tell me about my white privilege while you get scholarships just for being a minority
Another thing that I just enjoy so much about privilege-denying, racist white folks’ arguments on Affirmative Action (besides the whole neglecting to acknowledge that white women have been & are the overwhelming beneficiaries of AA thing) is that they think this ONE concession somehow negates the 10,000,000,000,000X10^10 unearned advantages they receive as white folks living in a deeply white supremacist society.
- Do you ever hear these same folks talkin about racist, white-favoring discrimination in job hiring? —NOPE.
- Do you ever hear these same folks talkin about the inherently racist nature & execution of the criminal (in)justice system? —NOPE.
- Do you ever hear these same folks talkin about the fact that schools are more segregated today than they were in the 1950s? —NOPE.
- Do you ever hear these same folks talkin about the fact that black & brown kids not only have the least access to education/quality teachers, but are much more likely to be disciplined/suspended/expelled for the same shit white kids get away with? —NOPE.
I could go on… but since I know this fool won’t read these links anyway, I don’t think it’s necessary.
Over 67 years after 14-year-old George Junius Stinney Jr. was put to death by the state of South Carolina, he may soon be cleared of the crime that people familiar with the case say he never could have committed.
A lawyer and an activist both told Raw Story recently that new evidence will show that the black boy could not have possibly murdered two white girls, 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and seven-year-old Mary Emma Thames.
Stinney, the youngest person to receive the death penalty in the last 100 years, was executed on June 16, 1944. At five feet one inch and only 95 pounds, the straps of the electric chair did not fit the boy. His feet could not touch the floor. As he was hit with the first 2,400-volt surge of electricity, the mask covering his face slipped off, “revealing his wide-open, tearful eyes and saliva coming from his mouth,” according to author Joy James.
After two more jolts of electricity, the boy was dead.
Less than three months earlier, Stinney, who had no previous history of violence, had been accused of the crime after he admitted speaking to the girls when they stopped by a field in Alcolu where he was grazing his cow to ask where they could find maypops, a type of flower. Authorities alleged Stinney had used a railroad spike to shatter both of the girls’ heads. The boy was taken into a room with several white officers and within an hour, they said he had confessed. Because there were no Miranda rights in 1944, Stinney was questioned without a lawyer and his parents were not allowed into the room.
No written confession exists, only a few handwritten notes a deputy who was present during the interrogation. They claimed that Stinney had said he killed Mary Emma because he wanted to have sex with Betty June. When Betty June resisted his advances, authorities said, he murdered her too.
Reports said that the officers had offered the boy ice cream for confessing to the crimes.
A mob of about 40 angry white men showed up at the jail, demanding to lynch Stinney, but he had already been moved about 50 miles away to Columbia. Even though Stinney’s father had helped search for the girls when they went missing, he was fired and forced to leave the home provided by Alderman’s Lumber Mill where he worked.
The court appointed 31-year-old Charles Plowden, a tax commissioner, to defend Stinney.
“Plowden had political aspirations, and the trial was a high-wire act for him,” author Mark R. Jones wrote. “His dilemma was how to provide enough defense so that he could not be accused of incompetence, but not be so passionate that he would anger the local whites who may one day vote for him.”
Plowden did not cross-examine any of the prosecution’s witnesses, nor did he call any witnesses for the defense. His entire argument was that Stinney had been too young to be held responsible for the crime, but under South Carolina law at that time, 14 was considered to be age of criminal liability.
The trial was over two hours after it began. A jury of twelve white men deliberated for 10 minutes before convicting Stinney. Plowden later told the judge that there was nothing to appeal, and the Stinney family could not afford to continue the case. A one-sentence notice of appeal would have automatically stayed the case for a year.
While Plowden was preparing a run for state House that Spring, he was not the only one for which the trial held political implications. As elected officials, Sheriff Gamble, Judge Phillip Henry Stoll, Gov. Olin Dewitt Talmudge Johnston, Coroner Charles Moses Thigpen and State Sen. John Grier Binkins, who were all involved in the case, were also beholden to white voters.
