Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Crime and Punishment (of the innocent)

With all the outsourcing to China, I'm glad to see we're forging ahead in the prison-industrial complex. I mean, if we can't do "shake 'n' bake" democracy in the Middle East, at least we know how to incarcerate people:

According to the International Center for Prison Studies at King's College in London, the US has 700,000 more of its citizens incarcerated than China, a country with a population four to five times larger than that of the US, and 1,330,000 more people in prison than crime-ridden Russia. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. The American incarceration rate is seven times higher than that of European countries. Either America is the land of criminals, or something is seriously wrong with the criminal justice (sic) system in "the land of the free."

In the US the wrongful conviction rate is extremely high. One reason is that hardly any of the convicted have had a jury trial. No peers have heard the evidence against them and found them guilty. In the US criminal justice (sic) system, more than 95% of all felony cases are settled with a plea bargain. (Counterpunch)

Ah, ain't freedom grand? Ok, sorry to be snarky. This is tragic.