Jackson FREE PRESS The Cityâ€™s Smart Alternative 6OL \ .O *ANUARY
â€˜CARNAGEâ€™ REVIEW MODAK-TRURAN, P 26
SURPRISE, SURPRISE: MOVING TOWARD SUPER BOWL XLVI FLYNN, P 32
WHAT A PAIN! ABADE, P 38
OUT FEEDING THE â€˜CRADLE-TO-PRISONâ€™ PIPELINE WELLS, PP 14 - 24
Cinema Mississippi The Matchmaker Wednesday, January 25, 7:15pm
Brothers Thursday, January 26, 7:15pm
A Matter of Size Saturday, January 28, 7:15pm
Jews & Baseball Sunday, January 29, 3:00pm
January 25 to 29, 2012
Malco Grandview Theatre 221 Grandview Boulevard, Madison, MS $10, Individual Tickets | $35, Festival Pass $5, Students For more information visit www.jewishcinemams.com.
January 18 - 24, 2012
January 25 Tickets On Sale Now
at the Coliseum Box Office Northpark Mall Guest Services Desk Charge by Phone 800-745-3000 Online at ticketmaster.com
January 18 - 24, 2012
1 0 N O . 19
contents VALERIE WELLS
6 No Means No Is the Legislature planning an endrun around voters on Personhood? Locals protest.
COURTESY MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Cover illustration by Kristin Brenemen
A Victim Speaks A rape victim urges Mississippians to rally around lawmakers to make changes to the guv’s powers. COURTESY JCM2012
deborah rae wright Wright grew up in a small town in Texas, northwest of Wichita Falls, in the late ’60s and early ’70s and was, she admits, somewhat of a hippie and a rebel. She attended nursing school in Austin, Texas, and spent much of her life as an ICU nurse before starting her own business auditing clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies. She first visited Jackson in 1997 and started working with Voice of Calvary Ministries. In 2001, she made Jackson her home. “I knew I wanted to live in the community of friends I had made,” Wright says about her choice to move here. Her life’s work, racial reconciliation, began 25 years ago as the “fullness of understanding of Scripture” came to her and she saw the need. “It’s not about me; it’s about others. It is what I strive and yearn for.” The list of neighborhood groups, homeowner associations and community organizations to which she belongs and participates in includes WESToration, which is committed to restoring west Jackson; Jackson 2000, a group dedicated to improving race relations; and the West Jackson Alliance, which focuses on economic development. “We’re building a greater community for all communities involving greater crosscultural understanding and appreciation.” —Richard Coupe
25 Best of the Best The Jewish Film Festival screens four award-winning films in Madison starting this Wednesday.
34 No Carbs When it comes to eating right, overdoing the carbohydrates may just be doing you in.
deborah Rae Wright, who doesn’t capitalize her first name, has lived in an early 20thcentury home on west Jackson’s Grand Avenue for 11 years. The 59-year-old lives with her current companion, a well-behaved cairn terrier (think Toto) named Zach, whom she rescued a few years ago. “Everything we do is important,” says Wright. “Even where you choose to live.” Although not an artist herself, she describes herself as a designer and innovator. Her house is filled with an eclectic art. The grand hallway has a tree “growing” out of the wall. A haunting photographic re-enactment of the famous Jacques-Louis David painting “The Death of Marat” by Roy Adkins of Light and Glass Studio hangs in her living room. Another tree at the far end of the hallway protrudes from the floor. Its limbs, spread across the width of the hallway, are adorned with ornaments. Wright’s house is a gathering place for organizations, discussion groups and a book club. “What’s mine is not mine,” she says. “I’m just a steward of it. It belongs to God.” The lively Texan’s raison d’etre is clear; even Zach sits up and pays attention when she speaks of her passion for racial reconciliation. Wright is deeply religious and fully committed, but open in her thinking. “We don’t grow up with the understanding of how the Scripture speaks against oppression,” she says.
