23 Petty Crimes That Have Landed People in Prison for Life Without Parole | Mother Jones
As of last year, according to a report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union, more than 3,200 people were serving life in prison without parole for nonviolent crimes. A close examination of these cases by the ACLU reveals just how petty some of these offenses are. People got life for, among other things…
- Possessing a crack pipe
- Possessing a bottle cap containing a trace amount of heroin (too minute to be weighed)
- Having traces of cocaine in clothes pockets that were invisible to the naked eye but detected in lab tests
- Having a single crack rock at home
- Possessing 32 grams of marijuana (worth about $380 in California) with intent to distribute
- Passing out several grams of LSD at a Grateful Dead show
- Acting as a go-between in the sale of $10 worth of marijuana to an undercover cop
- Selling a single crack rock
- Verbally negotiating another man’s sale of two small pieces of fake crack to an undercover cop
- Having a stash of over-the-counter decongestant pillsthat could be used to make methamphetamine
- Attempting to cash a stolen check
- Possessing stolen scrap metal (the offender was a junk dealer)—10 valves and one elbow pipe
- Possessing stolen wrenches
- Siphoning gasoline from a truck
- Stealing tools from a shed and a welding machine from a front yard
- Shoplifting three belts from a department store
- Shoplifting several digital cameras
- Shoplifting two jerseys from an athletic store
- Taking a television, circular saw, and power converter from a vacant house
- Breaking into a closed liquor store in the middle of the night
- Making a drunken threat to a police officer while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car
- Being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm
- Taking an abusive stepfather’s gun from their shared home
These are not typically first offenses, but nor are they isolated cases. The vast majority (83 percent) of life sentences examined by the ACLU were mandatory, meaning that the presiding judge had no choice but to sentence the defendant to a life behind bars. Mandatory sentences often result from repeat offender laws and draconian sentencing rules such as these federal standards for drug convictions:
The data examined by the ACLU comes from the federal prison system and nine state penal systems that responded to open-records requests. This means the true number of nonviolent offenders serving life without parole is higher.
What’s clear, based on the ACLU’s data, is that many nonviolent criminals have been caught up in a dramatic spike in life-without-parole sentences.
i’m also not for people saying people of color as a catch all phrase when the numbers are staggeringly against Black people particularly. we need to be specific.
A Palestinian girl’s message to Israel after Zionist forces shelled her home. Occupation 101: Voice of the Silenced Majority (2006)
Western media works really hard so we don’t see this, we don’t see this articulate little girl
because it doesn’t sit right with the “we’re bombing savages” notion.
“Everyone I know who has any amount of success can be a real bastard, and I certainly include myself in that wild generalization.”
– Elliott Smith in Rolling Stone, May 13, 1999 (via obscurelliott)
we all need to get better at thinking of ourselves like this.
I am a positive person but I get really tired of aggressive optimism. If someone’s sad, let them be sad. All emotions have purpose. Sadness isn’t destructive if not prolonged. Sadness isn’t unproductive, as it offers awareness. Telling someone to “cheer up” or “be happy” is so ineffective and patronizing. The last thing a sad person needs is for someone to judge their feelings as pointless and unappealing. Welcome sadness, just don’t let it consume you.
Being fit is being skinny you idiot, being athletic and flexible is a whole different thing, you don't have to skinny to be athletic but you do have to be skinny to be fit
"Fitness." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fitness>.
I don’t know what prompted you to send me the dumbest message I’ve received in at least 6 months, but nowhere in the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of “fitness” do I find the word “skinny.” Even synonyms for the word “fitness” focus 100% on health attributes as opposed to size attributes. So I’m sorry if you have this deep seeded complex that refuses to allow you to accept that, from all standpoints of medicine, science, and flat out fact, fitness is irrelevant to body size. That really sucks for you that your brain is struggling to let you come to terms with that. However, it is also 100% not my problem.
tl;dr: Blow it out your ass.
I love this way too much
This is like fabulous.
::literally sipping mint tea and grinning::
damn my ass is burning rn from this serve
“what’s called libertarian in the United States, which is a special U. S. phenomenon, doesn’t really exist anywhere else. [It] permits a very high level of authority and domination but in the hands of private power: so private power should be unleashed to do whatever it likes. The assumption is that by some kind of magic, concentrated private power will lead to a more free and just society.”
– Noam Chomsky (via oinonio)
I don’t know if rape jokes encourage rape culture. I don’t care. You still shouldn’t tell them.
Statistically, if you have told a rape joke to a group of more than five people, one of the people you told it to was a rape survivor, possibly of multiple rapes. They will not necessarily disclose this to you; rape apologism is endemic in society and most rape survivors are cautious about whom they tell. Some may even be too ashamed of their rape to admit it to anyone, or because of rape-minimizing narratives like “men can’t be raped” and “I consented to oral, so I couldn’t have been raped” may not admit it even to themselves. The fact remains: if you’ve told dozens of rape jokes in your life, then you have almost certainly told a joke that minimizes or trivializes rape in front of a survivor.
And if you put as your Facebook status “I totally raped at Halo today” for your two hundred Facebook friends to see, statistically, you have just reminded thirty-three people of one of the worst experiences of their entire lives.
To describe how well you did at a video game.