Capital Punishment – Brain Ethics Thu, 23 Jun 2022 03:10:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Capital Punishment – Brain Ethics 32 32 family urges judge not to re-sentence man on death row | KFI AM 640 Thu, 23 Jun 2022 01:00:00 +0000

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The widow and two daughters of a man who was kidnapped, robbed and murdered three decades ago urged a judge on Wednesday to reject a request from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office to quash the death sentence and the re-sentence of his killer sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“I have lived 30 years in the peace that the State of California has given me,” Fred Rose’s widow, Sharon, told Superior Court Judge William Ryan. “I also lived 30 years without Fred. Every second of my life – both practically and emotionally – was affected by this.”

She said anything less than denying former Palmdale resident Scott Forrest Collins’ request for a reconviction “would be tantamount to re-victimizing my family”, and urged the judge to “please consider my wish that the request for a new conviction is not granted.”

One of the victim’s daughters, Heather Scott, told the judge her father was taken from his three children when they were 14, 12 and 10, saying Collins “took a few hundred dollars and the my dad’s life so he can buy beer and party”. .”

“The decisions of judges and jurors matter today. How can we rely on our justice system if we allow a few people to overturn what were legally supposed to be permanent sentences? What about Collins will never be again doomed to something even less in the future?” she asked. “Our family unanimously wishes that Scott Collins’ current sentence stands and is not reduced.”

In a written statement read out in court on her behalf, another of the victim’s daughters, Amy Rose, said: “Having my father killed when she was a teenager was horrible. One of the only comforts I took with me over the years was knowing that the man responsible for dad’s murder received the proper sentence for the crime he committed.

“Over the past few months, knowing that his sentence might be changed has given me many sleepless nights,” she added.

The judge – who noted he was not going to rule immediately on the request from the district attorney’s office – is scheduled to hear from attorneys handling the case on July 19.

Collins, now 51, was sentenced to death in 1996 for the kidnapping, robbery and murder of Rose, a 42-year-old father of three who did not return to work at a construction company. construction of Lancaster after a lunch break. He was found lying next to train tracks in North Hollywood with a gunshot wound to the head on January 23, 1992, and died the next day after being taken off life support, according to a May 2010 Supreme Court ruling. of California upholding his death sentence.

Earlier in the day, the victim’s ATM card was used to withdraw $200 from a bank in Northridge and his gas station credit card was used to buy gas in North Hollywood at night of the shooting.

Collins – who had previously been convicted of armed robbery, assault and possession of narcotics – was found guilty of first degree murder, robbery and kidnapping. Jurors also found to be true the special circumstances allegations of murder during a kidnapping and murder during a robbery, as well as an allegation that he personally used a firearm in the commission of the crimes.

The same jury that found Collins guilty of Rose’s murder recommended that he be sentenced to death, but Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Leon Kaplan granted the defense’s motion for a new round of punishment based on on alleged juror misconduct, then recused himself from presiding further. procedure in the case.

An appeals court overturned the trial court’s decision and restored the jury’s verdict recommending that Collins be sentenced to death. The death sentence was handed down about three years later by Judge Howard Schwab.

In her 2010 decision upholding Collins’ death sentence, Associate Judge Carol Corrigan noted that Collins claimed to have taken Rose’s gray 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass after seeing it parked on the side of the Sierra Highway with the keys on the inside.

In a court filing in February, Assistant District Attorney Shelan Joseph wrote that Collins “was only 21 at the time of the offense and experienced hardships as a child, including the death of his father. “.

Joseph’s filing noted that the defendant’s learning disabilities were ‘never adequately addressed in school’ and that he engaged in ‘educational and work opportunities’ since being transferred to the California Correctional Facility at Tehachapi under a voluntary program that allows convicted inmates with good behavior to transfer off death row. She described him as a “model prisoner”.

Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley and former Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Cady, who are representing the victim’s family, wrote in a court filing in February that “any objective examination of the case and the procedural history would lead one to conclude that the people’s recommendation for a new conviction is the result of (District Attorney George) Gascón’s policy that “a death sentence is never a resolution appropriate in all cases” and to work backwards so that the end justifies the means.”

“When the evidence suggests that the district attorney’s office and the defense are in collusion, the court is the last and only gatekeeper to ensuring justice is served and victims’ rights are upheld,” Cooley and Cady, who are both involved in an attempted recall of Gascón – writes in their file.

Last December, Gascón’s office noted that death sentences are no longer sought in Los Angeles County murder cases and said post-conviction death penalty cases were being reviewed to determine whether there is a valid legal reason to overturn an inmate’s death sentence or reconsider-sentencing them in the interests of justice, saying that five people had already been reconvicted to life in prison without the possibility of Conditional liberation.

Nancy Pelosi’s Communion ban may have had the opposite effect Tue, 21 Jun 2022 13:17:45 +0000

Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone celebrates Easter Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, April 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

OWhen San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced last month that he was barring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from receiving communion for her support of abortion rights, the move was widely seen as an escalation of the Catholic hierarchy’s campaign against pro-choice Catholic Democrats and Liberals.

The decision by Cordileone, a head of the culture warfare wing of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), deployed what has been called the sacramental “nuclear option” against the third-highest ranking official. of the federal government and the second most prominent Catholic after President Biden. Her decision also came as abortion opponents surge over signs that the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision could soon be reversed. At the same time, Biden and the Democrats are at an all-time low in the polls, with Republicans set to sweep Congress midterm. Abortion haters like Cordileone seek to capitalize on this momentum to enact state laws banning abortion.

But there is growing evidence that Cordileone may have misjudged the impact of his edict, not just in the sphere of secular politics, but inside the Catholic Church itself. In the weeks following Cordileone’s announcement – complete with a major media push and a marketing campaign to enlist allies – less than two dozen of the more than 270 active Catholic bishops in the United States have signaled support for his edict.

