case, the public is being short-changed.  Past crimes—even brutal ones—should not be automatically conflated with current risk. 

Protecting public safety does not require turning prisons into old-age homes. Jamie Fellner is Senior Advisor to the US Program of Human Rights Watch and author of Old Behind Bars: The Aging Prison Population in the United States. She welcomes comments from readers.

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Motion denied to watch executions by injection


Motion denied to watch executions by injection.

Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2012Modified Tuesday, May 29, 2012
 email|print|tool nameclose tool goes here Commentary: No justice when the real crime victim goes to jail
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Fred Grimm The Miami Herald
The “victim,” in this twisted tale of Florida justice, was Rico Gray, a 245-pound Jacksonville truck driver with a proclivity for domestic violence.
The “criminal,” the woman sentenced to 20 years of hard time on May 11, was his wife, Marissa Alexander, five feet, two inches tall and slight enough, as Gray mentioned in his pre-trial deposition, that on two occasions he tossed her from their house without much physical exertion. “She’s a little person so it doesn’t take much for me to pick her up and tote her out my front door . . . You know, I pretty much picked her up and throwed her out.”
In the months before the incident that sent Marissa to prison, in addition to bodily heaving her out the door, Gray had beaten her, head-butted her in the face while she was pregnant, sent her to the hospital. One of his three arrests on domestic violence charges had been for an attack on Alexander that led to a conviction and probation. On Sept. 30, 2009, a Duval County circuit judge issued an injunction against Gray, ordering him to keep away from Alexander. (In his deposition, Gray said he was previously arrested for striking two other women in the face who, he explained, “wouldn’t shut up.”)
But on August 10, 2010, as Gray approached her in a rage, Alexander (a software firm employee with an MBA and no previous criminal record) fired a pistol twice into the air. A jury convicted her of aggravated assault with a firearm and, under Florida’s draconian mandatory minimum sentencing laws, the presiding judge was left with no discretion. So she got 20 years. Her thug husband got custody of their baby son.
Women’s groups, anti-domestic violence activists, the Jacksonville NAACP, U.S. Rep. Corinne Brown and advocates for sentencing reform have all issued outraged statements condemning the verdict and the sentence. (A “Free Marissa” demonstration planned for Tuesday in Jacksonville was postponed after the city was slammed by Tropical Storm Beryl.)
But it was the words of Gray himself, in his Nov. 22, 2010, deposition, that best illustrated the perversity of his wife’s prosecution and conviction and unyielding prison sentence.
Sitting in the State Attorney’s Office, Gray described how he had erupted in anger when he discovered text messages on his wife’s phone to another man. (Alexander had moved out, but had come home briefly that day to retrieve her clothes.) “I was in a rage. I called her a whore and bitch and . . . I told her, you know, I used to always tell her that, if I can’t have you, nobody going to have you. It was not the first time of ever saying it to her.”
Gray said he had intimated that he had unsavory friends who would carry out vengeful acts on his behalf. “I ain’t going to lie. I been on the streets before I started driving trucks, you know, so I know a lot of people and she knows I know a lot of people.”
As they argued, he recounted, Marissa retreated into the bathroom. “I don’t recall breaking the door open, but I know I beat on it hard enough where it could have been broken open. Probably had some dents.”
Once he managed to get inside, he said he pushed her into the door with enough violence to further damage the door.
Did you put your hands around her neck? “Not that particular day. No.”
They struggled. She ran out through the laundry room into the garage. “But I knew she couldn’t leave out of the garage because the garage door was locked.” She came back, he said, with a gun, yelling at him to leave. “I told her I ain’t leaving until you talk to me, I ain’t going nowhere, and so I started walking toward her and she shot in the air.”
He added details. “I start walking toward her, because she was telling me to leave the whole time and, you know, I was cursing and all that.” His two sons by a previous marriage were in the room. “If my kids wouldn’t have been there, I probably would have put my hand on her. Probably hit her. I got five baby mommas and I put my hands on every last one of them, except for one.
“I physically abused them. Emotionally. You know.”
And then came what should have been the clincher: “I honestly think she just didn’t want me to put my hands on her anymore so she did what she feel like she have to do to make sure she wouldn’t get hurt, you know. You know, she did what she had to do.”
He said, “The gun was never actually pointed at me. When she raised the gun down and raised it up, you know, the gun was never pointed at me. The fact is, you know . . . she never been violent toward me. I was always the one starting it. If she was violent toward me, it was because she was trying to get me up off her or stop me from doing.”
Gray’s deposition might have read like a confession of a husband charged with domestic violence, but it was Marissa Alexander who was convicted in April after a Duval circuit judge rejected her Stand Your Ground defense. The judge decided that Alexander could have fled instead of running into the garage and fetching the pistol from her car. “This is inconsistent with a person in genuine fear of his or her life,” the judge ruled — illustrating, if nothing else, that the effectiveness of the controversial self-defense statute varies wildly from one Florida circuit to the next.
Marissa fired the gun twice that day into the wall. No one was injured. But the State Attorney’s Office said the reckless discharge of a firearm endangered the children. A jury (never told about the mandatory 20-year sentence) agreed. Circuit Judge James Daniel, handing down the verdict, noted that because of the state law, the sentencing decision “has been entirely taken out of my hands.”
Duval State Attorney Angela Corey, the same special prosecutor brought in by the governor to oversee the Trayvon Martin case in Sanford, dismissed the growing protests against the disproportionate verdict. Corey noted that just a few days before her trial, Alexander had rejected a plea offer that would have sent her to prison for three years instead of 20.
But three years would still seem a harsh sentence for a woman whose crime was to use a firearm to fend off the likes of Rico Gray. “The way I was with women, they was like they had to walk on egg shells around me. They never knew what I was thinking. What I might say . . . What I might do . . . I hit them. Push them.”
Some victim.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/05/31/150383/commentary-no-justice-when-the.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_term=news#storylink=cpy

