• Domino

    and p.s.

    Happy Holidays to everyone :)

  • Domino

    hi all..
    sorry to be so late..

    the dp is such a disturbing deal…
    glad it is on the decline but man!  it so needs to be abolished yesterday

  • Anonymous

    Even my conservative Republican mother called me the day of Davis’ murder: “Did you see what’s about to happen?! I can’t believe they’re doing this!” I felt the impact all over from his murder.

    • good for her!

      Yes i think that sacrifice — and yes it was — will have a lasting impact indie

      • Anonymous

        It was weird for me because I’d not only been following it for so long but I’d had extensive arguments with her about how racism leads to these sorts of things. So when she called I was kind of like, you’re surprised? Really?

        I guess some people only notice what they have to.

        • sometimes yes

          Or it takes time to sink in

          I think a lot of people really thought GA wouldn’t do it

          My jaded self was sure they would :(

          • Anonymous

            I had kind of guessed it would happen. I admit the last minute hold put on it gave me a little hope, but even then we wee dealing with our Supreme Court.

          • Sigh the SCOTUS :(

            you know i try too hard not to think about Florida Bush v Gore and Ohio but yes that is where the action ultimately is

            How much coulda been different — even around Roberts and Alito —  no Citizens United etc etc

            The single best reason maybe for always voting Dem..

            And Always casting a suspicious eye on third party politics on a national level..

          • Anonymous

            one of my favorite handles “Its the Supreme Court Stupid”.

          • and it is The Damn Truth

          • Anonymous

            Anyone questioning whether to vote Dem or not should go read Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle District No. 1.

            It’s a case about whether to integrate schools, from 2007. Roberts wrote
            it, and he said that Brown v. Board of Education means that schools
            cannot be desegregated by race.

            (It sounds like I’m joking or exaggerating, but I promise I am not.)

            SERIOUSLY messed up decision that got a lot less press than it should have.

          • You’re right

            and it did receive much less press than deserved..

            i a bracing myself for a series of bad 5-4 decisions on Obama Care etc right before the election too


    • Anonymous

      hey, indie – good for even your conservative Republican mom.  I ache for Troy Davis – but he was prophetic before he died.  The struggle for justice continues.  Proud to be in the struggle with you.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah I think I got too close to that whole thing – I was so depressed about it.

        And speaking of being in the struggle, back on the day he was executed the ACLU posted a notice on their facebook page and website asking people in every state to contact them about getting involved in anti-DP stuff. I did, and heard nothing back at all.


        • try again indie and i will be back in a few with other resources for you

          • Anonymous

            Thanks! :)

        • see what is up with  Equal Justcice USA — you know Emma’s deal


          btw that was fun night out at NN11 indie :)

          • Anonymous

            I have been wanting to get in touch with Emma for a long time actually! I lost her contact info awhile back.

            And yeah, it was! :)

            I know a lot of people might not be going back, but I am. And I volunteered (in a diary Deoliver wrote) to try to make NN12 more like something people of color would want to attend.

          • i will send you Emma’s info — she is off for 3 months on maternity leave but i have other contacts there too

            wish NN12 were not in providence- that decreases the options re poc….

            there was a lot that could have been done in Mpls — and we proposed it all..

            Sigh –hope it is better nonetheless

    • Anonymous

      I was really fortunate that night to have the support of friends on a social networking platform.  We followed that evening together.  Unbelievable.   

      • Anonymous

        I was all by myself, and very depressed. I did watch a lot of the Democracy Now live coverage.

        • Anonymous

          I am so sorry to hear that, indie.  Such a hard thing to bear alone. 

          • Anonymous

            Definitely lost some sleep. But it made me more motivated to fight.

          • love you indie! love your spirit!

            So glad you are with us my friend

          • Anonymous

            Me too :)

            Hey can I plug the next thing I’m writing in a comment in here? :)

          • Yes! Please do!

