Sharing Our Stories Spotlight: Clemmie Greenlee

TADP would like to shine a spotlight on some of people who have profoundly impacted the work for death penalty repeal through the sharing of their stories with countless Tennesseans. This week we are focusing on Clemmie Greenlee.

Clemmie is the founder and CEO of the non-profit Nashville Peacemakers, an organization which aims to transform the lives of those living in communities plagued by poverty, violence and crime. Nashville Peacemakers approach change through open dialogue, education, mentoring, communication and well-being.

Clemmie did not have an easy life growing up. She was trafficked into sex work at a very early age, giving birth to her only child at 13. A life of drugs, crime, gangs and violence meant that she did not have the chance to develop a strong relationship with her son. However, as a middle aged woman she was rescued from the streets by the Magdalene program, which helped her turn her life around. She began to re-learn how to trust and love again, and she managed to reconnect with her son, Rodriguez. Devastatingly, not long after the two had rekindled their relationship, he was killed in a gang-related shooting.

Despite this tragedy, Clemmie has never desired for her son’s killer to be executed. The prosecutors in the case appealed to her to seek this sentence, but for Clemmie this was not the solution. It would not bring her closure, or relieve her pain and suffering in any way. Clemmie states, “Why would I, the mother of a murdered son, want to see another mother’s son murdered? I just can’t live with that.” In fact, she wanted to sit down with the young man who committed the murder and to talk to him, to ask him what was going on in his life that brought him to the point of killing another person. She wanted to help him.

It was after her son’s death that Clemmie decided enough was enough, and she started up Nashville Peacemakers to address the issues that affected her own life and her community. She runs programs and projects which aim to empower youth and young adults living in conditions that Clemmie herself knows only too well. He work is focused on helping these young people turn their lives around and move away from gang violence. She is also passionate about ending human sex trafficking, reducing teen pregnancy, drug use and incarceration rates. One of her organization’s program is called Moms Over Murder (M.O.M.), which offers support for mothers who have lost a child or other loved ones to violence. The group also inspires these women to become advocates for change in their own communities. M.O.M will participate in TADP’s Justice Day on the Hill on March 7, 2017, giving the moms an opportunity to share their stories with lawmakers and to identify what their needs really are.

We are so grateful for the time and energy Clemmie gives to us at TADP, and we are excited about the work she is doing to improve communities and to change the lives of our city’s youth for the better. Her support of death penalty repeal is inspired by and interwoven with her deep-rooted determination to reduce violence, to meet people where they are, and to share her vision of a better world for all of us.

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 core 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 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.

Meet TADP Intern Emily Haas

Conservatives, where I grew up in a rural town just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, are loyal to their party the same way a Catholic is loyal to the church. My dad went to work at a steel mill everyday, my mom worked hard as a homemaker, and my sisters and I learned from our books. The three of us were brought up by our family’s convictions: Catholic, pro-life, small government, low taxes, Reagan worship, and pro-death penalty. And why wouldn’t we support the death penalty? The individuals convicted are individuals that have lost their right to be a part of greater humanity because of their heinous crimes, right?

As an undergraduate student at Lipscomb University studying history and philosophy, to which I fell madly in love, I had opportunities to explore my convictions related to faith, policy, and the human experience. After being elected the College Republican President for the university, I had the opportunity to meet with individuals like Marc Hyden, who represents Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. Marc, and the presentation that he delivered to a joint gathering with the College Republicans and the history department, introduced new ways of thinking about the death penalty, how it is administered, and why it is used how it is. The opinions my family impressed upon my sisters and me could not withstand the facts. The institution of death over a citizenry never sounded right to me, but now I had the evidence to back up my concerns and the confidence to dive deeper into the subject.

As a student in Lipscomb University’s first Leadership and Public Policy masters class, I am thrilled now to take action. The death penalty is misplaced as a political issue. The state of Tennessee, as well as the United States of America as a whole, has a responsibility to itself and to the rest of the world to lead through positive action; this is also referred to as soft power. We are all humans in community in this world, and it is our civic duty to do all we can to see the humanity in each and every individual. Not only does the death penalty fail to do so, but it also fails to make us safer, to prevent crime, and to ensure that innocent people aren’t executed. During the next year as I work with TADP, I will work to transform the criminal justice system into a system that better serves all people, including victims, defendant, and their communities.

Our political views and understanding of government may be different, but we can all see how the death penalty is failing and join together to work for change.

