Archive for the

‘death penalty’ Category



Texas’ Quest to Execute Scott Panetti

On December 3rd, 2014, the state of Texas is planning to execute Scott Panetti, who was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1992 murders of his in-laws.  The execution date, which was made in secret unbeknownst to Panetti’s attorneys, comes despite his attorneys’ consistent argument that Panetti is not competent to be executed because of his severe and persistent mental illness.

Scott Panetti has suffered from schizophrenia for over 30 years, having been hospitalized 13 times prior to his arrest in 1992.  During his trial, he rejected a plea deal for a life sentence and was allowed to represent himself throughout the proceedings, where he attempted to subpoena over 200 witnesses including Jesus Christ, the Pope, and John F. Kennedy. During the trial, Panetti often doodled on legal documents while wearing a cowboy costume for the duration of the trial.  While on death row, his condition has grown increasingly worse and he continues to suffer from paranoid delusions.  Known as “The Preacher” to others on death row, Panetti believes that he is being executed by the state because Satan wants to put an end to him telling others about Jesus Christ.

Despite these presenting psychotic features of severe mental illness and the testimonies of family and medical professionals to his condition, the state has not conducted a competency hearing in seven years and refuses to withdraw the execution.  A clemency petition has been filed on behalf of Panetti, urging a reprieve.

As unbelievable as Panetti’s case sounds, his is not unique.  Too many individuals sitting on death rows nationwide, and who have already been executed, have long histories of severe mental illness that the courts often refuse to acknowledge.  In Tennessee, Billy Ray Irick, who’s recently scheduled execution was delayed, has suffered from severe mental illness since childhood and exhibited psychotic symptoms in the days leading up to the murder for which he was convicted.  None of this information was presented at his trial except during his sentencing hearing, when the jury briefly heard testimony from a social worker who had worked with Irick as a child

The United States Supreme Court has recognized the need for special considerations in regards to the death penalty and severe mental illness, and in Ford v. Wainwright (1986) declared that the execution of the “insane” was unconstitutional. Still those with the most severe mental illnesses continue to be sentenced to death. The National Alliance on Mental illness (NAMI), Mental Health America, and the American Psychological Association, along with many other mental health organizations, condemn the use of capital punishment on those with severe mental illness.

Instead of spending millions of dollars to execute these very ill individuals after a horrible crime has occurred, we could spend those dollars to get citizens who struggle with these illnesses the treatment that they need. If we chose to treat people with mental illness rather than execute them, many of these crimes would never happen in the first place, sparing families and communities these senseless tragedies.

UPDATE:

A large number of conservatives have spoken out on the Panetti case, specifically asking for clemency from Governor Perry.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/01/rick-perry-scott-panetti_n_6250360.html

Still, on December 1, the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole voted 7-0 in favor of clemency for Panetti. With a little over 24 hours until his scheduled execution, the eyes of the world remain on Texas.

Sign the petition to Gov. Rick Perry asking him to spare Scott Panetti’s life:

https://www.change.org/p/gov-rick-perry-spare-my-brother-s-life-a-severely-mentally-ill-man-on-death-row

 

Photo Source: http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/070625/070625_panetti_hmed_8a.grid-6×2.jpg

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 malfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as core 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 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.

Unlikely Opponents

CNN featured a great article this weekend on the death penalty’s unlikely opponents as part of its “Mississippi Still Burning?” that aired Sunday evening, one of four stories on “CNN Presents.”  The episode is not yet posted on CNN’s website, but we will provide a link when it is available as well as information on when the story will be aired again.

The article and story highlight numerous murder victims’ families, including the mother and siblings of James Craig Anderson, who was assaulted by a group of white teens because he was black in a Jackson, Mississippi motel parking lot before being fatally run over by a pickup truck on June 26.  All of the family members featured oppose the use of the death penalty for various reasons.  Many argue that it cannot bring back their loved one, ease their loss, or provide any closure.  Some cite religious reasons for their opposition, while others point to concerns over the unfair application of the death penalty where the race of the victim and the defendant’s ability to afford a quality lawyer influences outcomes.  Still others feel that its use is more about retribution than punishment, and many agree that there is too much room for error in the system and they do not trust the government to make decisions about life and death.

This story comes at a time when an increasing number of Americans are opposed to the death penalty.  It is important and telling that friends and families of murder victims are standing up and speaking out against capital punishment and calling instead for compassion, forgiveness, and healing.

Photo by javacolleen

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 malfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction 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 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 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.

