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socialaction2014
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.
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Land of the Free | The Best Investigative Reporting on U.S. Prisons

Land of the Free | The Best Investigative Reporting on U.S. Prisons | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it
Land of the Free: the Best Investigative Reporting on U.S. Prisons
by Cora Currier ProPublica

The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. We've rounded up some of the best investigative journalism on U.S.
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Mark Duggan Investigation: IPCC refuses to provide witness statements (BBC1 London coverage)

This piece first broadcast on 28 Jun 2012. Televised on UK's regional television BBC1 London. Programme (Program) -- London News.
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Reprieve—UK doctors vote to end the use of medicines in executions

Reprieve—UK doctors vote to end the use of medicines in executions | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it
The British Medical Association’s annual meeting today called for an end to the use of medicines in executions, and controls on the distribution and export of drugs used for this purpose.
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Reprieve—Listen to Linda Carty on BBC Radio 5 Live

Reprieve—Listen to Linda Carty on BBC Radio 5 Live | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it
Linda Carty - the only British woman on US death row - talks to BBC Radio 5 Live about life in prison and her fight to prove her innocence.
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‘Not really a police issue’: Police ignored five 999 calls about psychotic man

‘Not really a police issue’: Police ignored five 999 calls about psychotic man | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it
Emergency calls where a hostel manager desperately tried to warn police about the condition of a seriously disturbed man were played to a court room today.Posted via 4WardEver UK...
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Kym Worth holds press conference on Bashara

Kym Worth holds press conference on Bashara...
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Justice for James Earl Rivera Jr.

Justice for James Earl Rivera Jr. | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it
For almost 2 years the parents of James Earl Rivera Jr. have been asking why 2 Stockton Police officers 1 county sheriff opened fire with...

http://www.change.org/petitions/justice-for-james-earl-rivera-jr#

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School Punishment Can Impact More Than Ticketed Students

The Criminal and Education Codes in the State of Texas allow students to be given Class-C Misdemeanor Citations for a variety of behavioral infractions as we...
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NYC, Weds., 6/27: Soffiyah Elijah added to speakers at Marilyn Buck poetry book release party

NYC, Weds., 6/27: Soffiyah Elijah added to speakers at Marilyn Buck poetry book release party | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it

Book Release Celebration for Inside/Out: Selected Poems by Marilyn Buck - Speakers now include Soffiyah Elijah

Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Bluestockings Independent bookstore,

172 Allen St, Manhattan (for directions: http:bluestockings.comdirections)

And a message from political prisoner Sekou Odinga; Presenters include Asha Bandele, Dequi Kioni-Sadiki, Soffiyah Elijah, Ona Mirkinson; message from political prisoner Sekou Odinga; MCs, Susan Rosenberg & Laura Whitehorn

We Celebrate Marilyn Buck's life and work with a reading of InsideOut, a new selection of her finest poetry. InsideOut is a living testament to the fierce intelligence and compassion that inspired and informed her life.
Marilyn Buck was a feminist, an artist, and a revolutionary. She served over 30 years in US prisons for her militant commitment to the liberation of all oppressed and exploited people and for her active opposition to racism, state repression and US imperialism. She was convicted of charges including the liberation of Assata Shakur.
Marilyn was a prolific writer and poet who published work in a prize-winning chapbook, an audio CD, and in various journals and anthologies. She received a PEN American Center prize for poetry in 2001. Her poems appeared in Hauling Up the Morning, Wall Tappings, Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth, Seeds of Fire, and in her chapbook, Rescue the Word. Her translations and introduction to Cristina Peri Rossi's poetry appeared in State of Exile, Number 58 in the City Lights Pocket Poets Series. Marilyn was released from prison on July 15, 2010, 20 days before her death at the age of 62. For more: www.marilynbuck.com/about.html

IN HONOR OF MARILYN: BRING A BOOK FOR A PRISONER

Recognizing Marilyn’s long commitment to educating herself and other women in prison (she spent many of her long hours behind bars tutoring, teaching, talking), we ask you to bring with you one or two paperback books to donate to Books Through Bars (http://booksthroughbarsnyc.org/). Especially needed: Dictionaries—both English and Spanish; Black and Latino/a (especially Chicano/a) histories. But if you don’t have those, bring another book or two to send in to one of our many sisters and brothers behind bars (for other suggestions, see http://booksthroughbarsnyc.org/donate/). Representatives of Books Through Bars will be at the event to tell you more about their important work.

