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April 2006
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Drug War Travesties

These have been widely reported elsewhere, but in case you missed them, I wanted to give you the links:
“bullet” Torturing Drug War Suspects: I talked about it some time ago, but Radley brings back to the net the case of the torture of Eugene Siler. Cops torture him to get him to sign a consent form for their search of his place. Siler’s wife, however, had turned on a tape recorder and now the audio is available online (Note: The address is an mp3 file being forced to play on Windows Media. If Mac users have trouble making it work, install Windows Media Components for Quicktime).
It’s truly sickening. And how many times has something like this happened when there wasn’t a tape recording? Would a court believe the word of a drug suspect over a cop without such direct evidence?
This is an indictment of those specific cops, but it’s also an indictment of the drug war in general that fosters such behavior.
“bullet” Life in prison? A 17 year-old man takes part in a robbery that nets $2 (they returned the wallet), pleads guilty, and gets 10 years probation. During his probation, he smokes a joint and flunks a drug test. Judge sentences him to life in prison.
I don’t know how anyone can claim that makes a bit of sense from a moral, criminal justice, practical, or financial basis. (Read the rest of the article for information on how the judge handles different cases.) [Thanks, David]

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