Originally posted on HumansinShadow.wordpress.com:

Ray McGovern: The Humiliation of Bradley Manning.

November 29, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — It is a bitter irony that Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, whose conscience compelled him to leak evidence about the U.S. military brass ignoring evidence of torture in Iraq, was himself the victim of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment while other military officers privately took note but did nothing.

That was one of the revelations at Manning’s pre-trial hearing at Ft. Meade, Md., on Tuesday, as Manning’s defense counsel David Coombs used email exchanges to show Marine officers grousing that the Marines had been left holding the bag on Manning’s detention at their base in Quantico, Va., though he was an Army soldier.

READ MORE! ,,,,

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Ray McGovern: The Humiliation of Bradley Manning

Ray McGovern: The Humiliation of Bradley Manning


Ray McGovern: The Humiliation of Bradley Manning.

November 29, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — It is a bitter irony that Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, whose conscience compelled him to leak evidence about the U.S. military brass ignoring evidence of torture in Iraq, was himself the victim of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment while other military officers privately took note but did nothing.

That was one of the revelations at Manning’s pre-trial hearing at Ft. Meade, Md., on Tuesday, as Manning’s defense counsel David Coombs used email exchanges to show Marine officers grousing that the Marines had been left holding the bag on Manning’s detention at their base in Quantico, Va., though he was an Army soldier.

READ MORE! ,,,,


Originally posted on spiritandanimal.wordpress.com:

The bin in Guizhou province, south-western China, where the bodies of the five boys were discovered. Photograph: HAP/Quirky China News/Rex Features

The man who revealed the deaths of five homeless children in a bin this week, sparking soul-searching across China, has been taken away by officials, his supporters have said.

The boys, who were found dead in the south-western province of Guizhou, were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, apparently after lighting charcoal in an attempt to stay warm overnight.

News of the deaths spread when Li Yuanlong, a former journalist in Bijie city, posted details on an online bulletin board. But, according to sources, soon after the revelations the authorities forced Li to take a “vacation”, a method often used to deal with activists and dissidents.

The Bijie propaganda…

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Originally posted on spiritandanimal.wordpress.com:

 
5 “Left-Behind” Boys Found Dead in Trash Bin in China
 

5 “Left-Behind” Boys Found Dead in Trash Bin in China

  • On the morning of November 16, an elderly scavenger made a terrible discovery in a trash bin in the city of Bijie, in China’s remote Guizhou province. He found the bodies of five boys, aged nine to thirteen and all brothers or cousins; they had apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning from burning charcoal to keep warm.

The boys’ deaths highlight the phenomenon of “left-behind children” in China. As Raymond Li writes in the South China Morning Post, the five boys were all the children of “busy farmers or migrant workers who had left for other cities.” All were from Caqiangyan village, a poor community abandoned by most of its adults in search of work.

Four of the boys had dropped out of school due to “poor performance.”…

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bill would restrict informant testimony in death cases

bill would restrict informant testimony in death cases


 

English: From jack47 on reddit.
English: From jack47 on reddit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Texas Tribune

<:time datetime=”2012-11-29T01:39:20.947272″>Thursday, November 29, 2012

<:header> 

Bill Would Restrict Informant Testimony in Death Cases

  • by Brandi Grissom
  • <:time datetime=”2012-11-28T06:00:00″>November 28, 2012
 

Enlargephoto by: Neil Conway

Anthony Graves was wrongly convicted and sent to death row in 1994 based largely on the testimony of an alleged accomplice in the fiery murders of six people. The accomplice, while on the execution gurney, admitted he was the lone killer. Ten years later, in 2010, Graves was exonerated. 

Like Graves, Muneer Deeb, Michael Toney and Robert Springsteen were sentenced to death after trials that involved the testimony of their cellmates or alleged accomplices. Their convictions were all overturned. 

State Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, has filed a bill, HB 189, that aims to prevent wrongful death sentences in cases that involve unreliable testimony from alleged accomplices or jailhouse snitches who receive a reward for implicating someone else. 

“What we have found is that there have been people who, for their own self-interest, have basically fabricated testimony about other folks, and as a consequence that person has been found guilty,” Dutton said. 

Criminal justice reform advocates said the measure is a critical next step in Texas’ efforts to prevent wrongful convictions. Critics of the measure, though, argue that current rules already protect defendants against unreliable testimony and that eliminating such accomplice or informant testimony could tie prosecutors’ hands.

