Thursday, May 26, 2011

News from Indianz.Com

www.indianz.com

Headlines:

Native Sun News: 8th Circuit rules against Oglala Sioux man (5/26)
Fairness hearing in Cobell settlement scheduled for June 20 (5/26)
United Keetoowah Band hails BIA action on land-into-trust (5/26)
Crow Tribe starts assessing damage after massive flooding (5/26)
Cheyenne-Arapaho family lost home in Oklahoma tornado (5/26)
Shelly Crow, former 2nd Muscogee Nation chief, dies at 63 (5/26)
Deaths of Spirit Lake Dakotah children treated as homicide (5/26)
Column: Ojibwe man speaks out on fetal alcohol syndrome (5/26)
APRN: Hearings start on Alaska Native corporation land bill (5/26)
Conference looks at preserving Native languages, culture (5/26)
WUWM: First Lady launches Let's Move! in Indian Country (5/26)
Eight from Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation charged for stealing (5/26)
Energy company withdraws federal suit against Crow Tribe (5/26)
Sault Tribe won't hold special election to replace chairman (5/26)
Construction company offers settlement to Navajo Nation (5/26)
Tribes awarded over $7M for wildlife conservation projects (5/26)
Seminole Tribe asking public to help name two baby otters (5/26)
RCR Wireless: Hopi Tribe works to improve telecom service (5/26)
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community installs fence (5/26)
Business sues Pojoaque Pueblo over casino management (5/26)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe shares $2.9M in casino revenues (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee leader looking to restart compact talks (5/26)
Narragansett Tribe questions push for gaming referendum (5/26)
Mohegan Tribe to start work on gaming facility in Catskills (5/26)
Native Sun News: IHS criticized for service in South Dakota (5/25)
Dorgan announces Center for Native American Youth board (5/25)
Conditions on Crow Reservation treacherous after flooding (5/25)
Blackfeet Nation declares emergency due to rising waters (5/25)
Parts of Cherokee Nation report damages from tornadoes (5/25)
Mary Pember: Traditional healers to be part of NIH exhibit (5/25)
Tribal leaders worried about future of Navajo Nation plant (5/25)
More headlines... www.indianz.com

26 May 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

www.democracynow.org



Vermont Poised to Become 1st State to Enact Single-Payer Healthcare

Today Vermont is set to make history by becoming the first state in the nation to offer universal, single-payer healthcare when Gov. Peter Shumlin signs its healthcare reform bill into law. The Vermont plan, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will attempt to stem rising medical care prices and provide universal coverage. We speak with Dr. Deb Richter, president of Vermont Health Care for All. She moved from Buffalo, New York, to Vermont in 1999 to advocate for a universal, single-payer healthcare system in the state. Gov. Shumlin calls her the “backbone” of the grassroots effort that helped persuade the Democratic-led state legislature to pass the bill this spring. [includes rush transcript]
Bill McKibben: From Storms to Droughts, Devastating Extreme Weather Linked to Human-Caused Climate Change

2011 has already become the deadliest year for tornado outbreaks in the United States since 1953, with more than 500 people killed. Extreme weather has made headlines across the world, as well, with megafloods occurring in Colombia, Vietnam, Pakistan and Australia, even as the Amazon just faced its second hundred-year drought in the past five years. News audiences are seeing the warning "severe weather" increasingly flash across TV screens, but little connection has been made to the role humans have played in driving climate change. We speak with environmentalist Bill McKibben, founder of the grassroots climate campaign, 350.org. "We’re making the earth a more dynamic and violent place," McKibben says. "That’s, in essence, what global warming is about." [includes rush transcript]
"Toma la Plaza": Frustration with Unemployment, Budget Cuts Fuels Grassroots Protests in Spain

Tens of thousands of Spanish protesters are demonstrating across the country calling for better economic opportunities, a more representative electoral system, and an end to political corruption. The pro-democracy protests started on May 15 in Madrid when people gathered in the central plaza to advocate for change, calling the budding movement “Toma la Plaza,” or “Take the Square.” In the past week, protests have spread to more than a dozen cities across Spain. The country has the highest unemployment rate in Europe—nearly half of its population under 30 years old is jobless. Protesters are sustaining their decentralized movement through donations of food, fuel and even computers. Daily assemblies democratically vote on all decisions, and local committees are assigned different tasks, from cleanup operations to legal affairs. We speak with independent journalist Maria Carrion and protest spokesperson Ivan Martinoz in Madrid. [includes rush transcript]

Headlines

Fugitive General Ratko Mladic Arrested in Serbia
U.S. Pulls Diplomats as Yemen Clashes Grow
U.S. Arming NATO Attack on Libya
Pakistan Requests Scaled-Back U.S. Military Force
Egypt to Open Rafah Border with Gaza
Obama Presses Rejection of Palestinian Statehood Campaign
Obama Praises U.S. Ties to U.K.
Loughner Declared Unfit for Trial
Senate Rejects GOP Budget Bill
Groups Seek Halt to Antibiotic Use in Farm Animals
Activists Confront Chevron at Shareholders Meeting
Greek Demonstrators Protest Austerity Measures
Anti-Gov’t Protests Erupt in Georgia
Husband-Wife Amazonian Activists Killed in Brazil
CBS Pulls Jumbotron Ad Calling for End to Haiti Deportations

www.democracynow.org

Activists Get $50,000 for FBI and St. Paul Police Raid

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: May 26, 2011
Contact: Plaintiff Kris Hermes 510-681-6361

Activists Get $50,000 for FBI & St. Paul Police Raid Prior to 2008 Republican Convention
Preemptive, politically motivated raids are emblematic of police tactics used to suppress dissent

St. Paul, MN -- Three activists and their attorneys won a $50,000 settlement today in a lawsuit that challenged an August 30, 2008 police raid on a St. Paul home in advance of that year's Republican National Convention (RNC). The plaintiffs in the case -- Sarah Coffey, Erin Stalnaker and Kris Hermes -- are giving most of the award to the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, the Institute for Anarchist Studies, and the formation of a national legal defense fund for political activists. The St. Paul house raid was one of several police actions taken against protesters days before the RNC began, including the search and seizure of a central political meeting space, which is also the subject of pending litigation.

