Posts Tagged ‘Troy Davis’
Wall Street protests turn violent. More here. Occupy Wall Street rediscovers the radical imagination. (That’s from David Graeber in the Guardian). Scott Lemieux on perhaps the worst New York Times op-ed I’ve ever read (and that’s saying something). Women in Saudi Arabia to vote and run in elections. Suicides in Greece. Scientists Disarm HIV in Step Towards Vaccine. Google is throwing money at the right-wing. And just because it’s been too long since you had a good cry: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor, 1967-2000.”
At Thursday’s hearing, his lawyers presented a dossier of evidence attesting to his remorse and good behavior in jail, according to local media reports. The lawyers also said he was suffering from withdrawal symptoms from a cocaine addiction at the time of the crime.
This is, as Evan notes, “a case in which there was no doubt about the evidence and the man in question pleaded guilt.” Can you guess what accounts for the difference in treatment from Troy Davis?
* The absolute craziest thing I’ve ever seen: Berkeley Researchers Turn Brain Waves Into YouTube Videos.
* Paul Campos: “The law’s absurd formalism was part of its strength as ideology.” Precisely. This insight applies to many more aspects of the legal system than the revolting spectacle of our contemporary system of capital punishment, which in a case such as Davis’s — which is not in this respect was not unusual — psychologically tortures the defendant, the defendant’s family, the victim’s family, and others connected to the case for literally decades before producing what the system then has the temerity to call “justice.” (The climax of this spectacle last night involved Davis being strapped to a gurney with a needle in his arm for nearly four hours, waiting for various legal personages to respond to the question of whether, all things considered, it was finally time to stop his heart with state-administered poison).
That we tolerate this kind of thing so readily helps explain, in its own way, why it sometimes seems impossible to do much of anything about the absurdities and dysfunctions of the system of legal education that legitimates it in the first instance. Or perhaps it’s the other way around: perhaps we tolerate the absurdity of something like the 22-year “process” that resulted in the horror of Davis’s final hours because we ‘re socialized from the beginning of our careers in this system to accept all kinds of absurdity and injustice as natural, inevitable, and therefore legitimate.
Reading this I was reminded of Duncan Kennedy’s excellent article “Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy,” which Corinne linked the other day on Twitter.
* Ground Zero Mosque opens without controversy. It’s almost as if the objections to this were complete bullshit.
* I’m steadfastly not paying attention to the GOP primary, but this is pretty astounding, even by Republican standards.
* How long—how long must we sing this song? Forty years, give or take.
* Speaking at a Climate Week NYC event hosted by the Maldives, the TckTckTck campaign, and the U.N., Greenpeace International President Kumi Naidoo argued that the path to a sustainable future will involve peaceful, popular civil disobedience. “The struggle for climate justice is not a popularity contest,” he argued. He said the lesson of the Arab Spring, and the history of struggles from suffrage to civil rights to the end of apartheid, is that change only comes when decent men and women are willing to risk their lives and go to jail in peaceful protest.
* And Chris Ware on your iPad. Have a good weekend.
The Supreme Court has denied a stay of execution to Troy Davis. He is being executed by the state of Georgia as I type this.
‘This Is a Time and Place When the Carrying Out of Official “Justice” Is Barbaric, and That Only by Defying It Can One Claim Civility’
So why is Davis likely to be executed tonight? The answer is a combination of institutional stubbornness and structural racism. The State of Georgia has been insisting for so long that Troy Davis is the murderer that to backtrack after 20 years would throw public credibility out the window, not just in regards to this specific case but also in regard’s to the state’s criminal justice system as a whole. So they would rather dig in their heels, stick to their story, and let an innocent man die.
Some state representatives have recently called upon the prison staff that is tasked with executing Troy Davis to go on strike. It is the hope of every decent person that they do so. This is a time and place when the carrying out of official ‘justice’ is barbaric, and that only by defying it can one claim civility.
In These Times on the execution of Troy Davis. Via Facebook.
* Troy Davis’s former warden has signed a letter asking corrections officers not to participate in his execution. Twitter has confirmed for me that Obama cannot intervene—not that I believe he would—which makes the situation look pretty hopeless. (UPDATE: Still getting conflicting information on this; apparently DoJ could intervene on a civil rights basis.) UPDATE: The Georgia Supreme Court has just rejected Davis’s request for a stay.
* Noam Chomsky: The Responsibility of Intellectuals, Redux.
* The headline reads, “How the US Planned to Destroy Britain Just a Few Years Before World War II.” Via Bitter Laughter.
* Making the worst day of someone’s life just a little worse: Miscarriage No Longer Considered “Emergency” For Medicaid Patients In Washington State. If you plan to miscarry, please, make an appointment.
