Professor Bennett Gershman shined a light on the legal system when he wrote about a case in Mount Vernon, NY where Raynette Turner, a woman of color, was arrested for a misdemeanor and confined to a jail cell over a weekend where she died. In his post that appears in Huffington Post, Professor Gershman, a former prosecutor, notes that giving the woman a summons and sending her home would have been entirely appropriate under the circumstances. He also notes that during the month of July, five women have died while in police custody. None of these deaths has been adequately explained.
“It is astonishing that U.S. society — especially lawmakers, courts, and lawyers — has never closely examined whether the practice of putting more and more people in cages makes society safer, and actually reduces crime,” Professor Gershman writes. “Nor have we ever closely examined the incredible amount of suffering this practice inflicts on society, and the benefits we achieve from this phenomenon.”
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