"The City of St. Paul and the federal government were forced to pay for their politically-motivated attack on organizers," said Sarah Coffey, one of the plaintiffs. "Rather than spend years in court fighting the government over its political surveillance program, we decided to use settlement money to invest in projects that oppose such repressive tactics." The lawsuit, which was filed in August 2009 and accused the St. Paul Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of violating plaintiffs' First, Fourth and Fourteenth amendment rights, is so far the largest settlement of its kind stemming from the convention protests. "We hope this sends a message to law enforcement officials who would enter homes illegally or suppress political dissent," said Coffey, "there is a cost to their actions."

The raid garnered significant media attention at the time due to an hours-long standoff between 10 activists and residents and a heavily armed police force that had surrounded the duplex. Because the police attempted to raid the home without a search warrant, those inside refused them entry. After allegedly getting verbal authority from a local judge, the police used force to enter 949 Iglehart Avenue and detained everyone inside. The owner, several tenants and activists, including members of the I-Witness Video collective were detained for hours. No illegal items were found, no one was arrested and nothing was visibly seized, although computers and camera equipment were searched.

The search warrant affidavit, which was under seal until a month after the raid in a likely attempt to avoid media scrutiny, relied solely on a confidential informant who made the claim that weapons were being shipped to 951 Iglehart using the U.S. Postal Service. In a sensationalist move, the police also tried to tie property owner Michael Whalen to a defunct 1970s political group, the Symbionese Liberation Army, in order to bolster the warrant's outrageous claim of arms shipments. However, once inside 951 Iglehart, police discovered that the boxes contained only vegan literature. Unsatisfied, police broke through a locked attic door to enter the neighboring but separate 949 Iglehart, which plaintiffs claimed was the operation's true objective.

St. Paul Police Officer David Langfellow was in charge of the operation as a cross-deputized FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) agent. Langfellow testified during a deposition that although the FBI had been surveilling the duplex for more than a week before the convention, the investigation was not targeting Whalen, the main subject of the search warrant affidavit. Langfellow either was not told or refused to reveal details about the underlying investigation, which plaintiffs speculate had nothing to do with the shipment of boxes.

Plaintiffs' attorneys also contributed a portion of the award to the Impact Fund, which provides money to small law firms and nonprofits for lawsuits involving issues of civil rights, environmental justice, and poverty.

Further information:
Settlement agreement: http://protestarchive.org/files/RNC_Settlement_Agreement.pdf
Lawsuit complaint: http://protestarchive.org/files/RNC_Amended_Complaint2.pdf
Deposition of JTTF agent Langfellow: http://protestarchive.org/files/Depo_Transcript_Langfellow.pdf
Search warrant affidavit: http://protestarchive.org/files/949_Iglehart_Affidavit.pdf
AP photo of raid (Matt Rourke): http://protestarchive.org/files/Raid_Photo.jpg

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Inhumanity: New Tribute CD for Leonard Peltier


-----
For more information, contact the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee at contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info.

Showing of COINTELPRO 101 in Oakland

Cointelpro 101 - a new documentary which exposes illegal surveillance, disruption, and outright murder committed by the FBI and other police agencies.

Friday - June 3rd 7pm
Eastside Arts Alliance & Cultural Center

Film screening & program with

Ward Churchill - author and Native American activist
Liz Derias - Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
Ericka Huggins - activist, former political prisoner & leader in the Black Panther Party
Claude Marks - director of the Freedom Archives

Donation $10, $5 youth - no one turned away

Eyewitness Misidentification




Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in more than 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing.

While eyewitness testimony can be persuasive evidence before a judge or jury, 30 years of strong social science research has proven that eyewitness identification is often unreliable. Research shows that the human mind is not like a tape recorder; we neither record events exactly as we see them, nor recall them like a tape that has been rewound. Instead, witness memory is like any other evidence at a crime scene; it must be preserved carefully and retrieved methodically, or it can be contaminated.

When witnesses get it wrong

In case after case, DNA has proven what scientists already know — that eyewitness identification is frequently inaccurate. In the wrongful convictions caused by eyewitness misidentification, the circumstances varied, but judges and juries all relied on testimony that could have been more accurate if reforms proven by science had been implemented. The Innocence Project has worked on cases in which:

• A witness made an identification in a “show-up” procedure from the back of a police car hundreds of feet away from the suspect in a poorly lit parking lot in the middle of the night.

• A witness in a rape case was shown a photo array where only one photo of the person police suspected was the perpetrator was marked with an “R.”

• Witnesses substantially changed their description of a perpetrator (including key information such as height, weight and presence of facial hair) after they learned more about a particular suspect.

• Witnesses only made an identification after multiple photo arrays or lineups — and then made hesitant identifications (saying they “thought” the person “might be” the perpetrator, for example), but at trial the jury was told the witnesses did not waver in identifying the suspect.

Variables impacting accuracy of identifications

Leading social science researchers identify two main categories of variables affecting eyewitness identification: estimator variables and system variables.

Estimator variables are those that cannot be controlled by the criminal justice system. They include simple factors like the lighting when the crime took place or the distance from which the witness saw the perpetrator. Estimator variables also include more complex factors, including race (identifications have proven to be less accurate when witnesses are identifying perpetrators of a different race), the presence of a weapon during a crime and the degree of stress or trauma a witness experienced while seeing the perpetrator.

System variables are those that the criminal justice system can and should control. They include all of the ways that law enforcement agencies retrieve and record witness memory, such as lineups, photo arrays and other identification procedures. System variables that substantially impact the accuracy of identifications include the type of lineup used, the selection of “fillers” (or members of a lineup or photo array who are not the actual suspect), blind administration, instructions to witnesses before identification procedures, administration of lineups or photo arrays, and communication with witnesses after they make an identification.

More >>

"Stolen Identities: The Impact of Racist Stereotypes on Indigenous People"

OVERSIGHT HEARING on "Stolen Identities: The Impact of Racist Stereotypes on Indigenous People"

Thursday, May 5 2011
2:15PM
Dirksen-628

View Webcast here.

