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View Diary: Charlie Grapski jailed since Oct. 12 with no bond (227 comments)

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  •  Damn this BS (48+ / 0-)

    I've seen this before, and far too many times.

    Local officials, deciding they don't need to follow the law when they are railroading someone into jail.

    The people responsible for this travesty need to go to prison. Everyone. Prosecutor, judge, police officers, jail officials, every one of them.

    If they don't like the rule of law, maybe they deserve to live without it.

    •  read my post above (16+ / 0-)

      for a littlebackground about Charlie and what might be the reason he's in jailwithout bond for a misdemeanor.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

      by nailbender on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:10:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  By involving everyone in the guilty behavior, (24+ / 0-)

      public officials, like the Mafia, maintain control over each other.  They're not "good ol' boys;" they're hoods acting "under color of law."
      It's been going on a long time.  Now that such behavior can't be directed at one particular segment of the population with impunity, it's proven convenient to just spread it around.  If everyone is liable to being mistreated, even a University professor, it's not discrimination, is it?

      Charlie is a trouble-maker.  Providing him legal representation has probably become a hazard to people's careers.  

      Perhaps someone should contact the Southern Poverty Law Center.

      The only point that's not being made forcefully enough in the recitation of charlie's dilemma is that the residents in the jail, not having been convicted are innocent.  This is not just a technicality, even though the whole justice system has moved to a point where "innocence" is being used as a starting point for a legal proceeding--in other words, as a procedural matter, rather than a legal status.
      Charlie's complaint is valid because punishment is being visited on people who have done no wrong.   The reason the judicial system can get away with that is because most of the participants have subscribed to the assumption that "everybody's guilty of something."  So, it doesn't really matter what they are being punished for.  
      There is no way for the innocent to logically overcome that presumption, which is why the presumption of innocence was established in the first place.  And which is also why there are so many innocent people in prison and on death row.

      Also, keep in mind that there are hundreds of people incarcerated on the basis of suspicion, and not just at Guantanamo.  Florida is also the place where Sami Al Arian has been found not-guilty in a lengthy trial, but he's still being held on new charges of non-cooperation.

      Charlie is part of a much bigger story and he realizes that.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 02:46:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not to distract, but this is an old (17+ / 0-)

        problem in the US, and has been exacerbated by the so-called 'war on drugs'. Many locales, including both the state of Georgia and local jurisdictions in Georgia, Florida and many other states, have used the war on drugs as an excuse to erode the presumption of innocence and the fundamental rights of those accused but not convicted.

        Also, the story of rogue prosecutors colluding to behave more like the mafia than like public servants is written across the country, and is more and more the norm.

        In crime after crime, it has become acceptable for the accusation to be proof of guilt; the system is further eroded by the multiplication of charges (all of dubious origin) that prosecutors lay on, with the sole purpose of forcing a plea bargain.

        How else does one explain the ease with which Bush was able to lock citizens and legal residents up in military brigs for years, without charge and without counsel? Had these underlying trends not been there, the outcry would have been deafening.

        IOW, I think Charlie's dilemma is but the tip of the iceberg, and it's going to take at least a generation to break this trend -- if we start now. Those who support Charlie and are knowledgeable about his case need to use every means at their disposal to get the nation to pay attention. Make this about more than Charlie, and spark the national debate that is needed on this. Escalate it to the feds, to the court of pulbic opinion and put the government(s) on notice that the people won't stand for it any longer.

        •  Host of nat'l links, stats, contacts, blogs, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snakelass, esquimaux, vets74, BYw

          advocacy, war on drugs, juvenile justice, etc at The Pennsylvania Prison Societywebsite

          Advocacy

            1. American Indian Prisoners Network
            2. The Best of the Other Side of the Wall
            3. California Prison Focus
            4. Correctional Association of New York
            5. Critical Resistance
            6. Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants
            7. Families & Corrections Network
            8. Family Violence Prevention Fund
            9. Families Against Mandatory Minimums(FAMM)
           10. Farms Not Jails
           11. Grassroots Leadership
           12. Justice and Mercy
           13. No More Prisons
           14. OPEN,Inc.
           15. Prison Design Boycott Campaign
           16. The Prison Education Reform
           17. Prisoners of the Census
           18. Prison Justice
           19. Real Cost of Prisons Project
           20. Southern Center for Human Rights
           21. Stop Prisoner Rape
           22. The Justice Project
           23. Truth in Justice
           24. Western Prison Project

          Satyagraha ~ there is no force in the world that is so direct or so swift in working.

          by under the bodhi tree on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 05:34:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  This has been going on for 20 or 30 years. (0+ / 0-)

          Look at this Time magazine article from 1989 (the "George Bush" referred to is the current president's father):
          http://www.time.com/...

