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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, July 31, 2014
'Green News Report' 7/29/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama Admin approves sonic cannons for offshore oil exploration; Bizarre weather across U.S.; CO judge nixes fracking ban; PLUS: Neil Young wants your help in the rainforest...
Previous GNRs: 7/24/14 - 7/22/14 - Archives...
'A Kind of Propaganda War'
After U.N. denial, NBC's David Gregory apologized for use of unverified Israeli video claiming to show rockets fired from U.N. refugee shelter in Gaza where at least 15 were killed by Israel last week...
Bi-Partisan House to Obama: Get Out of Iraq
Overwhelming, if largely symbolic vote in the U.S. House, directs the President to pull U.S. troops back out of Iraq. Directive seen as stinging rebuke to GOP war haws in Senate..
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
Previous GNRs: 7/22/14 - 7/17/14 - Archives...
Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
Record wildfires in Pacific NW; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal 1960 From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: CA gets tough on water wasters...
Kochs Radical 'Libertarianism' Broke KA
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Brownback's Dem opponent after tax cuts for wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 7/23/2014 10:17pm PT  

According to the first-hand account of the AP reporter/witness of Arizona's state-sanctioned killing of convicted murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood this afternoon:

Officials administered the lethal drugs at 1:52 p.m. Wood's eyes closed.

About 10 minutes later, the gasping began.

Wood's jaw dropped, his chest expanded, and he let out a gasp. The gasps repeated every five to 12 seconds. They went on and on, hundreds of times. An administrator checked on him a half-dozen times. He could be heard snoring loudly when an administrator turned on a microphone to inform the gallery that Wood was still sedated, despite the audible sounds.

As the episode dragged on, Wood's lawyers frantically drew up an emergency legal appeal, asking federal and state courts to step in and stop the execution.

"He has been gasping for more than an hour," the lawyers pleaded in their filings. "He is still alive."

The Arizona Supreme Court convened an impromptu telephone hearing with a defense lawyer and attorney for the state to decide what to do.

Wood took his last breath at 3:37 p.m. Twelve minutes later, Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles L. Ryan declared Wood dead. The state court was informed of the death while its hearing was underway.

It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time.

The spokesperson for the AZ Attorney General, however, was "surprised by how peaceful it was"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 7/16/2014 9:50pm PT  

We covered too much on the KPFK/Pacifica Radio BradCast this week to go into great detail here, but the common thread seemed to be: Stamping out Zombie Myths.

In other words, those popular lies and deceptions that never seem to die on everything from e-cigs and vaping to the death penalty to Ann Coulter's voter fraud to Fox "News" propaganda on global warming and polling place Photo ID laws (too many of those to link here) to the fight for marriage-equality in Mississippi.

In other words, there was a lot packed in to this week's 58 minutes, including a lot of bullshit to dispel, a bunch of great callers, and even one who totally disagreed with me on e-cigs and children. That was fun.

Check it out. I think you'll enjoy it...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

* * *

P.S. During the show, a caller questioned the facts of a quote I read on air from a press release issued today by the Freedom to Marry organization, citing the first Mississippi mayor to call for marriage equality in the state. The quote in question was from the group's President Evan Wolfson, who said in the statement: "More same-sex couples are raising children in Mississippi than in any other state."

The caller, appropriately, challenged the veracity of the statement, and I promised I'd look into the details, since I had just received the release prior to air time and didn't have the details handy. Now I do. Here's where that claim comes from...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 7/16/2014 1:03pm PT  

Just in, via HuffPo, a federal judge in California has ruled that the state's death penalty system violates the U.S. Constitution's restriction against "cruel and unusual punishments"...

U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney handed down an order Wednesday, finding that the system is arbitrary and in violation of the Constitution's 8th Amendment.

"California's death penalty system is so plagued by inordinate and unpredictable delay that the death sentence is actually carried out against only a trivial few of those sentenced to death," Carney writes. "For all practical purposes then, a sentence of death in California is a sentence of life imprisonment with the remote possibility of death --- a sentence no rational legislature or jury could ever impose."

Carney continues: "Inordinate and unpredictable delay... has resulted in a system in which arbitrary factors, rather than legitimate ones like the nature of the crime or the date of the death sentence, determine whether an individual will actually be executed. And it has resulted in a system that serves no penological purpose. Such a system is unconstitutional."

The story goes on to note that the judge also vacated petitioner Ernest Dwayne Jones' death sentence --- he had been convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to die in 1995, and that "an analysis by the Los Angeles Times found that the state spent $308 million on each execution." That analysis underscores what critics of the death penalty have long pointed out, that the cost of killing prisoners far outpaces the cost to the state of keeping them imprisoned for life.

* * *

UPDATE: MSNBC's Adam Serwer notes that Judge Carney "was nominated to the federal bench in 2002 by President George W. Bush."

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By Brad Friedman on 3/18/2013 11:33am PT  

Before things turn too ugly this week, let's take a moment to flag four great progressive things --- arguably, four great conservative progressive things --- which all happened on Friday.

The first two items got a fair amount of notice, the second two, not so much. But since they all happened on the same day, and that day was Friday, when such stories tend to disappear all together, they are all worth briefly flagging here to make sure you're aware of them...

  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), a co-sponsor of the unconstitutional "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA) in 1996, became the first sitting Republican Senator to come out in favor of marriage equality for all. It took him learning that he had a gay son two years ago before he was finally able to do the right thing, but we'll take what we can get. It's another in a string of victories and very encouraging signs for conservative progressivism, specifically the right of equal protection under the law for all.
  • The Maryland legislature voted to ban the inhumane, abhorrent, expensive, ineffective and unequally applied Death Penalty. They become the 6th state in as many years to do so, and the 18th state overall. As Governor Martin O'Malley (D) notes in an op-ed today: "Across our ever-more-closely connected world, the majority of public executions now take place in just seven countries: Iran. Iraq. The People’s Republic of China. North Korea. Saudi Arabia. Yemen. And the United States of America." This is another clear victory for those who believe in the Constitutional value of equal justice for all under the law and who hate Big Government --- the biggest --- allowing itself to kill its own citizens.
  • A federal court ruled that the use of so-called "National Security Letters" --- essentially, a warrantless statement from the FBI handed over to banks, libraries, phone companies, etc., demanding unlimited private information about a specific person for supposed "national security purposes" --- is unconstitutional. Specifically, the gag order on those banks, libraries, phone companies, etc., disallowing them from notifying the target about the intrusion on their privacy, is what the judge found in violation of the First Amendment. The case brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation(EFF). The use of these letters have been one of the most insidious and abused elements of the PATRIOT Act for a very long time, ever since its passage following 9/11. The court ruling is likely to be appealed by the DoJ, but the finding is, for now, a positive step in the right direction --- at least for those of us conservative progressives who give a damn about unwarranted search and seizure, freedom of speech, etc. AP notes that "the FBI made 16,511 national-security-letter requests for information regarding 7,201 people in 2011" alone.
  • A federal appeals court has re-instated a case filed by the ACLU arguing that the CIA must, at the very least, respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests concerning the use of the drone strikes. The FOIA requests in question had sought information on "the legal basis for carrying out targeted drone killings; any restrictions on those who may be targeted; any civilian casualties; any geographic limits on the program; the number of targeted killings that the agency has carried out; and the training, supervision, oversight, or discipline of drone operators." Even if the ACLU is ultimately victorious in this case, the CIA would not necessarily have to provide the information sought in those requests, but they would at least have to respond to them and state which responsive documents they may have and why they are not responding. The ACLU notes that the drone program "has already been responsible for the deaths of more than 4,000 people in an unknown number of countries."

