Check their wallets first

You know the classic joke, “What’s worse than being mistakenly locked in jail for three years?” And the very funny punchline goes, “When you find out you aren’t entitled to damages because the statute of limitations ran out while you were wrongfully imprisoned!” Please, laugh at this amusing joke for a time, but then calm yourself and absorb the sobering truth: this really happened to a guy, and it probably wasn’t all that funny to him.

Davino Watson is the guy’s name, and holy crap, poor freakin guy! His whole crushing story is over at NPR, but the bullets are:

    • American citizen from Jamaica
    • Sold cocaine
    • Did his time
    • Got out
    • Dubya’s ICE nabs him for some reason
    • Jail
    • Pleads that he’s an American citizen
    • Jail
    • No right to state-appointed attorney in immigration court
    • Jail
    • Jail
    • Jail
    • Jail
    • Three and a half years!
    • Gets out
    • Sues
    • Awarded modest sum for wrongful dicking by the man
    • Court says whoops, nope, zero dollars
    • ???


The full story at NPR lays out the “legal” particulars and is worth a read after you’ve done your homework. The basic fuckery consists of one judge ruling that the statute of limitations could be waived in this case because Davino Watson was goddamn falsely imprisoned when the statute of limitations ran out, couldn’t get a lawyer, and what the hell, man? Yes, give the poor freakin guy some dollars! But the appeals court said erm, actually, we can’t make an exception because this is an “entirely common state of affairs” and no shit, they really said that.

So any lawyers wanna Y/N on the question “Isn’t this basically saying screw your due process if the state’s mistake is related to immigration?” And a follow up, how fucked up is that either way! (Not a question.)

ICE, of course, is in the news lately for other egregious shit that is going to make a lot more of this kind of thing happen, except probably not to pale people so much, but the ones that are darker and talk different.

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  • Villago Delenda Est

    ICE…the 21st Century American Gestapo.

    • WotsAllThisThen

      Now don’t say Trump doesn’t keep his campaign promises!

    • BosGrl


  • Ricky Gay

    Yes, definitely not Vanilla ICE

    • Wild Cat

      More Ice-9.

      • Ricky Gay

        Vonnegut libelz!

        • Oblios_Cap

          I’d be interested to see what he would have said if he had lived to see our idiot president.

    • (((fka_donnie_d)))

      Well, maybe vanilla but no sugar

  • Oblios_Cap

    Get that West Virginia ACLU lawyer on this, posthaste!

  • Nounverb911

    Have they billed him for his three years of Obamacare yet?

    • Oblios_Cap

      And any dental work he might have had done, plus room & board.

  • memzilla Ω

    CContainment &

  • Oblios_Cap

    Colorblind justice, I’m sure.

  • Sold cocaine

    Moral of the story: Dealing Coke is bad juju and can mess up your future.

    • Oblios_Cap

      Especially New Coke.

      • WIDTAP

        Coke Zero was so bad that they had to replace it with Coke Zero Sugar. Now that is some bad shit.

      • WotsAllThisThen

        As a general rule, it’s best to stay away from any drink endorsed by Bill Cosby.

        • WIDTAP

          Puddin’ Pop Libel!

          • WotsAllThisThen

            Yes you’ll wake up feeling like you got the puddin’ pop

        • Lance Thrustwell

          Don’t drink that Coke!

    • coozledad

      Unless you’re a legacy at Harvard.

      • You talking about that traffic stop in Houston that Dubya’s father had expunged from his permanent arrest record?

  • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

    “No right to state-appointed attorney in immigration court.”
    Not even as a bona-fide citizen?

  • MynameisBlarney


  • WotsAllThisThen

    Oh sure, they get away with it, but when I keep someone locked up in my basement for 3 years everyone’s all like oh you can’t do that!

    • Oblios_Cap

      Only if you give it lotion to put on its skin.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      It’s the John Fowles defense. Hey, I’m just a collector! No harm in that.

  • Oblios_Cap

    So Donnie Two Scoops is taking a 17-day vacation on our dime. I’ll bet he charges the government for the rooms he stays in, too. The poor guy is just so overworked, doing something sometimes, I guess.

  • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

    Reading the majority’s decision is an exercise in technical justifications and extremely tenuous reasoning. They essentially stretch the definition of “false imprisonment” to an absurd degree (by stating that the moment Watson was provided “legal process”, even though he was denied assistance of counsel, the statute of limitations began to run) and assert that because Watson protested his deportation he cannot assert that the statute of limitations should have been stopped (though they oh so condescendingly say that it would have merely been “extremely difficult”, which isn’t sufficient under their reading of the law).

    • willi0000000

      i knew i wouldn’t like the answer to the questions i asked a few ago.

    • TX Dept. of Space Tacos

      chances of reversal at SCOTUS?

      • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

        Coin flip at best. I wouldn’t put money on it, though.

  • calliecallie

    Everything about the prison system in this country truly sucks. ICE also too, but all of it, Katie, really.

  • SeeTrain65

    Pardon me for being legally challenged, but is there any chance he can take his case to a civil court?

    • Jado

      This sort of thing isn’t really going to stop until lawyers stop going for the payday and start suing the ACTUAL AGENT who didn’t believe this guy.

