Asians, Exercise, Music, Prisons, Sentencing Law, Videos, Weirdness

Sentencing Reform: Dancing Will Set You Free

We’re guessing you’ve all seen this video of 1,500 Filipino prisoners dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” It has been discussed all over the blogosphere and MSM. E.g, Gawker; Concurring Opinions; Times of London.
(We’re just surprised that sentencing guru Doug Berman — who, by the way, moderated a great panel on the federal sentencing guidelines at the recent ACS convention we attended (and will write about later) — hasn’t weighed in on this innovative approach to criminal punishment.)
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the clip:
Cebu Philippines Filipino prisoners prison inmates dancing Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg
Pretty cool, eh? Professor Charles Nesson of Harvard Law School quipped, “I want to meet the warden.”
Well, Professor Nesson, we can help. As it turns out, Byron Garcia — the prison official who came up with this idea, and uploaded the video clip to YouTube — is our uncle!
You can read our correspondence with Tito Byron, after the jump.

We noticed that the YouTube clip was uploaded by user byronfgarcia, based in Cebu City, the Philippines. That’s where our mother’s family is from. So we sent Byron F. Garcia a YouTube message:

Hi there. My name is David Garcia Lat. My mom, Zenda Garcia Lat, is one of the children of the late Jesus B. Garcia Sr. and Severiana Garcia (my Lolo Jess and Lola Ever) [my maternal grandparents].

I see that you write for the Sun Star [which is the Garcia family newspaper]. Maybe we are related?

I love the video!


And he wrote back:


Sure we are related, I’m the son of your Lolo Pabling [brother of our late grandfather] and I’m the brother of your aunt Gwen.

Thanks for viewing!


We responded:

Oh wow, that’s awesome!

I haven’t been following this that closely (a friend of mine emailed this), but is this actually a video from a prison in Cebu?

And he explained:


This was taken at the jail, Capitol runs the Provincial jail in Cebu. I am the Security Consultant and I oversee the operations there. This is actually one of our concepts in jail management wherein instead of the usual morning exercises, we let the inmate[s] memorize [dance moves], and count their routine using the beat of the music.

Keep in touch!

Uncle Byron

How random. What a small world!
“Thriller” (original upload) [YouTube]
Everybody Dance Now: Thriller [Gawker]
i want to meet the warden [eon / Charles Nesson]
Friday Fun: Thriller, Remixed [Concurring Opinions]
Jailhouse rock gets the whole cell block dancing [Times Online (UK)]

(hidden for your protection)

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