4 ............. Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 7 .......................... Talks 10 ................... Business 12 ................... Editorial 12 ................. Mike Day 13 .................. Opinion 25 ............... Diversions 26 ......................... Film 27 ..................... 8 Days 28 .............. JFP Events 29 ........................ Music 30 .......... Music Listing 32 ...................... Sports 34 ........................ Food 36 ................. Astrology 36 ..................... Puzzles 38 ................. Body/Soul
Valerie Wells Valerie Wells is assistant editor of the JFP and BOOM Jackson. Send story ideas to valerie@ jacksonfreepress.com. She wrote the cover story.
Kristin Brenemen Art Director Kristin Brenemen is an otaku with a penchant for dystopianism. Her Zombie Survival Kit has been upgraded with three new sonic screwdrivers. She designed the cover and many pages in this issue.
Greg Pigott Greg Pigott is truly an avid fan of every kind of music. He’s also the guy who takes karaoke seriously. He wrote a music feature.
Mimi Abadie Mimi Abadie is a Hattiesburg native and graduate from Ole Miss. She’s a medical student at UMMC and hopes to one day rid the world of HIV and TB. She enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling. She wrote a Body Soul feature.
Jessica Mizell Jessica Mizell’s interests include watching “Love & Hip Hop,” crawfish boils, couponing and her poodle Lola Belle. She is the current JFP New Orleans liaison. She wrote a food piece.
Adriane Louie Adriane Louie is a Jackson native and Millsaps College grad. She loves watching the Food Network and learning about food. Her favorite times of the year include Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. She wrote a food piece.
Anita Modak-Truran Anita Modak-Truran is a Southern convert, having moved here from Chicago more than a decade ago with her husband and son. She loves the culture, cuisine and arts in these parts. She wrote a film review.
January 18 - 24, 2012
JFP Account Executive Mandy Beach, a Milan, Tenn., native, recently moved to the Jackson area with her husband, Ross. She is a mother to a 2-year-old beagle/hound mix named Wrigley, who she is trying to teach how to use a doggy door.
by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief
Rethinking ‘Tough on Crime’
ov. Haley Barbour left a lot of people reeling with his recent round of pardons and clemencies. Among the list are vicious, premeditated murderers. It wasn’t the first time he’s done this—remember that we broke the news of his string of woman-killer pardons in 2008—but this time the state and national media actually paid attention. As a result, Barbour’s popularity is almost certainly at an all-time low. One Republican woman with whom I often disagree on Facebook posted that his approval ratings are probably in the single digits now. Beyond the victims of the so-called “crimes of passion”—Barbour’s insulting and outmoded phrase for the murders many of his trustys committed—and their families, I perhaps feel the most sorry for people in our state who consider themselves “tough on crime” and who thought that Barbour was an ally. In the statements he finally gave late last week after refusing to speak with the victims’ families or the media about the pardons, Barbour cast himself as a compassionate Christian who is helping reformed criminals who have done their time and need a second chance. His standard for that seems to be that he likes them. Many of Barbour’s ardent supporters are stunned, as are his longtime critics. In essence, everyone seems surprised that Barbour isn’t as tough on crime as he’d made himself out in the past (like when he called in a State of the State address for harsher sentences for crimes committed with guns—like many of those he pardoned). Meantime, Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat, is coming across as much tougher on crime, looking like Wyatt Earp as he sends out a posse of “public integrity” investigators to put murderers back in prison. How does this all make sense? Well, I would posit that Barbour may not be as anti-crime as he said he was. The sad truth is that people who scream the loudest about crime are often the ones who do the least to stop it—or prevent it. Of course, there is some good stuff in Barbour’s statement about giving second chances and being forgiving. But why didn’t we hear talk sooner from a governor of his stature about reforming the criminal-justice system (at least in his second term)? Why couldn’t Barbour have led the state into serious prosecutorial reform and called for an investigation into our mucked-up criminal-justice system—one where a popular district attorney (Ed Peters) allowed his assistant (Bobby DeLaughter) to bury evidence that could have cleared Cedric Willis of rape and murder charges before he went to prison for 12 years for crimes he didn’t do? What about all the (black) men DNA evidence has cleared in our state? If Barbour really meant his compassionate statements, he would have called for a moratorium on the death penalty in Mississippi until we can check out every death-row case (and death-penalty cheerleader Jim Hood should do the same thing). There is nothing
