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Jun 14, 2010

Here we are again - at the eve of another Texas execution.  The United States Bureau of Prisons never answered the Neal family's Freedom of Information Act request regarding the secret arrest and wrongful death of Larry Neal.  The United States Department of Justice REFUSED to answer the Neal family's Freedom of Information Act request about Larry Neal.  The murder of my mentally and physically disabled brother is instead covered up by authorities, murderous police were protected from investigation and accountability, and our family is censored and persecuted for asking how/why Larry was murdered (see http://WrongfulDeathOfLarryNeal.com ).  The justice system in America should show a semblance of respect for human life sufficient to (1) come clean about Larry Neal's murder by the government, and (2) acknowledge that the "right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" necessarily means DNA tests for convicted persons who request them to prove their innocence, (3) stop using America's mentally ill citizens as commodities for prison profiteers, and (4) say DEATH TO THE DEATH PENALTY.  Please see the notice below from the Texas Moratorium Network regarding the impending execution of a man who has repented from his crime, unlike America's murderous justice system, which refuses to even give my family records or information on my brother's secret murder in their custody.

June 14, 2010

Dear supporter of Texas Moratorium Network,

David Powell is scheduled for execution on Tuesday, June 15, in Texas. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has voted 7-0 against commuting David Powell's death sentence or granting him a stay.  Powell, 59, was convicted and sentenced to death in the May 18, 1978 death of Police Officer Ralph Ablanedo during a traffic stop in Austin.


If you are in Austin, please attend the demonstration against the execution

of David Powell. The demonstration is Monday June 14, at 5:30 at the

Texas Capitol. Meet on the sidewalk at 11th and Congress.


Groups organizing the Monday demonstration include Let David Live, Campaign to End the Death Penalty - Austin, Texas Moratorium Network, Students Against the Death Penalty and others.  Join the Facebook page for this event here.


Everyone please call the Travis County District Attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg, and leave a message that she should do whatever she can to stop this execution, for example she could ask Governor Perry to issue a 30 day stay of execution or she could ask the trial judge to withdraw the execution date. Call her even if you have signed the petition. We want her to be getting calls all day Monday and Tuesday.

You can call DA Rosemary Lehmberg's office starting at 8 am Texas time on Monday at:

512 854-9400.

We know several tv stations that will be covering the Monday demonstration, so please attend if you can or ask your friends in Austin to attend.  Help us build the demonstration to show that Austinites do not support this execution!

David Powell has spent 32 years on death row, where he has become an example of how a person sentenced to death can transform his life and make a positive contribution to his community on death row as well as on the society outside prison.

There is less violence and better relationships between people on death row because of David being alive. You can read testimonials from people on death row about how David has affected them positively in his application for clemency.

David Powell was convicted in Austin, which many people believe is the most progressive city in Texas. We are asking the district attorney in Austin to reflect the values of the community and ask the convicting court to withdraw the execution date for David Powell.

Austin's newspaper, the Austin American-Statesman, has written an editorial saying a fairer sentence in Powell's case would be for him to spend the rest of his life in prison, instead of being executed. The Austin Chronicle has also said the execution should be stopped.

Sign the email petition to urge District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to ask the convicting court to withdraw the execution date for David Powell.

You can also send an email to Governor Perry using his online email form, but the first action we are asking people to take is to contact Rosemary Lehmberg.

Watch a video on YouTube of the press conference we held last week with David's attorney, uncle and supporters

 THE EXECUTION OF DAVID LEE POWELL – JUNE 15, 2010


David Lee Powell, convicted and sentenced to death in 1978 for the murder of Austin Police Officer Ralph Ablanedo, is scheduled to be executed in Huntsville on June 15, 2010. 

There will be a large group of people attending outside the prison walls, including Austin Police Officers.  In fact, the Austin Police Association has chartered a bus and booked a block of discounted hotel rooms to bring in as many uniforms as possible in a show of force, or as they call it, “support for the family”. 

In other words, they will be celebrating the death of David Lee Powell.
The Austin Police flooded the courtroom with up to 100 uniformed officers every time David Lee Powell was sentenced, showing the jury that they lived for his death.  Now, 32 years after the first trial, even though many officers were not even born when this crime occurred, the torch has been passed. 

The Police Association is out of step with the community that its members serve.  As police officers, the members of the Association serve with dignity and honor and provide a critical and much appreciated service to the community.  As people who celebrate the death of another person, out of some sense of getting even, they bring dishonor to themselves and Austin.  Though they will not string David Powell up in a tree, the revelry they plan conjures up those haunting images.

There has been a spirited movement to try to halt David’s execution, spearheaded by a group calling themselves Let David Live.  The idea that, after 32 years of living in desperate conditions on Death Row, after his case has been reversed twice, the State of Texas still means to execute this man is intolerable to many people in Travis County.  Those people have mobilized to flood the DA’s office with letters and calls, asking her to withdraw the death warrant.

