Sent: Friday, April 13, 2012 1:01 PM
Subject: #-372 Letter to editor opportunity
LETTERs TO NY TIMES
RE: “Stakes are high, hopes are low for Iranian talks" April 13 (for LA Times)
RE: “At Nuclear talks, Hopes That a New Iranian Attitude Will Reduce Tensions“ April 13
As American diplomats meet with Iranians in Istanbul, they should remember that war with Iran will be bad for Americans. Besides killing many soldiers and civilians, Middle East war will cause oil prices to increase, killing the American and world economies just when recovery seem imminent. Indeed they should look for signs that Iran is ready to limit uranium enrichment to 5% U-235 that is required for power plants. But they cannot expect Iran to back off its right to enrich uranium. American diplomats should promise to end American threats to attack Iran, stop promoting regime change in Iran, ease the sanctions that are destroying the Iranian economy and lives of ordinary Iranians, and end the sabotage and assassination that if done to us we would consider acts of war.
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T H E M I D D L E C L A S S
A R E T H E N E W P O O R
SMILEYBOOKS IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE
Meet Tavis SMILEY+Cornel WEST!
A Benefit for KPFK 90.7
Join us on our national The Rich and the Rest of Us Tour as Smiley+West take on the “P” word–poverty. During this compelling lecture and book signing they challenge all Americans to re-examine their assumptions about poverty in America—what it really is and how to eradicate it.
AUTHORS CORNEL WEST+TAVIS SMILEY
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Sunday, April 15 - 4:00 PM
Immanuel Presbyterian Church Sanctuary
3300 Wilshire Blvd. (corner of Berendo Street)
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Tickets $20 – Book Included in Ticket Price
For more information call 818.985.2711 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 818.985.2711 end_of_the_skype_highlighting x204
“There are nearly 150 million poor and near poor people in America who are not responsible for the damage done by the Great Recession. Yet they pay the price. Nearly one-third of the American middle class—mostly families with children— have fallen into poverty.”
– from The Rich and the Rest of Us
|Location: IMMANUEL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH / 3300 WILSHIRE BLVD., LOS ANGELES, CA 90010 |
Contact: JENNIFER (818) 985-2711 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (818) 985-2711 end_of_the_skype_highlighting EXT 204
More Evidence Against the Death Penalty
NY Times Editorial: April 13, 2012
Connecticut is poised to become the 17th state without the death penalty and the fifth in five years to abolish it. Gov. Dannel Malloy is expected to sign the repeal bill approved by the Legislature in recent days
Connecticut is part of a growing movement against capital punishment, with repeal measures now proposed in California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky and Washington. Other states like Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania are reviewing their death penalty laws.
This shift comes at a time when new analyses of capital punishment show gross injustice in its application and enormous costs in continuing to impose it. In Connecticut, a powerful, comprehensive study provided evidence that state death sentences are haphazardly meted out, with virtually no connection to the heinousness of the crime.
In California, two former death penalty proponents — a prosecutor who drafted the 1978 ballot initiative that expanded the state’s death penalty and a leading supporter of the 1978 law — are now championing a new ballot measure to repeal the penalty. They point to a study showing that, since 1978, California has spent roughly $4 billion on the death penalty to carry out 13 executions. “The cost of our system of capital punishment is so enormous that any benefit that could be obtained from it — and I now think there’s very little or zero benefit — is so dollar-wasteful that it serves no effective purpose,” Donald Heller, the drafter of the 1978 measure, said recently.
Decades of research show that racial bias pervades death penalty cases. Minority defendants with white victims are much more likely to be sentenced to death than others; 35 percent of those executed nationally since 1976 were black, though blacks currently make up 12.6 percent of the population. The problem of inadequate counsel permeates the system, with many indigent defendants sentenced to death after major blunders by court-assigned lawyers. And a horrific number of innocent people have ended up on death row: 17 convicts with death sentences have been exonerated with DNA evidence since 1993, 123 with other evidence since 1973.
Any careful evaluation leads to what the American Law Institute concluded after a review of decades of executions: the system cannot be fixed. It is practically impossible to rid the legal process of biases driven by race, class and politics. The growing number of states reconsidering this barbaric system is a welcome sign. Capital punishment, by overwhelming evidence, should be abolished throughout the United States.