      Agents might think twice about this crap if they were the ones being dragged through court personally, with the Agency brought in as a Plaintiff witness to detail when and how this agent was trained in his duties, but then decided to ignore his training and call the brown guy a liar. It wouldn’t be worth it economically, but it might serve as a deterrent

      • SeeTrain65

        Interesting …

  • coozledad

    We have to actively work to dismantle the party that created the conditions for this affront to justice, and beat down their doors, take their shit, and throw them across the ocean somewhere.

    Time is running out to fuck these people up.

    • Red Bird

      Time ran out when they declared independence from England. Stuff like this has always happened in the country but since it happens mostly to black and brown people, few people cared.

  • NastyBossetti

    So if someone’s rights are violated by the state, but it happens to a lot of people all the time, then it’s cool, don’t worry about it?

    • alpacapunchbowl

      Equal (lack of) Protection, perhaps.

  • La forza del resistino

    Kafka’s The Trial was a good fiction read, but when applied to real life, this story sucks

  • Nounverb911


    Oooh, the Blue Angels are flying over my house right now, too bad there is so much smoke from the BC Canada fires that you can’t see them….

    Thanks, Trudeau.

    • Bill D. Burger

      They were here in the Denver area last July. And they are indeed amazing.

    • alpacapunchbowl

      I always forget when the Air and Water Show is scheduled here in Chicago, but I sure do figure it out when the pilots spend the week beforehand practicing and very intentionally “buzzing the tower” around the tall buildings in the loop.
      I have yet to actually shit my pants, but I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if it happened.

      • OrdinaryJoe

        Lol. Few months after I moved to San Francisco, I was living in Pacific Heights. Walked out my front door one Sunday morning to the sight of four blue F18’s screaming across the bay seemingly not too far above the water looking for all I could imagine like they were coming straight at me. They pulled up and went near vertical, I sat down and nearly shit my pants. That’s how I learned about Fleet Week.

  • Bill D. Burger

    [You know the classic joke, “What’s worse than being mistakenly locked in jail for three years?” And the very funny punchline goes, “When you find out you aren’t entitled to damages because the statute of limitations ran out while you were wrongfully imprisoned!”]

    Take it away lil’ Ricky. What does The Party of Personal Responsibility and this administration have to say for themselves:

  • alpacapunchbowl

    ICE is packed to the gills with complete and utter pieces of shit. That NPR article is damning, but not the least bit surprising to any of us who have advocated on behalf immigrants and asylum seekers.

    • BosGrl

      I don’t know what country we live in anymore.

      • willi0000000

        Russia Lite.

      • janecita

        Same racist country as before.

      • CindyinEncinitas

        Blackwater will reveal that when it’s time.

      • Arguman

        KKK country but not only have they gotten rid of the hoods but they’re running around naked

  • OutOfOrbit


  • willi0000000

    couple of questions:

    1. doesn’t the government (State Dept?) keep records of who they grant citizenship to? . . . and don’t the courts demand that that particular database be searched before trial?

    2. the government falsely imprisoned this guy 3½ years prior but they also held him unlawfully right up to the day they let him go . . . so shouldn’t the clock start on the last day he was falsely imprisoned?

    [ i know i’m not going to like the legal answers to either of those questions ]

  • Alienist

    That’s a heck of a catch, that Catch-22.

  • janecita

    Man, I’m glad that I’m a very pale Cuban-American. These ICE fuckers, are scary as hell!

  • Angela Ruzzo

    Statutes of limitations are rigged everywhere. For example, they run out on a worker’s comp claim after 2 years in Missouri, but it is extremely common for injuries not to develop into chronic problems for 5 or 10 years after an accident. Fall down a flight of stairs in 1984 because the stairs were not built properly and collapsed? Develop chronic sciatica in 1990? Too bad, the statute of limitations ran out. They do this on purpose.

    • Mehmeisterjr


      Child rapists get a lot of statute of limitations slack.

      Also guys who grab pussies like a bitch because they are celebrities.

  • Arguman

    I hate that it’s come to this, but what if someone set up a GoFundMe for him?

    • Red Bird

      Why not? There’s a GoFundMe for cops who kill brown people.

    • Manders

      I would give to that.

  • Red Bird

    Basically, if they arrest you for anything they can ask you where you were born. If you say you were born somewhere other than the US, they can hold you indefinitely while they “investigate” you citizenship.

  • BearWithPreExistingVotes

    Perhaps years of doing only e-discovery have fried my brain, but isn’t there a concept of “continuing course of conduct” for statute of limitations purposes?

  • covfefesumgame0005

    whomever was head of ICE at the time should be fined to hell and back then fined until he/she joins the poors and a piece sliced off for this guy…

  • Zyxomma

    Well stated, Alex. Thanks?

  • cheetojeebus

    Somebody needs to ram that statue of limitations up somebody’s keester. Also too, ICE is a malignancy. Fuck those rat bastards.

  • Jado

    If that guy had been from Fresno instead of Jamaica, Captain America would have rescued him. His own fault for being from Jamaica. Should have been an asian guy from Fresno

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