The Excuse for Killing Trayvon Martin Has Become the Standard of Democracy | Common Dreams

The Excuse for Killing Trayvon Martin Has Become the Standard of Democracy | Common Dreams .

Published on Friday, March 28, 2014 by The Guardian

The Excuse for Killing Trayvon Martin Has Become the Standard of Democracy

Statehouses are supposed to be America’s laboratory, but the experiments are rigged. Since when is Stand Your Ground 2.0 the standard of justice?

An amendment in the Florida legislature tells us all we need to know about why stand-your-ground laws exist in the first place: to escape punishment for something that most people recognize is wrong. (Photograph: Zhao Hanrong / Xinhua / Corbis)The Florida House recently passed legislation that would seal the records of anyone who successfully sustains a stand-your-ground defense after a shooting. The proposal would allow a gun-wielding vigilante to escape not just any and all legal complications but also awkward interactions with curious neighbors. So…

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Grosse Dunkelziffer: Zahl der Hinrichtungen weltweit angestiegen (number of executions arose worldwide)

Grosse Dunkelziffer

Alice Kohli, Peter Gassner, Piotr Fedorczyk Heute, 27. März 2014, 05:30

Obwohl immer mehr Länder die Todesstrafe abgeschafft haben, verzeichnet Amnesty International für 2013 wieder mehr Hinrichtungen als im Vorjahr. Eine Trendwende? Unsere Visualisierung zeigt die Entwicklung in den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten.

2013 war ein schlechtes Jahr für die Gegner der Todesstrafe. Laut Amnesty International fanden 14 Prozent mehr Hinrichtungen statt als 2012. Zugenommen hat die Anzahl der Exekutionen insbesondere in Iran und im Irak. In Indonesien, Kuwait, Nigeria und Vietnam wurden nach zum Teil mehrjährigen Unterbrechungen 2013 wieder Hinrichtungen durchgeführt.

Insgesamt kann die Menschenrechtsorganisation für 2013 weltweit 778 Exekutionen belegen. Auch die Anzahl der neu verhängten Todesstrafen hat im Vergleich zum Vorjahr zugenommen. Todesurteile wurden 2013 laut Amnesty gegen 1925 Personen verhängt.

Staatsgeheimnis in China

Die Organisation betont, dass es sich bei den Angaben um Mindestzahlen handelt, die Dunkelziffer sei weitaus grösser. Offizielle länderübergreifende Statistiken gibt es…

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Torture on Death Row: Court Rules Against Automatic Use of Solitary Confinement for the Condemned

Cell on Texas death row.

Cell on Texas death row.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty itself does not constitute “cruel and unusual punishment.” Yet the treatment of the condemned is nonetheless subject to Eighth Amendment protections, as well as Fourteenth Amendment guarantees of due process.

In the past few years, this ironic legal reality has been the subject of a renewed national debate centering on execution methods. The European drug companies that U.S. states have historically relied on to provide the materials for lethal injections have refused to replenish supplies. As a result, states have developed new drug protocols, often implementing them without testing or research. Last month, Dennis McGuire struggled and gasped for well over ten minutes before he finally died.

But at a recent Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing, exoneree Damon Thibodeaux called attention to a different, rarely-discussed aspect of death…

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„REPORT: Gitmo Hiding Hunger Strikes Behind New Title: ‘Long-Term Non-Religious Fasts’“

REPORT: Gitmo Hiding Hunger Strikes Behind New Title: ‘Long-Term Non-Religious Fasts’

REPORT: Gitmo Hiding Hunger Strikes Behind New Title: ‘Long-Term Non-Religious Fasts’

By Hayes Brown on March 11, 2014 at 11:01 am

Guantanamo FutureCREDIT: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

There will be no more hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay, according to a new document first reported on Monday night. Not because the the detainees of the military prison are giving up on the tactic, though. Instead, the military is transitioning to referring to hunger strikes as “long-term non-religious fasts.”

The shift was first reported on the newly minted VICE News which obtained a copy of the document that contained the change, a standard operating procedure (SOP) manual innocuously titled “Medical Management of Detainees With Weight Loss.” Under the new guidelines, according to VICE, the previous liberal use of the phrase “hunger strike” had vanished. Instead, the base’s Joint Medical Group (JMG)…

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44 Years a Prisoner: The Case of Eddie Conway


Published on Thursday, March 6, 2014 by

44 Years a Prisoner: The Case of Eddie Conway

by Amy Goodman

Marshall “Eddie” Conway walked free from prison this week, just one month shy of 44 years behind bars. He was convicted of the April 1970 killing of a Baltimore police officer. Conway has always maintained his innocence. At the time of his arrest and trial, he was a prominent member of the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party, the militant black-rights organization that was the principal focus of COINTELPRO, the FBI’s illegal “counterintelligence program.” The FBI, under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, surveilled and infiltrated Black Panther chapters from coast to coast, disrupting their organizing activities, often with violence.

(Image: Ars Skeptica/cc/flickr)
The prosecution alleged Conway was behind the fatal shooting of Baltimore police officer Donald Sager. The case hinged on the testimony of a police officer…

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Artist Jonas Dahlberg has been chosen to create three memorials, one of which cuts a 3.5m slit in the landscape, to remember the victims of Anders Behring Breivik

Wounded landscape: how Norway is remembering its 2011 Utøya massacre

Artist Jonas Dahlberg has been chosen to create three memorials, one of which cuts a 3.5m slit in the landscape, to remember the victims of Anders Behring Breivik
Jonas Dahlberg model for Norway memorial site View larger picture

Model of Memory Wound, a 3.5m gap cut into the Sørbråten peninsula by artist Jonas Dahlberg as a memorial for the victims of the 2011 massacre. Picture: Jonas Dahlberg Studio

A Swedish artist has been selected to create official memorials at the sites of the 2011 Norwegian massacres carried out by right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik.

The competition, called Memorial Sites After 22 July, was won by Jonas Dahlberg, who will create three artworks at a cost of 27m Norwegian kroner (£2.7m) to the government in Oslo.

The most striking memorial is called Memory Wound. The 43-year-old artist has sliced a three-and-a-half-metre-wide slit into the Sørbråten peninsula, which faces the island of Utøya where Breivik killed 69 people. It marks a „symbolic wound“ in the landscape….

Better livestock diets to combat climate change and improve food security

Better diets for livestock could cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 23 percent by 2030. Image courtesy International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

Better livestock diets to combat climate change and improve food security by Staff Writers Vienna, Austria (SPX) Feb 28, 2014

r 12% of human-related greenhouse gas emissions, primarily coming from land use change and deforestation caused by expansion of agriculture, as well as methane released by the animals themselves, with a lesser amount coming from manure management and feed production.

„There is a lot of discussion about reduction of meat in the diets as a way to reduce emissions,“ says IIASA researcher Petr Havlik, who led the study „But our results show that targeting the production side of agriculture is a much more efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.“

A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows…

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She Was 40 When The Nazis Took Her. Now, She´s Outlived Them And Has Something Incredible To Say

She Was 40 When The Nazis Took Her. Now, She’s Outlived Them And Has Something Incredible To Say.

Victoria Fine           Victoria Fine        


Alice Herz-Sommer has lived through things you can’t imagine. Here’s what keeps her more passionate about life than most 20-somethings I know.

Update: Alice passed away on Feb. 23, 2014, at the age of 110. RIP.

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