After the two court rulings above on Friday, former Constitutional attorney and civil liberties champion Glenn Greenwald tweeted wryly: "Wow ... it's like we have a 3rd branch or something."

Much of this nation's government, all three branches, are largely stuck and broken in the muck and mire of partisan, corporate-sponsored quagmire or worse. So the fact that we had four important, not-horrible, arguably excellent things happen within that quagmire all on the same day on Friday are worth, at least, noting here for the record.

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Guv vows to restart Big Government killing as soon as possible...
By Brad Friedman on 6/22/2012 10:56am PT  

The AP report is not as encouraging as it initially appears...

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) --- The Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the state's execution law Friday, calling it unconstitutional.

In a split decision, the high court sided with 10 death row inmates who argued that, under Arkansas' constitution, only the Legislature can set execution policy. Legislators in 2009 voted to give that authority to the Department of Correction.

"It is evident to this court that the Legislature has abdicated its responsibility and passed to the executive branch, in this case the (Arkansas Department of Correction), the unfettered discretion to determine all protocol and procedures, most notably the chemicals to be used, for a state execution," Justice Jim Gunter wrote in the majority opinion.

But don't get too excited. You fans of Big Government --- the Biggest Government of All --- will likely be back in business and killing your fellow U.S. citizens again soon...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2012 12:43pm PT  

Welcome to the civilized world, Connecticut! And thank you for putting an end to the biggest Big Government tyranny there can be.

From AP:

Connecticut's governor has signed a new law that abolishes the state's death penalty for future crimes.

A spokeswoman says Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed the bill Wednesday afternoon at a private ceremony with lawmakers, clergy and family members of victims.

Malloy issued a statement calling it "an historic moment" as Connecticut joins 16 other states that have abolished capital punishment. He said it was a moment "for sober reflection, not celebration."

The law replaced the death penalty with a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of release. It does not affect the sentences of the 11 inmates already on Connecticut's death row.

A former prosecutor, Malloy said his position on the death penalty has evolved over the years.

Now about those 11 inmates you all are still planning to murder out there...

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By Brad Friedman on 10/7/2011 3:41pm PT  

Via #OccupyAustin..

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By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2011 3:08pm PT  

Reuters in 2008:

The parole board in the state of Georgia spared a convicted killer from execution hours before he was due to die by lethal injection on Thursday and commuted his sentence to life in prison.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles made its decision less than three hours before Samuel David Crowe, 47, was to be executed, according to a spokeswoman for the state's prisons.

"After careful and exhaustive consideration of the requests, the board voted to grant clemency. The board voted to commute the sentence to life without parole," the parole board said.
...
In March 1988, Crowe killed store manager Joseph Pala during a robbery at the lumber company in Douglas County, west of Atlanta. Crowe, who had previously worked at the store, shot Pala three times with a pistol, beat him with a crowbar and a pot of paint.

Crowe pleaded guilty to armed robbery and murder and was sentenced to death the following year.

"David (Crowe) takes full responsibility for his crime and experiences profound remorse," according to Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, an advocacy group, who welcomed the board's decision.

The BRAD BLOG last night, after the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles had denied clemency to a different prisoner:

Despite 20 years asserting his own innocence; 7 of 9 witnesses having recanted their testimony, claiming police coercion; 3 jurors in the death penalty case having filed affidavits retracting their votes for "guilty" verdict; the murder weapon used in the killing of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail never having been found; no physical evidence tying Davis to the murder; hosts of luminaries from Republicans Bob Barr and Michael Steele to Democrats like President Jimmy Carter to a former GA Supreme Court Justice to a former FBI Director and many more calling for him to be spared; and after 3.5 hours of secret deliberation by the U.S. Supreme Court who temporarily reprieved his execution at the last moment before denying a stay without explanation, Davis was killed tonight by the big government state of Georgia at 11:08pm ET.

In his last words, according to witnesses to the execution, Davis spoke to the family of Officer MacPhail in the front row, and told them again he was sorry for their loss, but that he was innocent, did not have a gun, and did not kill their "son, father, brother."

