Thursday, January 8, 2009

CLIPS

Kevin Johnson, USA Today - Nearly 98% of emergency room physicians report that they believe some patients were victims of suspected excessive force by police, a national survey concludes. Yet most of the suspected incidents went unreported because no laws require physicians to alert authorities. The survey of 315 physicians, contained in the Emergency Medicine Journal's January issue and based on 2002 data, is believed to be the first doctors' account of suspected police brutality, says H. Range Hutson, the lead author and assistant professor of emergency medicine at Harvard.

NY Times editorial - This country puts too many people behind bars for too long. Most elected officials, afraid of being tarred as soft on crime, ignore these problems. Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat of Virginia, is now courageously stepping into the void, calling for a national commission to re-assess criminal justice policy. . . The United States has the world's highest reported incarceration rate. Although it has less than 5 percent of the world's population, it has almost one-quarter of the world's prisoners. And for the first time in history, more than 1 in 100 American adults are behind bars. Many inmates are serving long sentences for nonviolent crimes, including minor drug offenses. It also is extraordinarily expensive. Billions of dollars now being spent on prisons each year could be used in far more socially productive ways. .

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