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Program Teaches Prisoners How to Code So They Can Get Tech Jobs Once Released | BlackNews.com

San Francisco, CA — The Last Mile, a prison rehabilitation program based in San Quentin, California, offers prisoners free training on how to code. This equips them with the training they need to get a job more easily once they are out of prison. “At The Last Mile, we are using technology to try and solve mass incarceration,” Jason Jones, a software engineer who teaches computer coding to prisoners through remote communication, told The Denver Channel. Those who finished the program, once released from prison, will be connected with tech companies such as Slack, Facebook, and even Google. Staff, BlackNews.com […]

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Jay-Z goes to bat for Mississippi prisoners and files federal lawsuit | NBC News

The rap mogul had warned Mississippi officials he was “prepared to pursue all potential avenues.” Rap mogul Jay-Z sued the head of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the warden of the state penitentiary Tuesday on behalf of 29 prisoners who say the two officials have done nothing to stop the violence that has left five inmates dead in the past two weeks. “These deaths are a direct result of Mississippi’s utter disregard for the people it has incarcerated and their constitutional rights,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed by Jay-Z’s lawyer Alex Spiro at the U.S. District Court […]

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Her Son Was Careful to Avoid Police Officers. Then He Was Killed by One. | The New York Times (2008)

He drove the speed limit. He kept his car in good repair. Instead of shorts or T-shirts, he wore Ralph Lauren dress shirts. For years before he was fatally shot by a Dallas police officer who says she mistook him for a burglar in his own home, Botham Shem Jean had gone out of his way to avoid even routine encounters with the police, his mother, Allison Jean, said during a visit to New York City on Thursday with her lawyer, Lee Merritt. Ms. Jean said her son had to explain life in America — where for black men in […]

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1,000 pot convictions tossed as Kim Foxx expunges records of marijuana busts | Chicago Sun Times

Foxx went to court Wednesday to vacate and expunge records of people caught up in the drug war — her first move to wipe the books clean after the state legalized recreational marijuana. More than 1,000 pot convictions will soon be off the books in Cook County. In a hearing Wednesday afternoon at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx stood before the circuit court’s chief judge and called for the vacation and expungement of 1,012 low-level, nonviolent convictions for possession of less than an ounce of pot. The vast majority of the people who were […]

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Fort Worth police officer who fatally shot Atatiana Jefferson indicted on murder charge | NBC News

The case against Aaron Dean, 35, led to a rare murder charge against a police officer when he was initially arrested just days after the October shooting. A Texas grand jury on Friday indicted a former Fort Worth police officer for murder after he fatally shot a woman who had been babysitting her nephew at home in a case that drew public outcry for police accountability. The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office confirmed the indictment against the former officer, Aaron Dean, 35, in the shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old pre-med graduate student. Lee Merritt, an attorney for Jefferson’s […]

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US taxpayers spent almost $1 billion incarcerating innocent black people | Yahoo Finance

In total, among all known exonerees, Americans have shelled out a staggering $4.12 billion to incarcerate innocent men and women since 1989, according to a Yahoo Finance analysis. Over the last few weeks, the Rodney Reed case has ignited a firestorm of interest, as celebrities, activists, and politicians worked to delay his Nov. 20 execution on the basis that he might be innocent. After facing mounting pressure, a Texas appeals court granted Reed a stay of execution, allowing him to fight allegations that he committed murder more than two decades ago. If he succeeds, Reed would be another of the […]

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$625,000 Settlement for Woman Whose Child Was Torn From Her Arms | The New York Times

Jazmine Headley sued over a confrontation with New York City workers that was captured in a widely seen video. The video spread quickly online: Security guards and police officers pry a baby boy from his mother’s arms as she lies on the floor of a public benefits office in Brooklyn. “They’re hurting my son!” the mother, Jazmine Headley, can be heard crying as she struggles to hold onto the boy while the officers try to arrest her. “They’re hurting my son!” The episode, in December 2018, touched a nerve, capturing what New Yorkers who rely on public benefits say is […]

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Justice for Curtis Flowers | The New York Times

Delayed and incomplete, but still a triumph. First, a quick note about impeachment: More than 600 protests will be taking place around the country this evening. The goal is to voice outrage at President Trump’s behavior and show support for impeaching him. My colleague Michelle Goldberg writes about the planned events in her column: “In this moment, when the political valence of impeachment is still unclear, and the fight for a thorough, transparent trial in the Senate is just beginning, citizens can make a real difference by gathering en masse and voicing their outrage.” Justice delayed There was no physical […]

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Freed from prison nine years ago, Brandon Flood is new secretary of Pa.’s pardon board | Will Bunch | The Philadelphia Inquirer

This column will probably come as something of a shock to all the people in Harrisburg who only know Brandon Flood – a bow-tied, bespectacled policy wonk with sartorial flair – as the persona that he laughingly calls “Urkel Brandon,” in a homage to one of TV’s most famous nerds. Flood, now 36, readily admits most folks who know him from nearly a decade as a legislative aide or lobbyist will be shocked to learn of his past that includes boot camp for juvenile offenders, a physical scuffle with Harrisburg’s then-police chief, and finally felony convictions and two lengthy prison […]

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