--
SIGN THE JERICHO COINTELPRO PETITION!

Free All Political Prisoners!
 www.jerichony.org

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Undocumented Youth: Court Decision a Good Step

Victor Palafox is an undocumented 20-year-old from Alabama who was brought to the U.S. from Mexico by his parents. He says the Supreme Court decision on an A...
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Jimmy Wales launches campaign to stop O'Dwyer's extradition

Jimmy Wales launches campaign to stop O'Dwyer's extradition | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it
The Wikipedia founder calls the 24-year-old U.K. student the 'human face' of the global battle over antipiracy efforts. Read this blog post by Steven Musil on Internet & Media.
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what you can do

what you can do | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it
I am still reeling from the implications of yesterday’s verdict. Yesterday James was despondent. He tried to hurt himself last night and is now under suicide watch. “My life is over,” he said...
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Habib 2012 June vigil

Father's day/4th Anniversary Vigil 17.6.12...
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Mexcians blame state neglect for drug violence

More than 50,000 people have been killed after years of drug-related violence in Mexico, causing much despair to communities across the country. As the gover...
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Conversations with Cheryl : Monte Smith & Gabe Rosales

Conversations with Cheryl : Monte Smith & Gabe Rosales | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it
Were checking the pulse of "Consciousness" this week as we welcome two phenomenal Activist for Social Justice.
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Linda Carty

Linda Carty | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it

Date of Birth: 5 October 1958
Nationality: British
Arrested: May 2001, Texas, USA
Sentenced to death: February 2002
Legal status: Appeal refused by the Supreme Court, Washington DC. Seeking clemency from the Governor of Texas.
Currently held: Mountain View Unit, Texas

 

After a catastrophically flawed trial, British grandmother Linda Carty was sentenced to death in February 2002 by a Texan court and is now, after being denied review by the US Supreme Court in June 2010, dangerously close to execution.

It will now be very difficult for Linda to prevail in any court, and clemency – through the Pardons Board and the Governor of Texas – is the only other option.

Linda Carty was convicted and sentenced to die by lethal injection for the 2001 murder of Joana Rodriguez. On 16 May 2001, three men broke into the apartment of Rodriguez and her partner Raymundo Cabrera, demanding drugs and cash. They abducted Rodriguez and her four-day-old son, Ray, who was later found unharmed in a car, while Rodriguez had suffocated. The perpetrators struck a deal with the prosecution to save their own lives by trying to shift the blame onto Linda.

Linda was forced to accept a local court-appointed lawyer, Jerry Guerinot, whose incompetence has already led to 20 of his clients ending up on death row, more than any other defence lawyer in the US. Guerinot's catalogue of serious failings in Linda's case includes:


• Failure to spot obvious flaws and inconsistencies in the prosecution case;
• Failure to spend more than 15 minutes with Linda before the trial;
• Failure to investigate key mitigating evidence;
• Failure to inform Linda, a British citizen, of her right to consular assistance; and
• Failure to inform Linda’s husband of his right not to testify against his wife;

Based on the testimony of their informants, the prosecution’s theory was that Linda was afraid of losing her husband and thought that if she had another baby he would stay. They allege she was unable to get pregnant, and had hired three men to kidnap Rodriguez and that she planned to “cut the child out” of the pregnant mother - a baby of a different race to Linda.

The utter implausibility of this theory should have been obvious: Joana Rodriguez had already given birth to the child, as Linda clearly knew, being her neighbour. Since the baby would be a difference race to Linda, she could not possibly pass it off as her own. When the prosecution produced “the scissors” that Linda was supposedly going to use to cut the child out, Guerinot failed to point out that they were bandage scissors, with a rounded end, obviously useless for any such purpose.

