"they are risking their careers and their liberty" February 24, 2009 3:49 PM   Subscribe

FPP Update: The police officers who murdered Kathryn Johnston are going to prison with no chance of parole. [FPP]
posted by batmonkey to MetaFilter-Related at 3:49 PM (35 comments total)

Good.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:57 PM on February 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


going to prison with no chance of parole

While technically true because of the nature of the federal justice system, this is a very misleading statement, given that the linked article states "[t]he officers received sentences ranging from five to 10 years."
posted by dersins at 4:04 PM on February 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Good seconded. Also, thanks for the update.
posted by doteatop at 4:04 PM on February 24, 2009


Awesome.
posted by Sailormom at 4:05 PM on February 24, 2009


Only 5-10 years?
posted by ArgentCorvid at 4:06 PM on February 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is a good week for civil rights. Can Galveston be far behind?

answer: yes, probably
posted by Navelgazer at 4:08 PM on February 24, 2009


Only 5-10 years?

Yeah. What is this Canada?
posted by gman at 4:10 PM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


While technically true because of the nature of the federal justice system, this is a very misleading statement, given that the linked article states "[t]he officers received sentences ranging from five to 10 years."

So they're just going to do their full sentence, with no chance of getting paroled earlier for good behavior or some such?

Also, considering that they're cops who lied, how will the penal system deal with them and the obvious hate the other inmates would have for them?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:11 PM on February 24, 2009


Only 5-10 years?

That's reasonably the number of years they deprived the woman of living.
posted by Curry at 4:16 PM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


They'll be put in a special housing unit, away from the general pop.

Five to ten years seems adequate for the lying and the cover-up. But for killing someone? Not nearly enough.
posted by rtha at 4:16 PM on February 24, 2009


dersins:
"While technically true because of the nature of the federal justice system [...]"

Included to forestall "...but they'll only serve 6mos due to good behaviour!" comments, etc.

Navelgazer:
"This is a good week for civil rights."

Agreed. I know we're accepting a lot of compromises in order to allow ourselves to see that some justice has been done, but at least a start has been made.

"Can Galveston be far behind?"

Maybe, maybe not. To encourage a more positive outcome, I'm going to send them a letter updating them on the success of NY and GA in requiring their officers to suffer (some) consequences for abusing civil rights and harming citizens. I'd love to have some company in that effort.
posted by batmonkey at 4:22 PM on February 24, 2009


If enough cops go to jail for the stupid no-knock raids, maybe they'll stop (or leave 'em to the IRS :o ).
posted by trinity8-director at 4:24 PM on February 24, 2009


And I am not advocating anything, or taking delight, or making the joke that usually gets made about prisons, but I would like to point out that being a former cop in prison would absolutely suck.

And some prisons do not have "special housing units," so special needs prisoners effectively serve a sentence in isolation, which again would suck.

They might not be getting enough time, but they are getting a harsher sentence (most likely) than other prisoners.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:25 PM on February 24, 2009


Only 5-10 years?

That does seem wrong. People get longer for the drug-related offenses these two killed her over.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:27 PM on February 24, 2009 [10 favorites]


These three, rather.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:34 PM on February 24, 2009


That's reasonably the number of years they deprived the woman of living.

That makes sense.








NOT!

Most un-bodacious!
posted by fire&wings at 4:41 PM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


In reference to the issue of former cops and correctional officers who have been incarcerated:

I have a close relative (please note that this means it is my relative, and not me, who would know for sure, so don't take this as gospel) who works in the justice system, and he has said that it varies from case to case. There are some former correctional officers especially who can be in the general population because they were corrupt and made a lot of friends by, for example, smuggling contraband in to the inmates. They are perfectly safe and will probably be pretty popular.

If I remember correctly (and I probably don't), cops in prison are automatically put in a higher Security Risk Group, meaning that the prison automatically takes more precautions with them and the way in which they are handled. Also put in higher SRGs are individuals such as gang leaders. I am sure the exact policy varies from prison to prison, but any well-run prison has mechanisms in place for dealing with exactly this type of inmate.

In reference to the real issue, that of the police officers:

God damn right they should be in prison. They abused the public trust and killed someone. I'm sure this is being said already and more eloquently earlier in the thread, but Jesus.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 4:46 PM on February 24, 2009


But who will be the silent heroic wall protecting us from the shot-gun armed nonagenarian hordes!
posted by tkchrist at 4:49 PM on February 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm glad these cowardly, lying fucks are going to rot in prison, but 5-10 years isn't nearly enough.

