American justice in a nutshell: racism & corruption.
CNN revealed a telling piece of information Friday that has been missed by many of the media outlets covering the slaying of 17-year old Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch captain on Feb. 26.
“The portrayal of George Zimmerman in the media, as well as the series of events that led to the tragic shooting, are false and extremely misleading,” his father, a retired magistrate judge, wrote in a letter published in the Orlando Sentinel. “Unfortunately, some individuals and organizations have used this tragedy to further their own causes and agendas.”
Might this explain why, when he was first taken to police headquarters on Feb. 26, the lead investigator wanted to bring charges against Zimmerman, saying he was unconvinced of the 28-year old’s description of events.
The lead homicide investigator in the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin recommended that neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter the night of the shooting, multiple sources told ABC News.
But Sanford, Fla., Investigator Chris Serino was instructed to not press charges against Zimmerman because the state attorney’s office headed by Norman Wolfinger determined there wasn’t enough evidence to lead to a conviction, the sources told ABC News.
According to Think Progress, Wolfinger has since removed himself from the case.
Was Wolfinger doing a favor for a retired judge? The blog Hinterland Gazette believes that may be the case.
How inert can the Democratic Party be? Do they really want to defeat the Congressional Republicans in the fall by doing the right thing? A winning issue is to raise the federal minimum wage, stuck at $7.25 since 2007. If it was adjusted for inflation since 1968, not to mention other erosions of wage levels, the federal minimum would be around $10.
--Ralph Nader (via azspot)
The scale and the brutality of our prisons are the moral scandal of American life. Every day, at least fifty thousand men—a full house at Yankee Stadium—wake in solitary confinement, often in “supermax” prisons or prison wings, in which men are locked in small cells, where they see no one, cannot freely read and write, and are allowed out just once a day for an hour’s solo “exercise.” (Lock yourself in your bathroom and then imagine you have to stay there for the next ten years, and you will have some sense of the experience.) Prison rape is so endemic—more than seventy thousand prisoners are raped each year—that it is routinely held out as a threat, part of the punishment to be expected. The subject is standard fodder for comedy, and an uncoöperative suspect being threatened with rape in prison is now represented, every night on television, as an ordinary and rather lovable bit of policing. The normalization of prison rape—like eighteenth-century japery about watching men struggle as they die on the gallows—will surely strike our descendants as chillingly sadistic, incomprehensible on the part of people who thought themselves civilized. Though we avoid looking directly at prisons, they seep obliquely into our fashions and manners. Wealthy white teen-agers in baggy jeans and laceless shoes and multiple tattoos show, unconsciously, the reality of incarceration that acts as a hidden foundation for the country.
- In this week’s issue, Adam Gopnik writes about mass incarceration and criminal justice in America: http://nyr.kr/A75iOm
Photograph by Steve Liss.