A week after the move from Cordileone, Pope Francis appointed 21 new cardinals, 16 of whom will have the powerful role of voting for a pope whenever there is a conclave. The only American among this group was the Bishop of San Diego, Robert McElroy. McElroy comes from a lower-ranking diocese in the state of Cordileone and could be seen as the polar opposite of Cordileone in his approach to ministry.

The Cardinal-designate of San Diego has long pushed for civility and engagement in public policy debates. He also said that calling abortion a “preeminent priority” for Catholics in America, as advised by the American hierarchy, is “a distortion of Catholic teaching” because it isolates a problem to the exclusion of others equally critical. “The Eucharist is being weaponized and deployed as a tool of political warfare. This must not happen,” McElroy wrote last year.

Cordileone, on the other hand, has been an opposite curator since being appointed to San Francisco by former Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. Departing from the understated style of his predecessors, Cordileone has used the cultural life of the one of America’s most liberal cities as a foil for its conservative outbursts against gay rights, abortion and other issues. He has been no less confrontational when it comes to Francis, who was elected pope in 2013. Cordileone has repeatedly questioned Francis’ efforts for a more open and consultative Catholicism. In 2018, when a right-wing Italian archbishop named Carlo Maria Viganò issued a manifesto stating that Francis had ignored his warnings about abuse by ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and should step down, Cordileone quickly and publicly vouched for the integrity of Viganò. Although the manifesto is full of misrepresentations and groundless accusations, Cordileone never expressed regret for his support of Viganò.

Nothing illustrates the difference between Francis and Cordileone better than the fact that Cordileone Cathedral used automated water sprinklers to keep the homeless away from the church while Pope Francis had showers built for the homeless. under the colonnade in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.

More recently, Cordileone has defied the pontiff’s directives on everything from vaccinating against Covid-19 to limiting the use of the ancient Latin Rite Mass, which has become fertile ground for right-wing Catholics who oppose the Pope. This summer, Cordileone is to host a traditionalist liturgical conference in San Francisco that will include a starring role for a Latin Mass scholar, Dom Alcuin Reid, who was illegally ordained a secret service priest in Europe last month.

Cordileone was a key instigator last year for the USCCB to adopt a national policy that would have declared Biden, only the second Catholic in history to hold the nation’s highest office, unfit to receive communion. . Francis has repeatedly said he does not want the bishops to approach the issue this way and he has asked his top doctrinal official, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, to send a letter asking the bishops to take a step back. Cordileone and his allies insisted on moving forward, and the divided hierarchy finally agreed on a toothless compromise statement.

McElroy’s nomination as cardinal was certainly in the works long before Cordileone’s announcement about Pelosi’s communion ban, but the timing and tenor of the pope’s announcement couldn’t have been sharper. “This is a loud and clear message for the Church in the United States” tweeted Fr. Antonio Spadaroan Italian Jesuit who is a close adviser to Francis.

Whether this message was received is an open question. Francis has been pope for less than a decade and has yet to appoint enough bishops to make up for the nearly four decades of conservative appointments by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Church insiders have estimated that perhaps a quarter of the American hierarchy is implacably opposed to Francis and his program – “just waiting for him to die,” as one senior prelate put it. Another quarter do not necessarily agree with Francis’ pontificate, but will not publicly oppose him.

By announcing his edict so publicly, Cordileone effectively threw down the gauntlet to his colleagues, challenging each of them to join him or be dismissed as a sacramental squish. Cordileone’s ruling technically only applies to Pelosi within the boundaries of his Archdiocese of San Francisco, where Pelosi resides; but some of her allies insist that other bishops must also ban Pelosi from communion if she approaches a church in their diocese.

“Now let every bishop follow the example of Archbishop Cordileone”, tweeted Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland, a conservative ally of Cordileone. Other Cordileone fans also fanned the flames, with many praising him as a “faithful shepherd” and “a bishop with a backbone” in stark contrast to these other vapid churchmen. “Either it is right to forbid Nancy Pelosi to take communion, in which case the other bishops should follow the Cordileone decree; or it is wrong, in which case other bishops should protest,” said Phil Lawler, a longtime conservative commentator. “It can’t just be a matter of local politics.”

Essentially, the Archbishop of San Francisco set the standard for what it means to be a faithful Catholic bishop and a faithful Catholic politician. To be pro-life is now to be pro-Cordileone. Anything less makes you unworthy to receive communion.

If the battles against abortion move from the federal level to the state house level in a post-deer world, then bishops around the world may come under pressure from the Catholic right to ban local elected officials who support abortion rights. Few bishops would like this eternal war, but it seems inevitable. After Colorado sought to pass a bill ensuring abortion rights should deer be overthrown, the bishops of that state – which is a place of conservative Catholic opposition to Francis – have asked all Catholic politicians who supported the bill to refrain from receiving Communion because their action “facilitates the murder of unborn innocents”. Interestingly, three of those four Colorado bishops have also said it’s unethical to use Covid vaccines because they’re derived from fetal cell lines — an argument the Vatican has declared unfounded.

However, the silence of the vast majority of bishops is a sign that Cordileone may have overstepped the mark. At least one of his colleagues has spoken publicly. Archbishop Michael Jackels of Dubuque – who worked under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in the Vatican’s doctrinal office in the 1990s – issued a clear rejoinder to Cordileone in a statement noting that the shooting massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde show that the gun control is a “matter of life”. as well as capital punishment, global warming, universal health insurance and adequate housing. Politicians who oppose church teaching on these issues should also be denied communion if a pastor denies communion to a public figure over abortion rights, he said. “Better, I think, to put the Eucharist into the hands of such Catholics in the hope that some day soon they would put their hands to work in the name of life, for the defense of all life.”

