Archive for

November, 2006



Dear Peggy

I wanted to take this afternoon to give a quick shout out to Peggy Knupps.

A lot of you may not know Peggy, but she is on the TCASK mailing list and, when she saw the request for a volunteer newsletter layout editor, Peggy responded. See, she’s in the process of completing a graphic design degree (translation: she knows waaaaaay more about design and layouts than Stacy and I ever will) and realized that this might be the way that her talents could be of help to TCASK.

Peggy was in the office today to show Stacy and I some initial design thoughts (they are cooler than ours) and to discuss the timing of the next newsletter, and we are really excited to have someone both willing and able to do this job, which is both so critical and so difficult for us to do. So a big TCASK Blog thank you to Peggy.

And where do all of our readers fall into this picture? Well, only you can answer that, but there are tons of things that people can do to help. Do you live in the Nashville area? Then spend some time volunteering in the TCASK office helping with our database transition (not sexy work, but oh-so important). Good at smiling? Join the TCASK legislative working group to get our newly minted legislators educated about Tennessee’s broken capital punishment system. Good at writing? Send letters to the editor regarding Tennessee cases. Have money? Donate some to TCASK! And there are a lot more opportunities available. In short, my fellow Tennesseans, ask not what your abolition group can do for you, but what you can do for abolition.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying heartiness conditions that can be highly dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile malfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?

My grandfather flew Navy fighters and bombers (just about every plane they had) in the South Pacific during World War II, and he came back safe and sound. And I thank God for it (I wouldn’t get to write this blog if he hadn’t).

But on Veterans Day, while honoring all of those who have fought for our country, I find my mind turning to several veterans that are still waiting to be properly served. The incidence of mental illness and dependency issues is very high among veterans. Sadly, all vets do not receive the medical care, physical or mental, that they deserve when they come out of the service. Sadly, we know what can happen when people with severe mental illness do not receive the mental health care that is needed. And some veterans, left without such treatment, have ended up on Tennessee’s death row.

Greg Thompson served in the Navy, but, during his tour, people began to notice irregularities in his behavior. He would over react to minor stimuli, cry uncontrollably, and seem to experience a different reality than those around him. Sadly, rather than treat him, the Navy dishonorably discharged him. Thompson has since been diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, and bipolar disorder. In 1985, suffering from delusions caused by his mental illness, Thompson, while not truly understanding his actions, committed a tragic murder and was sentenced to death. Thompson was nearly executed in February.

Abu-Ali Abdur Rahman, after years of incredible brutal physical and sexual abuse at the hands of his father, joined the Navy. In the Navy, Abu-Ali, then called James Jones, was likewise repeatedly abused and raped. Eventually, Abu-Ali was diagnosed with disassociative disorder and PTSD. Abu-Ali was discharged and never received the treatment that he needed. He now sits on death row, although there are serious questions regarding the reliability of his conviction.

Daryl Holton was nearly executed two months ago. Holton had served in the first Gulf War and had, even during his tour of duty, been diagnosed with major depression, with suicidal impulses and symptoms of psychosis. But, once again, Holton never received the full course of treatment that he needed. After his discharge, Holton’s mental illness worsened. He talked of committing suicide and eventually, in an attempt to “save” his children, whom he loved more than anything, from a horrible existence, he killed them and planned to kill himself.

All the deaths in the cases of Greg Thompson, Abu-Ali, and Daryl Holton were tragic. But the tragedy is compounded by the fact that these deaths could have been prevented if we had provided our veterans with the health care services that they need. On this Veterans Day, let us, as a people, resolve to truly honor our veterans, by providing the care they deserve, rather than executions.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness conditions that can be very dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Anyone Remember Paul House?

That’s right, Paul Gregory House, the one who’s been sitting on Tennessee’s death row for 20 years for a crime that he didn’t commit. Ringing any bells?

Well it should, because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in House’s case that, ” This is the rare case where had the jury heard all the conflicting testimony it is more likely than not that no reasonable juror viewing the record as a whole would have lacked a reasonable doubt. In other words, with a fair trial, Paul House would have been found not guilty.