Despite the fact that Linda’s life was at stake, an investigator from Guerinot’s office spoke to Linda for the first time, just briefly, only a couple of weeks before her trial. Guerinot himself met with Linda for only 15 minutes before trial. According to Guerinot he tried to talk to Linda but she refused until bribed with a bar of chocolate. As with so many matters, Guerinot could not even make up a story effectively – Linda is allergic to chocolate.

Linda was born on 5 October 1958 on the Caribbean island of St Kitts to Anguillan parents and holds UK dependant nationality. She worked as a primary school teacher in St Kitts until she was 23 years old. Guerinot was awarded funds by the court to carry out investigation there but he never bothered to go. After Linda’s conviction, investigators from Reprieve visited St Kitts and learnt that she was still remembered as a passionate teacher who frequently held extra classes for children with special needs. She also taught at Sunday school, sang in a national youth choir and led a volunteer social-work group. The Prime Minister of St Kitts would have appeared as a character witness on her behalf, if only Guerinot had bothered.

Linda had a daughter Jovelle, then two (born 10 September 1979). Jovelle’s father emigrated to New York, leaving Linda as a single mother. In 1982, Linda emigrated to the US, seeking her American dream, but far too soon it began to unravel into a nightmare. Circumstances forced Linda to give up her higher education, and in 1983, her cousin and dearest friend Harriet died suddenly.

During the 80s, Linda worked as a hair stylist, and the chatter of women associated with local drug dealing led Linda to work as a confidential informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Linda has always
asserted her innocence of the murder charges, and believes that she was framed because of her work with the DEA.

In 1988 Linda was raped in a University of Houston car park. The rape resulted in a pregnancy and Linda gave up the baby girl (born 23 June 1989) for adoption. Two months prior to giving birth, Linda’s beloved father died, Linda was distraught. Linda felt a deep sense of shame at her rape, and concealed the pregnancy from her family. Later, she found herself in an abusive relationship and was a victim of domestic violence.

Under the Vienna Convention on the Right to Consular Assistance and a bilateral treaty between the UK and the US the US has undertaken an obligation to the UK to notify British consular officials whenever a British national is detained and notify the national of their right to consular assistance. The British consulate was not informed that Linda had been arrested and was being charged with capital murder; neither was Linda informed of this right to consular assistance. Guerinot clearly knew that Linda was not from the US but failed to do anything about it. The British government has filed friend of the court briefs before the US Court arguing that had they been notified of Linda’s arrest they would have assisted in obtaining meaningful and effective legal representation by consulting Reprieve at an early stage (i.e., Guerinot would never have been the lawyer), and attempted to persuade prosecutors not to seek the death penalty.

Indeed at the time of Linda’s arrest the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was already working closely with Reprieve. After Linda’s conviction Reprieve has gathered significant evidence in Linda’s case and Reprieve believes that had this evidence been presented at trial she would neither have been convicted of capital murder, nor been sentenced to death.

Guerinot never spoke to Linda’s common-law husband, Jose Corona. Corona was called as a witness by the Prosecution. It was never explained to him that there is a marital privilege and under that privilege he had the right to refuse to testify. Had Guerinot informed him, Corona would never have testified. The prosecution tried to make much of some very unreliable gossip about Linda, and he did not want to help them secure this unfair conviction.

Linda is one of 10 women on death row in Texas. She is incarcerated at Mountain View Unit. The last woman to be executed in Texas was Frances Newton (14 September 2005). The last British woman to be executed was Ruth Ellis who was hanged at Holloway Prison on 13 July 1955. Since executions were resumed in the US in 1977 after a 5 year moratorium, 11 women have been executed, 3 of them in Texas.

Capital punishment in Texas has come under scrutiny since it emerged that a man who was almost certainly innocent was executed in 2004. Cameron Todd Willingham was executed for the murder by arson of his three young children but it has since been established that the forensic evidence of arson presented at trial had no scientific basis and should not have led to Willingham’s conviction. As is sadly common, Willingham’s lawyers did no independent investigation into how the fire started.