Gary Cone, Gaile Owens, EJ Harbison

Gary Cone

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Cone v. Bell. Gary Cone, the defendant, is currently on Tennessee’s death row for the 1980 murder of an elderly Memphis couple. There is no doubt of Cone’s guilt. However, Cone’s defense has uncovered serious allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, including the withholding of critical evidence for Cone’s defense.

“You’re saying that the lawyer, the trained lawyer for the government, who knew this information and knew the defense — just what? Just overlooked it by accident? Just what?” Breyer demanded.

The evidence in question was whether or not Cone was a drug user. Cone’s initial defense and mitigation in the sentencing phase was predicated on his drug abuse. The prosecution argued that he was not a drug user despite holding evidence, including statements from law enforcement and the FBI that validated his drug abuse. “Cone’s attorney, Thomas C. Goldstein, told the justices that the evidence was key to his client’s insanity defense or could at least be presented as a mitigating circumstance that would keep him from being put to death.”

Personally, I am not at all surprised by the arguments that made justices “exasperated.” Time and time again we learn of significant prosecutorial misconduct in the course of seeking death sentences. Cone’s case came out of Shelby County which accounts for a disproportional 40% of our death row. Even more troubling to me is that appeals courts, which serve as an “audit” of previous rulings, did not weed this out. “When Cone tried to present the evidence in a new round of appeals, Tennessee courts mistakenly said it had been considered and rejected.”

Read more coverage of this case from the Washington Post and NPR.

Gaile Owens

“The first woman ever to be sentenced to death in Tennessee is a step closer to execution Tuesday after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied her habeas petition in a 2-1 decision. Nashville-based Judge Gil Merritt filed the dissenting opinion.”

“Owens argued for relief before the Sixth Circuit on grounds that she received ineffective assistance of counsel when trial counsel failed to adequately investigate her background and failed to overcome the state’s hearsay objection to one of her penalty-phase witnesses; the state violated Brady v. Maryland by failing to turn over letters between her deceased husband and his paramour; and the trial court unconstitutionally prevented her from offering, as mitigating evidence, testimony that she wanted to plead guilty in return for receiving a life sentence.”

The Nashville Scene blog, Pith in the Wind, also laid out the three key issues. “She received jaw-droppingly ineffective assistance of counsel, the state withheld crucial exculpatory evidence, and the trial court unconstitutionally prevented her from offering testimony that she wanted to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.”

“Stacy Rector, executive director of the anti-death penalty Tennessee Coalition to Abolish State Killings (TCASK), told The City Paper in response to the ruling that she was not happy with the decision.

“I am very disappointed by the 6th Circuit court’s decision in the case of Gaile Owens,” Rector said adding “the death penalty in this case is grossly disproportionate considering that Ms. Owens was willing to plead guilty and spend the rest of her life in prison for this crime; but, because her co-defendant wouldn’t plead, the case went to trial. Her attorneys spent only two hours of pretrial investigation and no hours — literally zero hours — preparing for her sentencing hearing.”

“Rector also pointed to a Monday recommendation from the Tennessee Committee to Study the Administration of the Death Penalty that the Tennessee General Assembly create an independent commission to oversee capital defense in Tennessee based on the “woefully inadequate defense many capital defendants receive at trial.”

“The case of Gaile Owens is but one more example of this problem,” Rector said.”

Read the rest of this City Paper article by CLICKING HERE. Read the rest of the Nashville Scene blog by CLICKING HERE.

EJ Harbison

Governors nationwide that are for and against the death penalty are backing Tennessee death row inmate, EJ Harbison. Harbison’s case is currently before the US Supreme Court. “Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is a Democrat who supports the death penalty. Former Gov. Richard Celeste is a Democrat who opposed it. Both have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of a death row inmate from Tennessee seeking a federally funded lawyer to help with his clemency request.

“The issue before the court is relatively narrow: Does an existing federal law that authorizes funding for death row inmates’ lawyers also cover state clemency hearings?”

“The Tennessee public defender’s office said it didn’t have the resources to represent Harbison in a clemency request. So he asked for a federally appointed lawyer. Federal and district appeals court judges said the law doesn’t authorize such funding.”

Read the rest of this article by CLICKING 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 complaint among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile malfunction 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 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.

