Archive for September 21st, 2011

21
Sep
11

rest in peace, troy davis

1968 – 2011

An innocent man, murdered by the state of Georgia.

****

“I did not take your son, father, brother. May God have mercy on your souls. May God bless your souls.”

Troy Davis’ last words to his executioners.

21
Sep
11

‘a lifelong sentence of nagging doubt’

This morning, six retired corrections officials, including Dr. Allen Ault, retired Director of the Georgia Department of Corrections and former Warden of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison where he oversaw executions for the state, have sent the following letter to Georgia Corrections Officials and Governor Nathan Deal asking them to urge the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider the decision they made on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 to deny Troy Davis Clemency despite concerns about his guilt.

Statement:

We write to you as former wardens and corrections officials who have had direct involvement in executions. Like few others in this country, we understand that you have a job to do in carrying out the lawful orders of the judiciary. We also understand, from our own personal experiences, the awful lifelong repercussions that come from participating in the execution of prisoners. While most of the prisoners whose executions we participated in accepted responsibility for the crimes for which they were punished, some of us have also executed prisoners who maintained their innocence until the end. It is those cases that are most haunting to an executioner.

We write to you today with the overwhelming concern that an innocent person could be executed in Georgia tonight. We know the legal process has exhausted itself in the case of Troy Anthony Davis, and yet, doubt about his guilt remains. This very fact will have an irreversible and damaging impact on your staff. Many people of significant standing share these concerns, including, notably, William Sessions, Director of the FBI under President Ronald Reagan.

Living with the nightmares is something that we know from experience. No one has the right to ask a public servant to take on a lifelong sentence of nagging doubt, and for some of us, shame and guilt. Should our justice system be causing so much harm to so many people when there is an alternative?

We urge you to ask the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider their decision. Should that fail, we urge  you to unburden yourselves and your staff from the pain of participating in such a questionable execution to the extent possible  by allowing any personnel so inclined to opt-out of activities related to the execution of Troy Anthony Davis. Further, we urge you to provide appropriate counseling to personnel who do choose to perform their job functions related to the execution. If we may be of assistance to you moving forward, please do not hesitate to call upon any of us.

Respectfully and collegially,

Allen Ault – Retired Warden, Georgia Diagnostic & Classifications Prison
Terry Collins – Retired Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Ron McAndrew – Retired Warden, Florida State Prison
Dennis O’Neill – Retired Warden, Florida State Prison
Reginald Wilkinson – Retired Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Jeanne Woodford – Retired Warden, San Quentin State Prison

21
Sep
11

fighting to the end

Steve Benen: Michael Moore had an item this afternoon about the looming Troy Davis execution:

“President Obama: Can’t you do like Kennedy & send in federal troops to stop this injustice in Georgia? The buck stops with u.”

… I can appreciate why it might seem as if the buck always stops with a president, but in the Davis case, it’s not Obama’s call.

When presidents during the civil rights era ordered federal troops into the South, they were enforcing federal law. Eisenhower and JFK clearly had the authority to act …. Obama doesn’t have the authority to “send in federal troops” to stop the execution.

….. presidential clemency isn’t an option here ….. he has no legal authority to get involved, officially, with a state execution. When the death penalty is imposed for a state crime like murder, it is a state issue.

Full post here

21
Sep
11

‘there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. nobody.’

Thank you Claire

21
Sep
11

‘absolutely, totally true’

Paul Krugman: Well, it seems as if a number of people in the media have decided that (President) Obama was fibbing when he said that some millionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries – because, as the usual suspects triumphantly declare, on average millionaires pay higher average taxes than middle-income Americans.

This is, of course, stupid: the operative word is SOME.

And we’re not talking about one or two exceptional guys, either … If you look at the numbers since 2004, you’ll see that in a typical year between 30 and 40 percent of those super-high-income players paid an average tax rate of less than 15 percent; most of them paid less than 20 percent.

…. what becomes clear is that the Obama/Buffet claim is absolutely, totally true.

So why the attack? Probably because it’s such an effective line. And we can’t have populism that actually strikes a chord with the public, can we?

****

Buffett Rule Facts and Fictions

21
Sep
11

stuck in the middle

….. with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

…. with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Sept 21

21
Sep
11

suskind’s selective editing…

Washington Post: …..One of the most striking quotes in the book came from former White House communications director Anita Dunn, who was quoted as saying that:

“……this place would be in court for a hostile workplace. . . . Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women.”

Dunn says she was quoted out of context and told The Post on Friday that she told Suskind “point blank” that the White House was not a hostile work environment.

On Monday, Suskind allowed a Post reporter to review a recorded excerpt of the original interview, which took place over the telephone in April. In that conversation, Dunn is heard telling Suskind about a conversation she had with Jarrett:

“I remember once I told Valerie that, I said if it weren’t for the president, this place would be in court for a hostile workplace,” Dunn is heard telling Suskind…..

Full article here

Kevin Drum: …. there’s a striking mismatch between what Ron Suskind heard and what he reported in his book …. This doesn’t necessarily change the substance of the charge about the White House atmosphere – though it might, depending on what Dunn meant – but it definitely changes what it suggests about Obama himself. Why on earth did Suskind leave that bit out? It’s only eight words, and it’s not as if he was short on space.

Full post here

21
Sep
11

42 & 44

President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, Sept., 21

21
Sep
11

u.n. address




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