Parole Board Drags Its Feet on COMPAS
January 21, 2016
New York State and the entire country are engaged in a serious public conversation on the meaning of justice and how it is applied in our communities, courts and prisons. Issues of particular importance to the legal community enter into that discussion, including sentencing reform, mandatory minimums, wrongful convictions and the ways in which racism shapes the application of justice. As lawyers with many decades of experience representing people caught up in the criminal justice system, we welcome that conversation. Whether in the media, including the New York Law Journal, in courtrooms, or in legislatures, there is a growing recognition that our justice system has too often been unfair and its punishments vengeful and draconian.
From this conversation has emerged a national consensus that we have relied too much on incarceration to solve social problems and enhance public safety. The incarceration of huge numbers of people has not lowered our crime rate. It has, however, separated families, contributed to the impoverishment of entire communities, and returned literally millions of people to the community burdened with statutory and social obstacles to successful lives. Read the rest of this entry »
Oscar Lopez Rivera is one of the Puerto Rican independence fighter who has served longest in US prisons. A massive campaign has been being waged for him throughout the US, Puerto Rico and around the world.
Now Oscar Lopez Rivera has issued a statement about Puerto Rican political prisoner Ana Belen Montes, who is serving one of the harshest sentences of total isolation in US federal prison at Carswell (compare to Leonard Peltier or the Angola 3 for an example of similarly barbaric punishment). (See article “Ana Belen Montes: Buried Alive” if you haven’t already read about her from this list).
“Various friends and companeros have asked how I would feel about having Ana Belen Montes’ name alongside mine in the campaign for my freedom. It woud be a great honor for me. I think that every Puerto Rican who loves justice and freedom should be proud of Ana Belen. What she did was more than heroic. She what every person who believes in peace, justice and liberty and in the right of every nation to govern itself in the best way possible and without intervention or threats from anyone would have done. She did what she did because she knew that the government of the United States was intent on destroying the Cuban government and imposing on the Cuban people a system designed by Washington, one more attempt at regime change. The objectives of the US government were criminal and if she hadn’t acted as she did she would have been supporting those actions. We should all be proud of her, support her and demand her release from prison.”
Friday January 8th, 2016, @ 7 pm-10 pm
1199/Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Join us Friday January 8th, 2016, as we celebrate Oscar Lopez Rivera’s 73rd birthday!
For the past 34 years, Oscar has spent his birthday (January 6th) in prison without his family or friends! Why is he in jail? For being a revolutionary who fought for the independence of Puerto Rico from U.S. colonialism.
Join us we celebrate life, work, and legacy of this extraordinary man!
Poetry by: Rafael Landron, Jesus Papoleto Melendez, and Mariposa
Special Invited Guests:
Lynne Stewart, former Political Prisoner
Daniel McGowan, former Political Prisoner
Nelson Denis, author of “War against all Puerto Ricans”
Estela Vasquez, 1199/SEIU
Dr. Johanna Fernandez, Campaign to Bring Mumia Home
Laura Whitehorn, former Political Prisoner
Francisco “Cisco” Torres, of the San Francisco 8
Artisans: Botanicafe and Jesus Mangual/Taino Cemí
Food, Music, Poetry, Birthday cards for Oscar and Fun! Donation: $5-$10 (No one will be turned away due to lack of funds)
Sponsors: The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign; Las 34 Mujeres NYC por Oscar; Call to Action on Puerto Rico; Frente Socialista NYC; PIP-NYC; NYC Jericho; Malcolm X Commemorative Committee; SODC; NYC Free Peltier; NYC Anarchist Black Cross; Daniel McGowan, Former Political Prisoner; The Campaign to Bring Mumia home; Freedom Socialist Party; Radical Women; International Action Center; Resistance in Brooklyn; Free Mumia Coalition NYC; New Abolitionist Movement; Lynne Stewart Organization; NY Fee Leonard Peltier. List still in formation.
To Chairwoman, Board of Parole, New York State, Tina M. Stanford
We are asking that Herman Bell be granted release on parole at his February
Herman Bell has been in state custody since 1973 and has been denied
Every time Herman has been denied, it has been for the same reason-that