TagCivil Liberties

California May Be Forced to Release Up to a Third of All Prisoners

Federal judges on Monday tentatively ordered California to release tens of thousands of inmates, up to a third of all prisoners, in the next three years to stop dangerous overcrowding.

As many as 57,000 could be let go if the current population were cut by the maximum percentage considered by a three-judge panel. Judges said the move could be done without threatening public safety — and might improve a public safety hazard.

The state immediately said it would appeal the final ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trend-setting California, the Golden State, has an immense prison system responsible for nearly 170,000 inmates, and their care has become a major political and budget issue as officials weigh multibillion costs of improved facilities against death and illness behind bars.

Full Story: Reuters

(via Cryptogon)

California May Be Forced to Release Up to a Third of All Prisoners

Federal judges on Monday tentatively ordered California to release tens of thousands of inmates, up to a third of all prisoners, in the next three years to stop dangerous overcrowding.

As many as 57,000 could be let go if the current population were cut by the maximum percentage considered by a three-judge panel. Judges said the move could be done without threatening public safety — and might improve a public safety hazard.

The state immediately said it would appeal the final ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trend-setting California, the Golden State, has an immense prison system responsible for nearly 170,000 inmates, and their care has become a major political and budget issue as officials weigh multibillion costs of improved facilities against death and illness behind bars.

Full Story: Reuters

(via Cryptogon)

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Infrastructure for anarchists

Outline for Vinay Gupta’s talk The Temporary School of Thought.

Full Story: How to Live Wiki

This has been on my mind a lot lately since the gas heater in my apartment went out, and the gas company didn’t come look at it for a week. Turns out my building’s manager’s heat went out earlier in the winter and it took a month to fix. My partner and I were blowing fuses nearly daily because of the electric heater we were using.

Long update on Seasteading Institute

seasteading illustration

Friedman and his followers are not the first band of wide-eyed dreamers to want to build floating utopias. For decades, an assortment of romantics and whack jobs have fantasized about fleeing the oppressive strictures of modern government and creating a laissez-faire society on the high seas. Over the decades, they’ve tried everything from fortified sandbars to mammoth cruise ships. Nearly all have been disasters. But the would-be nation builders assembled here are not intimidated by that record of failure. After all, their plans are inspired by the ethos of the modern tech industry, where grand quixotic visions are as common as BlackBerrys, and they see their task not as a holy mission but as something like a startup. A couple of software engineers came up with an innovative concept, then outsourced it to a community and let the wisdom of the crowd improve on it. They scored financing from a top-tier venture capitalist and assembled a board of directors. They will be transparent, blogging their progress. If they fail—which, let’s face it, is the most likely outcome—they will do so quickly, in time-honored Valley fashion. But if they succeed, they have one hell of an exit strategy.

Full Story: Wired

Moment of Silence Law Ruled Unconstitutional

I think that that a “moment of silence” would work as an option, but not if it’s “mandatory” (i.e. a law). If you called it “a moment of reflection” and not a “moment of prayer”, then I think this could be beneficial. Isn’t this what “recess” is all about?
Also, I’ve found that those who don’t take the opportunity to reflect are often the ones who need it the most.

“A federal judge has ruled unconstitutional a law passed by the Illinois legislature requiring the state’s schools to require a moment of prayer or reflection on the day’s activities.

U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman ruled Wednesday the law crosses the line separating church and state under the Constitution. He says in his ruling that the statute is a “subtle effort” to force students at “impressionable ages” to think about religion.”

(via The Daily Herald)

Activist newspaper sues FBI over wrongful computer raid

The FBI, Alameda County, and the Regents of the University of California are named in a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on behalf of two activist groups near Berkeley who were recently the targets of a law enforcement raid. The organizations—the East Bay Prisoner Support Group (EBPS) and an independent bookstore and library called Long Haul—claim that their computers and records were wrongfully seized. They are asking the court for injunctive and declaratory relief.

The two organizations were raided in August last year after Detective William Kasiske obtained a warrant from the Alameda Superior Court. The EFF contends that the warrant, which authorized the search of Long Haul’s offices, was granted improperly because the Detective failed to establish probable cause or produce evidence demonstrating specific wrongdoings by Long Haul. The raid of the EBPS offices on the first floor of the building were unlawful, the EFF says, because the warrant did not name EBPS at all or grant police the authority to search the group.

Full Story: Ars Technica

(via Theoretick)

Adolf Hitler Cambell, Sisters Taken from Parents’ Home

Harris said they had come to investigate a complaint related to the Campbell’s three children – Adolf Hitler Campbell, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell.

In the end, the agency chose to remove the children from their parents’ care, but they assured Harris it was not because of the children’s names.

“They assured me that removing the children had nothing to do with their names or the birthday cake incident. There were other factors that we were not privy to,” Harris told NBC10’s Doug Shimell Wednesday.

The sergeant said based on his personal experiences with Heath Campbell he could not think what the circumstances would be.

“Just from knowing Mr. Campbell from the past ten or so years, I’ve never known him to abuse his children and when he has talked about his children he has been very much into his kids. Very loving,” Harris said.

Full Story: MSNBC

Patrick McGoohan: The Prisoner actor dies aged 80

mcgoohan

Patrick McGoohan, the Emmy award-winning actor who created and starred in 1960s TV show The Prisoner, has died at the age of 80.

The actor’s son-in-law, film producer Cleve Landsberg, said today that McGoohan had died yesterday in Los Angeles after a short illness.

McGoohan was best known as the title character Number Six in surreal drama The Prisoner, which aired on ITV in the UK. He played a former spy who is held captive in a small village and constantly tries to escape.

He also won two Emmys for detective drama Columbo, playing different characters, with the first coming in 1974 and the other 16 years later.

More recently, McGoohan appeared as King Edward Longshanks in the 1995 Mel Gibson film Braveheart.

Full Story: the Guardian

I guess this means we won’t see him play Number Two in the new movie and/or TV series. RIP Number Six.

Nigerian Witchfinder Speaks Out

“The Nigerian witchfinder who featured so prominently in the documentary on witch children has spoken about the situation and she comes out of her corner fighting. It is a long (and self-serving) interview but here are some highlights:

Helen Ukpabio is the founder of Liberty Gospel Church. She is noted for her preaching which focuses on delivering people from witchcraft, but ever since the documentary on how children branded witches by pastors in Akwa Ibom are maltreated, the evangelist has been at the centre of the storm following allegation that her movies encourage the stigmatisation of witches.

Ukpabio: End of the Wicked came out in 1999. It is surprising that nine years after, somebody is having a problem with a film that has delivered a lot of families. The story line of End of the Wicked has nothing to do with children. The film simply says if a child is greedy – the type that says give me this, give me that, give me puff-puff, akara or sweet in school, he or she could be easily contaminated with witchcraft. So, saying that the film branded children witches, I didn’t see the people that the film branded witches. Rather, we saw children who were greedy and were contaminated by other children who were witches in the school. That is what the film did. It is worrisome that people can be carried away just because of one wizard. Itauma is a wizard and is trying to preserve the posterity of witches, such that in the near future, Akwa Ibom will become useless.
So, if he says that the film branded children witches, I don’t know about that. Is it people that the film branded witches that are in his orphanage that has suddenly turned into home for witchcraft children? He has been running that thing as orphanage but suddenly, because the United Kingdom government voted so much money to fight child abuse over the problem that the Congolese government had with children, he decided to tap into it.”

(via Damn Data:Cabinet of Wonders)

(Related: Stepping Stones Nigeria)

AMC puts original 60s Prisoner TV series online for free

The Prisoner

AMC: The Prisoner

(Via OVO)

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