 

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 malfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying 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 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.

Duane Buck: ‘Black and Dangerous’

“The race factor [of the defendant], black, increases the future dangerousness for various complicated reasons – is that correct?”

This was the question put to psychologist Walter Quijano by the defense for Duane Buck, an African-American Texas man currently on death row for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and her friend in 1995. Quijano’s answer was clear: yes. As a death sentence in Texas rests on the jury unanimously agreeing that the defendant presents a future danger, Quijano’s testimony might have tipped the balance for Buck. What’s more shocking still is that Quijano was offered as a witness by Buck’s own lawyer, Jerry Guerinot, a defense attorney who has seen 20 of his clients sent to death row.

Last Wednesday, October 5, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case to decide whether Buck received a fair trial, or whether the racial bias in his case means he should be granted a new one. Buck had previously tried to appeal his sentence, but it wasn’t until a Texas attorney general stated in 2000 that a defendant’s race should not be an issue at sentencing that the content of Quijano’s testimony was ever questioned. Buck’s was not the first case at which Quijano offered this kind of testimony; he had done so in seven other cases. All of these cases were granted a re-sentencing hearing, but not Buck’s. The only difference is that in Buck’s case, Quijano was appointed by the defense, not the prosecution. However, as Justice Elena Kagan pointed out, this only makes it ‘more prejudicial’ that it was the defense offering such unfavorable testimony. The US Supreme Court heard the oral arguments of Buck’s case last Wednesday.

No one is denying that Buck committed the crime for which he was sentenced, least of all Buck himself. The issue is not one of guilt, but one of whether he received a fair trial. Racial bias is a long-standing issue in the criminal justice system, with evidence of it being present at every stage of the trial process. It is linked to jury selection, for example, where black jurors have been struck from jury service by prosecutors for fear that a black person is less likely to is convict and/or sentence someone to death. Nationally, in a case where the victim is white, a defendant is 4.3 times more likely to receive a death sentence than where the victim is black (Baldus Study, 1983). Additionally, studies show that a jury is 4.5 times more likely to administer a death sentence for a black defendant than a white defendant (Washington Study, 2014).

Buck’s case also highlights the issue of ineffective counsel. Justice Ruth Ginsberg questioned, “what counsel would put that kind of evidence before a jury? What competent counsel would put that evidence before a jury?” Those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds – and this tends to overlap with race – often end up with a public defender or a state-appointed attorney, who may have a heavy caseload and few resources to defend his/her client. Sometimes this is grounds enough for a new trial, or at least an appeal. An article in the New York Times explained that ‘a good way to end up on death row in Texas is to be accused of a capital crime and have Jerry Guerinot represent you’ (May 18, 2010). The fact that it was Guerinot who presented Walter Quijano as a witness in Buck’s case is a key example of his ineffectiveness shows this statement in the New York Times to be particularly credible.

Buck has reached the end of his appeals. If he is not successful, he is likely to receive an execution date. If he is successful, he should get a new sentencing hearing. We now await the Court’s decision.

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 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 health conditions that can be highly dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Ready to Get Stuck In: A Word from TADP Intern Molly Lipson

I’m writing this post as the new intern at TADP. I was born and raised in London, England, and have very recently moved over here to Nashville to work at TADP.

It was my love of country music that first got me involved with the anti-death penalty movement. Back home not a lot of people even know who the Dixie Chicks are, let alone would consider themselves their biggest fans. I, however, certainly do. On a typically rainy Sunday in London I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and noticed a tweet by the band’s lead singer, Natalie Maines, with a link to the website for the West Memphis Three. Anything Natalie tweeted, I would read. I clicked on the link and began to read the stories of Damien, Jessie and Jason. I watched the Amy Berg documentary, I read Damien’s book Life After Death, and I couldn’t believe what I was learning. It sounds naïve knowing what I know now, but at the time I had never considered that an innocent person would ever be accused of a crime he/she didn’t commit, let alone end up on death row. Not only that, but the bias, prosecutorial misconduct and injustice of that particular case barely scratched the surface of all the many, many problems taking place in capital trials. The sense of shock and outrage I felt only deepened as I researched further and further into and around the issue of the death penalty. I quickly realized that abolishing the death penalty was very important to me and was something I wanted to dedicate my time to.