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Commentary: No justice when the real crime victim goes to jail | McClatchy


Commentary: No justice when the real crime victim goes to jail | McClatchy.

Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2012Modified Tuesday, May 29, 2012
 email|print|tool nameclose tool goes here Commentary: No justice when the real crime victim goes to jail
Fred Grimm The Miami Herald
The “victim,” in this twisted tale of Florida justice, was Rico Gray, a 245-pound Jacksonville truck driver with a proclivity for domestic violence.
The “criminal,” the woman sentenced to 20 years of hard time on May 11, was his wife, Marissa Alexander, five feet, two inches tall and slight enough, as Gray mentioned in his pre-trial deposition, that on two occasions he tossed her from their house without much physical exertion. “She’s a little person so it doesn’t take much for me to pick her up and tote her out my front door . . . You know, I pretty much picked her up and throwed her out.”
In the months before the incident that sent Marissa to prison, in addition to bodily heaving her out the door, Gray had beaten her, head-butted her in the face while she was pregnant, sent her to the hospital. One of his three arrests on domestic violence charges had been for an attack on Alexander that led to a conviction and probation. On Sept. 30, 2009, a Duval County circuit judge issued an injunction against Gray, ordering him to keep away from Alexander. (In his deposition, Gray said he was previously arrested for striking two other women in the face who, he explained, “wouldn’t shut up.”)
But on August 10, 2010, as Gray approached her in a rage, Alexander (a software firm employee with an MBA and no previous criminal record) fired a pistol twice into the air. A jury convicted her of aggravated assault with a firearm and, under Florida’s draconian mandatory minimum sentencing laws, the presiding judge was left with no discretion. So she got 20 years. Her thug husband got custody of their baby son.
Women’s groups, anti-domestic violence activists, the Jacksonville NAACP, U.S. Rep. Corinne Brown and advocates for sentencing reform have all issued outraged statements condemning the verdict and the sentence. (A “Free Marissa” demonstration planned for Tuesday in Jacksonville was postponed after the city was slammed by Tropical Storm Beryl.)
But it was the words of Gray himself, in his Nov. 22, 2010, deposition, that best illustrated the perversity of his wife’s prosecution and conviction and unyielding prison sentence.
Sitting in the State Attorney’s Office, Gray described how he had erupted in anger when he discovered text messages on his wife’s phone to another man. (Alexander had moved out, but had come home briefly that day to retrieve her clothes.) “I was in a rage. I called her a whore and bitch and . . . I told her, you know, I used to always tell her that, if I can’t have you, nobody going to have you. It was not the first time of ever saying it to her.”
Gray said he had intimated that he had unsavory friends who would carry out vengeful acts on his behalf. “I ain’t going to lie. I been on the streets before I started driving trucks, you know, so I know a lot of people and she knows I know a lot of people.”
As they argued, he recounted, Marissa retreated into the bathroom. “I don’t recall breaking the door open, but I know I beat on it hard enough where it could have been broken open. Probably had some dents.”
Once he managed to get inside, he said he pushed her into the door with enough violence to further damage the door.
Did you put your hands around her neck? “Not that particular day. No.”
They struggled. She ran out through the laundry room into the garage. “But I knew she couldn’t leave out of the garage because the garage door was locked.” She came back, he said, with a gun, yelling at him to leave. “I told her I ain’t leaving until you talk to me, I ain’t going nowhere, and so I started walking toward her and she shot in the air.”
He added details. “I start walking toward her, because she was telling me to leave the whole time and, you know, I was cursing and all that.” His two sons by a previous marriage were in the room. “If my kids wouldn’t have been there, I probably would have put my hand on her. Probably hit her. I got five baby mommas and I put my hands on every last one of them, except for one.
“I physically abused them. Emotionally. You know.”
And then came what should have been the clincher: “I honestly think she just didn’t want me to put my hands on her anymore so she did what she feel like she have to do to make sure she wouldn’t get hurt, you know. You know, she did what she had to do.”
He said, “The gun was never actually pointed at me. When she raised the gun down and raised it up, you know, the gun was never pointed at me. The fact is, you know . . . she never been violent toward me. I was always the one starting it. If she was violent toward me, it was because she was trying to get me up off her or stop me from doing.”
Gray’s deposition might have read like a confession of a husband charged with domestic violence, but it was Marissa Alexander who was convicted in April after a Duval circuit judge rejected her Stand Your Ground defense. The judge decided that Alexander could have fled instead of running into the garage and fetching the pistol from her car. “This is inconsistent with a person in genuine fear of his or her life,” the judge ruled — illustrating, if nothing else, that the effectiveness of the controversial self-defense statute varies wildly from one Florida circuit to the next.
Marissa fired the gun twice that day into the wall. No one was injured. But the State Attorney’s Office said the reckless discharge of a firearm endangered the children. A jury (never told about the mandatory 20-year sentence) agreed. Circuit Judge James Daniel, handing down the verdict, noted that because of the state law, the sentencing decision “has been entirely taken out of my hands.”
Duval State Attorney Angela Corey, the same special prosecutor brought in by the governor to oversee the Trayvon Martin case in Sanford, dismissed the growing protests against the disproportionate verdict. Corey noted that just a few days before her trial, Alexander had rejected a plea offer that would have sent her to prison for three years instead of 20.
But three years would still seem a harsh sentence for a woman whose crime was to use a firearm to fend off the likes of Rico Gray. “The way I was with women, they was like they had to walk on egg shells around me. They never knew what I was thinking. What I might say . . . What I might do . . . I hit them. Push them.”
Some victim.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/05/31/150383/commentary-no-justice-when-the.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_term=news#storylink=cpy