David is an extraordinary human being, as the video “Saving David Powell” and his website will attest.  See David’s story at
http://letdavidlive.org/


David held all the promise and hope of the gifted college student that he was in the late 60s.  He was an idealist who fell into using methamphetamines, became addicted, and lost his way. By 1978, he was struggling inside a deep speed psychosis, and in this state – frightened and paranoid -- he killed Ralph Ablanedo after a traffic stop.  David has expressed deep remorse, managed to find ways to invest his life with meaning, served innumerable needs of others on Death Row, teaching and mentoring scores of people, and apologized to Officer Ablanedo’s family.  Except for the terrible murder of Officer Ablanedo, David has no history of violence, before or after this incident – even during his 32 years on Death Row.


The public needs to know that the man they are killing has moved in the direction of redemption for three decades and is an immensely valuable and productive human being.  They should know that, in the waning years of the death penalty in the history of our country, they are putting to death a man who is utterly unworthy of execution and indisputably worthy of life.  They should know that putting David Powell to death is as much a testament to the non-viability of the death penalty as is the execution of people who have been wrongfully convicted.


And the people of Travis County, the most progressive county in Texas, need to know that they are supporting a policy of vengeance instead of true justice.

To learn more about the case of David Powell, visit letdavidlive.org or watch a 29 minute documentary, divided into four parts on YouTube: Part one, Part two, Part three, Part four.


David has expressed remorse for his actions in 1978. Because of the sincerity of his remorse and the compassionate life he has led while on death row, David deserves to have his sentence commuted from death.
Read an article in the Austin American-Statesman about the letter David Powell wrote on December 31, 2009 apologizing to the family of Ralph Ablanedo, the officer he killed in 1978.

If David Powell is executed, he will be the 460th person executed in Texas since 1982 and the 221st person executed since Rick Perry became governor. He will be the 13th person executed in Texas in 2010. 

Donations are welcome to help us fight the death penalty in the number one execution state in the U.S. You can send a check made out to:

Texas Moratorium Network
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731

Donations can also be made online using a credit card by clicking here.

Donations are not tax-deductible, because TMN's main purpose is to lobby the Texas Legislature to stop executions.

Thank you for helping us stop executions in Texas,

Your friends at Texas Moratorium Network

Dec 19, 2009
Lethal Injection Table      Jail Hands  

Movement to remove death penalty strengthens, but obstacles remain • The number of death sentence verdicts in 2009 was the lowest since the Supreme Court allowed executions to resume in 1976.
• Even in the Death Belt, states like Texas, which averaged 34 death sentences a year in the 1990s, handed down just nine this year.
• Three states in the past two years have abolished the death penalty, making New Mexico the 15th state to do so.
• Eleven states considered an abolition bill, which passed in one house of Colorado and Montana’s state legislatures, and which was adopted by Connecticut’s legislature, but vetoed by the governor.
• Nine more men under sentence of death were exonerated, bringing the total since 1973 to 139.
• A poll of police chiefs nationwide revealed little support for the practice as a law enforcement tool (”…one of the most inefficient uses of taxpayer money in fighting crime” )

While the DPIC report does not make predictions about the future, the movement to abolish the death penalty will also suffer disappointments and setbacks. For example, while public support for capital punishment continues to drop in California, which has the nation’s largest death row, the state may soon experience a spate of executions, which, because of two parallel legal challenges, has kept the state from executing anyone since Clarence Ray Allen was executed four years ago this January.

Related Links: California’s prison system, what now? | Riot at California prison as budget cuts loom | California’s three strikes law, 15 years later

First, a federal court found California’s execution protocol did not meet the requirements of the Eighth Amendment’s ban on “cruel or unusual punishment,” and ordered the state to come with new procedures. But the state violated the Administrative Procedures Act and had to start over by soliciting public input on the proposals. In the meantime, individual cases continue to wend their way through the legal thicket that is death penalty law. A number have reached the end of the appellate process and await only the decisions in the challenges pending before the state court (procedural) and the federal court (substantive).

Both those challenges are likely to be decided early in 2010, and if they are decided in the state’s favor, a number of those individuals will soon be put to death in San Quentin’s death chamber.

But while we face the real possibility of imminent executions here, internationally, both California and the U.S. continue to find themselves ever more isolated in regards to the death penalty. A few examples:

* Last month, the Russian constitutional court ruled that the ban on executions would continue to be in effect.
Turkmenistan abolished the death penalty a decade ago.
• Last year, Kyrgyzstan abolished the death penalty through a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the “inherent right to life for everyone.”
South Korea has signaled by letter to the Council of Europe that “it guarantees the non-application of the death penalty.”
• This month, a minister in Japan’s ruling coalition promised that “the Japanese government will work toward abolition.”
• China, which executes more people than any other country, has significantly reduced the number of offenses subject to capital punishment, and the vice president of the Supreme People’s Court has promised more leniency in capital cases.
• In Africa, even while Uganda debates the death penalty for homosexual conduct, other countries are following the lead South Africa established by abolishing the death penalty 11 years ago… Kenya commuted the death sentences of 4,000 people to life in prison, and in June, Togo became the 15th country in Africa to abolish capital punishment.

