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Posts Tagged with "death row"

California’s death penalty is cruel, unusual and ‘arbitrary’

July 26, 2014

A federal judge issued a stunning decision July 16, holding that the dysfunctional administration of California’s death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. As Judge Cormac Carney, a Bush appointee, found, systemic delays result in execution of only a “random few (who) will have languished for so long on Death Row that their execution will serve no retributive or deterrent purpose and will be arbitrary.”

This drawing, the icon for all three California hunger strikes recognized around the world, was contributed by the renowned prison artist Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, then held in solitary confinement in Virginia, now in Texas. – Art: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 1859887, Clements Unit, 9601 Spur 591, Amarillo TX 79107

Largest hunger strike in history: California prisoners speak out on first anniversary

July 7, 2014

One year ago, on July 8, 2013, 30,000 California prisoners initiated the largest hunger strike the world has ever seen. Sixty days later, 40 prisoners, who had eaten nothing in all that time, agreed to suspend the strike when state legislators promised to hold hearings on ending solitary confinement, the heart of their demands. The 2013 hunger strike followed two in 2011. In the interim, effective October 2012, the hunger strike leaders, representing all racial groups, issued the historic Agreement to End Hostilities, which has held with few exceptions throughout the California prison system ever since.

Bomani card w children 'Love is the only freedom'

Don’t let Ohio execute Keith LaMar (Bomani Shakur), framed and innocent on death row

June 23, 2014

Keith LaMar, also known as Bomani Shakur, is a prisoner in Ohio, condemned to death on false charges following the 1993 Lucasville Prison Uprising. Bomani is one of five men condemned to death after being railroaded through forced snitch testimony. They are known as the Lucasville Five. The following is an interview with Bomani from death row, recorded on March 7, 2014.

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Intensified mail censorship a failed attempt to put new twist on Death Row SHU experiment

June 15, 2014

What appears to have caused the mail delays is the proposal that Death Row prisoners would no longer be housed exclusively in the San Quentin and Chowchilla but would be placed among the general population. They almost had a window of opportunity to “justify” building more control units within existing prisons.

Georgia prisoners on hunger strike since Feb. 9

February 19, 2014

On Feb. 9, 2014, prisoners in the special management unit of the Georgia Diagnostic Correctional Prison began another hunger strike to protest conditions. Some of the prisoners have had enough of the oppression and decided to take a true stand in fighting for their rights. Most of the prisoners participating are some of the same prisoners from the Dec. 9, 2010, and the June 11, 2012, hunger strikes, and these prisoners are again refusing to eat until conditions change.

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Four hunger strikers in San Quentin Adjustment Center are refusing water as well as food

July 26, 2013

We want to be counted amongst the thousands (on hunger strike) and also to let the world know that death row has a SHU, though they refuse to call it so. Everyone knows what the Adjustment Center is – a SHU, a prison within a prison – and we’ve been left in here for decades. However, 80 percent of us are still on strike. We lost three, but they were older and they did enough by showing their solidarity.

Scottsboro Boys pardoned: What other infamous civil rights cases are in need of closure?

May 25, 2013

The Scottsboro Boys have been vindicated, but there are many more waiting in the wings – waiting for justice. It is often said that justice delayed is justice denied. Many years have passed in so many unresolved civil rights crimes and injustices. And if no one is prepared to step up and pursue these cases, we must wonder if justice will ever come.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Bomani Shakur and Staughton Lynd speak to the Re-Examining the Lucasville Uprising Conference

May 20, 2013

The Re-Examining the Lucasville Uprising Conference, held April 19-21 in Columbus, Ohio, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Lucasville Uprising, was a resounding success by all reports. “A strong and vibrant coalition has come together to advocate for innocence of those convicted in the aftermath of the uprising,” reports Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio, one of the organizers.