Description:

Chairman Statement

Witnesses

Panel # 1

The Honorable Tex Hall
Chairman
Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, and Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association, New Town, ND

Ms. Suzan Shown Harjo
President
The Morning Star Institute, Washington, DC

Ms. Charlene Teters
Professor
Studio Arts, Institute of American Indian Arts Santa Fe, NM


Panel # 2

Ms. Stephanie Fryberg
Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Mr. Chaske Spencer
Actor/ Producer, and Partner
Urban Dream Productions, New York, NY

Mr. Jim Warne
President
Warrior Society Development, San Diego, CA

News from Indianz.com

www.indianz.com

Headlines:

Native Sun News: IHS criticized for service in South Dakota (5/25)
Dorgan announces Center for Native American Youth board (5/25)
Conditions on Crow Reservation treacherous after flooding (5/25)
Blackfeet Nation declares emergency due to rising waters (5/25)
Parts of Cherokee Nation report damages from tornadoes (5/25)
Mary Pember: Traditional healers to be part of NIH exhibit (5/25)
Tribal leaders worried about future of Navajo Nation plant (5/25)
Spirit Lake mother confirms identities of two slain children (5/25)
Chairman of Chippewa Cree Tribe pleads guilty to stealing (5/25)
BIA approves United Keetoowah Band land-into-trust bid (5/25)
Ho-Chunk Nation sees more opposition on land-into-trust (5/25)
Peter d'Errico: UN forum looks at the doctrine of discovery (5/25)
Ex-police officer for White Mountain Apache Tribe indicted (5/25)
First Nations police officer charged for assault of teen girl (5/25)
Grand Traverse Band cuts budget amid national recession (5/25)
Menominee Nation launches Let's Move! in Indian Country (5/25)
EPA spending $6M to clean up Navajo Nation uranium site (5/25)
Navajo Nation man pleads guilty for sexual assault charge (5/25)
Opinion: Observe Aboriginal History Month with film series (5/25)
DOJ submits brief to Supreme Court in Rincon gaming case (5/25)
Sheila Morago joins Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (5/25)
Sycuan Band announces members of gaming commission (5/25)
California Assembly backs Habematolel Pomo compact bill (5/25)
Dry Creek Rancheria makes changes to gaming agreement (5/25)
Witness list for SCIA hearing on Native language education (5/24)
DOJ submits brief to Supreme Court in tribal court dispute (5/24)
Nebraska lawmakers approve tribal tobacco compact bill (5/24)
Father suspected for deaths of two children at Spirit Lake (5/24)
Choctaw Nation to celebrate Choctaw Days at NMAI in DC (5/24)
Peoria Tribe collects donations to help victims of tornado (5/24)
South Dakota governor plans meetings with tribal leaders (5/24)
More headlines... www.indianz.com

25 May 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

www.democracynow.org



Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress Dashes Palestinian Hopes of a Just Mideast Peace Agreement

The future of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations remains in doubt after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address Tuesday before a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Netanyahu insisted Jerusalem will not be divided and that Israel’s internationally recognized 1967 borders are "indefensible." He also said Israel must “maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan River” and condemned the recent Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal. Netanyahu’s speech came five days after President Obama called for the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed land swaps. We speak with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative. “Netanyahu yesterday blocked every possibility for negotiations for a two-state solution,” Barghouti says. “Practically, he took away any possibility for peaceful resolution, because he wanted to impose unilaterally the outcome on every issue... He wants us to live as slaves in a system of apartheid and segregation.” [includes rush transcript]


“Netanyahu is the Main Obstacle to Peace”: CodePink Activist Disrupts Israeli PM Speech to Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech was warmly received by Democrats and Republicans in Congress on Tuesday. According to ABC News, he received 29 standing ovations during his address—four more than President Obama received during his State of the Union address earlier in the year. However, there was at least one dissenting voice inside the halls of Congress on Tuesday. Rae Abileah, a Jewish-American activist of Israeli descent with the peace group CodePink, disrupted Netanyahu’s speech. Standing in the congressional gallery, she yelled, “No more occupation! Stop Israel war crimes! Equal rights for Palestinians! Occupation is indefensible!” As she screamed, members in the audience tackled her to the ground, and undercover security forces later dragged her outside. She was taken to George Washington University Hospital where she was treated for neck and shoulder injuries. At the hospital, police arrested Abileah and charged her with disorderly conduct for disrupting Congress. Her protest came as part a week-long series of actions organized by CodePink called Move Over AIPAC. We speak to Abileah about why she used nonviolent civil disobedience to disrupt Netanayahu’s speech. [includes rush transcript]


Obama to Make First Presidential Visit to Puerto Rico Since 1961

President Barack Obama has announced he will visit Puerto Rico next month, fulfilling his 2008 campaign promise and making him the first U.S. president to visit to the island since John Kennedy’s trip almost 50 years ago. A task force recently called on the United States to resolve the issue of Puerto Rico’s statehood by 2012. “All the four million people living on the island, as well as those Puerto Ricans who are here in the U.S., are U.S. citizens, but they inhabit a territory that is separate and distinct from the rest of the United States that has its own language, culture and history,” notes Juan Gonzalez, who writes about the country in his newly revised book, Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. “It’s this identity problem that really is a reflection of the continuing colonial—Puerto Rico is the last major colony of the United States. It’s one of the last remaining colonies in the world.” [includes rush transcript]


“Harvest of Empire”: New Book Exposes Latino History in America as Obama Campaigns for Latino Vote

President Obama’s trip to Puerto Rico was announced at a time when he is making a concerted push to win the Latino vote in 2012. Earlier this month, Obama gave a major address to a mostly Latino audience in El Paso, Texas, calling for immigration reform. Juan Gonzalez joins us to discuss the history of Latinos in the United States and how it relates to U.S. political and military intervention in Latin America. Gonzalez, a Democracy Now! co-host and New York Daily News columnist, has just published an updated edition of his book, Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. Originally released in 2000, the book explores the stories of Latinos from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and around the region. We air a few clips from a new documentary in production based on Harvest of Empire. [includes rush transcript]

Headlines

•Mubarak to Face Trial in Egypt for Protester Deaths
•NATO Continues Strikes on Tripoli; U.S. Bolsters Rebel Ties
•Congress Applauds Netanyahu for Rejecting 1967 Borders
•Tornado Toll Hits 123 in Missouri
•21 Die in Yemen Clashes
•Human Rights Groups: Over 1,100 Killed in Syria Crackdown
•Muhammad Ali Calls for Hikers’ Release in Iran
•U.S. Sanctions Oil Firms for Iran Dealings
•Japan Urged to Widen Evacuation Zone
•Reporter Subpoenaed for Whistleblower Trial of CIA Officer
•Study: Lawmakers Outperform on Stock Investments
•Democrat Scores Upset Victory in N.Y. Congressional Race

www.democracynow.org

Monday, May 23, 2011

2012 elections important for Indian Country

Mark Trahant: 2012 elections important for Indian Country
Monday, May 23, 2011

Canada just finished its national elections and the governing Conservative Party expanded its majority in parliament. Last week Prime Minister Stephen Harper also announced the historic appointment of two Native Canadians to that country’s cabinet.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo said it was the first time the cabinet would include both an Inuit member and a First Nations member, returning Health Minister Leona Aqlukkaq and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue.