While the U.S. remains in the international company of Iran, Iraq, China and Cuba in its insistence on putting its citizens to death, mounting evidence points toward continuing erosion of support for capital punishment in the state, in the country, and in the world.

Note:  A ruling is expected on the lethal injection regulations for California the first part of 2010.

http://www.sdnn. com/sandiego/ 2009-12-18/ blog/a-more- perfect-union/ movement- to-remove- death-penalty- strengthens- but-still- sees-obstacles
 
Michael A. Kroll writes for New America Media

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DEATH TO THE DEATH PENALTY!
Oct 21, 2009

      Jail Hands   There have been positive changes in justice since I published the HUMAN RIGHTS FOR PRISONERS MARCH article in February 2009.  The article follows this brief introduction and update.  People are more cognizant about the circumstances under which American inmates live and the need to reduce the nation's high incarceration rate.  Jail diversion programs for the mentally ill and people with drug addictions are becoming more common.  The USDOJ made numerous grants in 2009 to reduce recidivism.  Furthermore, The Second Chance Act will soon provide better opportunities for parolees to successfully integrate into society.  The death penalty is being considered for repeal in 11 states.  Fewer people were condemned to death in 2009 than at any time since 1976.  Legislation is pending that could end sentencing children to life in prison.  Lawmakers are taking a second look at War on Drug laws such as three strikes laws and mandatory sentencing.  Judges in New York were given back the right to do discretionary sentencing. The Supreme Court ruled that defendants have the right to examine testimony presented against them from crime labs.  The attorney general stated that real justice should take precedence over procedure, and commendable steps toward real justice have been taken.  More promising legislation is pending before Congress and under consideration in state legislatures across the nation.  

Such encouraging developments indicate that marching across the Internet for human rights is effective.  There were also in-person demonstrations in 2009 to combat wrongful convictions, the death penalty, protest prison torture and overuse of force by police.  Prisoner activists, mental health advocates, death penalty abolitionists, and other organizations with a commitment to human rights courageously advocate for change, and CHANGE IS HAPPENING.  Public interest is the main reason why legislators are focusing on making our justice system more just.  Hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions and contacted their elected officials in support of prison reform and other justice issues.  

Elected officials care about what voters care about, and voters cannot care about conditions they do not know about.  There are villains who wish to prevent voters from learning about injustice and corruption in our justice system and abusive conditions within America's correctional facilities, where two-thirds of inmates were convicted of non-violent crimes.  They also seek to prevent the public from learning about humane, cost-saving remedies to America's high incarceration rate that would also promote community safety. My regular readers probably recall how the Human Rights for Prisoners March article was frequently attacked at NowPublic.com, where it was originally published.  This is my most highly censored work to date.  The article disappeared several times, and it is invisible again (see where it should be at this link:  http://www.nowpublic.com/world/human-rights-prisoners-march-was-postponed-weather ). Only some of the comments remain at the site of the Human Rights for Prisoners March article at NowPublic.com as of this date. Therefore, I decided to post it here, and it has gone out via email to hundreds of people and was published on blogs across the nation.  As you read the article, please bear in mind that some improvements have already been made, and more are coming.

My advocacy for human rights for prisoners is censored.  I think it is very significant to know WHAT the censorship staff deletes.  In addition to my Human Rights for Prisoners March article being repeatedly removed from public view, my Care2 article regarding Senator Rockefeller's Senate Bills 773 and 778 to give the presidential office the power to shut down the Internet was also deleted.  Additionally, on the list of issues presented below, numbers 24 and 25 were covertly coded to be ineligible for the copy/paste function at my online invitation to hear my October 11 interview on Rev. Pinkney Blogtalk Radio show - link:  http://freespeakblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/mary-neal-discusses-human-rights-for.html .  American Greetings eVites that I sent to 566 people were actually received by only 30 people.  No explanation was given by American Greetings, although I inquired.

My punishment for writing about prisoner issues is not limited to cyberterrorism, but includes actual stalking.  The following link should lead directly to my  interview with Rev. Pinkney, unless cyberstalkers interfere.  Hear my account of my worse stalking experience and Rev. Pinkney's imprisonment and house arrest for quoting the Biblehttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/Rev-Pinkney/2009/10/11/MARY-NEAL-A-WARRIOR

The most censored article I published to date is presented below.

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HUMAN RIGHTS FOR PRISONERS MARCH


DETAINEE TREATEMENT is frequently "inhuman" inside as it was outside America's borders. Plans are underway for the first annual Human Rights for Prisoners March and Conference in Atlanta in mid-May, 2009. Read first-person reports by seven Pennsylvania inmates who made sworn statements that they are electrocuted, beaten, half-starved, and verbally abused because they reported being tortured and beg for your help at this link (if this link is not allowed to work, please Yahoo "Mary Neal Care2 Sharebook"):

Prison Torture in Pennsylvania
http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/1124844  

Whereas prison torture has been exposed and condemned in America's offshore prisons, abusive conditions with often deadly results continue largely unchecked inside the country's correctional institutions. Furthermore, racially motivated incidents of police brutality continue to threaten the cohesion of our social structure. Information about the Human Rights for Prisoners March is at the end of this article and will be updated until finalized.

