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The State wins

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Read All-White Juries and the Death Penalty

Yesterday, Andre Cole was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm for the 1998 stabbing death of his ex-wife’s friend, Anthony Curtis. Terri Cole, the ex-wife, survived her stabbing attack. Those who knew Andre say that his response to his paycheck being garnisheed for  back child support was uncharacteristic but an all-white jury wasn’t interested.  His determined attorneys, Joe Luby and Carol Camp of the Death Penalty Litigation Clinic, wrestled with the appeal courts until the end. Cole was finally executed at 10:15 pm after refusing the so-called last meal.

Both the families of Anthony Curtis and Terri Cole has expressed their opposition to Cole’s execution.  There’s no doubt that a murder within a family is incredibly painful for both sides. The State always pretends that the family’s wishes inform their decision about proceeding or not with an execution but this really only holds true when the families side with the prosecution. Read more

Action still needed on women’s issues

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Published in St. Louis American, Thursday, April 9, 2015

I can hardly believe it’s been 20 years since I participated in the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. It’s even more unbelievable to see the lack of progress on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

When 200 girls can be brazenly abducted and sold into slavery by Nigeria’s infamous Boko Haram and African-American women still earn only 64 cents on the dollar, it’s clear that women around the world have a long way to go to gain equality, dignity and security.

The United Nations has convened several international conferences on and for women. The first took place in Mexico City in 1975. Then there was Copenhagen in 1980, Nairobi in 1985 and Beijing in 1995. Since Beijing, there have been a series of five-year reviews.

I was fortunate to have participated in the conferences in Nairobi and Beijing. These uplifting and empowering gatherings brought together tens of thousands of women to talk about our conditions and solutions to our issues. Read more

Update of Mumia’s Health-not good

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Dear Friends,

Mumia was very ill when we saw him last Friday, April 3. For that reason, Pam Africa insisted that we return to SCI Mahanoy today,  Monday, April 6, to check on him.

His blood sugar registered in the mid 200s today and continues to fluctuate, and although Mumia is still very weak, he was better than on Friday. He told us that the doctors gave him a double shot of insulin right before he came out for the visit, likely in an effort to make him appear temporarily more energetic than he is. This concerns us because insulin overdose is a possibility in these instances. Again Mumia has not yet been seen by a diabetes specialist, although the general practitioner told him today that perhaps he needs to see a nutritionist. This is a sign that our muckraking is working, since the news has gotten around that he was given spaghetti for lunch when his blood sugar registered at 336.  Read more