Browsing the archives for the crime tag.

The casual sadism of the US criminal justice system: exhibit 397.

Culture, Politics, US culture, US Politics

In the category “horrifying yet somehow unsurprising,” the NYT had this on Thursday:

As His Inmates Grew Thinner, a Sheriff’s Wallet Grew Fatter

Alabama has an unusual statute on the books that “allows the state’s sheriffs to keep for themselves whatever money is left over after they feed their prisoners. The money allotted by the state is little enough — $1.75 a day per prisoner — but the incentive to skimp is obvious.”

Indeed, and skimp he did. While “the prisoners in the Morgan County jail here were always hungry,” sheriff Greg Bartlett pocketed $212,000 over the last three years. A Redditter does the math:

If he profited $212,000 over three years, as the story claims, he profited about $194 a day. Morgan County has a bed capacity of 212. Meaning the Sheriff profited $0.90 per bed. Meaning the Sheriff was spending $0.85 per bed. That’s harsh.

‘Tis. The judge called the Alabama law “almost an invitation to criminality,” and sent the sherrif to jail – “until he indicated a willingness to comply.” Meaning just for one night, because as Sir Charles at Cogitamus put it: “In a startling display of the rehabilitative powers of incarceration, after only one night in jail Bartlett came up with the creative idea of not skimming any of the food money going forward, and the judge released him.”

As Charles concluded: “One is struck once again with the casual sadism that we seem to find appropriate in our criminal justice system.”

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Entertaining news stories of the day …

Culture, Funny, International Politics, US culture

.. of a slightly dark, and very odd sort:

Little Blue Pills Among the Ways CIA Wins Friends in Afghanistan (via The Stump)

The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra.

“Take one of these. You’ll love it,” the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

The enticement worked. The officer, who described the encounter, returned four days later to an enthusiastic reception. The grinning chief offered up a bonanza of information about Taliban movements and supply routes — followed by a request for more pills.

Fake money isn’t what it used to be (via Kevin Drum)

The Secret Service agent in Kansas City peered hard at a counterfeit $100 bill, ran a finger over it and grimaced in disgust.

It was bad, ugly work.

“Too slick, too,” said Charles Green, special agent in charge.

More counterfeiters are using today’s ink-jet printers, computers and copiers to make money that’s just good enough to pass, he said, even though their product is awful.

In the past, he said, the best American counterfeiters were skilled printers who used heavy offset presses to turn out decent 20s, 50s and 100s. Now that kind of work is rare and almost all comes from abroad.

Among American thieves, the 22-year veteran said sadly, “it’s a lost art.”

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