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The Brennan Center for Justice, along with the ACLU of Michigan, and the Michigan State Planning Body filed an amicus brief late Friday appealing the prison sentence of Joseph Bailey, whose inability to pay his court-ordered restitution was not considered during sentencing. The amici are represented by the international law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP. The brief argues that jailing Bailey for being too poor to pay is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause and the Michigan constitution.
Although the U.S. Supreme Court has previously ruled that indigent individuals may not be incarcerated based on their inability to pay criminal-justice related debt, Michigan routinely jails poor defendants who cannot pay court-ordered fees and fines.
The Beatles first visited Detroit just before Labor Day in 1964, and they gushed with admiration for the Motown sound. Detroit hummed with industry then, like the Beatle's own Liverpool, England with its bustling ports and pop music scene. Both industrial cities would soon flounder, losing 40 percent of their populations over the next 30 years.
As we approach Labor Day 2013, Detroit still endures its "Hard Day's Night," filing for bankruptcy last month. Yet Liverpool thrives once more, a showroom for urban renaissance. Why did Detroit and Liverpool follow such different paths? It turns out that workforces thrive best in a challenging world economy when they have a solid, government social safety net, not one woven from the vanishing threads of employer-provided job security and benefits.
A 40-year reunion is being planned for the end of this month in Gainesville, Fla., of the Gainesville 8. Sadly, Richard Nixon won't be able to join them, although his presidential library has just released more audio recordings of his descent into madness -- or what we like to call today: standard government practice.
The Gainesville 8 were eight men, seven of them members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), who planned to nonviolently demonstrate at the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami. They were wrongfully prosecuted for planning violence, and they were all acquitted by a jury on August 31, 1973, in a highly publicized trial.
The voters of Detroit and Michigan repealed a draconian and racist law that strips all public officials of power and authority in only Michigan’s Black cities and school districts. Yet, the law remains, and as an elected school board member, I receive decrees from the illegitimate emergency manager on a regular basis.
It has been said that it is no measure of health to be well adjusted in a profoundly sick society. And there is no war you can be awake and deny that we live in a profoundly sick society. So, are you well adjusted?