Tag Archives | Prison

Texas Blocked From Debuting Controversial New Lethal-Injection Cocktail

ap_texas_execution_cleve_foster_nt_110405_mnThe state of Texas will have to wait until another day to try out a newly formulated death-inducing mixture which critics say could cause agonizing suffering. Cleve Foster, a Desert Storm veteran convicted of the murder of a woman he’d met in a bar, was scheduled to be executed tonight; this afternoon the Supreme Court blocked his execution for reasons including “questions related to his guilt.” The Atlantic Wire elaborates:

Foster has maintained his innocence for years, writing that he is “on death row waiting to die for a crime another man has confessed to.” He’s referring to Sheldon Ward, who was convicted alongside Foster in 2004 and has since died in prison of a brain tumor.

The drugs the state would have used to execute Foster–a cocktail of pentobarbital, pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride–have never been used in a Texas execution before.

If the cocktail doesn’t work properly, says Stafford Smith, director of the human-rights organization Reprieve, then during his execution, Foster will experience “excruciating pain that has been likened to having one’s veins set on fire.”

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Facial Recognition Technology Gains AI

Steve Lohr describes a truly alarming development in facial recognition technology, showing how it is already in use to control prison populations, and in all probability before long, the general public. In the video below Dr. Rosalind Picard demonstrates two technologies invented at MIT that the company leading the research, Affectiva, is developing into products. Check it out and read the whole New York Times story, it's information you should be fully aware of:
Hundreds of correctional officers from prisons across America descended last spring on a shuttered penitentiary in West Virginia for annual training exercises...
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Cellphones Gain Population In Prisons,Though Banned

Photo: United States Department of Homeland Security employee confiscating a cellphone during a pat-down inspection

Photo: United States Department of Homeland Security employee confiscating a cellphone during a pat-down inspection

What do prisoners do for fun? Play games on Facebook, text their friends, and organize strikes via their smartphones. Though prisoners are locked up and cut-off from the outside population, they are finding ways to become and remain part of the digital society. The New York Times reports:

A counterfeiter at a Georgia state prison ticks off the remaining days of his three-year sentence on his Facebook page. He has 91 digital “friends.” Like many of his fellow inmates, he plays the online games FarmVille and Street Wars.

He does it all on a Samsung smartphone, which he says he bought from a guard. And he used the same phone to help organize a short strike among inmates at several Georgia prisons last month.

Technology is changing life inside prisons across the country at the same rapid-fire pace it is changing life outside.

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WikiLeaker Bradley Manning’s Brutal Detention

manningHere’s what America has in store whistle-blowers — Despite not being charged with a crime, 22-year-old Army private and alleged WikiLeaker Bradley Manning has spent the past seventh months imprisoned under some of the most extreme, brutal conditions possible: total isolation for 23 hours a day, every day, while being dosed with antidepressants to prevent his mind from snapping. Salon takes a look at Bradley’s background and his current fate, which it says is undoubtedly torture:

Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months — and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait — under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture.

Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning’s detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt.

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Prisoner Killed Girlfriend In Jail, Body Found In Prison Cell Three Months Later

article-1335114-0C53C038000005DC-239_468x423In the Peruvian prison that houses four times as many prisoners than capacity allows, it’s hard to believe anything goes unseen. Especially a rotting corpse. Daily Mail reports:

A prisoner murdered his girlfriend and buried her body in his cell where it lay undetected for THREE months.

Dutchman Jackson Conquet confessed to strangling Leslie Paredes, 22,  when she visited him at his Peruvian jail.

He killed her after she said she wanted to end their relationship and hid the body under a concrete bench he built over her grave.

Police only realised what had happened when they launched an investigation into a ‘strong smell’ coming from the cell.

Conquet, 32, admitted the killing at Lima’s Lurigancho prison, which holds more than 8,000 inmates, many of them dangerous.

[Continues at Daily Mail]

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Wisconsin Court Forbids Prison Inmates from Playing Dungeons & Dragons

nodandd Nerds behind bars.The Volokh Conspiracy illuminates this tragic first-world problem.
In a decision issued today, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a Wisconsin prison’s rule forbidding inmates to play Dungeons & Dragons or possess D&D publications and materials [HT: Josh Blackman]. The prison’s rationale for the ban is that playing D&D might stimulate “gang activity” by inmates. But the government conceded that there is no evidence that Dungeons and Dragons actually had stimulated gang activity in the past, either in this prison or elsewhere. The only evidence for the supposedly harmful effects of Dungeons and Dragons were a few cases from other states where playing the game supposedly led inmates to indulge in “escapism” and become divorced from reality, one case where two non-inmates committed a crime in which they “acted out” a D&D story-line, and one where a longtime D&D player (not an inmate) committed suicide. Obviously, almost any hobby or reading material might lead people to become divorced from reality, or in rare cases commit suicide. And disturbed individuals could potentially “act out” a crime based on a scenario in almost any film or literary work. Should prisons ban The Count of Monte Cristo on the grounds that it might encourage escape attempts? Moreover, the “escapism” rationale conflicts with the gang argument. People who become engrossed in escapism and retreat from society are presumably less likely to become active gang members.
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