Slog

Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Friday, February 8, 2013

Grand Jury Refusers: Five Months and Counting, Plus Solitary Since December

Posted by on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Remember these guys? Matthew Duran and Katherine Olejnik, who have been in prison since September without being charged—much less convicted—of a crime? Last fall, they were sent (not sentenced, just sent) to federal detention by Judge Richard A. Jones for declining to answer some questions in front of a federal prosecutor and a grand jury.

(To refresh your memory, some background below the jump.)

A few days after Christmas, and shortly after The Stranger's story about visiting them in prison ran, they were thrown into solitary confinement (aka the SHU, which stands for "special housing unit"). Their attorneys, Kim Gordon and Jenn Kaplan, are deeply frustrated because SeaTac officials have not given clear answers about why their clients are in the SHU. Have they broken a rule? Are they some kind of threat to the general population? Or what?

Kaplan, Olejnik's attorney, says her client "is still in solitary, and the FDC has refused to give me an answer regarding why."

It is not hyperbole to say solitary confinement is a form of torture. Dr. Atul Gawande wrote an excellent and well-researched article about the psychological and physiological damage of solitary confinement—even for brief periods of time—in 2009.

Even John McCain, who suffered five and a half years of torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, wrote that solitary "crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more effectively than any other form of mistreatment."

According to Dr. Gawande's article:

A U.S. military study of almost a hundred and fifty naval aviators returned from imprisonment in Vietnam, many of whom were treated even worse than McCain, reported that they found social isolation to be as torturous and agonizing as any physical abuse they suffered. And what happened to them was physical. EEG studies going back to the nineteen-sixties have shown diffuse slowing of brain waves in prisoners after a week or more of solitary confinement.

Dr. Gawande writes that the effects on people who've done time in solitary in US prisons isn't much different.

Duran and Olejnik have been in solitary since December 27—to repeat, they haven't been accused of any crime, they haven't been convicted of any crime, and the prison has failed to explain to their attorneys while they're in solitary.

This is what lawyers and reporters are talking about when they talk about this kind of process having a "chilling effect" on free speech. You can imagine, after this example, why people wouldn't want to hang out with other people who describe themselves as anarchists. (Again, see below the jump for background.) Knowing anarchists isn't a crime. But even if you don't commit a crime—even if you are granted immunity from being prosecuted for a crime—you can find yourself in solitary confinement.

That's a problem.

* * *

The background: That grand jury and the federal prosecutor are ostensibly investigating the political vandalism in downtown Seattle on May Day. But Duran and Olejnik say the questions they refused to answer had little to do with actual crimes and more to do with social mapping—names and photographs, questions about who those people were, how they know each other, and their political beliefs.

Most of the questions centered around what search warrants have described as "known anarchists." The 1950s had its Red Scare; we've got our Black Scare.

That's when the two shut down—on principle, not for their own protection, as they'd both already been granted immunity from prosecution—and declined to answer. They've been in prison since September and, since they haven't been sentenced for any crime, are there indefinitely.

On Dec 26, Duran and Olejnik were joined by Maddie Pfeiffer, another grand-jury refuser.

 

Comments (67) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
NotSean 1
WTF?
Flying monkeys on standby.
Do we have a target?

Posted by NotSean on February 8, 2013 at 10:12 AM · Report this
2
Hey Brendan is there anyone we can send letters to or complain about this mistreatment, or any ways to generally protest detention without due process?
Posted by wtf mate on February 8, 2013 at 10:19 AM · Report this
3
ugh! so gross and such a travesty of "justice". thx for keeping us aware of this, brendan.
Posted by downtownkitty on February 8, 2013 at 10:20 AM · Report this
4
I would welcome any tips about what I can do: who do I write letters to, vote against, etc?
Posted by senor chris on February 8, 2013 at 10:28 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 5
Contempt of court" means intentional:
...
     (c) Refusal as a witness to appear, be sworn, or, without lawful authority, to answer a question;...

Sanctions — Who may impose.
A judge or commissioner of the supreme court, the court of appeals, or the superior court, a judge of a court of limited jurisdiction, and a commissioner of a court of limited jurisdiction may impose a sanction for contempt of court under this chapter...

     (2) If the court finds that the person has failed or refused to perform an act that is yet within the person's power to perform, the court may find the person in contempt of court and impose one or more of the following remedial sanctions:...

