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Sheriff Joe Arpaio calls off the chain gangs

Jul 11, 2011, 6:37 PM EDT

Joe Arpaio

He’s a pretender.

Maricoa County sheriff Joe Arpaio, who made headlines last week by announcing that he was going to use chain gangs of DUI offenders to pick up trash outside Chase Field during All-Star week, apparently bowed to criticism and changed his mind Monday.

The sheriff had planned to have three chain gangs decked out in striped jail garb posted around Chase Field during Tuesday’s game. One was to be made up entirely of undocumented immigrants convicted of drunken driving.

We can assume MLB didn’t respond kindly to the idea of having its event used as a showcase for Arpaio’s policies and ambitions.

  1. aclassyguyfromaclassytown - Jul 11, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    People with biased agendas shouldn’t be sheriffs

  2. Reflex - Jul 11, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    Humiliation should never be part of the legal code. Crime, punishment, rehabilitation. Grandstanding on humiliation of others is deplorable and a disgrace.

    • aclassyguyfromaclassytown - Jul 11, 2011 at 7:06 PM

      Doesn’t it fall into the lines of “(maybe not) Cruel (but at least) unusual punishment? If you wanna have a chain gang pick up trash, take them to a dirty highway and clean it. Don’t parade them outside of the freaking All-star game. Talk about a lose / lose for both sides. Every politician in AZ must’ve done a facepalm when they heard his plan. The only funny part of it all, he actually thought it was a good idea.

    • jimbo1949 - Jul 11, 2011 at 7:18 PM

      Why didn’t he put them in stocks? That’s what our founding great-grandfathers would have done, right after they abolished slavery.

  3. skerney - Jul 11, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    Illegal immigration = Big problem.
    Joe Arpaio = Huge problem.

  4. pisano - Jul 11, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    This guy is a first class scumbag. My friend was incarcerated in his jail and to this day he swears he will never even drive through Ariz. again because of him being afraid of getting sent back to that jail. By the way this asshole is a millionaire, he sells the meat that the prisoners eat to the state of Ariz. He raises Emu’s and sells the meat to the state. This guy is a real piece of work, and how about the state of Ariz. they’re probably getting kick backs from Arpaio.

  5. aceshigh11 - Jul 11, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Using chain gangs? What in hell?

    This man has been a showboating attention fiend for years, but this shameless stunt takes the cake.

    I have no problem with being “tough” on crime (a nebulous term, to be sure), but degrading and humiliation treatment has NO place in our criminal justice system.

    Arpaio a clown and a crypto-fascist.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 11, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    “We can assume MLB didn’t respond kindly to the idea of having its event used as a showcase for Arpaio’s policies and ambitions.”

    As opposed to the way some of the MLB players used this event as a showcase to speak out against the AZ law. It’s ok to show opposition when it agrees with what you media people think should be the policy, but God forbid it is someone doing something in support of the law…well…that’s just showcasing an it is wrong. Lol

    • Maxa - Jul 11, 2011 at 9:03 PM

      Do you really think that the two cases are comparable? Criticism does not entail disrespect. There is nothing inappropriate about the way in which Adrian Gonzalez and others have expressed opposition to the Arizona law; even those who disagree with them should be able to appreciate this. As others have noted, however, Arpaio’s chain gang would have been a spectacle and an exercise in humiliation.

    • aclassyguyfromaclassytown - Jul 11, 2011 at 9:14 PM

      I’m thinking that people who are for the AZ immigration law would see these actions as a sign of classlessness. You do bring up a good point about having it both ways, but this goes outside of the discussion when this guy isn’t a ball player. An example being Tony Larrusa being for the law, and other players not being for it. Both could speak their minds at the event if asked about it, cause both have good reason to be there. Sherrif Joe trying to steal the spotlight distracts from the event since he has nothing to do with it. To him it’s obviously trying to get in the spotlight to speak his mind, where players and coaches are already there. It would seem obvious that Fiorentino is the guy giving thumbs down to all of these comments, as he’s the only one disagreeing with them. I know pronounce you Chris “Thumbs Down” Fiorentino.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 11, 2011 at 9:45 PM

        You would be completely 100% incorrect on the thumbs down. I only thumbs down when the comment is inappropriate. If I disagree, I comment with my disagreement. I live debate and cooking thumbs down when one disagrees is stupid in my opinion. I will thumbs up if I agree or if a comment makes me laugh.

        As I said on a previous thread on this subject, I am not arguing on the use of chain gangs here. I made sure to quote the EXACT line I was responding to in my comment. Simply put, every single post written on HBT slants toward the AZ law being bad. Adrien Gonzalez and others initially wanted to boycott the all star game and I didn’t read a single article that didn’t commend those players for taking a stand. Yet when someone does something to show support for the law, it gets snide commentary about how it is showboating and grandstanding. The lack of consistency sickens me.

