HOUSTON — Anthony Graves survived 18 years in prison for murders he did not commit, a dozen of those years on death row, where he was twice scheduled for execution.
On Wednesday, Graves stood defiant outside a courthouse in a blue pinstripe suit with several state lawmakers and announced that the State Bar of Texas would be investigating his complaint against the prosecutor who convicted him, Charles Sebesta.
“Give us justice,” said Graves, 48, of Houston.
#NATO3 Trial: Just in case you were curious about the longstanding history of editorial bias (and fortune telling) from the Chicago Tribune, here’s a cartoon the Trib published on May, 16, 1886, about five weeks before the Haymarket 8 trial began on June 21, 1886.
Seven defendants were sentenced to death and one to a term of 15 years in prison. The death sentences of two of the defendants were commuted by Illinois governor Richard J. Oglesby to terms of life in prison, and another died under mysterious circumstances in jail before he could be executed. The other four were hanged on November 11, 1887.
Via Richard Reilly
Huntsville, Texas: Members of the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement protest during the execution of Suzanne Basso, February 5, 2014.
"It was a freezing cold evening in Huntsville as texas executed the second woman in the last nine months, Suzanne Basso. A doctoral student in psychology from Sam Houston joined us for a while and said she new Suzanne because she worked with mental patients at the Estelle Unit where Suzanne has been housed for many years. A low day in the history of Texas executions—a mentally ill woman who was paralyzed from the chest down was murdered."
Once again, the state of Texas and the U.S. Supreme Court collaborate to execute a mentally ill or mentally disabled person.
Photo and report by Gloria Rubac
Eighty five people possess as much as half the earth’s population. Police violence against youth of color, children and the disabled is a daily occurrence, with no repercussions. People of color and the disabled are legally lynched in open violation of international law.
The day is coming when they will murder, starve or torture one too many. On that day every police station and court house in this land will burn. And all the NSA surveillance in the world won’t stop it.
"I am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land can never be purged away but with blood." - John Brown at his execution, December 2, 1859
Houston, Texas: Death penalty abolitionists say ‘Stop the Executions’ at Martin Luther King Day Parade, January 20, 2014.
Wednesday’s scheduled execution of Edgar Tamayo Arias is illegal. The World Court ruled in the Avena decision in 2004 that all Mexican citizens on death rows across the U.S. should have their cases reviewed. This needs to happen since these men were denied their rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations which the U.S. signed. STOP THE EXECUTION OF EDGAR TAMAYO!
If there is not a stay of execution, the Abolition Movement will go to Huntsville on Wednesday for the scheduled execution of Edgar Tamayo Arias. Let us know if you can get off work or school to go with us.
Photos and report Gloria Rubac / Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement
Today in history: January 17, 1961 - Patrice Lumumba assassinated.
Lumumba was a Congolese independence leader and the first leader of the Congo after he helped win its independence from Belgium in June 1960. Only twelve weeks later, Lumumba’s government was deposed in a coup. He was imprisoned and on January 17, 1961 he was executed by firing squad, an act that was committed with the assistance of the U.S. and Belgian governments. Documents publicly released in 2006 show that the CIA had concrete plans to assassinate Lumumba; the U.S. government virulently opposed his Pan Africanism and feared he was a communist.
Via Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)
LUCASVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A condemned man appeared to gasp several times and took an unusually long time to die — more than 20 minutes — in an execution carried out Thursday with a combination of drugs never before tried in the U.S.
Dennis McGuire’s attorney Allen Bohnert called the convicted killer’s death “a failed, agonizing experiment” and added: “The people of the state of Ohio should be appalled at what was done here today in their names.”
An attorney for McGuire’s family said it plans to sue the state over what happened.
McGuire’s lawyers had attempted last week to block his execution, arguing that the untried method could lead to a medical phenomenon known as “air hunger” and could cause him to suffer “agony and terror” while struggling to catch his breath.
McGuire, 53, made loud snorting noises during one of the longest executions since Ohio resumed capital punishment in 1999. Nearly 25 minutes passed between the time the lethal drugs began flowing and McGuire was pronounced dead at 10:53 a.m.
Torture on top of torture.
January 12, 1934: Death of Surya Sen, Bengali freedom fighter
"MASTERDA SURYA SEN, one of the great leader of uncompromising trend of Indian freedom struggle. The 1st Indian female martyr PRITILATA WADDEDAR was his disciple. Masterda led his team to free Chittagong from british rule. He succeeded. But in 1933, he was arrested by a betrayer and was killed with severe torture on this very day of 1934. SALUTE TO THIS GREAT MARTYR.”
Via Prateek Sikdar