no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

No Justice for Marcia Powell

September 7th, 2010

Marcia Powell was probably not the most sympathetic figure; a middle-aged schizophrenic with no living relatives, and a repeat offender whose most offensive “crime” seems to have been prostitution, she was executed without trial, judge, or jury last May by employees of the State of Arizona corrections department.

And after reviewing a 3,000 page report produced internally, prosecutors have declined to press any criminal charges against anyone in connection with Powell’s execution.

Despite the fact that the county medical examiner cited heat exposure as the cause of Marcia Powell’s death, and despite the gruesome evidence (Powell had burns and blisters all over her body) and despite the fact that she had been kept in a cage in an Arizona desert for (allegedly not more than) 2 hours (but possibly 4 hours or more) on a day when the temperature peaked at over 107 degrees Fahrenheit, possibly without access to any water, and despite the fact that ADC Director Charles Ryan unilaterally (and lacking legal authority) decided to terminate Powell’s life support — despite all of this, those charged with protecting and upholding “the law” can find no evidence of any crime.

Her core body temperature upon examination was 108 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let that sink in for a minute. A human being, in a fucking cage, in the desert heat.  Any part of that sound even remotely cruel or perhaps unusual?

Surely no man with even an iota of conscience could fit that torture within the boundaries of acceptable human behavior, nor for punishment save for the most heinous offenses.  What sort of animal does this? What monster sits by and watches, tolerates, enables, or allows such atrocities to continue unimpeded?

There aren’t any monsters, at least not in the conventional sense.

Remember that those individuals primarily and unforgivably responsible for carrying out the day-to-day operations that sustain, strengthen and perpetuate the grossest human tragedies, have always considered themselves to be normal people, and largely their neighbors and contemporaries have considered them “normal”, too.

Everyone involved in composing the report who either couldn’t (or wouldn’t) find enough evidence of an obvious crime,  every lawyer and prosecutor who refused to see or look for criminal wrongdoing in those pages, every guard who could’ve spoken up, or could’ve offered aid, but didn’t, because nobody’s gonna miss some junkie schizo prostitute.

“Normal” people who can no longer judge the difference between right and wrong. And so they go on about their ways, “just following orders” day-in and day-out.



  • Masebrock says on: September 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm


    Joe Apario is one of the worst people alive today. I would boycott Arizona, but they don’t produce anything that I value as far as know.

  • Brad says on: September 9, 2010 at 11:52 am


    Messed up.

  • The Habman says on: September 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm


    Joe Apario needs to be given a taste of his own idea of justice.

    However the morons in Maricopa continue to elect this arsehat

  • Sam says on: September 10, 2010 at 11:37 am


    This killing was done by the STATE OF ARIZONA and not by Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio or his people. Apparently, these two commenters have such a case of hate for this man that they blame everything evil in Arizona on him.

    As for how you can boycott Arizona – well, Arizona is one of the major producers of copper in the United States and the world. If you want to boycott the state, have fun. Stop using pennies and rip all the wiring out of your house and car and stop using electricity. Especially if you live in Southern California, since a lot of your electricity is also produced in Arizona power stations. I’d LOVE for you haters to boycott Arizona’s products like that.

    And by the way, people, the Sheriff’s name is Arpaio – learn to spell. A-R-P-A-I-O.

  • David Z says on: September 10, 2010 at 11:49 am


    there’s a whole lot of butthurt coming from Sam.

    Arpaio is a symptom of a broader problem.

  • Sam says on: September 10, 2010 at 12:20 pm


    Yeah, David, he is – but so are these guys, “Masebrock” and “The Habman.” Blind hatred like theirs doesn’t do anything but make matters worse. Especially when they mistake a symptom for the real problem.

    When you have a state in as bad a mess as Arizona – and we could argue all day over whose fault that is, but the FedGov is one of the contenders for a top-ten list – people will turn to people like Arpaio. We have an old term for that – “the man on the white horse.” And is Arpaio any worse than Napolitano? or Brewer? Or the voters of Maricopa County that elect and support him?

    • Don says on: September 10, 2010 at 5:10 pm


      Sam says: And is Arpaio any worse than Napolitano?

