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After Man Serves 35 Years in Prison for $50 Robbery, US 'Should Be Ashamed of System We Allow'

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/30/after-man-serves-35-years-prison-50-robbery-us-should-be-ashamed-system-we-allow

A judge with a conscience and the ability to find this travesty and d=take steps to correct it? Unbelievable. A once in a lifetime occurrence, and there’s the pity.

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35 year sentence for a pittance! And how much does it cost to incarcerate a prisoner for a year? Capitalists take note. It would have been cheaper to pay this person a minimum wage (with which he would then pay for his own food and lodging etc. thus contributing to the economy) to just sit around and do nothing.

We could give people a living wage and require them to do volunteer work and save money, improve the economy and most of all reduce the amount of shame that injustices like this cause all of us to bear.

Religious fundamentalists should also take note - the word is mercy and “I was in prison and you visited me.” Jesus made it a point to care about prisoners.

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Alvin Kennard—one of all too many—got exactly as much justice as he could afford. And so do the Jeffrey Epsteins and John Boltons of the world. It’s sort of like US health care.

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Alabama sucks. I’ve made sure never to support their businesses as payback for the right wing bass turd way of doing things. F-ck Alabama!

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it’s not just Alabama that sucks. It is this nation’s terrible history of genocide and slavery and until we all admit to it, nothing will really change. sickening isn’t it to finally look at who we really have been and are and all becuz the fool in the white house was elected. He has brought out the real truth of Amerika. Let’s hope we get the opportunity to make real change in 2020. GO BERNIE!

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This article is missing a key word, racism. If you want to learn about our current “justice” system, I highly recommend The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander. It’s a powerful book that documents how the system discriminates against blacks at every stage, from arrest through parole, not to mention the stigma and second class status that a former felon endures.

Part of her thesis is that the “tough on crime” legislation was pushed by those who had supported Jim Crow laws. They wanted to keep blacks in their place. Hence the title. The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world and the most people behind bars. These rates are out of line not just with other countries, but also with our own past. This anomaly didn’t occur by chance.

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If you’ve not dealt with our justice system, you may not understand that there’s 3 different systems. The first is drug offences, I can tell you first hand, anything goes in this system, and you are considered lower than a rapist/murderer, no matter how benign the charge. The second is court for regular common criminals, this story says more than I can about it. The third is court for the wealthy, who are able to more often than not, buy their way out of trouble, if they are ever charged in the first place.
Thank god Mr. Kennard didn’t have a joint in his pocket when arrested, we would even be reading this story.
Years ago, Dustin Hoffman was in a movie (can’t remember the name for the life of me), one of the scenes involved a discussion about lady justice, and how she’s blindfolded because she can’t stand to see all of the dirty deals done in the court system. I couldn’t agree more.

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“Wealthy CEOs and business executives steal millions of dollars from the public and never go to jail.”

— It is so rare to see that in print. The IRONY, ABSURDITY, HYPOCRISY expressed in the statement.

Yes, on rare occasions, statements like this can be made in public, … BUT, has anything ever been DONE about it? Anytime? Anywhere? No. And the theft goes on. They are … the Untouchables.

WHO ARE WE, anyway?

WE are Amerika, #1. At killing innocent people since WW2, at overthrowing democracies, at selling killing equipment, at throwing people in prison - for 35 years over a $50 theft, at rip off medical charges, at obesity, at rigged elections and more. We are #1!!!

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And check out the woman in a Denver jail having a baby??? We live in a CORPORATE MILITARY POLICE STATE-----

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I get that you can’t jail a CEO for a corporate crime, but couldn’t we make a CEO a habitual offender on his corporations 4th felony-level crime?

if you ain’t rich, you’re target practice.

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Ah, but that would defeat the point of locking people up in the first place.
For the capitalists, the ones that own the private prison sweatshop, it is pure profit.
Not only do they get to utilize the prisoners as slave labor but their every expense, which is inflated many times over, is subsidized by the state. On top of all that they are also paid a flat rate.

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That’s the worst part of it all; we think we are so great! Next thing we know, it will be a crime to say we’re not so great. It may bring FBI agents to our door to arrest us as enemies of the state.

“Wag the Dog”?

We brought aristocracy with us from England and never let it go.

No, I looked it up and I was wrong, it was a Al Pacino movie, “…And Justice For All”, made in 1979. Sorry for the screw-up on my part. He played a lawyer defending a corrupt judge.

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Your Dustin Hoffman reference threw me off. Al Pacino did some great work too back in the '70’s. I’ll have to look up the “Justice for All” movie now. :slight_smile:

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PS I never heard of “Justice for All” so I looked it up. Fascinating. Funny thing is that in 1979 I was a little busy as a mother, going through a divorce, and trying to figure out what life was about. Movies didn’t figure into the equation at that time. Al Pacino is an amazing actor. Now I have to find this film.

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