Write a letter of support to Linda at: Linda Carty, # 999406, Mountainview Unit, 2305 Ransom Rd, Gatesville, Texas 76528, USA. Letters must include a return address.  If you would like to send Linda a book, you order the book(s) from Amazon and have them sent to the above address.  Any media sent from a personal address will not be accepted.

HELP US HELP LINDA by SIGNING THE PETITION at our Save Linda Carty page, on Facebook or by contributing to our urgent appeal for Linda Carty.

Reprieve
PO Box 52742
London EC4P 4WS
Tel: 020 7353 4640
Fax: 020 7353 4641
Email: info@reprieve.org.uk
Website: www.reprieve.org.uk
Reprieve is a charitable company limited by guarantee; Registered Charity No. 1114900; Registered Company No. 5777831 (England) Registered Office 2-6 Cannon Street London EC4M 6YH; Patrons: Alan Bennett, Julie Christie, Martha Lane Fox, Gordon Roddick, Jon Snow, Marina Warner

→ Linda Carty's case history

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Lawsuit Challenges Conditions at ADX Federal Supermax

 

by Shae Cali
http://solitarywatch.com/2012/06/25/adx-federal-lawsuit/

On Monday, June 18th, a class action lawsuit, Bacote v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, was filed against the Federal Bureau of Prisons on behalf of five plaintiffs, all of them inmates at the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum--commonly known as ADX--in Florence, Colorado. A must-read three-part series of articles by Andrew Cohen, published this week by The Atlantic, covers details of the lawsuit and the treatment of prisoners with mental illness living inside the facility.

In the first two articles in the series, Cohen excellently summarizes the lawsuit as well as emphasizing the horrific conditions in which mentally ill inmates at ADX languish. The lawsuit maintains that the five plaintiffs, along with six other "interested individuals" housed in ADX, all have mental illness or mental retardation, and have been denied adequate treatment. The details regarding their treatment, or lack thereof, are shocking, and outlined in graphic detail. Tragically, the gruesome descriptions may have a familiar ring for those versed in the treatment of mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement in supermax prisons and special housing units across the country.

Cohen quotes from the lawsuit: "Prisoners interminably wail, scream and bang on the walls of their cells. Some mutilate their bodies with razors, shards of glass, writing utensils and whatever other objects they can obtain. Some swallow razor blades, nail clippers, parts of radios and televisions, broken glass and other dangerous objects."

Another section of the lawsuit states that "in 2010, a severely and chronically depressed prisoner who had attempted to kill himself a few months earlier was escorted to the ADX [Special Housing Unit] after throwing milk at a corrections officer. He was placed in a cell just vacated by another chronically ill prisoner who had smeared the cell's floors, walls, bed and mattress with feces. The prisoner was given no cleaning supplies, and was not issued a blanket, towel or sheet. He used a roll of toilet paper in the cell to try to wipe the feces off of a spot on the floor that was large enough to enable him to lie down. For two days, he remained lying on that single 'clean' space."

ADX, known as "Alcatraz of the Rockies," is the nation's most secure supermax prison, and its 490 residents live in extreme isolation. It is supposedly intended to hold the "worst of the worst," and is never supposed to house the seriously mentally ill, according to Bureau of Prisons policy. However, individuals with mental illness often end up there or, argues the lawsuit, become mentally ill during their confinement at ADX, largely due to the isolation and deprivation suffered there.

The third article in the series focuses on the lawsuit and The Eighth Amendment. The lawsuit does not seek monetary damages for the plaintiffs; rather, it calls for an injunction to improve the treatment of inmates with mental illness in federal facilities. Cohen highlights one of the most salient problems with the United States prison system: the profound lack of accountability or oversight. While the Federal Bureau of Prisons website states that it "protects society by confining offenders in the controlled environments of prisons and community-based facilities that are safe, humane, cost-efficient, and appropriately secure, and that provide work and other self-improvement opportunities to assist offenders in becoming law-abiding citizens," the rapidly increasing public concern over abuses inside federal facilities reflects the abject failure of the BOP to uphold its commitment.

