Judge hears opinions on Attica report unsealing – wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Judge hears opinions on Attica report unsealing – wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – The widow of the state police captain who gave the command to retake the Attica prison from rioting inmates in 1971 says unsealing investigative documents now would be unfair, but others say it’s time, for the sake of history, to let the public see them.

More than a dozen groups and individuals have weighed in on Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s state Supreme Court request to open two remaining volumes of a 1975 report examining investigations into the uprising that ended when state troopers and guards stormed the facility and fatally shot 29 inmates and 10 hostages.

Justice Patrick NeMoyer, during a public response period, has received handwritten letters and lengthy legal briefs. Prison guards, inmates and members of the public with no direct connection to the uprising have weighed in, along with relatives of those killed. A decision is expected later this year.

“The hostages, widows and children of those involved have been kept in the dark for over 42 years. It is time for them to learn the truth of our states’ darkest days before it is too late,” said a letter supporting the documents’ release signed by 91 Attica guards.

The five-day revolt began over living conditions inside the overcrowded maximum-security prison in rural western New York. On Sept. 13, 1971, state troopers and guards stormed the facility and fired hundreds of rounds into a prison yard over the span of six minutes. In all, 11 staff and 32 inmates died in the riot and siege.

Known as the Meyer Commission Report for the late judge who headed the panel, the 570-page document examined prior investigations of the retaking. The report was divided into three volumes. The first volume, with broad findings and recommendations, was released, but the other two volumes were sealed because they contain grand jury testimony.

 

Clemency to Jeff Mizanskey: Life without parole for marijuana

Clemency to Jeff Mizanskey: Life without parole for marijuana

This petition will be delivered to:  Missouri, Gov. Jeremiah Nixon

Petition by  Chris Mizanskey  Sedalia, MO

My father Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison for 20 years and has no possibility of parole. For non-violent, marijuana-only offenses, my father has been sentenced to die in prison because of a “three strikes” mandatory sentencing policy in the State of Missouri.

Dad’s first offense was in 1984 when he sold an ounce to an undercover informant, and then was found to possess a half pound of marijuana when police raided his house the next day.  His next offense occurred in 1991, when he was caught in possession of a couple of ounces. But for my father’s final strike in 1993, he became an easy fall guy in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana. My dad was driving a friend to a deal that turned out to be a sting operation. All of the other convicted men involved were set free years ago, but my dad was given a virtual death sentence.

My dad is, and always has been, a good man. He taught my brother and I all about construction and a good work ethic. He has never been violent and he is a model prisoner. And over the 20 years he has been in that little cell, he has watched as violent criminals, rapists, and murderers have “paid their debts” and left – sometimes just to return a few months later.

My father is 61 years old, and has been in prison since he was 41. His parents – my grandparents – have since passed. While my dad has been trapped behind bars, generations of kids and grandkids have been born into our family who have never even met the man. The State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000/year to keep him locked up. Meanwhile all my dad wants to do is be a productive part of society, work and pay taxes, be with his family. And I want my dad back.

Governor Jay Nixon is the only person who has the power to bring my dad home by granting clemency to Jeff and calling 20 years punishment enough. Please help us reach a just and reasonable end to his prison sentence by signing and sharing this petition.

To:
Gov. Jeremiah Nixon, Missouri

Jeff Mizanskey is a non-violent, marijuana-only offender who has spent the last 20 years in a Missouri prison. He has been sentenced to be there for the rest of his life, and he has no opportunity for parole. The only hope he has to ever to become a working member of society or to hold his grandchildren in his hands is for you to grant him clemency.

His sentence was imposed because of the Prior and Persistent Drug Offender sentencing structure which requires life in prison without parole for his three felony marijuana-only offenses.
Jeff Mizanskey has never committed violence and is most certainly a model prisoner. For 20 years he has sat behind bars, only to watch as rapists and murders come and go and sometimes come back again. Meanwhile the State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000 annually to house him – over $400,000 has been spent so far.