Whether this episode marks a tipping point toward Francis’ approach and away from the longstanding culture war stance of the American hierarchy remains unclear. Abortion rights will be just one of many forces at work in the midterm elections in November. But it’s another election a week later that will provide a better clue as to where the bishops actually stand. That’s when the American hierarchy will meet for its annual business meeting in Baltimore to choose a new slate of leaders to guide the conference for the next three years. Church watchers also have their eye on another looming vote: the possibility of a conclave to elect a new pope, a scenario that is gaining increasing attention as 85-year-old Francis is slowed down by ailments and age.

With his action banning Pelosi from communion, Archbishop Cordileone may have added another twist to an already charged American political drama. But its main success may have been in highlighting the stakes of an even bigger ballot – one in which McElroy appears to have a vote and Cordileone does not.

David Gibson, a journalist and author who writes about religion, is the director of the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University.

Assessment of the Russian Offensive Campaign, June 19 Sun, 19 Jun 2022 22:14:40 +0000

June 19, 5:30 p.m. ET

Click on here to view the ISW’s interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.

The British Ministry of Defense believes that the Kremlin’s viewing of its invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” rather than a war is actively hampering Russian force generation capabilities. The British Ministry of Defense reported on June 19 that the Russian authorities were struggling to find legal means to punish military dissidents and those who refuse to mobilize because the classification of the conflict in Ukraine as a “special military operation” excludes legal punitive measures that might be employed during an official war.[1] The ISW has previously assessed that the Kremlin’s definition of the war as a “special operation” compounds ongoing problems with a poor perception of Russian military leadership among Russian nationalists, problems with troop payments, lack of available forces and unclear objectives among Russian forces. The Kremlin continues to attempt to wage a major, bitter war in Ukraine with forces assembled for what the Kremlin wrongly assumed would be a short invasion against token Ukrainian resistance. The Kremlin continues to struggle to correct this fundamental flaw in its “special military operation”.

Russian authorities are likely seeking to use war crimes trials against captured Ukrainian servicemen, particularly troops who defended Mariupol, to advance their narratives around the war. Russian sources reported that Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) authorities plan to hold war crimes courts until the end of August 2022 and that at least one such court will be held in Mariupol.[2] These tribunals would be judged in accordance with DNR legislation (which notably authorizes the death penalty, unlike Russian law) and would be modeled on the Nuremberg format for war crimes trials. The trials are a fictitious attempt to try legitimate POWs as war criminals and bolster the Kremlin’s misrepresentation of its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine as a “denazification” operation. Despite the fact that the DNR authorities plan to try Ukrainian servicemen in the DNR, a Russian law enforcement source told state media TASS that the deputy commander of the Azov regiment and the commander of the 36th brigade of Ukrainian Navy would both be transferred to Russia for investigation and trial.[3] Russian authorities are likely to use these trials to tighten legal controls over occupied areas and further demoralize Ukrainian defenders by setting a harsh legal precedent in preliminary courts, as well as advancing the Kremlin’s false narrative of invading Ukraine to “denazify” it.

Key points to remember

  • Concentrated Russian artillery power coupled with likely understrength infantry units remained insufficient to allow Russian advances into Severodonetsk.
  • Russian forces continued to prepare to advance on Sloviansk from southeast of Izyum and west of Lyman.
  • Russian forces are focused on strengthening defensive positions along the southern axis due to recent successful Ukrainian counterattacks along the Kherson-Mykolaiv Oblast border.
  • Successful Ukrainian counter-attacks in the Zaporizhia region forced Russian forces to send reinforcements to this weakened sector of the front line.
  • Russian forces are likely conducting false flag artillery attacks against Russian-held territory to deter Ukrainian sentiment and encourage the mobilization of proxy forces.

We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because these activities are well covered by Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we assess and plan. We will continue to assess and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian army and population and more specifically on the fighting in Ukrainian urban areas. We strongly condemn these Russian violations of the law of armed conflict, the Geneva Conventions and humanity, even if we do not describe them in these reports.

  • Main Effort – Eastern Ukraine (composed of one subordinate effort and three supporting efforts);
  • Subordinate main effort – Encirclement of Ukrainian troops in the cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts
  • Support Effort 1—City of Kharkiv;
  • Support Effort 2—South Axis;
  • Activities in Russian-occupied areas

Main Effort – Eastern Ukraine

Subordinate Main Effort – South of Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: encircle Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, territory claimed by Russian proxies in the Donbas)

Concentrated Russian artillery power, coupled with likely understrength infantry units, remains insufficient to allow Russian advances into Severodonetsk, as Russian troops continued to fight for control of the city but did few gains on June 19. Russian forces continued their efforts to surround the remaining Ukrainian troops in the Azot Industrial Plant.[4] Russian Telegram channels also claimed that Russian forces were advancing on Lysychansk from the south and fighting at Berestove, Spirne, Vovchoyarivka and the Lysychansk oil refinery.[5] Russian troops conducted airstrikes around Severodonetsk and Lysychansk and reinforced their grouping south of the area around Orikhove and Toshkivka.[6] Russian forces are likely looking to leverage their attempts to interdict the T1302 Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway to support offensive operations in Lysychansk.

Russian forces continued to prepare for offensive operations towards Sloviansk from southeast of Izyum and west of Lyman, but made no confirmed advances in either direction on 19 June. Russian forces carried out reconnaissance and artillery strikes against Ukrainian positions southeast of Izyum around Dibrove, Virnopillya, Kurulka, Bohorodychne and Dolyna, as well as west of Lyman.[7]

Russian forces continued offensive operations east of Bakhmut to interdict Ukrainian lines of communication along the T1302 Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway on 19 June. Russian forces reportedly fought around Nyrkove, Mykolaivka and Berestove and conducted air, artillery and missile strikes against Ukrainian positions. east of Bakhmut and near the T1302.[8] Russian forces are likely to continue efforts to gain access to T1302 to support operations in Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, especially as fighting in the region has largely stalled and Russian forces are increasingly unable to consolidate control of the city, even with superior artillery.

