2017년 12월 23일 토요일

[발췌] Debtors' Prisons


※ 발췌 (excerpts):


출처 1: "Debtors' Prisons, Then and Now: FAQ", The Marshall Project, Feb 24, 2015.

( ... ... ) The American tradition of debtors' imprisonment seems to be alive and well. But how could that be? Jailing the indigent for their failure to meet contractual obligations was considered primitive by ancient Greek and Roman politicians, and remains illegal and unheard of in most developed countries. Under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, the practice is listed as a civil-rights violation.

A building in Accomack County, Va., which served as a debtor's prison from 1824 to 1849.


In the United States, debtor's prisons were banned under federal law in 1883. A century and a half later, in 1983, the Supreme Court affirmed that incarcerating indigent debtors was unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection clause. Yet, citizens like Sanders and Ford are, to this day, routinely jailed after failing to repay debt. Thought ^de jure^ debtors' prisons are a thing of the past, ^de facto^ debtors' imprisonment is not. ( ... ... )

What is the history of debtors' prisons in the United States?

From the later 1600s to the early 1800s, many cities and states operated actual "debtors' prisons," brick-and-mortar facilities that were designed explcitly and exclusively for jailing negligent borrowersㅡsome of whom owed no more than 60 cents. These dungeons, such as ( ... ... )

Imprisonment for indebtedness was commonplace. Two signatories of the Declaration of Independence, James Wilson, an associate justice of the Supreme Court, and Robert Morris, a close friend of George Washington's, spent time in jail after neglecting loans.

But for those without friends in high places, debtors' imprisonment could turn into a life sentence. In many juristictions, debtors were not freed until they acquired outside funds to pay what they owed, or else worked off the debt through years of penal labor. As a result, many languished in prison─and died there─for the crime of their indigence. ( ... ... )

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