Top AAN Stories Featuring Law & Orderlessness

F*Cking Cops

Inspired by a BuzzFeed story about a NYC teen accusing two police officers of raping her while she was in custody, DigBoston notes that, like 34 other states, Massachusetts does NOT legally ban cops from having consensual sex with people in police custody. This can make it harder for victims to get justice if the cop claims the sex was consensual-like the two in the BuzzFeed story-because courts usually give officers’ words more value than, say, junkies, prostitutes, homeless people, trans people, etc.

An associate criminal justice professor and ex-cop told DB that, based on his research, “while it isn’t normal, it is fairly common for cops to have sex while on duty.”

The bright side? Some states are looking to change the law. The even brighter side? We don’t have anything to worry about; it’s already illegal in Florida and Georgia.

A Crown of Green and Gold

The so-called Prince of Pot, Marc Emery, is known for delivering fiery speeches about cannabis-which he is unequivocally in favor of legalizing. But Georgia Straightsays that our new hero Emery went above and beyond the call of duty on March 6, during a stop in Valleta, Malta on his international tour. In a two-hour tirade, Emery, who has done 39 turns in the pokey, encouraged the audience to lose their fear of jail, saying spending time in the slammer inspires his best writing and thinking. Emery also tossed out some of his favorite quips, “the government is evil,” and “law is a form of civil war,” and said that anyone who is “against cannabis [is] against Jesus,” GS reports. Seriously, this guy is awesome. But we’ll take his word on the inspiration one finds in jail.

That’s Just Crazy

As mental health funding and awareness remain abominably low for the general population, the prison population, which includes high numbers of people with mental health issues, typically suffers even more. In a revealing story for Illinois Times, editorial intern (!) Megan Swett reports prisoners have filed suit alleging the terms of 2015 settlement to improve the standard of mental healthcare are being systematically violated. According to testimony by plaintiffs’ witnesses, staffing shortages are rife, prisoners report waiting more than 60 days to see counselors, the most seriously ill are frequently strapped to beds in isolation and, if a patient/prisoner misbehaves, they are placed in isolation. “So when somebody acts up during treatment, their punishment is no more treatment,” an inmate’s attorney reportedly asked. “Yes,” the chief of operations for the department of corrections responded.

IT further reports that one of the company’s medical quality assurance coordinators testified that 328 inmates at a single facility did not receive care in the timeframe established by the settlement. The Illinois Department of Corrections and the company with a contract to provide treatment deny that the standard of care being provided to mentally ill prisoners comprises unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

The Dallas Kim Daniels

We were highly entertained by Patheos’ Feb. 26 coverage of Florida House Rep. Kim Daniels’ impromptu Facebook Live daybreak prayer for Donald Trump, in which she commanded “every witch and every warlock that could try to send confusion to this nation … to this great man [that’s Trump, apparently] … . I say they will be fired.”

So. That happened.

Soothe thyself, fair shame-faced Northeast Florida reader, with Gloria Copeland, a televangelist who does not hold public office. (Yet! It is Texas.) Dallas Observer was recently deeply amused to hear Copeland say there is no such thing as a flu season. “Her argument was that people of true faith can’t get sick because Jesus Christ bore away their illnesses with his death on the cross,” DO’s Jim Schutze writes. Schutze then digs in for an intensely interesting analysis of Copeland’s incantation, “Flu, I bind you off of the people in the name of Jesus,” which he says is essentially faith-healing, or a spell, or sorcery. This leads him to conclude, “Gloria Copeland is a witch.” And not just any witch, a “scary witch.” She and her husband and presumed partner in witchcraft are also on the president’s Evangelical Advisory Board. Now don’t you kinda hope Daniels’ prayer is answered?