There is no doubt about Nikolas Cruz’s culpability for the mass murder of 17 people and the injury of 17 others at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018. His horrific actions affected many more than those who were injured or killed and will leave a lifetime scar on far too many people. He absolutely must be held accountable for this tragedy. The death penalty, however, is the wrong way to do so, for several reasons.
On May 23, 2022, the Supreme Court issued yet another decision that does greater injustice to the US criminal (in)justice system. It ruled that state prisoners cannot submit claims of inadequate counsel to federal courts, thereby adding yet another barrier to those on death row who are seeking relief amidst serious concerns that justice was not served.
Texas’ highest court stayed the April 27 execution of Melissa Lucio, the only Mexicana on death row here. There was a collective sigh of relief, many tears of joy and a burden lifted from the shoulders of Lucio, her family, her attorneys and the throngs of her supporters, not only in Texas but around the world.
The death penalty is an antiquated and barbaric method of punishment in any case, regardless of whether the offender is clearly guilty. But in cases in which there is any doubt, the state’s urge to kill is particularly grotesque. Yet the state of Texas is poised to execute a woman who in all likelihood did not commit the crime for which she was sentenced unless radical action is taken before April 27, the day Melissa Lucio is scheduled to die.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges explores why Saudi Arabia remains one of the U.S.’ closest allies in the Middle East with Medea Benjamin, author of Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection. They examine why the U.S. overlooks the Saudi’s treatment of women, public executions and promotion of a fundamentalist religion that sanctifies violence. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the long alliance between the two countries.
Meet the new head of the United Nations panel on Human Rights: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Abby Martin takes us inside the brutal reality of this police-state monarchy, and tells the untold people’s history of resistance to it. With a major, catastrophic war in Yemen and looming high-profile executions of activists, The Empire Files exposes true nature of the U.S.-Saudi love affair.
I couldn’t sit through the Pope’s slow and plodding and polite speech to Congress, waiting for him to say something against the primary thing that body does and spends our money on. But finally he got there: Continue reading →
The Empire holds by far the most prisoners than any other country on earth, in both absolute numbers and per capita. Abby Martin explores the dark reality of America’s prisons: their conditions, who is warehoused in them, and the roots of mass incarceration.
Like millions of others, I’m grieving the death of the nine church folk killed in the unthinkable massacre inside Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday night. My heart goes out to the families and friends of the dead, and the church members, and I offer all my condolences, prayers, blessings and love.
With few opportunities at home, millions of poor, desperate men and women from South East Asia and the horn of Africa migrate annually to Saudi Arabia. Vulnerable at home and vulnerable abroad where many are enslaved and badly abused, some killed. Slavery is woven into the fabric of the psyche of the kingdom; according to Saudi scholar Ali al-Ahmed, a “culture of slavery pervades the country”[The Guardian[i]], and although banned in 1964 (when it is thought there were 30,000 slaves in the country) the barbaric practice of owning a fellow human being still exists in the form of the internationally condemned kafala sponsorship system. By tying the residency status of migrant workers to their employers, the system grants the latter total control, amounting to ownership.
Sent to Dandelion Salad from a personal contact who wishes to remain anonymous
Nov. 15, 2013
Ali Al Taweel is an extreme example of the illegal, violent nature of the Bahrain legal system. It also shows that torture is widespread in the prisons to degrade detainees and extract confessions.
Ali is an uneducated young man, unable to read or write and the son of a fisherman. He was picked up because he was in Sitra when the demos were going on. He was tortured for weeks including being strung up like a chicken and sexually abused. There has not been an execution of a Bahraini since 1990s, the last execution was of a Bangladeshi in 2010.
Murder is our national sport. We murder tens of thousands with our industrial killing machines in Afghanistan and Iraq. We murder thousands more from the skies over Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen with our pilotless drones. We murder each other with reckless abandon. And, as if we were not drenched in enough human blood, we murder prisoners—most of them poor people of color who have been locked up for more than a decade. The United States believes in regeneration through violence. We have carried out blood baths on foreign soil and on our own land for generations in the vain quest of a better world. And the worse it gets, the deeper our empire sinks under the weight of its own decay and depravity, the more we kill.