Pop Culture Infused with Cynicism

laughterkey:

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

He was charged, but never convicted. Per the newyorker:

The next day, he was led into a courtroom, where he learned that he had been charged with robbery, grand larceny, and assault. 

Not trying to imply that in any way makes this better. It’s horrifying from top to bottom.

(via neil-gaiman)

What most people don’t know, that they should, is that practically every food you buy in a store for consumption by humans is genetically modified food. There are no wild seedless watermelons, there’s no wild cows, there’s no long-stem roses growing in the wild …

We have systematically genetically modified all the foods, the vegetables and animals, that we have eaten ever since we cultivated them. It’s called artificial selection. That’s how we genetically modify them. So now that we can do it in a lab, all of a sudden, you’re going to complain?

So we are creating and modifying the biology of the world to serve our needs. I don’t have a problem with that because we’ve been doing that for tens of thousands of years. So, chill out.

sandandglass:

Fox News shocked that Harvard students think the US is a greater threat to world peace than ISIS. Students who don’t agree with Fox are ‘twisted’, elitist and wrong apparently. 

Source

Why do police have quotas? If a doctor went around intentionally sneezing on people to get more patients, that would be seen as a travesty to their profession. But police, can sit around and wait for someone to turn on a red light or commit other mundane ‘offenses’ because they have quotas to meet. Quotas are all the proof we need that policing is not a public service vocation; it’s a business and a subsidiary of Wall Street.

Enrique Molina (via withoutadjectives)

While I was sleeping, this went viral.

(via enriquemolina)

this answer on yahoo from a retired officer will add on some further insight to this

(via thepiefairy)

Read that yahoo answer that shit is wild

(via therandomassninja)

(via bantha-milk)