Well, it would be nice if these guys ever went to jail for anything, but it seems unlikely that they will go to jail for this. A grand jury in South Texas handed down indictments against various current and former public officials connected with wrongdoing in private prisons — including, most notably, Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales. The prison company, The GEO Group, was charged with three counts of murder and manslaughter. This is an ugly, complicated story, so let’s cut to the chase: how many South Texas prisoners has Dick Cheney had shipped up to his basement dungeon in the Naval Observatory for experiments?
Cheney and Gonzales are both accused of engaging in organized criminal activity and profiting from the prison system. Cheney has investments in The Vanguard Group — you know, that huge financial company that manages like half of America’s investment accounts? — and Vanguard apparently “holds financial interests” in these terrible private prisons where people get beaten to death. Al Gonzales maybe swung his weight around to stop investigations of prisoner abuse while he was Attorney General.
Numerous horrors take place daily in these privately run prisons. In 2001, an inmate was beaten to death with padlocks stuffed into socks. For this, The GEO Group had to pay the family of the deceased $47.5 million.
A whole bunch of other people have been indicted by the Willacy County grand jury, including several political enemies of outgoing district attorney Juan Guerra, which makes some people speculate if he’s just trying to get in a few final licks before he leaves office. Guerra says of course that isn’t the case, and that “the people who should have been looking out for the inmate were instead making money off the system.”
This whole thing is grim, and weird. Can’t we just indict Cheney for shooting that nice old man in the face?