Support Effort #1—City of Kharkiv (Russian objective: withdraw forces north and defend ground lines of communication (GLOC) to Izyum)

Russian forces concentrated on holding their occupied borders north of the city of Kharkiv and fired on Ukrainian positions in northern Kharkiv Oblast on 19 June. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops had unsuccessfully attempted reconnaissance operations in force in Rubizhne (in Kharkiv, not in Luhansk Oblast). ), and Russian forces are likely fighting for more advantageous positions along the entire front line north of the city of Kharkiv.[9] Russian forces also continued their artillery strikes on the city of Kharkiv and surrounding settlements.[10]

Support Effort #2—South Axis (Objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)

Recent Ukrainian counterattacks forced Russian troops to concentrate on maintaining their defensive positions along the southern axis on June 19.[11] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces in Kherson Oblast were strengthening their air defense systems in the region, likely in response to continued and successful attacks by Ukrainian air force against Russian forces south of Davydiv Brid .[12] Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov claimed that Ukrainian troops were approaching Kherson Oblast.[13] Although the ISW cannot independently confirm current Ukrainian troop positions, it is likely that localized Ukrainian counterattacks will continue to push back Russian forces, especially along the Kherson-Oblast border. Mykolaiv, and Ukrainian forces may be able to further threaten the city of Kherson in the coming weeks. .

Russian forces continue to accumulate materiel and manpower in central Zaporizhia Oblast, particularly along the Dniprorudne-Vasylivka-Orikhiv line, likely in response to Ukrainian counterattacks.[14] Fedorov said Ukrainian forces had pushed the Zaporizhia Oblast front line 10 km to the south. Ukrainian officials have previously reported that the Zaporizhia front line has shifted five to seven kilometers to the south and it is unclear whether Ukrainian forces have advanced a total of 10 km or more than these earlier advances. . The Ukrainian regional military administration in Zaporizhia said that Russian troops are moving equipment and vehicles from Crimea via Melitopol to the Vasylivka and Polohy regions and that Russian sabotage groups have clashed with Ukrainian troops near the border of Zaporizhia-Donetsk Oblast on June 19.[15] Russian forces are likely building up troops in Zaporizhia Oblast to defend against ongoing Ukrainian counterattacks on Melitopol that could threaten Russian control of the city.

Russian forces continued their missile and artillery strikes against various locations in Kherson, Zaporizhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv and Odessa oblasts.[16] Although Ukrainian air defense intercepted missiles before they directly hit Odessa, Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command noted that Russian forces likely targeted Odessa and other areas not experiencing direct hostilities. to exert psychological pressure on the population and undermine local economies.[17] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command further reported that Russian forces are restructuring their naval group to include more submarines, which is a likely response to successful Ukrainian attacks on Russian naval assets in the Black Sea.[18]

Activity in Russian-occupied areas (Russian objective: to consolidate administrative control of the occupied areas; to define the conditions for a possible annexation to the Russian Federation or another future political arrangement chosen by Moscow)

Russian forces likely employ false flag artillery strikes against infrastructure in Russian-held areas of Donetsk Oblast to deter pro-Ukrainian sentiment and encourage the mobilization of proxy forces. Open-source Twitter accounts confirmed the SIE’s previous assessment that the artillery attacks on the city of Donetsk were likely carried out from Russian-held territory, refuting accusations by Russian authorities who blamed Ukrainian troops for the attacks.[19] Such false flag attacks are likely propagated by the Russian authorities to create hostility towards the Ukrainian military.

See quotes

More studies are needed on the “diyat” proposed as an alternative to the death penalty Sat, 18 Jun 2022 00:00:07 +0000

Mohd Chee Kadir

MIRI (June 18): Further studies are needed on the proposed ‘diyat’ as an alternative to the mandatory death penalty.

In Arabic, the word translates to “blood money”. In Islamic law, it is compensation payable to the victim or close relative of a victim of a case of murder, bodily injury or property damage.

It is an alternative to ‘qisas’ which, in the syariah, provides for equal punishment for the crime committed.

“I welcome that, but more studies should be done to find the mechanism or effective guidelines for its application.

“To be fair to the victim or the victim’s family, the terms of the settlement under diyat must gain court approval so that justice is delivered to both parties,” said Kabong MP Mohd Chee Kadir, who is also attorney for both parties. civil and syariah background, says Borneo Post.

According to him, the diyat is provided for by Syariah law and has been practiced in Muslim society.

Minister of the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), Idris Ahmad, was reported to have said the government had a “long” discussion over the proposal to make the diyat a substitute for the mandatory death penalty.

Malaysia has imposed a moratorium on executions since 2018, when it also pledged to abolish mandatory and discretionary capital punishment.

However, the death penalty must stay on the books and in future judges would have the discretion to impose an alternative sentence for the 23 crimes for which the death penalty is provided.

Idris also said that it should be necessary to set up a special committee, which would be managed by the Minister of the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, and the views of the parties concerned would be sought. .

Several lawyers had pointed out that compensating the families of victims of serious crimes could anger the public because it would create a situation of “forgiveness without punishment”.

Quoting a report on the matter published by a news portal, Suzana Norlihan noted: “Islam teaches forgiveness, but members of the public would still be outraged if a wealthy offender walked away unpunished after paying the diyat, what it can afford, and can repeat the offense to an extent that could cause the public to lose faith in the criminal justice system.

She said the government should consider the public interest in the discussion, adding that “Islam also teaches that any law should take into account the current situation in the country, especially if corruption was rampant.”

