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“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.

18. California Convicts and Punishes Teenagers as Adults

Source: THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN, January 27, 1999, Title: “The Lost Boys: California is Trying Kids as Adults-and Locking Them Up for Life. No One Knows How Many, “ Author: A. Clay Thompson

Faculty Evaluator: Peter Duffy
Student Researchers: Jeremiah Price & Michael Spigel

In California, minors as young as 14 are being pushed into the adult criminal justice system. As a result children face adult punishments sometimes as severe as life in prison.

Los Angeles County juvenile district attorney Tom Higgins ships more than 600 children into the adult system every year. Higgins states, “The highest violence potential is for people between the ages of 16 and 31. If we have incar-cerated a large part of the population for that part of their lives, we have probably made a significant impact on crimes.” Justifying these numbers, Higgins claims that “There is a lack of judgment, maturity, reflection in a youth. There is a failure to appreciate consequence, an aura of invincibility.”

A fitness hearing trial is used in California to determine whether a minor should be tried as an adult. Paul S. D. Berg, Ph.D., a forensic pathologist who has testified in dozens of fitness hearings states: “The only cases that end up in these hearings are serious cases, so the criterion is met by definition.” Though the state does not keep track of how many of their youths go from fitness hearings to adult court, research into prosecution patterns in seven counties reveal that between 80 and 90 percent of juvenile suspects given a fitness hearing do, in fact, end up in adult court. Once these kids end up in adult court, there is little to no tracking process to follow up on results. The state of California has no idea how many teenagers are being sentenced to life in prison.

Section 707 of the penal code was revamped in 1994 by the then-state assembly members Steve Peace (D-El Cajon) and Chuck Quackenbush (R-San Jose) who were using 707 to attract tough-on-crime votes. Section 707 makes it easier to try teens accused of serious offenses in the adult system. While the lock-kids-up-for-life policy may have sounded like a good idea to many voters sick of violent crime, criminologists say it has no crime-fighting value, and punishes kids who really didn’t understand the consequences of their actions.

In 1996, Eric Lotke of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives and Vincent Schiraldi of the Justice Policy Institute studied the effect of transferring juveniles to adult court. “The data shows that states with higher transfer rates do not have lower homicide rates,” their report stated. “Connecticut has the highest transfer rate in the nation, and it has the same youth homicide rate as Colorado, whose transfer rate is nearly zero. Michigan and Massachusetts have nearly the same transfer rates, but their youth homicide rates are among the highest and lowest, respectively.”

Professor Thomas Grisso, a leading researcher in developmental psychology and director of forensic training and research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, says you don’t have to be a developmental psychologist to recognize the difference between a 14 year-old and a 24-year-old. “As a parent, imagine your 14-year-old approaching you and saying, ‘Dad, I want to get married.’ The parent will probably reply with something like, ‘They just aren’t ready to take responsibility,’ or ‘They just aren’t able yet to see all the consequences of the choices they might make.’ That parent is right. Developmental psychologists will tell you that while 14-year-olds on average are capable of considering future consequences, they simply aren’t accustomed yet to doing it.”

UPDATE FROM AUTHOR A. CLAY THOMPSON: Fueled by a youth-phobic media, politicians at all levels are busy dismembering America’s century-old juvenile justice system. With little discussion, more than 40 states in the past decade have passed laws making it easier to cast kids into adult courts and prisons.

“The Lost Boys” is a look at California’s juvenile justice rollback—a process that began in earnest in 1994 and is blazing on as I write. Working on the story I was startled by how little information is collected on the kids who are being treated as adults by the courts. Nobody knows how many kids are being shipped to the criminal big leagues, what kind of sentences they’re getting, or what happens to them when they get to state penitentiaries. Top-level state officials acknowledged they have almost no data on the trend. Nationwide statistics are skimpy at best. Despite the lack of data-and a half decade of plummeting teen crime rates-politicians across the country are rushing to gut the juvenile justice system entirely.

As our society’s ultimate Other, incarcerated kids are voiceless in the mainstream media. For “The Lost Boys,” I went to court so one boy might tell his story. Charged with a drive-by slaying, 16-year-old Sou Liem Saechao of Alameda County, California, was awaiting trial as an adult and looking at life in prison. Sou wanted to talk; his lawyer granted me permission to interview him, as did his parents. Yet the county that deemed Sou mature enough to spend perpetuity in the pen said he was too young to speak to the press—even though the daily papers had named him as an indicted murder suspect. I won—or rather, my paper’s attorney won—the legal battle to interview the teen, but not until after deadline. To tell Son’s story I was forced to rely on his jailhouse writings and conversations with his family.

The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice is tracking the juvenile justice rollback. To learn more, call the center at (415) 621-5661 or check its Web site at

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