Chuck Shepherd Recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have made clear that only in the case of murder can a juvenile be given a life sentence “without possibility of parole” (and never a death sentence). Under-18s, the court said, must get a “meaningful opportunity” to mature and redeem themselves behind bars. The U.S. Constitution aside, apparently some Florida judges disagree and have subsequently sentenced juveniles to 50 years or longer for non-murders, in some cases assuring that the release date will be beyond the inmate’s natural life expectancy. In one case found by a Barry University law school program, a juvenile …

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Hangin’ Out

Chuck Shepherd Officials at the Emu Plains Correctional Center near Sydney, Australia, announced in January they had pre-empted a planned escape by two female inmates, ages 32 and 21, after finding a 60-foot length of tied-together sheets in a cell. Nonetheless, the officials said they were puzzled, in that Emu Plains is a one-story facility, enclosed, wrote the Daily Telegraph, by a “not particularly high” fence.

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Chuck Shepherd In a December letter to the University of Minnesota president, a coalition of black student organizations demanded an end to 
racial profiling, especially in light of recent campus crime incidents. “[C]ampus safety should be of the [university’s] utmost importance,” they acknowledged, but among the organizations’ complaints was that when “be on the lookout” alerts were issued (usually based on victims’ descriptions of their attackers), innocent black students feel “discomforting,” “negative psychological effects” — because the alerts so often describe black attackers.

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It’s a Dog’s Life

Chuck Shepherd A Georgia Regents University’s dental school official acknowledged in December that the school would likely continue to conduct research on the mouths of stray dogs solely to test a coating that might inhibit infections in humans’ dental implants. The work is controversial because the only way to study the installed implants is to remove them, after euthanizing the dogs. Also, the research is sponsored by commercial dental-implant companies for a market dominated by elective cosmetic patients. However, a GRU professor noted that implants are also functional, as they inhibit infections that might reach the heart’s lining and other …

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Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

Chuck Shepherd Ed Forchion sits in a Burlington County, N.J., jail (where he’ll stay for a few more months), serving a term for marijuana possession. For 10 days each month until his release, though, the same judge who sentenced him promised to let him go smoke medical marijuana in California to relieve his bone cancer pain. Forchion was convicted of possession before New Jersey legalized medical marijuana. Update: Four days after a Trentonian columnist’s story about “Weedman” Forchion, and the subsequent Internet frenzy, Forchion’s judge commuted the final 130 days of his sentence and freed him. o

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Saved by the Blimps

Chuck Shepherd Americans who’ve grown used to hearing our 
nation is militarily without peer may have been 
shocked to learn in January (as CBS News reported in a Pentagon interview) that America has “practically zero capability” either to detect enemy cruise missiles fired at Washington, D.C., from offshore or, even worse, to “defend against [them].” The Pentagon’s interim makeshift solution to protect the U.S. capital, said an official, is to launch two blimps, soon, to float two miles up over a base in Maryland to try to spot any such missiles.

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Unclear on the Concept

Chuck Shepherd Oregon inmate Sirgiorgio Clardy, 26, filed a handwritten $100 million lawsuit in January against Nike for inadequately marketing its Air Jordans. Clardy, a convicted pimp, earned an 
”enhanced” penalty for using a “dangerous weapon” to maim a john, i.e., he stomped and kicked a man after accusing him of skipping out on a payment. The “dangerous weapon” was apparently his shoe. Clardy said Nike has some responsibility for his being incarcerated because it failed to label the shoe a “dangerous weapon.”

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Can’t Possibly Be True

Chuck Shepherd “This [was] my life,” said musician Boujemaa Razgui in December, referring to 13 handmade flutes he played professionally, “and now they’re gone.” Arriving in New York City from Madrid 
with the 13 woodwinds in his checked luggage, he was shocked to learn U.S. Customs had destroyed them without notice because “wood” 
is a restricted “agricultural” import. Unaware agents had apparently regarded them as mere 
bamboo. Razgui plays worldwide including, since 2002, with the Boston Camerata ensemble staged by the city’s Museum of Fine Arts.

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Poverty Funk

ASKMEIFICARE, SAMURAI SHOTGUN, WHISKEY FACE, DEAF TO THE INDUSTRY, MOSBY CLIQUE 8 p.m. Feb. 26, Jack Rabbits, 1528 Hendricks Ave., San Marco, $15, 398-7496, Carley [email protected] The band’s name is a challenge, a dare. We’re a sucker for a good dare. When Folio Weekly sat down with the punk-rap group, Raw — the frontman, real name Jamal Oakes — tossed his knotted dreadlocks, ran his tongue over his golden teeth and explained, “It’s not that we don’t care about anything. Ask us our opinion, ask us what we think. We’re going to do what we want, and if you …

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Here’s Another Girl Trying to be Funny

AMY SCHUMER 8 p.m. Feb. 22, The Florida Theatre, Downtown, 
$39-$46.50, 355-2787, Isaac Weeks In hindsight, all of Amy Schumer’s current success seems predestined. The comedienne, having spent the last couple of years juggling various television projects and still managing to sell out venues all over the country, is one of the most successful stand-ups around today — and she stars in her own hit Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer. Next week, Schumer returns to Jacksonville on Feb. 22 with her latest set, Inside Amy Schumer’s Back Door Tour. If you’re at all familiar with the funny woman’s …

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