Stop Pre-Trial, Extra-Judicial Executions


Get Widget at the Electrocuted While Black blog

Francis L. Holland,  Esq.
Afrosphere Action Coalition (AAC)
55 (73) 3288-1716

July 23, 2008

Dear bloggers:

RE: Widget Action:  "End Police Pre-Trial, Extra-Judicial Electrocutions and Executions" (Tasering)

Please consider placing one of these anti-taser widgets (various sizes available) at your blog, in preparation for a day of blogging against police pre-trial,
extra-judicial electrocution and execution of members of the public.

The widgets lead readers to a new "Electrocuted While Black" blog
(by African American Political Pundit and me), where we will link to all of the blogs that have notified us by e-mail that they have joined the anti-electrocution (taser) campaign by adopting one of these widgets.

Subsequently, the Afrosphere Action Coalition (AAC) will call for a day of blogging on the issue, and then issue a press release
including the names and links of the participating afrosphere blogs.

In spite of police claims that electrocuting Blacks and other members of the public is necessary and normally harmles, research reveals that 600 pound bears and
one thousand pound moose are often treated by game wardens with greater care for their wellbeing and integrity than are members of the public when confronted by police officers armed with electrocution/execution devices.

There's more...

I don't want to forget that I'm a FREE blogger...

How people feel one way or another about Iran is one thing (personally, I don't see that making war with them over nuclear weapons which they don't really seem to have and are not likely to develop for years is such a good idea), but this article in the Khaleej Times made me grateful that I can blog about anything I damn well choose:

Khaleej Times Online  >> News >> MIDDLE EAST
Iran mulls death penalty for Internet crimes

2 July 2008

TEHERAN - Iran's parliament is set to debate a draft bill which could see the death penalty used for those deemed to promote corruption, prostitution and apostasy on the Internet, reports said on Wednesday.

MPs on Wednesday voted to discuss as a priority the draft bill which seeks to "toughen punishment for harming mental security in society," the ISNA news agency said.

The text lists a wide range of crimes such rape and armed robbery for which the death penalty is already applicable. The crime of apostasy (the act of leaving a religion, in this case Islam) is also already punishable by death.

However, the draft bill also includes "establishing weblogs and sites promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy", which is a new addition to crimes punishable by death.

Those convicted of these crimes "should be punished as "mohareb' (enemy of God) and "corrupt on the earth'," the text says.

Under Iranian law the standard punishments for these two crimes are "hanging, amputation of the right hand and then the left foot as well as exile."

The bill -- which is yet to be debated by lawmakers -- also stipulates that the punishment handed out in these cases "cannot be commuted, suspended or changed".

Internet is widely used in Iran despite restrictions on access and the blocking of thousands of websites with a sexual content or deemed as insulting religious sanctities and promoting political dissent.

Blogging is also very popular among cyber-savvy young Iranians, some openly discussing their private lives or criticising the system.

Human rights groups have accused Iran of making excessive use of the death penalty but Teheran insists it is an effective deterrent that is carried out only after an exhaustive judicial process.

The number of executions soared last year to 317 amid a campaign which the authorities said was aimed at improving security in society, and was sharply up on 2006 figures when Amnesty International recorded 177 executions.

All legislation in Iran has to be rubber-stamped by a conservative clerical watchdog before it is written into law. The Guardians Council vets bills to see if they are in line with the constitution and Islamic law.

The most I feel about these idiots is pity.

Under The LobsterScope

There's more...

Supreme Court Continues to Restrict Scope of Capital Punishment

The 8th Amendment of the Constitution, in its prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, holds at its core the fundamental American values of fairness, dignity, and justice.  Last week's Supreme Court decision on Kennedy v. Louisiana reaffirmed these values by once again finding the death penalty as not only an ineffective deterrent against crime, but also incongruous with the nation's "evolving standards of decency and redemption that mark the progress of a maturing society." (Trop v. Dulles). The court appealed to the "precept of justice" in holding that punishment is to be proportioned to the crime, and in the case of capital punishment this is indeed "a narrow category."

In delivering its opinion, the court held that the application of the death penalty had to rest on a "national consensus" that a death sentence was an inappropriate punishment to the crime of child rape.  The decision of the court also made significant reference to Roper v. Simmons, a 2005 ruling that appealed to international norms in ruling the death penalty an inappropriate punishment.  While the Supreme Court did not explicitly cite international human rights law in its decision, the values of decency, fairness, and dignity upon which it relies are shared universally.  Moreover, the language of international law pervades the friend-of-the-court brief submitted by Leading British Law Associations, Scholars, Queen's Counsel and Former Law Lords.  The brief, heavily referencing the UN Commission on Human Rights, hinges its argument on a "well-established global consensus" that "nations that retain the death penalty must progressively narrow the class of offenses punishable by death." This amicus brief, and the Supreme Court ruling that upheld its conclusion, affirms an internationally held respect for the value of human life within the American court system.

By "repeatedly taking note of other nations' practices in considering the application of the death penalty," and by simultaneously holding itself to the standard of national consensus, the Supreme Court expressed the implicit view that international norms are compatible with and even complementary to our national values. (See Redemption).  This view underlies the Opportunity Agenda's commitment to engaging the discourse of human rights here in the US.  As affirmed by the Supreme Court in their approach to Kennedy v. Louisiana, universal rights are fundamentally in sync with core American values.

There's more...

Obama, get on offense concerning Death Penalty

The worst thing that any politician can do is to  get and stay on defense on an important issue.  Trying to avoid a topic, or answering it in a legalistic way can lead to disaster. Not always, but the potential is there.

I suggest as democrats we should have an agenda on each policy item that is right for the nation and also good politics.

This week's SC decision to ban the use of the death penalty in heinous child rape cases was the wrong decision and demands that candidates state their position both substanitively and legally.

Here's what I suggest for our nominee:

1.  Propose and advocate a nationwide, 50 state moriatorium on the death penalty.  Try to get the governors of all 50 states to agree, and work to try to get national standards.

2.  Propose all 1st degree murder convictions be submitted to the jury as death penalty cases.  Also, leave the discretion to the proscecutors to seek the death penalty in non 1st degree murder cases, including any other crime that truly shocks the community's conscience.

3.  Ensure that every death penalty case's defense is fully funded from day 1.  That means the state and federal government should pay for an "o.j." type defense where no reasonable person could argue that there wasn't a fair trial and the defendant got every possible constitutional right.

4.   If convicted and sentenced under the above scenario, the sentence should be carried out quickly. The appeals should be exhausted in less than 3 months. This fits the definition of effective punishment: immediate, sufficient in force, and consistently applied.

In order to secure our values as a country, and define morality and goodness, our society has to establish limits of what is intolerable under any circumstance.  That is why the death penalty is needed.  The problem with the system today is that is not fairly applied, it is not applied enough throughout our society, and when it is applied it is done in such an inefficient way its' effect is minimized.

Democrats have a chance to develop a system that both supporters and detractors of the death penalty can at least agree that the process was fair and at least met its' purpose.  What we have right now allows reasonable people like me to be anti-capital punishment for reasons that have nothing to do with the facts in the case.

In reality, the 50 states will probably not agree to even a 1 day moriatorium, and much of the rest will run into political snafu's.  But in this process, obama can establish a new way of doing business as a democrat.  Addressing civil liberties and constitutional rights in a world that demands tough choices.

Much of what I propose is gospel on the left:

more money for defense
equal standards for everyone

while many on the right would love:
the death penalty for anyone who intentionally with malice kills someone (1st degree murder)--

the death penalty expanded to cases like these child rape examples.

the process being curtailed so it can actually work.

This is my take on what really is right and could work.  It is the opposite of being a moderate.  It is what I call a "newliberal", making an honest effort to do what's right based on facts and logic.  Every aspect can be defended on the merits, rather than a compromised position trying to please everyone.

There's more...

OMG, he lurched to the center!!!! He's not a progressive!!!!!

The new meme being pushed by a lot of political commentators and anti-Obama posters is that he is showing his true centrist colors. Obama has 'lurched' to the center. The only trouble with it is that it's not really true. He's never been the flaming, far left liberal that many have tried to paint him.

In the last few days, there have been a bunch of diaries on this site and others either ranting about his 'lurch to the center' or serving as 'I told you fools he was no progressive' rants.

There are four issues that are supposedly acts of betrayal by Obama - FISA (the big one), gun control, the death penalty, and public financing for his campaign. While there is some small nugget of truth in a couple of these, they are mostly twisted to show him in the worst light possible. No big surprise there given who's doing most of the complaining about these issues.

There's more...


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