Friday, September 19, 2008

Recap of Recent Happenings/Studies/Books

First, the MOST important happening is the rash of terrible tragic state killings coming one right after the other. All you have to do is go to the listings for Texas alone. Troy Davis' in Georgia scheduled next...DO ALL YOU CAN TO SPEAK OUT, call, write Governor--get Pope's and Bishop's office to send Georgia Faxes, etc. and do the SAME for EACH scheduled execution you possibly can. Embarrass these guys for their misuse of human life and their own state (tax payers') money--Go a number of the abolition websites (some under LINKS on the lower Right on this blog-site)to see the many others scheduled soon and suggested actions. Watch here for more on these with links soon.

Texas DNA Exoneration of Death Row Inmate Michael Blair Brings Innocence Total to 130

The Collin County court in Texas has dismissed capital murder charges against Michael Blair who had been on death row for the 1993 murder of Ashley Estell. After more than a decade of legal appeals and requests for DNA testing, the hair evidence that had been used to convict Blair was shown to be mistaken. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals found that no reasonable jury would convict Blair based on the existing evidence.

NEW VOICES: Dallas D.A. To Re-Examine Death Penalty Convictions and Possibly Halt Executions: Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins announced that he will be reexamining nearly 40 death penalty convictions in his county. No executions will occur in the county until he has reviewed the cases in detail. Watkins said he will start with the oldest cases as they are most likely to be scheduled first. “I’m not saying I’m putting a moratorium on the death penalty,” said Watkins.

Murder Rate Declines in Every Region Except the South, Where Executions Are Most Prevalent: According to the F.B.I.'s latest crime report released on September 15, the South is the only region in the country that experienced a rise in its murder rate in 2007. The FBI reported that the murder rate in the country declined to 5.6 murders per 100,000 people in 2007 from 5.7 in 2006, and the rate declined in the Northeast, the Midwest, and the West. In the South, however, the murder rate increased from 6.8 in 2006 to 7.0 in 2007, the highest rate among the four regions. The South consistently has had the highest murder rate among the four regions.

Various Sources including Death Penalty Information Center--Also see on this site:
New Study Finds Death Penalty to Be Applied Unfairly (recently on this blog-site for early September)

Also please check out LINKS on the lower RIGHT of this blog (below the archives)

Especially watch Texas and Georgia (PLEASE SIGN PETITION FOR TROY DAVIS if you haven't already--you can find it everywhere & also several places on this blog-site!)

CHECK out the faithful abolitionists in Texas: Death Penalty News and Updates: Rick Halperin's site, Prevention Not Punishment:Kristin Houle's blog-site, Murder Victims for Human Rights website(new exciting project!) and ALL the others listed for frequent updates including recent studies, concerns and way too many upcoming scheduled state killings.

BUY and READ our JOH "family member" Dave Atwood's NEW Book: -Detour to Death Row- and check out other Texas abolition and moratorium sites. (Pray for Peggy & Dave Atwood with all they face due to the hurricane IKE! They reside in Houston!)BUY and READ the new book: New book: -Execution's Doorstep: True Stories of the Innocent and Near Damned- which also includes some of Ron Keine's story--also a JOH "family member" (SEE REVIEWS for these books just recently for September in our archives.) Photo is of runner on Walking Bridge in Austin, Texas

Now here's a quote well worth repeating here often--found and posted by Rick on September 15th!

Plea Against the Death Penalty

Look, examine, reflect. You hold capital punishment up as an example. Why? Because of what it teaches. And just what is it that you wish to teach by means of this example? That thou shalt not kill. And how do you teach that "thou shalt not kill"? By killing.

I have examined the death penalty under each of its 2 aspects: as a direct action, and as an indirect one. What does it come down to? Nothing but something horrible and useless, nothing but a way of shedding blood that is called a crime when an individual commits it, but is (sadly) called "justice" when society brings it about. Make no mistake, you lawmakers and judges, in the eyes of God as in those of conscience, what is a crime when individuals do it is no less an offense when society commits the deed.

Victor Hugo, Speech at the Constituent Assembly, September 15, 1848

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