Sunday, February 22, 2009

Incarceration Blues News

A new name, some fresh paint, a gym, plastic planters with plastic flowers, some throw pillows, and abu-Ghriab Prison is a brand new place. It's now called Baghdad Central Prison and it

... has modern medical and dental facilities, a computer chatroom and a courtyard for visiting families that contains a children's playground and a water fountain.

Inmates will be able to sew their own clothes in a small sewing factory. The prison also has a mosque and a hair salon that would not look out of place in a city street outside.
Abu-Ghraib, as you may recall, was the infamous torture chamber where Islamic terror prisoners were abused by incredibly childish American guards. The prisoners were threatened with unconnected electrical wires and submitted to snarky comments about the prisoners genitalia. Then there were the dogs the mere presence of which caused the brave Iraqi Saddamites to swoon in fear.

Iraqi Rehabilitation Department assistant director, Mohammed al-Zeidi, said the prison would be operated to international standards. One would have hoped they would do better than that, but hey, it's a Muslim country.

"All kinds of human rights violations took place in this prison. So we felt that it was our duty to rehabilitate the prison... We turned it into something like a resort not prison. The first step was to change the name."
Great. They got decorating tips from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and inspiration from the California prison system. Good luck with that.

In Greece today, two prisoners escaped a high-security facility in Athens. Generally this is not news, but this is the second time the pair have absconded the prison courtyard

... by scaling a rope ladder to a hovering helicopter, authorities said. The escape came amid a gunbattle with guards.

Vassilis Paleokostas, 42, and Alket Rizaj, 34, were picked up by a helicopter that flew over the courtyard of Athens' Korydallos prison on Sunday afternoon. The inmates climbed a ladder thrown to them by a woman passenger, the Ministry of Justice said.

Guards on the ground opened fire and the woman fired back with an automatic rifle, authorities said. No injuries were reported.
Who says you can't learn valuable lessons from Hollywood movies?

In California, Thomas Francis Edwards died last week. He was 61 years old. Edwards was on death row where he had been living since 1986 when he was sentenced to death for the shooting murder of a 12-year-old girl and attempted murder of her friend in 1981.

Edwards, a gun enthusiast and sharpshooter, saw the girls walking inside the Blue Jay campground east of San Juan Capistrano, heading by themselves for a picnic.

He followed them in his truck. He waited for them at a remote spot. He drove up alongside, stopped and called out "Girls!"

And then he shot them both in the head.

[Vanessa] Iberri, a bubbly preteen with long, brunette hair, was shot between the eyes and died three days later. [Kelly] Cartier turned her head at the last instant and was only grazed.

Within seconds, Edwards, who was 37 at the time, fled.

He was tracked down in his home state of Maryland nine days later.

And then he confessed.

"I don't know why I shot those two little girls," he told a jailer in Baltimore. "I am as guilty as sin."

Edwards was sentenced to death in 1986 for committing a first-degree murder by '"lying in wait" for his victim, a special circumstance that allowed Orange County prosecutors to seek the ultimate penalty.

That's pretty messed up. I am saddened and angered that the killer was not executed as sentenced. In essence, Edwards got away with murder because he escaped his just punishment. While he was awaiting death by injection or lung cancer, he was moved to hospice care so that he could die in comfort.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

1 comment:

indigo rose said...

92 pink slips were sent to workers at California Correctional Center; a part of CDCR. They cover officers and free staff both (cooks, laundry,groundskeepers...).
But, from what we've heard, it's life as usual for an inmate. No cuts in programs and fewer officers and free staff to oversee them.
Seems a bit out of balance.