State Sen. Binkins assisted the prosecution and Gov. Johnston could have commuted the sentence. Coroner Thigpen had testified that while there was no evidence of rape, he could not rule it out, an inflammatory statement that would have normally been subjected to cross-examination.
Only 83 days after first being accused of the crime, Stinney was put to death.
Attorney Steve McKenzie told Raw Story that he has no doubt this case was an injustice.
“You can’t try a [general session-level] case in two hours,” McKenzie explained. Plowden “would have had an ethical obligation to appeal the case. He would have had an ethical obligation, also, to cross-examine the witnesses but he didn’t do either one of those.”
“The defense attorney obviously didn’t even know what he was — he wasn’t a criminal lawyer, he was just someone that was appointed. He argued that you couldn’t execute George Stinney because he was 14. Well, the age was 14 for an adult at the time. So, he argued actually the wrong argument in his closing statement.”
McKenzie said that the lack of preserved evidence made clearing Stinney’s name difficult, but he hoped that the affidavits of three new witnesses, one of which could provide an alibi, would be enough to re-open the case.
“If we can get the case re-opened, we can go to the judge and say, ‘There wasn’t any reason to convict this child. There was no evidence to present to the jury. There was no transcript. This case needs to be re-opened. This is an injustice that needs to be righted.’”
“I’m pretty optimistic that if we can get the witnesses we need to come forward, we will be successful in court,” he added. “We hopefully have a witness that’s going to say — that’s non-family, non-relative witness — who is going to be able to tie all this in and say that they were basically an alibi witness. They were there with Mr. Stinney and this did not occur.”
Activist George Frierson, who is also from Alcolu, said that he had come across the case about five and a half years ago while doing black historical research and has been fascinated ever since.
“The fact that he was 14 just astounds me,” Frierson told Raw Story. “I’m a military veteran and I always tell people that the two things that we protect is our elders and our children. And to have this happen to a 14-year-old child, it was appalling.”
“I was born in Alcolu, where he was living at the time of this incident, and it always has been talked about in the community. In fact, there has been a person that has been named as being the culprit, who is now deceased. And it was said by the family that there was a deathbed confession.”
He added that the rumored culprit had come from a well-known, prominent white family. Another member of that same family had served on the coroner’s inquest jury which recommend that Stinney be prosecuted.
Frierson hopes that clearing Stinney’s name would make people think twice in other death penalty cases like that of Troy Davis, who was recently executed by the state of Georgia. Since his conviction, seven of the nine people who testified against him had recanted or changed their testimonies.
“I have a problem with the death penalty because it is irreversible,” Frierson said. “You find out later that someone actually was innocent then you go and say we’re going to settle a wrongful death lawsuit. What does that do for the victim? Nothing. It doesn’t do anything for them.”
“I think it will make people look a little more closely. Just like the seven people that recanted in the Troy Davis case… After seven people recanted a story out of nine, if that’s not reasonable doubt, I don’t know what is. And yet, the state of Georgia decided to go through with the execution.”
If Stinney’s name is cleared, it won’t be the first time the state of South Carolina has learned that the it put the wrong person to death.
In 2009, the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services unanimously pardoned Thomas Griffin and Meeks Griffin for the 1913 murder of John Q. Lewis, a former Confederate Army veteran.
“It’s good for the community,” radio show host Tom Joyner, who had two great uncles that were also executed for the crime, told CNN. “It’s good for the nation. Anytime that you can repair racism in this country is a step forward.”
In a 1990 report, the non-partisan U.S. General Accounting Office found “a pattern of evidence indicating racial disparities in the charging, sentencing, and imposition of the death penalty.” The study concluded that a defendant was several times more likely to be sentenced to death if the murder victim was white. This has been confirmed by the findings of many other studies that, holding all other factors constant, the single most reliable predictor of whether someone will be sentenced to death is the race of the victim.
- A report sponsored by the American Bar Association in 2007 concluded that one-third of African-American death row inmates in Philadelphia would have received sentences of life imprisonment if they had not been African-American.