 
On February 3, 2011, Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice William Ray Price, Jr., delivered his final State of the Judiciary address to the Missouri General Assembly. In that speech, Chief Justice Price lambasted Missouri’s “three strikes” drug-sentencing laws as enormously costly and ineffective. “Punishment,” Price said, “is a necessary part of our criminal justice system. But our real goal for nonviolent offenders is to teach them their lesson so they can become productive law-abiding members of our society. The goal is not to lock them into a life of crime, to make them permanent wards of the state.”
Jeff Mizanskey has been punished for 20 years. He has learned his lesson and wants to become a productive, law-abiding member of our society. The goal Price mentions has been more than reached, and it is time to give Jeff back his life.

On July 6, 2012, you signed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which was intended to reduce our prison population, save the state money, and ensure that punishments are proportional to violations for non-violent offenders. While this has done a great deal of good for so many Missourians, Jeff’s status has remained unchanged.
In October 2013, Gallup released a poll showing 58% of Americans support marijuana legalization. 58% of Americans recognize the principle that imprisoning Jeff Mizanskey for the rest of his life has no net positive social benefit.

In the spirit of the Justice Reinvestment Act and in the spirit of justice itself, please grant clemency to Jeff Mizanskey today. Please pardon Jeff Mizanskey so that he does not die in prison just for marijuana.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO LINK TO SIGN PETITION!

BREAKING: Death Sentence for a $96 ticket (NJWEEDMAN)

NJ WEEDMAN reads a letter from a prisoner who turns in jail for a wrongful death.

Published on Feb 10, 2014

special thanks to http://njweedman.com/ for bringing us this story.
In this video Luke Rudkowski interviews Ed Forchion the NJ Weed Man after he was recently released from jail and was given a shocking letter from a fellow inmate.

The letter details gross misconduct and neglect on behave of correctional officers which some are saying resulted in the murder of a fellow inmate.

The inmate who released the story to the public was put into solitary confinement for writing this letter.

 
Show your support by writing the whistle blower inmate at
Sean C. Turzanski # 90248
Burlington County Jail
54 Grant St.
Mt. Holly NJ 08060

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Scientists can implant false memories into mice

By Melissa Hogenboom Science reporter, BBC News

Mouse

Optical fibres implanted in a mouse’s brain activated memory forming cells

False memories have been implanted into mice, scientists say.

A team was able to make the mice wrongly associate a benign environment with a previous unpleasant experience from different surroundings.

The researchers conditioned a network of neurons to respond to light, making the mice recall the unpleasant environment.

Reporting in Science, they say it could one day shed light into how false memories occur in humans.

The brains of genetically engineered mice were implanted with optic fibres in order to deliver pulses of light to their brain. Known as optogenetics, this technique is able to make individual neurons respond to light.

Unreliable memory

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

Our memory changes every single time it’s being recorded. That’s why we can incorporate new information into old memories and this is how a false memory can form…”

Dr Xu Liu Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Just like in mice, our memories are stored in collections of cells, and when events are recalled we reconstruct parts of these cells – almost like re-assembling small pieces of a puzzle.

It has been well documented that human memory is highly unreliable, first highlighted by a study on eyewitness testimonies in the 70s. Simple changes in how a question was asked could influence the memory a witness had of an event such as a car crash.

When this was brought to public attention, eyewitness testimonies alone were no longer used as evidence in court. Many people wrongly convicted on memory statements were later exonerated by DNA evidence.

Xu Liu of the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics and one the lead authors of the study, said that when mice recalled a false memory, it was indistinguishable from the real memory in the way it drove a fear response in the memory forming cells of a mouse’s brain.

Continue reading the main story

How a memory was implanted in a mouse

This cartoon explains how Dr Tonegawa's team created a false memory in the brain of mice

  • A mouse was put in one environment (blue box) and the brain cells encoding memory were labelled in this environment (white circles)
  • These cells were then made responsive to light
  • The animal was placed in a different environment (the red box) and light was delivered into the brain to activate these labelled cells
  • This induced the recall of the first environment – the blue box. While the animal was recalling the first environment, they also received mild foot shocks
  • Later when the mouse was put back into the first environment, it showed behavioural signs of fear, indicating it had formed a false fear memory for the first environment, where it was never shocked in reality

The mouse is the closest animal scientists can easily use to analyse the brain, as though simpler, its structure and basic circuitry is very similar to the human brain.