     (a) Imprisonment if the contempt of court is of a type defined in RCW 7.21.010(1) (b) through (d).

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?…

Posted by Rob in Baltimore http://www.wishbookweb.com/ on February 8, 2013 at 10:28 AM · Report this
psbirch 6
Echoing @1 and @4 -- who has the authority to end their internment?
Posted by psbirch on February 8, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
Have fun living in the Reich.

Because that's where you are.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on February 8, 2013 at 10:35 AM · Report this
8
There's a handbook for SeaTac inmates online (PDF). It lists some of the restrictions on Special Housing Unit prisoners. They can't visit the law library so have their own basic law library in their unit. Also a leisure book cart rotated bi-weekly, looks like magazines and newspapers from Seatac's Education Department too - hard to tell exactly. Visits via video, not in the visitors room, and limited to one hour per visit. http://www.bop.gov/locations/institution…

That McCain line is from his biography, describing the phase when the North Vietnamese moved him from the regular section of the POW camp into solitary. No books, no communication allowed with other prisoners. He describes how he'd mentally reconstruct all the books and movies he'd ever seen, play memory games, while guarding against retreating too permanently or falling into the hypochondria solitary POWs were prone to. Much of that chapter is on Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=OD4PV3R…
Posted by gloomy gus on February 8, 2013 at 10:40 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 9
They should appeal for help from the EU. This is an abuse of power.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on February 8, 2013 at 10:45 AM · Report this
raku 10
Please keep posting about this. The Stranger can raise awareness and make things happen.
Posted by raku on February 8, 2013 at 10:55 AM · Report this
delirian 11
At what point do the people rise up as one and overthrow the state and then put the assholes responsible for this against the wall? Never? Oh, then they're screwed unless someone can figure out a jailbreak.
Posted by delirian on February 8, 2013 at 11:08 AM · Report this
Pick1 12
I also would like to know where I send my letters of disgust.
Posted by Pick1 on February 8, 2013 at 11:14 AM · Report this
13
This infuriates me and breaks my heart, too. Echoing previous sentiments: is there anything we can do to help? Anyone to contact and bitch to, anywhere letters to the resistors can be sent?
Posted by Juris on February 8, 2013 at 11:18 AM · Report this
14
These two young people are kind, nice Evergreen college kids and this is torture plain and simple by a reactionary and paranoid police state. WHERE DO I WRITE?? and To WHOM do I address this this EVIL situation???
Posted by ruthw on February 8, 2013 at 11:24 AM · Report this
Rotten666 15
@7 Yeah! ITS JUST LIKE NAZI GERMANY!
Posted by Rotten666 on February 8, 2013 at 11:31 AM · Report this
16
While I'm sure these two "don't deserve it",

They aren't being treated any differently than other prisoners.

In the line of people for whom justice must be restored, they are in the back.

Like young white writers in Brooklyn who are "forced" on to food stamps, they're suffering is largely optional: they could just answer the questions. This isn't a murder trial, they're not looking at the chair.
Posted by fetish on February 8, 2013 at 11:40 AM · Report this
17
@ 16: "Like young white writers in Brooklyn who are "forced" on to food stamps"

That is the worst analogy I've heard all week, and you're an idiot for making it. They're standing up to a political witch hunt by a federal prosecutor, and defending the rights of free association and free expression - deadly serious issues. This has nothing to do with being some kind of ironic hipster you have some problem with.

Posted by Juris on February 8, 2013 at 11:44 AM · Report this
Pick1 18
@16 They refuse to testify against people who are likely friends who also hold the same belief as them.

If a friend of mine was charged with a crime, and I believed they were in the right, I'd like to think that I would also avoid turning them over.

Just because I don't agree with these two doesn't mean I should change my views on how justice should be dispensed. If "Contempt of Court" is their crime, then they should be charged with it, they should have a chance to rightfully defend themselves from it, and if they are found guilty, there should be a solidly defined amount of time that they spend in jail for their crime.

Open-ended jail sentences without being charged is a travesty. No matter who you are or what you've done.
Posted by Pick1 on February 8, 2013 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 19
Write the White House! I just did.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on February 8, 2013 at 11:50 AM · Report this
20
don't write the white house. write the prisoners. there's nothing the white house will do in my anarchic opinion.