“Nevertheless, I believe the diyat would benefit the families of the deceased victims, who were the sole breadwinners or caregivers in their household.”

Another lawyer, Akberdin Abdul Kader, considered the diyat “doable” in Malaysia.

“This has been done in Middle Eastern countries, but the government needs to create guidelines on the rate of payment based on the seriousness of the crime committed,” he said.

Richard Glossip case: Oklahoma Republican vows to end capital punishment if state kills death row inmate, citing new investigation Thu, 16 Jun 2022 02:28:00 +0000 The investigation into Richard Glossip’s conviction showed his case was tainted by “inexcusable” conduct by prosecutors, investigators said on Wednesday.
“Our conclusion is that no reasonable jury, having heard the full record and uncovered facts detailed in this report, would have convicted Richard Glossip of capital murder,” said attorney Stan Perry of the law firm Reed Smith, who conducted the investigation.

The report was commissioned by a legislative committee of 34 state lawmakers — including 28 Republicans — expressing concern over the case against Glossip, a motel manager convicted of murder in the 1997 death of his boss, Barry Van Treese.

“The investigative report confirmed in my mind that we have an innocent man on death row,” Republican state Rep. and committee member Kevin McDugle said at a press conference Wednesday. .

Prosecutors in the Glossip case admitted that another motel employee, then 19-year-old Justin Sneed, a maintenance worker, physically killed Van Treese with a baseball bat, but they told jurors that Sneed had done so as part of a murder-for-hire scheme orchestrated by Glossip.

Sneed was sentenced to life in a plea deal for his testimony against Glossip, which the new report says was the only evidence linking Glossip to the crime.

“We actually know who the murderer is, and yet someone is on death row who is not the murderer,” Perry said.

The first trial against Glossip was dismissed due to ineffective defense counsel, and Reed Smith’s investigation revealed that prosecutors told police to destroy a box of evidence before the start of the second court case. “It’s inexcusable,” Perry said.

Rep. McDugle said Wednesday he was a supporter of the death penalty, but said the Glossip case shows weaknesses in the reliability of capital prosecutions.

“If we put Richard Glossip to death, I will fight in this state to abolish the death penalty simply because the process is not pure,” he said.

Glossip’s case received new attention last month when Attorney General John O’Connor asked a court to set execution dates for 25 death row inmates, including Glossip. The request came after a federal judge ruled against Glossip in a case arguing that Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol is unconstitutionally cruel.
The Court of Criminal Appeals has yet to respond to O’Connor’s request to issue the death warrants. Glossip had three previous execution dates, each only remaining for a few hours before he was put to death.

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office and Connie Smothermon, the first lead prosecutor in the Glossip case, did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment Wednesday. The new report says O’Connor’s office failed to respond to requests from independent investigators for access to records and evidence in the state’s possession.

Hijacking to grounding charges await after in-flight heckling | Kerala News Tue, 14 Jun 2022 06:02:58 +0000

Thiruvananthapuram: Threats against civil aviation have increased, forcing governments and airlines to dramatically tighten security measures and impose tough penalties. Rules are front and center again following a stunning protest by three Youth Congress activists against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on board the Kannur-Thiruvananthapuram flight on Monday night. The trio were arrested on Tuesday for attempted murder.

India’s “No Fly List” initiative aims to “control unruly and disruptive behavior on board aircraft”. According to her, passengers who cause nuisance could be temporarily banned from boarding. The list is maintained by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) on the basis of information provided by the airlines.

Those who create trouble inside the aircraft will face strict legal action in accordance with international aviation rules and regulations. Even charges like hijacking can be brought against the accused.

India’s new anti-piracy law, which came into effect in 2017, provides for the death penalty in the event of the death of “any person” held hostage, such as flight crew, passengers and security personnel.

But if the incident occurs after the flight has landed at the airport and the doors have opened, only the rules in force at the airports will apply.

Only officials such as the captain, airport manager and airline security officer have the right to file a complaint with the police if an untoward incident occurs inside the flight. Those who have been injured or who have suffered other hardships can file a complaint with the police.

In accordance with Rule 23(A) of Part 3 of the Aviation Rules, 1937, no one traveling in the aircraft shall use threats or physically harm any other passenger.

But if such offense is proven, the accused will be punished with one year rigorous imprisonment or a fine of Rs 5 lakh or both as per Schedule VI of the Act.

Another rule applicable in such cases is the Civil Aviation Requirement (2017). In accordance with the provisions contained therein, those who cause harm to anyone using words may be banned from air travel for a period of three months.

Those who physically injure someone during air travel can be denied air travel for a period of six months. Under these rules, pushing is also considered a form of physical injury.

Death penalty trial tentatively scheduled for March | Crime News Sat, 11 Jun 2022 18:29:41 +0000

The trial of a man facing the death penalty in a 2016 double murder case is tentatively set for March.

Scott Devon Hemphill, 38, is still being held without bail around six years after the bodies of Spencer Jermain Murray, 29, and Albert Alexander Austin, 35, were found in the trunk of a burnt-out car in September 2016, according to information previously reported by The herald of the news.

Hemphill faces two charges of first-degree murder and kidnapping in connection with the deaths, and he will face the death penalty when the case goes to trial.

He is the latest defendant to face a judge in the case, with his three co-defendants having pleaded guilty in recent years.

Among these co-defendants are:

  • Brian Jerome Robinson, who will spend between 28 and 35 years in prison after pleading guilty last year to two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon.
  • Icey Chenell Gooden, who was sentenced in 2019 to between 25 and 32 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of first-degree kidnapping degree.
  • Brandy Nicole Davis, who pleaded guilty to two counts of accessory after the fact to the murder and was sentenced to between eight and 11 years in prison in 2020.

