Tuesday, November 09, 2004

rip jonathan magbie

thank god for colbert i. king, the washington post columnist who has been keeping jonathan's death in the media and keeping the government accountable. if any justice does come out of jonathan's death, it will be mostly due to king's work. If you don't know about jonathan's case, he was a quadriplegic who was incarcerated for marijuana possession (don't you feel safer?). he died a week later, in a jail that was not equipped to care for him and his condition.

from king's latest column:

When sentencing Magbie on Sept. 20, Judge Retchin said
she had assurances that the jail could accommodate Magbie's needs. But wait a
minute. In response to my request, the D.C. Superior Court sent me at 4:09 p.m.
yesterday a copy of a transcript of a July 20 bench conference that Judge
Retchin had with Magbie's attorney, Boniface Cobbina, and Charles Stimson,
assistant U.S. attorney. Judge Retchin asked Stimson why the government was
offering Magbie a guilty plea to a misdemeanor and was dismissing all other
counts of his indictment.

Stimson spelled out the government's reasons, and
then said this to Judge Retchin: "So, with all those things in mind, that's why
we did what we did, and I think it's a fair offer, and I think both sides got
something. I would also say, talking to the jail, that they can't accommodate
Mr. Magbie because when he was arrested, they actually had to take him in an
ambulance to the hospital to be catheterized because he gets catheterized every
four or six hours sometimes. So, you know, these were all part of our

That was three months before Judge Retchin sent
Magbie to jail. Oh, my goodness.
to read the rest of king's column, click here.

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