Judicial System/Law

The section covers the criminal justice system, jail and prison issues.

An email to the Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb — prison overcrowding and the high recidivism rate

Introduction The following is an email addressed to Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb of the Alabama Supreme Court. Elected in 2007, Cobb is the first woman to hold this office. She has a distinguished career, after serving almost thirty years on the bench, and is a recipient of numerous awards. Earlier this week, a story appeared in my newspaper, the Press-Register, regarding the Chief Justice’s plans to bring the state’s district attorneys, judges and corrections officers to the state’s capitol to discuss the issue of overcrowding and the high recidivism rate in Alabama’s state prisons. Also, on the agenda are prison tours in an effort to help prosecutors and judges get a better understanding of the dire conditions. In a recent study, by the Pew Charitable Trust,...

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American terrorists

October 14, 2009 American terrorists By Ted Burnett Note: The following commentary is in response to the feature story, on the 401(k), appearing in this week’s Time magazine. Embedded in their piece is a link of the twenty-five people that Time says are responsible for the financial crash, last year. Most of them are influential Americans, corporate CEOs, executives on Wall Street, even U.S. Presidents and other government officials working in Washington. Most will never see any jail time for their reckless actions, which couldn’t have been any worse than those of the individuals responsible for September 11. However, our attitude as to who is a terrorist and who was simply being foolish seems to come down to one’s nationality. While these 20+...

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Dear Editor — Herman Thomas

On March 8, 2008, this story and my essay were shared with my entire audience over 3,300 contacts, both, domestic and foreign. (Attention newsreaders receiving the latest RSS feed from www.toxicnation.blogspot.com. The following commentary is a “letter to the editor” (five pages long – I got carried away) addressed to a small alternative newspaper, the Lagniappe, in my hometown of Mobile, AL. I am posting the “LTE” to my blog at www.toxicnation.blogspot.com for archiving purposes. This is my latest writing effort since the essay – “Success!” I am also distributing my LTE (“Dear Editor – Herman Thomas”) via e-mail to a much smaller and a more localized audience than usual.) On February 25, 2009, the Lagniappe, a bi-weekly, ran a feature story on a two-year...

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The Fool’s Court – Taking a Fresh Stab at the Old Problem of Crime

July 11, 2008 The Fool’s Court – Taking a Fresh Stab at the Old Problem of Crime By Ted Burnett “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”– Albert Einstein It’s been reported in recent years by various media outlets that the United States has more of its citizens incarcerated in jails and in prisons as a percentage of its overall population than any other country in the world. Here in “the land of the free” some two million wasted lives are sitting, standing, pacing, eating, reading, yelling and sleeping in 10’ x 10’ cells. Few “free” Americans seemingly care or are disturbed by this sad fact or this first place statistic, only the incarcerated and their neglected families seem to be concerned. Last year, I reported in my...

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Decriminalizing prostitution

Note: The following link is an op-ed titled “Decriminalizing prostitution” by Patty Kelly, PhD in anthropology at George Washington University. Dr. Kelly’s essay first appeared in the Los Angeles Times on March 13, 2008. The second item is my emailed response to her. Article URL: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/sunday/commentary/la-oe-kelly13mar13,0,6258489.storyMarch 16, 2008 To: Patty Kelly, PhD Re: Decriminalizing prostitution In today’s (Mobile, AL) Press-Register appeared your op-ed on decriminalizing prostitution. While I found your article interesting I believe your premise is totally wrong. Your essay could have easily been written about legalizing the sale of alcohol once more at bars and in grocery stores during the days of...

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