Crime & Punishment

Reports the AP via CBS News: Georgia executed Troy Davis on Wednesday night for the murder of an off-duty police officer, a crime he denied committing right to the end as supporters…



Pelican Bay Hunger StrikeDavid Edwards writes on The Raw Story:

Between 50 and 100 inmates in solitary confinement at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison have pledged to refuse to eat until officials agree to better conditions.

Isaac Ontiveros of the anti-prison group Critical Resistance explained the prisoners’ demands to DemocracyNow.

“End the use of group punishment and administrative abuse; abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria; comply with the commission on safety and abuse in America’s prisons 2006 recommendations regarding an end to long-term solitary confinement; provide adequate and nutritious food; and expand and provide constructive programming and privileges for indefinite SHU status inmates.”







Paul KausalikShane Benjamin writes in the Durango Herald:

A Durango man was sentenced Friday to 60 days in jail for spitting his own feces on a police officer.

Paul Kausalik, 62, stood still and showed no emotion as 6th Judicial District Judge David Dickinson handed down the punishment.

Kausalik apologized to his wife, the officer and the community. His wife was in the courtroom; the officer was not.

“The occurrences of that evening are totally indefensible,” he said.

Through his attorney, Kausalik declined to comment outside the courtroom.

Kausalik’s work as a retail associate at the Durango Post Office, 222 W. Eighth St., made his a well-known face around town. He worked for the service for about 30 years and retired April 29, said Al DeSarro, a spokesman in Denver.

Kausalik was facing anything from probation to two years in jail after spitting feces at Durango police Officer Chad Langley while detained at the Durango police station.




Heroin StampDenis J. O’Malley writes in the Times-Tribune:

After crashing her car Sunday, police said a Scranton woman suspected of burglarizing the Dunmore Inn was found to have a sizeable stash of drugs and money hidden in an unlikely location. According to a criminal complaint:

Dunmore police Officer Anthony Cali asked Scranton police Officer Nancy Baumann to detain Karin Mackaliunas, 27, 1609 Mulberry St., at the scene of a crash at the North Seventh Avenue off-ramp Sunday evening…

After searching her for weapons, Officer Baumann found three bags of heroin in Ms. Mackaliunas’ jacket. But as the officer drove her to Scranton police headquarters to charge her for drug possession, Officer Baumann noticed Ms. Mackaliunas fidgeting in the backseat of the cruiser…

A search of Ms. Mackaliunas by a doctor at Community Medical Center turned up 54 bags of heroin, 31 empty bags used to package heroin, 8.5 prescription pills and $51.22.


Dear Friends, Countrymen, Freethinking Radicals and Brainwashed Monkeys, Thank you for coming. Thank you for showing your support. Thank you all for making The American Party happen. If this is your first…



Amy Dusto writes on Discovery News:

Prison guards could soon stop fights with a harmless tool that shoots a laser-like beam, video game-style, down into a room where trouble is brewing. The Assault Intervention Device (AID), funded by the National Institute of Justice, is still large and unrefined but will soon be installed for trial in at least one prison, the Pitchess Detention Center in Los Angeles County.

The AID directs an energy beam, which is in the invisible millimeter wavelength, that penetrates just deep enough beneath the skin to make the target’s pain receptors shout. The sensation is a burn like touching a hot stove or an iron. It only lasts up to 3 seconds — the AID controls automatically shut the beam off to prevent shooting for longer without resetting the trigger finger. The beam can hit a target about 100 feet away, and is about as wide as a CD.

According to Raytheon, the device’s manufacturers, it causes no actual damage to nerves or skin. This video shows the sharp reflex caused by an AID hit, and the unscathed hit receivers.





While the U.S. media simultaneously wrings its hands over whether Julian Assange should get life imprisonment or the death penalty and claims WikiLeaks revealed nothing important except about Iran’s WMD ambitions, Scott Horton reports at Harper’s:

Over the Christmas-New Year’s holiday in 2003, Khaled El-Masri traveled by bus to Skopje, Macedonia. There he was apprehended by border guards who noted the similarity of his name to that of Khalid al-Masri, an Al Qaeda agent linked to the Hamburg cell where the 9/11 attacks were plotted. Despite El-Masri’s protests that he was not al-Masri, he was beaten, stripped naked, shot full of drugs, given an enema and a diaper, and flown first to Baghdad and then to the notorious “salt pit,” the CIA’s secret interrogation facility in Afghanistan.

At the salt pit, he was repeatedly beaten, drugged, and subjected to a strange food regime that he supposed was part of an experiment that his captors were performing on him. Throughout this time, El-Masri insisted that he had been falsely imprisoned, and the CIA slowly established that he was who he claimed to be. Over many further weeks of bickering over what to do, a number of CIA figures apparently argued that, though innocent, the best course was to continue to hold him incommunicado because he “knew too much.”…





Via the First Church of Mutterhals: I’ve been watching the Death Wish movies all week on AMC. Quake loves them dearly for the wet explosions and hand cannons. I am amazed that…


Mark Kleiman, professor of Public Affairs at the UCLA, talks to ReasonTV about the overriding flaw in the U.S. criminal justice system: it’s “randomized draconianism” — that is, punishments are both too severe, and are applied irregularly, unfairly, randomly, etc., in different cases. For example, get caught violating your drug probation, and most likely nothing will happen, but there’s a small chance you will be hit with a twenty-five-year prison sentence. The solution? Modeling penalties on parenting techniques, in which punishment should be swift and certain, but not cruel or too drastic.