Friday, July 27, 2007

Doing Hard Time

This is the craziest piece of dumbassery I have read in some time...

A Broward prisoner accused of committing a sex act while he was alone in his jail cell was found guilty Tuesday of indecent exposure.

Terry Lee Alexander, 20, unsuccessfully fought the charge, which had been brought by a female Broward Sheriff's Office detention deputy who saw him perform the sex act in his cell in November.

The dude was ALONE in his jail cell jerking off, and for that, they're adding 2 months on to his prison sentence. I'm not sure what's more egregious in this case...The fact that prisoners who are doing 10 years in jail are expected to just go all that time without pleasuring themselves or the fact that the taxpayers of Florida had to pay for a masturbation trial.

In reaching the guilty verdict, jurors found that an inmate's jail cell is ''a limited access public place'' where exposing oneself is against the law.

Okay, I'm officially confused. Is there a lawyer in the house?

How can this law be consistently applied? If taking my clothes off in my jail cell is considered indecent exposure, does this mean I can't change in my cell? What about going to the bathroom? It'd be illegal for me to do THAT in a public place (say...the Sears Home Appliance Department), but I figure, in the relative privacy of a jail cell, it ought to be permissible. 10 years is a long time to hold it in.

The sole witness in the case, BSO Deputy Coryus Veal, testified that Alexander did not try to hide what he was doing as most prisoners do. Veal saw him perform the act while she was working in a glass-enclosed master control room, 100 feetfrom Alexander's cell. There was no video tape or other witnesses.

She sounds fun!

Alexander's attorney argued that the prison cell was a private place and that what Alexander was doing was perfectly normal.

''Did other inmates start masturbating because of Mr. Alexander?'' McHugh asked Veal. ``Did you call a SWAT team?''

''I wish I had,'' Veal answered.

SWAT Team? Because he was touching himself? This thief has already been locked away from everyone he knows and everything he loves for a decade. (Not that I'm defending armed robbery or anything). Now, he's being penalized for pleasuring himself? Is it our goal, as the society that has chosen to lock him in jail, to humiliate and degrade this man, to strip away his dignity as punishment for his crimes? Because that's the only conclusion one can draw from the decision to prosecute this case...

Veal, who has charged seven other inmates with the same offense, insisted that she was not against the act itself -- just the fact that Alexander was so blatant about it. Most inmates, she testified, do it in bed, under the blankets.

Anyone else think this woman might have some issues of her own going on? She couldn't look away from that particular monitor for a few moments? She has to charge Spanky with a crime?

Defense attorney Kathleen McHugh faced 17 prospective jurors and asked point-blank who among them had never done that particular sex act.

No hands went up.


Here's the crucial part of the whole article, to me:

While most prisons deal with such an offense internally, Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne -- and Miami-Dade Corrections officials -- are hoping to curb the practice among inmates by prosecuting them.

Janelle Hall, a spokeswoman for Miami-Dade Corrections, said that while no charges have been brought against inmates, the department is working with State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle's office to discuss prosecution of such ''egregious'' cases in the jail.

''It has been a hot topic so to speak in our department,'' Hall said. ``In those cases that are egregious, where there is some sort of intent to deliberately expose themselves, those cases will be reviewed further in the courts.''

Wowzers. As I see it, there are only two possibilities here:

(1) The men and women of the Miami-Dade Department of Corrections are perverts who sit around in their comfortable offices all day discussing the masturbatory habits of male prisoners


(2) This is a deliberate, pre-meditated attempt to humiliate prisoners, by charging them with a crime for doing something people do all the time, in and out of jail.

And last I checked, attempting to humiliate people is wrong, even if they committed a crime a few years back.

Also, I'd just like to point out, for the record, that Scooter Libby is at home tonight, and I'm sure he would be masturbating with impunity if he wasn't a withered old troll capable of attaining sexual arousal only by sending thousands of American troops into the direct path of IED's for no good reason.

(Link graciously provided by Andrew Sullivan).

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