”A bitterly divided Supreme Court on Tuesday tossed out a jury verdict won by a New Orleans man who spent 14 years on death row and came within weeks of execution because prosecutors had hidden a blood test and other evidence that would have proven his innocence.
The 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Clarence Thomas shielded the New Orleans district attorney’s office from being held liable for the mistakes of its prosecutors. The evidence of their misconduct did notprove “deliberate indifference” on the part of then-Dist. Atty. Harry Connick Sr., Thomas said.”
“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Michelle Alexander told a standing room only house at the Pasadena Main Library this past Wednesday, the first of many jarring points she made in a riveting presentation.
Alexander, currently a law professor at Ohio State, had been brought in to discuss her year-old bestseller, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Interest ran so high beforehand that the organizers had to move the event to a location that could accommodate the eager attendees. That evening, more than 200 people braved the pouring rain and inevitable traffic jams to crowd into the library’s main room, with dozens more shuffled into an overflow room, and even more latecomers turned away altogether. Alexander and her topic had struck a nerve.
Growing crime rates over the past 30 years don’t explain the skyrocketing numbers of black — and increasingly brown — men caught in America’s prison system, according to Alexander, who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun after attending Stanford Law. “In fact, crime rates have fluctuated over the years and are now at historical lows.”
“Most of that increase is due to the War on Drugs, a war waged almost exclusively in poor communities of color,” she said, even though studies have shown that whites use and sell illegal drugs at rates equal to or above blacks. In some black inner-city communities, four of five black youth can expect to be caught up in the criminal justice system during their lifetimes. […]
We’ve made it a felony not to just use drugs, but to use drugs and not be white at the same time. It’s even worse if you use drugs, are not white and poor. It’s a class war and a race war and we’ve essentially reinstated slavery. The American prison populace, which is disproportionately, overwhelmingly Black and Latino are forced to perform unpaid labour as part of their prison sentence. At best, we’ve reinstated a form of indentured servitude. And it is horrifying how few people actually know or care that we’re doing this.
A while ago in my AP Chemistry class, this one annoying kid and my friend were having a weird argument about who was better. The annoying kid said, “Well, at least I have a girlfriend!” to which I responded, “Whatever. Your girlfriend has 67 protons.”
In response, the entire class, including the teacher, turned their heads to look at the periodic table on the wall.
The element with 67 protons is holmium, with the chemical symbol “Ho.”
The tempo has been sped up to 152bpm and the melody is played on the piano now and not horn lines. It’s a lot harder to play at this speed. I wonder what it’s going to be like going back to the old tempo. I’m going to stay at this speed for a few takes.