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Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

I’ve been seeing a number of articles lately like this one; the tl;dr version is that only a smallish fraction (around 15%) of people the US locks up in its filthy cage stacks are there for drug crimes.  In this particular example, the author even implies that the number is deceptively high because of plea bargains and such, thus implying that ending prohibition is not really the most important part of ending the abomination of mass incarceration.  And while I cannot fault the facts as stated, in actuality these people are using true statistics as a clever sidestep to admitting that prohibition, especially the wars on drugs and sex, accounts for most of the bloated US prison population.  In other words, they’re using highly-spun data to lie about the centrality of prohibition to the US incarceration machine.  First and foremost, prohibition of anything creates a huge black market in that thing (drugs, sex, guns, etc), and black markets beget crime.  It’s all well & fine to say “most prisoners are there for violent crimes”, but many of those violent crimes were spawned directly or indirectly by prohibition.  Also: the feds & many states magically turn non-violent “offenses” into “violent crimes” with the wave of a legislative wand, such as by classifying uncoerced underage sex work as violent “trafficking”; or criminalizing the mere possession of a firearm by someone also in possession of plant leaves, then defining all “gun crimes” as violent.  And then there’s the fact that obscene amounts of money have been given to police departments so they can hire more thugs, buy more war equipment and pay for more overtime patrolling largely poor and minority neighborhoods in the name of “fighting” drugs, sex work, “terrorism”, weapons, avoidance of confiscatory taxes (“smuggling” in Bureaucratese), etc; this is important because the greater the number of excuses cops can use to harass, detain, search and otherwise force interaction with peaceful citizens going about their business, the larger the number of those citizens will end up beaten, charged with violent crimes like “assault on a police officer” for defending themselves, or just plain framed by racist cops.  And the asset forfeiture that actually inspires a lot of bogus criminal charges?  Justified by the drug war.  Again and again it comes back to that.  So please, wonks and pundits and would-be social engineers, stop claiming that only people directly killed by bullets on the battlefield count as victims of war; a far larger number die of bombs, disease, starvation, accidents, post-injury trauma or infection, or any of a number of other reasons which are the unavoidable results of the glorious adventure you’re trying to cover up for.

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Police are a substantial cause of death…for lots of people. – Frank Edwards

The Cop Myth

1/3 of all Americans killed by strangers are murdered by cops:

…[an average of 3.25] Americans are killed by police every day…of all the homicide victims in the United States, police kill an estimated six percent…But the actual numbers are likely higher…government data is woefully inadequate, so the best available datasets have been created by journalist-driven public programs…In a [new] study…in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of sociologists and criminal justice researchers…determined that police violence is one of the leading causes of death of young men in the United States.  Overall, it’s estimated that the mortality rate is about 1.8 per 100,000 for men between the ages of 25 and 29.  This ranks police…as the sixth leading cause of death for young men, placing it behind…suicide and “accidents” — a category that includes drug overdoses and car accident deaths…

Stalkers in Blue

With modern surveillance and data processing, no woman is safe from sexually-aggressive cops:

…Scott Martin of the Ringgold [Georgia] Police Department [was fired]…for…a pattern of stalking, sexual advances, and abuse of authority…Martin…found [one victim] on Facebook…and repeatedly [messaged her to] suggest…that she sleep with his wife….Martin [stalked] the second victim, a college instructor, through her Linkedin page.  He…[even] sat in her class about gender and sexuality…she tried to avoid him.  The third victim [was a]…bank [teller whom]…he [messaged] on Snapchat…request[ing nudes and sending her a dick pic]…He eventually married one of her former coworkers and added her as a friend on their joint Facebook account…[then] continued to ask for sexual favors…The fourth victim…said Martin continuously followed her at [her city job] and…repeatedly…questioned her intentions when he saw her at the grocery store or gas station…Martin was supposed to be one of her points of official contact if she [was] ever [sexually harassed] at work…[before] Martin…[became a cop he tried teaching but]…was fired…[for sexting] a female student.  At another job…he rep[ea]tedly made…sexual remark[s] toward a…female co[worker]…

