Kalief Browder has been out of jail for more than four months now, but the 20-year-old man who spent the last part of his teenage years behind bars still feels like a prisoner. “A lot of times when I’m by myself and I go through my thoughts, I catch a lot of flashbacks when I was on [Rikers] Island,” Browder told HLN.
A Times-Union analyis finds that Angela Corey's office has sent 21 people to Death Row, and 18 of them are still there. No other current prosecutor in the state has put more than seven people on Death Row since the start of 2009. Critics say it hasn’t reduced the crime rate and is too costly — but victims aren’t complaining.
Nearly 20 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were expected to be arrested Monday in connection with a two-year federal probe into corruption and inmate abuse in the county jail system.
Children's Hope and Voice's insight:
This story is shared because children and youth are routinely held in adult jails and prisons.
On Monday, November 18th JJIE hosted a compelling video webinar with Richard Ross, the photographer behind the acclaimed Juvenile In Justice project documenting juvenile incarceration across the country. Ross introduced his work within the juvenile justice system and discussed the imperative of photojournalists and journalists not only in documenting social injustices -- but also using that work for policy reform.
"Angela Corey is probably best known as the prosecutor who tried George Zimmerman, Michael Dunn and Marissa Alexander.
But here’s something you may not know: Corey has sent more people to death row than any prosecutor in Florida. And it isn’t even close."...
..."Corey’s indictment of Zimmerman was widely criticized by defense attorneys and legal scholars. One prominent critic was Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz. According to Dershowitz, Corey responded to his criticism by threatening to sue him, to sue Harvard University, and attempting to have Dershowitz disbarred. (She has threatened to sue other public critics as well.) She has also been accused of withholding exculpatory evidence in the case, then firing the IT worker in her office who exposed that evidence.
But Corey has a controversial history beyond the Zimmerman-Martin case. She’s the prosecutor who won a 20-year prison sentence for Marissa Alexander. The 31-year-old Alexander was convicted of aggravated assault with a [deadly] weapon after she fired a warning shot from a gun at her abusive husband. A state appeals court granted Alexander a new trial in September. Corey won a similar conviction against Ronald Thompson, a 65-year-old man accused of firing warning shots into the ground as some teenagers attempted to force their way into a home belonging to his friend. She has also received criticism for charging a 12-year-old with murder for beating his 2-year-old brother to death, then attempting to try him as an adult...."
..."PUBLIC PERCEPTION Brown, who for the most part has shunned media contact since his son’s arrest, pointed out limited information on details from the courtroom has become public. He believes most of what is known has come from the Houk family, who have made themselves available to the media throughout the case. “This has shaped public perception.” It has also frustrated him. “I no longer read newspapers or watch television accounts, which labeled Jordan as an 11-year-old murderer.” Brown said he is heart-broken when old friends approach, ask about him and Jordan then ask, “Did he say why he did it?” He has spoken extensively to his son, Brown said, and is convinced beyond doubt of the boy’s innocence. “Since the start I have said, if he did it he needs help. But I’ve also said I won’t walk away from him, turn him over to the state and make him a victim of the system. He is my son.” He added he believes others are equally convinced of Jordan’s innocence. “After the initial shock, when people saw the newspapers and stories on television, they might have believed it, but as information came out they began to think ‘No way could he have done this. No evidence links him to what was done.’” Still guarded about what he says regarding Jordan, Brown is knowledgeable about and has strong opinions of both the criminal and juvenile court systems and what he has identified as shortcomings. “That a judge denied decertifying Jordan to juvenile court because he would not admit his guilt — a clear violation of his Constitutional rights — just blows my mind.” Brown also said he believes Jordan was found delinquent — the juvenile court equivalent of guilty — on circumstantial evidence that would not have been sufficient to convict an adult. “When the judge announced the verdict, everyone in the courtroom was shocked,.” Brown said. “I saw court people with tears running down their faces. They knew it was the wrong decision. There had been nothing that linked Jordan to the crime. Nothing. An 11-year-old can’t plan his own birthday party let alone calculate a murder.” Brown said evidence revealed there had been no fingerprints on the shotgun that police claim is the murder weapon. A blanket, said to have been used to muffle the sound of the gun, contained no gunshot residue, no fibers from that blanket were found on the gun and a burn hole found in the blanket was determined to have been made by a cigarette. “The only link to Jordan was they all came from the same house.” Evidence considered by the judge included a speck of gunshot residue found on Jordan’s shirt and pants. Had Jordan fired a gun that morning, his father said, “his clothes would have been polluted with gunshot residue. But he wasn’t.” Brown said state police checked his hands and those of another “person of interest” for gunshot residue, but Jordan’s hands were never tested for gunshot residue, nor was his coat. “And the pants checked were not the ones he wore to school that day but a pair he changed into that had been at his grandmother’s house. He’d worn those jeans the previous weekend when he and I went to an indoor turkey shoot.”
‘RESPONSIBLE FATHER’ Contrary to belief, Brown said, his guns had not been lying around the house. “I’m a responsible father. My guns were not accessible to the children.” His weapons — which included hunting rifles, shotguns, pistols and a muzzle-loader — were usually stored in the back of a closet in the downstairs bedroom Brown and Houk shared, he noted. None was loaded, he said, and ammunition was stored separately in an armoire drawer in the bedroom, and in a pistol safe, also in the armoire. Brown said the couple was anticipating swapping bedrooms with Jordan, to be closer to the upstairs nursery, and some items, including the guns, had been moved a few days earlier. He said Jordan, under his supervision, was learning to shoot. The two practiced in the yard at their farmhouse. “I’m a hunter,” he said. “I’d estimate 80 percent of all homes in Lawrence County have multiple firearms.” At Jordan’s preliminary hearing, state troopers testified guns had been found stacked in Jordan’s upstairs bedroom. They said one smelled as if it had been fired recently. Another piece of evidence, a spent gun shell said to be in pristine condition, was found in the yard. “It was 90 feet from the driveway the kids ran down to catch the school bus that morning and found under ice and snow-covered leaves,” Brown said, adding, “I don’t think I could have thrown a shell that far.” Brown said the defense’s theory of what happened involves one of Kenzie’s former boyfriends, who had threatened her and her family members, prompting her to take out a protection from abuse order against him. Brown claimed police did not pursue that avenue."...
A non-profit helping put a stop to child abuse in the Roanoke and New River Valleys needs your help finding nominations for their "Golden Halo Awards." Each year, Children's Trust recognizes those in our community who go above and beyond to...