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December 31, 2008

Around the blogosphere

I am noticing lots of good end-of-year reading on lots of good criminal justice topics around the blogosphere.  Here is a sample:

And, of course, lots more stuff for clemency fans at Pardon Power.

December 31, 2008 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

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A Prayer for the NEW YEAR

Today, as we begin a New Year of Hope for the fulfillment of the dream of so many of us ... in Texas, in the US, and throughout the world ..... that we can live up to God's plea to us to learn the merits of love, compassion and respect .... and cast aside the canker of hate, indifference and fear ..... to our fellow man ... we are reminded that Texas continues to lead the States of America in the greatest resistance to that dream. The following are known to be under threat of death in the US in the coming six weeks. Two thirds are in Texas. This follows a year in which 18 others were executed in Texas, out of a total of 37 for the whole of the US.

Pending Executions
January
14 Curtis Moore - Tex.
15 Jose Briseno - Tex.
15 James Callahan - Ala.
21 Frank Moore - Tex.
22 Reginald Perkins - Tex.
22 Darwin Brown - Okla.
28 Virgil Martinez - Tex.
29 Ricardo Ortiz - Tex.

February
4 David Martinez - Tex.
4 Steve Henley - Tenn.
12 Johnnie Johnson - Tex.
12 Danny Joe Bradley - Ala.

The goal of humanity is to lead successful lives in peace with ourselves and with all others who share our world. In our passion to correct, by legal and penal means, the behavior of those whose weaknesses may lead them to fail or threaten that goal, we should surely seek to ensure that the innocent are not trapped by our actions; that those who cannot help themselves are not punished unfairly for their impairment; that those who are guilty are not denied the opportunity for redemption.

There have been recent and repeated calls for a Moratorium in Texas .... a time for reflection and assessment of where we are going, and of the values that drive us. Those who are unprepared for self-examination of their beliefs and values; who close their minds to the suffering of the innocent, or the impaired, or the guilty ... and to their relatives and friends; who close their minds to the realization of many who are the victims of crime ... and those who may be left to sorrow .... that hate and persecution does not lead to peace of mind or the healing of pain .......... such people stand against the fulfillment of our dream ... and reject God's plea. At such a time we turn to those who would lead us through political and religious and judicial empowerment ..... use your wisdom and your powers courageously to lead us to a more loving, more compassionate and more respectful treatment of our fellow man. A Moratorium is but a first and tiny step ....


Let this prayer be part of our Tribute to Gregory Edward Wright, "Tony", whose innocence was ignored by the State of Texas through 1997 to 2008, ending in his wrongful death on October 30th 2008.

Posted by: Peter Bellamy | Jan 1, 2009 3:49:17 AM

Peter,

I can respect your moral feelings that the DP is wrong. But let's get some things straight here.

You claim that Greg Wright is innocent. True, there is new evidence that cast doubt on his case, but this evidence hardly means that he is factually innocent. You make it sound like he was just walking down the road, minding his own business, when the police, for no good reason, decided to railroad him for a crime he was not involved in.

Bull.

At least the good Professor Berman here is willing to acknowledge that the folks on death row are really bad people.

Posted by: | Jan 2, 2009 9:41:00 AM

Oh and this:

"We picked him up at a dope house. I did not know he was a career criminal. When we got to the house he was jonesin for drugs. He has to go to Dallas. I was in the bathroom when he attacked. I am deaf in one ear and I thought the T.V. was up too loud. I ran in to the bedroom. By the time I came in, when I tried to help her, with first aid, it was too late. The veins were cut on her throat. He stabbed her in her heart, and that's what killed her. I told John Adams, "turn yourself in or hit the high road."

oh pleeeeeeze. Just happened to be scoring some drugs and was in the bathroom and didn't hear his buddy stabbing the woman to death?

Posted by: | Jan 2, 2009 9:47:36 AM

This is not an appropriate forum to debate this. My comment was offered to remind people that the innocent are easily trapped by circumstance and by the inefficiencies of the capital punishment process from start to finish. For your further information, which is set out in detail on my blog, the "new evidence of innocence" is far greater than that which you point to above, and was mostly, finally, accepted by the fifth circuit who then, to avoid a new trial, elected to invoke the improper use of the catch-all Law of Parties, for which there was no proven evidence of support, and under which he was specifically NOT tried. You are welcome to debate this particular case with me personally, but out of respect for everyone concerned, not here. You will find my email address via the blog or main freegregwright website. Thank you.

Posted by: Peter Bellamy | Jan 2, 2009 12:55:43 PM

Peter,

I see that you did not post what these people pending executions were convicted of! Share with the other readers what crimes they committed.

Posted by: Anon | Jan 4, 2009 12:16:13 PM

Peter-

Why is this not an appropriate place? You're the one you brought it up and lament in numerous comments on this blog about the death penalty and this case in particular.

You say he was convicted by the "improper use of the catch-all Law of Parties." The felony-murder rule has been around for a long time and is entirely legal, legitimate, and moral.

What bothers me about folks such as yourself is your utter lack of willingness to clearly talk about what these people on death row did to get their. These are not nice folks and they engaged in horrific crimes. To say that someone doesn't deserve death after they've killed entire families, tortured people, or any of the long litany of unspeakable crimes is ridiculous. They do deserve death. Now, you can say they should receive mercy, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve death. They deserve it very much.

Posted by: | Jan 7, 2009 8:55:29 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB