Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Swift Hand of Justice

From Florida, land of Spanish moss and snapping gators, comes this news item about the mighty forces of law and order bringing their awesome power to bear on . . . er . . . lonely inmates.

Specifically, Florida prosecutors are pursuing charges against eight inmates who are accused of the heinous crime of . . . self-abuse. In their cells. Alone.

Nor is the state treating these acts of autonomous intercourse as mere disciplinary infractions. No, they've hauled out full trials for the flagpole polishers. This includes voir dire of the jury, in which the prospective juror are interrogated about their own habits of tenderizing the steak. And during at least one of the trials, both the complaining deputy (the same one in each case) and the prosecutor energetically mimed the physical acts of python punishment the deputy observed on monitors.

The taxpayers of Florida are the ones stuck with the bill for transporting these knuckle-waltzers to court; paying the prosecutors and the public defenders; and staffing the courtroom with bailiffs to keep the dastards' hands in full view at all times. Plus, these prosecutions have drawn the inevitable smart-alecky attention from the Fourth Estate, turning Florida's penal system into an object of derision.

Seems to me it's the public fisc that's being jerked around here.

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