Five years after the greed and recklessness of Wall Street criminals crashed our economy, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice is finally making some arrests. But it’s not Wall Street bankers sitting in jail. Nope, it’s struggling homeowners and foreclosure victims who went to DC to demand the end of Too Big to Jail.
Yesterday, 500 people surrounded the Department of Justice headquarters. 27 got arrested - 17 last night and 10 more this morning at 6 AM - and are refusing to leave until the Obama Administration agrees to get the DOJ to start launching criminal investigations into the actions that led to the Great Recession. We need your support to make this happen!
Please call the White House and tell them you support the homeowners and foreclosure fighters they’ve arrested at the Department of Justice and also want to see Wall Street criminals held accountable.
Here’s the contact info and a short script.
The White House Comment Line: (202) 456-1111
Hi, my name is _______________ and I’m calling in support of the 27 people you had arrested at the DOJ yesterday and this morning. You’ve arrested the wrong people. You should be arresting the Wall Street bankers who caused the Great Recession, not jailing struggling homeowners and foreclosure fighters just trying keep their homes from being stolen. Please end your policy of Too Big to Jail and start making Wall Street pay us back.
When it comes to constitutions, the application of law, and common sense, the Supreme Court of the United States could learn a thing or two from President Judge Debbie O’Dell-Seneca of the Washington County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania.
O’Dell-Seneca overruled a previous decision that sealed a settlement between a Mount Pleasant Township family and large energy corporations, which caused the family harm because of fracking on an adjacent property to their own. The Observer-Reporter and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette pressed the suit, which ultimately decided the public’s right to be informed outstripped the corporation’s right to privacy.
In fact, O’Dell-Seneca went much further than that. The judge asserted corporations have no constitutional rights:
“…the constitution vests in business entities no special rights that the laws of this Commonwealth cannot extinguish. In sum, [corporations] cannot assert [constitutional privacy] protections because they are not mentioned in its text.”
“…it is axiomatic that corporations, companies, and partnerships have no ‘spiritual nature,’ ‘feelings,’ ‘intellect,’ ‘beliefs,’ ‘thoughts,’ ‘emotions,’ or ‘sensations,’ because they do not exist in the manner that humankind exists… They cannot be ‘let alone’ by government, because businesses are but grapes, ripe upon the vine of the law, that the people of this Commonwealth raise, tend, and prune at their pleasure and need.”
Despite the mainstream media’s blackout on any reporting that calls into question corporate personhood, this recent decision is an important victory for our movement.
CELDF Executive Director Thomas Linzey writes:
“The ruling represents the first crack in the judicial armor that has been so meticulously welded together by major corporations. And it affirms what many communities already know — that change only occurs when people begin to openly question and challenge legal doctrines that have been treated as sacred by most lawyers and judges.”
Laws follow culture and the legal system adjusts as society’s views shift. This case illustrates that we are collectively beginning to change hearts and minds about the appropriate role of the corporation in society, even amongst those who are entrenched in the current system.
The Mississippi Supreme Court has indefinitely delayed Tuesday evening’s planned execution of Willie Jerome Manning, who was scheduled to die for the 1992 slayings of two college students.
Manning was originally scheduled to receive a lethal injection at 6 p.m. CDT at the state prison in Parchman. But as the execution time loomed, the high court said the execution should be delayed until it rules further on the case.
Manning has always said he did not commit the crime; in fact, he says he was at a club on the night of the murders. For years, he’s been trying to convince the state to test DNA from the crime scene. As gruesome as the murders were, there should be lots of biological material to test. One of the victims, Tiffany Miller, was shot twice in the face at close range. One leg was out of her pants and underwear, and her shirt was pulled up. Her boyfriend John Steckler’s body had abrasions that occurred before he died, and he was shot once in the back of the head. A set of car tracks had gone through the puddles of blood and over Steckler’s body.
Already the Mississippi State Supreme Court has denied Manning’s request to have DNA tests done that were unavailable in the early 90s. Now, Manning’s attorneys have produced information that shows the Federal Bureau of Investigation erred in its testimony in Manning’s case. In a letter to Oktibbeha County District Attorney Forrest Allgood, who prosecuted the case, U.S. Justice Department officials state “that testimony containing erroneous statements regarding microscopic hair comparison analysis was used” in Manning’s case.
Another black man in a Confederate state about to be put to death because he got a rotten trial and the appeals process is inept and the judges on the case are political operators who don’t care about justice.
This is what it means to be a nigger in the USA today.
Tell Governor Bryant to commute his sentence to life in prison if he won’t / can’t grant him a retrial. And there is this form to send in a message.
Lynne Stewart, in the vindictive and hysterical world of the war on terror, is one of its martyrs. A 73-year-old lawyer who spent her life defending the poor, the marginalized and the despised, including blind cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, she fell afoul of the state apparatus because she dared to demand justice rather than acquiesce to state sponsored witch hunts. And now, with stage 4 cancer that has metastasized, spreading to her lymph nodes, shoulder, bones and lungs, creating a grave threat to her life, she sits in a prison cell at the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, where she is serving a 10-year sentence. Stewart’s family is pleading with the state for “compassionate release” and numerous international human rights campaigners, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have signed a petition calling for her to be freed on medical grounds. It is not only a crime in the U.S. to be poor, to be a Muslim, to openly condemn the crimes committed in our name in the Muslim world, but to defend those who do. And the near total collapse of our judicial system, wrecked in the name of national security and “the war on terror,” is encapsulated in the saga of this courageous attorney—now disbarred because of her conviction.
If you think the death penalty is a just response to murder or important to provide victims’ families with closure, then trying to limit it to a small number of multiple murders makes no sense. Why does taking one life not merit death, while taking two, three, or any other arbitrary number does? Why is the pain of one victim’s family any less important to address than the pain of families whose loved one was part of a multiple murder? There are many families that deserve the satisfaction of knowing their loved one’s murderer received society’s stiffest sanction for their crime, and it’s far from clear that the death penalty fills that need better than life without parole — indeed, it may even prolong a families’ grief. Yet the moment we say one victim, or set of victims, must be avenged by death, we lose the ability to consistently limit the death penalty’s application to rare cases — and the uncertainty and arbitrariness that plagues capital sentencing generally comes flooding back. When life without parole is the harshest penalty our courts dole out, such a sentence will stamp everyone who receives it as among the very worst criminals without opening the door to an unjust and unconstitutional policy.
So the death penalty is arbitrary. It discriminates on the basis of race and income. It kills the innocent. It is unconstitutional. And it may even deepen the wounds of families already grieving from the most terrible tragedy imaginable.
What about capital punishment being a futile act? How restorative is it?
…the ACLU shines a light on a harrowing “debtors’ prison” system in Ohio — one that violates both the United States’ and the Ohio constitution. Ohioans are being jailed for “as small as a few hundred dollars,” despite the constitutional violation, and the economic evidence that it costs the state more to pay for their jail sentence than the amount of the debt.
Unless you live under a rock, you know that the Obama Administration has all parts of the Executive Branch talk about the very real cuts in services that the sequester will bring. The Office of Prohibitionism is tweeting about it furiously:
That’s just a sample, help yourself to look at The Office of National Drug Policy’s twitter feed to see more.
Odd how treatment — the enlightened approach to substance abuse now matters to The White House now. What is missing ONDCP / The Obama’s Administration’s Mr. Jekyl being threatened by the sequester (if funding for warehousing drug users and sellers is threatened by the sequester).
That answer may be found if you look for replies to