SocialAction2014 is important and plays a key role by equipping our communities with the knowledge of the mishaps and social injustices in the country (USA) and around the world. By providing this exclusive complimentary service to communities everywhere, our mission is to keep our people connected by encouraging the discussion of these topics.
The innocence bus tour was a vision of Johnnie Lee Savory as part of his, and many others, commitment and efforts to end the plague of wrongful convictions. Wrongful convictions have been experienced by many of our nation’s people without regard to race, age, or gender and is a result of a number of factors including false accusations, false confessions, eyewitness misidentification, ineffective assistance of counsel, and the most common cause, revealed in a recent study by the Better Government Association and the Center on Wrongful Convictions, alleged government error and misconduct by police, prosecutors, and forensic officials.
Innocent people the world over are being falsely accused, unjustly convicted, and sentenced to nightmarish imprisonment for crimes they did not commit. The cries of the innocent echo in the wind; no longer can we as a people turn a deaf ear we must not deny love, truth, or justice to one another. As the innocence bus tour journeys across America and to Canada let these two blessed and great nations serve as righteous examples to humanity
The innocent bus tour will highlight and profile cases of wrongful convictions while advocating for the innocent in the following ways: Recognizing the vital relationship between social support and reintegration, we will serve as a vehicle to connect the innocent with community resources; insisting that DNA testing is made available to persons who claim innocence, particularly, those facing lengthy sentences; demanding the innocent be set free, fully restored to his or her rightful citizenship, and given Immediate compensation for the wrongs that were committed against him or her. Additionally, we seek to end prosecutorial misconduct immunity and hold accountable our elected appointed officials who have sworn before God and man to protect the administration of justice by adhering to the spiritual word in which he or she places his or her hand, obeying the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Truth must go forward unhindered, human rights must be protected, and the captive must be set free.
The vision of the innocence bus tour is reunited communities and a healed nation where justice truly prevails and innocence is coveted.
Authorities in New Jersey have said they hope a historic warming of ties between the United States and Cuba will help them capture and imprison Black Panther Assata Shakur. "We view any changes in relations with Cuba as an opportunity to bring her back to the United States to finish her sentence for the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper in 1973," said State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes. The encounter left both the officer and a fellow Black Panther, Zayd Malik Shakur, dead. Shakur has said she was shot by police with both arms in the air, and then again from the back. She was sentenced to life in prison but managed to escape and flee to Cuba, where she has lived since 1984. What will happen to Shakur now? We put the question to two attorneys: Michael Ratner and Martin Garbus.
petition to Sheldon Silver, Speaker, New York State Assembly: Provide remedies for a form of workplace discrimination/bigotry not covered by state law and shore up anti-discrimination employment legislation already on the books.
In 1973, Shakur was arrested during a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. A shootout left Assata injured with multiple wounds, the driver, Zayd Shakur, dead, and a state trooper dead. In 1977, after numerous trials, she was convicted of first degree murder of the officer. And in 1979, Shakur escaped and fled to Cuba, where Fidel Castro granted her asylum. “ Assata was falsely charged on numerous occasions in the United States during the early 1970s and vilified by the media ,” said scholar and activist Angela Davis in a recent commentary in The Guardian. Davis added Shakur “was charged with armed robbery, bank robbery, kidnap, murder, and attempted murder of a policeman. Although she faced 10 separate legal proceedings, and had already been pronounced guilty by the media, all except one of these trials – the case resulting from her capture – concluded in acquittal, hung jury, or dismissal.” “Under highly questionable circumstances, she was finally convicted of being an accomplice to the murder of a New Jersey state trooper,” she added. According to the National Lawyers Guild, who represented Shakur in her final trial, the proceedings were plagued with constitutional violations, including an all-white jury of 15 people, including five jurors who had personal connections to state troopers. A state Assemblyman spoke to jurors while they were sequestered, urging them to convict. “The judge cut funding for additional expert defense testimony after medical testimony demonstrated that Ms. Shakur—who had no gunpowder residues on her fingers, and whose fingerprints were not found on any weapon at the crime scene—was shot with her hands up and suffered injury to a critical nerve in her right arm, making it anatomically impossible for her to fire a weapon,” the Guild said in a statement. Moreover, evidence proved Shakur was targeted and framed by the covert and illegal FBI COINTELPRO program. The baby of J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO was designed to monitor, infiltrate and destroy social justice movements seen as a threat to national security, including civil rights and antiwar groups, the Black Power movement and the Young Lords. Some of the stated goals of the program in an FBI memo were to “prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups,” to “Prevent the RISE OF A ‘MESSIAH’ who could unify…the militant black nationalist movement,” to “Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining RESPECTABILITY, by discrediting them to…both the responsible community and to liberals who have vestiges of sympathy…,” and to “prevent the long-range GROWTH of militant black organizations, especially among youth.” As a result, black leadership was decimated, either assassinated—as in the case of Dr. King, Malcolm X and Fred Hampton—or thrown in prison with the key thrown away. Assata Shakur, who fled to Cuba, was the last woman standing, so to speak. And apparently that is embarrassing to someone in the FBI, so they want to make an example of her as a so-called “domestic terrorist.” That is why last year, 40 years after the shooting, the FBI made the politically-motivated move of placing Shakur on their Ten Most Wanted Terrorists list, making her the first woman and second U.S. citizen on that list. If you listen to the FBI, you’d think the ten most dangerous people on Earth are essentially nine Al Qaeda operatives and—Assata Shakur. .. .as the U.S. removes Cuba from the terrorist list, it needs to remove Shakur from the list as well. Source: http://thegrio.com/2014/12/18/assata-shakur-us-cuba/
Among those who will be released in the spring are Barbara Scrivner, who has already spent 19 years in prison for a minor conspiracy and possession role in assisting her then-husband sell methamphetamine.
DPIC's 2014 Year-End Report. Death sentences were at a 40-year low and executions were at a 20-year low. Texas, Missouri, and Florida accounted for 80% of all the executions in the United States. There were 7 exonerations this year and it took an average of 30 years to discover their innocence.