          • Anonymous

            I don’t have a link to the actual piece yet, just a general link to my page on The Huffington Post, which is here:
            But probably tomorrow they are going to be posting a piece I wrote about the trial of the guy who killed Lawrence King. It’s a very nuanced take on the whole thing, and I discuss whether we should prop up our system of justice when it hurts the people it claims to protect, or if the correct approach is to abolish prisons and do something different.
            It was interesting to write and it’s also gonna be fun – might see some heads explode.

          • link us when  it is up indie — look forward to it

        • i am sorry indie — too hard

          it was very sad

          there was every every every reason to commute but NO

          • Anonymous

            Most depressing is that until it’s ended by every state, even if we stop one here and there it won’t be enough.

            We do what we can though.

          • at some point the SCOTUS needs to declare it Cruel and Unusual

            which of course it has always been

        • Domino

          I was too   (((Indie)))

          hope you are doing well

  • Yasuragi

    You mean there’s actually good news? 

    This is so encouraging.  All the more reason to keep  fighting.

    I’ve never understood idea that we punish murder by committing murder.  How can a nation have any crediblity when it has laws against taking  life and yet deals with it by taking yet another?

    (Wow… that was redundant, eh?)  ;)

    Hi, guys –so  good to see you all.  Don’t know how long I can stay, as my keyboard requires that I type everything twice… otherwiseit looks like this all the time anditmakesmecrazy    .

    • Yes Actual Good News Yas!

      So good to see you too- thank so much for stopping..

      You have been missed!

      • Yasuragi

        as I’ve missed you guys.  :)

        • well now we’re back together :)


  • the GOP antics of late are stunning even to me  – yes they have got to go!

    And we are going tohave to GOTV like our lives depend on it in 2012 – because well they do

  • Beach babe in fl

    Good to be here tonight and to hear this good news.   I think would be even much better if we could get a good Democrat as Gov. of Texas.  RIP  Troy Davis

    • Anonymous

      sadly, just because a guv is a dem, doesn’t mean they will have reasonable views on justice and the DP.  Can even be a good dem.  

      Ann Richards was a good dem, and a good governor, but she pandered as much to the DP crowd as anyone.  Do y’all remember the Saturday Night Live episode where they took off the Democratic primary debate with her, Jim Mattox, and Mark White, all showing off their DP bona fides? 

      I think, on this issue, we have to be careful about partisanship – that is, we need to educate everyone . . . George Ryan was a Republican . . . it’s a process.   Raising awareness of these exonerations, as Kay mentioned, helps.

      It is good news, I believe in the end, we will get rid of this barbaric practice, and it is good to see you.

      • Anonymous

        true.  Even Dem office-holders  who don’t like the DP often won’t say so because it’ll be used to blast them.  I know this – I’ve talked to some of those office-holders – and so have many of us. 

      • yes — I think the issue of actual innocence has moved this debate farther and faster than any other issue

        And Troy Davis — well that case exposed  it all didn’t it??

        • Anonymous

          It sort of eclipses the moral question of how you treat prisoners, though.  I have mixed feelings about an emphasis on actual innocence, too.   There is a risk that it kind of marks the people who are not innocent, and turns the discussion into how do we ‘reform’ the judicial process so that we do not incarcerate the innocent.  

          But justice applies to the guilty too, there must be justice in the treatment of those who actually did the crime as well. It becomes too easy to gloss over the corruption involved in believing that you can do anything you want, treat a prisoner in inhumane ways, if they are guilty. 

          I heard a talk by a philosopher out of UT Austin – I wish I remember his name – and purchased his book.  His view is that you can judge a society by how it treats the weak . . . children and prisoners were the examples.  Prisoners are entirely at the mercy of those holding them.  We [as a society] need to examine the ethics of how we wield the power we are given over these men and women.

          • You  are right..

