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Cleve Foster Becomes 30th Person Executed in US This Year | Common Dreams.

Cleve Foster Becomes 30th Person Executed in US This Year

Man had recieved three stays of execution over questions pertaining to legitimacy of trial

– Common Dreams staff

Texas executed death row inmate Cleve Foster on Tuesday after the Supreme Court rejected a request for stay, making Foster the 30th person to be executed in the US this year and the 9th in Texas.

Cleve Foster (Photo: Michael Graczyk/AP) Foster, 48, was convicted of murder and rape in 2002; however, Foster had previously received three stays of execution from the US Supreme Court over questions regarding how forcefully his lawyers defended him. Foster’s latest attorneys argued that he had deficient legal help during the early stages of his trial and appeals, stating his case needed a…

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2012: What's the 'real' truth?

Posted: 09/26/2012 12:35 pm EDT
Updated: 09/26/2012 1:14 pm EDT

Cherokee Nation Scott Brown

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) speaks during a news conference on Sept. 21. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The chief of the Cherokee Nation on Wednesday demanded an apology from Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) for what he called an “uneducated, unenlightened and racist portrayal of native peoples” by senior staff on his campaign and in his Senate office.

At a recent campaign rally, senior Brown staffers led a crowd of Brown supporters in a series of “war whoop chants” and “tomahawk chops,” an attempt to mock Elizabeth Warren for citing her Native American ancestry in a Harvard guidebook.

“The Cherokee Nation is disappointed in and denounces the disrespectful actions of staffers and supporters of Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown. The conduct of these individuals goes far beyond what is appropriate and proper in political discourse. The use of stereotypical ‘war whoop chants’ and…

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silence now

Circle of Hope – Today, 8:16 AM


I`m Under Arrest for What? 50 Bizarre Laws…

I´m Under Arrest for What? 50 Bizarre U.S. Laws

 I’ve never claimed to have extensive knowledge of U.S. legislation throughout history, but it’s safe to say that I and most people I associate with are law-abiding citizens … or not. As it turns out, every state in this country has at least one wacky legal stipulation that could land residents in hot water if they don’t comply. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

It’s illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.

Whispering in someone’s ear while he’s moose hunting is prohibited.

Cutting down a cactus may earn you a 25-year prison term.

It’s illegal to mispronounce the name of the state of Arkansas.

You may not eat an orange in your bathtub.

It’s unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor (Denver).

A pickle cannot actually be a pickle unless it bounces.

Read more:

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Federal Government Seeks Dismissal of Supermax Suicide Lawsuit

September 25, 2012 By The U.S. government is currently contending with two federal lawsuits that challenge the torturous conditions at the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum (ADX) in Florence, Colorado. Both suits allege that the social isolation and sensory deprivation at ADX are so extreme that they drive prisoners to madness, self-mutilation, and suicide–yet the Bureau of Prisons offers them next to nothing in the way of mental health treatment.

We’ve published two previous posts (here and here) tracking Andrew Cohen’s excellent, detailed reporting on these lawsuits. Yessterday, Cohen reported on the federal government’s latest move, which was to file a motion to dismiss one of the suits. It concerns the death of Jose Martin Vega, who hanged himself in his cell at ADX in May 2010. (Although Vega was unconscious and possibly dead when guards found him, they nonetheless shackled his hands and feet before removing him from his cell, as shown in photos from the Fremont County Coroner’s Office.) Vega’s family is alleging that “former ADX-Florence warden Blake R. Davis and other Bureau of Prison officials were “deliberately indifferent” to Vega’s medical needs, including his mental health needs, which the family says were extensive and obvious.”

The complaint alleges, in graphic detail, how Vega lost his mind at Supermax. How he began to mutilate his own body. How he came to believe that the guards were poisoning his food and “violating his bodily integrity.” When he complained, as he often did, in writing, prison staff typically told him that the results of his complaints were “not disclosable to” him. Now that he is dead, now that he can no longer testify about what was done to him, here is what the feds say to try to rid themselves of the responsibility of an accounting:

Plaintiff makes no allegation that inmate Vega was in fact suffering from a serious mental illness requiring treatment at the time of his death (or at any time when Mr. Davis was the Warden at the ADX)… There are similarly no facts showing that any treatment was prescribed (or even indicated) for inmate Vega’s mental condition. Further, there are no facts alleged showing that, objectively, inmate Vega was at an increased risk of suicide

His prior (unidentified) suicide attempt in 2005 and self-mutilation in 2010 are insufficient to show, objectively, that inmate Vega was diagnosed by a physician with a serious mental illness mandating treatment or was suffering from a condition that was so obvious that even a lay person would easily recommend the necessity for a doctor’s attention.