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Greg Curry, cropped

Greg Curry on Lucasville Uprising and 20th anniversary hunger strike demanding media access

April 21, 2013

One big reason the story of Lucasville has to be told again and again is that not only did this tragic, desperate uprising lead to 10 deaths, but five men are still on death row and many more have been given lengthy sentences who declare their innocence. Here is the story in short of Greg Curry, one of the prisoners who received a life sentence even though he had nothing to do with the uprising or the murders.

‘Systemic failures persist’ in California prison mental health care, judge rules

April 11, 2013

Gov. Jerry Brown’s bid to end federal control over the state prison system’s mental health system was denied in federal court. Judge Karlton determined that “systemic failures persist in the form of inadequate suicide prevention measures, excessive administrative segregation of the mentally ill, lack of timely access to adequate care, insufficient treatment space and access to beds, and unmet staffing needs.”

Inmate slavery and the prison industrial complex: Resilience vs. docility

April 3, 2013

The much-publicized brutality and inhumane conditions suffered by prisoners in solitary confinement worldwide has once again sparked global debates on the unprecedented urgency of prison abolition and, by default, on the implementation of community-led restorative justice programs. Over the past two to three decades, the global penal system has turned increasingly roughshod and its practices have grown greatly abusive.

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LAPD was never spooked by Christopher Dorner: Something don’t smell right

February 14, 2013

Over the past week, Southern Cali police had more than 1,000 officers combing mountains, stopping traffic on major freeways where cars were held up for hours, offering a million dollars, the highest reward ever offered for a wanted person in state history – and that’s just for starters. During the past week, LAPD shot three innocent people without identifying themselves as police officers.

Build a movement to close solitary confinement

January 18, 2013

You may think that you know something about solitary, but you don’t. You may have a loved one in prison who has experienced it and told you about it. But still I say, you don’t know it. For, as you know the word torture, you don’t know how it feels. For solitary is torture. State torture. Official torture. Government sanctioned torture.

Last minute appeal from death row: Vote No on 34 to protect our due process rights

November 6, 2012

If Proposition 34 passes, it will endorse everything that is wrong with the criminal justice system and allow the appeals of innocent people on death row to go unheard. It will take away the one guarantee, through habeas counsel, that death row prisoners have to be able to clear their names and prove their innocence. Vote No on Prop 34; do not destroy due process rights.

LWOP: Death sentence by another name – Vote No on 34

November 3, 2012

Darrell Lomax is an innocent man who has been on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California for over 15 years. A poet, musician and activist, Darryl has been fighting for his freedom and advocating for justice. Here, he explains what’s at stake in the Proposition 34 ballot initiative that would replace the death penalty with sentences of life without the possibility of parole.

Steve Champion ends hunger strike following indications he may be released from Adjustment Center

October 24, 2012

“Champion ended his strike Oct. 19, after having lost over 51 pounds and having at least one major demand met: He has been promised that he will be released from his highly restrictive confinement after seven years of being held in ‘the hole.’”

Death Row prisoner Steve Champion, Tookie’s friend, on hunger strike since Oct. 4

October 8, 2012

Word has just reached us that Steve Champion, a prisoner on San Quentin’s death row well known as an inspirational advocate for justice and as one of the trio with Stanley Tookie Williams and Anthony Ross, began a hunger strike last Thursday, Oct. 4. His demands – still unmet – are listed in “The struggle never stops,” published in the July Bay View and reprinted here, and he asks that all who believe in justice flood the San Quentin warden and Corrections Department (CDCR) spokespersons with calls and emails.

It is a matter of innocence, not economics

October 1, 2012

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

Hope

September 29, 2012

There’s a cliché out there where you are that says, “As long as there’s life, there’s hope.” Back here where I am, behind these walls, it’s in reverse: “As long as there’s hope, there’s life.”

Just when you thought it was SAFE

July 6, 2012

The premise of the SAFE California Act is to “modify” the death penalty by replacing it with Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP.) The public will once again vote on how they wish to execute the so-called “worst of the worst”: either death by lethal injection, or death by long term incarceration. The act would also transfer $100 million to law enforcement.

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