Thursday, February 7, 2008

Civil Right

Civil rights in today's world are as big as an issue affecting aosicety more than anything else. Not only does the civil rights struggle still go on in the United States, but it's also prominent in most of our second and third world countries as well. We have many people in our world that fight for civil rights today as we speak, but one of my most influential leaders of the past for the United States was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. France also has a very important figure in their history involving civil rights, and his name is Voltarie. Voltaire, author of the famous novel Candide, is honored in France as a courageous polemicist who fought hard for civil rights ( The right to a fair trial and freemdom of religion were two things that he strongly believed in. Fair trial involved alot of unfair power between the three classes of people in the village: upper, middle, and lower, and he disapproved. Voltaire was a man of strong belief and was not worried about what people would say about his opinion, just as he portrayed in Candide.
There are many things that I believe Voltaire would fight for today, and one civil right issue that isn;t publisized is the treatment of jailed inmates in the state penitentiaries. It is noted that Voltaire was not in favor of the unfair balance between the upper class, middle, and lower class people. I look at the prisoners as lower class people, and most people don't know what goes on behind those brick walls of most penitentiaries. What guards and wardens don't tell you in the states such as Connecticut and Iowa is that the brutal use of trained attack dogs is used daily. Trained attack dogs are used in the legal system for man-hunts of fugitives, drug searches, and security. No one knows that dogs are used to extract prisoners out of their tight confinements. When prisoners do not voluntarily leave their cell when ordered to do so, guards bring a dog into sight in an attempt to coax the prisoner into coming out. If the prisoner still refuses to come out, the dog is released on the prisoner. One thing that I think Voltaire would have to say about this civil rights matter is that it's unfair treatment to normal people who have already taken their share of consequences. In order to get someone out after standing in their cell and refusing to come out, a different approach can be used in an attempt to drive them out of their living units.
My letter to my Senator would state the following:
Dear Senator Evan Bayh,
Through recent postings throughout the internet and newspaper, the treatment of prisoners behind the walls and bars of our penitentiaries has become brutal and cruel. Civil rights is the first thing that comes to my mind, and the aches and pains of being locked up behind bars is good enough. To have a 100-pound German Shepherd taking a bite out of your leg, while already incarcerated is crossing the line. Believe me, by no means am I promoting any better treatment as far as daily routine towards these prisoners, but I do believe justice has to prevail somewhere. After repeated attempts of trying to lure the prisoner out of his cell, why not just issue tase the prisoner? In my opinion dogs are to be used for protection, and if the prisoner was making an offensive move toward the guard. I think the addition of having a canine on the task force is way over-due, but I believe lighter more civilized mannerscan be thought of than to just send a dog on an already denfeseless prisoner. Jamie Fellner, Director, U.S. Program of Human Rights Watch, once stated, "The entire world has seen the photo of an Abu Ghraib detainee crouched in terror before a snarling dog, but the use of attack dogs against prisoners here in the U.S. has been a well-kept secret." This is a sad but true statement and I believe that it is time to bring what has been held in the dark for many years, to light.
My next question is what are you doing to get enough evidence out to the world that enables the right peolpe to make the right moves? Why not interview some of the victims about past incidents and obtain eye-witnesses on the acts that were being performed unjustly? I believe that we must ast now, Senetor Bayh, the sooner the better. If we put off this situation any longer, we'll loose the magnitude of the situation and fair treament, not matter the crime, will be jsut a figment of out imaginations. I will attempt to do my part, by informing the greater half of the country of the situations that are occuring, but I need your help too. Although some people might feel as if they get what they deserve for the crime they have committed, others would rather see right and justice prevail as well. We must stop this treatment and turn our prison systems into justified places of correction.
Wes Smith

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