You follow that twisted logic? The prison staff’s repeated failure or refusal to treat Vega for his obvious mental illness now is being used as evidence by the government that Vega didn’t need to be treated for his obvious mental illness. And since a “lay person”—like a juror, for example—wouldn’t have viewed Vega’s conduct before his suicide as “mandating treatment” lay people—like jurors—should not be allowed to review the evidence in this case to decide for themselves whether Supermax officials failed to meet their legal obligations to this prisoner.


Cohen’s piece needs to be read in full to appreciate the extent of the “twisted logic,” Catch-22s, and other tactics to which the federal government has resorted in trying to prove they are not responsible for the well being of a man they locked up in a small concrete box. As Cohen points out, “The aim of these motions are more than just depriving the nation of the truth of the matter. The aim is to protect public servants from ever having to answer publicly for their work.” He concludes:

Congress has no interest in reviewing cases like this—they aren’t good politics. This summer, I tried to get someone at the Bureau of Prisons to respond to some of the allegations made against it, to explain how prisoners with mental illness are treated inside our federal prisons. Not only did the Bureau refuse to respond to my requests—not so much as a “no comment”—but the elected officials on Capitol Hill who are supposed to provide “oversight” of the Bureau, politicians of both parties, refused even to pass along my request. The truth is no one in power in Washington cares about these prisoners or what is being done to them in our name.

And that leaves the courts. Both Supermax lawsuits now are before U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch, the nails-tough senior-status judge most famous for presiding over the Oklahoma City bombing trials. He has shown repeatedly over the past few decades that he is brave enough to take on the Bureau of Prisons. The question now is, will he? And if he does, will the appellate courts back him up long enough to ensure that someone, somewhere, has to answer for what happened to Jose Martin Vega—and what is happening, today, to other Supermax inmates?


From: Claim Your Innocence. COMMENT:

QuantcastSeptember 24, 2012

Like other state prisoners, the

725 inmates on California’s Death Row

can’t vote. But if they could, there’s evidence that most of them would vote against a November ballot initiative to abolish the death penalty.

It’s not that they want to die, attorney Robert Bryan said. They just want to hang on to the possibility of proving that they’re innocent, or at least that they were wrongly convicted. That would require state funding for lawyers and investigators – funding that Proposition 34 would eliminate for many Death Row inmates after the first round of appeals.

Bryan has represented several condemned prisoners in California as well as Mumia Abu-Jamal, the radical activist and commentator whose death sentence for the murder of a Philadelphia policeman was recently reduced to life in prison. The attorney said California inmates have told him they’d prefer the current law, with its prospect of lethal injection, to one that would reduce their appellate rights.

“Many of them say, ‘I’d rather gamble and have the death penalty dangling there but be able to fight to right a wrong,’ ” Bryan said.

Or, as Death Row inmate Correll Thomas put it in a recent newspaper essay, if Prop. 34 passes, “the courthouse doors will be slammed forever.

Added legal rights

The seeming paradox reflects the tangled legal procedures surrounding capital punishment and the state’s efforts to guard against wrongful convictions and executions by providing additional rights to the condemned.

All criminal defendants who can’t afford to hire a lawyer have a right to legal representation, at state expense, for their trial and appeal. But only those sentenced to death are guaranteed a state-funded legal team for the post-appellate proceedings known as habeas corpus.

Habeas corpus allows inmates to challenge their convictions or sentence for reasons outside the trial record – typically, incompetent legal representation, misconduct by a judge or juror, or newly discovered evidence. Such challenges are reviewed by both state and federal courts.

For condemned prisoners, it often represents their best chance to stave off execution by presenting their claims to federal judges, who are appointed for life, rather than elected state judges. A ruling that leads to their acquittal, or even a finding of innocence, is also more likely in habeas corpus than in the earlier direct appeal.

Life without parole

Prop. 34, on the Nov. 6 ballot, would replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole. Death Row inmates would have their sentences reduced to life – and, as a consequence, lose access to state-funded lawyers for habeas corpus, except for those who have already filed their claims.

