March 21, 2012
Human rights activists rallied in downtown L.A. on Tuesday to call for intervention by the United Nations to stop the torture of prisoners by an amoral regime. But they weren't talking about Syria, Cuba or some African dictatorship; the rogue state in question is the state of California. The Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, along with a handful of prison-advocacy groups, submitted a petition to the U.N. requesting an on-site investigation of conditions in California's Security Housing Units, the segregated cells where prisoners suspected of gang involvement are placed.
November 13, 1988 |
A prominent Chinese political prisoner has been kept in solitary confinement for seven years and refuses to confess in full his "counterrevolutionary crimes," the prison's warden said. "Xu Wenli is here but you cannot see him," Col. Xing Zhonghe said Friday in a rare interview after guards gave reporters a guided tour of Beijing's No. 1 Prison. The prison is home to 2,000 long-term criminals and more than 30 political prisoners. "Xu committed counterrevolutionary crimes," said Xing.
March 1, 2010
Bricklayer Orlando Zapata Tamayo didn't commit murder. He didn't plot an assassination or the violent overthrow of the government. He was arrested on March 20, 2003, in Cuba, while taking part in a hunger strike to demand the release of political prisoners, and was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of showing contempt for Fidel Castro as well as public disorder and disobedience, according to Amnesty International. Over the next six years, he is believed to have had eight more hearings and was convicted at least three more times, bringing his total sentence to about 36 years -- a figure his friends say may be inexact because the proceedings were secret.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 1988
A suspect in the torture-killing of narcotics agent Enrique Camarena lost a bid Friday for release from solitary confinement, where he claims the government is trying to break him psychologically. U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson notified attorneys in the case that he would not issue a temporary restraining order forcing officials at Terminal Island federal prison to release Jesus Felix-Gutierrez from "lock-down" status.
March 28, 2013 |
In the indie filmmaking world, there's economy of means, and then there's overconfidence in the appeal of those restrictions. The micro-drama "Detour" may have arisen from the former but suffers from the latter. Following such arias of captivity as "127 Hours" and "Buried," writer-director William Dickerson gives us mudslide victim Jackson (Neil Hopkins), an ad man trapped in his car for nearly the entire running time. (The "nearly" refers to smartphone videos of his wife, the odd dream/nightmare and his do-or-die escape attempt.)
March 8, 2013 |
A New Mexico man who spent nearly two years behind bars without trial will receive a $15.5-million settlement because a federal jury decided that his rights to adequate medical attention and due process had been violated. During the time Stephen Slevin, 58, spent in solitary confinement at Doña Ana County Detention Center, his mental and physical health deteriorated so severely that he spent hours on end rocking back and forth beneath a blanket, his attorney told the Los Angeles Times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 1, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - California's practice of isolating prison inmates it suspects of gang affiliations and keeping them that way for years is being challenged in federal court by a national civil rights group. Inmate advocates say California is the only state that makes such extensive, harsh use of solitary confinement, which amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. The inmates are segregated based on thin evidence and prevented from seeking parole, the advocates say, and their isolation leads to mental and medical problems.
March 24, 2013 |
Events surrounding Evan Spencer Ebel's death after a gun battle on a Texas highway last week represent a series of unconnected dots for investigators. Ebel, 28, has been formally identified as a suspect in the doorstep slaying of Tom Clements, who had directed Colorado's prison system for two years. Clements was fatally shot at his home north of Colorado Springs on Tuesday after answering his door. A warrant showed investigators had matched the brand and caliber of shell casings from the Texas gunfight with those found at Clements' home.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 2002 |
Noemi has been in the county jail's discipline unit for months. But unlike the women around her, she was not sent to solitary confinement because she was deemed out of control. In Noemi's case, her problem is not her behavior but her age: She is 17. Noemi is part of a wave of juveniles who are being sent to answer for their crimes in adult court and sentenced to serve their time in adult institutions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 2000
The Wen Ho Lee case is a travesty of justice and an obscene abuse of government power (Sept. 13-14). Lee may be a free man, but he is a felon who has lost his right to vote, run for office, bear arms or serve on jury duty. And for what? Downloading classified data onto an unsecured computer and portable tapes, which was a common practice at the lab. Even when the government realized its case was weak, it continued to hold Lee in strict confinement for 278 days. Yet nothing was made of the missing and mysteriously reappearing hard drives that occurred during the Los Alamos fire while Lee was in custody.