Banishment (#882)

Threatening landlords to get them to evict sex workers is a popular pig trick:

Billings…[Montana pigs], prosecutors and [prohibitionists promoted “pimp” propaganda to politicians to push]…the passage of two new laws [persecuting]…property owners who are collecting rent from…businesses [the pigs want punished]…In California, the Sacramento City Council has proposed some form of [persecution of] massage parlor landlords…In New York City, [pigs]…have [done the same] to [get around the necessity of] prov[ing anything]…Polaris Project, a national [prohibitionist profiteer gang]…has also called for greater [persecution] of…property owners…

On Tape

Where did Trump get these exaggerated ideas about how “sex trafficking victims” are treated?  IT’S A MYSTERY!  “Sandy Middleton…[of] the Center for Violence Prevention [in Mississippi]..said…’These girls are starved, beaten, raped, chained to trees and locked in trunks’“…

End Demand (#939)

Mar Brettmann is a sleazy opportunist who will say anything to sell her anti-whore snake oil:

Mar Brettmann…of the Seattle-based Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking, which [among other obscenities spreads lurid propaganda about sex workers]…to hotels—share[s her disgusting sexual fantasies about sex workers as though they were facts, because she knows most people are too gullible to as for evidence of any kind, such as names, links to police reports or even the places these lurid tales are supposed to have occurred]…BEST is one of the [profiteers making a killing from the] American Hotel & Lodging Association’s No Room for Trafficking campaign…[others] include ECPAT-USA…and Polaris…In addition, some [ambulance-chasers]…have filed lawsuits against hotel owners and operators

Top Cop (#944)

One can never have too many attacks on this power-hungry sociopath:

…support for the Nordic Model fits with Harris’s self-branding as a “progressive prosecutor” who offers a “smart on crime” third way between the excessively carceral conservatives and social justice-minded but squishy liberals.  It’s a schtick she’s carried over into her bid for Democrats’ 2020 presidential nod, after perfecting it during years as attorney general of California and district attorney of San Francisco…During [the] last…Democratic presidential debate, fellow candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard grilled Harris about her sordid record as top cop in California.  Harris “kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor”…and “put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations”, Gabbard said…All Harris offered in response was an insistence that she is “proud” of her record and, later, an ad hominem attack on Gabbard.  Meanwhile, Harris’s press secretary tweeted that Gabbard was supported by Russia…

Dangerous Speech (#950)

This excerpt from Reason‘s video “The War on Backpage is a War on Sex Workers” (click on subtitle link for complete video) discusses a subject long-time readers may remember:

Pyrrhic Victory (#955)

As I keep saying, it’s already far too late to stop this tyranny:

…if [you]’ve ever gotten a Michigan driver’s license or a state ID card…the State Police has [your] mug shot.  The…database may even contain [your] Facebook profile photo or another social media image…There are only about 8 million adults in Michigan, but there are nearly 50 million facial images in the MSP’s Statewide Network of Agency Photos (SNAP), with 2.7 million photos added to the database last year alone.  Though the MSP didn’t start using facial recognition technology until 2001, the Secretary of State’s Office has been giving State Police all its digital photos — without notice to motorists — since 1998…[and the] 2020 budget…gives [cops] more than half a million dollars to enhance the facial recognition search functions of the growing database…

Between the Lines (#960)

This is what the FBI meant by “re-evaluating” Operation Cross Country: changing its name and quadrupling its length and cost:

A monthlong FBI-led [pogrom] to…arrest sex [workers] and [infantilize them]…has resulted in [hundreds] of arrests [of adult sex workers] and…[103 underage sex workers]…The [rebranded] Operation Independence Day…[involved] more than 400 [gangs of violent thugs]…67 [other people were arrested and charged with vague “sex trafficking” crimes.  Beside the rebranding]…FBI field offices had a longer time window to plan and execute [pogroms] as part of the national initiative, with the goal being to [circumvent sex workers’ increased security measures by dragging the raids out long enough that marginalized workers become desperate]…

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I have eaten their kids so they are going to eat mine.  –  a Yorkshireman

Remember the rock band from Mongolia?  Well, here’s one from Mali, and they’re kinda awesome.  The video was provided by Radley Balko, who also gave us “does” and “serving”; the other links above the video are from Clarissa (“legit”),  Jesse Walker (“snails”), Mike Siegel (“Obvious”), and Emma Evans (“things”).