Other than the confessed murderer being spared, and the man who maintained his innocence for 20 years being killed, I wonder if the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles saw any other significant differences between the cases of Samuel David Crowe and Troy Anthony Davis.

[Hat-tip @AngryBlackLady on Twitter.]

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By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2011 8:26pm PT  


Troy Anthony Davis, 1968 - 2011

Despite 20 years asserting his own innocence; 7 of 9 witnesses having recanted their testimony, claiming police coercion; 3 jurors in the death penalty case having filed affidavits retracting their votes for "guilty" verdict; the murder weapon used in the killing of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail never having been found; no physical evidence tying Davis to the murder; hosts of luminaries from Republicans Bob Barr and Michael Steele to Democrats like President Jimmy Carter to a former GA Supreme Court Justice to a former FBI Director and many more calling for him to be spared; and after 3.5 hours of secret deliberation by the U.S. Supreme Court who temporarily reprieved his execution at the last moment before denying a stay without explanation, Davis was killed tonight by the big government state of Georgia at 11:08pm ET.

In his last words, according to witnesses to the execution, Davis spoke to the family of Officer MacPhail in the front row, and told them again he was sorry for their loss, but that he was innocent, did not have a gun, and did not kill their "son, father, brother."

Finally, he said to the prison officials: "May God have mercy on your souls and may God bless your souls."

* * *

Davis' letter today to supporters...

I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.

As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.

* * *

Our previous coverage of the Troy Davis case, including our 2007 interview with the "forgotten victim", Larry Young, is here.

Some of our coverage via Twitter, of the last minute drama as it unfolded live over the last 5 hours in Georgia tonight, can be perused here.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2011 7:05pm PT  

UPDATE 9/20/11, 9:48am PT: Despite all that we have detailed below --- including witnesses who've recanted their testimony, jurors who've retracted their 'guilty' verdicts, scores of luminaries, former Presidents, current Popes, prosecutors, elected officials (both Republican and Democratic), judges, and law-enforcement officials who've called for Troy Anthony Davis to be spared, along with Amnesty International's description of the state's decision today as "unconscionable" --- the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied Davis' final appeal for clemency this morning.

Barring a last minute intervention from someone, somehow, somewhere (please see and sign this), the Big Government lethal injection killing of Georgia's citizen Davis will proceed at 7pm local time Wednesday night.

The "Tea Party" protests over the outrage are scheduled to begin never.

* * *

In August of 2007, Troy Anthony Davis was just weeks away from his then scheduled execution in the state of Georgia when The BRAD BLOG ran the following article, including an exclusive interview with Larry Young, the "forgotten victim" in the Davis case who now, like 7 of the 9 witnesses in the case, has recanted his testimony. Young says, as you'll read, that he was left to bleed while the police coerced him into identifying Davis as the assailant, even though he had never seen him before.

One of the only witnesses to not retract his testimony is Sylvester "Redd" Coles, who was with Davis before the 1989 murder of Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail, whom Davis has been convicted of killing. During a party in June of 2009, Coles reportedly claimed to have been the actual assailant.

Davis' execution was delayed in 2007 as new evidence was presented, but he is now, once again, scheduled to be killed at 7pm local time on Wednesday, pending a grant of clemency by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP), the sole authority able to commute his death sentence to life in prison with or without the possibility of parole.

Since Emily Levy's exclusive article below ran on August 3rd, 2007, citing both the Indigo Girls and the Pope in calling for Davis to be spared, a host of dignitaries, such as President Jimmy Carter, former FBI Director William Sessions, former far-right Republican U.S. Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia, and former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher, have all asked the BPP to grant clemency to Davis.

Moreover, among witnesses heard during today's impassioned hearing before the board was Brenda Forrest, a juror who voted to sentence Davis to death at his 1991 trial. According to to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tonight, Forrest "now says she has doubt about her verdict and is asking the board to grant clemency. Two other jurors who voted to sentence Davis to death have signed affidavits asking the board to spare Davis from execution."

