Sorry for the long delay in posting. Things have been a bit hectic around here but I hope to continue posting regularly.
Here’s what you may have missed in my absence though:
A federal judge in the Northern District of Georgia sentenced Joshua David Lowe, an ex-jail sergeant at the Polk County Jail, to 21 months in prison for beating an inmate who was strapped to a restraining chair. A fellow jailer and witness to the beating said that the inmate was “spewing blood” and that there was “blood everywhere.” Lowe pleaded guilty, which, perhaps, explains the unusually lenient sentence. And let’s not forget that Lowe is a law enforcement officer, after all, who is nothing but well-intentioned. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorneys Office, one of several that has been brought by the feds in recent moths (see here and here). Of course, police brutality against inmates, whether it’s of the violent or non-violent variety, are common, and one wonders why the feds don’t pursue more of these cases. Because what happens at the county jail stays in the county jail. Ultimately, it is up to the better officers, those with a conscience and a heart who see their colleagues go to town on an inmate, to break this cycle of secrecy and violence.
Texas continues to make its mark as the capitol of injustice in criminal and death penalty prosecutions. The 2005 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham who was convicted of setting fire to his home and killing his three children has returned to the media spotlight after Texas Governor Rick Perry took some swipes (some would say unwarranted) at Willingham, calling him a “monster” and a “bad man.” This came after Perry pulled some strings last minute to change the composition of an official forensic science commission that was about to issue a report on whether Willingham really did commit arson and murder his three kids. Grits for Breakfast has the story here. Texas injustice also made news with the release of Richard Miles, who was serving 15 years in prison for shooting two individuals, one of whom died. The release came after Centurion Ministries, a prisoner advocacy group, uncovered police files that show that someone else – not Miles – had actually confessed to the shooting. Evidence that was withheld by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office headed by Craig Watkins.