Christian about not stopping the execution of a potentially innocent person, even if being pro-death-penalty is considered a great vote getter in our state. The silver lining to Pardongate is that Democrats, Republicans and nonpartisans such as myself stood together in outrage against the pardons of the brutal killers on Barbour’s list, even as many of us saw the point of pardoning someone imprisoned for years for selling pot. In many ways, it was like the Personhood vote in November: The issue transcended party, and Mississippians stood together against a bad and dangerous effort. Mississippians, I hope we can keep this spirit and apply it squarely to crime solutions in our state. Politicians such as Barbour (and let’s be frank, Hood; it wasn’t like he sent a posse out for the 2008 pardon recipients, to our knowledge) too often say what we want to hear about crime and criminals, rather than finding and promoting evidence-based approaches to preventing crime. And when they do promise crime miracles, they always fail because there is a lot more to “fighting” crime than politicians like to admit. For one thing, it’s complicated by economic conditions and the would-be criminal’s circumstances growing up. That is not an apologist statement; I want murderers and rapists off the streets as much as anyone. But I also want to stop crime from happening in the first place, and that goes directly back to good public education, access to health care (including mental services) and building self-esteem in communities most prone to crime due to the curse of history. The science behind helping a child not become a criminal rather than criminalizing him or her into a violent life is behind Val-
erie Wells’ cover story this issue. The “cradleto-prison pipeline” is real, folks—and all this demonizing of young people (especially but not only children of color) feeds directly into a more violent society. Read her story to see why and to get ideas on stopping the pipeline. Politicians aren’t likely to lead on this one; we must step up. The belief that we can spend time stopping crime and reversing criminal tendencies before they worsen is behind the JFP’s support of the domestic batterer’s intervention program we helped Sandy Middleton and the Center for Violence Prevention start in the area. And it is working: Almost none of the batterers who have entered the program (or whom judges sent there) have re-offended. You see, each of us can, and should, hold several different thoughts at once. We must do everything we can to prevent crime from happening and, thus, save lives of victims and would-be criminals. At the same time, we can believe that picking a small handful of “trustys” and pretending that their so-called “crimes of passion” make it OK to release them early is a terribly wrong thing to do. Especially if, as Department of Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps told the JFP, those men aren’t getting any kind of evidenced-based intervention before being let loose to potentially re-offend. Batterers usually don’t stop battering without such intervention. And we can believe in forgiveness, even as we work to ensure that a few dangerous criminals don’t get to vote, hunt or go eat their mama’s butter beans every Sunday while our prisons are filled with nonviolent offenders, perhaps with a few Cedric Willises thrown in. There is a better way to do this. We must demand it from our politicians and ourselves.
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news, culture & irreverence
Thursday, Jan. 12 Chokwe Lumumba, attorney for the Scott sisters, says they will ask Gov. Phil Bryant for a pardon. Gladys and Jamie Scott were not among those pardoned by outgoing Gov. Barbour. â€Ś President Obama makes a visit to his re-election headquarters in Chicago before an evening fundraiser. Friday, Jan. 13 Barbour issues a statement explaining that 90 percent of his pardons were for people who had already been released. The statement says his pardons were intended to allow them to â€œfind gainful employment â€Ś as well as hunt and vote.â€? â€Ś Officials at the Mississippi Department of Corrections announce that inmates given pardons by Barbour for medical reasons will be released. â€Ś President Obama announces his intention to consolidate six economic agencies into one organization. Saturday, Jan. 14 The New Orleans Saints lose to the San Francisco 49ers in the final seconds of the game, 36-32. Sunday, Jan. 15 A spokesman for Phil Bryant announces that the governor will not issue pardons for Mansion trustys, and that he plans to exclude violent offenders from the trusty program. â€Ś â€œThe Descendantsâ€? wins Best Picture in Drama at the 69th annual Golden Globes.
