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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
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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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.”