            The ethical argument is bottom – line

            And as you know for me — the most compelling  argument is the sociological one — roots in racism/connections to lynching and yes consistent class disparities inthe application..

            Fatally flawed from the start

          • Anonymous

            It’s like the bone song, the arm bone’s connected to the wrist bone, the wrist bones connected to the finger bone.  Every stone you turn, there is another compelling issue.  

      • beach babe in fl

        yes,  so true about Richards.   But I can’t see a progressive Dem.  going that route.   Good to see you too.

    • hey – was just thinking about you and the UN :)

      thanks for being here and yes to Texas — it is really stunning isn’t it how a handful of states do the bulk of the killing???

      Here is to better days

      • beach babe in fl

        Good to see you Nancy:),    sorry haven’t been around been crazy busy.    UN is Jan 24  and US congress Jan 25.   At this point I hope I have the energy to get it done.
        If you’re  in NYC or DC those days come join us!   I think the issue will get big play in Rio

        • i will be in NOLA again with a class or otherwise i would try to

          Let me know if you need anything at all before your trip

          btw my students in Environmental Justice ( they all voted!) were soooo excited you were the Judge’s Choice :)

          Congrats again — well-deserved

        • Anonymous

          congrats, beach babe.  Well done.

          (I’ll tell you another time what I think of their overall voting system!)

          • ha! you already know what i think :)

            Surely MIT can do better!!

          • beach babe in fl

            I agree,  really I think they use that system just to increase membership.   I hope they’ll reconsider voting methods in the future.

          • yes and i think they should not let the mod have proposals either

            made me squeamish from the start :(

  • There have been some significant developments — thanks for pointing this out Nancy.  The death penalty is barbaric, plain and simple. Those who support this uncivilized act of state violence need a serious education.  America cannot call itself a civilized nation until the death penalty is outlawed and abolished.

    • I truly believe the tide has turned here Seeta..

      Thank you — for CMP and all you do

    • Anonymous

      Agree, Seeta.  Bloodlust is not ever an indicator that a nation is just or “civilized.” 

  • Patriotdaily

    Excellent report. Let’s hope the GOP’s economic squeeze on everyone will backfire here in terms of their preferences, and actually keep causing other states to abolish death penalty. I’ll never forget a DP hearing i attended when i clerked for state supreme court. The prisoner was pleading for execution because life inside was no life. 

    • Amen Patriotdaily!

      this is chilling — ” The prisoner was pleading for execution because life inside was no life. ”

      we must do better

      great as always to see you here  — thank you !

    • Anonymous

      That DP hearing must have been agonizing, Patriotdaily.   

      Great to see you.

  • I am so grateful for the progress made towards abolition of the death penalty — always mixed feelings though about the movement’s framing as life in prison as the best and only option..

    It is not — the talk of abolition cannot be limited to the death penalty only;  it must involve the end to mass incarceration as a panacea, na dyes sadly a profiteering scheme..

    I hope for the day – and soon –  when we truly make progress on all abolitionist fronts and seek transformational alternatives to the criminal injustice complex and the pic…

    Best Holidays Wishes to you all  — and Thank You!

    • Anonymous

      always mixed feelings though about the movement’s framing as life in prison as the best and only option..”  

      Me too, Nancy. 

      I think raising understanding about restorative justice is an incremental process . . . only life gives us the time required to do the education.  

      I am involved with the TX Coalition to Abolish the DP, and one of our main people makes the point that he doesn’t care for LWOP [life without parole], because it doesn’t allow for the possibility of redemption.  However, LWOP was a huge improvement here, because juries really do choose life over death when they are given the sentencing option [and the sentencing option of “Life in Prison” didn’t go over as the juries had the view that the person could be paroled while still dangerous]. 

      The struggle is long term.

      Take courage, friends. The way is often hard, the path is never clear, and the stakes are very high.Take courage.For deep down under, there is another truth:You are not alone.- Wayne B. Arnason

      • So true sberel — yes educating against the mis-information and public fears is a long haul..

        and Great quote — thank you!

        and great to see you

      • Anonymous

        what sberel said!