So, with the words of the highest court in the land ringing in their ears, what have Tennessee and the lower courts done? A whole lot of nothing. Well that’s not fair, there has certainly been some foot dragging, and the state does still proclaim House’s guilt, so there’s that.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, just to make clear on what incredibly solid evidence the state is basing its claims of House’s guilt. In 1985, House was convicted of the murder of Carolyn Muncey, a woman who lived near him. The state presented rape as the motivation for the murder as well as the aggravating factor that called for a sentence of death. There were no eyewitnesses, but there were two crucial pieces of forensic evidence: 1) semen on the victim’s body that matched Paul House’s blood type, and 2) blood on Paul House’s pants that matched Carolyn Muncey’s. With evidence like that (and no cracker-jack legal defense team) it didn’t take the jury long to convict House and sentence him to death.

But, as House’s case winds its way through the legal system, we develop the capability to do DNA testing, and, when this new technology is finally applied, it is discovered that the semen does not belong to Paul House! In fact, it belongs to the victim’s husband – her estranged, alcoholic, abusive husband. Her husband who, according to six witnesses, has confessed, while drunk, that he got in a fight with his wife and accidentally killed her! In fact two of these witnesses came to police before House’s initial trial and were told that no one was interested in their information!

And the blood? Well, it turns out that the blood on House’s pants is Carolyn Muncey’s, but it also turns out that the medical examiner took four vials of blood from Muncey’s body after death. Four vials that were shipped in the same crate as House’s pants. And now only two-and-a-half vials of that blood can accountedted for by anyone! And two forensics experts have testified that the blood on the pants came from those vials, not from Muncey’s body while she was alive.

So where does that leave the “proof”? Semen and reported confessions that point to another man, blood evidence that points to tampering, and no eyewitnesses, motive, or confession linking Paul House to the crime.

Paul House suffers from MS. He is confined to a wheelchair and his speech is becoming impaired. He receives next to no medical treatment on death row (a multi-vitamin and a tylenol PM daily). It is high time that justice be done and House be set free. So get set, because, with the Governor fresh off his landslide victory, it is past time for him to step up to the plate and do the right thing where House is concerned! Even if you believe in the death penalty, keeping an innocent man on death row for 20 years is unacceptable! And the people of Tennessee aren’t going to accept it any longer!

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be extremely dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

What’s Next?


If you are reading this and haven’t voted yet, get up and go vote. I know it’s hard to tear yourself away from our charming blog, but take the plunge. It will still be here when you get back.

Back yet? Good.

Congratulations on voting, but that, really, is just the beginning. Starting tomorrow, our real work begins. What real work? Educating the legislators we’ve just elected about the truly deadly flaws in Tennessee’s capital punishment system. Why do we have innocent people on Tennessee’s death row (does anyone remember Paul House?)? “Senator, do you support executing people in a racist manner?”

Our representatives our elected/ hired to represent our interests when they get to capital hill, so, before they get there, we need to tell them what those interests are. They need to know two crucial facts 1) Tennessee’s capital punishment system is broken and 2) Tennesseans are not going to sit by and let such a system (not) work in their names!

With the death penalty, we are in a politically tricky situation. There aren’t many districts, in Tennessee or anywhere, in which being against the death penalty plays particularly well. So even if we could endorse candidates (and as a 501(c)3 we can’t) we probably wouldn’t because it wouldn’t be that helpful. And even concerns about the reliability of the system don’t always make the best 30 second spot. So we need to help educate officials after they are elected.

Ready to get started?

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile malfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness conditions that can be highly dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile disfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Let’s Think Back

As most people probably know, headlines today have been dominated by the death sentence handed down to Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity. Obviously, Saddam has been found guilty of gruesome and horrendous acts, but a number of groups have already voice opposition to the sentence including Amnesty International (read Amnesty’s statement here) and the Catholic Church (story here).

However, Iraq’s decision to execute Hussein calls to mind, for me, another decision in a similar situation. When Apartheid was ended in South Africa, there were certainly many calls for punishment of the people who had perpetrated such oppression. But South Africa took a different tactic. Rather than resort to vengeance and violence (even against those who had practiced the same) the new government chose to set up truth and reconciliation commissions, which offered the opportunity for true healing and understanding for victims. And the country went farther, banning the use of the death penalty in its constitution. Having faced oppression, the people of South Africa knew that no government should take away the lives of its citizens.

As the world watches the battle of the life of Saddam Hussein unfold, it may be useful to remember some of these lessons. Do we want to reject oppression and violence, like South Africa, and join the ranks of Western democracies in turning away from capital punishment, or fall into step with China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and Iran in choosing executions?

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness conditions that can be extremely dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Another New Low

Today’s New York Times carries a story about a Kentucky death penalty case that once again reaffirms what we all already know: the capital punishment system is broken beyond repair! For a taste:

“Apparently,” a federal judge wrote in 2001, “neither attorney Radolovich nor the prosecution knew of petitioner’s actual identity until his case had been affirmed on appeal.”

It’s pretty shocking! But what’s even crazier is that the 5th circuit ruled that this representation did not merit an overturning of the inmate’s death sentence or a new trial!

In Tennessee, we aren’t doing much better. Half of all death sentences in Tennessee are overturned on appeal, and more then two-thirds of those then receive a sentence less than death on rehearing. Our system simply does not produce reliable outcomes. The fact that we let such a system go forward should be shocking to anyone concerned with justice.

Read the whole article here.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual claim among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be highly dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Faithful? Politicians? Pro-Life? . . . I’m confused

In the 1980s, something big happened in America – the religious right started voting en masse and American politics have never been the same. In the past elections, Republicans have far exceeded Democrats in getting the “religious vote,” and Democrats have been running to catch up. More and more Democrats are attempting to speak in religious terms, even as some churches are telling their members that they cannot be Christians and vote Democrat.

One of the new Democratic attempts to mobilize religious voters in a new website called Faithful Democrats. This website and group, co-founded by Tennessee State Senator Roy Herron, puts forward Christian arguments on Democratic and progressive issues. I’m not coming down on one side or another of this debate – that would require a much longer entry and I don’t think that anyone would actually read it – but here’s where I will speak out: Where are these faithful Democrats on the death penalty? In an article questioning the pro-life ethic (does pro-life only mean abortion) the writer failed to mention the death penalty anywhere.

Now for me, and I’m sure many others who are motivated to fight the death penalty from a faith perspective, this is unconscionable. People of faith from across the country and the religious spectrum have called for an end to capital punishment, not only because it violates our belief in the sanctity of human life and puts human beings and human government sin the position of usurping God’s position as the one and only judge, but also because of the unfair targeting of the least of God’s children – the poor, the mentally ill, those discriminated against because of their race. And most (not all but most) of the Christian denominations in the country have come out against the death penalty including the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Disciples of Christ to name a few (for a more complete list of denomiation and their statements of opposition click here). And yet, faithful democrats, whose arguments are based both on Christian faith traditions (Roy Herron was previously a United Methodist minister) and care and concern for the poor and oppressed, make no serious mention of the death penalty anywhere on this site.

Now I don’t want to seem naive. I kknow that this is an election year, and politicians (Democrat and Republican) who talk about their faith do so, in large part, to win votes. And maybe opposing the death penalty, despite what we know about its risks of executing innocents, its targeting of the poor, the mentally ill, and racial minorities, its extravagant costs, and its failure to protect us from crime, is not a winning political issue. But to challenge pro-life arguments and not even mention the death penalty is to run scared and be disingenuous.

So here’s what we do. Let’s not let this slip by. Go to www.faithfuldemocrats.com and let’s make some comments. Let’s talk about the death penalty (abolition has often, sadly, been a Democratic issue) and let’s spark some internet debate. Let’s get the word out that lots of faithful people, Democrat and Republican alike, are called by their faiths to oppose the death penalty. And we think that our elected officials who feel the same should have the courage to say so.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile malfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness conditions that can be very dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile malfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.