 In my first year of university, I founded and chaired the UK’s first and only anti-death penalty university society, with the aim of informing and educating the student body on the issues relating to the death penalty. I organized talks both live and via Skype with death row exonerees, including Tennessean Ray Krone  (100th U.S. death row exoneree), with the aim of getting more people on board with the abolition movement. For me, I first had to get educated about the issue to go from just disagreeing with it to becoming activated, moving out to the States to try and help with repeal. If I could get even one other person as motivated to make change as me, then I would be happy.

On the academic side, I knew I wanted to write about the death penalty for my 10,000 word thesis (most people write one in their final year as an undergrad in the UK), but I couldn’t really figure out what I wanted to say. It was only after a good three months of reading and research that I found social contract theory and knew I had hit the nail on the head. Without wanting to get too deep into it, I will try to give a rough outline of the main ideas. Basically, given that government is an entity constructed to protect the lives of everyone in the society which it governs, executing its own citizens conflicts with its core construct.  The principles of democracy are founded on this very concept of social contract, and for me, this theory precludes the use of the death penalty. But whether you agree with me or not on this academic theory, there are plenty of other reasons to have concerns about the death penalty, including the execution of the innocent, the death penalty’s unfair application, the pain the long legal process inflicts on victims’ families, as well as the cost. 

It has been amazing to receive such a great response from the campaigning I’ve done in England, but there’s only so far that activism can go in a country that abolished the death penalty in 1965. I want to help make change, but before I can do that I need to understand the system as much as possible. Over the next three months I hope to get as involved as I can with all the work that TADP does, travel around and speak to a variety of different people to glean their perspectives on the issue. I am excited to get stuck in (or to get started as you in the US would say), slightly nervous about what I might discover, but mostly determined to make the most of being here and to take advantage of this opportunity.

Pictured above: TADP Board Chair, Bob Goodrich; me; and Ndume Olatushani, wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death in TN 

 

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 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 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.

Does the Death Penalty Punish Survivors?

Recently in USA Today, former defense attorney Tanya Coke reflects on the Justice Department’s decision to seek the death penalty for Dylan Roof, the self-avowed white supremacist charged with killing nine parishioners of the Emmanuel Church in Charleston in June 2015. As you might expect, she disagrees with the decision to seek the death penalty in his case, but her reasons may surprise you.

Tanya’s sister, Sandra, was murdered a few years ago. I remember it vividly because Tanya was someone whose name I knew well, who had worked with my colleagues in other states through the years. I remember emails and calls after Sandra’s disappearance and the speculation about what could have happened. Then, Sandra’s body was discovered. Her killer had strangled her so hard that he broke her neck. He threw her body into a ravine. In 2015, he was sentenced to 131 years in prison.

Tanya’s reasons for opposing the death penalty for Dylan Roof are not primarily because of her legal expertise or her work as a public defender. Instead, her concern is the system’s focus on punishment for the killer and not healing for the victims’ families, like hers.

Tanya writes, “the death penalty typically brings the opposite of what survivors of crime most need: accountability, healing and closure. To me, accountability means an acceptance of responsibility for the crime and its impact on others. Healing requires some answers to why our loved ones were hurt, and letting go of some of the rage we’ve felt in losing them. Closure requires an end to a justice process that brings some reasonable assurance that no one else will be harmed at the same hands.”

Again and again, I hear surviving families of murder victims say that they feel trapped in the death penalty system. Decades go by, and still no legal finality.

Tanya continues, “Far from bringing closure, family members of his (Roof’s) victims will have to suffer through not one but two trials, because South Carolina and the federal government are bringing duplicative charges. And because a death sentence by law requires review by an appellate court, the family members of the Charleston victims will have to face years — most likely decades — of appeals and accompanying news stories that will reopen old wounds.”

None of us should ever suffer the loss of a loved one to murder. It is something we don’t like to think about. But some families have to think about it. They are living it every day. Is the death penalty system the best we can do for them?  Or as Tanya’s article suggests, does it punish the survivors too?

Read Tanya Coke’s article here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual claim among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction 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 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.

Delaware’s Death Penalty Unconstitutional While Support for Repeal Grows

I have decided that I need to go on vacation more often. Not only because it is great to take naps in the middle of the workday, but because good things seem to happen when I am away! On August 2, while I was at the beach with my family,  the Delaware Supreme Court issued an order declaring Delaware’s death penalty statute to be unconstitutional. See what I mean!