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According to information released by the district attorney’s office after Robinson pleaded guilty, a burned-out vehicle registered to Murray’s name was found on September 18, 2016, with his and Austin’s remains inside. Their identities were confirmed by dental records and autopsies showed they died of smoke inhalation and high carbon monoxide saturation which led to poisoning by inhalation of combustion products.

Information provided during Robinson’s guilty plea also indicated that he and Hemphill robbed Austin and Murray before putting them in the trunk of the vehicle, driving to a deserted area and setting it on fire. Investigators also discovered items the suspects had attempted to burn that had been used in the robbery and murder, according to information provided to the newspaper last year.

Hemphill, who has been in custody since his arrest in connection with the murders, appeared in Burke County Court this week where an order has been put in place to hold him in Catawba County for the week so he can spend time with his attorneys, said District Attorney Scott Reilly.

Since Hemphill was arrested on those charges, he has racked up one indictment for malicious conduct of a crime by a prisoner and multiple misdemeanor charges of communicating threats for actions that court documents indicate he took against prison staff.

Prosecutors originally planned for this case to go to trial in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to that, Reilly said.

Hemphill, who is now working with his third set of lawyers, also saw his second set of lawyers withdraw from his case that year, Reilly said. This meant his new lawyers had to start digesting the 10,000 pages of discovery documents from scratch to figure out the best way to defend their client.

“Even though this is a 2016 case, these lawyers are relatively new and the case has been pending for much longer than we would like,” Reilly said. “These things were out of our control.”

He said his office was aiming for the case to go to trial in March, which would mark the beginning of the end of a lengthy legal process.

“Jury selection itself takes longer than most other trials,” Reilly said.

Beyond jury selection, the case could see two distinct phases of the trial.

“In a capital case, if the defendant is found guilty of first degree murder, that’s only the first phase,” Reilly said. “Then you go to the secondary phase, which is the sentencing phase, where you have a second full trial just on whether or not the death penalty should be imposed.”

Hemphill has previous convictions for malicious conduct by a prisoner for a 2009 offense and two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon for 2001 offenses, according to records listed on the North Carolina Department of Public Safety website.

Chrissy Murphy is editor and can be reached at or 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.

Western colonizers imposed anti-gay laws around the world – Lavender & Red, Part 112 – Workers World Fri, 10 Jun 2022 04:45:36 +0000

The following is an episode of Feinberg’s “Lavender & Red” series on the intersection of LGBTQ2S+ and socialist history, which appeared September 27, 2007 in the Workers World newspaper. The 120-part series was published between 2004 and 2008 and can be downloaded for free at

The sodomy laws, imposed on India in 1861 by British colonizers, were still in force at the time of this 2013 protest.

Wherever class-divided societies overthrew matrilineal-community groupings, laws began to punish sexualities, gender expressions, and bodies that did not fit new patriarchal family patterns. The status of women, who had played a central role in pre-class societies where the bloodline was drawn through women and not through men, deteriorated with the ascendancy of patriarchal class rule.

The ruling class enforced adherence to a father-dominated family unit, rather than the old mother-right gens, as it ensured the transmission of wealth to male heirs.

As the ruling classes grew stronger and expanded their territories by overthrowing neighboring communal societies by force of arms, they violently imposed their legal codes and social order on the militarily conquered peoples.

The European ruling classes exported laws against same-sex love all over the world as they established their colonial empires. European colonialism used the terror of the Inquisition to enforce these laws against homosexual love and gender variance. The violent legal restructuring of Indigenous societies – which affected economic organization, kinship, family/community organization, sexualities, gender and sex roles – served for the enslavement, exploitation and ‘oppression.

These beleaguered Indigenous societies were diverse. For example, the Gay American Indians History Project, first published in the 1988 germinal book “Living the Spirit”, lists 135 indigenous peoples on the North American continent, who made room for many more roles of sex/gender than European nations.

Midnight Sun (Anishnabe) offers a historical-materialist view of sex/gender systems in these diverse Indigenous societies in one of the book’s essays. Titled “Sex/Gender Systems in Native North America,” it explains: “Social life, and more particularly sexual life, is embedded in the economic organization of society – an organization that gives rise to a variety of cultural forms.

“The cultural construction of gender and sexuality must be seen in terms of the sexual division of labour, modes of subsistence, social relations and male-female relations. In this context, ideology is not an arbitrary, discrete force – rather it serves to reproduce and perpetuate social forms, behaviors and individuals suited to a particular mode of production.

The roots of Abu-Ghraib

European colonialism exported its national and counter-revolutionary Inquisition around the world, beginning with Portuguese expansionism around 1500 CE. The first era of direct colonial rule reached its peak more than three centuries later with the British rule of India in 1857.

Queer Heritage reports that in 1551, “Portuguese missionary Father Pero Correia, writing from Brazil, asserts that homosexual eroticism among native women is quite common, in fact as widespread as in Africa, where he was previously in Indigenous Brazilian women, he observes, carry guns and even form same-sex marriages.

In 1646, the Portuguese colonial lords expanded their laws against same sex to include women, as well as men. The sentence was to be burned alive at the stake.

Max Mejía states that with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in the western hemisphere, “an absolutist discourse enveloped homosexuality in the concepts of ‘infamous sin’, ‘sin against nature’, corruption of the soul and alliance with the devil. They punished its practice without distinction, both among the laity and among the clergy.

“Furthermore,” concludes Mejía, “the conquerors treated ‘sodomy’ as a special Indian sin and hunted it down and punished it as such on a large scale. They orchestrated crusades like the Holy Inquisition, which began burning sodomites at the stake as a special occasion, such as in the memorable auto-da-fé of San Lázaro in Mexico City.

