A Cuban man who spent 33 years on death row has been executed in Florida in a case that campaigners say highlights the cruelty of America’s system of capital punishment.
Manuel Valle, 61, was killed with three drugs including an anaesthetic that has not been tested for executions and that medical experts have said could cause extreme suffering. The manufacturer of pentobarbital, the Danish firm Lundbeck, has written to the governor of Florida, Rick Scott, to protest about the misuse of its product.
The lawmakers want the condemned to suffer. Get real!! If they didn’t, they’d take them out with Morphine or Heroin. Easy. One shot, bliss fading out into respiratory failure. No pain, no doubt. But the sickness within the whitelawman’s heart demands pain, pain, pain inside every brown/black body (which the majority of the executed are), and they get it.
“rant. possible unfollow bait. whatever.
I understand the need for occupy wall street (even if it is the brainchild of fucking adbusters). Yet every time I read an article or see another white person holding a piece of paper bemoaning the cost of education or the cost of living and breathing in America I can’t help but think now you see how the other 30+% of us live. Sorry no one prepared your privileged ass for reality. Unemployment crisis? What about the fucking life crisis that’s been happening in your own backyard?”—
Omfg, YES! There’s this new blog that’s popped up and it’s filled with pictures of mostly white people holding up signs describe their personal and financial sufferings due to the economic and “unemployment crisis”. When I first came across the site, my immediate first thought was that unemployment is suddenly this gigantic problem because white college grads can’t get the jobs they expected to get and other more qualified people now know what it’s like to live in the face if unemployment & poverty - something people of colour have been dealing in their communities for decades.
Sometimes I think about how much racism, self-hatred, and dehumanization there could be in the Dominican community. Dominicans assume that they are “white,” “indio,” or “moreno.” But never Negro. I put Negro with a capital [N] because I am finally learning how to love my Blackness. It is obvious…
Jared Lee Loughner allegedly tried to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at a meeting with constituents in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday. In the wake of the attack, the 22-year-old Loughner has been called everything from “crazed” to “unhinged.” What he’s not been called, however, at least by the media, is a terrorist.
According to the United States Law Code, terrorism is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” New evidence alleges that Loughner possibly planned for years to assassinate Giffords, a prominent politician. Sounds a lot like terrorism to me. But a whole host of major media outlets seem to disagree.
The Wall Street Journal today says Loughner “raged against the government” and “discussed terrorism,” which, when you actually think about it, is a vague, nearly meaningless sentence (who hasn’t discussed terrorism in the past decade?). In the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the main story is that Loughner was denied entry into the military because hefailed a drug test, while the only talk of terrorism comes in a confusing quote from a blog posting from Loughner himself: “If you call me a terrorist then the argument to call me a terrorist is ad hominem.” And, in the Los Angeles Times’ lead story on Loughner today, the word “terror” doesn’t appear once.
Compare this nebulous coverage to that on Nidal Hasan in November 2009. If you’ll remember, Hasan is the only suspect in the Fort Hood shooting in Texas that left 13 people dead and 30 more wounded. Hasan is also Muslim, a fact every news outlet won’t let you forget, while also speculating about his terrorist ties.
Four days after the attack on Fort Hood, the Wall Street Journal published two stories suggesting that Hasan was a terrorist, one of which included the assertion that it was a terrorist act because Hasan spoke Arabic while he shot. The Los Angeles Times spoke to counterterrorism experts for this piece on Hasan. And, in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, blogger Kyle Wingfield actually gave credence to a Forbes argument claiming that Hasan “went Muslim.”
Some will argue that Hasan’s terrorist intentions were proved by communications he had with radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki, but, in fact, experts who reviewed the pair’s e-mail exchange deemed it totally innocuous.
It should be noted that the FBI Director Robert Mueller has said he’s not ruling out terrorism charges against Loughner, but nothing’s certain yet. And today in Dubai, Hillary Clinton called Loughner an “extremist,” though, like the media, she stopped short of calling him a terrorist. From the sidelines, the message this sends is pretty obvious and very insidious: When a white man executes a political attack, he’s likely crazy; when it’s a Muslim doing the shooting, he’s likely a terrorist.
The message below was sent by Ramón Labañino on behalf of the Cuban Five. The Cuban Five are political prisoners in the United States, serving four life sentences and 75 years collectively after being falsely convicted of politically motivated criminal charges while monitoring the operations of anti-Cuba terrorist organizations in Miami. To learn more about the Cuban Five and the struggle to win their freedom, visit the website of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five at www.FreeTheFive.org.
Brothers and sisters:
We feel deeply the horrific execution of Troy Davis. It is another terrible injustice and stain on the history of this country. We join in the pain felt by his relatives, friends and brothers across the world. Now we have another cause, another flag, to pursue our struggle for a better world for all, free of the death penalty and barbarism.
In Troy’s honor, and all the innocents of the world, we must continue, united, until the final victory!
Our most heart-felt condolences!
Five fraternal embraces,
Antonio Guerrero Fernando González Gerardo Hernández René González Ramón Labañino
The Cuban Five, from left to right: Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, René González, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero
Fuck Yeah Queer Cubans! is a BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW Tumblr wanting YOUR submissions! If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer - and Cuban - please submit your photos, articles, poetry, essays, artwork, whatever you want.
Last night, I reflected about how hopeful I felt at the mobilization of so many people to fight for Troy Davis’ life. With that particular fight lost, I wondered what would happen today. In other words, in the absence of such a noteworthy case, will people continue to feel…
1. Get connected to stay informed and take action Join the Innocence Project’s online community to receive regular updates, action alerts, in-depth news and analysis, and other information. Registration is free. Click here to join. Once you register, you can e-mail your friends, family and colleagues to ask them to sign up, too.