They would have to file them on their own, or with volunteer lawyers. A judge who finds strong evidence of innocence could order the state to pay the inmate’s legal costs for further proceedings.

More than 300 inmates would be affected by the measure’s passage, said Bryan, who as a state-appointed habeas corpus lawyer won a state Supreme Court ruling last month overturning a death sentence for a double murder in San Jose.

Same legal footing

Attorney Natasha Minsker, the Yes on 34 campaign manager, said the initiative would place now-condemned inmates “in the same position as every prisoner convicted of a serious felony in California,” with the same right to go to court.

They would no longer automatically get state-funded lawyers for habeas corpus claims, Minsker said. The main purpose of those lawyers now is “to save a person’s life” from a wrongful execution, but that task would disappear if Prop. 34 passed, she said.

No one has polled Death Row inmates on Prop. 34. But an organization called the Campaign to End the Death Penalty sent letters to 220 condemned prisoners in California and received about 50 replies, all but three of them against the ballot measure, said Lily Mae Hughes, the group’s director.

The reasons were described in commentaries carried in June by San Francisco’s BayView newspaper from three condemned prisoners, two of them opposing Prop. 34.

“We are in fact taking a step backward in our ability to challenge our convictions,” said Kevin Cooper, convicted of murdering four people, including two children, in San Bernardino County after his escape from prison in 1983. State and federal courts have upheld his death sentence, although five federal judges declared in a dissenting opinion two years ago that they believed he might be innocent.

Thomas, whose death sentence for the fatal shooting of a San Diego motorist was upheld by the state Supreme Court last year, said fellow inmates agree with him that life without parole is “another death penalty.”

Donald Ray Young, one of two brothers sentenced to death for the 1995 murders of five people at a bar in Tulare – crimes they deny committing – supported Prop. 34.

“Let us choose the ballot box,” he wrote, “or the pine box will choose us.”


No One in Arizona Could Write this Story and Live Posted on September 24, 2012 by Jean SHERIFF DEAVER’S TRUCK, VICTIM OF “BOSTON BRAKES” ASSASSINATION ORDERED BY CARTELS America, Downsized, Criminalized and “Blue Gang” Controlled — by Gordon Duff, Senior Editor Veterans Today —- This is a story we don’t see enough of, a law enforcement officer going after criminals, or at least the ones he is “allowed” to go after. The story you will be seeing here, from Fox News, tells a story and yet doesn’t tell a story. Why are the “Johns” arrested and not the nationwide crime ring controlling them. This story is just a small part of what we will be talking about today: Last week, Sheriff Arpiao arrested 51 Backpage clients: Maricopa County sheriff’s office arrested 51 suspects involved in a drug and prostitution investigation started months ago. An undercover drug operation morphed into a large scale prostitution bust, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. The suspects were arrested for various crimes such as prostitution, drug possession, identity theft, weapons charges and attempted murder. Detectives were watching the Inn Suites Hotel in Guadalupe for alleged marijuana trafficking when they realized the hotel was being used for an even larger prostitution ring, Arpaio said. The management and owners were unaware the ring was going on, according to detectives. Detectives launched an investigation after they confronted a hotel guest who admitted he had just visited a prostitute in one of the rooms. He found her information from, an Internet website owned and operated by the Phoenix-based Village Voice Media group, police said. Village Voice Media publishes 17 alternative newspapers across the country, including the New Times in Phoenix. According to detectives, almost every connection between prostitute and customer came from advertisements for “escort services” in Undercover detectives contacted the women through the site and arranged to meet them at a number of hotels along on the I-10 Baseline Road corridor. When money was requested for sex, detectives arrested the suspects. At least 50 cases in 22 states have launched investigations tying Village Voice Media to illegal sex trade businesses. There is an odd dynamic up in Phoenix. Sheriff Joe Arpiao, a close friend of a co-worker, has been trying for years to get the owners and staff of “Village Voice Media” and the “Backpage” arrested for their part in running child prostitution rings in 16 cities, particularly Phoenix. He has arrested the owners, faced lawsuits from their powerful backers and come against two powerful groups, one Mormon and the other we will call “Israeli/American” in his efforts to end human trafficking in his area. In fact, anyone who opposed what is a chain of “shopping guides” that openly advertises children for sexual purposes is harassed by federal law enforcement or labeled “anti-semitic” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. We have reliable information that the VVM and Backpage staff are federal informants though nothing they do leads to arrests but only protection from prosecution. ARIZONA What if I were to tell you that highly authoritative experts believe the State of Arizona is largely under the control of Mexican drug lords and organized crime? Who do I ask? We have a former candidate for governor on staff, retired intelligence officers, retired very senior FBI along with broad access to those public servants who will talk privately though most live in fear. A week ago, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Deaver died in a “one car accident” while on an empty road. He was heading out on a hunting trip, planning to meet with his son. His 2008 4 wheel drive Dodge pickup truck ran off an empty dirt road and he was killed. We know different. This was an assassination using a commonly known tactic called “Boston brakes.” Look it up on your computer, it makes for very good reading. From the Examiner: In September 2011, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a warning to local law enforcement agencies throughout Arizona, informing them that they were being targeted by the powerful and violent Mexican drug cartels. The DOJ’s 2011 Drug Market Analysis for Arizona stated the cartels “have begun to threaten local police officers to deter their enforcement activities. Violent criminal groups often referred to as border bandits, rip crews, or bajadores, operate along trafficking corridors in remote locations, preying upon law enforcement officers and smugglers who transit their territories.” The report also detailed the expanded use by the cartels of street gangs in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. Local gangs such as Brown Pride distribute methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin at the street level in Tucson, while the New Mexican Mafia controls such sales in Phoenix. Of course, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever was killed on Tuesday evening, in a single vehicle crash while on his way to join his sons on a hunting trip near White Horse Lake in Coconino County. According to a Coconino County Sheriff’s Office press release, an unidentified driver was actually following Sheriff Dever on a desolate stretch of Forest Service Road 109, but lost sight of his 4-wheel-drive 2008 Chevrolet pickup for a brief period. Then, the driver “saw what appeared to be a cloud of dust, and as he came closer he learned that the vehicle had rolled over and was resting on its wheels.” The witness told 911 operators: “he did not detect any signs of life from the single occupant of the vehicle.” The case remains under investigation, and as of Friday afternoon, Coconino County Medical Examiner, Trish Lee had not yet released Deaver’s autopsy report. Deaver was killed because he was the last “holdout” against the Mexican cartels. Sheriff Joe Arpiao had been fought to a standstill, he and others, their efforts thwarted, oddly, by the US government, endless lawsuits, corruption charges. If they simply took the money and kept their mouths shut like many federal law enforcement officials and the rest of the state, they would live in peace. Some have chosen that course, others have totally joined the wrong side. Most politicians are in “their pockets” already and have been for some time. The idea of Deaver’s murder not being an accident isn’t a wild conspiracy theory. The vast majority of his constituents, most of whom either loved or respected him, all agree he was assassinated yet feel helpless as to what they can do about it. You see, being an “honest cop” is almost impossible in America. Once “they” buy their way in, and they have the money and power to buy “in” anywhere, anytime, you have a choice. You can either take the envelope left in your locker or risk having your home burned or your children arrested for drug possession or worse. You are likely to be killed. READY NOT THE NAZI THE VILLAGE VOICE MEDIA SAYS There was a second assassination