I seriously wish these sons of bitches all the worst. Not enough Bad can possibly happen to them.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:51 PM on February 24, 2009


"Officers who think ... that the ends justify the means or that 'taking shortcuts' and telling lies will not be discovered and punished should realize that they are risking their careers and their liberty," U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said.

Now that that's out of the way, let's keep working our way down the list.
posted by niles at 5:01 PM on February 24, 2009


Yay, progress!
posted by five fresh fish at 5:10 PM on February 24, 2009


I'm shocked.
posted by mediareport at 5:18 PM on February 24, 2009


Sad that it's surprising, really.
posted by Artw at 5:30 PM on February 24, 2009


The blue thread on this is already going along swimmingly. Only five comments to get to "Yay! Now they can be raped!"
posted by middleclasstool at 7:14 PM on February 24, 2009


Just thought I'd mention here, since it seems to be the best place, that the first prison rape comment/joke has already happened in the related MeFi thread. Delete or not (to the thread or comment), but I wish there could be threads related to people going to prison without them.
posted by skynxnex at 7:16 PM on February 24, 2009


skynxnex writes "but I wish there could be threads related to people going to prison without [prison rape jokes]."

I dislike prison rape jokes too, but not nearly as much as I dislike the truth that prison rape is tolerated if not encouraged in America.

The jokes will end when we get serious about prison reform, and not before.
posted by orthogonality at 8:13 PM on February 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have to say, I'm incredibly impressed and grateful for the improvements in how rape references are handled here. Deeply and humbly.
posted by batmonkey at 11:14 PM on February 24, 2009


Horrible all around.
Vindication is useless.
I had an idea.
Prison should be treated more as an educational institution. No one should be released based on time served.
No matter good behavior. Classes with a decent grade, no matter the subject should apply. Anyone that can parse Nietzsche gets to be mayor.
posted by vapidave at 2:07 AM on February 25, 2009


Some modicum of justice has been meted out, but when there are plenty of people serving much longer sentences for crimes less egregious than murder, I wouldn't say the whole justice has been applied. "No chance for parole" would lead me to think they were to live out their natural lives behind bars, which is no exactly enlightenment-liberal of me to say, but it's what I would have hoped for in the case of any murderous psychopath.

5 to 10 years is your average armed robbery or delivery of crack sentence. These guys murdered, obstructed justice, and violated their oath as keepers of the public trust. I'm really sick of the police being treated differently than your average criminal when they get caught being an average criminal. If there's going to be discriminatory sentencing due to their position of public trust, they should be treated more harshly than your average criminal.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:10 AM on February 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


That's reasonably the number of years they deprived the woman of living.
posted by Curry at 4:16 PM on February 24 [1 favorite +] [!]

They must be taking into account that she was firing at them as well. Murder probably was not beyond a reasonable doubt. However false warrant and manslaughter during the commission of a crime will get you about 5-10 years in jail. Do I agree with some posters here that corruption should be treated differently? Yeah I do. They should have an automatic doubling of their terms. You want to get rid of things like this make the punishment twice as bad.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 5:24 AM on February 25, 2009


Classes with a decent grade, no matter the subject should apply.

Let's see - locksmithing is already popular, I believe. I'm sure ther'll be a lot of interest in gunsmithing and that corner of chemistry that deals with explosives. Oh, and pharmaceuticals, of course.

Maybe 'no matter the subject' needs some more thought.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:34 AM on February 25, 2009


"Officers who think ... that the ends justify the means or that 'taking shortcuts' and telling lies will not be discovered and punished should realize that they are risking their careers and their liberty," U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said.

Nothing like a Scooby-Doo wrap up sentence to out those evil-doers in their place.

I'm sure their prison stay will send a much more effective message.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:09 AM on February 25, 2009


This case has been my go-to reference when trying to explain to people all the failings of the ongoing drug war; the no-knock warrants, the average cop acting like he's SWAT because he has tactical clothes, the lack of basic investigation...

I had a lot to say in the previous thread, so I'll just sum it all up with; Good, these fuckers deserve prision.

It's a good start.
posted by quin at 8:25 AM on February 25, 2009


The jokes will end when we get serious about prison reform, and not before.

The beatings will end when morale improves, amirite?
posted by jacalata at 12:31 PM on February 25, 2009


It looks like they got the time for lying. If someone is shooting at you, you get to shoot back.
posted by gjc at 7:24 PM on February 25, 2009


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