This Canadian record-breaker is worth thinking about in the United States. There is a deep pool of Native American talent already working at federal agencies such as Bureau of Indian Affairs or the Indian Health Service, so it’s time to see the promotion of an American Indian or Alaska Native to the post of Surgeon General, as a member of the Federal Communications Commission, or better yet, to run another cabinet agency? (We’ll save the “who” on this list for another day.)

But will President Obama even have a second term? And will Indian Country be as excited about Obama in 2012 and it was in 2008?

It’s way too early in the process to answer the first question. We don’t even know yet which of the Republican challengers is the strongest contender making it hard to compare philosophy, record and approach to governing. And, answering the second question is also complicated. Many in Indian Country saw the last election in terms of immediate change. Some are disappointed because President Obama didn’t do this or that. But the U.S. government is slow. Real change needs to be a sustained effort over time. The president has done a solid job working with tribal leaders on core issues, ranging from consultation to protecting the budget from sharp congressional cuts. And the idea that U.S. policy could be worse -- far worse, at that -- is not a message that excites voters.

After the last election, Wizi Garriott, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, who was then working for the Obama campaign, told Indian Country Today, “For us, the campaign has always been about community empowerment. We’ve tried to put as many resources as possible into Indian communities so we can help our own people organize and empower themselves. That’s what this is all about.”

That’s still what it is about. The type of change that’s required is not going to come from any presidential administration. It will require more people to organize and empower themselves at the community level. To my way of thinking the Obama administration’s policies have complemented that very notion. If that message is clear -- especially if it is accompanied by specific Obama administration policies and actions -- then there is a good chance Indian Country will turn out and vote again.

I write opinion and not straight news. So I will be blunt. It’s critical for Indian Country to re-elect President Obama. We also need a Democratic-controlled Senate (if not House).

But to make that happen it’s important that Indian Country look for reasons to get excited about a second term for President Obama, instead of simply being against a Republican candidate. That excitement (not anger) is what will stir a stronger turnout. This was true in 2008. It was true in Alaska’s Senate race. And it could be true again in 2012.

An energized Indian Country could make a difference and decide the outcome in Alaska, Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Washington. This one voting bloc could be the difference in a Republican Senate and a Democratic one.

Why does this matter? The House Republican budget is a template for what that party would like to do to the federal budget. Its impact on Indian Country would be catastrophic. We cannot let this happen -- so winning the next election is critical.

And, like Canada, perhaps a second Obama administration will break the record when it comes to federal cabinet appointments. ‘Course it’ll only take one appointment to do that.

Mark Trahant is a writer, speaker and Twitter poet. He is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and lives in Fort Hall, Idaho. Trahant’s new book, “The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars,” is the story of Sen. Henry Jackson and Forrest Gerard.

23 May 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

www.democracynow.org



Massey Energy Guilty: West Virginia Probe Finds Coal Giant Systemically Failed to Comply with LawAn independent state probe in West Virginia concludes that mining giant, Massey Energy, was responsible for the April 2010 explosion that killed 29 underground coal mining workers. It echoes preliminary findings by federal investigators earlier this year that Massey repeatedly violated federal rules on ventilation and minimizing coal dust to reduce the risk of explosion, and rejects Massey’s claim that a burst of gas from a hole in the mine floor was at fault. The report also notes Massey’s strong political influence, which it uses "to attempt to control West Virginia’s political system" and regulatory bodies. We speak with J. Davitt McAteer, who oversaw the probe and is a former top federal mine safety official. [includes rush transcript]

The Fight over Coal Mining is a “Fight About Democracy”: New Documentary with Robert Kennedy, Jr. Chronicles Campaign to Halt Mountaintop RemovalWe speak with environmental activist Robert Kennedy, Jr., and filmmaker Bill Haney about the new documentary, The Last Mountain, which premiered this year at the Sundance Film Festival. The film chronicles the fight against coal mining across Appalachia and Massey Energy’s devastating practice of mountaintop removal to extract layers of coal. "They have to break the law to do this. They cannot survive in the marketplace without violating the law. They violate labor laws. They violate health and safety laws. And by their own records, they’ve had some 67,000 violations of just one of the environmental statutes," says Kennedy of the coal giant that has tremendous political influence at the state and federal level. “It’s not just about the environmental destruction, it’s also about subverting democracy.” [includes rush transcript]

Headlines

•Obama Mirrors Bush Stance on Israeli Control of West Bank
•Israel Approves New Settlement Construction in East Jerusalem
•Thousands Protest U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan
•Pakistani Forces Retake Naval Base
•Obama Visits Europe, G8 Protests Begin
•Spanish Governing Party Loses Regional Elections; Protesters Vow Continued Actions
•11 Killed in Syrian Gov’t Attack on Funeral
•20 Killed in Iraq Violence
•Yemeni President Rejects Transition Proposal
•Zelaya Reaches Deal for Return to Honduras
•U.S. Military Accused of Burying Agent Orange in South Korea
•United Nations Begins Japan Nuclear Probe
•89 Killed in Missouri Tornado

