Top 5 Live-WURD Wednesday July 29
1. Sex & drugs: Prison seamstress Joyce Mitchell’s confession revealed
Prison seamstress Joyce Mitchell, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to helping two inmates escape, told investigators that she performed sexual acts on one of the men and sent X-rated selfies to the other and knew the duo planned to kill her husband, police documents show.
Mitchell, 51, told investigators that inmates Richard Matt and David
Sweat nicknamed her husband, Lyle, “the glitch.” They gave her small round pills to drug him with, but she didn’t go through with it, her statements say.
“I believe I helped Inmate Matt and Inmate Sweat escape because I was caught up in the fantasy. I enjoyed the attention, the feeling both of them gave me and the thought of a different life,” she said in one statement.
Mitchell, 51, has pleaded guilty to bringing contraband into the
Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, a felony, and to criminal facilitation, a misdemeanor, in a deal that spares her from more serious charges.
2. Spy Jonathan Pollard granted parole
Convicted spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard has been granted parole and will be released from an American jail on Nov. 21, his lawyer announced Tuesday.
Pollard’s release — exactly 30 years after his arrest — could help ease the tensions between the United States and Israel that have grown over the Iran nuclear deal, which President Barack Obama supports and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vehemently opposes.
Both the Justice Department and Pollard’s pro bono attorneys, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, confirmed his release date Tuesday.
“Mr. Pollard is looking forward to being reunited with his beloved wife Esther,” his lawyers said in a statement.
“Mr. Pollard would like to thank the many thousands of well-wishers in the United States, in Israel, and throughout the world, who provided grass roots support by attending rallies, sending letters, making phone calls to elected officials, and saying prayers for his welfare. He is deeply appreciative of every gesture, large or small,” his lawyers said. “We look forward to seeing our client on the outside in less than four months.”
3. U.S. Mayors Say Ferguson Could Happen To Us
Many American mayors have concerns about race relations, schools, minority communities and policing as the nation approaches the one-year anniversary of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, a POLITICO Magazine survey finds.
Fully nine out of 10 mayors surveyed expressed concern about the state of race relations and police in their city, according to the survey, with nearly a third describing themselves as “deeply concerned” about race and policing in their cities. The revelation illustrates the intensity and seriousness with which mayors have taken up the issue, as cities from Baltimore to New York City to Ferguson have dealt with public unrest over the last year.
The findings were part of POLITICO Magazine’s second quarterly national Mayors’ Survey, which heard from 31 mayors spanning the country from Philadelphia to Tampa to San Francisco to New Orleans to Anchorage. While not scientific—the large majority of respondents were Democrats, 77 percent, as well as three independents and four Republicans—the survey represented a diverse range of cities from across the nation and showed clear trends across cities of varying sizes, political traditions and geographic regions.
4. SEPTA will sell pope passes by lottery
SEPTA will use a one-day online lottery to sell Regional Rail passes for the papal visit, transportation authority officials said Tuesday.
A new website will open at 12:01 am Monday and close at 11:59 pm, and would-be buyers will be limited to 10 passes for each of the two days of the pope’s visit in September. The link to the lottery will be available at SEPTA’s website, www.septa.org
The lottery winners will be selected at random after the site closes, and winners will be notified by e-mail on Aug. 6, and they will then be given three days to pay for their passes.
Passes will be mailed to the winners within two to three weeks of receipt of payment.
By using a lottery, SEPTA hopes to avoid the electronic stampede that overwhelmed the first attempt to sell papal passes last week. The sales site crashed within minutes of opening.
5. Officials Release Sandra Bland Jail Footage to Address Theories About Her Death
Texas officials released new footage of Sandra Bland in the county jail where she remained for three days until her death, showing her talking to officers, facing a magistrate judge, sleeping in a holding cell and making multiple phone calls.
Waller County Judge Carbett Duhon said he released the footage because of threats related to Bland’s death, and to address theories that she was dead prior to her mug shot being taken. Bland was found hanged from a plastic trash bag in her cell on July 13, three days after she was pulled over for a traffic infraction.
County officials said that Bland spent about 22 minutes making calls after she made multiple requests to use the phone.
Waller County Judge Carbett Duhon walked reporters through the videos of Bland during the three days at the county jail before she was found dead in her cell.
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon