Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Death - the final rehabilitation

This story is disturbing. When they started these "boot camps" for juvenile offenders, they were supposed to be programs to "scare them straight," to keep them from reoffending and teach them some self-discipline to keep them out of jail in the future. Killing them will certainly satisfy the recidivism goal but it hardly contributes to a civilized society.

Subjecting teenagers to sadistic handlers will not rehabilitate them
and one has to think that the victim's fellow inmates will not leave the program imbued with a love for the sanctity of the law when they witness adults in power literally getting away with murder. "

Three teenagers have died in state custody in the last three years
." The investigations clearly favor the guards since no arrests or lawsuits have been reported, but then these are just poor black kids who are being killed by homicidal maniacs in uniforms. It's not surprising that the video tape is being suppressed by Jeb Bush's government forces.
The video, which recorded the last 20 to 30 minutes of the teen's stay at the Bay County Sheriff's Office Boot Camp, shows officers at times kicking, punching and choking Martin Lee Anderson after he refused, or was unable, to comply with officers' orders to run or do other exercises, the legislators said.

Martin, of Panama City, died Jan. 6 at Pensacola's Sacred Heart Hospital, hours after he was admitted to the boot camp, which is operated under a contract with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. [...]

Clearly shaken, state Rep. Gus Barreiro told The Miami Herald that the tape depicted ''the most heinous treatment of a human being'' he had ever seen. ``It was obvious to me the kid was unconscious, and they were still abusing him. People will be outraged when they see this tape, and they should be outraged.

This is not even the worst of the description of the footage.
One officer is seen with his knee pushing into his back. Though the tape contains no sound, the officers appear to be yelling at the teen, Barreiro said.

After a minute or two, Martin stands up and attempts to run around the camp's track, Barreiro said. Officers ''rush'' to hold him up against the wooden fence, ''with his arms spread out like a crucifix,'' Barreiro said. Then four guards are seen holding Martin to the ground, with one officer pushing his knee into the youth's back.

As Martin gets up to run again, he is clearly ''stumbling,'' unable to run or walk, Barreiro said.
The video was also shown to high level members of Gov. Jeb Bush's office who declined to comment other than to say, ''We believe, in good faith, that this video is not a public record at this time,'' said FDLE spokesman Tom Berlinger. Meaning it's so bad they won't let anyone else see it.

The family's attorney, described [the victim], Martin, as ''a good kid'' who made honor roll on his last report card, and played basketball for his school team. He was a 14 year old who behaved like a typical stupid teenager and took his gramma's car out for a joyride while she was in church and crashed it. Gramma didn't want to press charges, the state did and her grandson ultimately received a death sentence. I doubt Grammy feels justice was served.

I surely don't.


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