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Arizona purchases lethal gas used by Nazis for executions; first Black woman appointed head of DOJ’s civil rights division — your weekly justice news


respect origins: Around the U.S, pride parades have banned uniformed police officers in an effort to make safe spaces for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC people who are often victimized by police. Police groups have criticized this decision, but the history of pride is rooted in anti-police protests. WRCB (June 1, 2021)

shamefully pernicious: The lethal gas used by Nazis at Auschwitz, Zyklon B, was ordered by the Arizona Department of Corrections to be used for death row executions; they are also reviving a 1949 gas chamber to use as a method of execution. CBS (June 2, 2021)

distressing: The pandemic intensified isolation for incarcerated youth in Colorado with family and attorney visits halted. Colorado also ranks among the highest in number of COVID-19 cases in juvenile detention facilities, amplifying the despair in these spaces. Colorado Sun (May 31, 2021)

tension on the senate floor: Sen. Kriste Gillibrand has asked the senate to approve her proposal to reform the military’s criminal justice system. She and her supporters want to see military cases handled by experienced prosecutors not commanders with no legal background; other democrats are not yet on board. NPR (May 31, 2021)

racist procedures: According to the Mapping Police Violence Project, police in North Carolina were more than twice as likely to kill Black people as white people from 2013-2021 despite only making up 22% of the population. Prosecution for these murders is rarely pursued. Indy Week (June 2, 2021)

egregious: CoreCivic Inc., the nation’s largest private prison company, is being sued for the prolonged detention of Rudy Rivera in solitary confinement at a southern Nevada facility without access to a judge. The judge of a federal appeals court declared Rivera’s detention appalling. Herald Sun (May 29, 2021)

outrageous: Eric King, an anti-fascist activist and anarchist, was attacked by a white supremacist in a Kentucky prison while guards did nothing to stop it. King says this is part of a pattern of harassment and torture at the hands of the Bureau of Prisons. The Intercept (May 28, 2021)

bloody summer: Gun violence has spiked around the country which many worry will only increase as the pandemic wanes and people enter back into society. Some cities have put money into violence prevention and community outreach in hopes of curtailing gun violence. The Washington Post (May 30, 2021)

inhumane: Parents of Marcus Smith, who was killed by police in 2018, learned the police lied about their son’s death. He wanted help, but police suffocated him with a hogtie and claimed Marcus was suicidal and combative. The Marshall Project (May 24, 2021)

left out: Latinx individuals are killed at a much higher rate than white people by police, but their community is often left out of the conversation about policing and reform, and the lack of a standardized system means that Latinx victims are often reported as Black or White. The Washington Post (June 2, 2021)

historic step:  Kristen Clarke officially became the first Black woman to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division after a tough path to confirmation. She does not believe in defunding the police but wants to focus on emotional health treatment and other areas that lack resources. CNN (May 25, 2021)

 the virus’s effective incubators: Mass incarceration helped spread covid as jails and prisons became hot spots for outbreaks that spread into communities. The pandemic has shown that implementing decarceration is urgent on many levels. Jacobin (June 2, 2021)

life inside: Mr. Sitthivong Goes to Washington | opinion: start dismantling NYC’s surveillance by ending the monitoring of jail calls | released after 29 years | opinion: LA indigent defense system is broken. a new bill may make it worse

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