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.
i also think tho that there may be something off or wrong about these stats cuz i know Native folks are also overrepresented in prisons but no mention of them here? weird.
Let’s lift up today’s women hackers as great examples to young girls. The more such examples we can provide, the less likely it is that future boneheads will make statements like, “[Women] haven’t b…
Starting today, your face, name, and personal information could appear in Google ads.
I love that when I unclicked the box, it said ‘Your friends will be less likely to benefit from your recommendations’ as if NOT having my browsing and searching history show up everywhere they look is a negative thing…
I guess my face and name will lend real credibility to the middle aged chronically depressed grossly unhealthy marginal poverty market.
HEY GUYS, SUPER IMPORTANT, GO AND OPT OUT ASAP.
Especially since it’s unlikely that any of us got told about this and it’s just a thing that’s happening without us knowing about it.
Oh for the love of God that makes me uncomfortable.
All too often, when a service though a large corporation such as Google is free, you are not the customer. You are the product.
FOR FUCK SAKE GOOGLEswitch to yahoo.
Earlier this year Zora Ball was your average 1st grader until she decided to create and develop a mobile video game app, making her the youngest person to ever do so. At just 7-years old Zora managed to learn a programming language called “Bootstrap” that is normally used to teach kids ages 12 through 16 the different concepts of Algebra by using video games. Her teachers and family were astonished by her accomplishment.She was invited to an expo at the University of Penn where she was put on the spot and asked to reconfigure the app in front of everyone to prove that it was her that developed the mobile app in the first place and not her older brother who is a scholar student. Zora successfully did so and got rid of any doubt that anyone had.Zora Ball is now referred to a young prodigy with an extremely bright future in technology and computer science. Young Zora is an example of Black Excellence not having an age requirement.Written By: @Champion_Us
Born today, the first Black Video Game Engineer and Designer and inventor of the modern game console, Gerald “Jerry” Lawson (December 1, 1940 – April 9, 2011).
“At a time when the computer and video game industry was primarily filled with Caucasian males, Jerry Lawson was an innovator. He created of the first cartridge based video game console (the Fairchild Channel F), designed of one of the fir…st coin-op arcade games (Demolition Derby), was the head of Videosoft, an early independent developer for the Atari 2600, and the first African American in the video game industry to achieve such accomplishments.”
Lawson was born in 1940 and grew up in a federal housing project in Queens, New York. As a kid, he operated a ham radio; as a teenager he earned money by repairing his neighbors’ television sets.
As an engineer at Fairchild Semiconductor, Lawson designed the electronics of the Fairchild Video Entertainment System, later renamed the Channel F, in 1976.
Predating the release of Atari’s Video Computer System by a year, the Channel F was the first videogame machine that used interchangeable game cartridges, which Fairchild sold separately. Previous game machines like Atari’s Pong and the Magnavox Odyssey had all their games built into the hardware.
Lawson’s pioneering design set the standard for the game consoles of today.
Yep. Before him, the games were built into the machine so you could only play the games that came built in your system. Lawson made it possible for people to play multiple different video games at home.
Sociology, University of Chicago
Digital Anthropology, Whitman College
Due to an extremely deadly winter here on the Northern Plains, a winter which has claimed the life of a tribal member, we are raising funds to deploy 20 home pilot projects to receive multi-fuel stoves to replace dependency on fossil fuels to heat our homes (namely propane). We will grow our fuel source and manufacture our own fuel sources in the immediate future to start this shift to renewables. We send our condolences to the family of the lady we lost to a home which could not afford to be heated. Google “Standing Rock propane crisis” for more info. email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We thank you genuinely. Lila wopila.
There are 7 days left to donate to the Heating the Rez campaign! You can still contribute here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/heating-the-rez
Fandoms have raised millions for individuals to make a videogame (you know who you are) as well as fund movies and comics in a span of a few days. Let’s bring that kind of attention and readiness to people who actually need the help.
Signal boost, please