From the Archives

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Last week, I mentioned that I had done a lecture at the University of Michigan via video link.  Unfortunately, our connection was poor, so I had to keep restating points that were lost when the signal dropped; this ate up the time we had for questions, so I asked the teacher to collect student questions and I would answer them via email.  Most of the questions were ones I’ve answered in other places, and though that’s also mostly true of this one, I don’t recall ever directly answering it in one go:  How does violence against women change with different regulatory regimes?

When the demand for anything is inflexible, as in the case of sex and drugs, prohibition does nothing to curtail that demand; what happens instead is a black market develops to supply the commodity.  And because black markets are illegal, there is no way for those involved in them to call upon courts, lawyers, etc to settle trade disputes.  That means violence, and such markets also tend to draw people who aren’t afraid of breaking the law (which of course includes career criminals).  Alcohol prohibition is a fine example: in the 1920s, if one wanted some booze one had to deal directly or indirectly with bootleggers or smugglers, and turf wars became very bloody indeed.  But after Prohibition ended in December 1933, that all ended practically overnight; when was the last time you heard of a turf war between bars or liquor stores?  Similarly, sex workers who are raped, robbed, or otherwise harmed by violent men cannot go to the police at all under criminalization because they will be arrested for prostitution.  Under most forms of legalization they usually don’t dare, because even though selling sex isn’t illegal the cops may spy on them afterward to catch them in some prohibited behavior such as working together for safety or having dependents.  That’s also true under the Swedish model, and in addition the cops use sex workers as non-consenting bait to catch clients; that in itself increases violence against street workers in particular because the clients are afraid of busy, well-lit areas so they need to move to darker, quieter ones.  All these factors also draw rapists, robbers and serial killers, because they know it’s less likely they will be caught if they prey upon women the law defines as “criminals”.  Only under decriminalization, in which sex work is treated as work, are sex workers free to take whatever precautions they feel necessary without violating some law, and can call on the police if they wish (though I personally advise against that course of action).

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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Time to die.  –  Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer)

Rutger Hauer died last week, and while I’m not really a fan of Blade Runner I couldn’t resist sharing this video as a memorial.  The links above it were provided by Billy Binion (“faking”), David Ley (“protecting”), Tim Cushing (“showing”), Emma Evans (“sitting”), and Rick Horowitz (“looking”).

From the Archives

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Why is it only that sex workers should be the ones to have a skill set but give services away for free?  –  Phoenix Calida

Anatomy of a Boondoggle 

Truthful headline: “Police Pay Man to Rape Immigrant Women”:

A[n Ohio] woman was arrested [after cops paid someone to violate her at her]…massage parlor…Ping Wei, 53…[was victimized and accused without tangible evidence by a so-called] confidential informant…

Feminine Pragmatism 

One day, “People have to work to make money” will be recognized as the non-news it is:

Increasing numbers of women in low-paid jobs who have children are being forced to [find more remunerative work] to survive…[demand for one flexible work-from-home job] has risen by 29 per cent in the past year alone…[but] women [a]re now having to work longer hours for less money due to the market…becoming increasingly saturated…

Buried Truth

Yet another example of the McNeill Rule:

…Tennessee [politician] Bill Sanderson resigned…[after] Grindr messages and nude photos…exposed the fact that he’s a closeted hypocrite with a gay son who has voted against every LGBTQ issue that has come before him…He has [also] been a co-sponsor of some of the most extreme anti-abortion legislation, including this year’s heartbill bill…Sanderson has voted against…bills that would have given access to bathrooms to trans students, blasted the SCOTUS marriage ruling, voted to support allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against gay couples, supported a bill allowing therapists to discriminate against gay people, and voted agaisnt allowing municipalities in Tennessee to enact LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances…in his 2013 Grindr profile, which could be seen by anyone using the app, he writes…“I really haven’t had a connection with a guy and I have a burning desire to have that relationship. I like down and dirty guy to guy play too! So, I guess you might say, nothing will be held back …” (Sanderson says he did not write this)