* A news story scientifically calibrated to give you the most mixed feelings possible: Highland Park, Il.-based nonprofit software testing company Aspiritech is pioneering a new business model in the United States that champions the unique concentration and detail-oriented strengths of its 15 employees, all of whom have been diagnosed with disorders on the autism spectrum.
* Apocalypse 2012: Just shy of a majority of registered voters, 49 percent, say they definitely plan to vote against Barack Obama in 2012, but just 36 percent say they definitely plan to vote for him, according to a newMcClatchy-Marist poll.
* House and Senate GOP leadership are taking fire from all sides for publicly pressuring Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke not to further loosen monetary policy, even if he thinks it will help the economy.
* And some good news for a change: our energy problems are over forever. We’re saved!
“This system could produce hydrogen anyplace that there is wastewater near sea water,” said Bruce E. Logan, Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering. “It uses no grid electricity and is completely carbon neutral. It is an inexhaustible source of energy.”
* With Troy Davis denied clemency despite ample doubt about his guilt, it’s worth remembering that according to Antonin Scalia even “actual innocence” isn’t sufficient to keep the state from executing you.
* “Producers said ‘It’s a nice project, a great project… where are the white heroes?'” he told the press during a stay in Paris this month for a seminar on film. Danny Glover is having trouble getting funding for a film on Haitian revolutionary hero Toussaint-Louverture.
* If global warming continues as expected, it is estimated that almost a third of all flora and fauna species worldwide could become extinct. Scientists … discovered that the proportion of actual biodiversity loss should quite clearly be revised upwards: by 2080, more than 80% of genetic diversity within species may disappear in certain groups of organisms, according to researchers in the title story of the journal Nature Climate Change. The study is the first world-wide to quantify the loss of biological diversity on the basis of genetic diversity.
* And then there’s Germany: A mysterious “forest boy” presented himself at Berlin City Hall two weeks ago. The first words he spoke were English: “I’m alone in the world. I don’t know who I am. Please help me.” He believed to be 17, and to have spent the last five years sleeping on the ground in a forest. His identity is a mystery.
Debate Day 3. So what are people talking about?
* The head of John McCain’s transition team lobbied for Saddam Hussein. Really. Really.
* The Supreme Court has refused to hear the case of Troy Davis, set to be executed in Georgia in the absence of forensic evidence (no weapon, fingerprints, or DNA) and solely on the word of nine witnesses, seven of whom have since recanted their testimony and another of whom is the other primary suspect in the case. More at MeFi.
* Rats-leaving-a-sinking-ship Watch: Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for Bush-Cheney ’04, walks away from Team Maverick™.
“They didn’t let John McCain pick the person he wanted to pick as VP,” Dowd declared during the Time Warner Summit panel. “When Sarah Palin got picked instead of Joe Lieberman, which I fundamentally believed would have given John McCain the best opportunity in this race… as soon as he picked Palin, that whole ready versus not ready argument was not credible.”
Saying that Palin was a “net negative” on the ticket, he went on: “[McCain] knows, in his gut, that he put somebody unqualified on the ballot. He knows that in his gut, and when this race is over that is something he will have to live with… He put somebody unqualified on that ballot and he put the country at risk, he knows that.”
* The Oliver Stone W film comes out this weekend. Here’s an interview from the Times, where Stone doesn’t hold back.
Stone has said repeatedly that if Bush had fought on the ground in Vietnam he would never have gone to war against Iraq (he also maintains that if Bush had been president during the Cuban missile crisis, “we would have been in a nuclear war. Definitely. Wiped out. We wouldn’t be here talking.”). So I ask him what he makes of John McCain. After all, the Republican presidential candidate was both a supporter of ousting Saddam and a long-time resident of Vietnam’s “Hanoi Hilton” POW camp.
“I think McCain’s a very special story because he was never a soldier,” Stone says coldly. “He’s said he never saw the results of his own bombing. I saw the damage we did, I saw the corpses, the decay, I smelt the flesh, I saw people who’d been napalmed, people who’d been killed by shrapnel, mutilated. I saw horrible things. McCain was a prisoner and he has a siege mentality. He doesn’t see a balanced portrait of cause and effect – there’s something missing in the man, mentally.”
* Biden says we’ll win West Virginia. And he has a little bit of fun with it.
According to NBC’s Mike Memoli, Biden asked the crowd in St. Clairsville, Ohio, “Which way is West-By-God-Virginia?” He then said, “I want to send a message to West Virginia — we’re going to win in West Virginia! … We’re going to shock the living devil out of y’all!”
Obama 53 (48)
McCain 39 (45)
* They’re still yelling out awful things at McCain/Palin rallies.
* And the Paradise Up North continues to hang with a bad crowd.