Sunday, October 12, 2014

laughterkey:

land-of-propaganda:

3 years in Rikers Island, 2 in solitary confinement, this high school student, NEVER CHARGED, gets released

16-year-old high school sophomore Kalief Browder, of the Bronx, spent nearly three years locked up at the Rikers Jail after he says he was falsely accused of stealing a backpack.  Amazingly, Browder never pleaded guilty, actually refused to plead guilty and requested a trial, even when pressured, but was never convicted and was only offered plea deals while the trial was repeatedly delayed.

Near the end of his time in jail, the judge “offered” to sentence him to time served if a guilty plea was entered, and warned him he could face 15 years in prison if convicted, but Browder still refused to accept the deal.  The only reason Browder was finally released was because his case was dismissed, but the damage had been done.

Browder, a high school student, spent an unbelievable 800 days, or over 2 years, in solitary confinement, which is a common juvenile imprisonment practice that the New York Department of Corrections has now banned after several investigations.

How does a teen end up in jail for 3 years, of which 2 years was spent in solitary confinement, and never be charged with a crime?

Browder’s case highlights several broken mechanisms in the New York legal system that feeds itself to civil liberty abuses on our youth.

  1. The 6th amendment gives us a right to a speedy trial, but in New York they have a “Ready Rule”.  The “Ready Rule” allows the courts to postpone trial dates by offering continuances. The system may give a continuance for 1 week, but logistically it may be 1 month before the trial actually comes to fruition and the still not convicted civilian only gets “credit” for the 1 week, not the actual time they have served.  In Browder’s case, he was given an absolutely ridiculous number of continuances initiated by the prosecution which left him locked up because he could not afford the $3000 bail.
  2. Browder was a high school student and juveniles are supposed to continue their education while behind bars .. except for juveniles that are in solitary confinement.  Guards would place juveniles in solitary and the schooling would stop relinquishing any educational support.
  3. While in solitary, Browder says that guards would routinely refuse to give him his meals.  Hunger is a common complaint by teens that are locked up because of the 12-hour stretch between dinner and breakfast.  Guards would use starve tactics at their discretion for punishment or their own personal enjoyment.  Browder says the worst of his starvations lasted for 4 meals in a row, meaning he was denied breakfast, lunch, dinner and another breakfast.
  4. As it stands, the courts place people in these situations and it is human nature for some to strike a plea deal just to get out of jail.  But Browder did not play into their game and take a plea deal, but maintained his innocence and requested a trial which came at a snail’s pace. This leads one to believe that the courts use this a planned tactic or procedure to play on human nature all in the name of getting convictions.
  5. The issues of using a Public Defender have long been recorded across the country.  In New York, court appointed lawyers make $75 a case.  In order to make money, that PD has to take on huge caseloads which leads to other problems.  Browder, although locked up for nearly three years in Rikers, where his PD was located everyday, never once was visited by his PD or had anyone to advocate his case for him.  This shows a reckless disregard which leads to a vicious cycle of apathy that often leads innocent people to copping pleas or getting longer sentences.

Read more here

He was charged, but never convicted. Per the newyorker:

The next day, he was led into a courtroom, where he learned that he had been charged with robbery, grand larceny, and assault. 

Not trying to imply that in any way makes this better. It’s horrifying from top to bottom.

Thursday, October 2, 2014
cranquis:

brighid45:

npr:

No, Seriously, How Contagious Is Ebola?


Comparisons like this make my sarcastic doctor brain wonder:
"How many of the people actively freaking out online about Ebola are also anti-vaxxers who freak out about the measles/mumps vaccines?"

cranquis:

brighid45:

npr:

No, Seriously, How Contagious Is Ebola?

Comparisons like this make my sarcastic doctor brain wonder:

"How many of the people actively freaking out online about Ebola are also anti-vaxxers who freak out about the measles/mumps vaccines?"

Thursday, August 28, 2014 Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Please don’t.
via @ke11yfoley on Twitter

Please don’t.

via @ke11yfoley on Twitter

What Not to Call Beautiful Women

Calling someone an ‘exotic’ beauty isn’t a compliment — take it from women regularly called ‘exotic’.