Curtis McCarty Speaks in Knoxville


On Thursday, April 24, I picked up Curtis McCarty from the Knoxville airport. We locked eyes as he passed through the security checkpoint and he flashed me a peace sign. As we shook hands, I tensed up–Curtis McCarty spent nearly 19 years on Oklahoma’s death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Would we talk about anything other than death row? Would we talk about death row at all? Would we have anything in common? As we walked to the car, Curtis and I spoke of our mutual fondness for the Stone Temple Pilots and Rage Against the Machine and our disdain for text messaging and pop music.

I told Curtis that we’d have some time to relax before our speaking engagement at the University of Tennessee Knoxville Law School. He grinned. “If there’s anything I know how to do, it’s killing time.” The weather was pleasant so I gave Curtis a walking tour of the UT Campus. Students were out and about playing frisbee, volleyball, and baseball. I only graduated from college eleven months ago, so this was a familiar sight. Curtis’s educational experience was different. He completed junior high, but dropped out of high school. While on death row, Curtis kept up with his studies in science and technology and educated himself on the laws dictating his life. When he speaks, its quickly apparent that he’s deeply intelligent. His words are chosen carefully. It’s almost as if he speaks with the belief that every sentence could be his last.

Before Curtis was to speak at the law school, I told him that there would be attorneys, law professors, and students in the audience. This was an important event for TCASK; we’re always looking to build relationships with schools. The room filled to almost 70 people. It was a Thursday evening in the midst of final exams.

Curtis began by immediately taking responsibility for ending up on death row. He shamefully recounted the juvenile history of drugs and crime which led him to associate with the murdered individual. To Curtis, his poor choices prior to his incarceration played a large role in his ending up in prison.

Yet, the state of Oklahoma is ultimately responsible for sending an innocent man to death row. The case of Curtis McCarty is riddled with problems that suggest he was wrongfully convicted in the murder of Pam Willis: suppressed evidence, destroyed evidence, and perjured testimony. Curtis spoke about his case with the knowledge and eloquence of a law professor. The students were impressed; some said Curtis knew more about death penalty law than they did, and were eager to bring him back for the UT Law Review Death Penalty Symposium next year.

The next day I took Curtis to speak at two assemblies at Knoxville Catholic High School. Again, this was an important event for us: Creating a strong base of Catholic support in Eastern Tennessee has always been a priority for TCASK. This time, Curtis spoke in a manner that suited the ages of his audience. Rather than sifting through the legal problems pervading his case, he focused on the personal story of his life.

“The only two people on this entire Earth who would testify on behalf of the worthiness of my life were my two parents. I have never been more ashamed in my entire life after I saw my mom tearfully pleading for the jury to spare me. I was still sentenced to death.”

He shared photos taken at five year intervals when he was on death row. “It’s tough to look at these photos because all I see are missed birthdays, graduations, soccer games, and weddings.” The Principal told me afterwards that he saw specific students that he knew to be drug users hanging onto Curtis’s every word. He said that we need to bring back Curtis every year.

The death penalty system is broken. 128 individuals have been released from death rows nationwide when evidence of their innocence emerged. Curtis knows this better than anyone, but he also knows that a life of crime made it easier for the state to convict him. It is a rare sight to witness someone so gracefully admit his shortcomings. A high school student asked Curtis, “When you got out of prison, were you angry?”

He replied, “I was angry, in fact I was very angry. I soon realized though that bitterness is unproductive. I wanted to be productive, and I wanted to seek justice. In order to do this, I had to stop being angry and instead tell my story.” The story of Curtis McCarty is a story that needs to be told, over and over and over again.

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 malfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness 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 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.

Justice Stevens Renounces Death Penalty

On initial viewing the ruling in Baze v. Rees is simple–7 Justices upholding Kentucky’s lethal injection protocols and 2 Justices dissenting that ruling. Underneath that count is a splintered court that produced a separate concurring opinion by Justice John Paul Stevens.

An article focused on the ruling can be read HERE.
An article focused on Justice Stevens’ opinion can be read HERE.

In the majority controlling opinion Chief Justice John Roberts made the following statements. “A slightly or marginally safer alternative” would not suffice, the chief justice said. He added: “Simply because an execution method may result in pain, either by accident or as an inescapable consequence of death, does not establish the sort of ‘objectively intolerable risk of harm’ that qualifies as cruel and unusual” under the Eighth Amendment.”