There is a need to stamp out prisoner abuse and murders inside the U.S.A. as well as outside and avoid having detainees within America's borders live and die like the individuals in the VIDEO at the link below while their families are denied records and accountability. More videos are available throughout this article. (Beware - graphic violence, nudity, and death):

Torture in American Prisons - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWxpQ87C4t4  

(Torture in American Prisons link originally placed here was deactivated. If this one fails, it is available at YouTube and other sites. Put the title in your browser for a 50 min. documentary of prison torture inside America that rivals the "War on Terror" prison camps.)

Most of the improvements listed below would cost nothing. In fact, they would reduce America’s incarceration rate and save billions of dollars annually. For instance, death row inmates cost about $90,000 more per inmate than those in maximum security prisons. Mentally ill inmates who are released under an assisted outpatient treatment program would experience a better than 80% reduction in future arrests, hospitalizations, and homelessness, and outpatient commitment would promote public safety. There are currently 1.25 million mentally ill people in America’s correctional facilities. Because treatment is significantly less expensive than either hospitalization or imprisonment, states would save significant amounts of tax money that is needed elsewhere.

Peaceful prisoner activists and individuals with an interest in human rights are invited to attend, particularly those interested in:

1) death penalty

2) prison torture

3) solitary confinement

4) life without the possibility of parole

5) trying children as adults and life sentences for minors

6) mandatory sentencing

7) three-strikes laws

8) law of parties (sentencing all parties equally regardless of parties' level of participation in crimes committed, i.e., mentally challenged Jeff Wood drove with the wrong person to a store in Texas and wound up on death row because the person robbed the store and killed the guard.  Jeff was not inside the store and did not even know a murder had occurred.)

9) criminalizing mental illness, including PTSD among American veterans

10) relocating prisoners out of state, which restricts visits even for sick prisoners

11) private prison profiteering - especially by decision-makers with positions in criminal justice (possible conflicts of interest)

12) excessive sentencing and unacceptable disparities in sentencing for similar offenses

13) enforcement of Freedom of Information Act

14) prisoner health care

15) increased funding for public defenders

16) post-conviction DNA testing

17) no penalty or misdemeanor charge for less than one oz. of marijuana

18) strict enforcement against police and prison and prison brutality; prosecution of 100% of offenders

19) new trials with substantial new evidence, like Troy Davis has
(Gov. Purdue or Pres. Obama should pardon Davis if he is not granted a new trial)

20) so-called "non-lethal weaponry" and the possibility of conflicts of interest amongst
decision makers regarding police equipment purchases (Are they investors?)

21) illegal alien raids and arrests

22) racism and the socio-economic caste system in civil court and criminal justice

23) police profiling and abuse of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons

24) surveillance of U.S. citizens; loss of privacy rights

25) plans for mass "emergency centers" inside U.S.A. for Americans (H.R. 645)
.
26) remedial damages for victims and families of abused or murdered prisoners (whether or not victims lived to reach jail)

Additional concerns were suggested by persons who suggested supplements to this list, such as transferring prisoners to out-of-state facilities, which makes it hard for their families to visit, and the exorbitant (exploitive) price of inmate phone calls. Studies have proved that inmates who maintain contact with their families have lower recidivism rates, so these concerns affect taxpayers as much as they do inmates and their loved ones. Obviously, prison profiteers read the reports on the study, too.  Their response was to institute video visits, which further separates inmtes from their supporters.

I recognize criminal conduct primarily as being violations against someone's personal safety or property rights.  Although America has a high rate of wrongful convictions and occasionally executes innocent people, most inmates are guilty of the crimes for which they were sentenced.  Many criminals are rightly imprisoned, but no one's incarceration should include torture. 

The in-person Human Rights for Prisoners March will be conducted in the tradition of non-violent social change demonstrations by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Freedom Riders, which were supported by people of different races and backgrounds united to promote civil rights. It seems fitting to have the march in Dr. King's hometown.

Alarm about prisoners' treatment in the "War on Terror" camps continues to be high. Even physicians participated in "inhuman" torture of persons detained by the CIA in secret overseas prisons, according to an ICAC report that was not intended to be made public. "No one who took actions [tortured detainees] based on legal guidance from the Department of Justice at the time should be investigated, let alone punished," said CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield.

