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Prisons & Prisoners

Gideon Polya writes:
Outrage- Austyralian Academics Advocating Torture

Two law academics have caused a transient storm in Australia by their advocacy of legalised torture (see ABC News On-line: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200505/s13704 47.htm).

In a paper to be published in July in the University of San Francisco's Law Review Journal, the Head of the Law School and a female colleague at Melbourne's Deakin University argue for the use of torture in interrogation of terrorist suspects.

Bernie Roddy writes "The following is an attempt to interpret for the prison activist the thinking typically taught in courses in business ethics, and to apply some of the language to the industry of imprisonment.

Advocates of a free market economy are generally social contract theorists. In defense of the free market, open competition is thought necessary to encourage innovation in production methods and a tailoring of production to meet demand. The result is supposed to be the best product at the best price, weeding out trivial products for which there is no need. All this serves the common interest. However, social contract theorists hold that obedience to law is required of anyone who would enjoy its protections and advantages. This means that if you agree to accept, say, a court's decision in your favor, you must also accept the one against your interests. Only by agreeing to abide by unfavorable rulings will others agree to abide by them when the decision of law favors you to their disadvantage. By refusing to sacrifice your own interests in some cases, you risk going it alone in what is called the "state of nature" and considered a terrible alternative.

NOT BORED! writes:

"All the World's A Prison"


Hamlet: [...] what have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison thither?

Guildenstern: Prison, my lord!

Hamlet: Denmark's a prison.

Rosencrantz: Then the world is one.

Hamlet: A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards and dungeons.[1]

No doubt many of my readers, even those who are well-educated or widely read, think that the prison -- the place where dark deeds are darkly answered[2] -- is an ancient institution, a barbaric hold-over from barbaric times. In fact, the prison is of relatively recent origin, and this tells us a great deal about the pretentions and realities of modern times, and the wisdom and high degree of development of the ancients.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

Day of Solidarity with the Prisoners of Aachen, Germany
Wednesday 4th of May 2005

Since the 23rd of March 2005, our comrades Gabriel, Jose, Bart and Begona are on trial in Aachen, Germany. Since the day of their arrest, on the 28th of June 2004, it is clear that they are and will be treated with a special vengeance - for months Jose, Gabriel and Bart have been imprisoned in almost complete isolation, for months they have been pictured as dangerous criminals, for months part of the so called radical left movement have kept silent. All this is standard procedure for the defenders of the existing order, normality, morality.

NOT BORED! writes:

After Twenty-Five Years of Investigation, No Verdict on the Death of Jacques Mesrine

On 2 November 1979, he was brought down in his car by anti-gang police officers, at the porte de Clignancourt, in Paris. Twenty-five years later, the judge charged by the family of Jacques Mesrine with clearing up the circumstances of the death of the former "public enemy number one," a spectacular escapee from the la Sainte prison a year before, has concluded the inquest with a no verdict,[1] Wednesday 14 October [2004].

Bernie Roddy writes:

"A History of Thought on the Death Penalty"

Bernie Roddy

Debates about the death penalty can address the fairness of its administration or the moral consequences of the likelihood that innocent people are executed, but the central issue from a theoretical point of view seems to be the sense in which death is an appropriate punishment for the guilty.

We know that what constitutes an appropriate response to the most serious crimes has changed dramatically over time, and that it has not always seemed wrong to make even the family of the guilty suffer the punishment he endures. But while a long torturous death at one time seemed to be the only manner in which certain debts could be paid, a simple termination of life as in active euthanasia now strike many as the minimum penalty for some offences.

We can also reasonably say that the penalty may not be one that is imposed by the victims or the family of the victims, but is imposed by society at large, there being a threat to the social order as much as a loss suffered by the individual. Thus, it would not necessarily be correct to consider the execution a form of restitution. Because the debt is not paid to those who suffered the loss, or not to them alone, the power to grant mercy for the accused, it may be argued, is justly denied the family of the victim.

Grupo Alavío writes:

"Political Prisoners in Argentina"

Grup Alavîo

Family members, human rights groups and other social organizations organized a camp in front of the Argentina's presidential house during the week before end of the year holidays to demand the immediate release of all political prisoners. The camp was mobilized between December 20-24 with the historic slogan, "not one political prisoner for Christmas!" The camp included video showings, music concerts and photo exhibits to reinforce the presence of the struggle for the release of all political prisoners.

Carmen Infran and Marcela Sanagua are just two of the many political prisoners in Argentina's jail system - imprisoned for protesting against discrimination and exploitation. They have been in prison for nearly five months, without seeing a judge for nearly four months after their arrest.

Video and political collective Grupo Alavío produced the documentary Mujer (Woman) as part of the campaign for the release of two political prisoners, Marcela and Carmen. They were arrested during a protest in front of the city hall in Buenos Aires, where demonstrators attacked the building during a protest in July against a misdemeanors code to make prostitution illegal in certain zones, lower the minimum age to process minors to 14 and to criminalize street protest. The women arrested form part of the Association of Women Prostituting (AMMAR). 15 protestors were arrested in total. They were captured by police while leaving the protest - military style - and have been in jail for over five months.

WIlliam J, Cole writes:

Austrian Wants "State Murderer" Schwarzenegger To Lose Citizenship

Associated Press

Vienna, Austria — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should be stripped of citizenship in his native Austria for approving the execution of a convicted killer, a leading Austrian politician said Saturday.

Peter Pilz, a top official with the environmentalist Green Party, said the Austria-born Schwarzenegger no longer is worthy of citizenship in his homeland because he broke the law by clearing Donald Beardslee's execution on Wednesday. Capital punishment is illegal here, and Schwarzenegger — who holds dual U.S.-Austrian nationality — should be stripped of his Austrian passport for "heavily damaging the reputation of the republic," Pilz said. He told Austrian media he sent the Interior Ministry a letter formally requesting that the government begin the process of terminating Schwarzenegger's citizenship.

Robert S. Finnegan writes:

U.S. Army Sergeant Charged with Desertion

Robert S. Finnegan, Southeast Asia News

The Army today charged Sergeant Kevin Benderman with two counts of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), for his refusal to re-deploy to Iraq in a case that has sparked a worldwide media feeding-frenzy and elicited condemnation of both the Bush administration and the U.S. Army.

Benderman, 40, charged with violating articles 85 and 87 after refusing to re-deploy to Iraq appeared before his commanding officer today who formally read the charges filed against him. Benderman has filed for Conscientious Objector status with the Army. His former commanding officer, now deployed, had recommended denial of his CO application even before it was acted upon according to military regulations. Benderman says his new commanding officer is following Army regulations to the letter and has been helpful in processing his request.

Robert S. Finnegan writes

AWOL 2-7 Infantry Specialist Plans To Surrender

Robert S. Finnegan, Southeast Asia News

Specialist David Beals of the 2-7 Infantry stationed at Ft. Stewart, Georgia has today decided to turn himself in after going AWOL from the Winn Army Hospital following his attempted suicide. Beals plans to return within 72 hours, after taking the time he said was necessary to ponder the few options available to him.

Beals, 25, has already served a tour in Iraq. After witnessing firsthand the killing of innocent civilians by U.S. forces he has decided to apply for Conscientious Objector status. He also stated that he would accept an honorable discharge from the Army.


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