Tag Archives: jail

Federal Judge Throws Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis In Jail

ASHLAND, Ky.– On Thursday, a federal judge ordered Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to be jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples after a recent Supreme Court decision overturned all bans on gay marriage across the country.  On Monday, the Court ordered that Davis issue the marriage licenses despite her religious beliefs.

“The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order,” Judge Bunning said. “If you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that’s what potentially causes problems.”

Bunning said that Davis would be released once she decided to comply with his order and issue marriage licences to homosexual couples.

As marshals led Davis from the courtroom to jail, Ms. Davis said, “Thank you, Judge.”

Hundreds of protesters supporting both parties were present.

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Native American Activist Found Dead In Jail Cell After Failing To Pay Fine

Activists are calling for a private autopsy after a 53-year old man was found dead inside a county jail in Philadelphia, Mississippi on July 14th.

On July 9th Rexdale W. Henry, a community activist and member of the Choctaw Nation, was arrested and taken to the Neshoba County Jail in Philadelphia, Miss for failing to pay a fine. WTOK reports that he was found dead on July 14th around 10 a.m.. He had been seen alive only 30 minutes earlier.

The State crime lab in Jackson, Mississippi conducted the original autopsy but now Henry’s friends and family are calling for a private autopsy, according to Jackson Free Press. After his funeral on July 19th his body was flown to Florida for a private autopsy. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is said to be looking into the case.

Rexdale Henry recently ran for the Choctaw Tribal Council from Bogue Chitto. His case will now be handled by civil-rights activists John Steel and Diane Nash, cofounder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The case will also receive support from Syracuse University law professors Janis McDonald and Paula Johnson of the school’s Cold Case Justice Initiative.

John Steele told the Jackson Free Press that his family is awaiting the results of two autopsies. “His fines shouldn’t have lead to his death. It couldn’t have been that bad,” Steele told the Jackson Free Press. The autopsy results will be released to the public once they are completed.

In November 2014, Michael Deangelo McDougle was also found dead  in the Neshoba County Jail.  The death of Henry is sparking outrage following a similar death involving activist Sandra Bland in Texas.

“This is NOT What Democracy Looks Like”- Sights and Sounds from Baltimore

With our heavy coverage of Baltimore and the riots, protests, activists and policing, TruthinMedia.com along with the crews at RT America have been covering the unrest in Baltimore since the very beginning.

RT America photojournalists have complied these sights and sounds from protests in Baltimore and New York City which gives a clear look at to what protestors are demanding.

Baltimore Rioter Faces Higher Bail Than Cops Charged in Freddie Gray’s Death

Allen Bullock, an 18-year-old who turned himself in to the Baltimore police after he smashed the window of a police car with a traffic cone during a riot that followed the death of Freddie Gray, now faces a higher bail than the six police officers who were charged in Gray’s death.

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The Guardian reported that Bullock was charged with “eight criminal counts, including rioting and malicious destruction of property,” after he turned himself in to the police, after being convinced by his parents that it was better to turn himself in, than to wait for the police to come find him.

By turning himself in he also let me know he was growing as a man and he recognized what he did was wrong,” said Maurice Hawkins, Bullock’s step-father. “But they are making an example of him and it is not right.”

Bobbi Smallwood, Bullock’s mother, told The Guardian that she just wanted Bullock to do the right thing, and that while she does think he needs to be punished, she thinks the sum of half a million dollars is an excessive amount. “It is just so much money,” Smallwood said. “Who could afford to pay that?

As previously reported, Baltimore State’s attorney Marilyn Mosby announced on Friday that Gray’s death has been ruled a homicide, and that six officers will face charges, including Officer William G. Porter, Lieutenant Brian W. Rice, Officer Edward M. Nero, Officer Garrett E. Miller, Sergeant Alicia D. White and Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr.

While Goodson faces the most severe charges, including misconduct in office, manslaughter by vehicle (criminal negligence), manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence), involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and second-degree depraved-heart murder, his bail was set for $350,000, according to Vox. Goodson was the officer who drove the police van, and if convicted of second-degree murder, he could face up to 30 years in prison.

The Associated Press reported that all six officers charged in Gray’s death were released on Friday on bonds ranging from $250,000 to $350,000.

