2017-05-25 15:42:30 UTC
Cop killers deserve death penalty
I just wanted to say that if anyone could have the audacity to take the
precious life of a police officer, or anyone else for that matter, then that
person obviously has no regard for life itself.
The individuals who recently took a deputy's life exhibited the coldest,
cruelest and most callous actions that even animals don't exhibit. They're
beyond animals though.
Any good ideas out there as to how this man should be dealt with? I'm thinking
"an eye for an eye" would be 110 % justifiable. At least this way the taxpayers
would be spared the expense of caring for and housing this worthless waste of
oxygen, pile of cow dung.
It's too bad that this officer's children have to unnecessarily grow up without
their father. The whole family will be hurting for many years after this piece
of trash is dead and thankfully gone. I hope he dresses warm, because he's
going straight to hell. Jail might cheer him for what he's done, but it's not
gonna do him any good where he's going.
(source: Letter to the Editor, The Missoulian)
With A Retail Partner, Anti-Death Penalty Movement Can Smell Success----The
often-ignored issue finds a fragrant angel in Lush as it hopes to add
mainstream support to every shopping bag.
On a recent spring evening along the Magnificent Mile, a cluster of shoppers
gathered amid heaps of organic soap and fizzy bath bombs to engage in a
decidedly less effervescent topic: the death penalty.
Lush, the activist-minded cosmetics company, was kicking off an anti-capital
punishment campaign at its Michigan Avenue store, complete with speakers,
including a death row exonoree, and a mini-documentary about wrongful
convictions. Lush launched a special edition of its signature product, the bath
bomb, to raised funds for the campaign, and it has drawn the notice of Teen
Vogue, the beauty and lifestyle site Refinery29 and others.
At a store where customers typically come to sample beauty products or maybe
enjoy a bachelorette party, neither the setting nor the audience was typical of
the traditional anti-death penalty contingent - and that's exactly what
Anti-death penalty advocates have looked to recent successful social justice
movements as a blueprint. The goal, they say, is for the anti-death penalty
movement to make the same progress as issues such as marriage equality and
environmental protection, and to move from a back-burner issue to wider
"We used to be in a lot of churches and vigils exclusively," Diann
Rust-Tierney, executive director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death
Penalty, said at the Chicago event (the NCADP is a beneficiary of the
campaign). "But now, opposition to the death penalty is the mainstream. Why not
have it here?"
Such partnerships seem poised for success: Activists can capitalize on a
company's broad reach and mainstream status to amplify and normalize a message,
while the company can align with an issue that reinforces its identity at a
time when a brand taking a socially conscious position is not only common but
Rust-Tierney said at least 20 national organizations - from pharmaceutical
companies to the travel, entertainment and tech conglomerate Virgin - have
taken a stance against the death penalty.
"What Lush is doing is taking an activist position against the death penalty,
and they feel that's consistent with their corporate mission, which has been
involved wth social justice for some time," said Robert Dunham, executive
director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit that compiles and
analyzes data on capital punishment.
Dunham agrees that, by all indications, the anti-death penalty movement has
edged its way into mainstream acceptance, as polls show.
The younger you are ... you're more likely to wonder why there even is a death
penalty----Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information
"The phenomenon is not new, but it is emerging now that you have it associated
with a product that has broader commercial appeal," Dunham said of Lush's
effort. "A restaurant is one thing, when you have a small but reliable
clientele. A company that sells products to the general public is a different
story. But it's part of the same phenomenon that shows the trend continues to
Though support for the death penalty remains strong, particularly among older
and more politically conservative people, it has fallen over the past few
decades: 80 % of Americans backed the death penalty in the mid-1990s, according
to Gallup polling; last year, support had fallen to 60 %.
Dunham notes that anti-death penalty support is in part generational.
"It's more like the issue of marriage equality and climate change, where the
younger you are, more often than not it???s not even an issue - you're more
likely to wonder why there even is a death penalty," he said.
The death penalty is also increasingly viewed as a social justice issue because
of racial and economic bias in sentencing, said Dunham. As a result, the
anti-death penalty movement fits in with other social justice issues, like
criminal justice reform, income inequality and racism.
The growing opposition to the death penalty includes high-profile figures such
as Pope Francis and institutions including the Democratic Party, which added
abolition of the death penalty to its platform last year.
"When 1 of the 2 major political parties has a plank in its platform about
something, you can't say that the issue is that far outside the mainstream."
The Lush "31 States' bath bomb is a special edition of the company's signature
product meant to boost awareness of the death penalty in the U.S. and to raise
money for abolition-focused nonprofits. The name refers to the 31 states where
the death penalty is legal.
For decades, death penalty opposition was championed by a set of reliable
groups that included liberal lawmakers, criminal justice reformers and
The tent has broadened considerably to include groups like political
conservatives and evangelical Christians. Leno Rose-Avila, executive director
of Witness to Innocence, which supports those who have been exonerated after
serving time in prison, hopes to make it an even bigger tent.
"One of the areas we missed over the years was not reaching women and not
reaching young people," Rose-Avila said. "We were successful in some levels
with legislatures, which were usually older men. But we found there was new
demographic out there that hasn't been reached."
"Look at the environment, Black Lives Matter, immigration - they're youthful
movements," he added. "You don't see too many gray hairs out there."
Rose-Avila recalls working in the South for Amnesty International in the late
1980s when the nonprofit made the same kind of outreach to youth that
anti-death penalty groups are making now: The 1988 Human Rights Now! campaign
was a multi-city tour that featured artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Tracy
Chapman and Sting. It was underwritten by the philanthropic arm of Reebok.
"Every movement needs a major stakeholder," noted Rust-Tierney, of the NCADP.
Advocates are aware that pushback will continue even as the anti-death penalty
movement advances - just as it has with gay rights. In last November's
election, California, Nebraska and Oklahoma passed pro-death penalty ballot
referendums. It also remains a fraught emotional issue, especially for the
families of murder victims.
Rust-Tierney hopes the current campaign and others that may follow will reach
more people - including victims.
"There's no right or wrong way for victims to feel about the death penalty.
Having the conversation is the victory. We also want to put the focus back on
healing. The death penalty traumatizes everyone it touches."
(source: Kim Bellware, Huffington Post)
Army court rejects latest appeal by convicted murderer Ronald Gray
Convicted serial rapist and murderer Ronald Gray moved a step closer to death
earlier this month when an Army court dismissed the latest attempt to stave off
A 9-judge panel in the Army Court of Criminal Appeals on May 9 unanimously
denied Gray's petition to have his convictions and death sentence vacated.
Gray, who has made numerous appeals through his lawyers since his conviction
during a Fort Bragg court-martial in 1988, had filed the petition in the Army
court earlier this year, after a federal judge in another court ruled that a
stay of execution first granted in November 2008 was no longer in effect and
denied Gray's request to further block the military from moving forward with
the death sentence.
Gray has been confined at the U.S. Army Disciplinary Barracks at Fort
Leavenworth, Kansas, since he was sentenced to death.
A former resident of Fairlane Acres near Bonnie Doone in Fayetteville, he
served as an Army cook before he was convicted in a series of rapes and murders
in Fayetteville and Fort Bragg more than 25 years ago.
His crimes were committed in 1986 and 1987 on Fort Bragg and near Fairlane
Acres Mobile Home Park off Santa Fe Drive.
Gray killed cab driver Kimberly Ann Ruggles, Army Pvt. Laura Lee Vickery-Clay,
Campbell University student Linda Jean Coats and Fairlane Acres resident and
soldier's wife Tammy Wilson and raped several other women.
In addition to the death sentence handed down by a military court, he also
received 8 life sentences from civilian courts, including 3 to be served
The case has lingered in the courts for more than 8 years since President
George W. Bush approved Gray's execution in 2008. All military executions must
be approved by the president.
But late last year, a federal U.S. District Court judge in Kansas removed the
stay, months after the same court dismissed a petition for relief filed by
At the time, Army Disciplinary Barracks officials said they intended to set a
date for Gray's execution no earlier than 30 days from the date of their
notice, which was filed on Nov. 21.
But earlier this year, Army officials said no execution date had been set due
to pending legal actions in the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.
On Wednesday, an Army spokeswoman said Gray has 30 days following the May 9
opinion to file for a reconsideration with the court or, alternatively, 20 days
to petition for review with the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. As of
Wednesday, the case had not been listed in that court's daily journal.
In their latest petition, Gray's lawyers asked the court to grant relief in the
form of a writ of coram nobis, a legal order that allows a court to correct a
judgment based on the discovery of a fundamental error which did not appear in
the records of the original trial.
Specifically, lawyers argued that Gray was tried while incompetent to stand
trial; that he was denied due process when military authorities failed to
disclose evidence about his competency during appeal; that he was denied his
rights to due process, fair sentencing and a public trial because President
Bush used a confidential report in making his decision to approve Gray's death
sentence; that he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance
of counsel at his capital sentencing; that his appellate counsel rendered
ineffective assistance; that his sentence was the result of racial
discrimination; and that the military death penalty violates evolving standards
of decency under the Eighth Amendment.
The Army appeals court denied 6 of the claims outright, dismissed the claim
involving President Bush as being outside its jurisdiction and denied Gray's
motion for an oral argument in the case.
Gray is the longest-serving inmate on the military's death row. If he is
executed, officials said he likely would be put to death at the United States
Penitentiary in Terre, Haute, Indiana - the same facility where, in 2001,
terrorist Timothy McVeigh was executed for the bombing of a federal building in
Oklahoma City in 1995.
If Gray is executed, it would be the 1st for the U.S. military since 1961.
(source: The Fayetteville Observer)
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