<:section>

 

Under HB 189, prosecutors in death penalty cases would be unable to use testimony from informants or from alleged accomplices of the defendant if the evidence were obtained in exchange for immunity, leniency or any other special treatment. The measure would also make testimony from cellmates of the defendant inadmissible unless the conversation was recorded. 

“Odd as it may sound, Texas is at the vanguard of snitch testimony,” said Alexandra Natapoff, a law professor at Loyola Law School Los Angeles, and author of the Snitching Blog. Texas was one of first states to require the corroboration of jailhouse informant testimony and drug snitches, she said. And Dutton’s bill would make Texas among the first states to prohibit prosecutors from offering criminals benefits for their testimony. 

A 2004 Northwestern University study of wrongful convictions found that informants played a major role in more than 45 percent of overturned death sentences nationwide. 

“The use of criminal informants is a massive source of error in our most serious cases,” said Natapoff, who also wrote the book Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice.

She said the Texas bill recognizes that “rewarded testimony by paid informants is one of the riskiest, most unreliable forms of testimony that the criminal justice system tolerates.” And disallowing that testimony in death penalty cases, she said, would acknowledge that cases in which an individual’s life is at stake require a higher ethical standard.

“Criminal informants have strong incentives to lie and very few disincentives to lie, because criminal informants are almost never punished,” Natapoff said.

Jeff Blackburn, chief counsel for the Innocence Project of Texas, said his organization has long pushed lawmakers to restrict the use of informants and snitches.

“That’s what the government does when they really need to convict somebody and they really don’t have the evidence,” Blackburn said. “It sounds dramatic, and it’s very tempting for prosecutors to use.”

<:section>

 

State Rep.-elect Joe Moody, an assistant El Paso County district attorney, said accomplices or informants are often the only witnesses who know the circumstances of the crime. Existing rules allow defense lawyers to question informants about deals they may have made with prosecutors in exchange for their testimony. If a defense attorney effectively cross-examines the witness, Moody said, the jury should be able to make an informed decision about the person’s credibility.

Requiring electronic recordings of jailhouse conversations, as Dutton’s bill suggests, Moody said, would force jails to install recording equipment in all of their facilities.

“I think the rule itself would do a disservice to trying the case in the full and open light,” said Moody, D-El Paso. 

In the wake of dozens of wrongful convictions in recent years, Texas has passed a number of measures to prevent such injustices and to compensate the victims of the criminal justice system’s mistakes. Most recently, in 2011, legislators passed a bill that improved police procedures for eyewitness identifications after studies showed misidentifications played a major role in many wrongful convictions.

Dutton has filed similar proposals to curb the use of informants in past sessions, and they have failed. As Texas continues to make national headlines with its exonerations, Dutton said, he is hopeful that lawmakers will be more amenable in the 2013 session. 

“Members now recognize that Texas needs to do a lot better job of protecting the integrity of our legal system,” he said. “The truth of the matter is all the systems we have in place to protect innocent people from being convicted simply haven’t worked.”

Pardon Leonard Peltier – Citizens of the United States of America, Citizens of te World appeal…

Pardon Leonard Peltier – Citizens of the United States of America, Citizens of te World appeal…


 

incident at oglala
incident at oglala (Photo credit: we are at war)

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-leonard-peltier/FjPdWxXG

we petition the obama administration to:

Pardon Leonard Peltier

We, the undersigned citizens of the United States of America, the Citizens of the world, do hereby appeal and in fact DEMAND the unconditional release of Leonard Peltier, an Anishinabe-Lakota Indian currently serving 2 life sentences for the murders of two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. 

It is our belief, that Leonard Peltier is, in fact  a U.S. Political Prisoner who should be immediately and unconditionally released through a long awaited presidential pardon. 

Supporters include over 30 million people, human rights organizations such as; Amnesty International, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, National Congress of American Indians, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.


Originally posted on HumansinShadow.wordpress.com:

Published on PR Watch (http://www.prwatch.org)
and:

Private Prison Company Used in Drug Raids at Public High School
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/27-1


Corrections Corporation of America

Used in Drug Sweeps of Public School Students

by Beau Hodai [1] — November 27, 2012 – 7:00am
read whole article with that link above: here only some lines

An unsettling trend appears to be underway in Arizona: the use of private prison employees in law enforcement operations.

The state has graced national headlines in recent years as the result of its cozy relationship with the for-profit prison industry. Such controversies have included the role of private prison corporations in SB 1070 and similar anti-immigrant legislation disseminated in other states; a 2010 private prison escape that resulted in two murders and a nationwide manhunt; and a failed bid to privatize nearly the entire Arizona prison system.


Thanks to Alex Friedmann, associate…

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