The abuse and deaths of prisoners inside America get little or no investigation, and like the tortured offshore detainees, there is usually no effort to hold prisons and jails responsible for inmates' treatment. Even detainees who are arrested for misdemeanor offenses frequently wind up on websites like the one at the link below. Larry Neal's family was informed that he is no. 26 on the prisoner genocide website, but his position may change as more American prisoners are murdered, usually without recourse:

Prisoner Genocide Website
http://www.geocities.com/prisonmurder/  
(Click on each dead prisoner's photograph for his/her story.)

From the moment a police officer says "halt" or pulls a person over for a ticket, the individual is essentially a prisoner. Many prisoners never make it to jail before being abused or killed, like the 22-year-old father, Oscar Grant, who was killed on New Years Day 2009.  Sadly, Grant's death continued a tradition of police overuse of force which claims the lives of numerous citizens every year, particularly among those who are either poor, black, brown, or mentally dysfunctional. Grant can be seen holding up his hands in surrender before B.A.R.T. officers stretched the unarmed young man out facedown on the cold floor at a San Francisco train station.  Former officer Johannes Mehserle straddled the unarmed young man and shot him to death by a single gunshot in his back.  Mehserle was arrested for Grant's murder because commuters captured the murder on VIDEO, presented at this link - Oscar Grant: 1st Unarmed Black Man Police Killed in 2009 - Next? http://www.nowpublic.com/world/oscar-grant-1st-unarmed-black-man-police-killed-2009-next.

While the world's attention is focused on inhumane treatment of War on Terror camp detainees, more attention is needed regarding prisoner welfare within America's borders. This writer's mentally ill, physically handicapped brother was secretly arrested until death in Shelby County Jail in Memphis, Tennessee in 2003, during the Bush Administration, and there was apparently a similar order from the Justice Department that Larry Neal's death would not be investigated and no one would be punished - not the police who lied repeatedly during his incarceration about having him in custody, preventing his access to vital heart medication; not The Cochran Firm, which undertook his family's wrongful death case and hid it on the shelf while doing nothing to bring lawsuit against the jail as the law firm contracted to do; not Shelby County officials who violated the terms of the jail's Agreement with the USA to report deaths and abuse of inmates; not the stalkers who threaten his family for inquiring about Larry; and certainly not the judges, state bars, and other officials who help to keep his death deprived of investigation and accountability.

Mainstream news refuses to report any of these events. Containing negative news about America’s prison industry is of paramount importance to private prison owners and investors who profit substantially from the imprisonment of 2.3 million people. Americans have been surprised at the identities of some highly respected persons who are prison profiteers holding responsible positions in our nation, like the veteran Pennsylvania judges who earned $2.6 million in kickbacks by channeling poor children into a private detention center. This writer presumes that prison profiteering is also prevalent among elected officials, the judiciary, and decision makers in mainstream media, which would account for the lack of coverage given to prisoner abuse and inmate deaths inside America, where the prison industry costs taxpayers $50 billion each year, and untold millions are earned through prison work projects. Why investigate and tell on oneself? People don't cook the goose that lays golden eggs.

Judges Pled Guilty in “Jailing Children for Dollars” Scheme
http://my.nowpublic.com/health/judges-pled-guilty-jailing-children-dollars-scheme  

Many decision makers profit significantly by America having the largest incarceration rate in the history of mankind and by high rates of recidivism, excessive sentencing, criminalizing mental illness, poor funding for prison rehabilitation programs and youth work and recreation projects. Where is the incentive to Change negative circumstances when one profits millions annually by their perpetuation? Before Americans go to court on any criminal matter or civil suit against police or a prison, they should be allowed to see the judge's portfolio - and their own lawyer's, too. When citizens learn that police officers in their municipality are being outfitted with Tasers, they should ask to see investment portfolios of those who appropriated the funding. The concerns listed herein and lack of media coverage have a simple and old explanation - greed.

After Larry’s murder, his family learned that such abuse of power is ordinary and considered acceptable by those in authority. Larry’s family being denied records and accountability for five years following his death is symptomatic of a system wherein basic human rights are set aside to prevent prosecution of a protected class of individuals, as is also alleged regarding torture in America’s offshore prison camps. (http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com )

Probably because Larry Neal’s 2003 death was covered up by authorities instead of being met with justice, Memphis Shelby County Jail continued its abuse against other inmates. See the raw footage of transgender detainee Duanna Johnson's 2008 beating while Shelby County Jail personnel merely watched at this link. Johnson was murdered before filing the lawsuit planned against the jail.

Duanna Johnson:  Beaten by police, plans lawsuit, murdered
http://www.lgbthatecrimes.org/doku.php/duanna-johnson  

See federal lawsuits regarding three more mental patients beaten or killed by Memphis law enforcement since Larry Neal's death cover-up: http://braxtonandfriends.org/index.html  

Prisoners inside America who are detained in public and private correctional facilities are frequently subjected to torturous conditions, depravation of medical care and psychiatric treatment, and some die regularly, including non-violent offenders and many of the country's most vulnerable citizens who are chronic mental patients like Larry was. He spent 20 years mostly as an inpatient in an asylum before many such institutions were closed in the 1970's and sick people were released to live homeless throughout the country.