Matthew Pfeiffer #42421-086
FDC SeaTac
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198

Matthew Kyle Duran #42565-086
FDC SeaTac
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198

Katherine Olejnik #42592-086
FDC SeaTac
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198

more info; saynothing.noblogs.org
Posted by forliberation on February 8, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
21
Matthew Kyle Duran #42565-086
FDC SeaTac
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198

Katherine Olejnik #42592-086
FDC SeaTac
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198

Matthew Pfeiffer #42421-086
FDC SeaTac
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198
Posted by forliberation on February 8, 2013 at 12:17 PM · Report this
22
Since when is it a crime to NOT answer questions WHEN YOU HAVEN'T EVEN BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME YET ? Unless the prosecutors have charged them with a bonafide crime of wrong doing, they have the LEGAL RIGHT to refuse to answer any questions. SO WHY IN THE HE-dbl hockeystick are they EVEN LOCKED UP ???
Posted by DeepestGlint on February 8, 2013 at 12:19 PM · Report this
23
@17 they aren't defending shit. they're pointlessly martyring themselves. Do you think anyone REALLY gives a shit about this case? as if when they (eventually, of course) answer they are sacrificing the free association for all Americans. Please, get the fuck over them. Mark Clark got shot in his sleep FORTY FIVE years ago. Whatever Duran & Co are doing now, it's *NOT* protecting any rights.
Posted by fetish on February 8, 2013 at 12:25 PM · Report this
delirian 24
@22: You have a right against self-incrimination. The government can override this by giving you immunity from prosecution. At that point you have to testify, even if it is self-incriminating. I think this is a bullshit argument, but it has been upheld by the courts.
Posted by delirian on February 8, 2013 at 12:29 PM · Report this
25
Hey everyone, let's send them VALENTINES! THey need cheering up and need to know that people are thinking of them. Thanks for the addresses # 20,21
:)
Posted by ruthw on February 8, 2013 at 12:47 PM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 26
Contempt of court is a crime. If a person refuses to testify after being warned of contempt charge, it's the same as confessing to a crime in court. Basically it's a crime witnessed by the court.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore http://www.wishbookweb.com/ on February 8, 2013 at 12:56 PM · Report this
JensR 27
@26 except you can be sent to jail indefinitely... Which is in all fairness not exactly part of the idea of how it should work.

@23 Yeah that WOULD be true if they where not picked up for what was seen as political opinions. Even then the idea that you HAVE to answer or you will be imprisoned for life is rather bizarre. Someone having tougher times is not an excuse for anything. If you get shot tomorrow and someone gets shot twice the day after is your pain negligible?
Posted by JensR http://ohyran.se on February 8, 2013 at 1:07 PM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 28
27, They're still in the act of committing the crime. They just have to stop doing the crime, and they'll stop doing the time.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore http://www.wishbookweb.com/ on February 8, 2013 at 1:12 PM · Report this
29
Anonymous announces Operation Grand Jury Resisters:
#OpGJResisters – Operation Grand Jury Resisters official PR

http://anonrelations.net/opgjresisters-9…
Posted by Ag3ntR3d on February 8, 2013 at 1:42 PM · Report this
30
We all know it's legal to keep them in jail. The question is whether it's right. My answer: Yes, it's not just legal, it's right. They should cooperate in the investigation. If they don't, it's on their heads.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 1:42 PM · Report this
31
Anonymous announces Operation Grand Jury Resisters:
#OpGJResisters – Operation Grand Jury Resisters official PR

http://anonrelations.net/opgjresisters-9…
Posted by Ag3ntR3d on February 8, 2013 at 1:46 PM · Report this
32
My advice for them is to answer every question: "I have no recollection".
Posted by Alberto Gonzales on February 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 33
Are these attorneys filing an appeal to get them out of solitary, or anything else?
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://www.zombo.com on February 8, 2013 at 2:09 PM · Report this
smade 34
Yes, they have violated the law. The punishment should be proportional to the crime. Life imprisonment is not a proportional response.
Posted by smade on February 8, 2013 at 2:28 PM · Report this
35
Duran and Olejnik have been in solitary since December 27—to repeat, they haven't been accused of any crime, they haven't been convicted of any crime

Sorry, but that's a lie. Duran and Olejnik are in jail for contempt of court, which is most certainly a crime.

Yes, they have violated the law. The punishment should be proportional to the crime. Life imprisonment is not a proportional response.

