Huffington Post

Tortured Until Proven Guilty: Bradley Manning and the Case Against Solitary Confinement

[MANY LINKS BELOW ARTICLE]

Lynn Parramore, Editor of New Deal 2.0, Co-founder of Recessionwire  Posted: Dec 31, 2010

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

In the earliest days of our Republic, a group of well-meaning Philadelphia Quakers set out to reform the prison system. The idea was to remove convicts from the mayhem and corruption of overcrowded jails to solitary cells where sinners would return to mental and spiritual health through reflection. In the Walnut Street Jail, no windows would distract the prisoners with street life; no conversation would disturb their penitence. Alone with God, they would be rehabilitated.

There was a small problem. Many of the prisoners went insane. The Walnut Street Jail was shut down in 1835.

What About Leonard Peltier? Or the MOVE 9?

Obama Issues First Pardons Of His Presidency

by Dan Froomkin 12/3/10-- President Obama, who had gone nearly 700 days without using his clemency power, finally issued nine pardons on Friday afternoon to a very minor rogue's gallery of small-time felons who long ago did their time, if they did any at all.

Far from sending a message about the excesses and errors of the judicial system, Obama picked minor and sometimes ancient offenses -- such as a 1963 conviction for "mutilation of coins" -- to forgive. He also chose not to commute any sentences at all.

The Quality of Whose Life? Part 3

by Paul Boden Nov 18, 2010
Organizing Director, Western Regional Advocacy Project

This is the third article in a series we're writing on Quality of Life ordinances, our contemporary version of the vagrancy laws that have been with us for centuries. In the South, they were used to force freed slaves back to the plantation. In the North, they were used to instill a Protestant work ethic in indigent whites. This compulsion to control labor and separate the "worthy" from the "unworthy" is deeply ingrained in our culture and institutions.

Supreme Court Miranda Ruling: Suspects Must Explicitly Tell Police They Want To Remain Silent

The case is Berghuis v. Thompkins, 08-1470.   CLICK HERE for the Supreme Court Ruling

Want to invoke your right to remain silent? You'll have to speak up.

In a narrowly split decision, the Supreme Court's conservative majority expanded its limits on the famous Miranda rights for criminal suspects on Tuesday – over the dissent of new Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who said the ruling turned Americans' rights of protection from police abuse "upside down."