In awe...

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land-of-propaganda:

3 years in Rikers Island, 2 in solitary confinement, this high school student, NEVER CHARGED, gets released

16-year-old high school sophomore Kalief Browder, of the Bronx, spent nearly three years locked up at the Rikers Jail after he says he was falsely accused of stealing a backpack.  Amazingly, Browder never pleaded guilty, actually refused to plead guilty and requested a trial, even when pressured, but was never convicted and was only offered plea deals while the trial was repeatedly delayed.

Near the end of his time in jail, the judge “offered” to sentence him to time served if a guilty plea was entered, and warned him he could face 15 years in prison if convicted, but Browder still refused to accept the deal.  The only reason Browder was finally released was because his case was dismissed, but the damage had been done.

Browder, a high school student, spent an unbelievable 800 days, or over 2 years, in solitary confinement, which is a common juvenile imprisonment practice that the New York Department of Corrections has now banned after several investigations.

How does a teen end up in jail for 3 years, of which 2 years was spent in solitary confinement, and never be charged with a crime?

Browder’s case highlights several broken mechanisms in the New York legal system that feeds itself to civil liberty abuses on our youth.

  1. The 6th amendment gives us a right to a speedy trial, but in New York they have a “Ready Rule”.  The “Ready Rule” allows the courts to postpone trial dates by offering continuances. The system may give a continuance for 1 week, but logistically it may be 1 month before the trial actually comes to fruition and the still not convicted civilian only gets “credit” for the 1 week, not the actual time they have served.  In Browder’s case, he was given an absolutely ridiculous number of continuances initiated by the prosecution which left him locked up because he could not afford the $3000 bail.
  2. Browder was a high school student and juveniles are supposed to continue their education while behind bars .. except for juveniles that are in solitary confinement.  Guards would place juveniles in solitary and the schooling would stop relinquishing any educational support.
  3. While in solitary, Browder says that guards would routinely refuse to give him his meals.  Hunger is a common complaint by teens that are locked up because of the 12-hour stretch between dinner and breakfast.  Guards would use starve tactics at their discretion for punishment or their own personal enjoyment.  Browder says the worst of his starvations lasted for 4 meals in a row, meaning he was denied breakfast, lunch, dinner and another breakfast.
  4. As it stands, the courts place people in these situations and it is human nature for some to strike a plea deal just to get out of jail.  But Browder did not play into their game and take a plea deal, but maintained his innocence and requested a trial which came at a snail’s pace. This leads one to believe that the courts use this a planned tactic or procedure to play on human nature all in the name of getting convictions.
  5. The issues of using a Public Defender have long been recorded across the country.  In New York, court appointed lawyers make $75 a case.  In order to make money, that PD has to take on huge caseloads which leads to other problems.  Browder, although locked up for nearly three years in Rikers, where his PD was located everyday, never once was visited by his PD or had anyone to advocate his case for him.  This shows a reckless disregard which leads to a vicious cycle of apathy that often leads innocent people to copping pleas or getting longer sentences.

Read more here

(via bookishboi)

99,346 notes

irlflamedemon:

ghostkatvantas:

socialjusticekoolaid:

Happening Now (10.8.14): Oh dear God, not again. Another life lost in St Louis. So little information right now, but it seems that an unarmed 18-year old boy was tased then shot 16 times by an officer, possibly off-duty. Not clear what provoked the event, but I’ll keep you updated as info is released. #staywoke #blacklivesmatter

Be weary of the police reports so far. ALL witness statements seem to contradict it, but the police refuse to interview any of them. They seem to be concocting a story right now to cover for the officer. It’s looking real grim right now.

Follow the Argus Livestream as events unfold tonight.

hwat the hell

understatement of the century this is fucking horrific

(via labrujamorgan)

653 notes

Failure to critique US empire allows feminist projects to be used and mobilized as handmaidens in the imperial project.
Chandra Talpade Mohanty, ‘US Empire and the Project of Women’s Studies: Stories of citizenship, complicity and dissent’ (via indizombie)

(via boredangry)

1,742 notes

Autism and Race Anthology

chavisory:

andreashettle:

chavisory:

chavisory:

Okay, literally everything and everyone in my life needs attention or money. 

But the first-ever anthology of writing by autistic people of color needs money within the next two days to meet its fundraising goal.  Please give if you are able!  And, like, want to read this sure-to-be-amazing book, which I do.

Had some great momentum in the last few hours—keep it goin’!  We have until midnight tonight! :)

Keeping it going

I donated a couple of weeks ago and want to see this succeed!

Just a note—with Indiegogo, we DO get whatever portion of our goal that we raise.  Unlike with Kickstarter, where you have to raise the whole goal in order to get any of it.  We WILL get whatever you contribute, and it WILL help.

There is a $1.00 donation option, because anything you can contribute does help us out with this. :)

(via neuroqueer)

10,722 notes

And there it is. A nearly all-white crowd chanting to a nearly all-black crowd, “Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!” Contemporary racism encapsulated by an attempt to package it as support for the police, exposed by calls to shoot black men.

There are no words.

Ferguson protesters chanted, “Hands up, don’t shoot!” Darren Wilson supporters replied, “Shoot!” (via brutereason)

reasons black people just can’t get over it.

(via dynastylnoire)

(via wherethequeerthingsare)