Following are excerpts from a Washington Post report on prisoner torture which occurred in secret offshore determent camps.

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Report Calls CIA Detainee Treatment 'Inhuman'
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/06/AR2009040603654.html?wpisrc=newsletter  

Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, April 7, 2009; Page A06

Medical officers who oversaw interrogations of terrorism suspects in CIA secret prisons committed gross violations of medical ethics and in some cases essentially participated in torture, the International Committee of the Red Cross concluded in a confidential report that labeled the CIA program "inhuman."

One prisoner reported being shackled in this manner for "two to three months, seven days of prolonged stress standing followed by two days of being able to sit or lie down."

(Please use the link above to access the full article.)

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More videos showing prison torture within America's correctional facilities are available at this link:
Killing Inmates Is Costly~Cheaper to Watch TV (w/ Torture Videos) -
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/killing-inmates-costly-cheaper-watch-tv-w-torture-videos

In November 2008, former Attorney General Gonzales was indicted by a Willacy, Texas jury for prison profiteering - earning kickbacks for using his position to prevent USDOJ investigations of prisoner abuses in county jails. Although the Texas case was dismantled and former Attorney General never stood trial, the conditions of prisoners in American jails and prisons are substandard to the point of being abusive and dangerous, and investigations by the USDOJ (the agency charged with protecting the civil rights of institutionalized persons) are indeed withheld as alleged.

Grand jury indicts Cheney, former Attorney General Gonzales as Prison Profiteers
http://my.nowpublic.com/health/indicted-vp-cheney-and-former-attorney-general-gonzales-private-prison-profiteers  

America is called a prison nation by many people who are alarmed at the country's rising incarceration rate, the highest of any nation in history. America's rate of incarceration is now 1 in every 99.1 persons, according to figures released in February 2008 by PEW. In 2006, the USDOJ reported that 1 in every 31 persons in America was actually imprisoned or living under the immediate threat of incarceration as parolees or probationers. The number has undoubtedly grown substantially in three years, because entrepreneurship in criminal justice is very lucrative.

Taxpayers pay an average of $60,000 per year per inmate in New York, and substantially more for warehousing chronically ill prisoners like hospice patients and inmates who have acute mental illness, and an additional $90,000 annually for death row inmates. PEW reports that our prison budget is now $50 billion annually. That amount does not include the cost of arrest and trial with state-appointed attorneys. Taxpayers are paying more than the average annual income of a family of four to save society from a teenager who smoked a joint or a young mother who wrote a bad check. Prison profiteers generate extra profits by prison work projects like the one at this link: Prisons Earn $878 Million Annually by Poisoning Inmates and Guards, Lawsuit Alleges
http://www.nowpublic.com/health/prisons-earn-878-million-annually-poisoning-inmates-and-guards-lawsuit-alleges

In Georgia, even people with traffic tickets they cannot pay immediately are put on probation while they make principal and interest payments on fines due. If drivers miss payments, they may then be arrested for violating probation as they are guilty of the crime of being poor.

One can click on the map pictured above to find the percentage of incarcerated persons in each state. Many people assert there is a malicious connection between the country's fast accelerating prison rate and the advent of private prisons. As the number of Americans behind bars grows, so do the portfolios of private prison stockholders. Private prisons have been accused of having even less regard for prisoner rights than public detainment centers. Despite rampant abuse, the federal government and local municipalities across the country continue to contract with private prison corporations to warehouse ever increasing numbers of inmates.

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK

An $11 theft is costing taxpayers millions to punish THE SCOTT SISTERS, two black women who have served 14.5 years each in prison in Mississippi for the alleged robbery of $11. They were each given DOUBLE-LIFE sentences. No one was hurt during the robbery, and they claim innocence. www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/1118098  

The article at the link below carries a VIDEO of extreme prisoner abuse at CCA's Nashville prison, which was recently awarded another substantial contract to imprison a "guaranteed" number of inmates: Torture Mentally Ill ~ 9 mo. Solitary Confinement in Filth, Naked
http://www.nowpublic.com/health/torture-mentally-ill-9-mo-solitary-confinement-filth-naked

The Human Rights for Prisoners March will help honest police officers and guards gain a less volatile work atmosphere. Most law enforcement personnel and prison guards are honest people who desire to protect and serve. However, honest officers and guards must depend on their co-workers in crisis situations. They have no desire to be ostracized on the job or be hit with “friendly fire” in emergency situations. Therefore, there is an repulsive tendency among law enforcement personnel to ignore abuses and withhold intervention that could save lives. When prisoner abuse and police brutality are no longer tolerated in America, mutual respect between law enforcement and the citizenry will be enhanced (including inmates). Corrections personnel will benefit by the March if it promotes justice.

Larry Neal's wrongful death in Memphis/ Shelby County Jail was covered-up by authorities and deprived of the investigative effort that Michael Vick’s dogs’ deaths prompted. As a result, "unacceptably different" Duanna Johnson was beaten, and more sick Memphis citizens were abused. Some died. Who is next?

