James Byrd Jr., who was dragged to death in Texas 20 years ago, became one of the namesakes for a 2009 federal law expanding hate crime legislation. But just 100 hate crimes have been pursued by federal prosecutors between January 2010 and July 2018.
JASPER — Former Texas prosecutor Guy James Gray keeps a 20-year-old CD in his desk that documents with graphic photos one of the most vicious hate crimes in history – the day James Byrd Jr. was beaten, stripped naked, tied to the back of a truck by three men from the Ku Klux Klan and dragged down a dirt road until he was dead and decapitated.
“When you handle a case like that and get inside the mind of a real racist, a white supremacist racist, and you see how dangerous those people are to the fabric of our society, you just become more sensitive to racial issues,” Gray said.
Source: Black Americans are still victims of hate crimes more than any other group | The Texas Tribune
In a packed courtroom on Aug. 30 at the Juanita Kidd Stout Criminal Justice Center before Judge Leon Tucker, Mr. Abu Jamal’s attorney Judith Ritter successfully argued that a May 5, 1988, letter from the office of then-District Attorney Ron Castille to a state representative discussing death penalty cases was important. Later, as a state Supreme Court justice, Mr. Castille was personally involved in the case.
He refused to disqualify himself when Mr. Jamal’s case came before the high court despite having been the Philadelphia district attorney during prior appeals. The United States Supreme Court ruled such conduct was unconstitutional.
Judge Tucker extended the period of discovery to allow the search for more evidence that may link Justice Castille to the new document. The new court date for arguments is scheduled for Oct. 29
Source: A glimmer of hope arises in Mumia Abu Jamal murder conviction
Olivia Hooker was 6 years old in 1921 — the year she witnessed the massacre. (Family photo)
Olivia Hooker, 103, poses at her White Plains home. Hooker is one of the last surviving witnesses of the Tulsa Race Massacre. (Michael Noble Jr. for The Washington Post
B.C. Franklin, a Greenwood lawyer and the father of famed historian John Hope Franklin, wrote a rare firsthand account of the massacre later donated to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“The sidewalk was literally covered with burning turpentine balls,” he wrote. “For fully forty-eight hours, the fires raged and burned everything in its path and it left nothing but ashes and burned safes and trunks and the like that were stored in beautiful houses and businesses.”
On June 1, 1921, martial law was declared. Troops rounded up black men, women and children and detained them for days.
Source: In Tulsa, a century-old race massacre still haunts Black Wall Street – The Washington Post
Sugar Land, Texas — “The ‘convict lease system’ was a crime against humanity. It began right after enslaved people won their freedom. People have made millions of dollars off the free labor of our enslaved and imprisoned ancestors,” said Kofi Taharka, national chair of the National Black United Front. As she spoke, she was standing across the street from the old Imperial Sugar factory.
Ninety-five graves were unearthed in Sugar Land this summer as construction workers were building a school on property sold to the school district by the Texas prison system
Source: Sugar Land: ‘A crime against humanity’ – Workers World
Source: The Mass Grave Beneath a Texas Suburb
Indeed, it is an open secret that Israel is set to completely annex the occupied West Bank. In July, UN official Michael Lynk warned:
After years of creeping Israeli de facto annexation of large swathes of the West Bank through settlement expansion, the creation of closed military zones and other measures, Israel appears to be getting closer to enacting legislation that will formally annex parts of the West Bank.”
Since Lynk’s warning, several bills seeking to essentially annex the West Bank have been introduced in the Israeli Knesset, such as a controversial bill that would allow Israeli Jewish citizens to purchase Palestinian land in “Area C” of the occupied West Bank, paving the way for its eventual incorporation into Israeli territory. Area C accounts for more than 60 percent of the West Bank’s total territory.
Source: Israel Argues It Can Annex Any Land, Defy Any International Law
From the beginning, Anslinger conflated drug use, race, and music. “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men,” he was quoted as saying. “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
Source: How a racist hate-monger formed America’s War on Drugs
US National Security Advisor John Bolton, pictured in Jerusalem in August 2018, described the International Criminal Court as ‘outright dangerous’
The United States threatened Monday to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes
Source: US threatens to arrest ICC judges who probe war crimes | AFP.com
Men and women incarcerated in prisons across the nation declare a nationwide strike in response to the riot in Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in South Carolina. Seven comrades lost their lives during a senseless uprising that could have been avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration, and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology. These men and women are demanding humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern day slavery.
Source: National Prison Strike – Sawarimi.org