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via MAL Contends        

The media and indeed much of America got quite a laugh out of reports that Paris Hilton was sent back to jail in tears and emotional distress.

Hilton “was taken from a courtroom screaming and crying Friday seconds after a judge ordered her returned to jail to serve out her entire 45-day sentence for a parole violation in a reckless driving case.

"It's not right!" shouted the weeping Hilton. "Mom!" she called out to her mother in the audience.

Why is this funny? And no it's not right.

Taking away someone’s liberty should be a last resort of a society to inflict upon its citizens.

But in America, it’s done with appalling frequency: By prosecutors looking to inflate their win-loss record, by judges for whom taking away someone’s liberty can make them look tough, and by spectator citizens for whom watching Hilton is a sick sideshow.

Hilton poses no threat to society; she was convicted on charges of reckless driving and on probation violation,

Of-course, the United States leads the world in taking away the liberty of its citizens.

Reads the Sentencing Project:

Bureau of Justice Statistics figures for 2005 indicate that there were nearly 2.2 million inmates in the nation’s prisons and jails, representing an increase of 2.7% (58,500) over the previous twelve months.

The new figures represent a record 33-year continuous rise in the number of inmates in the U.S.

The current incarceration rate of 737 per 100,000 residents places the United States first in the world in this regard.

Or this from the Christian Science Monitor:

More than 5.6 million Americans are in prison or have served time … , according to a new report by the Justice Department released Sunday. That's 1 in 37 adults living in the United States, the highest incarceration level in the world.

And the incarceration rates are much worse for minorities, especially in urban America.

Something to think about the next time that the ass occupying the White House blares out “they hate us for our freedom.”

###

 

http://malcontends.blogspot.com/

Michael Leon is a writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. His writing has appeared nationally in The Progressive, In These Times, and CounterPunch. He can be reached at maleon64@yahoo.com.

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I was hoping that at least Op Ed would refrain ... by uluro on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 7:24:18 AM
You ever write something and get the feeling that ... by Michael Leon on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 8:21:34 AM
All the time.... by Professor Emeritus Peter Bagnolo on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 8:51:44 AM
They are given eyes but cannot see.... by Kenneth Barr on Sunday, Jun 10, 2007 at 4:34:00 AM
The Hilton's are big bush backers. The judge t... by Mr M on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 7:51:48 AM
Yes, we must dehumanize and adopt the idiocies of ... by Michael Leon on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 8:23:51 AM
Apparently, not only do great minds think alike, b... by Professor Emeritus Peter Bagnolo on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 8:06:30 AM
Are you nuts? Would you like to be driving on... by Alan Scher on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 8:21:48 AM
I'll grant you that Paris Hilton's drunk d... by Yaybob on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 6:32:10 PM
Drunks behind the wheel are definately a threat to... by Guitar Chris on Monday, Jun 11, 2007 at 1:47:36 PM
Drunks behind the wheel are definately a threat to... by Guitar Chris on Monday, Jun 11, 2007 at 1:51:07 PM
I'm NOT a fan of this dumb blonde bimbo Hilton... by Eddy Schmid on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 9:14:57 AM
Commenting on Paris Hilton... I thought it would n... by Bob Gormley on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 9:39:26 AM
As I read some of the comments, I begin to underst... by Professor Emeritus Peter Bagnolo on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 9:48:00 AM
Pete,   We disagree on this one. I can t... by Bob Gormley on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 10:03:26 AM
Professor Pete, I find it pretty incredible that y... by Robert Chapman on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 10:45:33 AM
Crap! You talk about the first stone? She was ston... by MarcHolt on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 6:50:43 PM
Mercy is a Christian value that Americans vaunt as... by Yaybob on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 8:23:53 PM
You know, when you start up with the biblical stu... by Yaybob on Sunday, Jun 10, 2007 at 11:33:58 AM
House arrest. She can't can't leave the house. Tha... by Professor Emeritus Peter Bagnolo on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 10:16:27 AM
Well....     If it was my daug... by Bob Gormley on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 10:36:55 AM
how would i feel if she were my child? thankful th... by PatA on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 7:32:11 PM
Driving under the influence is most definitely a c... by Charlie Hogue on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 10:29:32 AM
Hilton poses no threat to society; she was convict... by Robert Chapman on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 10:31:35 AM
Apparently Jesus didn't think it so incredible, re... by Professor Emeritus Peter Bagnolo on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 11:33:59 AM
I certainly agree that there are many Christians w... by Kenneth Barr on Sunday, Jun 10, 2007 at 4:41:22 AM
"Hilton poses no threat to society; she was convic... by M. Bennett on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 11:39:20 AM
This amazes me. I wish the country would get this... by joyce on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 11:45:21 AM
WTF?? ... by meremark on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 12:47:39 PM
How about all those law and order batwings whose b... by notime4lies on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 1:34:39 PM
Hear, hear and Amen!... by Kenneth Barr on Sunday, Jun 10, 2007 at 4:44:46 AM
 Paris Haris  is spoiled b*tch. This was... by Gareece on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 1:48:03 PM
incarceration, as you put it, is an extremely hars... by Steven Leser on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 1:53:53 PM
"I am much more in favor of house arrest, and... by PatA on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 7:39:19 PM
Some things need to be clarified. Paris Hilto... by tabonsell on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 2:41:48 PM
Paris is just a person. She, like all the poorer p... by Dennis Sweatt on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 3:05:07 PM
   I agree that if all victimless crime ... by rhalfhill on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 4:03:06 PM
"Hilton poses no threat to society; she was c... by MarcHolt on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 6:43:09 PM
Jesus doesn't belong in this conversation....anywh... by MarcHolt on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 6:56:56 PM
As a Christian, once again I cast my stone with Pe... by WML on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 8:26:43 PM
refuse to address one salient point, she is gettin... by Steven Leser on Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 at 11:49:21 PM
I don't agree that this sentence is unduly har... by Kenneth Barr on Sunday, Jun 10, 2007 at 5:03:24 AM
....Paris Hilton personally. However, I have been ... by Pappy on Sunday, Jun 10, 2007 at 1:35:35 AM
Speak for yourself. I find the idea of seeing her ... by Pappy on Sunday, Jun 10, 2007 at 1:42:20 AM
The girl is quite obviously freaking out in prison... by Pappy on Sunday, Jun 10, 2007 at 2:08:46 AM
I agree with you that we are a punishment crazed s... by Kenneth Barr on Sunday, Jun 10, 2007 at 4:30:09 AM
 Free Paris HiltonThe young Miss Hilton is in... by Dick Pudmann on Sunday, Jun 10, 2007 at 3:43:10 PM
Michael, as happens on opednews so many times, a p... by pratliff94 on Monday, Jun 11, 2007 at 8:52:15 PM
  “Michael, as happens on opednews so... by Yaybob on Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 at 8:40:19 AM
Yet she was cited in it. Without the reference to ... by Pappy on Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 at 4:15:28 PM