Quantcast

No stimulus plan for Black inmates

Alton H.Maddox | , Jr. | 4/12/2011, 4:41 p.m.

Approximately eight million people in this county are under correctional control. While one in every 31 Americans is in the criminal justice system, the ratio for Blacks is one in 11. Half of the convicted persons in the correctional system are Black. No country approaches the United States in imprisoning its residents.

In terms of Blacks, the separation of powers doctrine is inoperable. The three branches of government are acting in concert. When Blacks stand in the well of the courtroom, there are no checks and balances, and appellate courts routinely rubberstamp judgments of conviction.

One of the benefits of the prison-industrial complex for whites is the transfer of political power from Black urban centers to white rural areas. Prison inmates are counted in their actual residences and not in their domiciles. This means the transfer of Black political power is shifted to white areas where Black inmates are disenfranchised.

This is not the case in Maine and Vermont, however. I wonder why? The U.S. Supreme Court, this past Monday, ruled that some members of the Congressional Black Caucus should start packing their bags. This decision aids those racists who are using prisons to create a slave auction for private enterprise. Black leaders are unable to connect the dots.

States and the federal government are unable to meet their correctional expenses. This is putting the lives of Black inmates in jeopardy. Many of these persons are innocent or have been denied the right to a fair trial. Only half of the states allow for some semblance of compensation to wrongfully convicted defendants.

As the economic conditions of the states worsen, many inmates will be eating bread and water amid unsafe temperatures. The alternative is to release them. To make matters worse, Mr. Obama has failed to fashion a stimulus package for prison inmates, and Black politicians refuse to inspect these modern-day slave quarters.

Virtually every week, a wrongfully convicted inmate is released from prison because of DNA. At least six states prevent, outright, the release of wrongfully convicted inmates because of the exculpatory potential of DNA. Other states have cumbersome and flawed legislation regarding the release of wrongfully convicted defendants based on DNA.

A case in point was the wrongfully convicted defendants in the Central Park jogger case. Kharey Wise was the worst-case scenario. He spent 15 years behind bars. The minimum stay for these young men was seven years. The exculpatory results of DNA tests were of no assistance to them. Justice Thomas Galligan ignored their innocence.

Even though Blacks, Latinos and Asians occupy 25 of the 51 seats on the New York City Council, Council Speaker Christine Quinn is preventing them from representing historically oppressed persons. Whites are over-represented by nine members. A white minority runs municipal government. Black "citizens" have as much political power as Black inmates. In the meantime, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will go back to the New York Legislature this spring to secure a renewal of his firm grip on public education in New York City. He also opposes compensation for these five Central Park victims, despite irrefutable evidence that they were framed and railroaded. If he harbors this unfounded attitude towards these five victims, why do we suspect that his attitude is any different towards the Black and Latino students in the public school system, which is already barring equal employment opportunities for Black children in New York City?