Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Race in America: Blacks More Likely to Be Wrongfully Convicted Than Whites

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A study released on Tuesday indicates that racial bias in the USA makes African-Americans much more likely to be wrongfully convicted of drug crimes, sexual assault, and murder than white defendants are. The National Registry of Exonerations (NRE) examined cases spanning from 1989 to October 2016, and out of 1,900 people convicted and later exonerated of crimes, black Americans made up 47 percent, a figure over three times their share of the population in the USA. African-Americans are also seven times more likely to be wrongfully convicted of murder than whites, according to the study and are 12 times more likely to be convicted of drug crimes than white Americans. The report noted further discrepancies in murder convictions:

African-American prisoners convicted of murder are about 50 percent more likely to be innocent than other convicted murderers. Part of that disparity is tied to the race of the victim. African-Americans imprisoned for murder are more likely to be innocent if they were convicted of killing white victims. Only about 15 percent of murders by African-Americans have white victims, but 31 percent of innocent African-American murder exonerees were convicted of killing white people.

Samuel Gross, University of Michigan Law School professor and senior editor for the group tracking exonerations, said:

In the murder cases we examined, the rate of official misconduct is considerably higher in cases where the defendant is African-American compared to cases where the defendant is white. Unconscious racial bias, overt discrimination, and institutional racism often play a factor in wrongful convictions.

NRE released a separate study noting that 2016 was a record year for exonerations in the USA, with the most since 1989. There were 166 exonerations, an uptick from 2015’s 160 cases. Harris County in Texas, which includes Houston, showed chiefly drug convictions and was the source for most of the exonerations in the state. There were many instances of people pleading guilty to drug possession, only for crime reports to reveal months and years later that there were no controlled substances in the seized material. There were 52 exonerations for murder across the country, along with 73 exonerations of drug possession and other non-violent crimes. Illinois had the most exonerations in 2016 after Texas, with 16. There were 14 exonerations in New York and 9 in California. The “San Antonio Four”, four Latino women convicted of child sex crimes in the 1990s were the highest-profile exoneration of last year. In the majority opinion, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge David Newell wrote:

Those defendants have won the right to proclaim to the citizens of Texas that they didn’t commit a crime. That they’re innocent. That they deserve to be exonerated… these women have carried that burden. They’re innocent. And they’re exonerated.

8 March 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/us/201703081051360908-blacks-more-like-convicted-crime/

Saturday, 6 June 2015

6 June 2015. Why Aren’t We the Home of the Free Anymore?

00 usa home of the free. 06.06.15

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Prisons are full because crooked pols (mostly Republicans) profit from slave labour in “for-profit” private corporate prisons. This is an abomination. It’s time to close down all “private” prisons, outlaw prison slave labour (which competes with free labour), and drastically reform the police to halt their militarisation.

The Republicans won’t do it… Chilly Hilly and O’Malley won’t do it. Only Bernie has the guts and grit to do it. Vote for Bernie… your life DOES depend on it.

BMD

Monday, 5 January 2015

Aicha Bascaró: Please, Grant Clemency to My Father, Antonio Bascaró

01 behind bars in jail

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My father, Antonio Bascaró, has been in prison for over 34 years, he had no earlier criminal record, serving time for a nonviolent first-time marijuana-only offense… all for helping supply a product that’s legal in a growing number of states. He’s the longest-serving marijuana prisoner in the history of the USA. Today, he’s 80 years old. I lost him to the legal system when I was 12 years old. I hardly remember him outside of that environment. My children barely know him. This gentle grandfather of eight spends his days in a wheelchair, mostly by himself, reading newspapers and listening to the news in his cell at a federal prison south of Miami. He calls me two to three times a week to see how I’m doing and staying in touch. I check on his health, we talk about plans for when he gets out, hoping that on the next Christmas, birthday, or summer we can be together. My father paid with his life (and ours) for that one marijuana offense. I think that the time he’s already been in prison is more than enough punishment. He isn’t a threat to society; he has a large family waiting for him and ready to help him re-enter it. That’s why I’m asking President Obama to grant him clemency, please.

Please, sign my petition asking President Obama to grant my father Antonio Bascaró clemency.

9 December 2014

Aicha Bascaró

Lawrenceville GA

Sign Aicha’s Petition

Change.org

https://www.change.org/p/eric-h-holder-please-grant-clemency-to-my-father-antonio-bascaro?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=211546&alert_id=vrZNeWwTGC_l9qE8xsW%2Bb8xvSpMR13IbfOjd2SM%2FaxZ8%2BhIVLWN0GuE7u%2FOK7xySrAoaZ9vukR2

Editor:

The USA is the “Prison House of all the Nations”… not only do we have the festering enormity of the Gitmo Gulag on our conscience as a nation, we have more prisoners, both in absolute and per capita terms, than any other nation on earth. Some states in the USA are worse than others are… the worst, hands-down, is Texas… that’s because the Anglos have never felt comfortable in their possession of the territory since the Texas Anglo Coup of 1836. Remember WHY the Anglos did it… the Mexicans insisted that they free their slaves! It wasn’t a war FOR liberty… it was a war RESTRICTING liberty. It’s no surprise that Texas is also the leader in capital punishment. Following not far behind are the southeastern states of the Old Confederacy. There, the law does its best to victimise black folks… all one has to do is to look at the rates of white and black imprisonment and execution in those states.

The Republicans smile at imprisoning black and Latino men as it removes them from the voting rolls. Therefore, I make the following suggestion. We should legalise marijuana… grant total and unconditional pardons to those whose only offences were marijuana busts. We should restore their voting rights… we should wipe their slates clean. Of course, optimally, we’d couple that with throwing rightwing filth like Rick Perry in the slam for misusing drug laws to disenfranchise coloured men… but that isn’t going to happen. I predict that lawlessness wouldn’t break out. All that would happen is that crooked pols, judges, and cops would forego their dirty money and drug dealers would lose their lucrative situations. Wanna know who the crooked pols, judges, and coppers are? Look at those who defend the “War on Drugs” most strenuously… those are your culprits. It’s just like the loudest and most strident opponents of open homosexuals… why, they’re often closeted gays themselves!

Set the drug prisoners free and legalise marijuana. Drug addiction is a medical problem… not a criminal justice problem. In any case, marijuana use doesn’t lead to hard drug use. Keep it focused. Look at the BILLIONS we’d save on prisons… note well that the amoral moneygrubbing Republican rightwing filth DOESN’T want to save that money. I wonder why… so should you…

BMD

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

30 October 2013. RIA-Novosti Infographics. GULag History and Fact Sheet

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. GULAG History and Fact Sheet. 30.0.13

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This is one of the few infographics without an accessible Russian original. My apologies…

BMD

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On 30 October, Russia commemorates victims of political repression.

30 October 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/infographics/20131030/184428082/GULAG-History-and-Fact-Sheet.html

Editor’s Note:

No political prisoners were freed in 1991… there weren’t any. Reflect on that. The USSR died just as it finished cleansing itself. Reflect on that too. It puts a FAR different face on 1991, doesn’t it? If the idiotic plotters had held back, in ten years time, there would’ve been a stronger Union… with the Church marching side-by-side with the Party (remember, the Party helped the 1988 Millennium Celebrations). The “Russian Federation” is only a transistional structure. Shall we have a “Red Tsar”, as Zyuganov has spoken of? God willing, we shall!

BMD

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