www.democracynow.org

News from Indianz.com

www.indianz.com

Jeffrey Whalen: Oglala Sioux Tribe operating as a slum lord (5/20)
Editorial: Genuine concern and admiration for Elouise Cobell (5/20)
Stacy Leeds, Cherokee, named dean at Arkansas law school (5/20)
Tom Vilsack: Making the Agriculture Department open to all (5/20)
Column: Hearing looks at jobs and energy in Indian Country (5/20)
Oneida Nation and Obama administration appeal land claim (5/20)
Wired: Scientists fight university to study ancestral remains (5/20)
Riders finish 9th annual Navajo-Hopi Honor Run for veterans (5/20)
Dozens charged for Tohono O'odham Nation drug trafficking (5/20)
Four indicted in Oklahoma over illegal sale of eagle feathers (5/20)
Energy company sues Crow Tribe on coal-to-liquids project (5/20)
Yakama Nation to meet with state over gasoline tax issues (5/20)
Mescalero Apache Nation discusses renewable energy plan (5/20)
Census cites dip in Indian population on Martha's Vineyard (5/20)
Judge to meet with Meskwaki Tribe after being suspended (5/20)
Opinion: Mining company ignores tribal rights in Wisconsin (5/20)
Outdoors: Minnesota Dakota seek to enforce treaty rights (5/20)
History: 'Indian Kate' survived the Blackhawk War of 1832 (5/20)
Volunteers work to remove graffiti from sacred Paiute site (5/20)
Opinion: State's history shows tribes were treated unfairly (5/20)
Opinion: Winnemem Wintu Tribe outraged by federal fishkill (5/20)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe looks to hire more for casino expansion (5/20)
California tribes seek to draw music lovers to their casinos (5/20)
Native Sun News: National Guard dedicates Lakota chopper (5/19)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets hearing on languages (5/19)
Subcommittee schedules hearing on Alaska Native land bill (5/19)
South Dakota approves development by sacred Bear Butte (5/19)
Jim Thorpe's sons not invited to ceremony in Pennsylvania (5/19)
Oklahoma House puts an end to Indian Affairs Commission (5/19)
County fights Ho-Chunk Nation land-into-trust application (5/19)
More headlines... www.indianz.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

News from Indianz.Com

Headlines:

Tim Giago: Native Americans endure 500 years of terrorism (5/16)
Native Sun News: Contemporary artists explore traditions (5/16)
Vi Waln: Bullies can be any age, even on our reservations (5/16)
Wambli Sina Win: Imposter Indians finding the truth hurts (5/16)
House Natural Resources hearing for Navajo power plant (5/16)
Esther Hugo: Road poses threat to Alaska Native lifestyle (5/16)
Opinion: Join indigenous grandmothers at Alaska meeting (5/16)
Opinion: 'Geronimo' name problematic for Indian Country (5/16)
IHS settles lawsuit over death of Rosebud Sioux baby boy (5/16)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe resolves zoning issues with city (5/16)
Lower Elwha Kallam Tribe elder celebrates 101st birthday (5/16)
Southern Ute Tribe sets grand opening for $38M museum (5/16)
First Nations University of Canada selects new president (5/16)
Letter: Reconsider development plan at sacred burial site (5/16)
Editorial: Lumbee Tribe works really hard to discredit itself (5/16)
Column: Respect tribe's support for 'Fighting Sioux' name (5/16)
Mooretown Rancheria supports off-reservation gaming bill (5/16)
Chickasaw Nation gains minority ownership of Texas track (5/16)
GOP leader steps down from anti-gaming expansion group (5/16)
Native Sun News: Billy Mills, Lakota Olympian, born to run (5/13)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee hosts a listening session (5/13)
Steven Newcomb: Obama confirms 'Geronimo' codename (5/13)
Doug Cuthand: Use of 'Geronimo' codename a poor choice (5/13)
Mary Pember: Tribal college students meet for conference (5/13)
Opinion: Atoning for Sand Creek Massacre after 147 years (5/13)
Q&A: Winona LaDuke on Cobell case, 'Geronimo' and more (5/13)
Truthout: Sioux Nation still fighting to protect treaty rights (5/13)
HCN: BIA and Crow Tribe lost money on big horse roundup (5/13)
Editorial: Standing firm on tribal cigarette tax in New York (5/13)
More headlines... www.indianz.com

16 May 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

www.democracynow.org



“Sing Your Song”: Harry Belafonte on Art & Politics, Civil Rights & His Critique of President Obama

Legendary musician, actor, activist and humanitarian Harry Belafonte joins us for the hour to talk about his battle against racism, his mentor Paul Robeson, the power of music to push for political change, his close relationship with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the U.S. role in Haiti. A new documentary chronicles his life, called Sing Your Song. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Belafonte grew up on the streets of Harlem and Jamaica. In the 1950s, he spearheaded the calypso craze and became the first artist in recording history with a million-selling album. He was also the first African-American musician to win an Emmy. Along with his rise to worldwide stardom, Belafonte became deeply involved in the civil rights movement. One of Dr. King’s closest confidants, he helped organize the March on Washington in 1963. “Going into the South of the United States, listening to the voices of rural black America, listening to the voices of those who sang out against the Ku Klux Klan and out against segregation, and women, who were the most oppressed of all, rising to the occasion to protest against their conditions, became the arena where my first songs were to emerge,” Belafonte tells Democracy Now! [includes rush transcript]

Headlines

•Israeli Troops Kill 13 Pro-Palestinian Protesters in Multiple Border Confrontations
•Egypt Security Forces Crackdown on Pro-Palestine Protesters at Israel Embassy, Hundreds Injured
•International Criminal Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Muammar Gaddafi, Son and Intelligence Chief
•United Arab Emirates Hires Blackwater Founder to Build Mercenary Army
•Head of International Monetary Fund Arrested on Sex Crime Charges
•Japan Expands Exclusion Zone around Damaged Nuclear Plant, Greenpeace Calls for Radiation Investigation
•Saudi Diplomat Assassinated in Pakistan
•Guatemala: Dozens Found Decapitated in Historic Drug-Related Mass Killing
•Michel Martelly Sworn In as Haiti’s President
•Key Mississippi Floodgate Opened Up as Waters Rise, Tens of Thousands Threatened
•Israeli Forces Seriously Injure American Student Filming Nonviolent Protest

www.democracynow.org

Time for a Really New Broom at the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Time for a Really New Broom at the Federal Bureau of Prisons
Margaret Love


Harley Lappin’s impending retirement as Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) provides an opportunity to step back and consider how his successor should be chosen. Since 1964, BOP’s director has been promoted from within the organization, and career management has been a source of institutional pride.

But the experience of the past two decades suggests it is time to try a different approach.

