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The 1974 Carrasco Prison Siege at Huntsville, Texas
From one o’clock on the afternoon of July 24, 1974, until shortly before ten o’clock the night of August 3, eleven days later, one of the longest hostage-taking sieges in the history of the United States took place in Texas’s Huntsville State Prison. The ringleader, Federico (Fred) Gomez Carrasco, the former boss of the largest drug-running operation in south Texas, was serving life for assault with intent to commit murder on a police officer. Using his connections to smuggle guns and ammunition into the prison, and employing the aid of two other inmates, he took eleven prison workers and four inmates hostage in the prison library. Demanding bulletproof helmets and vests, he planned to use the hostages as shields for his escape. Negotiations began immediately with prison warden H. H. Husbands and W. J. Estelle, Jr., Director of the Texas Department of Corrections. The Texas Rangers, the Department of Public Safety, and the FBI arrived to assist as the media descended on Huntsville. When one of the hostages suggested a moving structure of chalkboards padded with law books to absorb bullets, Carrasco agreed to the plan. The captors entered their escape pod with four hostages and secured eight others to the moving barricade. While the target was en route to an armored car, Estelle had his team blast it with fire hoses. In a violent end to the standoff, Carrasco committed suicide, one of his two accomplices was killed (the other later executed), and two hostages were killed by their captors.
Inside the Urban Underground of Dumpster Diving, Trash Picking, and Street Scavenging
“Patrolling the neighborhoods of central Fort Worth, sorting through trash piles, exploring dumpsters, scanning the streets and the gutters for items lost or discarded, I gathered the city's degraded bounty, then returned home to sort and catalogue the take.”
—From the Introduction
In December of 2001 Jeff Ferrell quit his job as tenured professor, moved back to his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, and, with a place to live but no real income, began an eight-month odyssey of essentially living off of the street. Empire of Scrounge tells the story of this unusual journey into the often illicit worlds of scrounging, recycling, and second-hand living. Existing as a dumpster diver and trash picker, Ferrell adopted a way of life that was both field research and free-form survival. Riding around on his scrounged BMX bicycle, Ferrell investigated the million-dollar mansions, working-class neighborhoods, middle class suburbs, industrial and commercial strips, and the large downtown area, where he found countless discarded treasures, from unopened presents and new clothes to scrap metal and even food.
Richly illustrated throughout, Empire of Scrounge is both a personal journey and a larger tale about the changing values of American society. Perhaps nowhere else do the fault lines of inequality get reflected so clearly than at the curbside trash can, where one person's garbage often becomes another's bounty. Throughout this engaging narrative, full of a colorful cast of characters, from the mansion living suburbanites to the junk haulers themselves, Ferrell makes a persuasive argument about the dangers of over-consumption. With landfills overflowing, today’s highly disposable culture produces more trash than ever before—and yet the urge to consume seems limitless.
In the end, while picking through the city's trash was often dirty and unpleasant work, unearthing other people's discards proved to be unquestionably illuminating. After all, what we throw away says more about us than what we keep.
capital punishment and the making of America, 1683–1807
Executing Democracy: Capital Punishment & the Making of America, 1683-1807 is the first volume of a rhetorical history of public debates about crime, violence, and capital punishment in America. This examination begins in 1683, when William Penn first struggled to govern the rowdy indentured servants of Philadelphia, and continues up until 1807, when the Federalists sought to impose law-and-order upon the New Republic.
This volume offers a lively historical overview of how crime, violence, and capital punishment influenced the settling of the New World, the American Revolution, and the frantic post-war political scrambling to establish norms that would govern the new republic.
By presenting a macro-historical overview, and by filling the arguments with voices from different political camps and communicative genres, Hartnett provides readers with fresh perspectives for understanding the centrality of public debates about capital punishment to the history of American democracy.
Volume Two: Capital Punishment and the Making of America, 1835-1843
This eye-opening and well-researched companion to the first volume of Executing Democracy enters the death-penalty discussion during the debates of 1835 and 1843, when pro-death penalty Calvinist minister George Barrell Cheever faced off against abolitionist magazine editor John O’Sullivan. In contrast to the macro-historical overview presented in volume 1, volume 2 provides micro-historical case studies, using these debates as springboards into the discussion of the death penalty in America at large. Incorporating a wide range of sources, including political poems, newspaper editorials, and warring manifestos, this second volume highlights a variety of perspectives, thus demonstrating the centrality of public debates about crime, violence, and punishment to the history of American democracy. Hartnett’s insightful assessment bears witness to a complex national discussion about the political, metaphysical, and cultural significance of the death penalty.
