I Dunno Mr. Mukasey, It Looks Like Punishment To Me

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6 Responses

  1. Ken says:

    Utterly appalling.

    As is the likely indifference from the vast majority of Americans it is likely to generate.

    Most Americans seem to think that if you are in jail you probably belong there, and if you are in jail you probably deserve what happens to you. People have huge appetites for locking people up, but no appetite for paying the money necessary to treat them with a bare minimum level of humanity.

    And yet many of the same people who would shrug over this claim that they are in favor of limited government power — as if the power to kill people through incompetence with impunity were not a threat.

  2. Patrick says:

    I linked above to a fine story by Thomas Larson of the San Diego Reader, but lawyers may want to go to the original source, the Ninth Circuit's opinion in Castaneda v. United States, which may be found here.

  3. Patrick says:

    And finally, I'll note that while the Castaneda panel included Judge Stephen Reinhardt, a conservative bugbear and the Ninth Circuit's poster boy for what's described as "judicial activism," it also included a moderate Clinton appointee, Marsha Berzon. The opinion itself was written by Judge Milan Smith, a Bush appointee and an unusually tough minded judge.

    Of course, whether what happened to Castaneda is wrong, and whether it violated the Constitution, is neither a liberal nor a conservative issue. It's a question of good government, or whether, if we're going to hold people in custody and thereby prevent them from seeking medical care on their own, that medical care should be competent, or in Castaneda's case, whether it should be provided at all. If we're going to imprison people, we owe them medical care (since they can't get it on their own) as much as we owe them food or water, which they also can't get on their own.

    Castaneda served a sentence of just under four months, at which time he had paid his debt to society. His ICE detention was not a criminal sentence, though ICE warehouses its subjects in jails. It was certainly not a sentence of death, though that's how it worked out for Castaneda.

  4. Eduardo says:

    It's in bad taste, but…
    "Mr. Castaneda, you've been ICEd."

    It's absolutely intolerable that this could happen. I hope his daughter gets her justice.

  5. Michael says:

    How outrageously heinous. I will agree with the esteemed Mr. Fed that equally disturbing is the utter lack of public interest in this sort of story. I think part of why so many will shrug off this story is more of not wanting to upset their applecart of happiness as it were. Keep the illusion going.

    This is part of why I have taken so passionately to photography… if peppered with factoids on torture, broken prisons, enviro destruction and other general calamities most will tune out for the reason I mention above. Artistic expression on the other hand seems to reach many of those people who have no time for depressing facts and figures (or as Barbara Bush famously put it, "But why should we hear about body bags and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or that or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that, and watch him suffer.").

  1. December 15, 2008

    […] In the pantheon of "cruel and unusual punishment" gods, we think getting your dick cut off is pretty much up there near the top of the list. Patrick at Popehat agrees. […]