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In today’s New York Times Adam Nossiter gives us the story of Greg Bartlett, the sheriff of Morgan County, Alabama, now ordered to jail by the state’s most senior federal judge, civil rights lion U.W. Clemon. The sheriff had been starving his inmates in order to line his own wallet: enriching himself by $212,000 that he saved from funds destined to feed his inmates. Now Bartlett will have to make due with what he feeds his jailmates–“a few spoonfuls of grits, part of an egg and a piece of toast at breakfast, and bits of undercooked, bloody chicken at supper”—until he can come up with a plan to properly nourish his charges.
The case was brought by the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights on behalf of the prisoners. Contrast it with the sort of case pursued by the Bush Justice Department: The U.S. Attorney in Northern Alabama, Alice Martin, recently announced her intention to make another try to convict Sue Schmitz, a retired school teacher, for underperformance on an education contract on which Schmitz was paid $42,000 a year. Martin has now expended over $2 million in taxpayer dollars in her unsuccessful efforts to prosecute Schmitz, who also happens to be a Democratic legislator.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”