Even though a judge called his crime "cruel, brutal and malicious," a Japanese juvenile will serve only 11 years in prison. From The Yomiuri Shimbun:
The Hachioji branch of the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday sentenced
a teenager to 11 years in prison for stabbing a 15-year-old female
classmate to death in 2005 in Machida, western Tokyo.
According to the ruling, the boy, now 17, visited the home of Yua
Koyama at about 6:15 p.m. on Nov. 10, 2005, and slashed her face, neck
and several other areas of her body with a knife in the kitchen. Koyama
died of blood loss.
The defense lawyer denied the boy intended to kill Koyama and
claimed he acted in self-defense. The lawyer said the boy had a problem
communicating with people and panicked when Koyama raised an ashtray in
a threatening manner.
Presiding Judge Haruo Kobara cited the boy's criminal responsibility
and rejected the defendant's argument that he had panicked.
Sanjay Dutt is one of India's biggest movie stars. Heavy-lidded, beefy and whiskey-voiced, he's a natural for action heroes but also works well as a comic protagonist. (Think Bruce Willis with a dash of Stallone.) This week, though, the bigger-than-life Dutt was sentenced to six years in prison for possession of weapons thought to be potentially involved in the planning of a terrorist plot. It's a complicated case, and the sentence is unusually harsh -- especially for a big movie star. Dutt broke down when his sentence was read, but the judge had no sympathy. Dutt's lawyers said they'll appeal the sentence.
Gay prisoners in Mexico City are now being permitted conjugal visits from their partners. Conjugal visits are not uncommon in Mexican jails, and most of the time it's not required for the visitor to be married to the inmate. The new policy came to be after a man complained that he was refused permission to visit his partner in jail because they were homosexual. Discrimination based on sexual preference was banned in Mexico in 2003.
The Modesto Bee
published an op-ed examining rising trends in incarceration among Latino
men. Ryan S. King of the Sentencing Project and Angela Maria
Arboleda of the National Council of La Raza examine the 400
percent increase in incarceration for Latino men in the last 20 years, a
markedly steeper increase over incarceration of whites and blacks. There are 450,000 Latinos in the U.S. incarceration system and one in six Latino men will spend some part of their life in prison,
despite research that suggests that Latinos are historically less likely to
One important factor is the
war on drugs. Although drug use among Latinos is proportionate to drug use in
the general population, Latinos are twice as likely to be sentenced to
incarceration in a state prison on drug charges. Nearly one in four Latinos
currently in prison was convicted of a drug offense.
Mentally ill inmate's family files wrongful death suit [Dallas Morning News] The
family of a mentally ill inmate alleges that neglect was the cause
behind the death of their mother. The lawyer representing the family
also makes the case that this incident is not isolated.
Schwarzernegger to appeal order that created prison judicial panel [San Jose Mercury News]
Schwarzernegger will attempt to overturn a panel created to examine the
effects of prison overcrowding. His stated reason is that he has not
had sufficient time to pursue policies that would reduce prison
crowding, and does not want the panel to advocate a release program.
When scientific court testimony falters [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] After denying on the witness stand that she killed her daughter, and accusing her husband of the murder, DeAnndra Day later confessed to beating her child to death with a shoe. A medical examination and autopsy was inconsistent with Ms. Day's testimony and would have cleared Mr. Day of all charges, but they were not introduced at the time of trial and were therefore considered invalid. Despite numerous confessions on the part of Ms. Day, Mr. Day still remains in prison for life, pending his final appeal in federal court.
Court-bound prisoners headed underground [Easton Express-Times] The Northampton county prison has nearly completed a $1 million tunnel which will offer a secure way to transport inmates to and from the local courthouse.
Commissioners 'appalled' [Scranton Times-Tribune] County commissioners are finally in agreement that the birth which took place in a Lackawanna County prison is "wrong," after two weeks of claims that the incident was "sensationalized" and "overblown."
Trust crumbles by stonewalling [Scranton Times-Tribune] A letter to the editor by Bill DiMascio, executive director of the
Pennsylvania Prison Society,about the silence
surrounding Shakira Staten, the woman who gave birth in the Lackawanna
We're not sure what to think, but you can decide for yourself: Is the community reacting to a local sex offender's release, or is it just an unhappy coincidence that his home plans are being rejected while the community tries to pass a law further restricting where sex offenders can live locally? Local sex offender's release suffers setback [The Intelligencer]
"... the majority of police departments have no written protocol delineating officers' responsibility to the children of arrested parents, and those protocols that do exist vary widely in their wording and their implementation." Nell Bernstein, All Alone in the World, p.9
The state of Florida has passed out 85,000 "Cold Case" card decks to prisoners, reminiscent of the "Iraqi Most Wanted" cards distributed to soldiers. There are two decks highlighting 104 individual unsolved criminal cases. Each card has a picture or sketch of a missing person or homicide victim and some details about the case. Some of the cards depict a fugitive.
The cards cost the Attorney General's office $68,000 to print and an additional $13,000 was set aside as reward money for tips resulting in convictions. The maximum reward is $1,000 which prisoners can have deposited in their commissary account. Florida inmates can also buy the playing cards at their commissary and people on the outside can purchase the decks for $3.50 each at www.effectiveplayingcards.com.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Florida Corrections Secretary Jim McDonough plans to make the cards available at retail outlets soon and as crimes are solved, to create new decks.