Archive for the Category »Death Penalty «

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Troy Davis & State Crime…

American Tribune dot org does not condemn the death penalty per se, at least not in this current world. We have spoken both for and against it in a variety of specific circumstances.

Troy Anthony Davis

Some crimes are obviously so vile, so predatory, that it seems only the catharsis of the perpetrator’s execution can cleanse our collective consciousness of the psychic stain and depravity.

While clearly the state sanction of death is disproportionately and often unjustly employed against black and Latino populations, that does not mean that we advocate ethnic parity. We tend to address the issues of criminal causation, the crime, and the specific criminal. more…

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Clarence Thomas—The Last Overseer…

I chose to serve a 25-yr sentence in federal prison rather than betray others.  At some point in my youth and experiences I acquired a social consciousness, and a special animus for those who would sell their souls at any price

Having spent most of my lifetime in human rights and political struggle, and having served Honorably from 1959-to-1965 in the American Civil War in the Jim Crow South–precisely a century after the first one–it truly pains me to witness some turn traitor on their own people, their race, their class, their very family history.

While I’m a non-theist and don’t believe in fairies, ghosts, goblins or gods, I do believe in a universal connection tying all things to all times.  I believe we all come from the same source—star stuff, if you will—to which we all return.  It’s not a personal thing.

   I don’t submit any answer to the Great Mysteryof where all this originally came from…nor do I believe can anyone else.  Life is one aspect of universal existence.  Individual consciousness is one of the most fleeting and perhaps the greatest of illusions.  But nevertheless, this is where we live. more…

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Illinois Death Penalty Abolished…

Smack in the middle of the struggle from the corporate/Republican class war-front is some decent and rational news…

In search of hope...

Governor Pat Quinn (D-IL) signed state bill 3539, abolishing the death penalty, into law on Wednesday, March 9th.  That now makes 16 states and the District of Columbia without a death penalty, along with most of the free civilized nations on this planet.

Gov. Quinn stated as he signed the bill, “I have concluded that our system of imposing the death penalty is inherently flawed….  [And is not] free of discrimination on the basis of race, geography or economic circumstance [class]…more…

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Crime & Cowardice…

There are basically two kinds of predatory killers in society.  There are the individuals, so depraved and lumpenized by their early lack of socialization, that they have little if any empathic consciousness of others.  (Sociopaths fall into this category.)  It is often the result of acute and/or chronic early abuse.  But not all these types end as lone outlaws…

The Petit Family

And there are the group actors.  Again, vicious individuals, but acting thru membership of institutional groups.  Given their lack of social consciousness, they exhibit little more than a gang mentality.  (Albeit, they are as often found in state-sanctioned formations as not.) more…

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Sociopaths & Their Lovers…

One of the mysteries that many of us behind the razor-wire continue to marvel at, as I’m sure do many of you out there, is how some folks can be attracted to, even mesmerized by, some of the bad boys in here.

Jack Henry "Rufus" Abbott

Disclosure:  Most of my direct prison experience has been in medium- and minimum-security institutions.  While I did serve an earlier year on a rock-quarry chain-gang, my time in high-security prisons was limited to transfer-holdover situations, and one 4-month period on death-row (as a temporary resident).

One well-documented circumstance involving a “bad boy” was the case of Jack Henry Abbott and his benefactor, the writer Norman Mailer. more…

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Final Justice?…

The State of Virginia executed Teresa Lewis last Thursday, September 23rd, by lethal injection.  Her life at 41 and her prison sentence is thus concluded.

She was convicted of  hiring two young men to kill her husband and his son for the insurance money.  All three pled guilty to the crime.  Only Teresa got the death penalty.  Like the rest of the public, prisoners are conflicted on the question of the death penalty.

Those who opposed her execution included novelist John Grisham, political activist Bianca Jagger, and a petition of the European Union.  They cited her IQ of 72 among other factors for leniency.

A score of 70 would have exempted her from execution in Virginia.  As a doctor of psychology (PsyD), I can assure this readership that the methodology to determine such a score is problematical enough that a few points one way or the other is totally subjective. The final score is purely an artifact of the person making the determination.   more…

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Death Penalty & Justice…

A most extraordinary thing happened on the way to the Forum…ahhh, the Court that is, the US Supreme Court.  For the first time in more than 50 years (last summer), the Court granted a writ of habeas corpus to an inmate on death row to enable his return to a Georgia court for re-hearing.  He is scheduled before that court today, Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010.

DNA Exonerations...

DNA Exonerations...

Troy Anthony Davis, was convicted of killing a cop in 1989 in Savannah, Georgia.  While sitting on death row for the past 20 years, 7 of the 9 eyewitnesses have recanted their testimony.  more…