Friday, April 10, 2009

A Late Friday Roundup

Witch Hunt airs this weekend on MSNBC. Set a reminder for Sunday at 10 PM!

Public defenders in Chicago, their coffers depleted, are now asking a judge to dismiss a death case. TalkLeft relays, "Without money to retain expert witnesses for their client who has serious mental issues and is facing the death penalty for a double homicide, they can't provide an adequate defense and comply with the Sixth Amendment's requirement of a fair trial."

I once heard an argument from a public defender against cutting the budgets of their office. More specifically, they were protesting the cuts to the PD's office as part of "across the board" budget cuts. Across the board cuts seem fair on their face, except for when the lawyer pointed out that endangering the accused's right to defense challenges his Constitutional rights in a way that cutting his access to education or healthcare doesn't. Although it's an uneasy conclusion, I find it hard to argue with. tells us about the job cuts that corrections officers around the country are facing:

It seems like every State is laying off or cutting the wages of corrections workers. This is bad not just for the workers themselves, but for inmates and inmates' families. If the prison population remains the same but the number of correctional officers is cut, the remaining officers are going to have a harder job and be under more stress and stressed out cops running a prison is a very bad thing. Article after article keeps popping up about these layoffs and wage cuts.
Kudos to the C.I.A. for closing its secret prisons and kicking out contractors. Operating black sites hidden from public scrutiny and entirely unaccountable – not to mention the activities that allegedly went on inside – represents a staggering effacement of American values.

Finally, the 13th Texas Court of Appeals upheld a $42 million judgment against a private prison company for failing to protect a prisoner who was murdered while in their custody.

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