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Member since: Thu Feb 14, 2008, 11:58 AM
Number of posts: 28,150

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Thinking He Owed $25,000, A Man Spent 5 Months In Rikers. He Only Owed $2.

Source: Think Progress

Unable to pay $25,000 to bail himself out, a Queens resident languished in New York City’s notoriously overcrowded and abusive Rikers Island jail for approximately five months. According to court documents, he should’ve only paid $2 for bail and been released after one week.

Aitabdel Salem, an immigrant from Algeria, was detained in November 2014 for fighting a cop who arrested him for theft at a clothing store. He was locked away at Rikers because he was unable to pay the $25,000 bail amount. After his first week behind bars, however, prosecutors on the case were unable to indict him and he no longer owed thousands of dollars. To be released, Salem only had to chalk up two, $1 bail payments for unrelated mischief and tampering charges.

His lawyer, Stephen Pokart, never told him. And when Salem was eventually released in May 2015, he also missed his arraignment because of a court date mix-up. He was subsequently charged with bail jumping, jailed, and slapped with $30,000 for the officer assault.

“(Salem) was shocked and dismayed and frustrated that his case was unconscionably mishandled and there was no communication by his attorney telling him his bail was $2 which he could have made at any moment,” Glenn Hardy, one of Salem’s new attorneys, said at a recent court hearing.

In reality, Pokart’s failure is representative of New York City’s broken bail system.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2016/06/01/3783711/2-dollar-bail/

Baby on board!

credit: Tony LePrieur/flickr via TreeHugger.com

A classmate’s parting gift for Boston Latin class

Source: Boston Globe

Phillip Sossou spent the past four months secretly sketching portraits of seniors at Boston Latin School, capturing their smiles, the glint in their eyes, the contours of their faces.

And early Friday morning — the final day of classes for seniors — the Roslindale teenager went to the school with six friends and finished affixing 411 charcoal portraits along the first-floor walls.

It made for a stunning display of school pride, a gift Sossou said he wanted to leave with his classmates.

“Our class has been kind of divided,” said Sossou, an 18-year-old. “Having these pictures helps us to embrace our diversity.”

Latin School has been mired in negative news after allegations of racism surfaced, with students of color complaining that administrators were slow to respond to the use of racial epithets at the school.

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/05/27/boston-latin-student-creates-charcoal-portraits-graduating-classmates/jc12pachooSlIupOWg8hWK/story.html

Thailand’s Controversial "Temple Tigers" Are Finally Free

Source: The Smithsonian

Earlier this week, Thai authorities seized dozens of tigers from the country’s so-called “Tiger Temple” after years of accusations of animal abuse and wildlife trafficking. The Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Temple, as it is officially known, is located west of the capital city of Bangkok and became infamous several years ago as photos of tourists posing with tigers at the supposed sanctuary went viral.
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During a raid conducted this week, Thai officials found 137 captive tigers, as well as 40 dead cubs kept in freezers on the premises.

"When our vet team arrived, there were tigers roaming around everywhere," Wildlife Conservation Office (WCO) director Teunjai Noochdumrong tells Kocha Olarn and Radina Gigova for CNN. "Looks like the temple intentionally let these tigers out, trying to obstruct our work."

The temple has long been a popular tourist site for visitors looking for a hands-on experience with the big cats. For a $273 donation, visitors to the self-proclaimed sanctuary were allowed to pet, feed, and bathe the suspiciously calm tigers, Sarah Emerson reports for Motherboard. Reports and investigations over the years have suggested that the temple not only drugged the tigers to keep them docile for tourists seeking selfies with the endangered animals, but also was actively involved in illegal tiger trade.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/thailands-controversial-tinder-tigers-are-finally-free-180959283/

A pick-me-up for my fellow Sanders supporters:

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