Contemporary Religious Discourse on the Death Penalty
With passion and precision, Exile and Embrace examines the key elements of the religious debates over capital punishment and shows how they reflect the values and self-understandings of contemporary Americans. Santoro demonstrates that capital punishment has relatively little to do with the perpetrators and much more to do with those who would impose the punishment. Because of this, he convincingly argues, we should focus our attention not on the perpetrators and victims, as is typically the case in debates pro and con about the death penalty, but on ourselves and on the mechanisms that we use to impose or oppose the death penalty.
An important book that will appeal to those involved in the death penalty debate and to general religious studies and American studies scholars, as well.
"These essays...show us the human and inhuman realities of capital punishment through the eyes of the condemned and those who work with them. By focusing on those awaiting death, they present the awful truth behind the statistics in concrete, personal terms." â€”William J. Bowers, author of Legal Homicide Between 1930 and 1967, there were 3,859 executions carried out under state and civil authority in the United States. Since the ten-year moratorium on capital punishment ended in 1977, more than one hundred prisoners have been executed. There are more than two thousand men and women now living on death row awaiting their executions. Facing the Death Penalty offers an in-depth examination of what life under a sentence of death is like for condemned inmates and their families, how and why various professionals assist them in their struggle for life, and what these personal experiences with capital punishment tell us about the wisdom of this penal policy. The contributors include historians, attorneys, sociologists, anthropologists, criminologists, a minister, a philosopher, and three prisoners. One of the prisoner-contributors is Willie Jasper Darden, Jr., whose case and recent execution after fourteen years on death row drew international attention. The inter-disciplinary perspectives offered in this book will not solve the death penalty debate, but they offer important and unique insights on the full effects of American capital punishment provisions. While the book does not set out to generate sympathy for those convicted of horrible crimes, taken together, the essays build a case for abolition of the death penalty. "This work stands with the best of whatâ€™s been written. It represents the best of those who have seen the worst." â€”Colman McCarthy, The Washington Post Book World
Incarceration and Transitions to Adulthood among Urban Youth
Parenting from Within the Juvenile Justice System
Crime and young fatherhood have generally been viewed as separate social problems. Increasingly, researchers are finding that these problems are closely related and highly concentrated in low-income communities. Fatherhood Arrested is an in-depth study of these issues and the difficulties of parenting while in prison and on parole. By taking us inside the prison system, Nurse shows how its structure actively shapes an inmate's relationship with his children. For example, visitation is sometimes restricted to blood relatives and wives. Because relationships between unmarried men and the mothers of their children are often strained, some mothers are unwilling to allow their children to go to the prison with the inmate's family. Or the father may be allowed to receive visits from only one "girlfriend," which forces a man with multiple relationships, or with children by different women, to make impossible choices. Special attention is paid to the gendered nature of prison, its patriarchal and punitive structure, and its high-stress environment. The book then follows newly paroled men as they are released and return to their children. The author spent four years doing research at the California Youth Authority, during which time she surveyed 258 paroled fathers. The group included young white, black, and Latino men, ages sixteen to twenty-five. She conducted in-depth interviews with men selected from this group, participated in forty parenting class sessions, and observed visiting hours at three different institutions. The data provide fascinating information about the characteristics of the men, their attitudes toward fatherhood, and the ways they are involved with their children. The diversity of the fathers allows for an analysis of racial and ethnic variation in their attitudes and involvement. The study concludes with a series of policy suggestions, especially important in light of the large number of fathers now living under the care and control of the juvenile justice system. "Fatherhood Arrested provides a timely, thoughtful analysis of a pressing social problem-how the justice system thwarts the relationship between young fathers and their children. Nurse's study illuminates the mechanisms by which models of individual account-ability work in contradictory ways with regard to parental responsibility and criminal justice to damage familial bonds, and proposes concrete, rational suggestions for social change. Her careful integration of survey and qualitative research provides a model for blending methodologies. The result is a well-written, engaging work that offers a compelling picture of the human side of incarcerated young men. This book deserves a wide readership." --Jody Miller, author of One of the Guys: Girls, Gangs, and Gender