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View Diary: A King and a crown of gold (545 comments)

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  •  while i agree with much of what you've written, (1+ / 0-)
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    you left out an important fact: why the judge imposed these conditions.

    Because Mr. Felipe, the founder of the New York chapter of the Almighty Latin Kings and Queens Nation, ordered murders from prison by writing to his minions on the outside, Judge John S. Martin Jr. sentenced him to life imprisonment plus 45 years. Then the judge added some extraordinary conditions.
    it seems mr. felipe (by your own admission) didn't let a little thing, like being in jail, stop his external activities, like ordering the murders of people he didn't like. he did this using his ability to communicate, by mail, phone, etc., with fellow gang members on the outside. this is a critical set of facts, that you failed to include, and does make a difference.

    i'm not saying i wholly agree with the conditions judge martin has imposed, but given the circumstances, i can see why he felt it necessary to do so: he saw it as the only way to keep mr. felipe from ordering more murders, even while incarcerated. solitary confinement is an extremely harsh punishment, which should only be imposed in the most extreme cases. apparently, judge martin felt that mr. felipe's case fell into the category of "extreme".

    a also agree that this doesn't address the issue of why so many people enter into criminal activity. however, that isn't judge martin's job, his job, once a guilty verdict is reached by a jury, is to impose a sentence that, at minimum, will keep society safe from this individual for a time. it was his opinion, based on mr. felipe's actions, that these conditions were necessary to achieve that minimum goal.

    again, i don't necessarily wholly agree with judge martin, and an appeals court might not either. however, given the facts & circumstances of the case, mr. felipe, and his attorneys, shouldn't have been at all surprised that harsher than ordinary conditions would be imposed in sentencing.

    your failure to include this basic set of facts of the case doesn't add to your credibility, in my opinion. as a para-legal, you should know better. i'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume it was unintentional, or you figured, by providing the link to the article, you completed your requirement of "full disclosure". perhaps, you figured (i'm speculating here), that as long as this diary was, copying/pasting an additional paragraph would have put too many people off from reading it, and you may well be correct (and i can certainly empathize). but, that doesn't relieve you of your "full disclosure" requirement.

    with all that said, how else do you propose that mr. felipe not be put, again, in a position to have more murders committed on his behalf, outside of the extremely harsh conditions imposed on him, by judge martin? solitary confinement, for excessive periods of time, has been scientifically shown to cause severe psychological stress, if not a complete mental breakdown, so i sympathize with mr. felipe's plight. on the other hand, his own actions led to this, because he's shown a willingness to use the system, even while already in jail, to continue his illegal (and murderous) activities. how do you stop him, short of execution, otherwise?

    •  No - I didn't leave it out (12+ / 0-)

      there are plenty links - and frankly Mafioso leaders in prison have always communicated with their members while incarcerated.  

      Those who actually did the murders got off.  I'm not excusing Felipe.  

      This is really not about Felipe at all - he is simply the most extreme example of what we are doing - and how it isn't going to work.

      We dehumanize "gangs".  We create the conditions in which they flourish.  

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:09:34 AM PST

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      •  No, you left it out. (3+ / 0-)
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        JerseyKC, gonnabechef, charliehall2

        I know you're venerated here and rightly so, but this diary is a grotesque moral failure in my opinion.

        I'm going to skip that usual moment when I pause and reflect whether I want to say something strong, because I'd be ashamed of myself if I didn't say it.  

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:04:50 AM PST

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      •  This is the reverse of the usual (0+ / 0-)

        where the little guys who do the dirty work for the kingpins get long sentences and the big bad guys who really are responsible for the murder and mayhem get light sentences. We should be praising this, not condemning it! Felipe is a bad guy and he earned his punishment. The surprising thing is that the prosecution didn't ask for a death sentence; they probably would have gotten it -- even in death-penalty-averse New York.

    •  A facility can't monitor messages to the outside? (3+ / 0-)
      he did this using his ability to communicate, by mail, phone, etc.,
      Then they are incompetent.  Or corrupt.

      To posit that the only alternative is medieval treatment of a prisoner is repulsive.

      "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

      by 417els on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:53:01 AM PST

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      •  They did monitor and they couldn't break his code! (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure he has multiple codes that we haven't broken yet.

        •  Since he used a code, and MAY have more, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Denise Oliver Velez

          that calls for barbaric treatment?  Drive a prisoner insane full well knowing insanity is the result of prolonged isolation and solitary confinement with sensory deprivation?

          There are ways that his codes could be diffused.

          Accepting/endorsing this kind of "punishment" reveals much more about the mental state of our society than it does about any given evildoer.

          "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

          by 417els on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:01:31 AM PST

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