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    On the National Registry of Exonerations

    I’m actually rather surprised that this is something new.  One would think that our country would have some organized system for keeping track of people who were wrongfully convicted, but I digress.

    Those cataloging the database have identified 2000 wrongfully convicted people since 1989 alone.  The Innocence Project has been involved in 300 exonerations, and I’d wager these people were eternally grateful the day they walked out of prison. 

    If you ask me, this is just more evidence that we need to deal away with the death penalty.  The knowledge that our justice system gets it wrong this often is alarming, and if you truly support life, how then can you justify your support for a punishment that can’t be undone?  

    Personally, I’d take it a step further. Given the opportunity, I’d support laws that remove immunity for prosecutorial misconduct and strengthen laws that provide reparations to people who were wrongfully imprisoned.

    It’s only fair if one was forced to endure prison on false premises.

    2 05.21.12
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    motherjones:

    Judith Miller defends Mother Jones’ Trayvon Martin coverage to Fox News

    Yes, that Judy Miller. While her conservative colleagues were busy arguing Trayvon’s death wasn’t a national story, and the media had done a poor job of reporting, Miller shot back Saturday:

    ELLEN RATNER: …and the journalists didn’t do their jobs in terms of the racial composition of the community, were there other racially motivated crimes in that community — ‘cause they’re all just talking about racism — and the history of this guy, Zimmerman, and whether he in fact on his other calls — which, he made thirtysome calls over the last ten years to 911, or the cops, did they have a racial component. Nobody really looked at that…

    …The press has been terrible on Zimmerman’s family. We don’t have any profiles of the guy, we don’t know his family life —

    JUDITH MILLER: —I’m sorry, Mother Jones did a very piece on this that has a lot of the elements that you say haven’t been covered. in fact, it has been covered.

    RATNER: OK, missed it.

    Thanks, Judith. And here’s some of the work she was talking about.

    Oh, and Ellen, if you read our reporting, you’ll find that George Zimmerman made 46 calls between January 2011 and Trayvon’s death. Not “thirtysome.” Add in the previous years’ totals, and there are many more.

    Fox News’ blatant disregard for this horrific murder is expected, but no less appalling.  Thank you Mother Jones for calling them out on their bullshit.  Someone has to hold these bastards accountable.

    81 03.25.12
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    thepoliticalfreakshow:

Three Men Plead Guilty to Federal Hates Crimes in Senseless Mississippi Killing
Editor’s note: This story contains language that some readers may consider offensive. 
(CNN) — Three white Mississippi men pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes Thursday in connection with the 2011 beating death of an African-American man in Jackson, the Justice Department announced.Deryl Dedmon, John Aaron Rice and Dylan Butler each admitted to conspiracy and violating the 2009 federal hate-crimes law in last June’s killing of James Craig Anderson. They face sentences of up to life in prison and $250,000 in fines, federal prosecutors said.
The 19-year-old Dedmon had already pleaded guilty to state murder and hate-crime charges Wednesday in a state court and was sentenced to life in prison. Rice, 19, and Butler, 20, made their initial appearances with Dedmon in federal court Thursday morning.
The men are among the first defendants to be prosecuted under the federal hate-crime statute that President Barack Obama signed in 2009 and the first to be prosecuted in a fatal attack, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said in a statement on Thursday’s pleas.
“The Department of Justice will vigorously pursue those who commit racially motivated assaults and will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that those who commit such acts are brought to justice,” Perez said. “And I note that our investigation in this matter is ongoing.”
In court Thursday, all three admitted to harassing and assaulting African-Americans on several occasions in the weeks before Anderson’s death, hurling beer bottles, firing slingshots and driving at them with cars, prosecutors said. They targeted people they believed to be drunk or homeless, believing them less likely to report the attacks.
They are also expected to testify against other teens implicated in Anderson’s killing, two sources close to the proceedings told CNN.
They admitted to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, named for the victims of two 1998 killings that shocked the country. Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming teenager, died after being kidnapped, beaten and left tied to a fence, while Byrd was a black man dragged to death in Texas by white supremacists.
Anderson’s death prompted several large marches and prayer vigils in Jackson, a city of about 537,000 people. At his state plea hearing, Dedmon told the court that his crimes were the result of being “young and dumb, ignorant and full of hatred.”
But Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weill told him, “Whatever excuse you offer, forget that. There is no excuse.”
Anderson, 47, died after he was beaten and run over by a truck driven by Dedmon, who was part of a group of seven white youths from largely white Rankin County who decided to “go f**k with some niggers” after a night of partying and drinking, law enforcement officials have said, quoting some of the suspects in the case.
Authorities have said they believe Dedmon led and instigated the attack. They said the youths climbed into Dedmon’s green truck and a white SUV and drove to the western edge of Jackson, where Anderson was standing in a hotel parking lot just beyond a highway exit ramp.
On a videotape obtained exclusively by CNN, the group pulls into the parking lot and stops where Anderson is standing, although he is just off camera and not visible. The young men can then be seen going back and forth between their cars and Anderson.
Witnesses told authorities this is when Anderson’s beating took place, as the white youths yelled racial epithets, including “white power.” After the beating, Dedmon drove his Ford F-250 truck over him, leaving him to die, according to what some of the teens cooperating with police have told authorities.
Rice initially faced state murder charges as well, but a judge reduced the charges to simple assault because he was not believed to be driving the vehicle used to kill Anderson.
At Dedmon’s sentencing Wednesday, Anderson’s sister, Barbara Anderson Young, said her family was praying for “racial conciliation.”
“These last months have been very difficult,” Young said. “We cried. We wept. We reminisced about our beloved brother, Craig, a loss I cannot even explain. Craig was a big-hearted person who loved his fellow man.”
[CNN]

