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Tuesday 10 December 2002

Cruel Justice

Near to where I live there used to stand a hospital for the mentally disturbed (yes, I know that is not how you refer to someone suffering from a mental illness, but it was when this place used to operate). When it was knocked down to make way for a development of 4 to 6 bedroom houses (as part of the then governments "improvements" to mental health care) there was a female patient who had been incarcerated there for in excess of 30 years, having been committed against her will at the age of 18. What serious mental abnormality did she suffer from to cause such a protracted commitment? She had been caught masturbating. Unfortunately, by the time societies moralities had improved to the point were masturbation was not seen as an illness, her incarceration, treatment (including apparently physical, mental and sexual abuse) and forced proximity to people with genuine serious problems had caused a complete mental breakdown and she could not be released.
Of course, all of this could just be a local legend, but that would kind of spoil the point of my posting it so I'll neatly ignore that possibility.
Why do I raise this?
Creative Loafing carries the story of a man arrested and imprisoned for 10 years for selling hydroponics equipment in Atlanta US. Despite the DEA failing to link him, his brother and his sister in law to a single joint they received a total of 36 years in jail without parole for the crime of "conspiracy to manufacture marijuana."
The story does not appear to have a perma-link so may disappear soon. I will try to revisit it and link to an archive if it is available (and if I remember).
Found via diversionz.

December 10, 2002 8:20 PM | Stuff of Interest

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