SEE THE EXTENT OF A JAIL DEATH COVER-UP IN THIS BRIEF ARTICLE. The fact that you never saw this story in mainstream news proves the powerful resolve to protect America's $50 billion per year prison industry at the expense of justice and human rights.

Constitutional Rights Nullified for Neal Family
http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/1019414  

There is no reason to kill mentally dysfunctional citizens as Memphis law enforcement seems to presume, and there is certainly no excuse for authorities allowing this. An estimated 1.25 million of America's prisoners are mentally ill. If the mentally ill were treated as sick people in need of assisted outpatient treatment in their communities (Kendra’s Law) or as inpatients in secure mental hospitals (depending on the gravity of their offenses), prison overcrowding and most of America’s homeless problem would be immediately resolved with tremendous savings for taxpayers. But just one healthy 30-year-old condemned to life in prison can cost taxpayers as much as $11 million to incarcerate. What reason would prison profiteers have to improve mental health care by instituting enforced treatment and subsistence programs that prevent tragedies?

COVER-UPS ARE COMMON after inmates and citizens are killed by law enforcement. See another example of jail personnel who resist cooperating with a prisoner abuse and murder investigation at this link:

Mentally Ill Inmate Beaten to Death by Guards; Jail Personnel Aren't Talking  http://www.ajc.com/services/content/printedition/2009/03/21/fultonjail0321.html  


There is a need to bring more attention to the horrors of prison life and other gross injustices within America which are allowed to continue largely without investigation or remedy. For that reason, ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED MENTALLY ILL and Larry Neal's survivors hope concerned people will support the Human Rights for Prisoners March, originally set for May 16, but postponed due to severe weather and interference in coordinating the effort online.

People who are concerned about criminal justice and human rights, as well as protecting civil rights for all Americans, should take this opportunity to peacefully support incarcerated persons and demand CHANGE regarding areas of concern.

JULY 2009 UPDATE:

There were thunderstorms on May 16, 2009, which was the day the Human Rights for Prisoners March in Atlanta was scheduled.  Based on recent proposed legislation, this writer believes officials are getting the point of how badly prison reform is needed. Below are some proposed bills that deserve support:

~ Sen. Jim Webb (VA-D) introduced The National Criminal Justice Act of 2009 calling for a national commission to "undertake a top-to-bottom review of our entire criminal justice system."

~ Rep. Johnson (TX-30) introduced H.R. 619 to resume Medicaid payments for care in mental institutions (withdrawal of these funds helped cause hospital closings); and H.R. 766 to provide housing and financial counseling for individuals before their release from inpatient or residential institutions.

~ Mr. Davis of Illinois (for himself, Mr. Al Green of Texas, Mr. Towns, Mr. Rush, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Ms. Waters, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Mr. Fattah, Mrs. Christensen, Ms. Corrine Brown of Florida, Mr. Cummings, and Mr. Clay) introduced the following bill, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary: H. R. 1475 to amend Title 18, United States Code, to restore the former system of good time allowances toward service of federal prison terms, and for other purposes.

Regarding H.R. 766, counseling is a good start. But if prisons were made to pay minimum wage to inmates who work, their salaries could be used to (a) make restitution to inmates' victims, (b) pay child support and help minors avoid becoming another expense for taxpayers while their parents are incarcerated, and (c) enable released inmates to afford a home, a business, or further their education upon prison release. Why should the proceeds of prison laborers go to private prison owners and investors who are already compensated around $50,000 per year per prisoner in some states and even more for sick and condemned inmates? People exiting prisons need more than financial counseling to become viable members of a community - they need financial ASSISTANCE. Make prison owners pay minimum wage and end slavery in America.

Financial and housing counseling proposed in H.R. 766 would also help identify the needs of mental patients being released from hospitals, but counseling alone will not be useful to chronic mental patients. This is particularly true of those suffering from "anosognosia," which prevents acute mental patients from recognizing their own illness. Such patients exit the hospitals and jails and quickly discontinue their therapy, necessitating re-hospitalization or re-arrest. Taxpayers experience no savings when mental patients fail to get proper care and provisions for continued treatment when dismissed from institutions. Frequently, released psychiatric patients commit crimes ranging from simple vagrancy to murder, like 32-year-old Na Yong Pak, a woman who was released from a mental health facility in Georgia last year and promptly murdered her mom - burned her to death. http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/gwinnett/stories/2009/02/11/burned_woman_mental.html  

Georgia saved nothing by ignoring this family’s protests and dismissing Pak from the hospital earlier than needed, which resulted in her mom’s death and a felony murder arrest for Pak. http://www.cbsatlanta.com/news/18683942/detail.html  

The family is devastated, another sick person was charged and probably sentenced to a lengthy, expensive prison term, and the only people who might benefit are prison owners. Private prison profiteers benefit even when people go to public prisons because until public correctional facilities are full, they don't get inmates. This is probably why mental hospitals are closed, community care limited, and mandatory treatment largely outlawed.

