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Man burns himself to death to avoid US debtors prison.

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posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 10:46 PM
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In 2009, James Ball lost his job and was unable to continue making child support payments. His ex-wife, Karen Ball, filed for a hearing on contempt of court, which the court scheduled for 6/24/2011. She alleges that Thomas owes thousands in back child support and attorney’s fees and demands the court sentence him to jail until he can pay the amounts demanded.

James Ball burned himself to death on June 16, 2011 using a large amount of gasoline in front of the Keene, New Hampshire court house. Thomas Ball in a "suicide letter" stated he believed he would end up in jail, saying:

I am due in court the end of the month. The ex-wife lawyer wants me jailed for back child support. The amount ranges from $2,200. to $3,000. depending on who you ask. Not big money after being separated over ten years and unemployed for the last two. But I do owe it. If I show up for court without the money and the lawyer say jail, then the judge will have the bailiff take me into custody. There really are no surprises on how the system works once you know how it actually works. And it does not work anything like they taught you in high school history or civics class.

Source: freekeene.com...

Debtors prison is a barbaric and backwards system of injustice. There is no reason contracts need to be enforced using the threat of jail. If someone isn't trustworthy, then don't suppose they will honor their contract and leave it at that. A court enforcing contracts with jail time (over money issues) is a human rights violation.

The idea that people should be mandated by government to (attempt to) help another person through earning a paycheck is the basic idea of slavery. Slavery is also a barbaric and backwards notion.

The US justice system is now a complete failure on several levels and is in complete shambles. It needs to stop arresting people for non-violent offenses, except (arguably) large-scale property damage or theft. Stories like this are very numerous.

James Ball cited several points he also considered unjust that I could identify in his cited suicide letter which I agree were indeed mostly true and mostly good points:
1. The methods used by the justice system to handle divorce cases and domestic violence cases lead to millions of unnecessarily homeless people including husbands, wives, and children. He cites large amounts of statistics to show such a case.
2. The court insisted he must use the same mental health clinic for counseling (against his wishes) that had threatened to send his ex-wife to jail if he ever wanted to visit his children unattended. As an result of his refusal to do so, he was never allowed to have unattended visits with his children.
3. His wife was threatened with arrest if she failed to report the apparently isolated violence incident, which he took as a threat from the government to take away their children completely and place them in state custody.
4. His two daughters were summoned to court despite the facts of the case not being in dispute. Ball says in his suicide letter "No witness were need much less a couple of toddlers. He still summoned them."
5. He was arrested prior to the divorce over an apparently isolated domestic violence incident, which he argues using statistics was not the best option.
6. He points to a study that men and women are equally violent toward children, then refers to statistics showing that those arrested are 75% male and 25% female.
7. Domestic violence shelters funded by the government all have a "no men" policy, and boys over the age of 13 are also banned from some or all of the shelters.

Oddly, he never seems to mention that a very large amount of men commit suicide in his very same situation. The reason I bring this story up is because there are a very large number of people homeless and also a very large number of suicides over similar issues of injustice. Its not an isolated incident. The only thing notable was the method of suicide.

Debtors prison is justified by judges because they consider failure to meet an agreement made in court to pay money as "contempt of court". According to dictionary.com, contempt in a legal sense is "willful disobedience to or open disrespect for the rules or orders of a court (contempt of court) or legislative body.". First of all, disrespect should be a human right. One has the right to chose who they do and do not respect. Respect is a form of expression, which should be protected by the freedom of expression. Second of all, the rules of a courtroom should not be enough to throw someone in jail over. As for violating a court order, the orders should have to comply with human rights issues... meaning you can't throw someone in jail over owing money.

And most importantly by far, a judge should have no right to punish someone until they have been declared guilty of a crime after a full and fair trial! In the US we have people being punished regularly at the whim of a judge without any trial having taken place. Wow!
edit on 17-6-2011 by civilchallenger because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 10:51 PM
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I think poison would've been easier.......I mean I'm not crazy but damn!
There were other ways to do it that wouldn't have hurt so bad.


