Preacher's Daughter: "We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest" in Wake of Troy Davis' Judicial Lynching. One might have hoped that, by this hour, the very sight of chains on black flesh, or the very sight of chains, would be so intolerable a sight for the American people, and so unbearable a memory, that they would themselves spontaneously rise up and strike off the manacles.
But no, they appear to glory in their chains; now, more than ever, they appear to measure their safety in chains and corpses. -James Baldwin to Angela Davis.* Billie Holiday, "Strange Fruit" (lyrics) Last night, the state of Georgia, with the blessing of the highest court in the nation, executed Troy Davis despite evidence showing that Davis' guilt was not established "beyond the shadow of a doubt. " Georgia Parole Board's Decisions on Troy Davis vs. Samuel Crowe Cases Almost Like Black and White. Editorial - High Cost of Death Row. This TIme in Alabama. UPDATE: Prisoner pronounced dead at 6:25 PM.
Final words: "Game over. " (Reuters) An Alabama man who has spent just four years on death row for the suffocation and beating death of his infant son is set to die by lethal injection on Thursday. The execution of Christopher Thomas Johnson, 39, is scheduled for 6 p.m. local time at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore. Johnson made the rare move of pleading guilty to capital murder in the 2005 death of his 6-month-old son Elias Ocean Johnson. The inmate requested the death penalty, which was granted in February 2007, and waived all appellate and intervention measures on his behalf. In a statement issued by Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty, executive director Esther Brown said even though the organization respects Johnson's right to have the death penalty imposed, they questioned his motives. "We are a prisoner organization and therefore respect a prisoner's wishes.
The World's Top Executioners - By Joshua E. Keating. Number of executions: Thousands -- reliable statistics are hard to come by.* The number of executions carried out every year in China is a state secret, but Amnesty International believes that it numbers in the thousands.
There are 55 crimes punishable by death in China, including economic crimes like corruption and embezzlement, though a judicial reform carried out this year removed such crimes as issuing false tax invoices, robbing ancient ruins, and smuggling rare animals from the list. The most common methods of execution are firing squad and lethal injection, though China has been something of a grim innovator on this front, launching a fleet of mobile "death vans" that travel from town to town administering injections.
In a recent high-profile case, China sentenced four Uighur separatists to death for their role in the ethnic unrest that swept through Xinjiang autonomous region in July. *All figures from Amnesty International unless otherwise noted. Death Penalty Cost. "Using conservative rough projections, the Commission estimates the annual costs of the present system ($137 million per year), the present system after implementation of the reforms ... ($232.7 million per year) ... and a system which imposes a maximum penalty of lifetime incarceration instead of the death penalty ($11.5 million).
" Recent Cost Studies. Supreme Court/ Death Penalty. From Congressional Quarterly Researcher, March 10, 1995 Volume 5, No. 9.
(Reprinted here with permission from Congressional Quarterly) IS THE DEATH PENALTY UNJUST? Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Texas Abolishes Last Meal For Death Row Inmates. Reuters: “Enough is enough,” state Senator John Whitmire wrote in a letter on Thursday to prison officials, prompting the move.
“It is extremely inappropriate to give a person sentenced to death such a privilege. It’s a privilege which the perpetrator did not provide to their victim.”The letter was in apparent response to the dinner requested, but not eaten, by white supremacist Lawrence Brewer before he was put to death on Wednesday night for the 1998 dragging death of James Byrd Jr.Brewer requested an elaborate meal that included a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, a meat-lover’s pizza, a big bowl of okra with ketchup, a pound of barbecue, a half a loaf of bread, peanut butter fudge, a pint of ice cream and two chicken-fried steaks.When it arrived around 4 p.m. at Brewer’s cell, he declined it all, telling prison officials he wasn’t hungry. Apparently, death penalty opponents are not bothered by the change. They say the practice makes the prison system look more humane than it is.
Beta. The state of Georgia shamefully executed Troy Davis on September 21, 2011 despite serious doubts about his guilt.
But Not In My Name. While a majority of the world – more than 65% of all countries – has abolished the death penalty in law or practice, the United States remains one of the top countries responsible for executing people. Not In My Name. Officials continue to allow this deeply-flawed, extremely arbitrary and severely-biased (both economically and racially) system to run rampant without checks, balances or concern for moral decency. Guilty or innocent every person is a human being with human rights. I won't stand for it.