An Indiegogo campaign was started in honor of helping Bullock’s family raise the money to pay his bail. It describes Bullock’s actions by saying that he was “so angry at the lack of information that he broke the windows of a police cruiser,” and that after owning up to his actions, he turned himself into the local authorities. However, the page claims that the police “set at an astronomically high” bail at $500,000 as a way to “make an example” out of Bullock.

On Monday, the campaign for Bullock had raised $5,825 in 4 days, from 269 contributors, which is approximately one percent of the $500,000 goal. The campaign has 27 days left.

California governor sends out Christmas pardons, retracts one

California Gov. Jerry Brown has upheld his Christmas Eve tradition by issuing 105 pardons for criminals being held in the California prison system, but one of these pardons was retracted shortly afterwards.

Many of the people who have received pardons have been convicted more than a decade ago of nonviolent drug offenses or charges similar to burglary, according to CBS San Francisco.  Brown and his office have said those who were granted a pardon had been previously released without committing additional crimes, and had demonstrated “exemplary behavior” by being productive in their civilian lives.

However, according to the AP, the one pardon which was retracted was supposed to be granted to Glen Carnes.  Carnes had been convicted of a drug-related crime in 1998  when he was a teenager, but in 2013, records show he underwent disciplinary actions for providing false statements to investment regulators.

Carnes did not admit guilt to these allegations, rather he signed a settlement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, agreeing to be barred from further financial investment.  While celebrating the holidays with his family, Carnes said he learned about his pardon retraction, and was in disbelief.

“Oh my God. You’ve got to be kidding me,” Carnes said in a phone interview.  “I cannot believe this is happening, I’ve waited 20 years for this… This is wrong.”

The pardons do not erase the conviction, rather they restore certain rights to the person.  Some of these rights include the ability to further serve on a jury and allowing a person to legally own a firearm if they were not previously convicted of a crime involving a weapon.  A previously convicted person also has the chance to work as a probation officer or a parole agent for the state.

German man sentenced for joining ISIS

In Germany, a 20-year-old man, who has been identified as Kreshnik Berisha, has been sentenced to nearly four years in jail after he admitted to joining ISIS fighters in Syria.

Berisha, according to Reuters spent six months in Syria last year, training and fighting alongside Islamic State militants.  However, the German court said there was no conclusive evidence to support the claim that he had been directly involved in any combat or fighting.

Originally, the prosecution sought four years and three months of jail time for Berisha.  Although, because he was perceived by the German judges to lack the maturity of an adult, he was sentenced to three years and nine months as a juvenile.

In the German court system, a person between the ages of 18-21 can be tried as a juvenile if they are thought to lack the maturity of an adult.

“As a youth he was not able to resist the influence of his Islamist friends,” said chief judge Thomas Sagebiel, according to Newsweek.  The judges are hoping the juvenile sentence will have the necessary educational effects to rehabilitate Berisha since he displayed radical Islamic attitudes.

Berisha’s attorney told the courts he went to Syria to fight against and overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.  He then admitted to the court that he had received weapons training from ISIS fighters and he had joined the Islamic State.

It is estimated that about 550 German citizens have traveled to the Middle East in order to join ISIS, while thousands of others from other Western nations have made the same trip.

British and French courts have also sentenced their citizens to jail time after they traveled to the Middle East to support ISIS.  French courts sentenced one man, who spent only 10 days in Syria, to seven years in prison.  British courts sentenced two brothers to three-and-a-half years in prison for being trained in Syria.

East TN Mother Jailed for Having Overgrown Bushes in Her Yard

Over the summer, East Tennessee resident Karen Holloway fell behind on her yard maintenance. She told WVLT Local 8 News, “With my husband going to school and working full time, me with my job, with one vehicle, we were trying our best.” City officials cited her for failing to keep up with yard work, and, last week, Lenoir City Judge Terry Vann sentenced her to five days in jail. Holloway, who is raising two children in addition to working, had gotten into trouble with lawn code enforcers in the past during a period when her husband was overseas serving his country in the military.

At a hearing on Tuesday, Holloway plead for leniency, offering to do five days of community service as an alternative to jail time. Judge Vann refused her proposal, but reduced her jail time to six hours.

