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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, August 28, 2015
'A Crazy Man Got a Gun': 'BradCast' 8/27/15
Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke, horrifying U.S. gun death toll; PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism; Good news for Dems; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
'Green News Report' 8/27/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
10th anniv. of Hurricane Katrina; NASA warns 3 ft. of sea level rise now locked in; Obama heads to the Arctic; PLUS: Switch to clean energy will cost less than fossil fuel, says Citigroup
Previous GNRs: 8/25/15 - 8/20/15 - Archives...
Let's Go to the Phones: 'BradCast' 8/26/15
Covering a lot of ground with listener callers -- from the on-air shootings in Roanoke, VA to why Democrats shouldn't be so gleeful about Donald Trump -- and much more...
Carly's Climate Clap-Trap or The Fiorina Follies:
'BradCast' 8/25/15
Journalist David Roberts on the 'moderate', 'reasonable' GOP candidate's ridiculous climate comments and Citigroup's global warming report. Plus: Beck, Trump and Sanders...
'Green News Report' 8/25/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
July 2015 hottest month ever recorded; Record wildfires get worse; Mysterious whale deaths in WA; Oil hit hard by China crash; PLUS: Obama calls out anti-free market ideology...
Previous GNRs: 8/20/15 - 8/18/15 - Archives...
TX Photo ID Law Found Illegal, Yet Still Suppressing Voters: 'BradCast' 8/24/15
Guests: Attorney Ernest A. Canning on TX' discriminatory law; Financial journalist David Dayen on Dow 'crash'...
Sunday Toons, Untrustworthy Edition
Hillary's email; Ashley Madison's mess; Subway's Jared; Schumer's shame; Amazon agonistes; Trump's tyranny and more...
E-Cigs Are Good For You; GOP is Not: 'BradCast' 8/21/15
Also: Bernie Sanders & ignoring corporate media are good for you too...
5th Circuit Photo ID Ruling Could Leave Thousands Without Right to Vote in TX
'Good news' decision could leave 600k lawfully registered voters disenfranchised in 2016...
'No Good Evidence' Russia Behind MH17 Shootdown in Ukraine, Says Longtime CIA Analyst: 'BradCast' 8/20/15
Exclusive interview with 27-year, top CIA vet turned peace activist Ray McGovern...
'Green News Report' 8/20/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Fox 'News' now 'cares' about environment; Hillary opposes Arctic drilling; EPA rules to cut methane; Islamic leaders call for climate action; PLUS: River toxins create intersex fish...
Previous GNRs: 8/18/15 - 8/13/15 - Archives...
Did KXL Judges Profit Off Ruling?: 'BradCast' 8/19/15
Investigative journalist Steve Horn on two judges who allowed the disturbing precedent that led to the completion and opening of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline...
AT&T/NSA Whistleblower Mark Klein on New AT&T/NSA Docs: 'BradCast' 8/18/15
'They approached the phone companies before 9/11,' he says, citing new Snowden disclosures that 'vindicate' his own 2006 revelations...
'Green News Report' 8/18/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Shell gets Obama go-ahead to drill Arctic, Obama to visit to Arctic; July 2015 hottest on record; 'Monster' El Nino brewing; PLUS: Oregon kids sue govt over global warming...
Previous GNRs: 8/13/15 - 8/11/15 - Archives...
Demise of the Death Penalty and Rise of The Donald's GOP; 'BradCast' 8/17/15
With Diann Rust-Tierney of the National Coaltion to Abolish the Death Penalty; Plus: 'Godzilla El Nino!' & more!...
Sunday Toons: Money Changes Everything
Another great collection this week from 'PDiddie'! On money in politics, poison in the river, Rick Perry in trouble and much more...
Happy 80th Social Security! And What's China Up To?: BradCast 8/14/15
Guest host Nicole Sandler interviews Eric Kingson on Social Security and more and Dave Johnson on China's currency manipulation...
VERDICTS IN: On ME Guv; CO Cakes; CT Death Penalty, ID 'Ag-Gag' & TX Photo ID: 'BradCast' 8/13/2015
Analyzing several recent, important rulings along with BRAD BLOG's Ernest A. Canning...
'Green News Report' 8/13/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
More than half of US Forest Service budget now going to fight wildfires; Australia's climate targets denounced; New Zealand ditches coal; PLUS: Free solar for African schools...
Previous GNRs: 8/11/15 - 8/6/15 - Archives...
Walker, Bush Lies and Bernie's Rise: 'BradCast' 8/12/15
The Nation's John Nichols on new revelations of Scott Walker lying about a criminal investigation and on the Black Lives Matter movement and Sanders a better candidate; Plus: Big news for Bernie & more!
'The Kids Who Die'
The words of Langston Hughes, spoken in a new video, capture the essence of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Please take less than three minutes to watch...
'Feeling the Bern' in L.A.; Ferguson One Later: 'BradCast' 8/11/15
With Cassandra Fairbanks in Ferguson; Margot Paez at the L.A. Sanders rally, and Nicole Sandler's exclusive intvw w/ Bernie Sanders...
'Green News Report' 8/11/15
Toxic spill contaminates waterways in Southwest; Single mention of climate in Fox/GOP debates; Kasich backtracks on climate; PLUS: Shell breaks up with ALEC...
Last Week's Messes: 'BradCast' 8/10/15
Catching up on a lot that fell through the cracks during last week's busy news week. From Jon Stewart to new toxic spill in SW to sentencing verdict for Aurora shooter to GOP debate answers media aren't discussing & more...
Federal Court Nixes Idaho 'Ag-Gag' Law
Finds journalists and whistleblowers have Constitutional right to videotape abuses at private factory farms...
Sunday Toons: Debates, Deniers, and De-rest
The title of this week's collection of last week's best political toons, as curated by 'PDiddie', says it all...
'Crazy Train' - Dissecting the First GOP/Fox 'News' Debate(s): 'BradCast' 8/7/15
With award-winning blogger/journalists Heather 'Digby' Parton and Paul Rosenberg...
Voting Rights Act 50th Anniversary: Special 'BradCast' Coverage, 8/6/2015
Sam Walker of Selma's Nat'l Voting Rights Museum; Former DoJ atty Katherine Culliton-Gonzalez...
'Green News Report' 8/6/15
Opponents attack landmark emissions rule; Majority supports fight against global warming; First off-shore U.S. windfarm; PLUS: Repubs get a new 2016 contender...
Sanders' 'Militarism', Obama's 'Propaganda' & Big TX Voting News: 'BradCast' 8/5/2015
With peace activist, author David Swanson; Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser...
U.S. COURT OF APPEALS STRIKES DOWN TEXAS GOP'S PHOTO ID VOTING LAW
Huge opinion from conservative court on day before 50th anniv. of Voting Rights Act...
Cartoonist Rall Blasts Bizarre LAPD-Fueled Firing by LATimes: 'BradCast' 8/4/15
Award-winning journo tells Brad LAPD trying 'to send a message to other reporters' Also: D.R. Tucker on MSNBC firing of Ed Schultz...
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...