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

Jarrett Leaman…is…a typical college student…[whose] only prior involvement with police is two speeding tickets.  On June 29, he was arrested for public drunkenness…the next thing he remembers is waking up in a jail cell at 5 a.m., covered in blood, bumps, and bruises…[while he was passed-out drunk, multiple screws and one pig] pummeled [him] to the ground, face down on the cement floor…[attorney Leticia] Chavez-Freed…saw it on video…as part of a [so-called] internal investigation…“They put him into a chair. They strap him in. His hands are behind his back and, again, the kicking, the hitting”…at least five [screws] and one [pig] participated in the beating…a spit mask was also placed on Leaman’s head, even though he was barely conscious…at one point…the [pig]…and [one of the screws] lifted the mask from Leaman’s head to take a picture of his injuries like a “hunting trophy”…

New Excuse

Sometimes the War on Whores is the War on Drugs rather than its successor:

[Politician] Sherrod Brown…reintroduced a [US Senate] bill that would officially [conflate selling]…drugs [with] human trafficking, thereby making it easier to [load extra charges onto young black men that cops or] prosecut[ors wish to target]…”Ohioans are bought and sold in our own backyards”…[Brown idiotically bloviated while making furtive movements in his pants pockets.]  Brown’s bill, called the Protect Act, would officially list drug addiction as a method of coercing someone into either commercial sexual acts or other forced labor against their will…

A Moral Cancer (#583)

No, you can’t “save the planet” by going vegan:

…some activists are propagating the idea that everyone on the planet should go vegetarian or even vegan…The former head of the United Nations’ climate change organization, for example, suggested that meat-eaters should be made to feel like pariahs…[such rhetoric] blithely ignores the reality that…we can’t stop temperature rises with our diets…A systematic peer-review of studies of going vegetarian shows that a non-meat diet will likely reduce an individual’s emissions by…just 4.3%…In a first world setting, the reality is that [your share of corporate pollution]…means [lifelong veganism would] reduce your emissions by about 2%, according to a study of the environmental impact of Swedish vegetarians…

Also: veganism does not reduce animal deaths and environmental damage; it increases them.

Between the Ears (#858)

Any internet-connected device can be used to spy on you:

Apple’s Siri AI assistant sends audio of sexual encounters, embarrassing medical information, drug deals, and other private moments recorded without users’ knowledge to human “graders” for evaluation, a whistleblower has revealed…contractors around the world…grade the AI based on the quality of its response and whether its activation was deliberate…accidental activations are much more frequent than Apple lets on, especially with Apple Watch users…In what sounds like a sick joke on the part of some programmer, the sound of a zipper unzipping often triggers Siri to wake up…While Apple emphasized that a user’s Apple ID and name are not attached to clips reviewed by contractors…the company is aware of how easily even a recording stripped of its user ID can be connected to the user who made it…Amazon’s Alexa infamously has entire chat rooms for its human trainers to discuss difficult-to-understand audio clips (or mock funny recordings) and Google Home uses a similar system of outsourced “language experts” that allows the company to claim that no one at Google has access to the recordings its devices make…

All-Purpose Excuse (#923)

Puritan fanatics have given tyrants an accusation they can hurl at nearly anyone:

A 9-year-old American citizen on her way to school was a[rrested] by [border patrol thugs] and [locked in a cage like an animal] for some 32 hours before she was released back to her family…[“authorities”] later [bloviated] that the girl, who was carrying a U.S. passport card with her, gave “inconsistent information”…Julia Isabel Amparo Medina …her 14-year-old brother and two friends were being driven to school by the friends’ mom from their home in Tijuana to San Ysidro…Thousands of people travel through the Tijuana-San Ysidro crossing daily for school or work.  When traffic slowed to a crawl, the mom told the children to walk across the border so they wouldn’t be late.  A…[pig] detained Medina, saying she didn’t look like the photo on her passport card…Medina’s brother, who is also a U.S. citizen, said [thugs]…demanded he sign a paper saying that his sister was really his cousin…[threatening him with prison and telling the boy] “they were going to charge him [with]…sex trafficking”…

I’m not sure why it took four months for this story to gain traction, but I’m suspending my usual rule about not sharing stories more than a month or so old.

