Tag Archives | Justice

An Environmental Advocate Faces Jail Time For Peacefully Derailing The Government’s Auction Of Utah Land

Photo: Nodar Kherkheulidze

Photo: Nodar Kherkheulidze

Environmental hero or another illegal tactic of a peaceful activist? Jurors are often told that they must come to a verdict based on the law and not their moral conscious. Should DeChristopher get a 4 1/2 year prison sentence, or should his trial lead to a reconsideration of the law? AlterNet reports:

Tim DeChristopher is scheduled to be sentenced in a Salt Lake City courtroom by U.S. District Judge Dee Benson on July 26. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $750,000 fine for fraudulently bidding in December 2008 on parcels of land, including areas around eastern Utah’s national parks, which were being sold off by the Bush administration to the oil and natural gas industry. As Bidder No. 70, he drove up the prices of some of the bids and won more than a dozen other parcels for $1.8 million. The government is asking Judge Benson to send DeChristopher to prison for four and a half years.

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For Women, Darker Skin Tone Means Longer Prison Sentences

X63248-02Racial bias in our criminal justice system isn’t a binary matter, with different treatment for blacks versus whites — rather, a new study suggests that it is a sliding scale, in which severity of punishment increases proportionally as skin color becomes darker. Via the Root:

Villanova researchers studied more than 12,000 cases of African-American women imprisoned in North Carolina and found that women with lighter skin tones received more-lenient sentences and served less time than women with darker skin tones.

The researchers found that light-skinned women were sentenced to approximately 12 percent less time behind bars than their darker-skinned counterparts. Women with light skin also served 11 percent less time than darker women.

The study took into account the type of crimes the women committed and each woman’s criminal history to generate apples-to-apples comparisons. The work builds on previous studies by Stanford University, the University of Colorado at Boulder and other institutions, which have examined how “black-looking” features and skin tone can impact black men in the criminal-justice arena.

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US, Russia, China Faulted For ‘Serious Deficiencies’ In Rule Of Law

Protesters clash with riot police on 7 November 2007 during Georgian demonstrations. Photo: Diaoha, Georgia Today

Protesters clash with riot police on 7 November 2007 during Georgian demonstrations. Photo: Diaoha, Georgia Today

How well has America upheld ‘justice for all’ this year? Via Solidarity Institute:

An annual survey of the rule of law around the world released Monday sees weak protections for fundamental rights in China, “serious deficiencies” in Russia, and problems with discrimination in the United States.

Sweden and Norway scored highest on the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index, which ranks countries on such key areas as whether the government is held accountable, there is access to justice, rights are protected and crime and corruption is prevented.

“Achieving the rule of law is a constant challenge and a work in progress in all countries,” said Hongsia Liu, the executive director of the project, which was funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He said the index was “not designed to shame or blame, but to provide useful reference points for countries in the same regions, with comparable legal cultures and similar income levels.”

[Continues at Solidarity Institute]

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On the Death of Osama and the Rise of the Magic Brooms

MickeyFantasiaFountain

Mickey Fantasia Fountain, Disneyland Paris. (CC)

Via Aaron Dames: Observations on Nature and Humanity:

The end excuses any evil. — Sophocles, Electra

Read what’s presented to you the same way you would read Iraqi Propaganda. — Noam Chomsky, Imperial Ambitions

For the liberation of a people more is needed than economic policy, more than industry: if a people is to become free, it needs pride and willpower, defiance, hate, hate and once again hate. — Adolf Hitler, Munich speech, April 10, 1923

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. — Friedrich Nietzsche

Why do we kill people who kill people to show people that killing people is wrong? — From a bumper sticker

Jesus Christ would slap the shit of out you. — Another bumper sticker

This week President Obama visited the World Trade Center due to the death of Osama Bin Laden.… Read the rest

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Bradley Manning Supporters Heckle Obama During Fundraiser

manningReuters reports:

Protesters interrupted President Barack Obama at a campaign fund-raiser on Thursday to complain about the treatment in detention of a U.S. soldier accused of leaking documents that appeared on the WikiLeaks website.

Obama’s administration has been criticized for Bradley Manning’s treatment, although the president says the Pentagon has assured him the soldier is not being ill-treated while he is awaiting trial.

Obama was addressing a room of about 200 people — many of whom paid as much as $35,800 to see him — when a woman in a white suit stood up and announced that she and nine others sitting at her table had written a song for him.

