Is Now The Time For Russia To Declare Sanctions Against America?
(We've done the same to Russia, now it should be our turn.)
On the night of Jan. 17, 2018, Lorenzo Herrera walked into the Fresno County Jail booking area and sat down for an interview. Yes, he had a gang history, an officer wrote on his intake form. But Herrera, 19, said he did not expect problems with others inside the gang pod he’d soon call home.
His parents had encouraged him to barter for books and newspapers — anything he could to preoccupy himself until his trial on burglary and assault charges. His father, Carlos Herrera, offered advice: “Just be careful, and only trust yourself.”
Herrera survived the violent chaos of the Fresno County Jail for 66 days, including living through a brawl that left another inmate unconscious. Then, on an afternoon in March, jail officers found him strangled.
Herrera didn’t get a trial or a plea deal. He got a death sentence, his parents say. And even now, no one at the jail seems to know what happened.
The evening before Herrera entered the jail, Ernest Brock, 20, was also arrested and booked pending trial. Officers put him in a cell with a psychotic inmate accused of rape who had refused to take medication and was beating his head against the walls. Brock made it three days inside before the cellmate choked him into a coma.
Yet a third inmate arrived soon after Brock, booked for a five-year-old probation violation. Andre Erkins, 30, writhed in pain for hours before dying of previously undetected cardiac disease. The jail staff failed to notice his worsening health until it was too late.
Three bookings within 48 hours. Three young men jailed for different reasons. Three people who walked into the overcrowded Fresno County Jail and left on gurneys, dead or barely alive.
The fates of Herrera, Brock and Erkins set the stage for the deadliest year in at least two decades at the jail, a sprawling complex of jam-packed cells, filled with inmates working their way through a clogged criminal justice system.
Eleven inmates died last year from drug and alcohol withdrawal, suicide, medical complications and murder. Thirteen other people were beaten and hospitalized for multiple days.
The increase in violence and death in Fresno started soon after the state was ordered in 2011 by the U.S. Supreme Court to reduce its prison population. That’s when California officials approved sweeping reforms called “realignment,” shifting responsibility for thousands of offenders from state prisons to county jails.
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The U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama enacted the Magnitsky Act at the end of 2012, barring those Russian officials believed to be involved in Magnitsky's death from entering the United States or using its banking system. In response, Russia condemned the Act and claimed Magnitsky was guilty of crimes.
U.S. Pledges To Hold Russians Responsible On Anniversary Of Magnitsky's Death
Marking eight years since whistle-blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in a Moscow jail, the United States has pledged to continue enforcing legislation imposing sanctions on Russians over human rights abuses.
"We honor the memory of Sergei Magnitsky, who died on November 16, 2009, while in custody in a Moscow prison," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement late on November 15.
"An investigation by Russia's Presidential Human Rights Council found that Magnitsky had been severely beaten in prison, and members of the council said his death resulted from beatings and torture by police officials."
"Magnitsky uncovered a vast tax-fraud scheme perpetrated by Russian officials, and was imprisoned by those whose crimes he uncovered," Nauert added.
"Russian authorities have failed to hold those responsible for his death accountable and instead, in recent months appear to be increasingly propagating conspiracy theories designed to distract attention from the crime," she said.
Edited by Zharkov, 24 April 2019 - 06:33 PM.