No Means No
Elaine Talbott of Madison attended the â€œNo Means No Protestâ€? Jan. 13 in Jackson.
tilized eggs in the definition of persons. More than 58 percent of Mississippi voters rejected the initiative. Whitney Barkley, a consumer-protection attorney, got the idea to say â€œNo Means Noâ€? by presenting the reading of the classic satire last fall as election fever heated up. She wanted
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to attract like-minded Mississippians and encourage women to find solidarity. Before the reading, Barkley explained the ancient Greek womanâ€™s peace-treaty strategy to the audience. â€œWe are not encouraging anyone to use it in Mississippi,â€? she said. The audience, about half men and half women, laughed. The political lines did not appear drawn along gender in this group. In a slightly more serious tone, Barkley said women in recent years have used collective abstinence as a political statement in Kenya and in Colombia. Before and after the meeting, representatives from Parents Against Mississippi 26 and the American Civil Liberties Union encouraged those who came to sign petitions. Some attending were still stumbling as they said â€œGov. Phil Bryantâ€? for the first time. Atlee Breland, founder of PAMS26, had Valentines for voters to sign and send to their representatives and senators. Elaine Talbott of Madison came to the â€œNo Means No Protestâ€? expecting a rally. She and several friends brought hand-painted signs. She had learned about the event on Facebook. Talbott said she was one of the people who started the â€œItâ€™s Not Easy Leaning Left in Mississippi.â€? â€œIâ€™m from Madison, where itâ€™s really not easy leaning left,â€? she said. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
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January 18 - 24, 2012
Tuesday, Jan. 17 Southern Miss begins enforcing its campus-wide smoking ban. â€Ś Turkeyâ€™s foreign ministry releases a statement calling Rick Perryâ€™s comments regarding Turkey in the South Carolina debate â€œbaseless and inappropriate.â€? Get news updates at jfpdaily.com.
Voters defeated a Personhood ballot initiative in November. The proposed constitutional amendment would have included fer-
Monday, Jan. 16 Wikipedia announces that it will blackout its English language site on Wednesday to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). â€Ś Hattiesburg school officials streamline their field trip process by moving from paper to an electronic system.
by Valerie Wells
ysistrata had a plan to end the 20-year Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. In the year 411 B.C., she gathered women in the warring region together for an important meeting. Then she told them her simple plan for a peace treaty: The women would withhold sex until the men decided to end the war. The women werenâ€™t at all thrilled about the proposal. â€œI would walk through fireâ€”do anything else,â€? the character Cleonice says in Aristophanesâ€™ play, â€œLysistrata.â€? Sex jokes have not changed much in more than 2,000 yearsâ€”from double entendres to men walking oddly. The innuendos translated well with plenty of nudges and winks from eight Jacksonians on stage Friday night. Four men and four women presented a reading of â€œLysistrataâ€? Jan. 13 at The Commons at Eudora Weltyâ€™s Birthplace during the â€œNo Means No Protest.â€? About 30 people came to show support for blocking potential personhood measures in the Legislature. The reading came at the end of busy week of speculation about possible personhood bills sponsored in the Legislature. Although the Legislature had not attached numbers to any bills as of Friday, pro-personhood factions were confident it would happen soon. Les Riley, founder of Personhood Mississippi, told the Jackson Free Press last week that he expects to see one bill in the house and one bill in the senate some time this week.
Wednesday, Jan. 11 Hinds County Circuit Judge Tommie Green issues a temporary injunction blocking the release of 21 convicts pardoned by Gov. Haley Barbour. â€Ś The Centers for Disease Control and Preventionâ€™s annual report notes that, for the first time in 45 years, homicide is not one of the top 15 causes of death in the United States.
Albert Wilson wants a seat on the Jackson City Council. p. 9
School districts use zero-tolerance policies to punish students for any type of offense. In 2010, Jackson Public Schools started using a positive-behavior intervention system instead in its middle and elementary schools.