The lawsuit was filed during the same week as the Congressional hearing on solitary confinement, and directly contradicts some of the testimony provided by BOP head Charles Samuels. Solitary confinement is being examined with unprecedented scrutiny on a federal level, and, as Cohen notes, this particular lawsuit was filed by attorneys and organizations who have experience and expertise in prison reform litigation, including the DC Prisoners' Project of the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and the law firm of Arnold & Porter. Solitary Watch will continue to report on emerging developments.

Freedom Archives

www.Freedomarchives.org

--
SIGN THE JERICHO COINTELPRO PETITION!

Free All Political Prisoners!
 www.jerichony.org

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Four witnesses in Trayvon murder case change their stories

Four witnesses in Trayvon murder case change their stories | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it
Evidence released last week in the second-degree murder case against George Zimmerman shows four key witnesses made major changes in what they say they saw and heard on the rainy February night when he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
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British man appeals conviction over Twitter joke

A British man is appealing his conviction over a joke posted on Twitter for the third time. Paul Chambers tweeted he would blow up a local airport - closed b...
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Justice Upheld: Mr Surjit Singh (aka "Makhan" Singh)

Justice Upheld: Mr Surjit Singh (aka "Makhan" Singh) | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it
Justice Upheld: Mr Surjit Singh (aka "Makhan" Singh) an Indian National aged 76 Unlawfully Detained. justiceupheld.blogspot.com
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Join the Rally 3 July to Free Mumia & End the New Jim Crow System!

Join the Rally 3 July to Free Mumia & End the New Jim Crow System! | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it

What Does the Fourth of July REALLY Mean to the 99%?

NOTHING if you are among those who have been brutalized by a racist police force whose job is to protect the fortunes of the 1%

NOTHING if you are among those who have been unjustly incarcerated to protect the system controlled by the 1%

NOTHING if you are among those who have lost their jobs, homes, healthcare, and who have been relegated to third-rate education because the 1% doesn't need you

NOTHING if you are among the scores of political prisoners held in U.S. jails for exposing and fighting against the crimes of the 1%

Twenty-nine years ago, on July 3, 1982, Mumia Abu-Jamal became one of those political prisoners after being sentenced to death in a farce of a trial conducted by agents of the 1%

Last December, after a long struggle, we of the 99% won a major victory when the state gave up trying to murder Mumia.

Nevertheless, although innocent, he is still not free, and is still threatened by racist and fascist prison guards and their jailhouse collaborators.

NOW IS THE TIME TO COME TOGETHER, BUILD ON THAT VICTORY AND PICK UP THE WORK TO FREE MUMIA AND ALL THE OTHER POLITICAL PRISONERS, END THE DEATH PENALTY, AND DISMANTLE THE SYSTEM OF MASS INCARCERATION ("THE NEW JIM CROW")

WHEN: TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2012, 12:00 – 6:00 PM

WHERE: 5th AND MARKET ST., IN FRONT OF THE VISITOR CENTER

For transportation leaving New York, please call the Free Mumia Coalition Hotline,

212 330-8029. Leave a message with your name, phone, and the best time to reach you.

 

--Mumia is Innocent! Stop the Frame Up! Free Mumia!--

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, NYC
 www.FreeMumia.com,

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2 Police Officers Suspected in Mexico Shooting

Mexican authorities are searching for two police officers, suspected of killing three officers at Mexico City Airport. It's believed the two suspects were wo...
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Julian Assange: Revolutionizing whistleblowing?

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has spent his sixth night at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The whistleblower is still in asylum limbo as the Ecuadorian ...
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New law will make sex offenders list their conviction statuses on Facebook, Twitter

New law will make sex offenders list their conviction statuses on Facebook, Twitter | socialaction2014 | Scoop.it
Sex crimes may soon be a lot harder to keep secret for social network users in Louisiana.
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Mexico admits mistake in high-profile drug case

Mexico has admitted it had mistakenly claimed to have captured a son of Mexico's most wanted drug lord, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, which the ruling party had h...
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