Monday, May 10, 2010

American Justice: 10 Years in Solitary

Why lock a guy up in solitary confinement for 10 years? Well... because he refused to get his hair cut! Seriously.

Here is a bit from an article from the Associated Press carried by Yahoo News:
Kendall Gibson would seem to be one of Virginia's most dangerous prisoners.
For more than 10 years he has lived in segregation at the Greensville Correctional Center, spending at least 23 hours every day in a cell the size of a gas station bathroom. In a temporary home for the worst of the worst — inmates too violent or disruptive to live among the rest of society's outcasts — he has been a permanent fixture.
He is there, he says, not for his crimes but for a crime he will not commit — a crime against God.
The only thing imposing about Gibson is his long black dreadlocks, resting on the front of his shoulders so they won't drag the ground as he shuffles along in his orange jumpsuit.
It is his hair — winding locks he considers a measure of his Rastafarian faith — that makes him a threat, according to Virginia Department of Corrections Operating Procedure No. 864.1.
The rule took effect on Dec. 15, 1999. Inmates had two choices: cut their hair no longer than their collars and shave their beards, or be placed in administrative segregation.
Let's see... you rob thousands of people of billions of dollars and you get to go the the Club Med of prisons to spend your time golfing.

But if you refuse to cut your hair, they lock you up and throw away the key.

What is particularly galling is that Kendall Gibson's religion prevents him from cutting his hair and the US Constitutions guarantees you the right to "freedom of religion", except in Virginia. Yep... somewhere in the Constitution it must be written that Virginia gets to be an exception to the federal Constitution because Virginia is refusing to acknowledge the constitutional right.

This is even better than the idiotic "three strikes and you are out" law!!! This is Virginia showing the whole world it defines "law" to be universally applicable except where Virginia decides to ignore it. That is better than "three strikes and you are out". This is Virginia being out before it even gets to the plate!

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