To begin with, there is the question of BOP's extraordinary growth. For the half century after BOP’s establishment in 1930, the federal prison population was stable at about 20,000 prisoners. When I was the liaison between Main Justice and BOP in the late 1980s, there were 45 federal correctional facilities holding about 45,000 prisoners. By then the federal prison population had begun the relentless upward trajectory produced by the abolition of parole, long mandatory sentences, and the federalization of crime.

This perfect storm has quadrupled BOP’s size in just 20 years, so that there are now 180 federal prisons and more than 212,000 federal prisoners.

But the dramatic change in BOP’s size has not been accompanied by the sort of corresponding changes in management philosophy and institutional culture that one might reasonably expect in a growth industry.

Paradoxically, rapid expansion seems to have induced a kind of organizational paralysis. Where BOP's policies and practices were once considered creative and compassionate, now they are regarded as bureaucratic and heartless.

When I worked with BOP some 20 years ago, the federal system was considered the gold standard in progressive American corrections. Not any more. One need look no further than the regulations recently proposed by the Attorney General to implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act, heavily influenced if not dictated by BOP, which reflect a far less enlightened approach to sexual abuse of prisoners than that of many state systems.

BOP's institutional sclerosis is directly attributable to its place within the Department of Justice. For all it has gained in size since 1985, BOP has lost as much in institutional independence.

A career-led BOP has become captive to the Justice Department's prosecutorial agenda, which has closed off many management and policy options available in more independent state systems. For example, it will be hard for BOP to replicate the downsizing that is taking place in many state systems, since proposals to reduce prison population are heresy in a Justice Department dedicated to putting more and more people away for longer and longer periods of time.

Thus, at the same time BOP complains about dangerously overcrowded facilities and budget shortfalls, it chooses to implement policies that lengthen prison terms, refuses to use ameliorative tools given it by Congress, and even turns down requests from federal judges to send terminally ill prisoners home to die.

A few years ago a BOP director was publicly criticized by senior Justice Department officials for allowing too many prisoners to serve short sentences in halfway houses, to enable them to keep their jobs and see their children. The message was not lost on the director who followed her.

It is bad enough that the director of BOP is appointed by the chief federal prosecutor, and is subject to his direction and control. No state prison system is under the same roof with programs whose objectives are in such tension with progressive correctional practices and responsible budgeting.

But what is worse is the absence of any official constituency outside the Justice Department that might allow BOP's director to take a stand against the rising tide of new prison admissions, as many state prison heads have done. As it is, BOP proudly projects continued growth into an indefinite future.

If size alone were the measure of importance, the search for a new BOP director would be as rigorous as the search for a new FBI director. (I vividly recall being told in 1989 that the Little B(BOP) had bumped the Big B(FBI) from the top spot in the Department's budget submission.)

But quite apart from their comparable size, these two agencies are equally responsible in their respective spheres for keeping the American public safe and secure. The Attorney General has declared his commitment to lowering recidivism rates through correctional improvements in state systems. He could effectively test this message in his own house by recruiting a BOP director whose vision of the job extends beyond being a jailer.

So I say that the Administration should scrap the tradition of career management at BOP. It is time to fight fire with fire, and bring in politically accountable leadership to manage the federal correctional establishment into its next stage.

The President should therefore direct the Attorney General to conduct a nationwide search for a new federal prison director, and to make clear that professional independence will be that position’s most prized qualification. If the right candidate can be found, perhaps it will not be necessary to consider a more complete separation of prisons and prosecutors.

Ideally, the new head of BOP would be someone with experience managing a major state correctional system, someone who knows how to shield elected officials in a crisis, woo a stingy legislature, and use a bully pulpit.

The rank and file of skilled BOP professionals will quickly adapt to new management style, and be thrilled to have their agency restored to the respectability it once enjoyed.

But even more than professional "street cred," the new director must have a humane correctional philosophy and the courage to put it into practice when this means going toe-to-toe with presidential appointees who have different ideas. When someone will be made responsible for so many human lives and such a transcendent message, we should expect nothing less than the very best.

ED NOTE: Harley Lappin retired as federal prisons director on May 7 after leading the Bureau of Prisons for eight years. On June 16, he'll be in court to face three drunk driving related charges. Thomas Kane, an assistant BOP director since 1991, is now serving as acting director, overseeing more than 100 federal prisons. Attorney General Eric Holder is being urged to take this opportunity to create real change in the correctional system.

Margaret Love served as Associate Deputy Attorney General in the late 1980s, and as U.S. Pardon Attorney in the 1990s, and worked with BOP management in both capacities.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Message from Leonard Peltier

May 3, 2011

A Message from Leonard

As you know, I was denied parole in 2009. The decision was not surprising, but disappointing. In the coming months, my attorneys will go into court to challenge the Parole Commission's decision and the constitutional violations involved with the 2009 hearing.

New legal strategies also are being considered. I see no reason to satisfy the government by discontinuing to file legal briefs.

In the coming months, my Defense Committee in Fargo will issue alerts and provide information about how you can best help. I ask that you pay particular attention to what is asked of you. I know, together with my Defense Committee, you will continue to work hard on my behalf as you have always done. I ask you to concentrate on the Bureau of Prisons in Washington, DC. My transfer to a facility closer to home where I can receive quality health care is a must. Concentrate also on the U.S. Congress. For years, we have pushed for a full congressional investigation into the illegal tactics used by the FBI to bring about my conviction. As always, please continue to pressure the White House for my release. In the U.S., I urge supporters to remember your First Amendment rights. Speak up and speak out. Do what you can to prevent the government from being the sole custodian of the official version of the truth.

As you may be aware, this is going to be a long, hard struggle. And a costly one. In addition to the legal work, we still have much to do to educate the public and even Members of Congress. Through the years, it has been a struggle in itself to keep the Defense Committee office open. I know many people are struggling in these difficult times. But, my friends, donations are still needed. Please know that your donation, no matter how small, counts. Every penny allows the fight for my freedom to continue and is very appreciated.

Through the dedication of my staff and supporters, I know we'll succeed. I look forward to spending my "free time" (smile) with all of you.

