Saturday, June 03, 2006


Story within the story: Wen Ho Lee's settlement, confinement, judge's apology

If you are interesting in reading more about the $1.65 million settlement with former nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee than you can find within the confines of the daily paper, this Undernews post may be a good starting point.

A snippet to encourage you to read the article:
The problem with this case is that numerous parties have misrepresented the situation. The government clearly went overboard in charging Lee with crimes beyond the evidence. Lee and his supporters turned him into a victim, including of racism, when in fact even he admits he committed a felony. The media, in its backtracking, has given credence to this myth. And both the media and Lee's supporters have distorted the apology of US District Judge James Parker to Lee, suggesting that it was an exoneration when in fact the judge's unhappiness was with the way the Clinton administration had handled the case.
One section of the post discussed the unnecessarily harsh conditions of Lee's imprisonment. This relates to Hawaii because we ship so many of our prisoners away to private prisons on the Mainland:
. . . the jail where he was held was operated on contract by a private company, and only had one way of administering solitary confinement. It was a one-size-fits-all policy, usually used for very violent offenders who had attacked other inmates or guard. So Lee found himself treated the same way as a crazed drug dealer who was constantly attacking guards, which was a sort of lockdown . . .
With the passage of Hawaii's three strikes law (at a time when many states are backing off from this obsolete mindset), we can expect to be shipping more and more prisoners into for-profit Mainland prisons where we cannot control the conditions of their confinement or assure that they will receiving adequate medical and rehabilitative services.


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