Woman: 16 Days in NJ Jail a 'Death Sentence'
Topless-rights activist Phoenix Feeley threatens hunger strike
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Aug 9, 2013 9:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – Phoenix Feeley thinks that conditions at Monmouth County Jail in New Jersey are so bad that a 16-day stay there amounts to a "death sentence." Feeley, a 33-year-old professional fire-eater, has been locked up for refusing to pay a $816 fine for going topless at Spring Lake beach in 2008. A judge handed down the 16-day sentence yesterday, the Asbury Park Press reports, in a hearing that Feeley attended via video conference from jail, clad in a jumpsuit with her arms handcuffed behind her back.

"You just filed a death sentence," Feeley said. She explained that she refuses to eat the jail's food, which she describes as "inhumane, grade four, less than McDonald's." She also said that the words "help me" were scrawled on the wall of her cell in someone else's blood, and alleged that the guards had abused her, threatened her, and kept her naked in her cell. Feeley believes that it's discriminatory that men can go topless in public, but not women. The stance has paid off in the past; after a 2005 arrest on an indecent exposure charge in New York City she sued the city and won a $29,000 settlement. But the same arguments didn't prevail in New Jersey.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Woman: 16 Days in NJ Jail a 'Death Sentence' is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 74 comments
Aug 10, 2013 4:06 AM CDT
The 7th amendment to our American constitution, found in the Bill of Rights, guarantees the right to a jury trial in all issues of $20 dollars or more. If the lady makes a demand for a jury trial contesting the $816 dollar fine, as a subject of American law, she is entitled to and guaranteed the right to a trial by jury before she can be fined. The 7th amendment provision of the Bill of rights was made the law of the land in 1791 when America became a free nation.
Aug 9, 2013 10:00 PM CDT
Im sorry but an erection is not the same thing as a fall. Its not even close. Maybe you're ok with your four year old watching an old man get a erection while surrounded by children and teens because he's allowed to be nude wherever he wants and chooses to go to a park because he's a pedophile, but im not. There is absolutely no reason for anyone, man or woman, to be completely naked around a bunch of children that aren't their own. A four year old should not be dealing with finding out about erections because some random stranger got one in front of the child. A parent has every right to shelter their child from that, until such an age as is actually appropriate in their eyes, if they choose to. Why should someone have to deal with random people naked in front of their house, because they can be? And if you're only an all or nothing, then its better off nothing. There are plenty of gorgeous people who will leave all their clothes on by choice, and plenty of ugly people who will take them off by choice, and that's regardless of what your preferences are. But you shouldn't have to see it if you don't want to. By that very same logic pedophiles are ok because a childs body is just a natural state. Im using an extreme argument, because there will prob be some pedophile who would use that same exact argument to try to justify their heinous actions, if you're allowing it for other reasons. We also shouldn't have porn channels and sites blocked, seeing as how its the natural body and a natural act, and children aren't going to be scarred by it in even the slightest. Yes some people make a far larger deal of it than will ever be necessary, but there is a time and place for you to show everything off, and I hardly feel that locations where children regularly c
Aug 9, 2013 9:54 PM CDT
Can i be locked up with her?