in Arizona a few short weeks ago. A candidate for Pinal County Sheriff named J. T. Ready supposedly killed his family and then himself. An 18 year old stepdaughter was “hiding under the bed” but, for some J.T. READY, VINDICATED….VICTIM OF CARTEL ORDERED “HIT” WITH USUAL EXECUTION OF ENTIRE FAMILY curious reason, she has not been seen since, no public statements, no photographs, as though aliens had sucked her off the planet.Ready became nationally known for showing up at a Phoenix “Occupy” rally indicating he was ready to use force if police continued their violent attack on peaceful demonstrators. He was in the uniform of the US Border Guards, a private organization, and armed to the teeth. Ready had, over the period afterward, met with FBI officials who recommended he seek public office, rather than operate privately, and sought to establish relationships with local police, in Gilbert, Arizona and across the county. Despite news reports based on information released to the police, this is what we have gathered about his killing: Ready was being followed by local police while out on an errand. Two local police, reputedly his “friends,” showed up at the home to wait for him. Police then executed Ready’s girlfriend, her older daughter, her boyfriend, one younger child while another child was hiding under the bed. Had the killings been done by Ready, no child would have been under the bed nor would the execution style killings, typical cartel shootings, have been the method used. This was a carefully ordered “hit.” Ready then returned home and while talking on his mobile phone, was gunned down in a hail of fire. No shots were fired from the two weapons he carried. Unnamed suspects fled the house and left in two black cars. No one has said they are unmarked police cars. It is a very simple assumption that if one were to trace the personal mobile phone use of local police on and off duty in the region, one would find that the killings were coordinated, not on “throw away phones” but on active and very traceable accounts tied to phones with GPS devices. We have a ten year history on Ready, a real one, not the one from the local shopping guide and the SPLC and other news organization with no understanding of local issues. Ready was a flawed individual but a realistic one. He was heavily armed, wore body armour and believed he might be murdered at any time by the drug cartel people he had dedicated his life to fight against, as had Sheriff Deaver. Ready didn’t expect that the cartels would have used police to get close to him. He was “set up” as was Deaver. What Ready was “about” was the realization that he had to go to after endemic corruption through armed resistance. His failing is that he turned to law enforcement for help and was murdered as anyone who tries to reform law enforcement from “within or without” is, by the “blue gang.” BLAMING THE POLICE As much fun as it is to vilify police, it is much more complicated than that. Police live on a basic wage, just above “survivable” unless they reach command rank or accept bribes. If any officer in a corrupt department refuses, he is ostracized or dead unless he has powerful friends. The problem is that for every cop “on the take,” we have a prosecuting attorney or judge, a local political leader and, most of all, the committees that control the “ruling” political party in the area. In Arizona, it is the unseen GOP leaders tied to money laundering and crime. In other areas they may be Democrats. The cult of Mormonism was the pathway for the cartels into the Southwest. Their history of social control, use of violence, crooked courts, rigged elections and theocratic government made them as much of a gang as the cartels. Partnership was natural. Now they have their own Mormon/Drug Cartel presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. Police started none of this, they are simply the face of the criminal element, protected by guns and badges and easily tasked as drug couriers, hit men and capable of managing and derailing any investigation. It isn’t local police only, it involves every federal agency and starts from the top down, not the bottom up. Criminality in law enforcement begins in Washington and dozens of long serving members of congress hold high positions in organized crime groups. Congress supplies the “middle managers” for worldwide organized crime, voting special laws to protect criminal groups, pushing billions in federal funding into contractors controlled by organized crime, helping create armed gangs under the guise of “military contractors” and, when needed, acting as financial couriers themselves while on “junkets.” Down in Cochise County, Arizona, hundreds of prominent citizens are talking, some trying to come up with solutions. They want to react, to regain control of their “corner” of Arizona, one more financially secure than most, one overrun by drug couriers, one filled with corruption and violence and one that is the home of one of America’s most vital military commands at Ft. Huachuca. Across the state, others are supposed to learn their lesson. They are assured that if they pick up a gun or open their mouths, they will have their family executed and then be “suicided’ while their obituary naming them “anti-Semites” and “Nazi’s” will be written by known members of organized crime and repeated through Wikipedia and all news agencies. Veterans Today had investigators at the scene of the Ready killings within minutes. We talked to witnesses, we were there when the cover-up began and watched it continue. We talked with state and local officials who were terrified of getting involved. We even met with the head of the Federal task force for the region, another more than “fruitless” endeavor. Do we move the border north, taking all the Mormon states, right up to the Idaho border with Canada and turn it all over to Mexico’s crime rings? Does it end there or has it gone too far, is it now everywhere?

PLEAE, read whole article here:

Jean Haynes or watch her reblogged article here


2012: What's the 'real' truth?


America, Downsized, Criminalized and “Blue Gang” Controlled —

by Gordon Duff, Senior Editor
Veterans Today


This is a story we don’t see enough of, a law enforcement officer going after criminals, or at least the ones he is “allowed” to go after.  The story you will be seeing here, from Fox News, tells a story and yet doesn’t tell a story. 

Why are the “Johns” arrested and not the nationwide crime ring controlling them.  This story is just a small part of what we will be talking about today:

Last week, Sheriff Arpiao arrested 51 Backpage clients:

Maricopa County sheriff’s office arrested 51 suspects involved in a drug and prostitution investigation started months ago. 
An undercover drug operation morphed into a large scale prostitution bust, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.

The suspects were arrested for various crimes such as prostitution…

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