They'll be in jail not for life, but for the term of the grand jury. If the U.S. attorney is hard-nosed, as soon as this grand jury's term ends, he'll convene another grand jury, call them to testify, and throw them in jail if they refuse.

My advice for them is to answer every question: "I have no recollection"

They'd better be careful about that, because if the prosecutors find people who contradict them on their memory failure, they could be prosecuted for things like perjury, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice, and find themselves doing hard time for a long time.

These people obviously want to be in jail. They think they have a point to prove, and are willing to pay the price to prove it. Let 'em keep proving it.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 2:50 PM · Report this
36
Good point Unbrainwashed. I forgot these were dirty little peons and not important people with friends in high places (like me!)
Posted by Alberto Gonzales on February 8, 2013 at 3:06 PM · Report this
smade 37
Follow the money.
Posted by smade on February 8, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
38
True enough, Alberto #36. Welcome to life. As Bob Dylan wrote: "There's a certain way we all must swim/If we expect to life off the fat of the land"

I do wonder why they're in solitary. Prisons and jails don't like to put people in solitary. Higher staffing levels and hassles there. I wonder what they did to get there.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 3:18 PM · Report this
39
Why don't federal prosecutors get this hard-nosed with the financial industry? Oh that's right, it's because our legal system is a sham.
Posted by Tent_Liberation_Army on February 8, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this
Pick1 40
@39 The "of course they are committing a crime" stuff is annoying. We live in a country with a little thing called jurisprudence.

Once again: If "Contempt of Court" is their crime, then they should be charged with it, they should have a chance to rightfully defend themselves from it, and if they are found guilty, there should be a solidly defined amount of time that they spend in jail for their crime.

Open-ended jail sentences without being charged is a travesty. No matter who you are or what you've done.
Posted by Pick1 on February 8, 2013 at 3:37 PM · Report this
41
#39, gee, ya think people buy their way out? Really? Wow, who knew?

#40, yes, a terrible travesty. But they knew it going in, and they know it now. They either talk or stay in jail. Whine all you want, but it's not going to change.

I really do wonder what they did to get themselves sent to solitary. Prisons and jails really don't like to use solitary. It's expensive and troublesome. You've got to fuck up pretty seriously to get sent there. I'm sure they'll make up some story about it, but I'd love to hear what the guards have to say about these jokers.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 3:47 PM · Report this
42
Brendan, can you ask "their attorneys, Kim Gordon and Jenn Kaplan" what would be most helpful for supporters to do to get these political prisoners out of solitary? Writing to them directly, to director of the prison, federal prosecutor, judge?
Posted by MsBoyer on February 8, 2013 at 4:17 PM · Report this
43
#42, write to the prisoners themselves and tell them to behave.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 4:20 PM · Report this
Pick1 44
@43 I don't think "Brainwashed" means what you think it means. Being a contrarian is not the same as being enlightened...
Posted by Pick1 on February 8, 2013 at 5:29 PM · Report this
45
#44, I realize you don't think I'm very smart and therefore have a great personal need to try to intimidate me with the usual smug Seattle hipster's insincere patronization, but I can at least say this much: 1) I'm correct about the law, 2) I'm correct about jail and prison procedure with respect to solitary confinement, and 3) Somehow I'm smart enough not to be rotting in jail like your friends.

I think you might want to consider lecturing them, not me, about what they do and do not know. Just a thought.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 6:42 PM · Report this
46
86 Days and Counting

It has now been exactly 86 days since Brendan Kiley stopped going through the trouble to calculate exactly how many days have passed since Leah Lynn-Plante was released *COUGH* the political martyrs Matty and KTeeO were totally bogusly imprisoned.

* THOU SHALT NOT SPEAK OF THE RIGHTEOUSLY UNPERSONED
Posted by robotslave on February 8, 2013 at 8:54 PM · Report this
47
The thing about the federal government is this: They really don't give a flying fuck about what a bunch of hipsters in Seattle think. Those fools will sit in jail until they talk or the grand jury runs out. They'd best not be too uppity, or the feds might just convene another one and throw 'em in jail for another couple of years. Life's a bitch, then you die.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 10:29 PM · Report this
48
@unbrainwashed i recognize that you are intent on proving that you understand why the courts / justice system is handling these people. but what does that have to do with anything?

what do you really think of this situation? what is the implication of a imprisonment system that operates as you describe it?

