Archive for

September, 2012



Puerto Ricans Reject the Death Penalty

The 33 U.S. states that still have the death penalty could take a lesson from our Southeastern neighbor. Puerto Rico abolished the death penalty in 1929 and reaffirmed opposition to it in its first constitution in 1952 – calling it a human rights violation. In 2000, a judge ruled that applying the death penalty would violate the Puerto Rican constitution and the federal statute that gives the territory the status of a self-governing entity.

However, in 2001, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Puerto Rico is subject to federal law, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that decision. This court action means that although capital punishment is constitutionally illegal in the territory, defendants who are tried in federal court can still face the death penalty. However, Puerto Rican juries have continuously rejected the federal death penalty.

The latest case was decided yesterday when a jury instead chose life in prison for Edison Burgos Montes, a convicted drug dealer, found guilty of the 2005 killing of his ex-girlfriend Madelyn Semidey Morales, an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The victim’s parents were pleased with the verdict, telling reporters that they do not believe in capital punishment. “I’m satisfied that justice was served,” Semidey Morales’ mother said.

Two other federal death penalty cases are expected to go before juries in January. The president of the human rights commission of Puerto Rico’s Association of Attorneys said that he doubts any jury would ever seek the death penalty in Puerto Rico, saying, “It is a product of failed federal policies.”

We couldn’t agree more.


(Photo courtesy of latinorebels.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 claim 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 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.

Day of Remembrance

Today marks the 14th annual observance of the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. Around the nation, people are honoring the memories of murder victims and reflecting on the impact that homicide has on surviving family members, friends, and communities.

While our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost loved ones in the tragic murders that have made the headlines this year in Colorado and Wisconsin, we must not forget the thousands of murders that occur here in Tennessee and across this nation that receive little or no attention. All families who are grieving the murder of their loved ones need support to help rebuild their lives, and we need a justice system that recognizes and works to meet murder victims families’ needs.

To honor victims, consider volunteering at your local victims’ services organization. If you’re in the Nashville area, this Saturday, September 29 You Have the Power is hosting a “No More Victims Walk” that you can register for here,  or to make a donation, click here. If you or a family member are a victim of crime, please visit this website to find out your rights and the resources that are available to you in Tennessee.

(Photo courtesy of www.never-gone.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 claim 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 disfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness 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 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.

Remembering Troy Davis

One year ago today, the state of Georgia killed Troy Anthony Davis. The Board of Pardons and Paroles ignored the fact that there was no physical evidence linking him to the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail, or that seven of the nine state’s non-police witnesses recanted their testimony, or that nine individuals signed affidavits implicating Sylvester Coles, one of the other witnesses who testified against Troy, as the real killer. Despite nearly one million petition signers from around the world calling for Troy’s life to be spared, the Supreme Court refused to intervene, and the state proceeded with his execution.

Although the pain and shock from such a grave injustice remains with us, we can find comfort and strength in the wisdom of Troy’s words from that night: “This movement started before I was born. After tonight, our movement will grow stronger until we succeed in destroying the death penalty in the United States once and for all.”

Indeed, the movement has grown stronger. Earlier this year Connecticut became the fifth state in five years to end the death penalty. Several other states, including Maryland, are fighting legislative battles, and this November, voters in California will vote on Proposition 34, which if passed, would replace the death penalty with life without the possibility for parole.  In the past year, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber issued a moratorium on the death penalty in his state, and here in Tennessee Gussie Vann became our third exoneree when all charges against him for the 1992 murder of his daughter were dropped. Former Tennessee death row inmate Timothy McKinney continues to fight for freedom as he awaits his third trial, and in June, Ndume Olatushani was released on an Alford plea after serving 27 years behind bars, 19 of which were on death row.

While we are making progress around the country, injustices in the system continue. The case of Reggie Clemons in Missouri is eerily similar to Troy Davis’ case. Clemons is African-American, and the victims in the case were white. There is no physical evidence linking him to their murders, and eyewitnesses have recanted their testimony. Additionally, one of the witnesses was a former suspect.  There are also allegations in Clemons’ case of police and prosecutorial misconduct as well as jury bias. Please take action by signing this petition urging authorities to commute his sentence.

There is also the tragic case of Terrance Williams in Pennsylvania, who is scheduled to be executed on October 3. Williams suffered horrendous childhood sexual abuse, but the jury never heard about this victimization or that the men he killed had been his abusers. Five of those jurors now say they would not have sentenced Williams to death, and the widow of one of the victims has asked for his life to be spared, along with numerous judges, religious leaders, mental health professionals and children advocates. Please join them in calling for clemency by signing this petition.

Cases like those of Clemons and Williams will only continue as long as we have this broken death penalty system in place. We can honor their struggles for justice and the memory of Troy Davis by recommitting ourselves to abolition. You can get involved wherever you are by raising awareness about our severely flawed system.  You can talk with friends and family, host a speaker at your church or civic group, write a letter to the editor, and/or join or form a TADP chapter in your area. Together, we can make Troy’s vision for a world without the death penalty a reality.

(Photo courtesy of Amnesty International 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 claim among men is the erectile malfunction. 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 malfunction 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.

The Myth of Closure

An article entitled “The Myth of Closure” in the newly released Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights‘ Fall 2012/Winter 2013 newsletter features a great interview with Jody Lynne Madeira, author of Killing McVeigh: The Death Penalty and the Myth of Closure. In it, Madeira reflects on her interviews with 13 people whose family members were killed in the Oklahoma City bombing and 20 who were survivors of the bombing.

Madeira explains that the idea that the death penalty provides closure for victims’ families is a fairly new concept that has been perpetuated in the media and used as justification for executions over the last couple of decades and doesn’t necessarily reflect how many victims feel.