          Or Google "drug exception to the Fourth Amendment" and you come up with articles like this one about the Sixth Circuit:
          http://circuit6.blogspot.com/...

          See the national finals of Dutch children's chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen's 2008 Song Contest December 14 in Hoorn!

          by lotlizard on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 11:51:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Money is the object (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard

        The racket goes like this.

        Police officers are given quotas. Bring in X number of offenses to raise cash for the county/town/city/state. (This happens less in big cities)

        So whenever there is ANY REASON to stop a person, question a person, search a person, etc, there will be a charge. Argue with the officer that you haven't done anything, and more charges will be added.

        Next, the officers typically try to turn any arrest into a felony charge. They are assisted by a legal code that has broad and vague parameters.

        Next, prosecutors will try to work up a file that makes whoever they arrested seem like a real demon. Dismissed charges, even from long ago, are listed as "evidence of a criminal behavior pattern." Exculpatory evidence is suppressed.

        If you can't afford a lawyer, you're fucked. Another part of the process is to underfund public defenders, or worse, "borrow" so-called public defenders from the prosecutor's office.

        The initial charges, even if outrageous and unsupported, determine bond, and as I said before, the aim is a felony charge; to yield the highest bond.

        Can't afford bond? You're fucked. Unless, of course you are in a location that recognizes the case law precedents for "on recognizance" bonds. If the location is sniffing for money, this is highly unlikely. So, they either get money from bond, or they get money from the state, per day, for imprisoning you. And they'll let you sit in jail for weeks or months, "waiting for a court date."

        Next, the fascist corporate prison system is trying to make money off the deal. So, unless someone puts money into your jail account, you'll starve. If someone does put money in your account, it won't last long. Part of the racket is the monopoly, overpriced commisary system, some of them run by sherriffs who are raking in the profits selling cheetoes to prisoners.

        Oh, and soap. If you don't buy soap, you can't wash. If you don't wash, you'll be slapped with an infraction, which can lengthen your time in jail.

        When you do get to court, your public defender will take all of about 2 minutes looking at the prosecutor's file and then tell you what kind of plea bargain deal you can get.

        And that's when it gets interesting. Do you have some education with regard to what your rights are and what "due process of law" is? Well, if you try to convince your lawyer to defend you or tell the judge that you aren't being well represented, then you get to go back to jail for another month. Want a trial? You'll be in jail til the trial, some six months down the road. Most people just take the plea to get out of jail.

        And what about the plea? Count on getting the maximum for whatever misdemeanor they've decided to offer you in exchange for dismissing a felony. You'll be sentenced to jail, but, out of the goodness of their hearts, they'll suspend it. They'll give you large fines, put you on probation, send you to counseling (which you'll pay for), make you report in each month, give you an outrageous amount of community service, plus court costs, and other fees.

        If you had any money on you when you were arrested, they'll take it for "processing."

        Then, if for any reason you miss an appointment, can't pay the fees, fines, costs, etc, you're on the hook to go back to jail. To serve the sentence they suspended. And then we're into round two of the same BS.

        Think I'm making this up? NOPE. Someone called the police on me because I was having a loud argument with my wife. I wound up in jail with a $1300 bond (which they stole after my case was closed). I was charged with multiple felonies. I intend to settle that score in federal court. My rights were violated every step of the way in this BS racketeering operation that they have to raise money for the state instead of making rich people pay taxes.

        I don't have a felony charge. However, the state still lists the case as a felony case on the record. How's that for some freakin' bullshit? They give you a felony record even when you take the misdemeanor plea bargain. Why? To set you up for the next time.

        I haven't told even a fraction of the hassles that the whole thing has caused for me. It never goes away, and they never leave you alone. If they made money on you once, they'll try again.

        How many people did I meet in jail who had money? NONE. If you have money they back off. They don't want any precedents that upset the racketeering schemes and force them to respect the rights of citizens. That would kill the golden goose.

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