Studying neurons in a mouse’s brain could therefore help scientists further understand how similar structures in the human brain work.

“In the English language there are only 26 letters, but the combinations of letters make unlimited words and sentences, this is also true for memories,” Dr Liu told BBC News.

Evolving memories

“There are so many brain cells and for each individual memory, different combinations of small populations of cells are activated.”

These differing combinations of cells could partly explain why memories are not static like a photograph, but constantly evolving, he added.

Continue reading the main story

Erasing memories?

Brain artwork

Mice have previously been trained to believe they were somewhere else, “a bit like the feeling of deja-vu we sometimes get”, said Rosamund Langston from Dundee University.

A possibility in the future is erasing memories, she told BBC News.

“Episodic memories – such as those for traumatic experiences – are distributed in neurons throughout the brain, and in order to make memory erasure a safe and useful tool, we must understand how the different components of each memory are put together.

“You may want to erase someone’s memory for a traumatic event that happened in their home, but you certainly do not want to erase their memory for how to find their way around their home.”

“If you want to grab a specific memory you have to get down into the cell level. Every time we think we remember something, we could also be making changes to that memory – sometimes we realise sometimes we don’t,” Dr Liu explained.

“Our memory changes every single time it’s being ‘recorded’. That’s why we can incorporate new information into old memories and this is how a false memory can form without us realising it.”

Susumu Tonegawa, also from RIKEN-MIT, said his teams’ work provided the first animal model in which false and genuine memories could be investigated in the cells which store memories, called engram-bearing cells.

“Humans are highly imaginative animals. Just like our mice, an aversive or appetitive event could be associated with a past experience one may happen to have in mind at that moment, hence a false memory is formed.”

Silencing fear

Neil Burgess from University College London, who was not involved with the work, told BBC News the study was an “impressive example” of creating a fearful response in an environment where nothing fearful happened.

“One day this type of knowledge may help scientists to understand how to remove or reduce the fearful associations experienced by people with conditions like post traumatic stress disorder.”

But he added that it’s only an advance in “basic neuroscience” and that these methods could not be directly applied to humans for many years.

“But basic science always helps in the end, and it may be possible, one day, to use similar techniques to silence neurons causing the association to fear.”

‘Diseases of thought’

Mark Mayford of the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, US, said: “The question is, how does the brain change with experience? That’s the heart of everything the brain does.

He explained that work like this could one day further help us to understand the structure of our thoughts and the cells involved.

“Then one can begin to look at those brain circuits, see how they change, and hopefully find the areas or mechanisms that change with learning.”

“The implications are potentially interventions for diseases of thought such as schizophrenia. You cannot approach schizophrenia unless you know how a perception is put together.”

Can Legalizing Marijuana Help Appalachia?

By Michael P. Tremoglie

 

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Will legalizing marijuana help or hinder some of the poorest of Americans? Appalachia has long been known for intractable poverty, coal and moonshine. But what many do not know is that marijuana is an Appalachian cash crop.

Some say it will only help; after all, Appalachians make quite a bit of dough from grass. “Outdoor cannabis cultivation is common throughout the Appalachia…region,” reads a June 2007 report by the Department of Justice (DOJ). “The number of outdoor plants eradicated from grow operations in Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia increased from 1,004,329 in 2005 to 1,252,524 in 2006. Cannabis cultivators deliberately locate outdoor grow sites in remote areas of public and private lands to reduce the chance of discovery by passersby or law enforcement and, more commonly, to protect their crops from theft. Cannabis is cultivated in Kentucky on broad areas of privately owned land, in the Daniel Boone National Forest, and on the Cumberland Plateau.”

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What coca leaves are to the mountain people of Peru, marijuana is to the mountain people of America. These growers take their their marijuana cultivation seriously, too. They are not shy about using lethal force to protect it. The DOJ describes some of the efforts to protect crops, “Cannabis cultivators frequently use camouflage, counter surveillance techniques, and booby traps to protect their outdoor grow sites. …These sites are often protected by armed guards who conduct counter surveillance. Moreover, the use of booby traps significantly increased in 2006….some cannabis cultivators used punji sticks, which may be camouflaged by leaves and brush or incorporated into pits and explosive devices, to reduce the risk of crop theft.”

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