“As I have listened to murder victims’ family members, I have heard a pushback against that common understanding of the term [closure],” says Madeira. “I want to harness that pushback and help give voice to it.”

Victims and their families told Madeira that they have been able to regain some control and find their voice by talking with other victims’ family members, telling their stories and getting involved in activities like helping to plan and create memorials.

TADP is grateful to MVFHR and those like Madeira who help to support and empower surviving family members of homicide. Given the protracted legal process that necessarily accompanies the death penalty, Madeira’s research leads to  more questions about the death penalty’s purpose and whether or not it, in fact, harms victims’ families, not helps them.

(Photo courtesy of MVFHR website)

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 heartiness 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 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.

The Sacramento Bee Urges CA Voters to Pass Prop 34

The Sacramento Bee’s Editorial Board came out in support of death penalty repeal this week for the first time in the newspaper’s 155 year existence. In Sunday’s editorial, they outline the many flaws with the death penalty, arguing that it is a system that cannot be fixed and therefore, must be abandoned and replaced with life without parole.

The article highlights the lengthy process between conviction and execution, and the toll this takes on murder victims’ families as well as the extreme financial burden it places on taxpayers.  While there are currently 729 inmates on California’s death row, there have only been 13 executions since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1992. Although death penalty proponents argue that the process could be expedited, the Board warns against the dangers of doing so. “Yes, California could change its laws and increase spending to carry out the death penalty more expeditiously. But we might do so at the risk of executing an innocent person- arguably the worst miscarriage of justice imaginable.”

The newspaper also admits that the death penalty has not been shown to deter crime as was once believed. They urge Californians to vote “yes” on Proposition 34 this November to end the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life without parole. The Bee joins many others who have traditionally supported the death penalty in calling for its abolition. “The death penalty in California has become an illusion, and we need to end the fiction- the sooner the better,” they write.

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 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 heartiness 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 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 Tennessee Death Row Inmate Granted New Trial

The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals has overturned the conviction of former death row inmate Steven James Rollins, ruling that he be granted a new trial due to ineffective assistance of counsel and being denied his right to a trial by a fair and impartial jury.

Rollins was convicted and sentenced to death in 2003 for the 2001 robbery and stabbing death of James T. Bussell, the owner of Bussell’s Fisherman’s Paradise bait shop near Kingsport. In 2010, a local judge overturned Rollins’ death sentence and granted him a new sentencing hearing, but not a new trial. Rollins appealed this decision and last week the appellate court found sufficient reason to overturn his convictions and sent the case back to Sullivan County Criminal Court for a new trial. Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus said the state plans to appeal this decision to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

The appellate court agreed with Rollins’ claim that his trial attorneys failed to properly question prospective jurors and that a particular juror had apparent bias. This juror admitted in affidavits that he had known the victim and bought bait from him every week. He said “I had my mind made up as soon as they seated the jury. I could tell by looking at him that he was a crook.” He also stated his belief that “death is the only appropriate punishment” for a person convicted of murder, and adds “but no one asked me about my opinion.”

Rollins had also argued that his mental retardation exempts him from the death penalty but the appellate court declined to address this issue, stating it is a “moot point” since he will have an opportunity to make that argument if he should reach another sentencing hearing. Hopefully the Tennessee Supreme Court will uphold the appellate court’s decision and Rollins can finally have a trial with the adequate representation and fair and impartial jury that every defendant deserves.

Photo courtesy of The Kingsport Times-News

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 disfunction 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 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.

Death Row Inmate Michael Keenan Released, But Not Yet Exonerated

UPDATE September 7, 2012: Yesterday, we wrote about the exciting news of Michael Keenan’s release in Ohio, making him the seventh person to walk off of Ohio’s death row. We reported that this release also made Keenan the nation’s 141st death row exoneree. However, the information we received was incorrect and we apologize. At this point in time, charges against him were dismissed, but as it so often happens in cases like this, the state said it will appeal the dismissal. This means there will be further proceedings in the legal case and that his exoneration status is yet to be determined. We are hopeful that we will soon be able to correctly report that Keenan is in fact the 141st death row exoneree in the U.S.

September 6, 2012:

After spending over two decades on Ohio’s death row for the 1988 murder of Tony Klann, Michael Keenan became the seventh exoneree from Ohio and the nation’s 141st death row exoneration when Judge John Russo dismissed all charges against him this morning.

Keenan was first tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in 1989. His conviction was thrown out due to prosecutorial misconduct in 1994. In April 2012, a federal court ruled that Keenan must be retried or freed due to newly discovered exculpatory evidence that prosecutors kept from Keenan during his previous trials.  Prosecutors chose to push forward with a third trial against Keenan that was set to begin on October 31 but removed the death penalty in an effort to obtain a plea deal. Meanwhile, Keenan’s defense attorneys filed a motion to dismiss all charges, and TADP joins our colleagues at Ohioans to Stop Executions in being thrilled that Judge Russo elected to do just that today.

Kevin Werner, executive director of Ohioans to Stop Executions said, “Ohio’s track record of making these kinds of mistakes is both troubling and a sharp reminder that our state routinely sends people to death row for crimes they did not commit. This is completely unacceptable.”

This wrongful conviction is yet another example of the brokenness of our death penalty system. How can we continue with a failed policy that risks innocent lives? The seven men who have been freed from death row in Ohio alone spent a combined 127 years imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. Think of not only the years stolen from them and their families, but also the immense costs of incarcerating these individuals. We must remember the victims’ families and all of the prolonged pain they’ve had to endure as well. While the state spent years and numerous resources pursuing the wrong men, the real killers remained untried. How is this justice?

(Photo of Michael Keenan smiling as charges against him are dismissed this morning. Courtesy of Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer)

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 disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart 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 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.