Prison in Paradise

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There’s no political spin to this story at all, but I’m putting it up anyway just for its entertainment value:

The tiny jail on Catalina Island is hardly Alcatraz. Just ask Frank Carrillo. The pro golfer turned jewel thief couldn’t believe his luck when he was moved out of his bleak Men’s Central Jail cell in downtown L.A. and allowed to do his time on the sunny tourist isle.

But things got even cushier when he met a Los Angeles County sheriff’s captain interested in shaving a few strokes off his golf game. Carrillo said Capt. Jeff Donahue escorted him in a patrol Jeep to a hilltop golf course last summer. There, dressed in his yellow inmate jumpsuit, Carrillo said, he gave the captain pointers on how to improve his swing and reduce a double-digit handicap.

….Carrillo, who compared his time in jail for multiple felonies to “hitting the lotto,” thought Donahue should be emulated, not investigated. “He was amazing to me,” said Carrillo, who believes the captain benefited from his lesson.

“He kind of has this swing that’s old school and risky, but he hits it every time,” Carrillo said in a phone interview. “I would probably say he’s a 14 or 15 handicap. Not too bad.”

No need to say more. You had me at “pro golfer turned jewel thief.” I smell quirky buddy movie here — maybe with Owen Wilson as the roguish golfer/jewel thief and Morgan Freeman as the gruff but likeable sheriff. Let’s do lunch.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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