November 21, 2013 |
In recent months, President Obama has rededicated himself to his longtime goal of closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and there are signs that Congress may assist him in making good on that promise. It will depend on whether the final 2014 National Defense Authorization Act follows language in the Senate version relaxing current restraints on transfers of the remaining detainees. But even if additional prisoners are moved out of Guantanamo, it's vital that the U.S. not solve its immediate problem by replicating the prison elsewhere.
November 20, 2013 |
This week, the Senate takes up a White House-backed defense authorization bill that would reduce the restrictions on repatriating Yemeni nationals held in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. These changes are long overdue. Many of these detainees are eligible for transfer, which would be a significant step in closing Gitmo. However, to minimize the significant risk of them joining Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, and engaging in terrorism, the U.S. should first establish a rehabilitation center for them in Yemen, based on a Saudi Arabia model, with a rigorous post-release monitoring program.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 19, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown expressed hope Tuesday that court-ordered negotiations can resolve the lingering impasse over how to relieve prison crowding in California. As ordered by federal judges, the Brown administration has been in talks with attorneys for inmates whose lawsuits led the court to declare the prisons unconstitutionally crowded. "I'm reasonably optimistic that we're going to come to something that we can make work," Brown said at a charity event in the capital.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 15, 2013 |
Mark Berndt, the teacher who committed lewd acts against nearly two dozen Los Angeles schoolchildren, was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison after facing the parents of his victims, many of whom berated him for stealing the innocence of their children. Berndt, who taught at Miramonte Elementary School for three decades, pleaded no contest to 23 counts of lewd conduct. The allegations against him included spoon-feeding semen to blindfolded children as part of what he purportedly called a "tasting game.
November 14, 2013 |
BOSTON - It's been decades since Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger helped murder 11 people and terrorize countless others, but his actions finally caught up to him Thursday: A federal judge sentenced him to two consecutive life terms plus five years, all but guaranteeing he will spend the rest of his life in prison. After reading a lengthy rebuke of Bulger, 84, and the names of the 11 people he was convicted of killing, U.S. District Judge Denise J. Casper imposed the sentence and ordered him to pay $19.5 million in restitution to the victims' families.
November 12, 2013 |
MINERSVILLE, Pa. - He hobbled down the dark tiled hallway, leaning heavily on his black wooden cane. His feet shuffled, his hands shook, and finally 85-year-old Benjamin Share nearly collapsed into a chair in the prison visitation room. Convicted in 2006 for illegally pocketing a quarter of a million in taxpayer money, he struggles with diabetes, tuberculosis, osteoporosis, hypertension and arthritis, which has ravaged his hips and spine. He has undergone kidney dialysis and treatment for cancer on his scalp and scar tissue on his lungs.