News and Updates

The Haunting of Rick Perry

Credit: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Liz Lynch
By: Ta-Nehisi Coates
The New York TImes
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

 Should Gov. Rick Perry of Texas enter the 2012 presidential race, he would enjoy a strange and remarkable escort — the irrepressible ghost of Cameron Todd Willingham.

Another travesty of justice in Jena

Credit: New Orleans Indymedia
Caseptla Bailey and Catrina Wallace
By: Alan Maass
Socialist Worker
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Alan Maass reports on the racist vendetta of authorities in a Louisiana town against Black residents who made history with their civil rights struggle for the Jena Six.

THE LOUISIANA town of Jena became known the world over as the site of a latter-day Jim Crow injustice--and as the spark for a huge civil rights struggle in 2007 that saved six young Black men from years in prison on trumped-up charges.

Rick Perry: The presidential candidate dogged by a ghost?

LA Times
Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry may want to run for president. So let me reintroduce you a former constituent of his, Cameron Todd Willingham

Perry, who may soon announce his presidential bid, oversaw the 2004 execution of Willingham, a father of three convicted for the apparent arson murder of his young daughters. Problem was, the evidence used to prove Willingham set the fire that killed his children was based on shoddy science and obsolete investigation techniques, facts that were brought to Perry's attention before Willingham's death.

Hundreds demonstrate on Oakland streets for slain BART passenger Oscar Grant

Credit: Mike Koozmin/The Examiner
By: Andrea Koskey
San Francisco Examiner
Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hundreds of protesters took to Oakland’s streets on Sunday to express outrage over the release of ex-BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle from a Los Angles County jail today after serving 11 months of a two-year sentence for the killing of Oscar Grant III.

Police presence was strong as protesters marched 3.5 miles from the Fruitvale BART station to Oakland City Hall.

Jesse Jackson Shows Support for Troy Davis

By: Danielle Wright
BET News
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Jesse Jackson was in Atlanta on Monday to intervene in the case of Troy Davis.

He was joined by State Senator Donzella James (D-College Park) at a news conference to bring attention to the what he says is unfair treatment that Davis has received from the Justice Department and to help reverse Davis’ death sentence.

Davis was sentenced to death after allegedly killing an off-duty police officer, Mark MacPhail, in Savannah in 1989. Since the conviction, however, some witnesses have changed their testimony.

Dispatch from Death Row: Saving Troy Davis With a Family’s Love

By: Jen Marlowe
Wednesday, June 1, 2011

“De’Jaun, come over here, I want to talk to you.”

De’Jaun Correia, a slender 13-year-old with thick corn-rows in his hair, sat down next to his uncle Troy

High court orders drastic prison population reduction in California

Inmates sleep on bunk beds in a gym modified to hold prisoners at the state prison in Chino, California.
By: Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer
Monday, May 23, 2011

Washington (CNN) -- The Supreme Court has affirmed a federal order telling California to reduce its overflowing prison population, a situation the majority said "falls below the standard of decency."

The 5-4 ruling Monday from the justices come in a classic battle over state versus federal authority, focusing on whether U.S. courts can step in and essentially run state prisons when officials have repeatedly violated basic constitutional guarantees afforded inmates.

Georgia switches lethal-injection drugs

By: Bill Rankin
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Friday, May 20, 2011


The Department of Corrections on Friday said it has approved a new drug for its lethal-injection procedure, clearing the way for the state to begin executing condemned killers once again.

The Executioner's Dilemma

Author Liliana Segura
By: Liliana Segura
The Nation
Thursday, May 12, 2011

As Emmanuel Hammond lay strapped to a gurney with lethal drugs seeping into his veins, witnesses to his execution could tell something wasn't right. First he closed his eyes. But moments later, they fluttered open.

Exonerated Death Row Survivors Urge Georgia to Stop the Execution of Troy Davis

Witness to Innocence
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chairman James E. Donald
Georgia State Board of Pardons & Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE
Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334

Dear Chairperson Donald and Members of the Board: