“Jolly Jane” Toppan was “the most notorious woman poisoner of modern times”

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“Jolly Jane” Toppan worked as a nurse in New England in the late 19th Century and was well-loved by her patients for her conscientious attention and cheerful disposition. She confessed to poisoning 31 of those patients, and quite possibly did in a lot more.

[Criminal Episode 38: Jolly Jane]

Cops already plotting how to get around Supreme Court ruling requiring a warrant to search cell phones

Notice how the focus is on figuring out more ways to search phones, not more ways to make sure they obey the law. This doesn’t make me feel any safer. Quite the opposite.

Law Enforcement, DOJ Already Plotting How To Get Around Supreme Court’s Warrant Requirement To Search Phones

An end to prisons

Electronic location monitoring using GPS is potentially more effective and humane than prison.

The US should:

  1. Move those imprisoned for offenses short of homicide or sexual assault to GPS-supervised house arrest as soon as is practicable, with a guaranteed, immediate prison stay for those who violate its terms.

  2. Reserve prisons for repeat offenders and those who’ve committed truly heinous crimes.

There are obviously other details to be worked out. You wouldn’t want people convicted of domestic violence to be sentenced to home confinement with their victims, for instance; in those cases, some kind of alternate housing would have to be offered to ensure separation.

But if successful, this plan could reduce admissions by at least half, probably much more. Hopefully, this will just be a temporary measure. In principle, it could get to the point technologically where house arrest becomes as hard to escape as prison is. At that point, abolishing prison outright starts to become imaginable. UK home secretary David Blunkett spoke too soon when he referred to electronic monitoring as “prison without bars,” but that dream is attainable. 

This could be a tough sell in the US. There’s an awful lot of money in the prison-industrial complex. And the American character has a brutal oppressive streak. We like to see people suffer.

Prisons are terrible, and there’s finally a way to get rid of them