      To make your idol look good you compare him to something worse.
      David got it right. ~butthurt~

      • Sam says on: September 10, 2010 at 5:53 pm


        Are you claiming that Joe Arpaio is my idol? Good grief, what a ridiculous accusation, made up out of whole cloth. Just because I think it is important to keep the record straight does NOT mean I like the man or what he does – much less worship him. Arpaio is like 99.5% of the politicians in this nation (and probably a similar percentage of “law enforcement officials,” an enemy of liberty and guilty of a good number of abuses and probably crimes – just not this one. Would you claim that Adolf Hitler were my idol if I corrected someone who blamed the Wehrmacht or SS for the Katyn Forest Massacre, instead of the Soviets and Joe Stalin?

        Instead of gratuitous insults to people on your side (based on your next message), play nice.

        • Don says on: September 10, 2010 at 8:09 pm


          Perhaps I read you wrong. I put Arpaio and Napolitano in the same trash heap. They are the same only differing in degree.

          • Sam says on: September 11, 2010 at 1:00 am


            Thank you, Don. I agree with you – especially if you add McCain and Brewer to the roll-off.

  • Don says on: September 10, 2010 at 5:14 pm


    In most places if you treat a dog like they treated that human you will be brought up on charges and probably jailed.

    Notice how the thugs only physically violate those weaker than themselves.
    They won’t attempt that shit with a real grownup.

    • Sam says on: September 10, 2010 at 6:03 pm


      Don, you are right: they should be brought up on charges and jailed. But it isn’t just the “correctional staff” that need to be held accountable here. The County Attorney clearly is more interested in supporting the “uniform” than in seeing justice done. As the story pointed out, MCAO has no problem prosecuting “negligent mothers” and people who are out of favor with the powers that be.

      Of course, you also have to remember that Arizona has ALWAYS had a really bad reputation for treating prisoners worse than dogs – going clear back to Yuma Territorial Prison days. Things haven’t changed much, and as I pointed out earlier, there are a whole lot of elected officials (and appointed ones) who need to be held accountable. The question is, HOW?

      And (as you probably already know), Arizona LEOs DO attempt to abuse grownups as well – sometimes successfully. And usually NOT documented by a 3000 page report. The big problem, again, is HOW do we hold them accountable?

      • Don says on: September 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm


        Sam says: The big problem, again, is HOW do we hold them accountable?

        I can’t answer for anyone else and I can’t even answer for me as this is one of them things you have to encounter before you know how to deal with it. But suffice to say, I don’t kindly to any form of abuse to my person from anybody.

        I live my life in a manner that no normal person will ever find it necessary to handcuff me so if someone decides to do just that s/he will be completely in the wrong. Let me also say, I do not recognize groups of people, only individuals and expect to be recognized the same way. Now that I’ve established what I consider to be normal parameters, if a thug of any sort tries to harm me in anyway I will do whatever is necessary to prevent him or her from doing so. Again, the exact conditions at the time will mandate how I act. I don’t look for trouble to get into it, but I look for trouble to get away from it. The way I see it no one for any reason gets to just arbitrarily put their hands on someone else just because, or under the color of law or anything else. Self defense only. Period. Last year a thug pulled me over and stole $35 because I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. I shut my ass and paid the fee. If he would have escalated the thing then my behavior would have escalated accordingly. I sincerly hope I never get into a violent exchange with anyone and go way out of my way to not let that happen. Hell, 4 years ago I spent a third of a million dollars in that effort. For me, money does not = peace of mind. Take the money, I can always get more, just leave me alone. When people start standing up and acting like adults they will start to get the respect they gave up when they started acting like children.

  • Don says on: September 10, 2010 at 8:24 pm


    Lemme throw this out there and see what happens. Its something that has bothered me for a long time and seems to trip a lot of people up. My basis is borne in the Nuremburg trials, remember that.