During Vasco Núñez de Balboa’s colonial expedition through Panama, he “saw men dressed as women; Balboa learned they were sodomites and threw the king and 40 others to be eaten by his dogs, a fine deed from an honorable, Catholic Spaniard.

Spanish colonial authorities in Cuba castrated those they considered “sodomites” and forced them to eat their own earth-covered testicles.

When the Spaniards invaded the West Indies and Louisiana, “they found men dressed as women who were respected by their societies. Thinking they were hermaphrodites or homosexuals, they killed them.

Wealthy Dutch merchants imposed the pre-Napoleonic Roman-Dutch common law, which criminalized “sodomy” and “unnatural sexual offences”, from Indonesia to South Africa.

The colonial legislation that Dutch merchants brought with them to Cape Africa in the 17th century formed the basis of [anti-LGBTQ] laws in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

The sun never sets on Britain’s anti-sodomy laws

The British imposed on the people of Ireland a 1634 law that made same-sex relations between men punishable by death. Later, the British Labouchere Amendment of 1885 was the law under which female homosexual writer Oscar Wilde was sentenced to hard labor. [in prison].

Laws criminalizing same-sex relations in India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei all bear the same name — “section 377” — because the same colonial power wrote the law: Great Britain. Legislation drafted during the colonial era is misleadingly called the “Indian Penal Code”. Hindu law did not punish consensual sex.

Historian Douglas Sanders explains: “Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860 made ‘unnatural carnal intercourse’ an offence.

The British imposed this legislation in the straits settlements of Singapore, Penang and Melaka in 1872. In the late 19th century, Britain also enforced the law in Hong Kong, Fiji, the Malay Peninsula and Burma .

Korea Herald journalist Benjamin Jhoty quotes, which offers insight into Asia’s same-sex scene: “Asia has rich and unique gay traditions almost everywhere you look. The real enemy of homosexuality in places like Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines are old colonial laws and homophobic non-Asian religions that intimidate citizens with a skewed view of the natural world.

Sanders noted [in 2007], “This provision, or something very close to it, is currently in force in all former British colonies in Asia except Hong Kong.” He adds: “Sri Lanka, Seychelles and Papua New Guinea have the key wording of 377, but different article numbers. Parallel formulations appear in the penal laws of many former colonies in Africa.

Historians Kevin Botha and Edwin Cameron write, “The systems of law which the colonial powers (Dutch and later English) introduced greatly influenced the customary law of the African communities they subjugated”.

The British “Queensland Penal Code” of 1899 was “adopted in northern Nigeria in the 19th century, later becoming the basis of a uniform federal code in Nigeria in 1916. The Indian Penal Code had been used in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, but these laws were later superseded by drafts based on the Nigerian penal code Sudan used the Indian penal code In 1960, northern Nigeria enacted a separate penal code, based on the penal code Sudanese.

Similar laws were imposed in “British” Honduras (now Belize), Jamaica, Anguilla, “British” Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Bahamas, Tobago, Turkish Islands and Caicos Islands and Saint Lucia.

The British also imposed anti-‘sodomy’ legislation in Canada in 1892, New Zealand a year later, and Australia in 1788 and again in 1899.

Capital offense in colonized North America

Civil liberties historian Tom Head explained, “When Spanish, French, Dutch, and English settlers began to settle North America in the 17th century, they brought with them a catalog of very specific laws prohibiting various acts sexual. The purpose of all these laws was to make monogamous, homosexual and heterosexual marriage a compulsory institution and to punish all sexual activity outside of this institution.

The first anti-“buggery” legislation was passed in the Colony of Virginia on May 24, 1610, and quickly spread to all colonies and later to all states.

Historian John D’Emilio wrote, “In every colony sodomy was a capital crime—at least five men were executed at this time—and other homosexual acts, from ‘sodomy practices’ to lust between women , were punished with lashes and fines.

“After the American Revolution, although states reformed their penal codes in the spirit of Enlightenment philosophy, the revision of sodomy laws and “crimes against nature” laws came very slowly; North Carolina has not eliminated capital punishment [for sodomy] until 1869. Thomas Jefferson proposed replacing death with castration. Additionally, over time, legislatures and courts have expanded statutes to include a wider range of acts, such as oral sex between men and sexual activity between women,” D’Emilio concluded.

In the United States, anti-gay and anti-miscegenation laws have also been weapons of state repression against African and indigenous peoples, who have become internal colonies. In 1898, the US imperialists also brutally enforced these laws in countries they subjugated militarily.

After seizing Puerto Rico as a colony in 1898, the United States imposed a law against same-sex love on the island that was a carbon copy of California state legal language. And in 1938, under American rule, the Cuban Penal Code – the “public display law” – was enacted in that country.

Unsourced accounts can be found in Feinberg’s “Transgender Warriors” (Beacon, 1996), the first Marxist analysis of transgender life and history.

HC commutes death sentence of Kannagi-Murugesan honor killing convict Wed, 08 Jun 2022 14:39:00 +0000

Court acquits two convicts of all charges, overturns life sentence imposed on one and upholds it for nine

Court acquits two convicts of all charges, overturns life sentence imposed on one and upholds it for nine

The Madras High Court on Wednesday commuted to life the death sentence handed down last year by a lower court against one of the 13 convicted in the 2003 Kannagi-Murugesan honor killings case. However, it upheld the life sentences imposed on nine of the convicts, including the father of the female victim, C. Duraiswami.

A divisional bench of Judges PN Prakash and AA Nakkiran commuted the death sentence against D. Maruthupandian, brother of the deceased woman, Mr. Kannagi, while responding to a referral from the trial court and also an independent appeal which he preferred against the decision of the court of first instance. Verdict of September 24, 2021.

The bench allowed appeals favored by two other convicts, Rangasamy and Chinnadurai, and acquitted them of all charges. Additionally, they partially upheld an appeal favored by Tamilmaran, a former police sub-inspector, and overturned his life sentence. He was sentenced to just two years in prison, on lesser charges.

