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How California Got to be a Bankrupt Gulag

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 9/3/09

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California has the highest number of prisoners per capita of anywhere in the world and our state budget is collapsing under the weight of the financial burden. Government here has chosen incarceration and the most draconian sentencing laws in the USA over education and public services. Almost 12% of the state budget is committed to the Department of Corrections alone. This is partly due to the insanity of allowing county DA's to rule the courts absolutely as their personal fiefdoms using stiff mandatory sentencing and three strikes law as a bludgeon, and the enormous power of the correctional officers lobby. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We have absolute corruption in the California Criminal Justice System.

The following is an example of how criminal justice is administered in many California counties, especially to low income and minority citizens and those of average means who cannot afford top notch legal representation. This is why our prisons are so terribly overcrowded and why an increasing number of innocent citizens are convicted and sentenced to death or insanely long prison sentences.

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On September 25, 2007 the life of my disabled adult daughter was changed forever. She was visiting friends who had a legal medical marijuana garden growing in their backyard. It became very late and she decided to sleep on the sofa rather than driving home alone in the dark. Her friends also appreciated another set of ears, since a group of thugs had been stalking the house and had threatened to shoot them for their medical marijuana. Both of them were senior citizens and very nervous.

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At 2:45 AM she heard cars pull up slowly and saw tail lights through the loose fence around the yard. Suddenly car doors slammed and the sound of several sets of sneakers pounding the pavement broke the quiet of the night. The whole neighborhood heard the noise and thought they were under attack. At least one man came out with a shotgun.

A gang of at least 8 males running and scattering appeared through the rickety fence slats. They fanned out and surrounded the house.

They're back! My daughter yelled to her sleeping friends. Get up get up! Call 911! Panic ensued and in fear and haste she grabbed the .22 rifle she had loaned to the roommate and ran to the window. Suddenly the sensor light in the side yard clicked on and three figures appeared, right hands up in a gun crouch position. Frightened and startled she accidentally pulled the trigger of the rifle, which was pointed at the eaves of the neighbor's garage, then ran to make a second call to 911.

She saw no one but the three gangsters in the side yard. Shortly thereafter one of the gangsters was found in the neighbor's driveway at least 8 feet below and 25 feet to the left of the window where my daughter had stood with her rifle pointed in an upward trajectory.

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From the Police Blog:

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Recently retired activist with an MA in Public Policy from an Ivy League school. A born again believer who also believes in the separation of church and state and is outraged that the Word of the Lord has been highjacked to justify the actions of (more...)
 

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How California Got to be a Bankrupt Gulag