Still Consenting

Phoenix Calida on the absurdity of a sex-work-free “Utopia”:

Many on the left have told me that sex outside of procreation or love is icky.  They say that…non-male people, should not be allowed to be fully in charge of their…sexual lives…they insist sex workers are bad because they commodify sex and the soul, meaning sex workers have been made into objects, and are no longer humans…the left dreams of a post-revolution utopia where people only have sex for free and for love…The idea that sex work will cease to exist after capitalism falls has always been bizarre, since trading sex existing before capitalism did.  No matter how many times I am told that the revolution will end sex work, I’ve yet to be provided with realistic scenarios of how that will happen…

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If registries are…about punishment…we need to admit it and deal with the unintended consequences.  –  Michael Seto

Counterfeit Comfort 

Facts have absolutely nothing to do with US sex laws:

In 1994, when Congress passed the first sex offender registration law, the list was reserved for [cops] and only applied to the most serious offenders.  Since then, American lawmakers at every level have relentlessly increased its scope and severity.  The registry now includes more than 900,000 people, a population slightly greater than Vermont’s.  At least 12 states require sex offender registration for public urination; five apply it to people charged with offenses related to sex work; 29 require it for consensual sex between teenagers…people [are] forced to spend decades on the registry for crimes they [were accused of at] as young as 10 years old…More than 30 states now require registrants to live at least 1,000 feet away from schools, churches and other places children congregate — a requirement that renders up to 99% of ho[uses] and apartment buildings off-limits.  Some states require regist[rants] to submit to regular polygraph tests and random police inspections.  Florida adds “sexual predator” to the front of registrants’ driver’s licenses.  Louisiana doesn’t allow [registrants] to evacuate from their own homes before natural disasters…Despite child sexual abuse declining by 60% between 1992 and 2010, states continue to legislate as if lenient sex offender laws are a national emergency…registries are disproportionately black and overwhelmingly poor…registries continue to enjoy enthusiastic bipartisan support and meager media scrutiny despite any evidence that they achieve their stated goals…

Buried Truth

Why do straight vanillas have so much trouble recognizing sexual behavior when they see it?

Multiple victims have come forward to accuse a New Jersey [Presbyterian minister] of sexually assaulting them as part of exorcism rituals…Newsweek reported…[that Rev. Dr. William] Weaver…would…tell the men that he needed to “suck” out demons through their semen, citing Native American rituals and a verse from Ephesians telling Christians to “put on the full armor of God”…Weaver would order [men]…to strip naked and lie down.  Then he would place an “angel coin” on their foreheads and have them balance stones on their hands and ankles…then…perform oral sex on them…An investigation by the Presbytery found credible evidence of “multiple acts of idolatry and sexual misconduct”…[including] gay porn on a church-owned computer in Weaver’s office…

Skin To Skin (#312)

A baby step forward for disabled Australians:

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal recently granted a woman with multiple sclerosis the right to have a sex therapist paid for under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)…This is a significant milestone in the advancement of sexual rights of people with disability…To further recognise this, [they] should also be able to access sex workers under the NDIS…While a sex therapist will offer verbal coaching, a sex worker has a specified role in providing a paid sexual service.  Sexual expression is a fundamental part of being human, and disability does not dampen a person’s sexual desire, nor their need for intimacy…

If Men Were Angels

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

[An] Alabama youth pastor has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing a young girl…Christopher Cody Stutts pleaded guilty…to abusing a child younger than 12 [in order to escape] four other charges, including rape and sodomy…

A Procrustean Bed (#655) 

These programs to warp women’s minds and indoctrinate them in anti-sex dogma are very popular in Ohio:

