The Uphill Slide

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Silence Revisited

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Do people get punished for things others do? Sometimes they do. I learned that lesson in middle school when my teacher lined up my entire class in the hall for punishment of the actions of one classmate. I remember the sting of injustice in her actions. I cannot even remember what infraction was committed or who was responsible. It seemed so unfair then, and even more so now, as I think of it.

Now my son has been punished for either things that never happened or for things someone else did. At Jacob’s sentencing hearing the prosecutor produced a thick packet of my Facebook posts and blog posts and suggested Jacob should be held responsible for those things I wrote. I guess he was suggesting that the words were Jacob’s and not mine because of the way I phrased sentences.

When I used ‘we’ in my posts the ‘we’ was our family. What family of an accused person is not also stung by accusations? It was not solely Jacob’s life that was ¬†turned upside down and inside out; and my posts were written to express our belief in his innocence, as well as our feelings and emotions at the events. The judge, though, did not exactly agree with the prosecutor’s viewpoint of the posts. She laid them at my door to suggest that I might not be suitable to supervise visitation with his son and nephew. Of course, he has no contact with either now, so that was a moot point, at least for¬†now.

Will my words someday be used again against Jacob? Should I be silent about my belief in his innocence or about my view of this injustice to his life and future? Should I refrain from posting anything on social media that might seem like something Jacob would say or think?

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/04/texas-prisons-new-rules-aim-to-force-social-media-to-close-inmate-accounts/

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/04/guest-op-ed-what-if-mlks-letter-from-birmingham-jail-had-been-on-facebook/

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/09/4-things-consider-when-running-social-media-campaigns-about-texas-inmates

https://prisonchat.wordpress.com/tag/social-media/

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/south-carolina-department-of-corrections-inmates-punished-facebook/615210

http://thegrio.com/2015/10/22/inmates-got-years-of-solitary-confinement-for-posting-a-music-video-to-social-media/

http://www.wnyc.org/story/prisoners-families-punished-social-media/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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