It is important to clarify that Baze v. Rees was a case about the method of lethal injection and whether those methods violated the 8th amendment–not lethal injection itself. “The challenge was to the details of the injection’s administration: the chemicals used, the training of the personnel, the adequacy of medical supervision, and the consequences and risk of error.” The justices were asked to rule if the risk imposed by the current lethal injection protocol in the state of Kentucky was in violation of the 8th amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

“In an opinion concurring with the majority’s judgment, Justice Stevens said he felt bound to “respect precedents that remain a part of our law.” But outside the confines of the Kentucky case, he said, the time had come to reconsider “the justification for the death penalty itself.””

“He wrote that court decisions and actions taken by states to justify the death penalty were “the product of habit and inattention rather than an acceptable deliberative process” to weigh the costs and risks of the penalty against its benefits.”

What troubles Justice Stevens is that states are justifying their death penalties as a result of its flaws rather than its successes. If states wanted to improve upon their death penalties they would be facing challenges based on what they can do better, not on what they are already doing, and continue to do wrong.

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

Amended Bill Passes Senate Judiciary

Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee passed an amended version of the death penalty study extension bill, extending the life of the Committee to Study the Administration of the Death Penalty for two months through the end of 2008. The original extension bill would have extended the Committee’s life for a full year until October 2009.

Senator Mark Norris of Memphis proposed the bill’s amendment. Ultimately the amended bill passed with “yes” votes from Senators Doug Jackson, Jim Kyle, Beverly Marrero, John Wilder, Diane Black and Mark Norris. Senators Jamie Woodson, Mae Beavers, and Paul Stanley passed on the vote.

The District Attorneys’ Conference has been resisting any extension of this Study Committee as its leadership claimed that the Committee was stacked with abolitionists. Unfounded and unfair accusations have been made by the DA’s Conference’s Executive Director, Wally Kirby, in media outlets throughout the state concerning the work and membership of this Committee. In fact, within the Judiciary meeting yesterday, Senator Kyle raised the possibility of disbanding the Committee and reappointing a whole different committee. However, Senator Jackson quickly stated that the current Committee is a fair minded and talented group of people who should be allowed to finish the work that they started. Thankfully, the majority of the Judiciary agreed.

The bill must now pass the full House and Senate, and we are hopeful that it will.

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

More Paul House Media Coverage

Media coverage of the pending release of Paul House continues to flow in. Click HERE to watch an interview with Joyce House, Paul’s mother. You may have to look below amongst the other video options to find the interview with Joyce.

Also, Sarah Kelley of the Nashville Scene has written an article on Paul House. It can be READ 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 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 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 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.

Justice Day on the Hill

On April 2nd, TCASK members from across the state convened in Nashville at the state capitol to voice their opinions on the death penalty to Tennessee legislators. Last year’s Justice Day on the Hill was critical in the passage of Senate Bill 1911—a bill to create the Committee to Study the Administration of the Death Penalty. The Committee began meeting in October 2007 and has been producing fantastic results, uncovering myriad problems within Tennessee’s death penalty system. A primary focus of Justice Day this year was thanking legislators for the creation of the Study Committee as well as those legislators who signed onto Rep. Mike Turner’s letter asking the Governor to pardon Paul House. Another aspect of Justice Day involved asking legislators to consider extending the study for an additional year in order that it be thorough and complete.

Justice Day on the Hill epitomizes what TCASK is about—ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things. How many folks out there can claim to have met directly with their elected officials to voice their opinion on the death penalty and advocate for change? Not many. Sometimes it seems that our society’s obsession with being entertained has led to a great deal of apathy. I recently read a NY Times article prompted by the death of the 4,000th U.S. serviceperson in Iraq. The content of the article was mostly made up of emails and blogs written by U.S. soldiers. One soldier, Ryan Wood, wrote a telling commentary concerning U.S. society and its infatuation with celebrity such as Britney Spears. “This little piece of truly, heart-breaking news captured headlines and apparently American imaginations as FOX news did a two hour, truly enlightening piece of breaking news history. American viewers watched intently, and impatiently as the pretty colors flashed and the media exposed the inner workings of Brittany’s obviously, deep character. I was amazed, truly dumbfounded wondering how we as Americans have sank so low.”

Tennessee’s broken death penalty might seem less important when you place it up there with issues like the war in Iraq or Darfur, but it is important to me. It’s also important to folks like Leslie who made the 2 hour trek from Tracy City to Nashville. It’s important to Amy who made the 3 hour trek from Memphis to join her mother Doris for Justice Day. It is important to students like Kathryn, Mary, Michelle, Anna, and Whitney who woke up at 4:30 a.m. to drive to Nashville for Justice Day on the Hill from East Tennessee. Try asking these folks what they think about apathy as they huddle up outside of a legislator’s office to plan out their meeting. They would acknowledge it exists, but they witness to the power of engagement. They witness to democracy, to grassroots, and to change.