Last year, Delaware’s State Senate voted to replace the death penalty with a sentence of life without parole for the second time in three years. The bill was supported by Governor Jack Markell, despite narrowly failing to get enough votes in the House earlier this year. Given the political obstacles that would have to be overcome to amend the statute, it is unlikely the General Assembly will move to revive the death penalty–rendering the state without a valid death penalty statute, just like New York state.

Delaware now joins the growing majority of states that have abandoned the death penalty in law or in practice. Including Delaware, nineteen states and the District of Columbia formally ban capital punishment, and 12 states haven’t carried out an execution in approximately 10 or more years (CO, NH, KS, CO, CA, AR, WY, MT, NC, NV, OR, and NE). Three of those 12 states have gubernatorial moratoriums on executions in place (Colorado, Oregon, and Pennsylvania) and Nebraska’s conservative legislature voted to replace the death penalty with life without parole last year. Whether the repeal statute will remain in Nebraska will be decided by the voters in November. Washington state also has a gubernatorial moratorium in place.

Also happening last week, a poll released by the University of Kentucky Survey Research Center found that nearly three-quarters of Kentuckians (72.4%) would support a moratorium on executions while problems in the administration of Kentucky’s death penalty are addressed. The poll also found that 57.8% of respondents preferred a lengthy prison term (options ranged from 20-50 years to life without parole) over the death penalty for people convicted of first-degree murder, while 68% said they would support replacing the death penalty with life without parole if administration of the death penalty and its constitutionally-mandated appeals were found to cost substantially more than life in prison. The last execution in Kentucky was carried out in 2008.

Wait, there’s more. The Movement for Black Lives issued a 40-point policy platform that includes a call for the abolition of capital punishment. The platform, which was written or endorsed by more than 60 activist groups including the Black Lives Matter Network, describes its purpose as “articulat[ing] our vision of a fundamentally different world.” The portion of the platform seeking “an end to capital punishment” calls the death penalty “morally repugnant,” and links it to the legacy of race-based lynchings against Blacks in the U.S. “The death penalty devalues Black lives,” it states, going on to describe capital punishment as “geographically discriminatory,” “expensive,” and “randomly and arbitrarily sought by prosecutors.” The document also raises concerns about the issue of innocence, noting that 156 people have been exonerated from death row, and capital punishment’s connections to mental health and trauma, stating, “many people on death row have mental illnesses, cognitive limitations, severe trauma histories, and prior criminal records, often directly related to racial bias and poverty.”

It was a quite a week. The momentum continues, and the number of those calling for an end to the death penalty increases by the day. TADP, with our partners  and supporters in Tennessee, are ramping up our work moving into the fall as we prepare for a new legislative session in 2017. Repeal is coming to Tennessee, and we can get there sooner with your help.

Sign up to join our email list if you haven’t already, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

 

Picture found 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 dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying heartiness conditions that can be highly dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile 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.

Thank you to TADP

Since I began my stint with Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty two and half years ago much has happened in the movement to end capital punishment. The turn of events in a relatively short period – the beginning of 2014 – has been dizzying.

In the first six months on the job, two executions were botched, one in Oklahoma and Arizona, both of which have had massive legal repercussions for each state since then. At the same time, broad conversations were emerging more frequently across the nation. Even pop culture began to take up storylines of wrongful convictions and exonerations. The Serial podcast, Netflix’s Making a Murderer, and Sundance TV’s Rectify all gained critical acclaim and has made these constellation of issues household topics. Bryan Stevenson’s incredible success with Just Mercy (Spiegel & Grau, 2015) has proven not only the timely nature of issues surrounding capital punishment, but also the marketability of such works. For a time, I couldn’t enter a Starbucks without seeing Stevenson’s book displayed at the front counter. Try to recall another book about a weighty policy issue that has been sold in thousands of coffee shops. I’m not sure that there has been one.

I’ve been encouraged by meeting people of all political ideologies that have abandoned the mythology of the death penalty’s effectiveness for public safety. My colleagues at Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty – Heather Beaudoin, Marc Hyden, Ben Jones, and Amy Lawrence (TN) – model how to communicate a difficult matter with grace and hospitality for anyone who will give them a hearing. Furthermore, having seen and heard the changing opinion of Tennessee lawmakers, there is much reason to be hopeful for the near future.

Another area for hope, perhaps from an unlikely source, emerges from evangelicals in Tennessee with whom I’ve shared many conversations. Having traveled from one end of Tennessee to the other, I know how the changing perception of the death penalty is spreading among pastors, university professors and administrators, and especially among millennials. The systemic problems are becoming too big to go unnoticed moving the consciences of many to oppose capital punishment.

