death penalty

Please DON’T vote in favor of Prop 34 to end California’s death penalty, from Verbena Lea Oct 2012

feedback welcome to copwatchrwc@riseup.net, especially if you've read the various statements!  ~Verbena of RedwoodCurtain CopWatch

I know that this might be difficult for people to understand, but I am urging you not to vote for Prop 34, the Savings, Accountability, and Full Enforcement for California Act (SAFE California Act).  Never would I believe that I would stand in the way of abolishing the death penalty, but as with many propositions, bills, and ballot measures brought to the people in the past, with promising names (i.e. the horrendous and misleading "Victim's Rights Bill", Prop 9 in 2008) or the appearance of good ideas, it is necessary to look deeper- WHO created the bill?  WHO is advocating for it?  WHO is against it?  WHY?  Propositions put in petitions and on our ballots are not always as simple or righteous as they sound.

I have been talking some with people who have worked with prisoners and have fought for years against the racist, classist, unjust, and cruel jail and prison system of the U.S.- which has about 2.3 million people captured in its cages, and many more under the constant scrutiny and control of the injustice system (run by some of the worst crooks/criminals on Earth). And this does not account for the U.S. immigration detention centers, holding thousands of captives.  So, I sought out some opinions from people I trust, especially after speaking with a local woman who has been doing prisoner support and prison abolition work, and she was not excited about Prop 34. The large majority of people on death row in CA, apparently are not in favor either.  That says a lot.

It is my strong opinion, now, that we should not allow Prop 34 to pass.  And we should get busy creating a better ballot measure to end the death penalty, which puts funding in a just direction for those so harmed by the injustice system.


Below are four writings from prisoners on Death Row in San Quentin.  One of the writers, Kevin Cooper is an outspoken artist, writer, prisoner who was framed (like many black men) years ago for murder and has been fighting to be freed from prison and from death row for many years.  I think he raises important questions to examine... WHY were death row inmates never consulted by the proponents of this Act?  Who are the proponents?

PLEASE READ the statement from the Campaign to End the Death Penalty as to why it "cannot add its name to the list of organizations endorsing the California SAFE Act."   Here is the link:
http://www.nodeathpenalty.org/organizing-updates/october-25-2012-organizing-update/cedp-statement-california-safe-act

 

It is a matter of innocence, not economics

October 1, 2012

by Jarvis Jay Masters (on San Quentin's Death Row)

Please DON’T vote in favor of “The SAFE California Act” to end California’s death penalty.

You need to know that your vote for this act would throw away the key for all the innocent men and women on death row and, instead, sentence all prisoners on death row to spend the rest of their lives in prison without the possibility of parole and without effective legal representation.

The way I see it is, behind the scenes, the “Act” has been to cast Jeannie Woodford, former prison guard, former San Quentin warden, former director of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and current director of Death Penalty Focus, an organization striving to abolish the death penalty, to build support for this “Act” from, among others, the prison guards union.

Please DON’T vote in favor of “The SAFE California Act” to end California’s death penalty.

I am not the first to say how deeply troubling it is to see this initiative being advocated for by a woman who presided over state executions without ever offering an OPEN apology.

There is something even more troubling about depending on a flawed prison system and its employees to go ahead and make this decision, when the men and women at risk have never been asked for our two cents about matters that affect our life and death.  PLEASE KEEP READING!

The Framing of Kevin Cooper, on San Quentin’s Death Row [with VIDEO]

The Framing of Kevin Cooper, on San Quentin’s Death Row -- An interview with J. Patrick O’Connor
By Hans Bennett, Prison Radio

On February 20, San Quentin Prison (just North of San Francisco) was the site of a groundbreaking "Occupy San Quentin" demonstration linking Occupy Wall Street with the anti-prison movement. Inside on San Quentin’s death row is a man named Kevin Cooper, whose case for innocence is widely considered to be one of the most compelling today. Indeed, when the Ninth Circuit Court ruled against Cooper’s final appeal in 2009, Judge William A. Fletcher wrote in his 101 page dissenting opinion that “the State of California may be about to execute an innocent man.”

Kevin Cooper’s controversial 1985 conviction and death sentence is the subject of a new book by veteran journalist J. Patrick O’Connor entitled, Scapegoat: The Chino Hills Murders and The Framing of Kevin Cooper. O’Connor is the editor of www.crimemagazine.com and the author of The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal (Lawrence Hill, 2008). He has previously worked as a reporter for UPI, editor of Cincinnati Magazine, associate editor of TV Guide, and editor and publisher of the Kansas City New Times.

Urgent Update On Mumia Abu Jamal, Dec 8, 2011

On Wednesday December 7, 2011 District Attorney of Philadelphia, Seth Williams, accompanied by Maureen Faulkner, announced at a press conference that he was not pursuing another hearing to reinstate the death penalty for Mumia Abu Jamal.

This means that Mumia is now sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

There is already talk about him now being moved into general population.

Some people may celebrate this as a victory but MOVE is not under any illusions about these treacherous officials, we ain’t fooled one bit by their deviousness. We see this latest decision for exactly what it is- A devious tactic to kill Mumia in a so-called different way.

Georgia Senator Urges Execution Staff to STRIKE & REFUSE to Kill Troy Davis

Georgia Senator Joins SCHR to Urge Execution Staff to Strike & Refuse to Kill Troy Davis    Date of Publication:  09/20/2011

Atlanta – Today, the day before Troy Anthony Davis is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection, Georgia Senate Democratic Whip Vincent Fort and Southern Center for Human Rights Executive Director Sara Totonchi have issued a joint statement calling upon the individuals charged with carrying out the execution to refuse to participate in the killing of a possibly innocent man. 

URGENT: STOP the Execution of Troy Davis, set for Sept. 21 (Calls, Emails & Petitions!)