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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VIDEO UPDATE: U.S. Named One of 'Top Five' Executioners with China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia; Bush Kids Around With Pope: 'All human life is sacred'
By Brad Friedman on 4/16/2008 10:51pm PT  

Speaking of perverse discordance on the same day the Pope was serenaded with "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the White House (where Bush told him he gave an "awesome speech!"), the Supreme Court found that state-sponsored executions by lethal injection were just fine and dandy, as far as the U.S. Constitution was concerned.

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the most common method of lethal injection used to execute condemned prisoners is constitutional, a decision sure to restart the nation's dormant death chambers.
...
"Simply because an execution method may result in pain, either by accident or as an inescapable consequence of death, does not establish the sort of 'objectively intolerable risk of harm' that qualifies as cruel and unusual," wrote Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Roberts, of course, is Catholic. As are a total of 5 of the 9 justices now on the bench, 7 of whom gave the thumbs up to the continued use of a three-drug cocktail in order to kill citizens convicted of capital crimes. That, despite plaintiffs arguments that "if the first drug does not work, the second induces a 'terrifying, conscious paralysis' and the third causes an 'excruciating burning pain as it courses through the veins.'"

Of course, the Catholic Church strongly opposes all such state-sponsored executions. Yet all 5 of the Catholic justices joined the majority decision to end a temporary national moratorium on state-sponsored killing of criminals. All on the very same day the Pope came to D.C.

You'll forgive us then, if we see something --- yes --- perversely discordant in that. Again.


UPDATE 4/17/08: This morning, Democracy Now covered the Supremes' end to the de facto Death Penality Moratorium, noting that "the decision came one day after Amnesty International named the United States one of the top five executioners in the world, along with China, Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia."

Couldn't be prouder to be in such fine company. Good luck finding that AI stat --- reporting that of the 1200 people executed by governments last year, 88% of them occurred in those five countries alone --- in the American corporate media today.

No doubt, George W. Bush feels equally proud, even if we're not yet #1 in that area. And even though he said yesterday to the Pope, during the WH ceremony, as our own Alan Breslauer notes in the perversely discordant :38 second video at right: "In a world where some treat life as something to be debased and discarded, we need your message that all human life is sacred."

Bush was, of course, just kidding.