According to WVLT Local 8 News, Holloway said, “[The bushes and trees] were overgrown. But that’s certainly not a criminal offense… It’s not right. Why would you put me in jail with child molesters and people who’ve done real crimes, because I haven’t maintained my yard.” Pictures of her overgrown bushes and trees can be seen in the above-embedded video footage provided by News Channel 5 Nashville.

Holloway said that she was never read her Miranda rights and that officials did not offer her the opportunity to be represented by an attorney. Despite the fact that she was sentenced to jail time, Judge Vann said that Holloway’s case was classified as non-criminal. She reported to jail on Tuesday evening to serve her time. As another condition of her sentence, code enforcers will check up on her yard in November, and, if it does not meet the city’s standards, she could be sentenced to further jail time.

City officials instructed concerned citizens to direct questions about the case to Lenoir City Police Chief Don White. Chief White told WVLT Local 8 News that this was the first time the city has jailed someone over lawn maintenance codes. “We’ve never incarcerated anyone because everyone always complies. We’d never want things to get to this point,” he said.

Said Karen Holloway, “This opens a floodgate to everybody in Lenoir City being put in jail for silly things.” She told The Tennessean, “I’m embarrassed the place I pay taxes for is taking time to incarcerate me when there are other real criminals in this town.” After her release, she said of her jail time, “I’m a mom. I don’t want to leave my kids. I want to be there with them every night and I have been for 25 years and last night I wasn’t and that really bothers me.”

Kokesh receives sentence from Judge: “I will be happy to refrain from civil disobedience”

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On Friday, Adam Kokesh, an anarchist gun-rights activist, was handed down his sentence from a July 4th incident last year when he uploaded a Youtube video of himself with a loaded shotgun near the White House.

“I protest because I believe it is everyone’s right,” he said, standing next to his attorney. “I made an error in judgement. I am here because I take responsibility. I will be happy to refrain from civil disobedience.”

According to the Washington Post, Judge Patricia A. Broderick said she sentenced Kokesh to a year in jail, but suspended the jail time in favor of probation because he had adhered to Court orders since his release in November. Kokesh was also credited the 120 days he had spent in jail.

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Holder Announces Significant Changes To Drug Sentencing Policies

On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced major changes in federal drug sentencing practices.

Holder has proposed that federal prosecutors stop charging low-level, non-violent drug users with offenses that carry severe mandatory sentences.

During his San Francisco speech, Holder said black males receive sentences 20 percent longer than whites who are convicted of the same crime. He asserted that his proposed changes would stop the justice system from unfairly targeting minorities and the poor.

Holder said, “This isn’t just unacceptable, it is shameful.”

Attorney General Eric Holder Announces Changes In Prosecution Of Low Level Drug Offenders

Although Holder is a sometimes-controversial figure, his proposed drug sentencing policies have generally received positive feedback from both sides of the political aisle. Republicans who support the changes point out that millions would be saved in prison costs each year.

As reported by The Washington Post:

“In Congress, both Republican and Democratic leaders have introduced legislation aimed at giving federal judges more discretion in applying mandatory minimums to certain drug offenders.

Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington Legislative Office, said the ACLU is “thrilled” by Holder’s actions.

‘These policies will make it more likely that wasteful and harmful federal prison overcrowding will end,’ Murphy said.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he was heartened by the Obama administration’s willingness to review mandatory minimum sentencing. But Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), said the law should be changed only in conjunction with Congress.”

Holder pointed out that similar steps have worked on the state level.

In Kentucky, over $400 million is projected to be saved in the next ten years by focusing resources on support groups and community supervision. In Kentucky, jail cells are only reseved for very serious offenders.

And in Texas, drug treatment programs for lower-level, non-violent drug users has lowered the prison population by 5,000 in just one year.

Holder wants to use these states as a model for the nation. During his speech, he pointed out that America’s prison population has increased 800 percent since 1980. The statistic is shocking and highlights a real problem in our justice system. Holder said, “With an outsized, unnecessarily large prison population, we need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, deter and rehabilitate, not merely to warehouse and forget.”

Although the proposed changes have generally been viewed positively, it is unclear at this time exactly how they will be implemented on such a large scale.

What are your thoughts on Holder’s assertions? Do you think using alternatives to jail cells for non-violent drug users is a good idea? Let us know in the comments section below.