Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

August 28, 2010

The New Prison Ray of Death

by TomStrong

Some things you just cannot make up:

A device designed to control unruly inmates by blasting them with a beam of intense energy that causes a burning sensation is drawing heat from civil rights groups who fear it could cause serious injury and is “tantamount to torture.”

The mechanism, known as an “Assault Intervention Device,” is a stripped-down version of a military gadget that sends highly focused beams of energy at people and makes them feel as though they are burning. The Los Angeles County sheriff’s department plans to install the device by Labor Day, making it the first time in the world the technology has been deployed in such a capacity.

Maybe this is the sort of thing that Ray Bradbury had in mind when he assessed that government was too big. I’d certainly rather have tax dollars going toward exploring space than coming up with new way to control inmates likely in jail for violating drug laws.

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  • http://QandO.net Bryan Pick

    I “made it up” as soon as I heard about the Active Denial System. I told people it was only a matter of time before you saw it used in prisons and probably in other confined places where violence might break out and you’ll want to put people down with minimum violence (e.g., banks).

    My question is, when will the first person be trapped in a place where they can turn this thing on and keep the person cooking? And who will be the first to do such a thing? Chain someone to a chair, put them in a jail cell or a pit, whatever, then turn it on and leave it on for an extended time. That’s torture.

  • John222

    While I don’t like the idea of this machine being used and it’s potential for abuse, I think the story about the backscatter x-ray machines being mobilized by local law enforcement (or anyone with the money to buy one)worries me more.

    http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2010/08/24/full-body-scan-technology-deployed-in-street-roving-vans/

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