Despite Obama’s protestations, they then broke into a song that called for the 23-year-old soldier’s release. They passed out “Free Bradley Manning” signs and the woman took off her jacket to reveal a black T-shirt with Manning’s image.

“Now, where was I?” the somewhat flustered president said after the group stopped.

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April Gallop Sues For 9/11 Truth With George W. Bush’s Cousin As Judge

Judge John M. WalkerThis press release sets the scene for the continuing battle for 9/11 Truth by former Army Specialist April Gallop, who was in the wing of the Pentagon that was hit on 9/11:

… On the morning of September 11, 2001, she was ordered by her supervisor to go directly to work at the Pentagon, before dropping off her ten-week-old son Elisha at day care.

Amazingly, the infant was given immediate security clearance upon arrival.

The instant Gallop turned on her computer an enormous explosion blew her out of her chair, knocking her momentarily unconscious.

Escaping through the hole reportedly made by Flight 77, she saw no signs of an aircraft – no seats, luggage, metal, or human remains.  Her watch (and other clocks nearby) had stopped at 9:30-9:31 a.m., seven minutes before the Pentagon was allegedly struck at 9:38 a.m.

The 9/11 Commission reported that “by no later than 9:18 a.m., FAA centers in Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Washington were aware that Flight 77 was missing and that two aircraft had struck the World Trade Center.”

Why then were there no anti-aircraft defenses, Gallop asks, or alarm warnings inside the Pentagon?

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Texas Blocked From Debuting Controversial New Lethal-Injection Cocktail

ap_texas_execution_cleve_foster_nt_110405_mnThe state of Texas will have to wait until another day to try out a newly formulated death-inducing mixture which critics say could cause agonizing suffering. Cleve Foster, a Desert Storm veteran convicted of the murder of a woman he’d met in a bar, was scheduled to be executed tonight; this afternoon the Supreme Court blocked his execution for reasons including “questions related to his guilt.” The Atlantic Wire elaborates:

Foster has maintained his innocence for years, writing that he is “on death row waiting to die for a crime another man has confessed to.” He’s referring to Sheldon Ward, who was convicted alongside Foster in 2004 and has since died in prison of a brain tumor.

The drugs the state would have used to execute Foster–a cocktail of pentobarbital, pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride–have never been used in a Texas execution before.

If the cocktail doesn’t work properly, says Stafford Smith, director of the human-rights organization Reprieve, then during his execution, Foster will experience “excruciating pain that has been likened to having one’s veins set on fire.”

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More Black Men Now In Prison System Than Were Enslaved Before the Civil War Began

LA Progressive reports on law professor Michelle Alexander's stunning claims:
“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Michelle Alexander told a standing room only house at the Pasadena Main Library this past Wednesday, the first of many jarring points she made in a riveting presentation...
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Introducing The American Party

ressurection-10Dear Friends, Countrymen, Freethinking Radicals and Brainwashed Monkeys,

Thank you for coming. Thank you for showing your support. Thank you all for making The American Party happen. If this is your first time learning of us then an introduction is in order.

We’re responsible for creating the petition to free Patricia Marilyn Spottedcrow. A mother of four sent to ten years in prison for selling $31 of marijuana. On April 20th, 2011  we’re going to march on Washington D.C. and petition President Obama to pardon her of all criminal charges and penalties.

But I got to let you in on a little secret. This isn’t entirely about Patricia or getting her out of prison. This is bigger than that. This movement is about the fact that everything in this country is fucked up on every level: top to bottom, large to small. Patricia was just the straw that broke the camels back.… Read the rest

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Obama Restarts Guantanamo Trials

GitmoEntranceThe Washington Post reports:
President Barack Obama approved Monday the resumption of military trials for detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ending a two-year ban. It was the latest acknowledgement that the detention facility Obama had vowed to shut down within a year of taking office will remain open for some time to come. But even while announcing a resumption of military commission trials, Obama reaffirmed his support for trying terror suspects in U.S. federal courts - something that's met vehement resistance on Capitol Hill. "I strongly believe that the American system of justice is a key part of our arsenal in the war against al-Qaida and its affiliates, and we will continue to draw on all aspects of our justice system - including Article III courts - to ensure that our security and our values are strengthened," the president said in a statement.
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