- A January 2003 study released by the University of Maryland concluded that race and geography are major factors in death penalty decisions. Specifically, prosecutors are more likely to seek a death sentence when the race of the victim is white and are less likely to seek a death sentence when the victim is African-American.
- A 2007 study of death sentences in Connecticut conducted by Yale University School of Law revealed that African-American defendants receive the death penalty at three times the rate of white defendants in cases where the victims are white. In addition, killers of white victims are treated more severely than people who kill minorities, when it comes to deciding what charges to bring.
Based on the OVERWHELMING response I have received from everyone that was ignited from the Lena Baker story (the first and only woman executed in the State of Georgia) I thought it would be beneficial to share the trailer of the biopic starring Tichina Arnold. If you have Netflix, I would highly recommend you check it out this film. It’s heartbreaking, yet a revealing visual into to tragic life and state mandated murder of Lena Baker. Let’s keep the memory of this woman alive, and continue to educate the world about the injustice that lies at the foundation of the death penalty. -CB
The Lena Baker Story Trailer
“Yes, black America still lives on the brink of fear. For all the progress we have made, dues we have paid, degrees we have acquired and presidencies we have won, we can all recite the story of the father, son, daughter or niece who has gone from citizen to suspect in an instant — the son frisked, the cousin shoved against the car, the uncle badly beaten — and, more often than should be, the nephew convicted of a crime he didn’t commit or, worse, shot dead by the police.”
“Ballistics evidence used to convict Davis has since been debunked. Another witness has since emerged as a plausible suspect in the murder. Three jurors on the case now say that if they knew then what they know now, they would not have voted to convict. Davis was quite possibly innocent, but that was hardly the point. As expressed by the popular Twitter hash-tag, the problem was quite simply that there was #TooMuchDoubt.”
The state of Georgia executed Troy Davis at 11:08 p.m. A few quick thoughts on how it happened, why it matters, and where we go from here. (via motherjones)
May 22nd, 2008
Killer spared from death hours before execution
(Reuters) - The parole board in the state of Georgia spared a convicted killer from execution hours before he was due to die by lethal injection on Thursday and commuted his sentence to life in prison.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles made its decision less than three hours before Samuel David Crowe, 47, was to be executed, according to a spokeswoman for the state’s prisons.
“After careful and exhaustive consideration of the requests, the board voted to grant clemency. The board voted to commute the sentence to life without parole,” the parole board said.
Crowe’s death would have marked the third execution since the U.S. Supreme Court lifted an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty last month.
Crowe was not present at the parole board hearing in Atlanta. He had already eaten his last meal and was preparing to enter the execution chamber at the prison in Jackson, Georgia, Mallie McCord of the Georgia Department of Corrections said.
In March 1988, Crowe killed store manager Joseph Pala during a robbery at the lumber company in Douglas County, west of Atlanta. Crowe, who had previously worked at the store, shot Pala three times with a pistol, beat him with a crowbar and a pot of paint.
Crowe pleaded guilty to armed robbery and murder and was sentenced to death the following year.
“David (Crowe) takes full responsibility for his crime and experiences profound remorse,” according to Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, an advocacy group, who welcomed the board’s decision.
At Thursday’s hearing, his lawyers presented a dossier of evidence attesting to his remorse and good behavior in jail, according to local media reports. The lawyers also said he was suffering from withdrawal symptoms from a cocaine addiction at the time of the crime.
The U.S. Supreme Court on April 16 rejected a challenge to the three-drug cocktail used in most U.S. executions, which opponents claimed inflicted unnecessary pain. Georgia then conducted an execution on May 5.
Georgia has executed 41 men since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1973 and this week it had 109 prisoners on death row.
For a point of comparison.
And an interesting (and completely unsurprising) point of comparison it is.
So he got a stay not because there was doubt he shot is co-worker with a gun and beat the shit out of him with a crowbar and a bucket of paint, but because he was a good boy in jail and was high when he committed the crime.