The greatest lessons I will take from my time with TADP, however, came from listening to Stacy Rector. Stacy shared with me her experiences as spiritual advisor to the now-deceased Steve Henley, a former death row inmate. Stacy took me to Tennessee’s death row at Riverbend Maximum Security Institute after only six months on the job. The trip made such an impact that I visited an inmate for the next year while I lived in Nashville, which deepened my conviction that “each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done,” as Bryan Stevenson says.

Lastly, Stacy has always encouraged me to sit with the stories of murder victims’ family members and those wrongfully convicted by our justice system. It is impossible to meet these people and not be struck by how violence and retribution are vicious cycles that never contribute to their healing. Even as these meetings were rare for me, I listened for as long as they desired to speak, and I came away changed. It was truly a privilege to hear their stories. While I am going to miss working with everyone connected to TADP on a day-to-day basis, I remain committed to the work that I believe will make Tennessee a more just place. I came to TADP from the classroom, which has been my first love vocationally, and I’m leaving TADP to return to a teaching position here in Knoxville. I will certainly stay involved locally and with TADP to ensure that we honor life by working to abolish capital punishment.

Sincerely,

Justin Phillips, Associate Director

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 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 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.

Reflections on a Hard Week

I have felt so tired recently. Maybe you have too. It is a tiredness that I feel in my bones, a tiredness that is not likely to go away anytime soon as we continue to deal with the violence and pain of what has transpired over the past week or so.

Of course for too many, particularly for communities of color, this violence isn’t new, just more visible to white people like me. The threat of such violence is a daily reality for black and brown people, and I can only imagine how tired these folks are.

Like you, over the last several days, I have heard the cries and watched the images of the gut-wrenching grief expressed by the families, friends, and communities of two more black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, shot by police. I have stood with a thousand people gathered for a Black Lives Matter vigil and march in Nashville and experienced the pain given voice, legs, hands, and feet there. I know that for far too long, black and brown communities have lived in fear of the very systems that were supposed to protect them. As a white woman, I know that I can never truly understand this experience, but I can stand with and for those who understand it all too well. And, I can challenge those of us who are white to listen, to see, and to work for change .

I also know that the law enforcement community is hurting. The loss of five officers in Dallas—Michael Smith, Michael Krol, Patrick Zamarippa, Brent Thompson, and Lorne Ahrens—as well as the loss of officers killed in other parts of our country is devastating. These killings have left police feeling vulnerable and under attack. These men and women put their lives on the line every day in service to their communities and should not have to live in constant fear either.

So what do we do? I don’t have the answers. But, I am committed to working together towards finding them. The status quo is serving no one. Perhaps these horrible events of the past week can move us, particularly the white community, to further self-reflection and a commitment to change.

As a nation, we have an opportunity now to change our focus and priorities. We can renew our focus on healing traumatized communities where violence is all too common. We can invest more of our energy and resources into addressing the immediate and long-term needs of all crime victims rather than into how to more harshly punish the perpetrators. We can support law enforcement by providing additional resources for training and education and thanking them for their service.  We can recognize, as a people, that meeting violence with more violence does not make us safer but distracts us from how to prevent such violence in the first place.

I am a Presbyterian pastor, and my faith is my primary motivation for my work for justice and an end to the death penalty. I find my greatest comfort and strength, particularly in difficult times, through prayer, Scripture, and the community of faith. This past Sunday, the text for the weekly sermon came from Luke’s gospel, Jesus’ well-known parable of the Good Samaritan. The minister of the church where I worship shared a prayer that he discovered on a blog, with a few of his own tweaks. I found the prayer to be a healing one and want to share a portion with you. I hope you find it healing as well.

“Do not pass me by,” the black life cries, dying on American streets quickly from violent oppression, and slowly from the poverty of inequality. We are neighbors to those in need of justice.

 “Do not pass me by,” the police officer cries, whose hard exterior masks fear and sorrow. We are neighbors to those who risk their lives for our sake.

 “Do not pass me by,” Jesus cries, whose face is reflected in all who are oppressed, victimized, beset by tragedy, and in need.

 We are neighbors to the stranger among us to whom we are called to be radically hospitable. We are neighbors to the world around us to which we are called to share God’s shalom.

 May we go and do likewise.

Peace to you,

Stacy Rector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fair Punishment Project Releases Report on the Five Deadliest Prosecutors in America

Last Thursday, Harvard’s Fair Punishment Project released a report ranking the top five deadliest prosecutors in the United States over the past 40 years. The report highlights the link between “overzealous personalities” and death sentencing, providing evidence of a “win at all costs mentality” among the five prosecutors that led to shockingly high rates of misconduct and a grossly disproportional number of death sentences. The five deadliest prosecutors are listed as follows:

#1. Joe Britt (Robeson County, NC)

#2. Robert Macy (Oklahoma County, OK)

#3. Donnie Myers (Lexington, SC)

#4. Lynne Abraham (Philadelphia County, PA)

#5. Johnnie Holmes (Harris County, TX)

All together, the five total at least 440 death sentences, the equivalent of 1 out of every 7 people currently on death row, or 15% of current death row inmates.

The report finds that accompanying the high rates of death sentencing were equally high rates of prosecutorial misconduct as the courts found in 33%, 37%, and 46% of Britt, Macy and Myers’s death cases (alleged misconduct reported as high as 94% credited to Macy). Eight exonerations have also resulted from these cases or cases supervised by these five.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Fair Punishment Project Director Rob Smith commented on the connection between the prosecutors’ aggressive nature and the clear inattention to ethics and regulations: “What’s striking is not just that there a few peculiar personalities that account for so many death sentences, but that their overzealous support for capital punishment comes paired with underzealous commitment to the rules and regulations that promote fairness and accuracy.”

The report also indicates that after four of the prosecutors left office (Holmes remains until 2017), death sentencing rates plummeted in the corresponding jurisdictions, supporting the narrative that the death penalty is disproportionately used among a handful of prosecutors: “Over the past fifteen years, even as death sentences have declined nationally, a small group of individuals continue to drive up the total number of death sentences nationwide, which has contributed to a misperception that the death penalty is a common practice, when in reality, most of America’s prosecutors have abandoned it.”

Perhaps one of the most significant takeaways from the study is the fact that in the U.S., the county where one is tried has equal (if not more) weight on one’s sentence than the crime itself, a condition Justice Stephen Breyer commented on in his dissent in Glossip vs. Gross: “…within a death penalty state, the imposition of the death penalty heavily depends on the county in which a defendant is tried.”  In Tennessee, inmates from Shelby County represent 40% of death row–nearly half–while inmates from Davidson County only represent about 12% of the state’s death row population.  And, in the Death Penalty Information Center’s 2013 report, “The 2% Death Penalty” Shelby County ranked 13th out of the counties responsible for the majority of inmates currently on death row in the nation.

Read the Fair Punishment Project Report 

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 dysfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness 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.

Questioning the Justice System — A Student’s Perspective

“In the eyes of the law, the core of society is measured by life and death. The law has absolute power in deciding the fate of an individual’s life — this is the death penalty.” This quote is taken from a paper I wrote about the death penalty, focusing on how invaluable every life is, including the lives of individuals on death row—this is when I realized that a change was needed.

I started questioning the role of the criminal justice system after taking a criminal justice course after my sophomore year at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. My whole perspective about the justice system changed. I started to question whether the justice system was actually seeking justice. I especially questioned the law when I learned more about the death penalty. I experienced a range of emotions about this issue that I did not know much about before taking this class. I was shocked at the arbitrary way the law determined whether a person was placed on death row or sentenced to prison for the rest of his/her life. I didn’t understand how our justice system was able to make such a decision. These questions prompted me to change my course of study in college. I focused on psychology and sociology courses, and I am now going to be studying for my Masters in the fall for Forensic and Legal Psychology.

My interest increased when I was fortunate enough to hear Ray Krone — the 100th exonerated person off of death row — speak at the University of Tennessee. I was in awe of his story and how he spoke so eloquently about his time in the system. I could not understand how an innocent man was put on death row and stayed there for years. This only strengthened my opinion that there needed to be change in the law—I wanted the death penalty to be replaced with another alternative, one that was not fatal. This is how I came to be an intern with the Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (TADP).

The more I educate myself on the death penalty and the criminal justice system the more questions I have and the more I believe that change is needed. If you are concerned about problems with the death penalty system, you too can help make a change. Each and every person can help end this broken system. Get involved.

Emma Sims

Intern, TADP

(Photo source: http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/13/health/pfizer-death-penalty-drugs/)

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 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 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.