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Life in Prison

February 11, 2005
By

The recent prison bus strangling death of Philip E. Parker Jr. is, of course, tragic. But for close readers, it offers nearly offhand details that provide a somewhat harrowing look into prison life and the justice system. Today’s Sun story, by Greg Garland, reveals that one reason guards couldn’t see what was happening was because the lights in the bus were broken!? Also, prosecutors are clearly relieved that the crime apparently took place in Baltimore County (near the I-70/Beltway interchange), where juries are much more likely to apply the death penalty than in the city (the bus was headed from Hagerstown to Supermax). Previous stories (no mini-site, but an archives search will bring up several pieces) reveal more details that will make you want to write your state representative, whether you’re a strict law-and-order type or in favor of prison reform. Read them all.