In her affidavit, Forrest says "she learned information that makes her no longer believe the case against Davis was ironclad. 'I feel, emphatically, that Mr. Davis cannot be executed under these circumstances,' she said."

The BPP has adjourned for the evening, having postponed deliberation until tomorrow on the fate of the man who has maintained his innocence without fail for 20 years now. (It had been only 17 years at the time of Levy's original article for The BRAD BLOG). In light of the possibility of the ultimate Big Government abuse of power being exercised against a citizen on Wednesday, it seems an appropriate moment to revisit Levy's original, and disturbing, exclusive...

* * *

The Indigo Girls and The Pope Agree: Troy Davis Should Not Be Executed
After 17 Years on Death Row, Davis Will Have Opportunity To Present New Evidence
The 'Forgotten Victim' Speaks in a BRAD BLOG Exclusive...

Special to The BRAD BLOG by Emily Levy - Originally published 8/3/2007

"The part what really makes me mad is the part that I don't know who hit me. You know, it might sound weird, but that'd be a little bit of closure for me to know who done it. You know, because when I got hit, and I hearin' somebody clicking a gun by my head about three, four times, and that gun not going off. You know, for a lot of years I've been hearing that click and I've been hearing that gun going off. Jumping up out of my sleep."
--Larry Young, July 2007, 18 years after he was attacked in the parking lot of a Savannah, Georgia Burger King.

You might think Larry Young would know who hit him, because two weeks ago the man who was convicted in the case came within 24 hours of being executed by the State of Georgia. But Larry Young doesn't know because he, like nearly all the witnesses whose testimony originally convicted Troy Anthony Davis of the assault on Young and the murder of a white police officer that night, doesn't believe Davis is guilty. Next week, the testimony these witnesses want to give, testimony that will show their original "witness statements" were coerced by police, will finally be heard...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 3/9/2011 1:43pm PT  

Still on the road and still a bit under the weather, so here's some very quick hits for now...

Naturally Premature Resigners: NPR CEO Vivian Schiller has resigned following the resignation of chief fund raiser Ron Schiller (no relation) after the latter Schiller was featured in a secretly video-taped attempted hit piece with two of convicted criminal and Republican con-man James O'Keefe's flunkies performing as members of a Muslim foundation. Having watched the edited version of the video tape, I have no clue as to why anybody at NPR has resigned. (Sidenote: Imagine if even half of the RWers who committed actual crimes, real ones that actually hurt and/or killed people, resigned in shame as fast as non-RWers resign in shame after having committed absolutely no crime at all.)

Pro-Life in IL: Gov. Pat Ryan (D) signs a bill banning the death penalty in the state. It is the 16th to do so. Prisoners previously on death row have had their sentences commuted to life without the possibility of parole. Welcome to the civilized world, Illinois!

GOP War on Voting in FL: Gov. Rick Scott (R)'s executive clemency board pulled a fast one by changing the rules for re-enfranchising former felons after former Gov. Charlie Crist (R) had previously restored their voting rights. "The board did not release the proposed rule changes to the public until moments before the meeting began and limited public testimony to two-minutes per person for a total of 30 minutes before unanimously approving the changes," reports Palm Beach Post. "Civil rights advocates, including five black lawmakers, objected to the rule changes, saying there is no evidence the current process ... is not working." Leon County Supervisor of Election, and election integrity hero Ion Sancho says the board is turning back the clock to FL's post Civil War era with restrictions "whose sole purpose was to ensure that the former slaves of this state could never reintegrate into the society."

GOP War on Voting Nationwide: ThinkProgress details GOP efforts in 22 states around the nation to impose new polling place Photo ID restrictions likely to disenfranchise millions of elderly, minority and student (read: Democratic-leaning) voters. That, even though there is no "voter fraud epidemic" in this country, or any state in the union, at least not among Democrats. Republican voter fraud, however, as we noted late last week, when IN's new GOP Sec. of State was indicted on 3 counts of felony voter fraud, is a different matter all together.

