- Published on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 06:56
NYT 22 May 2012
EMMONAK, Alaska — She was
19, a young Alaska Native woman in this icebound fishing village of 800 in the
Yukon River delta, when an intruder broke into her home and raped her. The man
left. Shaking, the woman called the tribal police, a force of three. It was
late at night. No one answered. She left a message on the department’s voice
mail system. Her call was never returned. She was left to recover on her own.
“I drank a lot,” she said
this spring, three years later. “You get to a certain point, it hits a wall.”
One in three American Indian
women have been raped or have experienced an attempted rape, according to the
Justice Department. Their rate of sexual assault is more than twice the
national average. And no place, women’s advocates say, is more dangerous than
Alaska’s isolated villages, where there are no roads in or out, and where
people are further cut off by undependable telephone, electrical and Internet
The issue of sexual assaults
on American Indian women has become one of the major sources of discord in the
current debate between the White House and the House of Representatives over
the latest reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994.
- Published on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 06:52
May. 28, 2012
For a brief
moment, Tim Baker considered that death might improve his situation. "Suicide
is natural for someone who is depressed," Baker said.
Baker had a
number of scrapes with the law, ending with felony convictions on two charges
of driving while intoxicated. After an eight-year prison stay, he was released.
He got a job as a heating and air-conditioning technician and reunited with his
family. But he was let go after the company began working for a school
district, which prohibits convicted felons from being on school property. Soon
Baker was on the streets.
- Published on Monday, 02 July 2012 12:15
WaPo May 19 2012
Because she fired a gun while
committing a felony, Florida’s mandatory-minimum gun law dictated the 20-year
sentence. The state’s “10-20-life” law was implemented in 1999 and credited
with helping to lower the violent crime rate. Anyone who shows a gun in the
commission of certain felonies gets an automatic 10 years in prison. Fire the
gun, and it’s an automatic 20 years. Shoot and wound someone, and it’s 25 years
- Published on Monday, 02 July 2012 12:09
Saying he had no discretion under state law, a judge
sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for
firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband.
Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use
Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law to derail the
prosecution, but a jury in March convicted her of aggravated assault after just
12 minutes of deliberation.
- Published on Monday, 02 July 2012 12:08
WaPo May 16 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Within days of a drug-related
slaying in suburban Cleveland, six men were indicted on charges that carried
the possibility of a death sentence. Six months later, all had been allowed to
plead to lesser charges, including four who received probation and never went
to prison. In short, the men quickly
went from facing the possibility of being strapped to a gurney and having 5
grams of pentobarbital injected into their veins, to prison sentences more
typical for robbers and thieves