    • The Common Man - Jul 11, 2011 at 11:02 PM

      Arpaio is free to criticize our country’s stance on immigration, and he’s doing so on talk shows, in the press, and books. I don’t begrudge him that, even though I tend to disagree with his positions. But even you have to admit there’s a difference between “showing opposition” using your rights of free speech (as players did) and showing opposition by putting a bunch of other people on display. Don’t you?

    • cggarb - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:02 PM

      1. It’s the ballplayer’s all-star game. It’s a little more appropriate for them to comment on it than for a public servant.

      2. Apraio can comment all he wants. His “statement” consisted solely dragging other human beings around in humiliating costumes. That’s worthy of scorn and ridicule.

      Do you actually support what Arpaio planned to do, or are you just standing up against the vast left-wing baseball media conspiracy?

  7. aclassyguyfromaclassytown - Jul 11, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    Ok, I will not refer to you as “Thumbs Down”, but someone is definitely getting that nickname one of these days. Seems nearly impossible to catch a person on it. I’m gonna dance around this a little to not be one sided. I have noticed with certain blogs that one side will be taken and then advocated more, if not completely over the other. I’m not saying it’s this site, cause it wasn’t, but I will say that when I notice it, it bothers me. Both sides have good reason for feeling the way they do, and though you may feel that majority of posts on this blog are one sided, the lack of neglecting the opposite opinion leaves it as an open forum and not completely biased (the fact that our comments aren’t deleted for disagreeing). I do think I remember reading posts about Larussa taking sides, being pro AZ immigration law, that weren’t one sided. At the same time, you’ve gotta figure that it’s the job of a writer to speak their opinion, and if it happens to be opposite the one we share, we may have to deal with them sharing what they feel. I have resorted to not reading the ones that I know are gonna annoy me, after having had found myself wasting so much time arguing with people, and now try to make light of things I agree with rather than get myself worked up over things I don’t like. Not saying you are, just speaking for myself. Maybe on sme issues it would be good for the writers of the post to have someone they work with write a post in defense of the other side, but why bother when we can simply so that as we are right now? Also, I didn’t read the previous thread on this subject. My opinion on Sherrif Joe is that he is not a guy for the job he holds. My opinion of the law has not been shared. My opinion on politics is that they should stay the hell away from baseball.

  8. Craig Calcaterra - Jul 11, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    You fools! A man drops a wonderful Pretenders “Back on the Chain Gang” reference in intro to the post and you guys don’t even give him mad props.

    It’s like I don’t even know you people anymore.

    • The Common Man - Jul 11, 2011 at 11:05 PM


    • mckludge - Jul 12, 2011 at 9:40 AM

      Alright everyone, time to go back to Ohio.

  9. cosanostra71 - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    I support the Arizona ID check law, but I also support the baseball players’ decisions to speak out against it. It’s a free country.

    I also don’t support Sheriff Joe (he’s a clown). These people have been convicted and given their punishment, but that doesn’t include putting a scarlet letter on them. Let them serve the punishment they were given. Humiliation won’t do anything to prevent recidivism, it will only make people angrier at the establishment.

    That said, I don’t understand why these illegal undocumented aliens are available to work this in the first place, instead of being deported back to where they came from after committing the federal felony of illegal entry and the fairly serious crime of drunken driven.

    • jwbiii - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:36 AM

      Do you normally carry ID which would past their standards?

      • cosanostra71 - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:23 AM

        I’m a legal citizen so it’s not a problem for me. I have a driver’s license, social security #, etc.

        the Arizona law is simply reinforcing federal law. It is US federal law for all aliens over the age of 15 staying in the country for longer than 30 days to register with the federal government, and the US federal government requires them to carry that registration with them at all times. The Arizona bill simply reinforces what is already federal law in an attempt to assist the local and state law enforcement deal with the issue of illegal immigration, since the federal government is doing nothing to help.

        But I digress. This action by Joe Arpaio had less to do with illegal immigration and the Arizona bill and more to do with his outrageous ideas of “law enforcement”. He has done things like this before, including forcing prisoners to do manual labor in the Arizona desert in the middle of summer. The focus here should be on exposing Arpaio’s medieval relics of punishments.

      • cosanostra71 - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:32 AM

        Arpaio has done things like serve inmates food that has gone bad, put political opponents under investigation for bogus crimes… he forces inmates to live in tents with no AC even when temperatures go above 100 degrees… he’s under investigation for abuse of power and corruption… let’s focus on this.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:09 AM

        A legal US Hispanic citizen who carries the same amount of identification I typically carry in my wallet would not pass the standards, and would have to either deal with the insecurity of keeping a birth certificate/SS card on them at all times or be detained for hours (at the minimum) until such documents could be produced. A DL on its own does not prove citizenship.

      • cosanostra71 - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        that is absolutely wrong. The bill’s author himself has said the following would be considered proof of citizenship: driver’s license, state ID, identity card. Many states (California, Arizona to begin with) do not allow you to obtain a driver’s license unless you can prove you are a legal citizen.

  10. Tim's Neighbor - Jul 12, 2011 at 5:18 AM

    Money talks. And when it talks, Sheriff Joe listens.

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