    thepoliticalfreakshow:

    Three Men Plead Guilty to Federal Hates Crimes in Senseless Mississippi Killing

    Editor’s note: This story contains language that some readers may consider offensive.

    (CNN) — Three white Mississippi men pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes Thursday in connection with the 2011 beating death of an African-American man in Jackson, the Justice Department announced.
    Deryl Dedmon, John Aaron Rice and Dylan Butler each admitted to conspiracy and violating the 2009 federal hate-crimes law in last June’s killing of James Craig Anderson. They face sentences of up to life in prison and $250,000 in fines, federal prosecutors said.

    The 19-year-old Dedmon had already pleaded guilty to state murder and hate-crime charges Wednesday in a state court and was sentenced to life in prison. Rice, 19, and Butler, 20, made their initial appearances with Dedmon in federal court Thursday morning.

    The men are among the first defendants to be prosecuted under the federal hate-crime statute that President Barack Obama signed in 2009 and the first to be prosecuted in a fatal attack, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said in a statement on Thursday’s pleas.

    “The Department of Justice will vigorously pursue those who commit racially motivated assaults and will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that those who commit such acts are brought to justice,” Perez said. “And I note that our investigation in this matter is ongoing.”

    In court Thursday, all three admitted to harassing and assaulting African-Americans on several occasions in the weeks before Anderson’s death, hurling beer bottles, firing slingshots and driving at them with cars, prosecutors said. They targeted people they believed to be drunk or homeless, believing them less likely to report the attacks.

    They are also expected to testify against other teens implicated in Anderson’s killing, two sources close to the proceedings told CNN.

    They admitted to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, named for the victims of two 1998 killings that shocked the country. Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming teenager, died after being kidnapped, beaten and left tied to a fence, while Byrd was a black man dragged to death in Texas by white supremacists.

    Anderson’s death prompted several large marches and prayer vigils in Jackson, a city of about 537,000 people. At his state plea hearing, Dedmon told the court that his crimes were the result of being “young and dumb, ignorant and full of hatred.”

    But Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weill told him, “Whatever excuse you offer, forget that. There is no excuse.”

    Anderson, 47, died after he was beaten and run over by a truck driven by Dedmon, who was part of a group of seven white youths from largely white Rankin County who decided to “go f**k with some niggers” after a night of partying and drinking, law enforcement officials have said, quoting some of the suspects in the case.

    Authorities have said they believe Dedmon led and instigated the attack. They said the youths climbed into Dedmon’s green truck and a white SUV and drove to the western edge of Jackson, where Anderson was standing in a hotel parking lot just beyond a highway exit ramp.

    On a videotape obtained exclusively by CNN, the group pulls into the parking lot and stops where Anderson is standing, although he is just off camera and not visible. The young men can then be seen going back and forth between their cars and Anderson.

    Witnesses told authorities this is when Anderson’s beating took place, as the white youths yelled racial epithets, including “white power.” After the beating, Dedmon drove his Ford F-250 truck over him, leaving him to die, according to what some of the teens cooperating with police have told authorities.

    Rice initially faced state murder charges as well, but a judge reduced the charges to simple assault because he was not believed to be driving the vehicle used to kill Anderson.

    At Dedmon’s sentencing Wednesday, Anderson’s sister, Barbara Anderson Young, said her family was praying for “racial conciliation.”

    “These last months have been very difficult,” Young said. “We cried. We wept. We reminisced about our beloved brother, Craig, a loss I cannot even explain. Craig was a big-hearted person who loved his fellow man.”

    [CNN]

    137 03.23.12
    Comments

    Girl Scouts… or Super Heroes?

    (CNN) — Two Girl Scouts sprang into action when a man stole a cash box containing money from their cookie sales in the Houston area.

    The incident left one of the girls slightly injured after she held on to the getaway car to stop it from leaving the scene, CNN affiliate KPRC reported.

    Girl Scout Iravia Cotton pursued the man to his car.

    "I started hitting the boy in the passenger seat," Cotton told the affiliate. "So I think he learned his lesson a little bit … and then they dragged my friend Rachel across the street."

    Rachel Johnson told the affiliate she got a few bumps and scratches when she held onto the back bumper to stop the car from driving away.

    "I hope your face hurts from where Iravia punched you, jerk, bam," Johnson said in a message to the thieves. "I hope your face hurts and I hope it leaves a scar. Who steals money from Girl Scouts, I mean, really?"

    The cash box contained about $200, according to the affiliate. Girl Scouts are financially responsible for any cookies they order, troop leader Jean Marie Johnson said.

    These girls are badasses!  Rachel and Iravia, I salute you!


    6 03.04.12
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    "In #America, convicted murderers are more likely to receive public outcry in order to save their lives than innocent babies are. #abortion #TroyDavis"

    A friend on twitter, if you think that killing Troy Davis was immoral, but you support abortion; I think you’re morals are corrupt.  (via sinkme-theladyisapoet)

    ____

    You get the ‘dumbest ignorant cunt on Tumblr’ award for today.

    In comparing Troy Davis to a fetus, you willfully ignore the fact that a fetus cannot think or feel pain. Furthermore, a fetus can never know the fear or shame of a man convicted on evidence that was fabricated or mistaken, but almost certainly insufficient to merit a death sentence.  A fetus will never know the despair of a man who was put to death to cover for the incompetence of a failed law enforcement and judicial system, because there are enough people in that state who will believe that the sheer act of Troy Davis’ murder is proof that he was guilty.

    There is no logical comparison to be made between the act of abortion and the legal murder of a potentially innocent man. Why?  Again, because fetuses cannot think or feel.

    52 09.22.11
    Comments

    Public gains access to depositions in Detroit girl's death - The Detroit News

    When is it ever appropriate to shoot a seven year-old girl, Detroit police?  And to see them fighting tooth and nail to the keep the details of the shooting away from the people is shameful. How dare they try to sweep this under the rug?

    Plain and simple, this child was shot so a cop could make himself look good on a reality television show.

    Per Detroit News:

    Future depositions in the lawsuit over the shooting death of a 7-year-old girl last year during a Detroit Police raid will be available to the media and public, a Wayne Circuit judge ruled Thursday.

    Attorneys for Joseph Weekly, the Detroit police officer who allegedly shot Aiyana Stanley-Jones during a police raid being filmed by a reality TV crew, sought to have a judge block depositions from being reviewed, citing “competing interests” in a civil suit and the criminal probe.

    "Those are competing interests that can’t be ignored. It’s not just black and white. There’s a lot of gray," attorney Ken Lewis said. "Our concern has always been the impact the civil case will have with criminal proceedings."

    Lewis said allowing depositions to be seen by the media and the public could impact jury pool selection and taint the criminal investigation. But Judge Daphne Means Curtis said public access to court records and proceedings is almost always protected by the First Amendment and rejected the motion.