Monday, August 18, 2014 Friday, August 15, 2014

(Source: robotswilllcry)

nicolebyer:

mentalalchemy:

Shots fired

Good question.

nicolebyer:

mentalalchemy:

Shots fired

Good question.

(Source: darachtheboat)

curvesincolor:

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

curvesincolor:

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

Thursday, August 14, 2014 Tuesday, August 5, 2014 Monday, August 4, 2014 Sunday, August 3, 2014 Saturday, August 2, 2014
staanceapp:

Will Ebola become a worldwide health crisis?

Made the mistake of clicking through and reading some of the opinions.
There is very little chance that Ebola will become a major health crisis in the United States, and the same goes for other developed countries. We have the public health infrastructure to identify and isolate anyone infected with Ebola, limiting the potential for the spread of the disease. The US in particular, because we have the CDC, is in a very good position to confront such disease.
In order to become infected with Ebola, you have to have direct contact with the bodily fluids of an Ebola patient. Which is why it’s a disease that so often infects healthcare workers and caregivers. And even if someone is infected, it isn’t until symptoms appear that they are contagious. So we’re not talking about something that’s as easy to catch as the flu. It doesn’t spread anywhere near that efficiently. 
It’s been much more difficult to contain in West Africa for a variety of reasons. Many of the areas affected do not have the health facilities to cope with an epidemic, and sometimes family members take it upon themselves to care for Ebola patients, which often leads to further infections. The West African countries currently dealing with the outbreak also have highly mobile populations, allowing the disease to spread further.
There are also cultural differences that have influenced the spread of Ebola.
So don’t panic, people. Yes, it’s a very important news story and a tragic situation in West Africa. But it’s not the end of the world and your chances of being infected with Ebola in the US are very, very, very, very slim. Even with Ebola patients being brought back to the US for treatment. You’re safe, so be grateful and support the efforts to combat the disease in the areas that have been suffering.
/rant
Further sources:
CDC: Q&A on Ebola Outbreak
NYT: What You Need to Know About the Ebola Outbreak
MSF: Struggling to Contain the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa
The Seattle Times: Ebola patients head to U.S., but officials say no need to panic

staanceapp:

Will Ebola become a worldwide health crisis?

Made the mistake of clicking through and reading some of the opinions.

There is very little chance that Ebola will become a major health crisis in the United States, and the same goes for other developed countries. We have the public health infrastructure to identify and isolate anyone infected with Ebola, limiting the potential for the spread of the disease. The US in particular, because we have the CDC, is in a very good position to confront such disease.

In order to become infected with Ebola, you have to have direct contact with the bodily fluids of an Ebola patient. Which is why it’s a disease that so often infects healthcare workers and caregivers. And even if someone is infected, it isn’t until symptoms appear that they are contagious. So we’re not talking about something that’s as easy to catch as the flu. It doesn’t spread anywhere near that efficiently.

It’s been much more difficult to contain in West Africa for a variety of reasons. Many of the areas affected do not have the health facilities to cope with an epidemic, and sometimes family members take it upon themselves to care for Ebola patients, which often leads to further infections. The West African countries currently dealing with the outbreak also have highly mobile populations, allowing the disease to spread further.

There are also cultural differences that have influenced the spread of Ebola.

So don’t panic, people. Yes, it’s a very important news story and a tragic situation in West Africa. But it’s not the end of the world and your chances of being infected with Ebola in the US are very, very, very, very slim. Even with Ebola patients being brought back to the US for treatment. You’re safe, so be grateful and support the efforts to combat the disease in the areas that have been suffering.

/rant

Further sources:

CDC: Q&A on Ebola Outbreak

NYT: What You Need to Know About the Ebola Outbreak

MSF: Struggling to Contain the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa

The Seattle Times: Ebola patients head to U.S., but officials say no need to panic

(Source: staance.com)

Friday, August 1, 2014
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