Chronic mental patients exiting institutions should be placed in an Assisted Outpatient Treatment program like Kendra’s Law that combines subsistence assistance with mandatory outpatient treatment. Kendra’s law reduces homelessness, recidivism, and future hospitalizations by 85% or better. Furthermore, fewer arrests mean safer communities and less expense to taxpayers. Lawmakers are making changes that indicate they are more cognizant of this truth. 

Thanks in large part to the economic downturn, elderly inmates are made eligible for early release in some regions.  Releasing elderly, handicapped, and chronically ill inmates would reduce the prison budget substantially as well as exercise compassion.

Prison Biz News:  Compassionate Release v. Prison Hospitals 
http://freespeakblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/prison-biz-news-compassionate-release-v.html

Reducing America's incarceration rate is the humane and financially prudent thing to do.  It can be easily accomplished through early release programs, jail diversion for drug users and the mentally ill, releasing non-violent mental patients to community care with enforced treatment and subsistence provisions, increasing and improving prisoner rehabilitation programs, supporting parolees' reorientation into society through re-entry programs that help with jobs and housing, and like programs.  The most important change needed is to allow post-conviction DNA testing and give new trials when warranted by substantial new evidence.  No government should deliberately imprison innocent people or have a system in place that allows unwarranted or excessive punishment. 

Since the 1980's, America has had a steady increase in its incarceration rate until this nation now imprisons more people than any other nation in world history.  It is now time to reverse that trend and use the savings from our prison budget to address some of the damage that has been done to budgets for education, health, and social welfare. Restoration strengthens families, communities, and the economy.  It is good government.

************************

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. ~ Hebrews 13:3

Truth burns up error. ~ Sojourner Truth

Mary Neal
Website:  http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com

Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (Google it)
http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/AIMI

email: MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com

.  
NOTE: Interested parties who get no response to inquiries at my email address within 24 hours are invited to phone me at 678.531.0262 Please aware that the censorship team put a false message on my phone the week of 12/11/09 saying my number is out of service.  I have changed my phone number several times due to Cointelpro-like take-overs, but changing my email addresses and phone numbers does not help. If you try to call me and reach a message that my phone is not in service, please write a comment to this Share and let me know. **Stalkers, PLEASE do not substitute this paragraph with one telling marchers where to meet again.  I'm running low on film, and I have so much footage at Care2 already.


Lethal Injection Table  LET HIM WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE.  ~John 8:7


 

 
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

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Mary Neal
, 5, 2 children
Atlanta, GA, USA
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Feb
15
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New Petition! Speak out against Time-Warner Merger with Comcast! Let your opinion be know before your bill goes up and your programming choices dwindle.\\r\\n\\r\\nUrge DOJ and FCC to Not Allow Merger of Time-Warner and Comcast\\r\\nhttp://www.t hepetitionsi...
Feb
13
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New Petition! Speak out against Time-Warner Merger with Comcast! Let your opinion be know before your bill goes up and your programming choices dwindle.\\r\\n\\r\\nUrge DOJ and FCC to Not Allow Merger of Time-Warner and Comcast\\r\\nhttp://www.t hepetitionsi...
Feb
12
by Just C.
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 \\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\nW hy this is important\\r\\nAs a community comprised of members actively using the tools provided by this site to accomplish needed improvements to various aspects of all life (animal, human, environmental), we, the undersigned, are her...
Feb
1
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Message to the President, and to the Congress:It\\\'s very simple. We can aim for a UNIVERSAL Standard of $15 an hour Minimum Wage for ALL - that would be {frugally} a living wage these days. One should not have to be employed, and on government assista...
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29
by Jack S.
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The Winter issue of my BSC NEWS is available now at www.burlingtonseniorcente r.com
Jan
26
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\\nThis is my Message that I send every week or so, to the President, my Representative, and my two Senators. {And in this instance, to the Vice President also.} \\r\\nThe Majority of the people of this country, approve that the President {and Vice Presi...
Jan
23
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\\nWe declare that no man nor nation nor race have a greater right than others to enjoy the fruits of their work, as the ecological sphere is our common condition of life http://www.beat s4change.org/aims.htm Nous déclarons qu\\\'auc...
Jan
22
by Just C.
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\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n \\\"The only thing necessary for the triumph\\r\\n\\nof evil is for good men to do nothing.\\\" ~ Edmund Burke ~ \\n\\r\\n\\n
Jan
18
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I feel Care2 members should KNOW about the \\\"work from home\\\" ads, RECRUITING \\\"MULES\\\" TO CARRY OUT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES. Just like the Drug Cartels do... A person who was recruited unwittingly by one of these ads, was given in a seattleweekly.com arti...
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\\nEvery week or every other week, I send a Message to the President and to my Representative and Senators. This is the text of my latest:\\r\\nI have just sent the following message to President Obama; and I believe all Congresspersons need to hear it a...