Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Kalief Browder: Remember His Name

Twenty-two-year-old Kalief Browder hanged himself last week. This brief story reports on his death, and this longer story explains why you should care.

At age 14, Browder was arrested on suspicion of stealing a backpack in the Bronx. He ended up spending three years at Rikers Island without a trial, two years of that time in solitary confinement, being beaten and starved by guards and abused by other inmates.

He maintained his innocence throughout, even though he was constantly told that he should just plead guilty so he could get out. The charges against him were finally dropped.

As his lawyer put it last night on All In with Chris Hayes, Browder's case crystallizes everything that's wrong with our criminal justice and prison system.

Kalief Browder in July 2014. Photo by Zach Gross.

1 comment:

Gina said...

It is horrifying, shocking, shameful what happened to this young man. How do you reform an imperfect system when the reformers are imperfect themselves? I get discouraged by legislatures who demonstrate their talent for not working together for the common good, and putting political ideologies ahead of what's good for the state or country. Until we have more enlightened people elected to govern, we will have imperfect systems that hurt more often than help anyone.