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After 17 Years on Death Row, Davis Will Have Opportunity To Present New Evidence
The 'Forgotten Victim' Speaks in a BRAD BLOG Exclusive...
By Emily Levy on 8/3/2007 1:32am PT  

Special to The BRAD BLOG by Emily Levy

"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.

On August 19, 1989, Larry Young, an African American man who was then homeless, was assaulted in a Burger King parking lot by two or three men. He was hit in the head by what is believed to be a gun. As Young described to The BRAD BLOG in a phone interview, he fell to the ground, bleeding. Someone held a gun to his head and tried to shoot him, but the gun didn't fire. Young's friend dragged him away from the assailants. Before they got far, they heard two gunshots. Police officer Mark Allen McPhail had been killed.

Young himself was detained that night, he told The BRAD BLOG. "The blood was just steady fallin', sort of fallin' … The police grabbed me, threw me on the car, handcuffed me and threw me in the police car. And I was back there for about a hour and a half, maybe about a hour and a half. And I kept telling 'em, you know, I needed some medical attention."

The police took him in for questioning, refusing him medical care until he signed a statement implicating Troy Davis, a man he says he never saw that night, in his attack and the killing of Officer McPhail.

Young told The BRAD BLOG, "So whatever statements that they made me take, I mean, it was just a lot of statements made like, 'Well, you give me a statement of what you need, what we need, and then you'll go to the hospital.' So therefore whatever the statements were that was given was not accurate statements. ... I'm concerned ... about my health, you know. And I'm hearing these clicks in my head still, you know what I'm saying, sitting up there, I'm pretty much kinda scared. So I just pretty much signed what they wanted me to sign and whatever went on the courtroom, you know, I mean it was all pretty much like coerced."

On evidence like this, the State of Georgia may send Troy Davis to his death?...

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

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Newest Lie in Effort to Tout 'Success' of 'Surge'
RELATED: 100 Civilians Hanged by Iraqi Government Since Re-Instating Death Penalty as American Values are on the March!
By Brad Friedman on 4/26/2007 4:03pm PT  

RAW STORY reports that for the first time, the Iraqi government has withheld data on civilian deaths from a UN Human Rights program which has been tracking such information. The UN is suggesting that it's been done at the behest of the Bush Administration hoping to sell the idea that the "surge" is working.

But what caught my eye was this part of RAW's report, referring to a McClatchy news service article out yesterday revealing that the Bush Administration is now excluding deaths from car bombs in their figures to tout a drop of violence in Iraq since the surge.

Yes, you read that correctly. More mind-blowing, however, was this response from Bush when asked about the issue yesterday on PBS' Charlie Rose:

"Car bombs and other explosive devices have killed thousands of Iraqis in the past three years, but the administration doesn't include them in the casualty counts it has been citing as evidence that the surge of additional U.S. forces is beginning to defuse tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims," wrote the news service's Nancy Youssef. "President Bush explained why in a television interview on Tuesday. 'If the standard of success is no car bombings or suicide bombings, we have just handed those who commit suicide bombings a huge victory,' he told TV interviewer Charlie Rose."

I've read those quotes now about six times, and still can't figure out what the hell he is saying. So I'll just say, I don't even know what to say.

In related news... The LA Times reported on Saturday that nearly 100 Iraqis have been hanged since the government re-instituted their death penalty. In one reported case, a trial for an Iraqi-born U.S. citizen accused of kidnapping three journalists lasted "about an hour," with no witnesses testifying, before the man was sentenced to hang.

Great news! George W. Bush's American Values are on the march around the world!

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By Brad Friedman on 1/2/2007 9:57pm PT  

New signs of intelligent life discovered in New Jersey. According to AP...

TRENTON --- New Jersey should abolish its death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, according to a special commission’s report sent Tuesday to Gov. Jon S. Corzine and legislators.

The report, obtained by The Associated Press, found no compelling evidence that New Jersey’s death penalty, which has not been used in more than four decades, serves any purpose. It also found the death penalty costs taxpayers more than paying for prisoners to serve life terms without parole.

“There is increasing evidence that the death penalty is inconsistent with evolving standards of decency,” the report states.
...
The findings, authored by a 13-member commission created in late 2005 by the Legislature, found abolishing the death penalty would eliminate the danger of executing an innocent person and the risk of the punishment being unfairly implemented.

“The alternative of life imprisonment in a maximum security institution without the possibility of parole would sufficiently ensure public safety and address other legitimate social and penological interests, including the interests of the families of murder victims,” the report found.
...
Celese Fitzgerald, director of New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, praised the findings.

“I’m pleased that the commission found what the evidence has stated for two decades,” she said, “that the death penalty is an outdated, risky, resource-straining hoax on victims’ families and should be abolished.”

And, oh yes, it's also immoral. For those who care about such things, in any case.

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