    3 09.21.11
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    wishididntknowthat:

(Daily Mail By RACHEL QUIGLEY) — A four-year-old boy was beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend because he got in his way when he was playing a video game.
Sean Stalwart, 34, from Illinois, was charged with first-degree murder for the death of Jeremiah Bradford last September.
Stalwart told his cellmate that he beat the boy so severely he died from internal bleeding because he wanted to ‘toughen him up’, after he got in his way while he was playing computer.
The boy’s mother Patricia Cage, has also been charged with first-degree murder for covering up the beating and failing to get the child medical attention. Her trial is pending.
Prosecutors claim that instead, the couple drove to McDonalds for dinner and then took the boy back home again. Jeremiah continued to vomit through the night.
It was only the next morning that they took the four-year-old to the hospital but he died on the way due to internal bleeding.
Authorities say Jeremiah could have survived if he’d been admitted to the hospital right away, according to the Riverfront Times.
Prosecutors said that through the night, Jeremiah lost about half the blood in his body.
Stalwart initially told investigators that Jeremiah hurt himself by jumping off the couch. But an autopsy revealed that the blows were so severe they caused damage to some of the tissue in the child’s digestive system.
Five sets of the boy’s soiled clothing were also recovered from his home.
Stalwart this week pleaded guilty to first degree murder and it is thought he may face 48 years in prison, which he must serve.
Cage and Stalwart’s baby - which they had together since Jeremiah died - is now in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Jermiah’s grandfather said that his grandson was due to go to soccer practice that day, according to the Riverfront Times.
Mr Bradford said: ‘I was looking forward to that Saturday to watch him play soccer. I thought I was going to watch him play soccer, but instead, they called me and told me to go to the hospital. That hit me hard.’
Original Article

Shit like this makes me cry.  How can we expect our people to treat their children with love and respect when we live in a culture that equates violence with strength and masculinity?  
I hope these two get to spend the next sixty years of their lives in prison.

    wishididntknowthat:

    (Daily Mail By RACHEL QUIGLEY) — A four-year-old boy was beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend because he got in his way when he was playing a video game.

    Sean Stalwart, 34, from Illinois, was charged with first-degree murder for the death of Jeremiah Bradford last September.

    Stalwart told his cellmate that he beat the boy so severely he died from internal bleeding because he wanted to ‘toughen him up’, after he got in his way while he was playing computer.

    The boy’s mother Patricia Cage, has also been charged with first-degree murder for covering up the beating and failing to get the child medical attention. Her trial is pending.

    Prosecutors claim that instead, the couple drove to McDonalds for dinner and then took the boy back home again. Jeremiah continued to vomit through the night.

    It was only the next morning that they took the four-year-old to the hospital but he died on the way due to internal bleeding.

    Authorities say Jeremiah could have survived if he’d been admitted to the hospital right away, according to the Riverfront Times.

    Prosecutors said that through the night, Jeremiah lost about half the blood in his body.

    Stalwart initially told investigators that Jeremiah hurt himself by jumping off the couch. But an autopsy revealed that the blows were so severe they caused damage to some of the tissue in the child’s digestive system.

    Five sets of the boy’s soiled clothing were also recovered from his home.

    Stalwart this week pleaded guilty to first degree murder and it is thought he may face 48 years in prison, which he must serve.

    Cage and Stalwart’s baby - which they had together since Jeremiah died - is now in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

    Jermiah’s grandfather said that his grandson was due to go to soccer practice that day, according to the Riverfront Times.

    Mr Bradford said: ‘I was looking forward to that Saturday to watch him play soccer. I thought I was going to watch him play soccer, but instead, they called me and told me to go to the hospital. That hit me hard.’

    Shit like this makes me cry.  How can we expect our people to treat their children with love and respect when we live in a culture that equates violence with strength and masculinity? 

    I hope these two get to spend the next sixty years of their lives in prison.

    3 09.18.11
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    UPDATE: At least 14 Arrested in 'Anonymous' Hackers Bust - AlterNet

    We’re about to get another example of the inequity of justice between the haves and have nots, what with the FBI supposedly investigating the illegal hacking perpetrated by Rupert Murdoch’s cronies.

    As much as I’d love to be an optimist, I think we all know that the 42 billion dollar man is not going to take a fall for the criminal enterprise he ran, but these small-time hackers for Anonymous, they’ll have the book thrown at them without so much as a second thought.

    Per Alternet:

    According to CNN, a federal government official said at least 14 people connected to the activist hacker group ‘Anonymous’ were arrested today in a nationwide bust that stretched from California to New Jersey. Early this morning, the FBI executed search warrants that, according to CNN, federal officials expected to result in at least 15 arrests. 

    Strong supporters of Julian Assange, Anonymous has hacked websites for Visa,Mastercard, Church of Scientology, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. Anonymous has also been linked to cyber attacks at the CIA, Sony, Fox News, and the Arizona Department of Corrections.

    1 07.20.11
    Comments

    How is anti-abortion violence not terrorism? - Slate.com

    The reason domestic Christian terrorists are not called such in this country is simple: Christian privilege. It cannot be disputed that if Muslims (or any other religious minority for that matter) behaved as these so-called pro life people do, they’d not only be called what they are, many of them would be in jail.

    As it is, you can’t even get a restraining order when a Christian terrorist threatens death against an abortion doctor.

    Then Troy Newman, of Operation Rescue, chimes in with this lovely little quote (emphasis mine):

    Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, based in Wichita, said that abortion opponents were committed to blocking another clinic here, and that the level of protest facing anyone who participated in such an efforts [sic] would be “beyond anything anyone could imagine.” He spoke with particular disdain for Dr. Means.

    We will ensure that this community remains abortion free,” he said.

    That is downright chilling.

    Troy Newman’s organization employs people who’ve been convicted of felony conspiracy to bomb abortion clinics, and one of these felons was connected to Scott Roeder.

    I hope Dr. Means is wearing kevlar, with terrorists like Angel Dillard and Troy Newman in her community.

    Per Slate.com:

    I’m unclear on why the word “terrorism” continues to be taboo in articles such as this one by A.G. Sulzberger in the New York Times.  The article is a profile of Dr. Mila Means, a doctor who has—-somewhat incorrectly—-been identified as stepping up to fill the hole left by the assassination of Dr. George Tiller by abortion opponent Scott Roeder.  ”Somewhat incorrectly” because Dr. Means is only going to provide abortions up to 15 weeks, and while that was a large chunk of what Dr. Tiller did, what made him so prominent a figure was that his clinic served women almost no one else could, women whose pregnancies had gone terribly wrong much later in the pregnancy and who needed to have therapeutic abortions.  But while the loss of Dr. Tiller is still strongly felt in the world of gynecology, the larger concern with this article and articles like it is the unwillingness to describe domestic terrorism as terrorism. 

    12 07.11.11
    Comments

    Obama Admin Memo: Medical Marijuana Cultivators Will Be Prosecuted, Even If Legal Under State Law - AlterNet

    We will be seeing much more of this if the debt ceiling talks result in even greater tax breaks, because our country only has so many ways to increase revenue, and our overlords have decided that said revenue may only come from the middle and poor class.

    However, in the end, it’s just another broken campaign promise from a man that promised us a better way of doing things.

    Per Alternet:

    The medical marijuana movement is reeling after the Obama Justice Department released a memo last week declaring that it might prosecute large-scale medical marijuana cultivation operations and dispensaries even in states where they are operating in compliance with state laws. Advocates reacted with dismay and disappointment, even as they plotted strategies about what to do next.

    The memo, written by US Deputy Attorney General James Cole, “clarifies” the October 2009 memo from then-Deputy Attorney General David Ogden that told federal prosecutors not to focus their resources on patients and providers in compliance with state laws. The earlier memo gave some substance to President Obama’s campaign promise not to persecute medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal.

    But after the 2009 memo, federal officials watched aghast as a veritable medical marijuana cultivation and dispensary boom took off in places such as Colorado and Montana, where dispensaries went from near zero to hundreds of operations, and as localities in California began considering huge commercial grows. The Justice Department responded with increased federal raids — now at twice the rate of the Bush administration, according to Americans for Safe Access, the nation’s largest medical marijuana advocacy organization — and earlier this year, sent threatening letters from US Attorneys to governors and legislators in states considering or implementing medical marijuana distribution programs.

    7 07.09.11
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