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Apr 23·edited Apr 23Liked by John Steppling

Excellent conversation. On the jail topic, I worked a while back on a few "mistaken identity" false arrest cases, which, first of all, are after the fact--after you've already spent x amount of time in jail, and second of all it's a very high bar to prove, the case law is heavily biased (surprise surprise) towards the state or the municipality, and there's invariably a "floodgates" argument--that a pro-detainee decision will open the floodgates to litigation. Also, VERY few people have the connections or wherewithal to bring that kind of case after the fact. One point I wanted to make was that a lot of the "mistakes" were so unbelievable--someone who is 5'10, 25 years old with long black hair being booked under the record of someone 5'2, 45 years old and bald. ANd if you have a record already-- you are fungible--i.e. if you stole $20 worth of stuff from walmart and are mistaken for a violent sex offender it's fine, because you're a criminal and don't deserve an individual assessment. But the larger point is that there's never a question about the fact that this happens all the time--as you all said, it's really common that people spend months in jail without even arraignment. The mere fact that some cases are brought long after the fact and one out of whatever high number is successful, is enough of a bandaid for most of us. Defense attorneys and the plaintiff bar quite frankly don't have the time or inclination to go looking for more trouble. That's not surprising of course given how property and capitalism has shaped our legal system. But listening to Lex clarified some of it for me in any event. Oh and I should add I'm only really talking about the clear mistaken identities--not the average case where someone is just made to rot in jail because her/his case keeps getting delayed.

Second, what most of the middle class or upper middle class who support criminalizing the homeless, and even those who are sort of agnostic but don't want to see homeless camps in their neighborhoods--what they don't realize is that criminalizing the homeless is also a way to discipline and control the middle class--they become so terrified of losing work that they'll toe any line the state or corporation asks them to. There's a lot of money spent on demonizing the homeless , but along with that, there's this idea that "If I do everything right, it won't happen to me," so that person must have done something wrong. Instead of saying--hey, shouldn't we all have a safety net?

Anyway, thank you all once again!

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