As for the remaining nine convicts, the judges dismissed their appeals and upheld their convictions and life sentences. The appeals had been brought against the judgment given by a special tribunal for reserved cases under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989.

Kannagi, a commerce graduate belonging to the Vanniyar community (most backward class), fell in love with Murugesan, a chemical engineering graduate belonging to a scheduled caste, while they were studying at Annamalai University, Chidambaram. They married quietly and registered their marriage in Cuddalore on May 5, 2003.

Kannagi’s family in Puthukkooraippettai village of Cuddalore district were furious to learn of the marriage and decided to terminate the inter-caste couple. Although several such crimes have been reported in the state before, the term “honour killing” was first used here in reference to this case.

According to the prosecution, the couple were forced to consume poison at the village cremation ground on July 8, 2003 and their bodies were burned to make it look like a case of suicide. After a botched investigation by the local police, the High Court transferred the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation, at the request of Murugesan’s father, Samikannu.

Although an indictment was filed in 2009, the legal proceedings dragged on and finally, last September, the Cuddalore Special Court imposed the death sentence on the victim’s brother and life imprisonment on 12 others. people, including his father. Activist lawyers P. Rathinam, V. Suresh and others led the case to ensure justice for the victims.

George Bell spent 24 years in prison for murders he did not commit. Now he wants justice. Mon, 06 Jun 2022 22:03:27 +0000

A black man who spent 24 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of double homicide is now suing New York City and a team of police officers for allegedly threatening him with the false confession that landed him behind bars .

George Bell’s conviction – and life sentence without parole – was thrown out in 2021 after new evidence surfaced proving his innocence. His attorney, Richard Emery, blamed Bell’s botched 1990s sentencing on a variety of factors, including biased media, then-mayor Rudy Giuliani’s poor criminal strategy, and the city’s flawed court system, saying that he targeted blacks and browns.

“It was a rush to judgment with the political forces behind that judgment,” Emery told The Daily Beast.

In a lawsuit filed June 2 and reviewed by The Daily Beast, Bell sought at least $50 million in compensatory and punitive damages. damages to be determined at trial.

In December 1996, Ira “Mike” Epstein and NYPD officer Charles Davis were killed in a robbery at a Queens check-cashing business, the complaint alleges. Epstein owned the business and Davis served as a security guard while off duty. Authorities immediately launched a “manhunt” for the killers, with Giuliani and NYPD officials swearing they “wouldn’t rest” until they found those responsible.

“[Giuliani] greatly flattered the tabloids and the communities that he believed would support and elect him. Of course he was right,” Emery said. (The New York Daily News regularly called Bell a “crybaby” murderer after his conviction.)

“The crime was very serious [at] this time. He was seeking to support a police force that was carrying out… patently false prosecutions based on poor police work.

The Daily Beast could not reach Giuliani for comment.

Although there was a local gang known as the “Speedstick” who had committed similar offenses to robbery-murder, police focused their attention on other suspects, the complaint says.

In December, a local drug dealer, John Bigwe, was arrested for selling cannabis. Police told him he would face serious consequences, including deportation to his home country of Haiti, if he did not cooperate with their investigation, according to the complaint. Bigwe implicated Bell, according to the complaint, because his girlfriend had previously had an affair with Bell. The complaint says police tricked Bell into going to jail to help a friend who had been arrested. There, Bell was violently questioned by officers, according to the complaint.

“[It was the] the pressure and the political environment that caused the cops to choose a suspect who was a convenient suspect for them, but not the right one,” Emery said. “And of course, once they’ve chosen a suspect, they don’t look at anyone else. They were just focused on George. … They never let go, they beat George into submission and forced a confession out of him.

Bell, 19 at the time, was charged with capital murder. He had no criminal record, and the complaint says officers questioning him did not read his rights to Miranda before his arrest.

The cops allegedly yelled in Bell’s face, ripped his hair out, vowed to “put him in the fucking hospital” and claimed he would never see his family again if he didn’t cooperate, according to the filing.

The complaint says no physical evidence ever linked Bell to the double homicide. But the evidence still pointed to the Speedstick gang before Bell went on trial, according to the lawsuit.

Emery told The Daily Beast that he felt Bell’s race played a role in the unfair treatment he received.

“The racism of it all was palpable and most certainly the fact that most of the victims of false convictions, an overwhelming number, are black men,” he said. “George was the victim of at least racial stereotyping, if not outright racial antipathy.”

The NYPD declined to comment on the matter.

At his trial in 1999, Bell was found guilty of the murders. Authorities offered him a plea deal that would allow him to avoid the death penalty if he confessed, but Bell maintained his innocence. The jury ultimately denied capital punishment and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On June 29, 1999, New York Daily News reported that a jury had “spared whiny killer George Bell”.

After the Queens District Attorney’s Office formed its Conviction Integrity Unit in 2020, it discovered that a lot of evidence relating to Speedstick had been deliberately withheld at trial. According to the complaint, a member of the gang even admitted to participating in the murders in 1997. In 2021, Bell’s conviction was overturned and he was eventually fully cleared. Authorities simply called it an “honest mistake,” according to the complaint.

But that’s not an adequate explanation for Bell, now 44, who wants revenge after spending more than half his life in prison. After stints in several detention centers and accusations of being a snitch among other convicts, Bell “continued to press anyone who could help him,” according to his lawyer.

“He managed to win,” Emery said. “He knew he was innocent all along, and his family was very close to him and supported him one hundred percent.”

Along with Bell, Gary Johnson and Rohan Bolt made false confessions in the murders. Their convictions in the murders were also overturned, The New York Times reported. Together, they served nearly 75 years in prison.