+37 more 
posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 10:57 PM
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When I was on the inside, there were more than a couple guys in there for not being able to afford child support. I mean, as an ex-con it is impossible to get a job (especially one that pays more than minimum) and most of these guys were working when they got thrown in and so they lost their jobs. Then who wants to hire somebody that could get locked up for any old bullsh-- whenever the court is feeling fascist? How are these guys supposed to get ahead to even begin to afford child support on top of the nearly impossible to meet everyday living expenses that they incur? It's ridiculous, and just another cog in the fascist police state wheel.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 11:04 PM
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reply to post by civilchallenger
 


june 11th 1963 Thích Quảng Đức burned himself in protest of the prosecution of buddhists

the dates are close, possibly even closer if you knew how to count the moon in ... coincidence?




edit on 6/17/2011 by indigothefish because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/17/2011 by indigothefish because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/17/2011 by indigothefish because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/17/2011 by indigothefish because: (no reason given)


+28 more 
posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 11:05 PM
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I never understood that. Put a man in jail because he can't pay child support, thus ensuring that the child support will NEVER be paid... Makes no sense. It's like suspending their license and then asking why they don't have a job...

I grew up in Keene, NH and just recently moved out of that town. Keene is absolutely insane right now. In Keene, you have ZERO rights.

The police in Keene are the most oppressive and absurd I have ever come across. I have been harassed by them for simply walking down the street. "What are you doing?" "Where the hell are you going at this time of night?"...

The Keene District Court is hands down the most ridiculous court in America. I dare you to challenge this statement. When I was 20, I was ticketed for internal possession of alcohol (a minor in possession of alcohol... in their stomach). It was a second offense, so the fine was $800 and a 6 month loss of drivers license. I thought this was funny, as I wasn't even DWI. The guy that went to the bench before me was a DWI, and only got 3 months loss of license and ordered to go to some program, and no fine. I paid my fine and was told I didn't have to go back to court again.

Anyways, I paid the fine and that was that. About 6 months later I get a call from the Keene Police Department telling me I have a warrant out for my arrest for not showing up in court. UGH, what a pain in the #. So I drive about 100 miles to Keene, and talk to the judge. What happened was the court house didn't acknowledge the payment, and at that point I had no record of it.

I paid the fine, and they told me I didn't. After 20 mins of hearing the judge chew me out because of THEIR mistake, I convince him I did in fact pay the fine. The judge pretty much says "You're a piece of #" (paraphrasing), and that was that.

I've been to Keene District Court a total of 2 times, and both times was treated like a degenerate criminal.

Sorry about the long life story, but my hatred of Keene, NH runs deep, and I had to vent.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 11:11 PM
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reply to post by indigothefish
 


Thanks for that reference. The Bhuddists in Vietnam are the first image that I had come to mind as well. I cannot imagine the total desolation and despair it must take to self-immolate. ..or in Vietnam, the total commitment to one's beliefs.

When we have Americans willing to do this....it's time we stop blaming the people and look at the system itself. I honestly cannot imagine the circumstance where this would even enter my mind. Suicide? well.. Yeah I can see where instant, painless death would seem a good choice to some..although my beliefs cannot allow for it. No matter the circumstance. However..immolation? Oh God.... It's unthinkable. The Empathic side of my soul just screams on seeing a story like this.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 11:12 PM
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I really sympathize with the guy for being down on his luck. Can't put a man into jail and hope to "G-d" he would pay back what he owes when he gets out, if ever. I'm not familiar with the debtor system but there should be ways to make payments so that it is a "win-win" situation for both parties. Sometimes, I find it heartless for WOMEN would go that far and ruin a man's life further by putting him to jail. I suppose that death was better by his own hands than at the mercy of the kangaroo court and jail time with his new friends.


+4 more 
posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 11:23 PM
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reply to post by pikypiky
 


Just a note here on that but Rollye James has made this one of her pet projects in life (A U.S. Syndicated radio host) and I've been hearing the horror stories of the CPS and Child Support system for a long time now. It IS that bad. You don't JUST go to jail for failure to pay, but the lack of payment WHILE in jail FOR lack of payment continues to accrue at insane interest rates payable to the CPS (Child Protective Services..or your local version of it) system. For those who don't have children in a post divorce situation, there is NO arrangement between spouses possible in America right now. It simply isn't a legal option, even if both Mother and Father are 100% amicable in the split and stay the best of friends. You WILL pay support to the STATE and they will then distribute what they determine is proper to the Mom.

The payments are required to be made through the state agencies..no matter what...and depending on circumstance, the mother may or may not ever see all of what Dad paid in. If the child is over 18 when the pound of flesh is finally taken, it won't get to the mother, retroactively, at all. The state will sure get it though, no matter what it takes.

The system of Child Support is outright evil. For the record, I am a step-dad with a son who isn't my blood, though I raise him as if he were and he won't know otherwise until he can handle all aspects of that truth. His real "Father" is working on a baseball team of illegitimate children. I am among the strongest examples who SHOULD want his natural father to fry....but the system is just plain evil the way it's set up. Wrong is Wrong..and the fact we'd benefit by enforcing it against my Son's father is no reason I should support wrong.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 11:28 PM
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Originally posted by Adyta
I never understood that. Put a man in jail because he can't pay child support, thus ensuring that the child support will NEVER be paid... Makes no sense. It's like suspending their license and then asking why they don't have a job...

I grew up in Keene, NH and just recently moved out of that town. Keene is absolutely insane right now. In Keene, you have ZERO rights.

The police in Keene are the most oppressive and absurd I have ever come across. I have been harassed by them for simply walking down the street. "What are you doing?" "Where the hell are you going at this time of night?"...

The Keene District Court is hands down the most ridiculous court in America. I dare you to challenge this statement. When I was 20, I was ticketed for internal possession of alcohol (a minor in possession of alcohol... in their stomach). It was a second offense, so the fine was $800 and a 6 month loss of drivers license. I thought this was funny, as I wasn't even DWI. The guy that went to the bench before me was a DWI, and only got 3 months loss of license and ordered to go to some program, and no fine. I paid my fine and was told I didn't have to go back to court again.

Anyways, I paid the fine and that was that. About 6 months later I get a call from the Keene Police Department telling me I have a warrant out for my arrest for not showing up in court. UGH, what a pain in the #. So I drive about 100 miles to Keene, and talk to the judge. What happened was the court house didn't acknowledge the payment, and at that point I had no record of it.

I paid the fine, and they told me I didn't. After 20 mins of hearing the judge chew me out because of THEIR mistake, I convince him I did in fact pay the fine. The judge pretty much says "You're a piece of #" (paraphrasing), and that was that.

I've been to Keene District Court a total of 2 times, and both times was treated like a degenerate criminal.

Sorry about the long life story, but my hatred of Keene, NH runs deep, and I had to vent.


I always get a kick out of folks especially from the Northeast of the country complaining about things up there.

Move down South and you would get darn near executed for such an offense depending on the mood of the judge that day.


Having a friend who is a lawyer keeps me amused with the ridiculous laws and cases especially involving alcohol offenses in the South.

Always blows my mind compared to how civilized the North actually is....

You have it good up there stop complaining Northern folks.
edit on 17-6-2011 by pplrnuts because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 11:46 PM
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The more laws you allow them to pass...the worse things are GOING to get. The way i see it is like this: business is business...and jail is BIG business. Back about 12 years ago...the going rate to house a prisoner was $30,000/year. You figure it out.

Question: how EXACTLY does jailing someone help the child? And, what does it do for the mother? It sounds more like revenge or bitterness. Hardly about "supporting the child"!



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 11:55 PM
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I bet the guy was thinking that his act of desperation like so many acts of self immolation will cause society to take notice and act. This happened in Tunisia and set of the Arab revolts.