2012: Newt Gingrich says he cheated on his wife because he loves his country so much. Or something. Sarah Palin won't be in the first GOP Presidential Debate at the Reagan Library (which reminds me that she's only ever been in one national debate, and that was with just one person, Joe Biden. I have a feeling she'll not want to participate in any "real" debates with a bunch of other folks, and therefore, while I don't make predictions, I'll predict she will not be running for President.)

In Memoriam: David Broder, WaPo's "Dean of the Washington Press Corps," died today at the age of 81. The death of the Washington Press Corp itself, however, has yet to be officially reported, even as its passing occurred quietly years ago without public notice.

Discuss.

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By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2011 4:53pm PT  

I suspect we could use some (hopefully) good news right about now. Here is a glimmer of some for a change...

CHICAGO - Illinois was poised to become the first state since 2009 to abolish the death penalty after the state Senate approved the ban on Tuesday and sent it to Democratic Governor Pat Quinn for his signature.
...
Illinois has not executed anyone for more than a decade after former Republican Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in January 2000 following a series of revelations that people had been sent to Death Row who were later found to be innocent.

"We've had 20 innocent people on Death Row," said Jeremy Schroeder, executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty. "It's time to be done with the moratorium and do the right thing."

"We have an historic opportunity ... to join the civilized world and end this practice of risking putting to death innocent people," [the bill's sponsor, State Sen. Kwame] Raoul said before the vote.
...
State Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg, a Democrat who supported the ban, said he believes Quinn will "likely sign" the ban.

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American Law Institute, 'only intellectually respectable support' for capital punishment system in U.S. abandons support for it...
By Brad Friedman on 1/6/2010 2:33pm PT  

A bit of good-ish, encouraging news from out of an otherwise horrible year, from this week's New York Times...

Last fall, the American Law Institute, which created the intellectual framework for the modern capital justice system almost 50 years ago, pronounced its project a failure and walked away from it.

There were other important death penalty developments last year: the number of death sentences continued to fall, Ohio switched to a single chemical for lethal injections and New Mexico repealed its death penalty entirely. But not one of them was as significant as the institute’s move, which represents a tectonic shift in legal theory.

“The A.L.I. is important on a lot of topics,” said Franklin E. Zimring, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “They were absolutely singular on this topic” — capital punishment — “because they were the only intellectually respectable support for the death penalty system in the United States.”
...
“It’s very bad news for the continued legitimacy of the death penalty,” Professor Zimring said.

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By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2009 6:55pm PT  

From AFP:

Washington sniper John Muhammad was executed on Tuesday by lethal injection over a series of 2002 shootings that left 10 people dead, a prison official said.

Well that'll certainly teach any future snipers from doing same. I guess Nidal Hasan and all the other mass shooters since 2002 didn't get the memo.

CNN has more.

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Press cites now-former green jobs advisor's past support of new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal as grounds for resignation...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/8/2009 10:25am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Separate articles appeared in Monday's New York Times and in the Washington Post. Both suggest that the resignation submitted by Van Jones, a special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council for Environmental Quality, were the result of inadequate White House "vetting." Neither newspaper examined the question as to whether the true problem was the inability to withstand a smear campaign led by extreme right-wing whack jobs like Glenn Beck; an inability reflected by the Times' description of a "terse" acceptance of the resignation, with White House spokesman Robert Gibbs taking pains to stress that President Barack Obama "did not endorse" Jones' views.

The three Jones sins were his having uttered an expletive in referring to Republicans, his having "signed a petition in 2004 questioning whether the Bush administration had allowed the terrorist attacks of September 2001 to provide a pretext for war in the Middle East," and his support for Mumia Abu-Jamal ("Mumia")...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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