Ohio…[politicians] are [now claiming that] victims [are forcibly and magically] hooked on drugs and then forced into a life of prostitution…Judge Renee DiSalvo is beginning [yet another “diversion” brainwashing] program through Youngstown Municipal Court…DiSalvo…[pretends] the women are not able to make clear decisions…the…program…can take up to two years to go through…[during which time] some women may be [locked] in secret [prisons under the pretense of] protect[ing] them from [imaginary ninja pimps]…

Follow Your Bliss (#745) 

Prohibitionists supported at least one delusional cop who was deeply involved in this hoax:

A [man] who lied about being abused by a murderous VIP Westminster paedophile ring is facing a lengthy jail sentence after he was convicted of perverting the course of justice and fraud.  Carl Beech’s malicious, repeated and determined deceit ruined the reputations of those he accused and led the Metropolitan Police to raid the homes of 91-year-old Normandy veteran Field Marshall Lord Bramall, the late Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor…Their £2 million Operation Midland [probe] into the lurid allegations…ended without making a single arrest…Beech…[himself a paedophile with an interest in pre-teen boys, fantasized] to…detectives…how his late step-father, an Army Major, raped him, then passed him on to generals to be tortured at military bases and sadistically sexually abused by other Establishment figures in the 1970s and 1980s.  He named former prime minister Sir Edward Heath…disgraced TV star Jimmy Savile and security chiefs Sir Michael Hanley, the head of MI5, and MI6 boss Sir Maurice Oldfield among the gang…Beech…was due to be tried on indecent images and voyeurism charges last summer but went on the run to Sweden, where he bought two remote properties and tried to evade [the cops] using false identities…

Sharp readers may recognize the resemblance of these accusations to those made by brainwashed children during the daycare prosecutions of the Satanic Panic.

Across the Pond (#862)

Redbridge has a history of harassing sex workers while belching up stupid “crime” rhetoric:

Police are encouraging [busybodies] to use a new real-time phone line to [snitch on women they imagine might be sex workers]…”There have been very few prostitutes on Ilford Lane for the past few weeks,” a…spokes[pig oinked]…”These ladies can sometimes be seen walking through seemingly on their way to work which we believe are in brothels…[disguised pigs] start at 7pm targeting…any person [they don’t like the look of, with no evidence whatsoever.  A busybody group called]…Clean up Ilford Lane is also urging residents to use the line if they see…people [visiting each other or emitting sex rays]…

Remember, indoor sex work is legal in the UK, hence this branding of incalls as “brothels”, which aren’t.

Pyrrhic Victory (#880)

Everything cops and other “justice” officials tell you is a lie:

…an ongoing lawsuit against the…NYPD brought by the Bronx Defenders…[revealed] that the police department has for years illegally used databases of arrests that were supposed to have been dropped, declined by prosecutors, downgraded to citations or infractions, or otherwise thrown out in court…cops…have access—on their smartphones—to reservoirs of records they shouldn’t be able to see, allowing them to continue to stop, search and arrest people…based on “criminal histories” that shouldn’t even exist.  The lawsuit, which in the coming weeks may be ruled a class-action on behalf of potentially tens of thousands of New Yorkers, comes just as a nonprofit research organization releases a 50-state report revealing that in 25 states, police are allowed to access sealed or expunged arrests—and then profile you based on these past allegations that no judge or jury ever found you guilty of…Jenn Rolnick Borchetta, the lead attorney on the Bronx lawsuit…[said] “They’re running their algorithms and their facial-recognition software on arrest records and mugshots that were supposed to have been destroyed”…

Dangerous Speech (#953)

The government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

As proceedings against Backpage.com founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin continue unraveling in California courts, the sentencing of former associate Carl Ferrer, now cooperating with the government as a witness against them, has been delayed until July 2020.  Ferrer, the former CEO of Backpage.com, was due to be sentenced this [month]…Lacey’s attorney, renowned criminal law and First Amendment expert Paul Cambria…[said the] delay is an expected ploy by the prosecution to exert pressure on Ferrer to testify against his client and Larkin…

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