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Tag: miscarriage of justice
I was recently able to view a documentary titled “The Cooler Bandits.” It’s the story of four young men who were sentenced to hundreds of years in prison for robbing Akron, Ohio, area restaurants in the early ‘90s. The film tells the story of the four men, all in their teens and early 20s when the crimes were committed. What type of justice is this? Five hundred years for a crime where no one was injured is a gross miscarriage of justice, especially when the offender was only 18 years old.
As I sit here in a 4½-by-11-foot cage on Thanksgiving Day, I first and foremost am thankful to be alive. On Feb. 10, 2004, I came within three hours and 42 minutes of being strapped down to a gurney, tortured with lethal poison and murdered by volunteer prison-guard executioners. So, yes, I am very thankful to be alive. I am also very thankful for all the people – my legal team, friends, family, supporters and activists working to end the death penalty – who have helped make my being alive possible. I have respectfully asked the governor and others to look at my case with an open mind, outside the legal box that has me close to being killed for murders of which I am innocent.
The majority of employees at La Palma Correctional Center who work on Compound 3 fit the description of a Security Threat Group due to their unlawful conduct, but who investigates them or makes them answerable? Certainly not themselves. Yet I am being targeted for my work; a work that was created to build a constructive Humanity; while these prison officials are rewarded for work that assaults the very fabric that makes us human and seeks to destroy lives.
Old friends passing ... I shed a tear ... Remembering ... Their smiling and laughing ... Educating me ... And making me feel loved ... I shed a tear ... ‘Cause now ... I feel as if I’m all alone ... I shed a tear ... DeAndre Williams went to trial in 1997 as a result of a six-count indictment. He was acquitted on all six counts. Normally, any defendant acquitted on every count of an indictment would walk out of the courtroom a free man. Not Williams. He was sentenced to 25 to life and remains in prison in New York.
On Dec. 14, civil rights leader and political prisoner Rev. Edward Pinkney will have spent a year in Michigan state prison. An all-white jury convicted him of five felony counts of forgery for changing dates next to signatures on a petition drive for a recall election, though no evidence of guilt was presented. While Pinkney’s appeal proceeds slowly through the grinding gears of the judicial system, he remains in the clutches of the state.
The City of Chicago has released, under court order, the dashcam video from the brutal killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer – and it’s as bad as we all expected. At the same time as they released the video, the county prosecutor announced she’d be pursuing first degree murder charges against McDonald’s killer, Officer Jason Van Dyke. Unfortunately, these are charges that should have been filed a year ago.
When people hear the story of Ed and Mondo, some say the prison time is a waste of their lives. They have wasted nothing. Despite their circumstances, and they are bleak to be sure, they each live productive lives, “lives that matter.” During the last 45 years, both men have continued to teach and influence, to set a positive example and guide their peers. They serve as a reminder to us all to make each day count for something more than ourselves.
Today the Fifth Circuit has ruled that Texas may not proceed with the scheduled execution of Robert Campbell, a man whose lifelong mental retardation was not proven until new evidence, long hidden by prosecutors and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, very recently came to light. According to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2002 decision in Atkins v. Virginia, he is ineligible for the death penalty.
On Wednesday, March 5, the full U.S. Senate failed on a procedural vote to support the nomination of Debo Adegbile to be the next assistant attorney general for civil rights. According to an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Adegbile’s representation of Mumia Abu-Jamal when he headed the NAACP LDF is reason enough to derail his nomination.
In classic Fox form, the interview with me would not be about the case or about the appointment of Adegbile. In the end, the point of the segment was for Fox to call Mumia “a thrice-convicted cop killer” as many times as possible, and to associate that with Debo Adegbile so as to strategically energize a right-wing agenda against the gains of the civil rights movement – following the same pattern as in their successful campaign to decommission Van Jones.