Unfortunately Americans are not going to care and this guy just died painfully not realizing that Americans are selfish couch potatoes too fluoridated to get angry for the right reasons.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 11:55 PM
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Why is everyone acting as if this man is a hero? He was a coward who just abandoned his kids by taking his own life....

That is not a hero... That is a man who had a problem and was apparently not mentally stable enough to handle it like a man.

He owed Child support.... Lots of people do.... he chose to kill himself..... Forget his children, forget all those that loved him Forgot all those that he meant so much to and just hurt deeply.....

Hey, he just "stuck it to the man", right?

Sorry, I don't feel like celebrating.... At all.

( Not talking about this thread imparticular... It is just the attitude I have seen most take on this subject in general)
edit on 17-6-2011 by gimme_some_truth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 11:58 PM
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Damn! I have an ex who owes me almost 40,000, use to be 58,000...he has NEVER been jailed. He's been threatened, but that's about it.



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 02:14 AM
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reply to post by gimme_some_truth
 

Suicide is a cowardly act in my belief system. Fair on that and most religions agree. However, shooting yourself in the head is a world different from burning yourself to death. I'm not a martyr. I'll admit, I see myself as screaming like a school girl to the last breath in this..the worst of all ways..to die. This man was like the Vietnamese Buddhists who died silent and stoic. What does that require??? I sure don't have whatever that takes and I dare say, few if any here do. Mental Illness doesnt even cover it...I don't think being nuts would hold past the first waves of pain from head to toe and right into the body core from the lungs. Nope...

What kind of mindset does it take..to experience full body pain beyond out worst nightmares...and not utter much, if anything...but just be there and die.

I hope..I REALLY HOPE..I never understand how this man and the people in Vietnam managed to do this....and do it without a scream or just going flat out bat crap....


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posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 02:26 AM
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Two things to say : this is sad.

And... that's what happens when the divorce laws that were written in the 1930s are not reformed. I have never seen wives lose a case. Never. To lose, the wife has to be on crack or something and even then, she might not lose.

The wife might earn 250k$ a year, and the father might be unemployed, doesn't matter, the father has to pay or he will go to jail.

REFORM THE STINKING LAWS. THIS AIN'T THE 1930S ANYMORE. Women have a better standing, they can work, they are independant, etc.

Most child support laws are used by pissed off ex wives to screw with their ex, it has nothing to do with real care for the child.

Abolish them or heavily reform them.



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 02:29 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 
Then consider yourself lucky that you have never experienced anguish and despair so deeply that being set on fire would kind of tickle in comparision. I see so many every day close to, or beyond this threshold.. it breaks my heart.



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 02:31 AM
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I'm never having kids, never getting married. I can barely afford my life and I have a "high tech" job.

I honestly have no frigging idea how other men do it. The wife-n-kids thing, I mean.

I know that if i had kids with a wife, we'd eventually divorce, do the custody/child support thing, and I'd end up broke as hell at the end of my life.

No thanks. The American Dream is Dead.
edit on 18-6-2011 by Cryptonomicon because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 04:53 AM
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Originally posted by indigothefish
reply to post by civilchallenger
 


june 11th 1963 Thích Quảng Đức burned himself in protest of the prosecution of buddhists

the dates are close, possibly even closer if you knew how to count the moon in ... coincidence?




edit on 6/17/2011 by indigothefish because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/17/2011 by indigothefish because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/17/2011 by indigothefish because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/17/2011 by indigothefish because: (no reason given)


How did the monk end up owing child support. I didn't even know they were allowed to have children.

Just goes to show, even Buddhists can get stung by the system.

Oh wait, you meant something else





posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 05:01 AM
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Idiot leaves children fatherless should be the title op.


+14 more 
posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 05:06 AM
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Originally posted by Naptown317
Idiot leaves children fatherless should be the title op.


No, the title should read:

State Laws leave children fatherless




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