When Ameneh Bahrami rejected a man’s marriage proposal, he turned bitter and threw acid into her face leaving her with extreme disfigurements. She went through 19 agonising operations and is permanently blind, but this didn’t stop her wanting justice on the man who ruined her life. In court, the judge wanted the accused to serve a lengthy prison sentence and pay full compensation to Ameneh, but she had different ideas: She asked if she could have exact revenge, by injecting acid into the man’s eyes. The court allowed it as a capital punishment, and arrangements were made for Ameneh to inject 20 drops of acid into her attacker’s eyes to blind him.

However, in a last-minute act of peace and bravery, Ameneh decided to pardon her attacker. Strapped to a bed, he kicked and spat at her while he awaited the injection, but she could not ruin someone else’s life, no matter what he’d done to her. She told everyone: “I couldn’t do it, I knew I could not live with it until the end of my life. I knew I would have suffered and burned twice had I done that.”

A Description of [Redacted]’s Prison System

[Copy/pasted from a chat]

I mean, we aren’t afraid of prisoners. Sometimes we don’t even bother keeping them imprisoned.

My country once got hit with a fuck-huge hurricane that damaged part of the prison, so the prisoners were all told to go home for a week and come back when the prison was repaired. They all came back.

We… Don’t really have a crime problem?

Like, crime happens, but it’s usually “This one guy was being an idiot that day, so we jailed him for a bit, and then he went home again.”

Yes, there’s only one prison.

Like, it’s technically divided into male and female sections.

But, like, people walk between the two all the time.

And, yeah, they’re over 99% male, so the female section often has, like, one person in it. Rarely more than three.

So you can see why they wouldn’t want to actually isolate them.

Also, it’s normal for large groups of prisoners to go out if a corrections officer is watching them.

The prisoners are usually carrying their swords*, because everyone has swords, because this is [Redacted].

The CO doesn’t carry a gun, because no one carries guns, because this is [Redacted].

In fact, the CO usually doesn’t have his cutlass with him either. He just follows them around drinking a beer and making sure he’s aware of where they are at all times.

And, in the evening, he’s basically like “Gather ‘round, children” and walks everyone back to the prison.

OK, less condescending than that, but that’s basically how it goes down.

People often just go out for a day or two if they’re being watched by a family member and the CO knows who that family member is.

Or, if a group of them is out and about and a friend of one of the prisoners sees them, the friend might be like “Hey! Can I buy my buddy a drink?”, and the CO will usually be like “Sure, get your friend back to Her Majesty’s prison by six.” or whatever.

Oh, also, our prison used to be run by the Communist party.

Which is part of why it operated the way it did.

Like, the Communist Party used to control the whole country.

Then America happened and they were overthrown and put in jail.

And then, once in jail, they were like “So, uh, might as well run this instead, I guess.”

And the COs were like “Sure, we didn’t want to run it anyway.”

So then they reorganised it, set the schedules, started offering classes, did rehab programmes for people with drug problems, etc.

The Commies recently got released, because the government was like “Wait, we still have political prisoners? Whoops.” so the prison may be being less well-run now.

Yes, I know. The Commies stop being in charge, and suddenly things are less well-run =p

I think it’s more like skin in the game. The Communist Party was in jail, so they had to make jail not suck so they would be better off themselves.

And it’s not like anyone tried to stop them. No one was telling them “No, you’re in prison, so you’re supposed to suffer”, because what kinda bullshit is that?

Like, [Redacted]ians have never had much of the attitude of “Criminals are the Other and are Bad and should Suffer” the way a lot of societies have.

Because we’re smol, so everyone knows someone who’s been to jail.

So we treat them about as nicely as one can treat people in a confined space.

Everyone understands that criminals are people. The assumption is that they’re just people who either have poor impulse control, made stupid decisions, or have an unmanaged mental illness.

And, like, we’re tiny and poor. We can’t fix those problems! We know we can’t! But the least we can do is be nice to them while we keep them out of society.

[Redacted]ians are definitely the type of people who’d say “May G-d bless and keep the prisoners far away from us.” Not as a joke but because they mean it.

Which is why a lot of people come out raving about how great the cooking is =p

“Prison food” is actually a compliment over here.

The average at a given time seems to be about 150 imprisoned people?

Properly imprisoned, as opposed to people awaiting trial.

Though we had a recent uptick, so I think it’s a little over 200 right now.

But there’s decent turn-over, because both sentences and recidivism are low.

Our incarceration rate is about a quarter of the American one, but we’re also more than six times as black

So, like, when Americans walk down the street, we have to lock our doors =p

Sure, I guess I could post this on Tumblr

Though, like, I don’t really know what recommendations I’d make.

Like, I don’t think most other people could do this.

We do this because [Redacted]ians are inherently great people (better than Jamaicans >_>), and because we all know and look out for each other, and because keeping people truly locked up is relatively unimportant when you’re stuck on an island and everyone knows who you are.

(I’m kidding about us being better people than everyone else.)

((A little. I’m partially kidding.))

*The things I’m calling swords are cutlasses or, as Americans call them, “machetes”.

Obama’s Hidden Legacy
Behind the headlines, he rebuilt American policies in ways the Trump team will have hard time undoing—and may not even want to. By MICHAEL GRUNWALD

Amid President-elect Donald Trump’s wildly contentious transition, the notably civil hearing over Elaine Chao’s nomination to be his transportation secretary did not get much attention. But for policy wonks, there was an intriguing moment when Chao was asked her opinion of an obscure Obama administration grant program known as TIGER. She replied that it seemed almost bizarrely popular in this politically polarized era and suggested she would push to get it more funding.

“From all my meetings with members of Congress, there seems to be one area of great agreement, and that’s the utility of the TIGER grants,” she said.

It’s odd to hear any Trump nominee praise anything created by Obama, but it was especially jarring to hear Chao praise a creation of the Obama stimulus. Chao’s husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, led the Republican fight against Obama’s $800 billion recovery bill in early 2009, and the entire GOP has ridiculed the “Porkulus” as a complete waste of money ever since. But TIGER was indeed launched by the emergency stimulus bill—its acronym stands for Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery—and then extended several times with bipartisan support even after Democrats no longer controlled Congress.

Read more here

Clinton did something very bold that I don’t think she got very much credit for: She challenged many white Americans to question implicit bias, and revived criminal justice as an issue. That may have been a bridge too far.

“How Did Donald Trump Win Over So Many Obama Voters?” The New York Times

Let’s not forget this aspect of the campaign nor underestimate its impact on the results, because this election outcome wasn’t entirely about race, but it sure as hell was a factor.

For such dealings with criminals, white or black, the South had no machinery, no adequate jails or reformatories; its police system was arranged to deal with blacks alone, and tacitly assumed that every white man was ipso facto a member of that police … the police system of the South was originally designed to keep track of all Negroes, not simply of criminals; and when the Negroes were freed and the whole South was convinced of the impossibility of free Negro labor, the first almost universal device was to use the courts as a means of reenslaving the blacks. It was not then a question of crime, but rather one of color, that settled a man’s conviction on almost any charge.
—  W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk