I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thomas and Arpaio Abuse Power? No Way...

This is nice to see. Hooray for Mary Rose Wilcox. There'd better not be another prosecutor in this state willing to go down that road again - though I'm sure her enemies will be looking for other ways to hurt her. When the heck is the DOJ going to indict Joe Arpaio, anyway? If anyone without a badge was doing half the stuff he's been up to, they would have been arrested a long time ago.

Does Arizona have a law protecting citizens from malicious prosecution or political harassment by law enforcement, by the way? Maybe we'll have to do that by citizens' initiative, since the legislature seems to have no interest in protecting people from the likes of Thomas and Arpaio. In fact, they just egg them on with new sentencing enhancements and a multitude of ways to criminalize one's existence. Arpaio and Thomas are on Russ Pearce's re-election committee, I'll remind you. One happy trio of bigoted bullies and tyrants.

So, what does this case say about all the other people who have argued that they were targets of politically motivated, malicious prosecution by the County Attorney's office and ended up in prison anyway? Can we believe that all those people Thomas' office has put away in his time in office are really guilty? 

Perhaps we should start doing some massive FOIAing and set up some kind of special commission to review all the innocence claims from his tenure so we can get the courts to expedite liberating those who can be exonerated with the evidence he's got sitting in his own files. Clearly he's not going to take responsibility for wrongful prosecutions and convictions himself - he's just going after more. 

The arrogance this kind of thing takes is what makes people like him so dangerous. He really believes he's entitled, as well as right, whatever he does.


Andrew Thomas Disqualified From Mary Rose Wilcox Criminal Case; Indictment Dropped

A judge has tossed Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas off his criminal case against County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, more than agreeing with arguments presented by Wilocox's attorney.

Pima County Judge John Leonardo also dismissed the indictment against Wilcox, leaving the possibility open for a special prosecutor to bring charges in the future.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether any prosecutor will want to pick up this case now, though, after Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk's damning criticism of the corrupt process that led to the Wilcox charges in the first place. 

The bombshell ruling appears to be a serious smackdown, stating that Thomas retaliated against Wilcox for grievances he alleged in a civil racketeering lawsuit filed in December by him and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

One of the reasons for Thomas' obvious conflict of interest, according to the ruling by Leonardo, is his political alliance with Arpaio, "who misused the power of his office to target members of the [Board of Supervisors] for criminal investigation.


Scroll down for a link to the ruling:
Click here for the ruling.
We'll update this story later with a more detailed analysis.


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