An Innocent Man Faces Execution in Georgia

Troy Davis faces execution in Georgia, September 21.
Davis was framed up, convicted, and sentenced to death for the murder of a Savannah policeman in 1989.

Please, call, fax or email today.
Stop the execution of Troy Davis!

* Gov. Nathan Deal: phone (404) 656-1776, fax (404) 657-7332, email georgia.governor@gov.state.ga.us, web contact form http://gov.state.ga.us/contact.shtml

Our Racist Justice System: How Troy Davis Has Spent 20 Years on Death Row, With Little Evidence Against Him

Davis's case has become an emblem for much of what is problematic about a capital punishment system that is riddled with racism, economic disparity and error.

June1, 2011 | “De’Jaun, come over here, I want to talk to you.”

De’Jaun Correia, a slender 13-year-old with thick corn-rows in his hair, sat down next to his uncle Troy Davis in the corner of the room. Troy described to De’Jaun what to expect now that he was approaching adolescence. “Your body’s gonna be changing…. Women, they go through things, and us guys, we go through things, too. The same thing happened to me when I was a young boy growing up.”

De’Jaun listened intently as his uncle explained the birds and the bees. It wasn’t the first time De’Jaun and Troy had had an intimate one on one. De’Jaun was more comfortable talking to his uncle, a sturdily built man with warm brown eyes, than anyone else.

Illinois Ends Death Penalty

By William Fisher The Public Record Mar 10th, 2011

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill Wednesday ending the death penalty in the state. 

After months of nail-biting, opponents of capital punishment were breathing easier today.

Yesterday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, took the final step in ending the death penalty and replacing it with a sentence of life without parole.

The law also requires that state funds used for the death penalty be transferred to a fund for murder victims’ services and law enforcement.

The ban on capital punishment comes after an eleven-year moratorium on executions declared by former Republican Governor George Ryan, and makes Illinois the 16th state to repeal the death penalty. It also marks the lowest number of states with the death penalty in more than thirty years.

Eureopean Govt's Stop US Company From Making Primary Drug Used in State Executions

Jan 22, 2011:  The sole US manufacturer of a key lethal injection drug said on Friday it is ending production because of death-penalty opposition overseas - a move that could delay executions across the United States.

Over the past several months, a growing shortage of the drug, sodium thiopental, has forced some states to put executions on hold.
And the problem is likely to get worse with the announcement from Hospira Inc. of Lake Forest, Illinois.

Hospira said it decided in recent months to switch manufacturing from its North Carolina plant to a more modern Hospira factory in Liscate, Italy. But Italian authorities demanded a guarantee the drug would not be used to put inmates to death - an assurance the company said it was not willing to give.

'We cannot take the risk that we will be held liable by the Italian authorities if the product is diverted for use in capital punishment,' Hospira spokesman Dan Rosenberg said. 'Exposing our employees or facilities to liability is not a risk we are prepared to take.' Italian Health Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

MUMIA'S LIFE IN DANGER! New Info: Protests, Rallies, Events

MUMIA'S LIFE IS IN DANGER!

Come out on November 9th 2010 to say:

MUMIA IS INNOCENT !  FREE MUMIA! 
END THE RACIST DEATH PENALTY!


MUMIA ABU-JAMAL faces his likely last court hearing on November 9th, 2010, at the Third Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, in Philadelphia.  This hearing is about sentencing only. 

Why is this happening?

OAKLAND PORT TO SHUT FOR OSCAR GRANT, OCT 23rd! OSCAR GRANT & MUMIA; TWO RALLIES, SAME FIGHT

- An urgent message from the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal -

Please forward, post and distribute widely: * Oscar Grant & Mumia Abu-Jamal - Mass mobilizations*!

TWO RALLIES, SAME FIGHT! Against racism, injustice and official murder of the innocent! PLEASE SCROLL DOWN for full information

 

1. OAKLAND, October 23rd 2010: PORT SHUT DOWN FOR OSCAR GRANT!
Rally: 12 Noon, City Hall, 14th and Broadway

 

OUTRAGE! An Innocent Black Man Shot in the Back by Police and... Killed for No Reason!

 

*Killer Cop Gets Off With Involuntary Manslaughter! * *

 

Photographic Evidence Proves: It Was Murder! *

 

Oscar Grant was a father of a young daughter, a working person in Oakland, and innocent of any crime! He was shot while he was held face-down with his hands behind him, by BART cop Johannes Mehserle!

 

Only because of massive street protests in Oakland, and cell-phone videos of the shooting which made it onto the nightly news, was the cop eventually charged with murder. But after a change of venue to Los Angeles, Mehserle received the lightest conviction: involuntary manslaughter. Oakland's integrated community rose again to protest.

 

ILWU Calls Rally& Port Shutdown!  

With Mehserle's long-delayed sentencing set for November 5th, Local 10 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), supported by many other unions and local community groups, called for a rally in downtown Oakland for Saturday, October 23rd at 12 noon.

 

And now the longshore membership has voted for a port shutdown as well, to say: Justice for Oscar Grant! Labor Unity With the Community! Jail Killer Cops!

NOV. 9, 2010: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Will Hear Oral Argument in Review of Mumia's Death Sentence

from Workers World

Nov. 9 in Philadelphia: ‘Free Mumia Abu-Jamal’

By Betsey Piette     Philadelphia     Published Oct 1, 2010

The nearly 29-year struggle to free political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal faces a critical juncture with the announcement that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit will review Abu-Jamal’s death sentence on Nov. 9. It is imperative that all who stand for justice and against racism and state repression pack the courtroom in Philadelphia.... 
Read more here:
http://www.workers.org/2010/us/mumia_1007/

 

*Read Updated Message of Events Worldwide beginning November 5th!  Click HERE


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