2. Donate to the Innocence Project The Innocence Project is a nonprofit organization that relies on financial support from individuals and foundations. Your donation will help pay for DNA tests, provide staffing for case intake and litigation, support our reform initiatives nationwide, and help educate the public. Click to donate online or by mail.
3. Build relationships with elected representatives Call or meet with your state and federal representatives well before the legislative session starts and discuss your concerns. By simply introducing yourself to your legislators and their staff before the session starts and providing a brief overview of innocence-related policy concerns, you can establish useful relationships with them and help them see the value of supporting legislation that would protect the innocent. When the session starts, they may reach out to you or take your call because they know you’re actively involved in these issues. For more information and practical tips, see “How to Talk About Innocence-Related Issues with Elected Officials, Organizations, Media, and Others.”
4. Connect with a local Innocence Network organization Three dozen organizations around the country belong to the Innocence Network, and many of them work on these issues at the state and local levels. You may be able to help with their policy reform efforts, their community outreach, or other aspects of their work – in a professional capacity or as a volunteer. To find a local Innocence Network contact, go to www.innocencenetwork.org.
5. Reach out to the media When a local or national media outlet runs a story about an exoneration or the causes of wrongful convictions, call or write to the reporter to say you are pleased to see the coverage and interested in seeing additional stories on these issues. Share your perspective and thoughts about why wrongful convictions must be discussed and addressed. Write letters to the editor in response to articles or editorials so that the media – and policymakers who are in a position to help prevent wrongful convictions — know that the public is concerned about these issues. For more information and practical tips, see “How to Talk About Innocence-Related Issues with Elected Officials, Organizations, Media, and Others.”
6. Become more knowledgeable about wrongful convictions – and spread the word There are scores of books, films, television specials and other resources that can deepen people’s understanding of the causes of wrongful convictions, the need for reform, the challenges people face after exoneration and other issues. Spend some time learning more about the issues, and then share books or films with your friends, coworkers or community members (some of them are great gifts!).View a list of list of films and TV specialson the issues surrounding wrongful convictions and view our recommended reading list.
7. Engage allies in addressing wrongful convictions Everyone is impacted by wrongful convictions, but some individuals and groups aren’t yet involved in preventing injustice. Ask your friends, colleagues and community organizations to get involved when policy reforms are being discussed; encourage them to join the Innocence Project’s online community. Offer to speak about wrongful convictions at a local Rotary, Kiwanis, or similar civic groups’ meeting. You can address the group yourself, or you can ask a local Innocence Network representative or professor to speak. During the speech, encourage people to become more actively involved in these issues.
8. Work with prisoners and their families in your community Many exonerees and their families talk about how isolated and ignored prisoners feel. Find a local group that works with prisoners and volunteer to get involved however you’re needed – whether it’s helping in a prison organization’s office or providing support to prisoners and their families. For links to organizations providing a range of services, go to http://prisonactivist.org/links/. For information to share with prisoners (or their families) seeking to contact the Innocence Project about a case, click here.
9. Learn about local procedures and help improve them Many of the causes of wrongful convictions are decided locally. For example, policies and procedures about conducting lineups and recording interrogations are often set by city and county agencies. As a concerned community member, you have the right to know what the local practices are. Contact the city police, county sheriff and/or other local agencies to find out what they’re currently doing and what the process is for evaluating and revising their policies. If their procedures and policies are not adequate for preventing wrongful convictions, urge decision-makers to change them and reach out to Innocence Network groups to let them know what you’ve learned. For more information and practical tips, see “How to Learn About Local Law Enforcement Procedures and Help Improve Them.”
10. Host a local fundraising and educational event You, your friends or a group you belong to can organize an event to raise money for the Innocence Project and educate people about wrongful convictions. Some people hold small house parties for six people, while others organize events for 100. Whatever you can do will help spread the word and support our work. Click here to get started on holding an event.
On Tuesday, musician Manu Chao became the latest individual to join the four-year-long demonstration in front of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office in downtown Phoenix. Protestors have been lining up in front of Arpaio’s office since 2007 to protest Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigration.
The move was meant to show the singer’s solidarity with local groups fighting for the civil rights of migrants and indigenous peoples. His presence and curbside tunes bolstered the protest’s numbers from the usual handful to about 60 people, according to organizers.
A statement released by the singer’s label says Chao considers the site a symbol of the widespread grassroots resistance against “racial profiling, intolerance, bigotry and the criminalization of people.”
Every year, more than 75,000 eyewitnesses identify suspects in criminal investigations. Those identifications are wrong about a third of the time, a pile of studies suggest.
Mistaken identifications lead to wrongful convictions. Of the first 250 DNA exonerations, 190 involved eyewitnesses who were wrong, as documented in “Convicting the Innocent,” a recent book by Brandon L. Garrett, a law professor at the University of Virginia.
Many of those witnesses were as certain as they were wrong. “There is absolutely no question in my mind,” said one. Another was “120 percent” sure. A third said, “That is one face I will never forget.” A fourth allowed for a glimmer of doubt: “This is the man, or it is his twin brother.”
In November, the Supreme Court will return to the question of what the Constitution has to say about the use of eyewitness evidence.
Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal on Tuesday received a human rights award from the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).
The actor’s merit, said WOLA executive director Joy Olson, was “giving a voice to the voiceless” through his participation in four mini-documentaries about Latin American immigrants making the journey north to the United States. The documentaries available on YouTube were produced in collaboration with Amnesty International.
At a press conference to kick off the festivities, Garcia Bernal said he hoped the films—which he described as new feat in story-telling for himself—would help reshape the existing narrative on immigration. Whereas the conversation often revolves around economics and politics, in the films “everything drops into the same cauldron of social justice,” he said.