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Know the Universal Declaration for Human Rights. Sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


 

ARTICLE 10 - Universal Declaration of Human Rights
ARTICLE 10 – Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Photo credit: art makes me smile)

http://www.takepart.com/actions/know-universal-declaration-human-rights

Know the Universal Declaration for Human Rights

.Sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

It’s time for a global conversation about human rights. It’s time to consider the values that unite us as one human family. And now, for the very first time, citizens of the world can sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), a document that calls for freedom, safety, and personal and political rights for everyone around the world. For the last 60 years only governments were asked to sign the Declaration.

Now, you can join the Elders, an international organization comprised of Nobel Peace Laureates and other world leaders in their “Every Human Has Rights” campaign, launched to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the UDHR. The organization is led by Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter. Their goal is to get one billion signatures.

Sign the historical Declaration today and celebrate the basic principles of justice, equality and rights for all humanity.

                                      TAKE ACTION 

 

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Canada-Wide Arrest Warrant Issued for Suspect in Body Part Mailings


Authorities have issued a “Canada-wide arrest warrant” for Rocco Luka Magnotta, a suspect police have connected to a homicide and the mailings of two body parts. Magnotta, 29, also goes by the pseudonyms Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov, according to the Montreal Police Department,…

viaCanada-Wide Arrest Warrant Issued for Suspect in Body Part Mailings.

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    Syrian Houla Massacres: Divide & Conquer Strategy Exposed  : Information Clearing House


 

 

    Syrian Houla Massacres: Divide & Conquer Strategy Exposed  : Information Clearing House.

WARNING:       http://youtu.be/ngUJsfr5rrA

This video contains images that depict the reality and horror of war.

It should only be viewed by a mature audience

Syrian Houla Massacres: Divide & Conquer Strategy Exposed

Video By Syrian Girl

The mainstream media is blaming the Houla massacre on the syrian military. However facts on the ground do not match this statement. The massacres in Syria are purposeful, to fuel a civil war in my country and pave the way for foreign interventions.

 

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spiritandanimal.wordpress.com

Hole In My Life by Jack Gantos

 Paperback, 199 pages, Feiwel & Friends, $9.99, published April 24 2012 | purchase close Purchase Featured BooksHole in My LifeJack Gantos Amazon »iBookstore »Independent Booksellers

»Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How? Some of you may know Jack Gantos as the winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal or as the author of the beloved children’s picture book Rotten Ralph and the Joey Pigza series.

 So you might not know that when Gantos was 19, he went to federal prison for smuggling 2,000 pounds of hashish on a sailboat from the Virgin Islands to New York City. This is Gantos‘ memoir of those years, the story of a smart, passionate kid who makes the ultimate mistake and then makes his way out. The book is a page-turner even though we know what happens in the end (Gantos gets caught, serves his…

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CLAIM YOUR INNOCENCE

May 29, 2012

(Reuters) – A convicted killer sentenced to death for the 1979 murder of a 13-year-old boy has hanged himself on California’sdeath row, months before voters in the state are due to decide whether to abolish the death penalty, prison officials said on Tuesday.
James Lee Crummel,68, was found hanging in his cell at San Quentin State Prison, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Sam Robinson said in a written statement.
Crummel, who had prior convictions for child molestation, was pronounced dead at 4:20 p.m. on Sunday. He was sentenced to death in 2004 for the 1979 kidnapping, sexual abuse and murder of 13-year-old Wilfred Trotter, Robinson said. Crummel had been housed on death row ever since.
The suicide comes ahead of a ballot measure in California in November in which voters will decide whether to repeal the death penalty in a state that…

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