    Say a senator makes a law and on down the line a cop on the beat wrecks your life enforcing that law. He tazes you 6 times, breaks your leg, shoots your dog and steals your stuff. Is the cop wrong? Yes. Is the senator wrong? No. Why? The senator didn’t harm you. The cop did. Suppose an ordinary thug on the street shot you and stole your stuff and several months later you and several friends are out somewhere and you see that thug, so ya’ll commence to killing the thug and disposing of the body for you know the injustice system will never *make the victim whole* (see Black’s Law Dictionary). This is self justice, as it should be and used to be and it matters not if the thug is common, or sanctioned by others. By not dealing with the known thug you do society and yourself a disservice for he lives to thug others and maybe you again. Interestingly enough this is how law enforcement was done up until the mid-1800’s in most of the US until community state run police services were enacted. Citizens had a DUTY to deal with injustice right on the spot and were banished or heavily chastised if they faltered. People had balls in those days rather than reliance on a flawed sissy state.

    • Sam says on: September 10, 2010 at 11:42 pm


      Don, those are some excellent points you are making. The entire system has collapsed so completely that it as if there WAS no system – an “Indian Territory” type situation. From a moral (not legal) standpoint, this does smack a bit more of revenge than self-justice, though.

      I would argue that both the cop AND the Senator are wrong – the Senator is one of those (like the highers-up in Nuernberg) that made it possible for the cop to get away with the abuse. In fact, the cop, his supervisors, and probably right on up to the governor would be morally accountable, wouldn’t they? No different than if it is a capo that tells his enforcer to “teach you a lesson.” Wouldn’t the self-justice apply as much to the capo as to the hit-man?

      • Don says on: September 11, 2010 at 6:17 am


        Who did the harm? The thug.
        You may detest the people further up the chain, but whom did they harm?
        Remember, each person is an individual, and must be treated as such.
        When the gov’t thug is standing there with taser in hand there is no senator, only you and him. Adding others to the mix only clutters things up.

        I wish there was a peaceful remedy for this but I doubt there is. Violence begats violence. If you let them walk on you you encourage it by not resisting. If you resist they will ratchet it up, bring in back up, all the way up to airstrikes if they want.

        Its simple assault, by one person of another and thats how it should be dealt with and it matters not who the assaulter works for.

        • Sam says on: September 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm


          Yes, I understand the logic. And I can see how it works.

          Of course, human nature being what it is, if you want to later confront the thug(s) further up the chain, even if only asking politely for compensation (or just to have them stop doing what they are doing), they will probably respond to your request by initiating violence against you – so if you are prepared, you can then take appropriate action to remove them from the equation (and the gene pool). I don’t really think that is entrapment, is it?

          In the meantime, if there is enough voluntary cooperation about dealing with the lower-level thugs, I suppose that they will eventually run out of thugs willing to try and beat on you.

          I’m a small-mouthed pacifist, I guess, and would like to avoid the violence, but I guess you are right to assume that violence is eventually necessary – in self-defense only.

          • Don says on: September 11, 2010 at 3:49 pm


            You’re on the right track in my opinion. When you step back and look at the entire chain of command from the thug in uniform on the street all the way up to the oval office the challenge can be daunting. But like the analogy of eating a horse one bite at a time, you start with the person that actually harms you, the thug in the uniform and then work your way up. Unless he is acting in self defense he has no right to attack you and if he does he should be treated like any thug anywhere. I, like most other people in this country, through decades of mental manipulation have become complacent but the day is coming when I will be jerked out of that right into the reality of outright thuggery and will have to deal with it where it occurs, and I am dreading it and hoping to avoid it. But the violence is escalating and I believe something is going to snap before too long. I can feel it. Maybe you can too.

  • Peggy says on: September 18, 2010 at 3:21 am



    Thank you for remembering Marcia Powell. I’m originally from Ann Arbor, and am still alive and free to say that it’s more of a fucking mess out here than I could have ever imagined. I don’t know how we’re going to hold these people accountable for what happened to Marcia and to Shannon Palmer, but we’re trying.

    Your friends can help with the boycott, by the way, by periodically calling AZ hotels, conference centers and small town tourist bureaus to let them know you won’t be holding your 5,000-person conventions (or moving your aging grandparents) here as long as the state remains under fascist, white supremacist rule. The illusion of a few bucks lost over SB 1070 can be just as bitter as the truth.

    In solidarity from Phoenix, AZ

  • Angie says on: October 19, 2010 at 6:06 pm


    Has anything been done about this crime against Marcia Powell since the posting of this story?

    • David Z says on: October 21, 2010 at 3:39 pm


      Not to my knowledge.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics