Archive for

August, 2012



Exoneree Shujaa Graham Shares His Story

Earlier this month, Voice of America conducted a video interview with  former death row inmate Shujaa Graham who was sentenced to death in California in 1976 for the killing of a prison guard during a protest. At the time, he was in prison for a robbery conviction he received when he was 18.  Graham spent five years on death row and was finally acquitted during a fourth trial, at which time his robbery conviction was also overturned.

Graham is one of the 140 individuals who have been exonerated from death row in the U.S.  He is an active member of Witness to Innocence and works to raise awareness about wrongful conviction. He has spoken in Tennessee several times, sharing his story and educating others about our broken death penalty system.

“What has happened to me is over with and done,” says Graham. “No one can bring those years back and no one can bring the psychological scars. No one can remove the physical scars. But Shujaa Graham can go on and make sure what happened to him never happens to anyone else.”

Photo of Shujaa courtesy of Scott Langley via http://shujaa.org/

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 malfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong health 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 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.

Tennessee’s Lethal Injection Ruling Stands

In the fall of 2010, death row inmate Stephen Michael West filed a lawsuit challenging Tennessee’s three-drug lethal injection protocol, arguing that the process is cruel and unusual punishment because the first drug in the cocktail, sodium thiopental, may not cause full unconsciousness before the other drugs, which paralyze the muscles and then stop the heart, are administered. Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman agreed and said the method of execution was unconstitutional because it “allows for death by suffocation while conscious.”

The Department of Correction then changed its protocol for lethal injections which includes a prison official brushing a hand over the prisoner’s eyelashes, saying his or her name, and gently shaking them to check for responsiveness after the first drug is administered before proceeding with the rest of the execution. Chancellor Bonnyman ruled last February that this revised protocol addressed the issues raised by West and does not violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. In April of this year, the Tennessee Court of Appeals affirmed Bonnyman’s decision.

West and another death row inmate, Billy Ray Irick, appealed this decision, arguing that the state’s new protocol still does not contain sufficient safeguards to ensure that inmates are not awake and in pain during an execution. Unfortunately, this week the Tennessee Supreme Court refused to hear their appeal, allowing executions to proceed in Tennessee. So far, no dates have been set.

(Photo courtesy of PegasusNews)

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 malfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as core 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 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.

A Troubling Case Highlights Our Flawed System

Today The Guardian published a telling article about Missouri death row inmate Reggie Clemons, whose case illustrates the many things that can and do go wrong in the U.S. death penalty system.

Clemons has been on death row for 19 years for being an accomplice in the 1991 murders in St. Louis of two young white women, Julie and Robin Kerry. Two other black youths were also convicted in the case, including Marlin Gray, who was executed in 2005, and Antonio Richardson, whose death sentence was reduced to life imprisonment in 2003. A fourth co-defendant, Daniel Winfrey, white, pled guilty to a lesser offense in return for testimony against the three others and was released on parole in 2007. The other person who was critical to their convictions was the victims’ cousin, Thomas Cummins. Cummins initially confessed to the police that he had committed the murders, but later the charges against him were dropped when he pointed the finger at Clemons, Gray and Richardson. Cummins later won $150,000 in a police brutality lawsuit in which he claimed he had been treated roughly during many hours of interrogation.

Clemons alleges that he was also a victim of police brutality during interrogation and claims that is why he initially confessed under pressure to raping one of the victims. He later retracted that confession and at no point confessed to the murders. In addition to there being no physical evidence linking Clemons to the crime, other concerns in this case include extreme prosecutorial misconduct and inadequate defense counsel. In fact, Clemons’ lawyer was later suspended from practicing law and his co-counsel had a full time job in another state when she was representing him. Also, the jury in Clemons’ case was stacked as blacks were disproportionately dismissed during jury selection. In 2002, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Clemons’ death sentence should not stand since six prospective jurors had been improperly excluded. A higher court ended up overturning this ruling.

Reggie Clemons was scheduled to be executed in June 2009 but the Missouri Supreme Court stayed the execution and assigned a judge known as a “Special Master” to investigate the reliability of his conviction and proportionality of his sentence. This hearing is set to begin on September 17.

You can take action by signing this petition from Amnesty International calling on Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to stop Reggie Clemons from being executed.

(Photo: Reggie Clemons via The Guardian)

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 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 health 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.

Former CA Supreme Court Justice Calls for Abolition

Although Carlos Moreno supports the death penalty in principle and voted to uphold more than 200 death sentences during his time as a California Supreme Court justice, he now supports Proposition 34, the November ballot measure that would repeal the death penalty in his state and change the maximum sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Moreno is primarily concerned about the lengthy process and extremely high costs of maintaining the system. With 725 inmates on their death row, the state of California spends around $184 million a year on their death penalty. He points out that most cases take decades to conclude and this takes money that California just doesn’t have. “The millions wasted on this broken system would be much better spent keeping teachers, police and firefighters on their jobs” he said.

While TADP disagrees with some of Justice Moreno’s positions, we are encouraged that he recognizes that the death penalty system is broken beyond repair and that he is willing to speak out about it. With the important voices like his speaking out, we continue to be hopeful that Prop 34 will be successful this fall.

(Photo courtesy of HispanicPro)

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 soul trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness conditions that can be very much 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.

Marvin Wilson Killed Despite Ban on Executing the Intellectually Disabled

Although thousands of concerned citizens urged the state not to kill Marvin Wilson, a man with an IQ of only 61, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the final appeal less than two hours before he was put to death.  At 6:27 p.m. last night, Wilson was pronounced dead, 14 minutes after Texas began his execution by lethal injection.

In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that the Eighth Amendment of the constitution prohibits “excessive punishment” for prisoners who are deemed intellectually disabled. However, the Supreme Court left it up to the states to develop their own set of determining factors for who will be exempt from execution under this statute. Other states developed statutes to help courts in these kinds of cases, but Texas has failed to enact such a law. Instead, they set up temporary guidelines, called Briseño factors, which no other state uses, to test for mental impairment. Although Wilson has a history of struggling in school, has scored low on intelligence tests, and struggles with everyday tasks like tying his own shoes, Texas courts did not feel that he was low functioning enough to spare the death penalty.

Lee Kovarsky, one of Wilson’s lawyers, released the following statement:

“It is outrageous that the state of Texas continues to utilize unscientific guidelines, called the Briseño factors, to determine which citizens with intellectual disability are exempt from execution. The Briseño factors are not scientific tools, they are the decayed remainder of an uninformed stereotype that has been widely discredited by the nation’s leading groups on intellectual disability, including the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. That neither the courts nor state officials have stopped this execution is not only a shocking failure of a once-promising constitutional commitment, it is also a reminder that, as a society, we haven’t come quite that far in understanding how so many of those around us live with intellectual disabilities.”

(Photo of Marvin Wilson courtesy of Amnesty USA)

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 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 much 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.

Texas to Execute Man with an IQ of 61

Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2002 decision in Atkins v. Virginia which makes it unconstitutional to execute a person with an intellectual disability, today the state of Texas plans to execute Marvin Wilson, who has an IQ of only 61. Wilson was sentenced to death in 1992 for the shooting of Jerry Williams, a police informant who had provided information that led to Wilson’s arrest for drug possession.  Wilson, now 54, struggled in school when he was younger and more recent assessments have found that he is very low functioning.

After the Atkins decision, most death penalty states have passed legislation to define what qualifies as intellectual disability, based on similar clinical standards as the Atkins court, but Texas has not. However, in 2004, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (TCCA) created temporary guidelines. These consist of additional factors, not used by any other state, to test for disability.  Wilson’s Atkins claim has been rejected under the TCCA guidelines because the court claimed there was no proof that anyone had officially diagnosed him with “mental retardation” before the age of 18, despite compelling evidence from his school records. Wilson’s attorneys have filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that their client is clearly mentally impaired and that Texas’ additional factors to test for intellectual disability are unconstitutional.

Please take action now by signing this petition to urge Texas officials to stop Marvin Wilson’s execution.

(Photo courtesy of presstv.com)

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 health problem such as soul trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health 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 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.

Sharing the Stories

Yesterday as I was driving home from the office intently listening to NPR’s, “All Things Considered,” my ears suddenly perked up as I heard a familiar voice, the voice of David Kaczynski, brother of the so-called Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. David has traveled to Tennessee on several occasions to share his story about his brother’s long struggle with severe mental illness, and David’s decision to alert the authorities about his concerns that Ted might be the Unabomber. This difficult journey that David has traveled has inspired his work on the issues of mental health treatment and alternatives to the death penalty.

The NPR piece also featured Texas school teacher Lois Robison, whose son Larry–a  paranoid schizophrenic–killed five people in a psychotic state. Lois and her husband, Ken, had tried desperately to get Larry help and were denied assistance over and over again. The state of Texas ultimately executed Larry in 2000.

These stories are a reminder of the living nightmare that not only murder victims’ families experience as a result of these tragedies but also the unspeakable hurt experienced by the families of those who commit these unimaginable crimes.  In light to of recent Aurora tragedy, this NPR piece is powerful reminder of the intricate web of people whose lives are turned upside down by such tragedies.

These stories are important ones for us as a society to hear and not typically the ones featured on the 10:00 news. I hope we will all take a moment to listen.

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 disfunction can be the symptom a strong health 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 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 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.