My first meeting of the day was with Rep. Chris Crider. I brought Doris and Amy (future Board Chair of TCASK) along with me. Amy seemed nervous. I ended up leading most of the meeting which was successful. Afterwards, we debriefed, and I focused on how easy it is because legislators want to hear from you. Amy still appeared uneasy, especially after I told her that we had planned on her leading some meetings later on in the day. After lunch I ran into Amy for the first time since our first meeting. Immediately I could tell there was something different about her as she shared about her experience of leading a very powerful meeting with Senator Beverly Marrero. As an organizer you dream of moments like this when folks feel empowered to make their voices heard. You put in long hours coordinating the event—setting up meetings, creating materials, doing outreach. All of that time is worth it when you see someone realize their own power.

TCASK schedules Justice Day on the Hill far in advance so we were thrilled to learn that the House Judiciary Sub Committee of Criminal Practice and Procedures would be voting to extend the life of the study committee on April 2nd. This gave the day an additional level of excitement and importance. In the end, the bill to extend the life of the study committee made it out of sub-committee. It still has a LONG way to go. But I am confident that it will pass as long as citizens continue to advocate for change and realize their own power.

“Power concedes nothing without a demand, it never did and it never will”
-Frederick Douglass

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 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 malfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction 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 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.

Write-a-Thon Final Tally


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re not wearing green, I hope you get pinched.

My favorite holiday, International Death Penalty Abolition Day, has passed. This year’s commemoration of the day that Michigan abolished the death penalty in 1847 on March 1st was a special one. 2008 was the 6th year that TCASK volunteers from across the state wrote letters to their elected officials in organized write-a-thons. Write-a-thons happened in Memphis, Nashville (3 of them), Sewanee, and Knoxville. After the last count, there have been over 250 letters sent to members of the Tennessee legislature. 250 is the largest amount ever sent by a coordinated effort in Tennessee. So, if you participated in the 2008 International Death Penalty Abolition Day Write-a-Thon in Tennessee, you were part of record setting effort. Kudos!

However, if you were not able to make it to one of the write-a-thon locations, do not fret. Salvation can be found by CLICKING HERE. This link will take you to our letter-writing page that has sample letters that you can download to write your legislators. If the letters are not downloading correctly, check back later, or email me at isaac@tcask.org. Letter writing is one of the most influential ways to communicate with politicians. When they receive a hand-written letter, they take it seriously. Continue to write letters–don’t limit this important activity to once a year–make your voice heard!

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

A Definitive Cost Study

When the presidential nominees give their speeches after a primary has been completed, they typically begin by thanking the state they are in. “Thank you Ohio.” “Thank you Iowa.” etc. etc. Today, I would like to say from Nashville, “Thank you Maryland.” The Abell Foundation, located in Baltimore, funded a definitive cost study conducted by the Urban Institue, “a national, nonpartisan research organization in Washington.”

The study concluded that the death penalty “has cost Maryland taxpayers at least $186 million more in prosecuting and defending capital murder cases over two decades than would have been spent without the threat of execution.” “The study estimates that the cost of reaching a single death sentence costs the state an average of $3 million, which is $1.9 million more than a non-death penalty case costs, even after factoring in the long-term costs of incarcerating convicted killers not sentenced to death.”

The article that covered the release of the study gets into greater detail about how these figures were determined. I found the methodology to be highly logical. I implore you to read the article by CLICKING HERE.

“Although groups in many death penalty states have analyzed the cost of such cases, the Urban Institute’s Maryland study is the first to statistically control for factors that might otherwise make a capital case more expensive,” said Andrew Davies, a researcher with the New York State Defenders Association, which in the 1980s completed the first such study. “The argument goes that … death penalty cases might be worse or more heinous cases, so that even if they weren’t death penalty cases, they still would be more expensive,” he said. “But in this study, they’ve isolated the pure effect of the death penalty on inflating the cost of cases.” I’d also like to point out that the study did not include “costs associated with federal court proceedings in state capital cases.”

Studies like these are paramount in showing citizens and their leaders that the death penalty is a costly and ineffective public policy. Maryland has come very close to getting abolition legislation on their legislature’s floor in the past. This study should help that effort out significantly. This study also reaffirms my annoyance that the death penalty is justified even though it is a terrible public policy. We must place the same magnifying glass on the death penalty as we place on all other forms of public policy.

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