Doksha,

Leonard Peltier

*************************************

LPDOC - PO Box 7488 - Fargo, ND 58106
Phone: 701/235-2206; Fax: 701/235-5045
contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info
www.whoisleonardpeltier.info

Health Update: Leonard Peltier

May 3, 2011

As you know, in March, Leonard was allowed a biopsy to rule out prostate cancer. After a very long wait, for a test that should have yielded results within only a day or two, Leonard has finally been officially notified that he does not have cancer. This is reason for celebration, but we caution you about being overly optimistic about Leonard's health. His symptoms persist and new tests have been conducted. A diagnosis is long overdue for symptoms that presented so very long ago. Urologic disorders which can mimic prostate cancer also can be very serious indeed -- even leading to kidney failure. With Leonard's severe diabetes as a complicating factor, we should all continue to be very concerned about his wellbeing and overall quality of medical care. Please continue writing and calling the Bureau of Prisons to demand Leonard's transfer. For details and contact information, please see http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/alert.htm.

*************************************
LP-DOC - PO Box 7488 - Fargo, ND 58106
Phone: 701/235-2206; Fax: 701/235-5045
contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info
www.whoisleonardpeltier.info


Enhanced by Zemanta

Time to Free the MOVE 9: May 13 and 14


News from Indianz.Com

Headlines from www.indianz.com

Audio: Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on stereotypes (5/5)
Native Sun News: Officer's beating of Navajo man spawns suit (5/5)
Tina Marie Osceola: Apology due for US treatment of Natives (5/5)
Oneida Nation statement on use of 'Geronimo' as codename (5/5)
Rep. Albert Hale letter to President Obama about 'Geronimo' (5/5)
NMAI statement on military use of 'Geronimo' as codename (5/5)
Terry Rambler: Saying goodbye to our young Apache leader (5/5)
L.M. VanEvery: Use of 'Geronimo' codename was 'offensive' (5/5)
Lise Balk King: The Indian Wars still alive and well in the US (5/5)
IPR: Indian Country bristles at use of 'Geronimo' codename (5/5)
Rep. Cole says military didn't have to use 'Geronimo' name (5/5)
Defense Department says 'Geronimo' was chosen randomly (5/5)
Joe Jackson, Gila River soldier, laid to rest on Yakama Nation (5/5)
Trial begins over branding of swastika on Navajo Nation man (5/5)
Judge denies treaty-based claim against former tribal officer (5/5)
Seneca Nation sanctioned council member for incident at bar (5/5)
Blue Lake Rancheria challenges California over business liens (5/5)
MSU News: Wasewi Shawl finishes journey to college degree (5/5)
Lummi Nation working to help bikers who were sold bad fuel (5/5)
Tulalip chairman delivers annual State of the Tribes address (5/5)
Quechan Nation welcomes community to $1.2M nature park (5/5)
Former Aquinnah Wampanaog leader running for town seat (5/5)
'Idaho's Forgotten War' documents Kootenai Tribe's battle (5/5)
'Manoominike: Gathering the Good Seed' takes up wild rice (5/5)
Letter: North Dakota should address Indian unemployment (5/5)
Solar Energy: Helping bring basic services to Navajo elders (5/5)
Commentary: Kalispel Tribe nervous about Spokane casino (5/5)
Travel: Indian gaming has become vital to self-sufficiency (5/5)
Tohono O'odham Nation casino on hold pending 9th Circuit (5/5)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe ready to enter gaming market (5/5)
Kansas lawmakers weigh bill to expand non-Indian gaming (5/5)
Mohegan Tribe partners with Catskills resort and race track (5/5)
Native Sun News: Veterans upset by 'Geronimo' codename (5/4)
More headlines... www.indianz.com

05 May 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

www.democracynow.org





Pakistani Military Faces Scrutiny as Unfolding Evidence Suggests Direct Role in Harboring bin Laden

Numerous questions have been raised on how Osama bin Laden could have been living in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad just down the street from Pakistan’s premier military academy. CIA Director Leon Panetta has reportedly said Pakistan was either "knowledgeable or incompetent" when it came to bin Laden’s whereabouts. Some evidence has emerged to indicate that the Pakistani military may have had a direct role in harboring bin Laden. Meanwhile, the Pakistani government is claiming it warned U.S. intelligence two years ago about the compound where bin Laden was killed. We go to Pakistan to speak with Graeme Smith, an award-winning foreign correspondent for The Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada. He was in Abbottabad yesterday investigating the mystery behind the bin Laden compound. [includes rush transcript]
Physicians Urge Obama Admin to Pressure Mideast Ally Bahrain to End Repression of Doctors, Patients

The Gulf nation of Bahrain has announced that 47 medical workers who treated pro-democracy protesters during the nation’s popular uprising will be tried before a military court on charges of acting against the state. Some could face the death penalty for providing medical assistance to protesters. Human rights groups say the arrests are part of a campaign of intimidation that runs directly counter to the Geneva Convention, which guarantees medical care to people wounded in conflict. We speak with Richard Sollom of Physicians for Human Rights. He recently traveled to Bahrain to document the situation there and is the co-author of a new report, "Do No Harm: A Call for Bahrain to End Systematic Attacks on Doctors and Patients." [includes rush transcript]
Suffering from PTSD, Freed U.S. Hiker Sarah Shourd Won’t Return to Iran Next Week for Espionage Trial Alongside Jailed FiancĂ©, Friend

Months after her release from an Iranian prison, U.S. citizen Sarah Shourd has announced she will not return to Tehran next week to face espionage charges. Shourd was jailed for 14 months after she and friends, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, were detained by Iranian forces on July 31, 2009, for allegedly hiking across the Iraqi border into Iran. The trial for Bauer—who is now Shourd’s fiancĂ©—and Fattal begins May 11. Shourd had planned to return to Iran but has canceled her trip because she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. [includes rush transcript]

Headlines:

•Obama: U.S. Won’t Release Bin Laden Photos
•Pakistan Claims It Warned CIA of Bin Laden Compound
•American Indian Groups Seek U.S. Apology for Labeling Bin Laden "Geronimo"
•Gaddafi Forces Attack Aid Ship
•ICC Prosecutor Unveils Plan for Libya Warrants
•Obama Admin to Propose Lower Corporate Tax Rate
•U.S. House OKs Anti-Abortion Bill
•Illinois Drops Out of "Secure Communities" Program
•Palestinian Factions Sign Unity Deal in Egypt
•Syria Extends Crackdown to Damascus Suburb
•Ashcroft Hired as Blackwater "Ethics" Director

The railroading of Troy Davis

VOICES: The railroading of Troy Davis
http://www.southernstudies.org/2011/05/voices-the-railroading-of-troy-davis.html

Laura Moye is director of the Amnesty International USA Death Penalty Abolition Campaign. In this interview, Moye talks about 42-year-old Troy Davis, an African American who has been on death row in Georgia for over 19 years -- having already faced three execution dates. The continued railroading of Davis has sparked outrage around the world, and public pressure during the last few years of Davis' appeals has been essential to his survival today.

