Activist pleads guilty to stashing guns in jail

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Do we, as a nation, have way too many people in jail? Are too many Americans locked up?

When you look at the numbers, it’s highly suggestive that we’ve got too many people in prison compared to other developed and non-totalitarian nations. It’s evidence that something needs to be done.

Which brings me to prison reform activists.

Now, understand, there are two kinds, generally. One kind thinks we’ve made too many things illegal or give sentences that are too harsh and simply wants to change the system so that this gets corrected. I happen to agree about having made way too much illegal, so I get where they’re coming from.

The other kind are apparently really just pro-criminal. They don’t think anything about changing the system, they just want to do what they can to benefit actual criminals.

One of the latter kind of activists will get to join them in jail.

 A prominent prison reform advocate who disguised himself as a construction worker to hide guns, handcuff keys and hacksaw blades in the walls of a Nashville jail under construction pleaded guilty to a federal firearms charge on Thursday.

U.S. Attorney Attorney Mark Wildasin’s office in Nashville announced Alex Friedmann’ s guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Friedmann had previous felony convictions, including armed robbery; assault with intent to commit first degree murder; and attempted aggravated robbery.

The plea in federal court follows a conviction last month after a jury trial in state court of felony vandalism for damage to the new jail. Much of what happened at the new $150 million Downtown Detention Center was caught on surveillance video and went undisputed at that trial.

Federal authorities say Friedmann contracted someone to build a 200-square-foot, fireproof storage area — determined to be a place to practice plans for the jail — in a basement area of one of the buildings at a Nashville complex where he owned a condominium. Authorities say Friedmann moved locked storage crates to a friend’s house in nearby Joelton that contained 21 firearms, including assault rifles, handguns, shotguns and a 37mm launcher.

I don’t think anyone can look at the list of things Friedman apparently wanted to stash in the jail and not be very, very glad he was caught before the jail opened.

And again, Friedman is a prison reform activist. He supposedly wants to fix the system–a system he was a guest of on at least one occasion.

Only, he didn’t care about those jammed up for stupid crimes. He didn’t give a damn about whether there were unjust laws on the books or whether those accused of victimless crimes were really criminals or not.

It seems he pushed for prison reform because he didn’t want to be held fully accountable for his actions and didn’t think any of his criminal brethren should either. He didn’t like jail and didn’t want to have to spend so much time there, apparently.

Further, as a felon, how did he get all those guns? Gun control laws are supposed to stop felons from getting firearms, right?

Well, clearly, they didn’t.

Then he was going to put guns inside a jail so that some of his criminal buddies could get them and escape.

Frankly, Friedman needs to be buried under the jail for this one. I honestly don’t see how these actions were anything but an effort to orchestrate a massive jailbreak. The sheriff there agrees. That means Friedman wanted to put dangerous criminals back out on the streets, only this time armed.

Well, if Friedman is indicative of prison reform advocates, that’s a movement that doesn’t need to gain any more steam going forward.