CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 2013 |
About 30,000 California prisoners this week began what could potentially be the biggest prison hunger strike in state history. Out of curiosity, I checked out the petition containing the prisoners' demands. The first signature belongs to Todd Ashker, a convicted killer incarcerated at Pelican Bay. He doesn't sound so bad when you check him out at “ Write a Prisoner ,” the prison pen pal website. Born under the astrological sign of Cancer, he just turned 50, is separated, and in 2008, earned a paralegal degree.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2013 |
California's bid to end court oversight of the care it gives about 33,000 mentally ill inmates was heard Wednesday by a federal judge who voiced concern that he had only days to weigh thousands of pages of contradictory claims and issue a decision. Gov. Jerry Brown's motion to end oversight, filed in early January, triggered a federal law that requires a decision in 90 days. Documents produced in court show the state began its own preparation in late 2011, when it hired experts to review the adequacy of inmate care.
April 3, 2011 |
The lawyers who spent years fighting to free prisoners at Guantanamo Bay thought they had won in 2008, when the Supreme Court gave detainees a right to go to court and Barack Obama was elected president. But things haven't worked out as they had hoped. Last month, President Obama reversed a campaign promise and announced plans to keep prisoners at Guantanamo indefinitely. Congress has blocked moving any prisoners from the Cuba detention center to this country, even for a trial.
March 7, 2010 |
According to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a prisoner who was slammed to a concrete floor and punched and kicked by a guard after asking for a grievance form -- but suffered neither serious nor permanent harm -- has no claim that his constitutional rights were violated. Thomas objected when the high court, in a little-noted recent opinion, said this unprovoked and malicious assault by a North Carolina prison guard amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. The court's decision came a few days after Thomas' now-famous former law clerk John C. Yoo was charged with flawed reasoning, but not professional misconduct, as a Justice Department lawyer when he applied much the same view toward the treatment of Al Qaeda prisoners.
February 14, 2010
During a visit to the Tehran military courthouse one day last fall, Hossein and Hamid spotted the doctor. Memories from their five days at Kahrizak prison came flooding back. Prisoners seeking help were handed a few aspirin and told to go away. When they asked for bandages, the doctor struck some lightly with a club. One inmate had been beaten so badly on his feet that his toes were swollen and infected and he couldn't walk properly. He arranged for an appointment with the doctor, who told him, "Get lost before I beat you up," according to Hossein, who said he didn't even bother asking for help for his own injuries.
January 30, 2010 |
In a trial that never became the referendum on abortion that some abortion foes wanted, Scott Roeder, a 51-year-old airport shuttle driver, was convicted Friday of murdering George Tiller, one the nation's few physicians who performed late-term abortions. When he was slain in the vestibule of his church last May 31, Tiller became the eighth doctor since 1993 to be killed by antiabortion extremists. In June, his family announced that his clinic would close permanently. The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for only 37 minutes before finding Roeder guilty of premeditated murder.