However, on March 28, 2011, the US Supreme Court rejected his appeal against a federal district court's ruling that Davis did not prove his innocence in an evidentiary hearing held last year. This week Amnesty International released an email action alert, emphasizing that now, more than a month after the Supreme Court ruling, Davis' execution date can literally be scheduled any day. The situation is dire, and public support is currently needed now more than ever before.

To take action and learn more, visit Amnesty International's page focusing on Troy Davis, as well as the Color of Change petition, www.justicefortroy.org and www.troyanthonydavis.org .

Angola 3 News: Why does Amnesty International consider Troy Davis' case to be so important?

Laura Moye: Troy Davis' case is emblematic of a broken and unjust death penalty system. His story speaks volumes about a criminal justice system that is riddled with bias and error and is fixated on procedure more than it is on fairness.

It is often difficult to get people to understand or to be interested in systematic and large-scale injustice, but Troy Davis' story has gotten through to a lot of people and has made the abolition cause more tangible and real for a lot of people.

A3N: What do you think are the most compelling facts about this case?

LM: The case against Davis has unraveled, yet he still faces execution. The conviction rests primarily on nine key witnesses, but six have recanted and one contradicted her trial statement. The police recovered shell casings at the crime scene, which were naturally present given that there was a shooting. However, they never found a murder weapon or any other physical evidence linking the shell casings to Troy Davis.

Almost all of the witnesses were vulnerable for one reason or another. One witness was illiterate, others were minors that were questioned without their parents or supportive adults, some had criminal histories, and most were African American.

The murder of the white police officer enraged local law enforcement, and indeed it was a terrible crime. Officer Mark MacPhail was rushing to the aid of a homeless man who was beaten unconscious in a Burger King parking lot on the other side of a Greyhound bus station in a poor end of town. When he came running to the scene, he was shot, and he fell to the ground without even having drawn his weapon. He left behind a wife and two very small children. Outrage was appropriate in the wake of his death. However, reports about how the investigation was conducted call into question how fair and proper things went. Many speak to the intense pressure on the African American community to find the perpetrator. Most of the witnesses allege coercion by the police in obtaining statements.

Strangely, one of the two witnesses who did not recant his testimony has been implicated in at least nine affidavits and by a new eyewitness account as being the actual perpetrator. This very same man was the one who first reported to the police that Davis was the shooter. He was never treated as a suspect himself. He was not put in line-ups and he was present at the crime scene with other witnesses for a reenactment of the events.

Davis had a heck of a time trying to seek relief once his case moved from the trial level to the post-conviction habeas process. The Georgia Resource Center was hit with a two-thirds budget cut, which reduced the number of staff attorneys to two, representing about eighty prisoners. Triage was not even possible with the remaining resources. Yet this was the time for Davis to assemble evidence and an argument about his innocence claim.

Also, in the mid-1990s, the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), was passed on the heels of the Oklahoma City Bombing. It limited access by death row prisoners [to] the federal appeals process, placing time limits on introduction of new evidence, for example. Davis' case was negatively impacted along with others.

Troy Davis has been confronted with a system that would rather hold onto a decision a jury made twenty years ago than admit that some fundamentally wrong things have happened. It is a system bent on preserving itself more than on being absolutely sure that injustice and inaccuracy are filtered out.

A3N: Please tell us more about the racism in Davis' case.

LM: Davis is African American. MacPhail, the murder victim, was White. The perpetrator was indisputably African American. The crime happened on a poor end of town, near housing projects and behind a Greyhound bus station. The racial dynamics in the community were inflamed by the murder and the ensuing investigation. Many African Americans have talked about the fear they felt in the midst of a very intense manhunt.

A3N: Do you think the injustices in his case are symptomatic of the overall criminal justice system in the US?

LM: Many death penalty cases have issues of unfairness. Davis' is less common in that there is a serious innocence claim.

However, how people are treated by the criminal justice system because of their background, particularly race and class, is illustrated by this case. The lack of resources for people's defense and appeals work is very common. And the difficulty in accessing the appeals process for meaningful relief is also very difficult.

A3N: Why have the appeals courts been so opposed to granting a new trial?

LM: The county superior court in Savannah, Georgia would not grant Davis' "extraordinary motion for a new trial." He appealed this all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court and was denied. Interestingly, the Georgia Supreme Court denied his appeal by one vote.

The courts are very hesitant to re-open death penalty cases. Witness recantations are considered suspect and testimony by the many people who implicate the other suspect are dismissed as "hearsay." And yet we know that most of the 138 exonerees from death row did not have DNA at their disposal, just like Davis, who had no other kind of physical evidence.

At trial, the state has the burden to prove the defendant is "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." After a conviction, that standard disappears. The prisoner then has an uphill battle to prove that the conviction was wrong or faulty.

A3N: When do you expect that an execution date will be set?

LM: As soon as Georgia announces that it has a protocol for carrying out executions again, we expect an execution warrant to be signed against Davis. From that point, an execution date could be two weeks away.

A couple months ago, the DEA seized Georgia's supply of lethal injection drugs after a complaint was filed about how they accessed their supply of Sodium Thiopental. Davis would already have received a date if this issue was not at play. So time is very much of the essence.

A3N: What can our readers do to support Troy Davis right now?

LM: We know many people have signed the petition, but this is a hugely important thing we need. If you have not signed the petition this year, please sign it again -- by going to www.justicefortroy.org and if you have signed it, please share it with ten friends and ask them to do the same. You can print out the petition and circulate it. That's downloadable from the website too.

If you know clergy or legal professionals, ask them to please sign the sign-on letters for Troy. And when a date is set, join us for an international day of solidarity, where we will have demos around the world in advance of Davis' clemency hearing to show the parole board that the world is watching and demands a stop to the execution!