Monday, August 24, 2009

Jail Cell

Convict week continues here at Old Picture of the Day. This picture was taken in Greene Country Georgia in 1941. It shows men singing and dancing in the cell at the Greene County jail.


  1. I wonder how many of those convicts and chain gang workers were really innocent. I'm sure many of them are there just because of who they are.


  2. Given the area of the country and the time period during which the photo was taken, it’s not surprising to see that the inmates working are black.

    It's possible that many of them were innocent.

    Now . . .. before the “politically correct” crowd attacks me, I would like to clarify that I am not a racist, nor do I subscribe to abusing, degrading, or humiliating the incarcerated. I believe that each person should be judged as an individual, regardless of race or creed. I also believe that all prisoners should be treated humanely, educated, and rehabilitated whenever possible. The rate of recidivism in our penal system is far too high, and we are failing in that regard.

    However, that being said, a criminal is a criminal no matter what color they are; and the punishment should fit the crime. There are some crimes that are so egregious that they require capital punishment; and there are some individuals who cannot be rehabilitated.

    For example, we recently had an incident here in Rhode Island in which a man shot his neighbor IN THE BACK because the victim’s son hit his car with a tennis ball. Really. And even though this guy was sentenced to “life” in prison, he will eventually get out on parole - and while he’s in prison, he can work out in the gym, go to college, get a law degree, all at my expense.

    As far as I’m concerned, this guy should work on a chain gang for the rest of his life.

    And people who rape and murder innocent children need to be sent to the chair.

  3. Amen, Smart Girl.

  4. Truthfully, prisons are for the most part, full of scumbags who for the most part have no conscience. I am opposed the capital punishment, but I am in favor of hard labor. God forbid, if a loved one of mine was murdered, I would prefer the dirtbag spend every waking day (except Sunday) breaking rocks from morning till sunset. A cell with no "luxuries" and three bland meals a day (just enough to provide nutrition, not culinary enjoyment). I feel that life from the unborn to the convict, should not be taken by mankind but by the hand of God. MY opinion only; I respect opposing views. God Bless.

  5. Pope George Ringo I respect your opinion, I have many friends who feel the same way you do. In my opinion, people like Charlie Manson, and even this Lockerbie bomber that they just released because he's dying of cancer, should have been put to death for their crimes. My sociology professor told us the death penalty wasn't a crime deterrent, but it obviously is for that particular criminal.

  6. I wonder if they are dancin' to the jail house rock?

  7. Hi, Heather:

    First of all, where (and how) have you been? Give me a shout on my private line.

    You hit the nail on the head, and your sociology professor is wrong, wrong, wrong. But of course, those guys are always touchy-feely when it comes to this sort of thing. I took some sociology courses in way back in college, and the professors were all a bunch of leftover hippies.

    The death penalty obviously isn't a deterrent for those who really are insane, but it certainly is for those who can think before they pull the trigger, or whatever it is that they are going to do.

    It’s also effective in inducing the guilty to admit what they’ve done when there’s a possibility of being sent to the chair.

    I wish we still had it here in RI. There are plenty who deserve it.

  8. In the year 2000, five young men (all with lengthy criminal records), robbed, kidnapped, and murdered two innocent college students in Providence, RI, all for $18.

    You can read the story of this terrible crime by clicking on the following link:

    At first, the RI Attorney General’s office was going to charge them under the state laws. However, RI does not have the death penalty. Therefore, families of the victims began a campaign to have these lowlifes charged under the Federal carjacking statue, which carries the death penalty.

    When the US Attorney for RI announced that they were going to charge the perpetrators under federal law and seek the death penalty, four of the five immediately pled guilty in exchange for their lives. Three of them are now serving life sentences in federal prison with no possibility for parole. The fourth man is serving a minimum of thirty years. A fifth man (who claimed he was not directly involved and who maintained that he tried to stop the murders) refused to enter a plea. Eventually, a e federal judge threw his case out of court. He was subsequently tried under the state laws, found guilty, and sentenced to four consecutive life sentences.

    My point is that when the death penalty was announced, four of the five pled guilty and saved the victims’ families the agony of those trials - although I still think that all five should have gone to the electric chair.

    This case is also the subject of a book that was written by the detectives who worked on the case:

    Thrill Killers: A True Story of Innocence and Murder Without Conscience (Hardcover)
    by Raymond Pingitore and Paul Lonardo

    It’s one of the best testaments for the capital punishment that you’ll ever encounter.

  9. Bring back public hangings! Every courthouse in America should be equipped with gallows in plain view. That is a deterrent to crime.

  10. heyyyy everybody,,,,
    heathers baaaaack,,,,,
    the worlds a better place now,
    missed ya,

  11. As above, good to see you back,
    Heather. Hope you had a good summer.

  12. I find everyone's comments about capitol punishment interesting. I was against it until the John Wayne Gacy killings in Chicago. One of my girlfriends attended the lecture delivered by the Cook County Coronor about this case. It was pretty bad.

    Now, I juxtapose the pro death penalty tenor here with something my mother told me a while back. She was born in Belgium in 1918. She told me that up until WW2, there was no death penalty in Belgium. Someone who committed a heinous crime was instead sentenced to life in prison without parole.

    But.... This person would then be written off the public records. They would have absolutely no contact with the outside world, no contact of any kind with any family or friends. They would be in solitary confinement until the end of their days. No contact with other prisoners. They would be dead to everyone else for all intents and purposes.

    The idea was that this could be a reversible sentence should new information turn up clearing the prisoner of the crime. But I wonder how "reversible" it would be, psychologically speaking, after years of isolation.

    Mama said that Belgium gave this up at the start of the war. They didn't have the ability to do it under the circumstances.

    In many regards, the Belgian approach in the early 20th century is more barbaric than leaving someone to rot on death row for 25 years.

  13. Awww gee thanks guys for missing me! I was still dropping by often, just didn't make any comments. I was really enjoying all of yours! I've been spending my free time volunteering - helping unemployed people create dynamic resumes, helping them with interviewing skills, teaching them computer skills and how to search the internet for jobs. It's been very enjoyable, especially when they get a job! I'm teaching two workshops in September on "How to Ace Your Telephone Interview" and "Preparing for Behavioral Interview Questions".

    You guys are the best! Dropping in to say hello is like a "Cheers" episode! (Hmmmm wonder which one I am? Just as long as I'm not Lilith)

  14. Heather:

    I’m glad to hear that everything is OK and that you’ve had a good summer!! Your projects sound very interesting and worthwhile!!!

    I”d love to do some of that stuff eventually , but right now I’ve been focused on the two-household consolidation and my dad.

    Please take the time to comment, though - we miss you!!

  15. Anon:

    You said it. I agree - and with all the DNA technology today, the chances of mistaken identity are much less.

  16. Marie:

    That system in Belgium sounds like a viable alternative in societies where the death penalty is absolutely forbidden, but you have criminals beyond rehabilitation or who have committed the most horrible crimes.

  17. The date of the picture is very true. The man playing guitar is the famous Buddy Moss. He was one of the greatest blues men of the 1930s. Then was sent to prison for the murder of his wife.

    The JugMan