saying that "life's a bitch" in this case is quite hollow. we are not talking about life, we are talking about an institution that by birth we are subjected to. not to mention, we are discussing an institution that pupports to be about creating "justice."

so, will you tell us what you really think of all this, so that we might better understand why you refuse to acknowledge people's rightful disapproval of the actions of the state?

should we all just say, "lifes a bitch" and forgive the prison system?
Posted by scottdavis on February 8, 2013 at 11:41 PM · Report this
49
fuck the cops. free the resisters.
Posted by blackflags http://seattlefreepress.org on February 9, 2013 at 12:52 AM · Report this
50
Is it possible they were put into solitary for their own protection? I've no idea what the population of the prison is, where they're being held.
Posted by clashfan on February 9, 2013 at 2:40 PM · Report this
51
#48, I think Duran and Olejniks are punks, vandals, and fools, and are getting exactly what they deserve. Once the grand jury's term expires, I hope the federal prosecutor will impanel a new one and call Duran and Olejnik back to testify, and have them locked up again if they won't talk. And again, and again, and again.

That clear?
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 9, 2013 at 4:04 PM · Report this
52
51 it's clear that you are attempting to instill obedience and a fear of authority. but people like myself think that that type of bullying needs to faced head on and without pause.
Posted by colotov mocktail on February 9, 2013 at 5:50 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 53
@52, well, you go right ahead and do that. And I hope you enjoy sitting in jail for five months too.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on February 9, 2013 at 6:08 PM · Report this
AnonSeattle13 54
@30 They aren't just being asked to snitch on criminals. They're being asked to name other political dissenters, so they can drag more activists into court. Is it legal? Unfortunately, yes. But, so is waterboarding. Just because something is legal, it doesn't make it right. If someone dragged you before a federal grand jury and asked you name friends who committed no crimes so they can drag them through the courts and ask them questions, you would rat them out? That makes you a traitor to your people, you damned snitch. That's very unAmerican of you, imo.

I'm actually very pleased to see so many people speaking out in support of the Grand Jury Resisters. A lot of us have been doing everything we can to raise awareness about the Grand Jury Resisters and incarcerated Anons, and we are gaining a lot of new support from all around the world. Those who defend government corruption and political repression are as guilty as those who perpetrate it...

Trending on Twitter... #GJResisters #FreeAnons #NoPoliticalRepression
http://nopoliticalrepression.org
http://www.freeanons.org
Posted by AnonSeattle13 on February 10, 2013 at 10:45 AM · Report this
AnonSeattle13 55
@30 They aren't just being asked to snitch on criminals. They're being asked to name other political dissenters, so they can drag more activists into court. Is it legal? Unfortunately, yes. But, so is waterboarding. Just because something is legal, it doesn't make it right. If someone dragged you before a federal grand jury and asked you name friends who committed no crimes so they can drag them through the courts and ask them questions, you would rat them out? That makes you a traitor to your people, you damned snitch. That's very unAmerican of you, imo.

I'm actually very pleased to see so many people speaking out in support of the Grand Jury Resisters. A lot of us have been doing everything we can to raise awareness about the Grand Jury Resisters and incarcerated Anons, and we are gaining a lot of new support from all around the world. Those who defend government corruption and political repression are as guilty as those who perpetrate it...

Trending on Twitter... #GJResisters #FreeAnons #NoPoliticalRepression
http://nopoliticalrepression.org
http://www.freeanons.org
Posted by AnonSeattle13 on February 10, 2013 at 10:49 AM · Report this
56
#54/55, they're a bunch of anarchist punks. Fuck 'em.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 10, 2013 at 12:23 PM · Report this
57
#51, I'm expressing my opinion. Must really scare you to have someone think differently than you, huh?
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 10, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
58
#57 it's not that people are afraid of you, it's that they think you're a douchebag.
Posted by rcrantz on February 10, 2013 at 3:51 PM · Report this
59
#58, this is America, and "they" can think what they want. But I'm typing this as I watch TV in my den, and your friends are in solitary confinement. I don't give a shit about them, about you, or about what "they" think. I fart in your general direction.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 10, 2013 at 9:14 PM · Report this
toyotabedzrock 60
This sounds like something that should be more of an issue. Did anyone tell anonymous? It is time for some heat.

I don't think this bs will stop until we come together and protest or if that doesn't work take them from the prison in a non or limited violence way.

And Holder needs to be gone we can't have four more years of that hack.
Posted by toyotabedzrock http://https://plus.google.com/+JimFeig/posts on February 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM · Report this
61
Jenny Durkan is the prosecutor who brought these charges. United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington.

is this why she is prosecuting [persecuting really] our local activists?

"The Post, back in November, reported on rumors of Breuer's desire to move on, and The National Law Journal in December also noted that Breuer is expected to call it quits. (The NLJ mentioned a couple of potential contenders for his job, including Paul Fishman, the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, and Jenny Durkan, the U.S. attorney in Seattle.)"

http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2013/0…
Posted by Linda J on February 11, 2013 at 12:11 PM · Report this
62
I don't think this bs will stop until we come together and protest or if that doesn't work take them from the prison in a non or limited violence way.

Hey Hey
Ho Ho
Grand jury abuse
Has got to go!

ha ha ha ha ha ha!!
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 11, 2013 at 3:43 PM · Report this
63
@62

Yes, it's patently absurd for those of us who spend at least some of our time outside the ideology-bubble of the radical anarchist, but we need to understand that for those who never leave that bubble, your ridicule is simply proof that "The System" is eternally crafty when it comes to concocting strategies to counter the incontrovertible and morally unassailable position of The Revolutionary*.

* this is obviously and equally true for adherents of radical-right political ideologies, of course.

(shorter: it is essentially impossible to argue a paranoid personality out of a political position)
Posted by robotslave on February 12, 2013 at 11:24 PM · Report this
64
None of the Grand Jury Resisters are charged with a crime, therefore calling them 'criminals' is a form of dissembling. While a litigant has a right (even the state) in law to every man's evidence, here there is NO 'litigation', no indictment. It's a fishing expedition. And while we have a moral duty to obey just laws (even those we dislike), we have an equal moral imperative to disobey unjust laws, especially intrinsically unjust laws. e.g. Telling a Nazi which of your friends is Jewish.

The parallels between the current abuse of the federal Grand Jury system and the 1950's abuse of Congressional Hearings (The McCarthy Hearings before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities: "Are you now or have you ever been a Communist? Do you know any Communists? What are their names?") It's not hyperbole to characterize Durkan's gambit as a witch hunt. IMO, the placement of the Grand Jury Resisters in solitary for such an extended period for little/NOTHING amounts to a violation of the 8th Amendment--cruel and unusual punishment. Rest assured, if any of the Grand Jury Resisters had done something improper or violated one of the rules, the feds would be only too eager to disclose it to the press in an effort to discredit the prisoners. If the prisoners were at risk of imminent harm in the general population, the feds would be quick to use the fact to excuse their actions. Their silence (even to the attorneys seeking the reason for solitary) speaks volumes. They're tightening the screws in an effort to torture the Resisters until they break. It's also possible the Resisters were raising the consciousness of their fellow prisoners to the point the feds couldn't stomach it. Finally, it's possible to find out a great deal of information from other prisoners while in custody. The Grand Jury Resisters may have been learning too much from other inmates about mutual acquaintances and what was going down behind the scenes. In any event, these prisons and solitary torture chambers are barbaric, cause irreversible physical and mental injury; they are despicable examples of how a supposedly civilized 'democracy' treats its own: Terror, unquestioned obedience and more--the insistence that obeying Big Brother isn't enough, that one must 'LOVE' Big Brother. -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-
More...
Posted by pinbalwyz on February 19, 2013 at 11:34 AM · Report this
65
The parallels are unmistakable. [sic]
Posted by pinbalwyz on February 19, 2013 at 11:42 AM · Report this
66
Their in prison because the cowardice Police Chief Diaz missused the federal authority book and overreacted to missdemeanor behaviour. All while cops give the underworld a pass cuz they are scared. the mayor went along with it too. AInt no police reform till they are released. Seems this is an 8 th amendment violation. the fact the lawyers are acting frustrated may mean that new lawyers are needed. Where are the lawsuits filed with supreme court or attorney general? Having more savvy lawyers with national media are in order..
Posted by Irrelevent on February 19, 2013 at 4:30 PM · Report this
67
Your Grand Jury system is a throw-back to the Middle Ages, violating a host of basic human rights. Get rid of it.
Posted by David Thomas on February 23, 2013 at 10:03 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Advertisement
 

Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!


All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy