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I just watched 60 Minutes Season Premiere: Tulia, Texas
and the now overturned convictions of Blacks for uncorroborated drug-dealings.

Needless to say, it made for interesting TV. Knowing a little about Law Enforcement from family members and such... the show or rather the ex-cop and the system in Tulia, Tx and their application of the law and lack of respect for due process - i.e. establishing undeniable evidence and/or honestly presuming innocence before guilt is proved by more than hearsay - was simply unbelieveable.

Law Enforcement definitely is in a quandry. Most drug users are, of course, White. But are Blacks easy "targets" because they (we) apparently do ours more "out in the open" or are the disproportionate amount of arrests simply a matter of race?

Of course, the frequency of Blacks having their vehicle searched for "drug suspicions" can hardly be explained by anything other than stereotypical prejudice to some degree. (I have more to offer on this but I'll wait on responses.)
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The more that I think about the numbers of Black men disenfranchised, the more I wonder if one goal isn't simply to give out as many felony records as possible, to prevent Blacks from voting.

I wonder if there is a big statistical difference between felony vs non-felony convictions for Black vs White defendants.

States like Florida can't enforce their 3/5 rule for counting votes of Black men without help from law enforcement and the court system.

soapbox

(BTW, I missed the 60 minutes show. I wish that I'd seen it. brofrown


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Interesting... Ricardo.

The disproportionate incarceration of Blacks theoretically would have more than just that effect but that, indeed, may be a definite intended one.

Since we're postulating, I think your 3/5's idea fits into my philosophy of the historical aspects of Race Relations in the sense of Actions and Reactions in the virtual Give and Take, Winning vs. Losing adversarial relationship that exist that no hardly likes to acknowledge directly. Certainly there are some that see it like this. Politics is completely like that for hardliners on either side.

It's funny how a certain political element preaches about the need for their opponents to recognize that there is EVIL in the world. Well, I can't help but see the intransigence of race as evidence of persistent EVIL.

Most dealers and 76 percent of users are white, according to federal data.


Again, I say the Law Enforcement community is in a quandry when the reality of the disproportionate arrest of Blacks is juxtaposed with the reality of who really commits the most drug crimes. The commentary definitely deals with and challenges the misperceptions...

Anyway... interesting theory...
It never would have occured to me that the criminal justice system would be capable of processing enough people to have a significant demographic effect on elections until I saw the numbers in the Human Rights Watch Report, Losing the Vote and the State by State figures.


"La vida te da sorpresas...
Sorpresas te da la vida...,
¡Ay, Dios!"

   Rubén Blades---Pedro Navaja   


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Ricardo...

I don't think any transcript or write up can do justice to the drama that was this @$%*! on TV! You had to see this one but I guess reading about it at least gives you a sense.
quote:
"There was a drug problem in Tulia, and there still is. They're selling drugs right now and I guarantee you they are," says Coleman. "Why did I do it for 18 months? Because I hate dope dealers and I hate dope. Period. That's it."

Seriously... proper pyschological screening one would think or hope would weed out someone with "HATE" as a motive. Extreme attitudes like that about anything even in a profession to fight crime - and even about certain crimes - are not healthy, although I personally don't know how you can uncover all idiosyncrasies a person may have. Obviously his "HATE" amounts to an emotional overinvestment, his shottie record and provocative pronouncements not withstanding. But, it doesn't take a lot to assume that any such effort to test Coleman psychologically was ever undertaken.

It should also interesting to note that he doesn't consider himself to be "racist" - as if there is ever many if any number of people who proudly claim to be so.
Ricardo,

Perhaps you can specifically help me out in understanding those figures. I mean explicitly...

Are those figures/rates stipulating that there is a higher frequency of Black disenfranchisement vs. White?

My basic question is (showing my ignorance on this subject) are ex-felons normally re-instated with full voting privileges? I'm just particularly ignorant of that law as it pertains to felon enfranchisement...

For example...
In FLORIDA out of the total felons 647,100 assuming there are 100,000 or more White felons with only 5.9% left disenfranchised 31.2% of all Black felons.

Is that simply saying that Black felons are specifically stripped of their franchisement at a rate higher than Whites or somehow prohibited more so than Whites at regaining their right to vote?

What I'm trying to separate in my mind is the idea that somehow (though I don't think I've heard this) antagonist feeling like this is a way to try to create "new" votes. Maybe I'm lost on what should be obvious.

How are voting rights restored for felons and what specifically prohibits Black felons?

[This message was edited by Nmaginate on September 28, 2003 at 07:15 PM.]
I'll have to look some more at the report. It has alot of good info, but I'll be out of town tomorrow, so it might be a couple of days.

I do know that it varies by state. Some states (Iowa included) disenfranchise for life, and others have set periods. Some require people to go thru difficult and lengthy procedures after the time expires to get their vote back, which of course will discourage most people.

I do happen to have the following data about Iowa, that I posted on another forum months ago, but it would take me awhile to find where in the report I came across it:

6,300 Prison
8,500 Probation
2,200 Parole
25,000 Ex-felon
----------------
42,300 Total disenfranchised in Iowa

(These figures are not broken down by race.)

This is from a table with all states.

I also recall that peoplr can permenantly lose their vote for shoplifting or smoking pot.

Added: The following link points to a thread where I tell quote parts of the report for Barwick. In particular, the quotes say that Florida also disenfranchises for life.

https://www.africanamerica.org/groupee/forums?a=tpc&s=60260642&f=79160213&m=48070354


"La vida te da sorpresas...
Sorpresas te da la vida...,
¡Ay, Dios!"

   Rubén Blades---Pedro Navaja   


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quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
Ricardo,

Perhaps you can specifically help me out in understanding those figures. I mean explicitly...

Are those figures/rates stipulating that there is a higher frequency of Black disenfranchisement vs. White?

My basic question is (showing my ignorance on this subject) are ex-felons normally re-instated with full voting privileges? I'm just particularly ignorant of that law as it pertains to felon enfranchisement...

For example...
In FLORIDA out of the total felons 647,100 assuming there are 100,000 or more White felons with only 5.9% left disenfranchised 31.2% of all Black felons.

Is that simply saying that Black felons are specifically stripped of their franchisement at a rate higher than Whites or somehow prohibited more so than Whites at regaining their right to vote?

What I'm trying to separate in my mind is the idea that somehow (though I don't think I've heard this) antagonist feeling like this is a way to try to create "new" votes. Maybe I'm lost on what should be obvious.

How are voting rights restored for felons and what specifically prohibits Black felons?



The 647,100 figure is the total number of disenfranchised felons (includes those in prison, on probation, on parole, and ex-felons). The figures in that column refer only to those felons who are disenfranchised. (Note that some states have a 0 in that column. Those states have felons, of course, it's just that they can all vote.

The same goes for the 204,600 figure. That's the total number of disenfranchised Black male felons.

The first percentage, is the percentage of people disenfranchised out of the total population, not the percentage disenfranchised out of the felons.

Likewise, the second percentage is the percentage of disenfranchised Black males out of the total population of Black males, not out of the Black male felons. Thus, the 31.2% figure really does mean that nearly 1/3 of the entire Black male population is disenfranchised. To emphasise, that's not 1/3 of all Black male felons, but really is 1/3 of the black male population overall. (over 18, of course)

This is why I think that the issue is so important. We're not talking about a handful of people, but rather numbers with a huge demographic impact at the polls.

BTW, here's the page that has the table.

http://www.hrw.org/reports98/vote/usvot98o-01.htm#P101_2428

The second table breaks the disenfranchised felons into the categories of prison, probation, parole, and ex-felon. Note that there are states that allow felons who are currently in prison to vote, so nobody should think that it would be outlandish to demand that. The arguement can also be made that we should be encouraging prisoners to participate constructively in society in preparation for getting out, and that by encouraging voting while still in prison, we are doing just that.

Finally, by eliminating disenfranchisement, we eliminate one incentive that some politicians have for voting for criminal justice measures that disproportunately affect Blacks.


"La vida te da sorpresas...
Sorpresas te da la vida...,
¡Ay, Dios!"

   Rubén Blades---Pedro Navaja   


Plowshares Actions
The Nuclear Resister
School of the Americas Watch


Cauca, Colombia

Somebody just posted this link to me in another forum. You might find it interesting (it takes a while to load--be sure to turn the volume up!):

http://www.ericblumrich.com/gta.html


"La vida te da sorpresas...
Sorpresas te da la vida...,
¡Ay, Dios!"

   Rubén Blades---Pedro Navaja   


Plowshares Actions
The Nuclear Resister
School of the Americas Watch


Cauca, Colombia



[This message was edited by ricardomath on September 29, 2003 at 03:33 AM.]
I'm thinking that we covered this topic here before, but I could be mistaken. Maybe it was posted on the now defunct TBWT. Anyway, a couple of years ago I saw the documentary on the independent network LinkTV. At that time, the sheriff was no longer working in Tulia, TX and had gotten another law enforcement job! Eek I think that it's ashame that just a few months ago, the last person to be convicted by this criminal was released from prison. If they haven't already, I hope that they prosecute this man to the fullest extent the U.S. law will allow.
You're right. Ebony Rose I believed posted on the role the NAACPLDF played in the case(s). Don't remember what forum.

I brought it up particularly because of the 60 Minutes coverage and the interview with the offending cop.
quote:
I saw the documentary on the independent network LinkTV. At that time, the sheriff was no longer working in Tulia, TX and had gotten another law enforcement job!

Apparently, allegation of official misconduct have no meaning in Texas!

I mean... this guy had one jurisdiction note that he should NOT have a job in Law Enforcement before he got the Tulia job (which he rec'd an Officer of the Year Award) but, you're telling me he got another job after that?? That's outrageous!! broscream

Don't know what kind of job he has now but they seem to suggest he was no longer working as a cop. I think there are at least one or two civil cases pending...

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