Haley Barbour, lobbyist, lawyer and former Mississippi governor, started off his political career working for Gerald Fordâ€™s 1976 presidential campaign. Gerald Ford defeated Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination that year, but lost in the general election. He also pardoned former President Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon met his future wife while in a community play called â€œThe Dark Tower,â€? written by George S. Kaufman, a native of Pittsburg, Penn. George S. Kaufman wrote musicals, comedies and political satire, as well as the scripts for several movies starring the Marx Brothers. The Marx Brothersâ€™ comedic antics in movies such as â€œDuck Soupâ€? and â€œThe House That Shadows Builtâ€? brought laughs to Americans suffering from economic difficulties during the Great Depression. During the Great Depression, in Philadelphia, Penn., Charles Darrow became famous for inventing the board game Monopoly, in which players negotiate and strategize to accumulate property and wealth. Monopolyâ€™s design features a white-haired man with a mustache and top hat, known for handing out get-out-of-jail-free cards.
Legislature: Week 2
by R.L. Nave
After an uncharacteristically slow first week, Senate lawmakers introduced more than 175 bills during the sessionâ€™s second week.
ust before the Senate convened on Monday, a young lawmaker tried to jam a fistful of blue and white pieces of paper into an already overstuffed bill box. The scene was telling. The Capitol is finally showing signs of life after an unusually lethargic first week and a half of a legislative session characterized by receptions and resolutions to assign parking spaces. â€œThings are getting kicked off slower than in typical years. Itâ€™ll take some time for folks to settle in,â€? said Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, in an interview Friday. Horhn wasnâ€™t kidding. As of press time on Tuesday, a torrent of 175 bills had poured into various Senate committees. In the other chamber, few bills have emerged in the newly Republican-run House, where Speaker Phillip Gunn, RClinton, has been slow to name all the people who will chair the various committees.
The most legislatively significant House action so far came on Jan. 11, when the body voted on a new set of rules for committee assignments. Specifically, Republicans made sure that their party would control the purse strings on the Appropriations Committee and Ways and Means. Under the new rules, the two committees will consist of six members from each of the four congressional districts based on seniority. The House speaker would then appoint nine at-large representatives to each, rounding out the membership of each committee to 33. Previous rules established 30 seatsâ€”six from each of five congressional districts (a federal court recently took one away through redistricting). The seats were previously appointed based on seniority with the Speaker selecting just three members. Rules Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Formby, R-Picayune, was unapolo-
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getic about the motivation behind the new way of doing business. â€œI donâ€™t deny weâ€™re not trying to give Republicans a majority on the two money committees,â€? Formby said last week. A cursory look at the list of bills signals the reemergence of several controversial measures, which the Republican-led Senate passed in recent years but died in the House. Les Riley, founder of Personhood Mississippi, told the Jackson Free Press last week he expects the House and Senate to introduce versions of a personhood bill shortly. Mississippi voters said emphatically last November that they do not want a personhood amendment to the state constitution. In the meantime, state Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, introduced two abortion-related bills of his own. The first, SB 2008, requires board certification in obstetrics and gynecology for doctors performing abortions in abortion clinics. Another requires abortionclinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Lawmakers also waded into the controversy over ex-Gov. Haley Barbourâ€™s granting clemency to more than 200 criminals. On one hand, two-term Republican Sen. Michael Watsonâ€™s SB 2050 would prohibit convicted murderers from working at the governorâ€™s mansion through the trusty program, while Fillingane introduced a couple of bills to limit the powers of the state attorney general, which prompted criticism from Democrats. Together, the Sunshine Attorney Act (SB 2084) and the Transparency in Private Attorney Contracts Act (SB 2102) revises the state AGâ€™s power to contract legal work to private firms. SB 2084 mandates that the attorney general issue requests for proposals for legal work, requires the state Personal Service Contract Review Board to provide oversight of the agreements and would allow state agencies, typically represented by the AG, to hire their own outside counsel
in â€œcertain situations.â€? SB2102 requires the attorney general to justify using outside counsel, caps the fees outside lawyers can collect and requires the attorney general to post copies of the contracts on the officeâ€™s website. House Democrats called the proposals â€œretaliatory stuntsâ€? aimed at Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood for scuttling many of Barbour pardons on constitutional grounds. â€œYou have a solution looking for a problem,â€? said Rep. Bob Evans, D-Monticello, referring to the bills. â€œThese people who are doing this arenâ€™t trying to cap the amount CEOs are making. It seems like if youâ€™re looking for injustices, you could look at that.â€? Comment at www.jfp.ms.
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