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Criminal Injustice

Criminal Injustice (27)

Along with the state officials and law professors who are happy that the Supreme Court this week is reviewing the corruption conviction of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell, add inmate No. 24775-001 at the federal prison in Oakdale, La.

Over the course of 2015, President Barack Obama used the clemency powers of his office to free more than 100 federal prisoners, most of whom were nonviolent offenders who had been sentenced by overly harsh narcotics laws. The releases were, Obama said in late December, “another step forward in upholding our ideals of justice and fairness.” Those “men and women … had served their debt to society,” he said.

INDIANA, HARDLY a bastion of bleeding-heart liberalism, became on Wednesday the latest state to curb the use in prisons of solitary confinement, an extreme, hellish and overused punishment. It follows President Obama, who on Monday announced reforms to prisoner isolation practices in federal prisons, and it joins California and New York as one of the latest states to submit to a legal settlement requiring changes. Indiana’s move is another sign of progress in ending a national scandal: the routine overuse of a practice that is akin to torture. But it took a class-action lawsuit to prompt the decision, and even then it promises insufficient change.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed nearly 100 bills as the legislative session came to a close this January, but a measure to address the shackling of pregnant inmates wasn’t one of them.

US President Barack Obama has said he will ban solitary confinement as a form of punishment for juvenile and low-level offenders in federal prisons.

Rev. Edward Pinkney is a political prisoner in Michigan. He has been an outspoken, effective activist in Benton Harbor, MI for decades. The court has consistently tried to silence him. In 2012, he was even jailed for a time because he quoted Deuteronomy in a letter-to-the-editor!

Friday, 10 July 2015 00:00

An Alabama Death Row Story

Written by

Before being sentenced to seven years in federal prison - for something 113 State Attorneys General and the New York Times said was never a crime in America - I had the honor of delivering a eulogy for my dear friend Colonel Stone Johnson. The story of our friendship is worth taking note of, because it ultimately demonstrates how unjust a judicial system can be.

U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller "will not qualify for either a judicial salary or be eligible for a judicial pension," according to a statement just released by the bi-partisan leaders of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. His resignation from the federal bench "in shame", as the statement describes Fuller's stated intention to step down as of August 1, will disqualify him from any further payment for his role on the federal judiciary.

The recent denial of my appeal underscores the need for us to keep fighting for change.

If the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals cannot uphold the law and dispense justice, it can at least provide consistency. That seems to be the lesson from the court's opinion yesterday that upheld convictions against former Alabama governor Don Siegelman by pointing to its earlier ruling against codefendant and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.

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Meet the Hosts

Rev. Rodney Sadler

Dr. Sadler's work in the community includes terms as a board member of the N.C. Council of Churches, Siegel Avenue Partners, and Mecklenburg Ministries, and currently he serves on the boards of Union Presbyterian Seminary, Loaves and Fishes, the Hispanic Summer Program, and the Charlotte Chapter of the NAACP. His activism includes work with the Community for Creative Non-Violence in D.C., Durham C.A.N., H.E.L.P. Charlotte, and he has worked organizing clergy with and developing theological resources for the Forward Together/Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina. Rev. Sadler is the managing editor of the African American Devotional Bible, associate editor of the Africana Bible, and the author of Can a Cushite Change His Skin? An Examination of Race, Ethnicity, and Othering in the Hebrew Bible. He has published articles in Interpretation, Ex Audito, Christian Century, the Criswell Theological Review, and the Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature and has essays and entries in True to Our Native Land, the New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, the Westminster Dictionary of Church History, Light against Darkness, and several other publications. Among his research interests are the intersection of race and Scripture, the impact of our images of Jesus for the perpetuation of racial thought in America, the development of African American biblical interpretation in slave narratives, the enactment of justice in society based on biblical imperatives, and the intersection of religion and politics.

Rev. Rodney Sadler

Co - Chair - People Demanding Action
North Carolina Forward Together/Moral Monday Movem
Radio Host: Politics of Faith - Wednesday @ 11 am

People Power with Ernie Powell

Ernie Powell has been involved in public policy, progressive campaigns and grassroots efforts since the mid 1960's. He worked as a boycott organizer with the United Farm Workers from 1968 until 1973. He then became a community organizer in Santa Monica, California involved in affordable housing advocacy while working with others in laying the foundation for one of the most progressive local rent control measures in the country. He organized on behalf of environmental and coastal access and preservation issues in California as well. Beginning in 1993 he served as Advocacy Representative and later as Manager of Advocacy for AARP in California working on national and state issues. He left AARP in 2012 to work as Field Director for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare in Washington D.C. In late 2013 he returned to California and started a consulting business. He is a consultant with Social Security Works and is organizing groups nationally to fight for the protection and expansion of Social Security. He also consults with the California Long Term Care Ombudsman Association on issue impacting nursing home reform. He is a frequent author for Zocalo Public Square having just authored a piece on Social Security's 80th Birthday about the early impact of the Townsend Plan in building toward the passage of Social Security. Ernie has hosted two radio shows - the "Grassroots Corner" on "We Act Radio" in Washington D.C.and "the Campaign with Ernie Powell" at Radio Titans in Los Angeles. His focus for over 25 years has been on public policy issues impacting older Americans. He is a nationally recognized expert on grassroots organizing and campaigns. He is 66 years old and resides in Los Angeles, Ca.

Ernie Powell

Radio Host
Social Security Works
Los Angeles

Radio Host - Agitator Radio

Robert Dawkins is the founder of SAFE Coalition, North Carolina located in Charlotte, North Carolina. SAFE Coalition NC is a grassroots community coalition working to build public trust and accountability in NC law enforcement. We believe that critical dialogue, citizen oversight and legislative action are required to design a safe, accountable, fair and equitable system of criminal justice in our state.

Robert Dawkins

Founder
Safe Coalition, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina

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