Archive for

February, 2014



Retired Georgia Commissioner of Corrections Regrets Executions

Those who attended the TDAP Student Conference this past weekend (February 22) will recall former penitentiary warden (Oregon) Frank Thompson’s conclusion that, in overseeing the state’s two executions, he was asking his staff “to carry out the premeditated death of a human being in the name of a policy that I knew was a failure.” Add Dr. Allen Ault to the growing list of correctional personnel who have serious objections to the death penalty. Ault, a psychologist by training who was Commissioner of Corrections for the state of Georgia, was charged with supervising the state’s executions.  Ault recently spoke publicly concerning his regrets after overseeing five executions, as well as his need for counseling to deal with the guilt and trauma. A link to the full story can be found here.

Picture by BBC

 

 

 

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 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 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.

What I Learned at the TADP Student Conference

Nearly 100 students gathered at Tennessee State University on Saturday for TADP’s annual student conference on the death penalty. As the new organizer for TADP, I was curious as to how the issue would be presented and how the students would respond. Discovering that only about three of the participants had ever attended this conference before, I figured that a good number of those in the room knew very little about the issue. I really didn’t know how receptive they would be to the speakers, all of whom shared a common interest in ending the death penalty.

Frank Thompson, a former state penitentiary warden who oversaw Oregon’s only two executions, keynoted the conference. I later realized that at least a few of the conference attendees themselves were correctional professionals who turned out to hear from Mr. Thompson. He shared about his former support for the death penalty, until he was faced with leading his staff in carrying out an execution. From that point, the issue moved from the abstract to the very real. As he learned more about the policy itself, he realized just how flawed it is. He also determined that   if our public policies should rely on evidence-based outcomes that benefit our communities, then the death penalty is woefully failing since it is unfairly applied, racially biased, exorbitantly costly, takes years to carry out, does not serve as a deterrent, and risks executing the innocent.

Thompson reiterated to the crowd, “I was asked to prepare my staff—decent, hardworking individuals—to carry out the premeditated death of a human being in the name of a policy that I knew was a failure.”  He spoke of his concerns for correctional officials across this country who are asked to do the same thing and what effect this policy has on their mental, physical, and spiritual health.  

Participants also heard from Ndume Olatushani who spent 27 years in prison, 19 on death row, after he was wrongfully convicted for the murder of Memphis storeowner, Joe Belenchia. Despite the testimony of multiple witnesses who placed him in St. Louis at the time, Olatushani was arrested and “brought to the state of Tennessee for the first time in my life in handcuffs and shackles to stand trial.”Olatushani was joined on the panel by his wife, Anne-Marie Moyes, a Vanderbilt Law School graduate and public defender, who worked tirelessly to secure his freedom for decades. As a visual representation of the hope he maintained throughout his incarceration, Olatushani displayed some of the beautiful artwork he produced as a self-taught painter during his time on death row.

Attendees finally heard from a panel of four surviving family members of murder victims who spoke candidly about their family members’ cases, as well as the range of emotions they traversed to come to their opposition to the death penalty. The segment, aptly named “Sharing Our Stories”, provided the audience an opportunity to consider the courageous stance each individual was expressing considering the deep losses he/she had experienced.

I left this conference feeling exhausted from the pain of the stories but encouraged by the questions and comments of those who were gathered. The goal of this conference was to get students to think more deeply about this issue and to take a look at the mounting evidence concerning the system’s problems. I think all who attended, regardless of what they ultimately decide about the death penalty, came away much more informed and impacted than before. I know I did.      

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New Hampshire House Committee Approves Repeal Bill

On Monday, a key New Hampshire House committee voted to approve a bill to repeal the state’s death penalty by a vote of 14-3 with a number of legislators changing their minds on the issue.  Legislators who voted for the bill cited racial disparities and the influence of murder victims’ families, who shared that they didn’t want more lives taken in the name of their loved ones.

House Majority Leader Stephen Shurtleff, a 30-year veteran in law enforcement, also changed his mind, saying, “I would like to think with age comes wisdom.  So today I will be voting for repeal.” He also added after the vote, “It really is a barbaric practice and the time is now to put it aside, and I think to give somebody life imprisonment so they can think every day about what they’ve done is more of a punishment than ending their life.”

This action came just one day before Washington Governor Jay Inslee put a ban on executions for the rest of his term. Governor Inslee said that the death penalty was just “too flawed” to use and that if given the opportunity, he would sign a repeal bill.

Great work and congratulations to our colleagues in New Hampshire and Washington!

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 soundness problem such as soul 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 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.

Washington Governor Suspends Executions

“Equal justice under the law is the state’s primary responsibility. And in death penalty cases, I’m not convinced equal justice is being served,” stated Governor Jay Inslee of Washington today as he announced that he will grant a reprieve in any death case that comes across his desk, effectively instituting a moratorium on executions in the state.

In making his decision, the Governor highlights the high rate of reversals, the exorbitant costs of the death penalty system, the lack of swiftness or certainly for victims’ families, the lack of any credible evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent, and the fact that the death penalty is not always applied in the most heinous cases.

The Governor goes on to say, ” Let me say clearly that this policy decision is not about the nine men currently on death row in Walla Walla. I don’t question their guilt or the gravity of their crimes. They get no mercy from me. This action today does not commute their sentences or issue any pardons to any offender.  But I do not believe their horrific offenses override the problems that exist in our capital punishment system.”

With a system that is just as flawed as Washington, if not more so, wouldn’t Tennesseans be better off to stop the move toward resuming executions and instead, acknowledge just how broken our current system is?  We cannot continue to do nothing to address these flaws…they are not going away and lives are at stake.

Read Governor Inslee’s full remarks here.

Picture from Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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 heartiness problem such as soul 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 so 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.

Tennessee Sets Execution Dates for 10 Men

The Tennessean reported yesterday that Tennessee has officially set execution dates for 10 men.  One of the 10, Nikolus Johnson, has not yet completed his appeals process, which means his execution date of April 22, 2014, is not considered to be “real.” However, the other nine men are facing the all too real prospect of execution beginning on October 7, 2014, with Billy Ray Irick and going through November 17, 2015, with Nicholas Sutton.

This number of executions is unprecedented in our state, which has executed six people since 1960.  Governor Bill Haslam was asked by the Tennessean about the 10  executions.  He said that though the decision didn’t go through him,  he is in agreement with it. “The death penalty has been approved by the state. It’s been our policy. When I ran, I got asked that question and said I will follow what the juries decide.”

Sadly, juries are often not given all the information that they need to make such a decision.  Kelley Henry, an attorney with the Federal Public Defender’s office of Middle Tennessee,  notes in the article that many of “these cases have different stories of ineffective assistance of counsel, of evidence that was suppressed by the state, and stories of trauma and mental abuse that were never presented to a jury or a judge.”

I returned to Nashville yesterday after spending a couple of days in Memphis with Ray Krone, the nation’s 100th death row exoneree and current resident of Tennessee.  Ray spoke to nearly 200 people during his time at Rhodes College and University of Memphis.  At U of M, Ray shared a part of his story that I hadn’t heard before, about one of the jurors at his first trial. This juror’s vote of “guilty” helped to  convict Ray of a crime he didn’t commit and ultimately sent him to death row.  Ray shared about how he and this juror connected  years later at an event in Arizona after Ray was freed by DNA evidence. Ray talked about the mental anguish that this juror experienced over those years, not only because he sent a man to death row but also because he later found out about all the available evidence pointing to Ray’s innocence, evidence that the prosecution did not disclose and that Ray’s first attorney did not investigate.

The death penalty asks 12 citizens to trust that they are getting all the pertinent information to make a life and death decision for another human being from a system that can’t be trusted to give it to them. We know the death penalty system is racially biased. We know that is  stacked against poor defendants. We know that securing convictions can become more important than following up on all the evidence. And yet we still task 12 citizens to decide who lives and who dies.

I hope that Governor Haslam will not be satisfied to rely on what the juries decided in these 10 cases, particularly if the jurors themselves are now saying that they would have made different decisions had they been provided with all the evidence, as some are.  We, the  citizens and leaders of this state, don’t get to wash our hands of these executions by saying, “Well, a jury found them guilty,”  if we can’t trust that the jury was truly informed.  That is simply not good enough when lives are on the line.

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 core 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 so 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 Bill Threatens to Undermine Judiciary

A recent article by Andrew Cohen highlights various bills from across the country in which lawmakers, either because they have forgotten or never really understood the reasoning behind three branches of government, are now attempting to encroach upon the independence of the judicial branch. Cohen highlights a bill from Tennessee that he claims is the most egregious that he has seen thus far.  Bill SB2322 would remove the Administrative Office of the Courts from Judicial oversight and place it under the Treasurer’s office, which falls within by the Executive branch. Thus the Tennessee Supreme Court would no longer “direct” this office but could only “urge” the executive branch to take action. The bill would shut down the judicial disciplinary board, now under the judiciary, and have them also report to the state Treasurer. This would occur only after the review board was stacked with appointees from by the executive and legislative branches. Judges would be prohibited from serving on this board.

Next this bill would dramatically affect death penalty proceedings. Judges would no longer be permitted discretion in vital judicial functions like extending deadlines for filings when necessary to ensure the constitutional rights of the defendant. And, to add insult to injury, lawyers representing indigent defendants would have to reimburse the state if they were found to have rendered ineffective assistance of counsel at trial, making it even more difficult to find court appointed attorneys for these defendants.

As Cohen highlights, not only would these measures but unconstitutional, but they will make the process far more flawed than it already is by rushing the process in ways that only create more room for error.

TADP will continue to monitor this legislation and update you on actions to take to stop it.

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 heartiness problem such as core 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 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.