        I love the Arnason quotation.

      • Yasuragi

        Wow… might have to steal that for my sig line0.  :)

        • Yasuragi

          oops… keyboard is behaving very badly — sorry for the errant O.

        • Anonymous

          hey, Yas, great to see you tonight!

        • hey Yas — thank so much for being here :)

          that would be a great sig wouldn’t it??

    • Anonymous

      amen, Nancy.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Nancy.  This shows that relentless persistence, never giving up, matters.  We will abolish the DP.

    And then, onto abolishing the prison industrial complex.

    Evil and horrific racism and injustice wear many disguises.

    • Yes — and then on to the pic..

      Thanks as always Kay for all you do — much love and gratitude always for you

      • Anonymous

        backatcha, partner in exposing criminal injustice.

    • beach babe in fl

      Yes, Kay abolishing the prison industrial complex..somehow it now seems possible.   I think the occupy movement will be a great influence and getting the republicans out of office so important.

      • Anonymous

        Well, it’s more complicated than getting Rethugs out of office; as sberel points out in the discussion, lots of Dems support or won’t speak out against the DP because “get tough” is such a winning theme. 

        But you’d better believe getting Rethugs out of office is my priority – and the more resounding the victories we can win, the better.

        • Anonymous

          not to mention it’s a signature issue for many Catholics – the local diocese (houston) is a HUGE supporter, financial and otherwise, of the antiDP movement.  It really does involve coalition with people who may well be diametrically opposed. 

          I agree about getting dems in office, of course, every bit helps, we just should hold no illusions about how strong and pervasive the law’n order myth is. 

          • Sister Helen Prejean is a heroine of mine


          • Anonymous

            If you get a chance, go see the opera Dead Man Walking.  She was in town for a forum that was put on at the same time as the opera.   I couldn’t attend, but my daughter went.  It was packed!   And the opera was also packed, every show (it was Frederica von Stade’s last stage performance – I expect she’ll do concerts and recordings, but no more full length operas).  Anyway, the music is accessible and the show just wrings you out.

          • beach babe in fl

            Glad you mentioned that opera sberel…been wanting to see it.  Wow! Frederica von Stade’s last opera performance..you are so lucky!

          • Anonymous

            It was wonderful.  The role was written specifically for her.  She has a connection of some kind to Houston, so she wanted her farewell performance to be here.

            Here is an interview with her:


            It’s a very interesting comment here:
            “He [Jake Heggie] first asked me to play one of the parents of the murder victims, but I asked if I could play the mother of the convict. … There’s an awful, heavy burden that a lot of people carry in this country. Playing Mrs. De Rocher lets me explore the fears that things you’ve done or not done have brought sorrow to your child.” The singer in the role of one of the fathers was the first to play Joe de Rocher.  I wonder what it was like to play both roles?  Highly recommended, whoever is singing.

        • beach babe in fl

          Here in Fl many of us are obsessed with getting rid of the rethugs.  Gov. Scott has had his plan to privatize the prison system ruled unconstitutional …thank God.   He is now trying to privatize medicaid.   Forgive me for my obsession with getting rid of the rethugs.

          • i share that obsession beach babe

            there is no room to move much at all with them in the way

  • Just also received this form the Innocence Network — 21 exonerated in 2011


    • Anonymous

      21 exonerated people whom the states would just as soon have put to death without inquiring further into wrongful convictions. 

      How many others went on to the death chambers, but should have been exonerated?

      I oppose the death penalty in all instances; I think it corrupts and debases a society that pretends to justice.  But the exonerated stand as special witnesses to the carelessness and bias with which death sentences are meted out.

      • Anonymous

        Oh, and that’s just 21 people THIS YEAR. 

        • Yes — thank for pointing that out Kay

          How any others indeed???