Newsflash:
Alan Grayson End Mass Criminalization
End Mass Criminalization
End Mass Criminalization

End Mass Criminalization (30)

As a former big city mayor of a racially diverse city, Cleveland, Ohio, I can understand the cross currents sweeping through Ferguson, Missouri. We are at a moment of national crisis in the way our domestic law enforcement is being conducted. The killing of an unarmed civilian by a law enforcement officer is, sadly, not unique.
President Obama said Monday that Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson, Mo., Wednesday, to meet with federal officials investigating the death of an unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed by a police officer Aug. 9. Holder will meet with members of the Department of Justice and FBI who are conducting a federal investigation into the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
BILL FLETCHER, HOST, THE GLOBAL AFRICAN: Sean Bell, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner--the list of African-American lives senselessly taken because of excessive policing is seemingly long and endless, underscoring the increasingly contentious relationship that exists between the black community and law enforcement. The tension between the African-American community and the police has reached a fever pitch this week.

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) announced Thursday that he plans to file legislation aimed at stemming the militarization of local police -- something on full display this week in Ferguson, Missouri, where officers in riot gear have been showering largely peaceful protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law will once again be no refuge for Marissa Alexander, the Florida woman who fired what she said was a warning shot near her abusive husband, Rico Gray, and his two sons.

On Friday, Circuit judge James H. Daniel denied her request for a new hearing to seek immunity from prosecution under the law, finding that the legislature’s June revision to include such warning shots ”cannot be applied retroactively” for a new Stand Your Ground hearing.

Eastern Shore Cong. Andy Harris Sponsors Blockage Amendment

D.C. supporters of marijuana took a hard punch after House Republicans flexed their muscle against outnumbered Democrats looking to legalize the drug.

Citing uncertainty over whether Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is about to change, the judge in Marissa Alexander’s criminal case has delayed her trial until Dec. 1. Alexander, 33, is charged with three counts of aggravated assault after firing a shot in the direction of her estranged husband, Rico Gray, and his two young children during an argument.

Since my CounterPunch article last November which  assessed the state of the movement against mass incarceration, the rumblings of change in the criminal justice have steadily grown louder. Attorney General Eric Holder has continued to stream his mild-mannered critique by raising the issue of felony disenfranchisement; the President has stepped forward with a proposal for clemency for people with drug offenses that could free hundreds.

The Pardon Attorney’s office is open for business! And it has a new boss! That’s pretty much the message that the Deputy Attorney General sent today when he announced that federal prisoners whose cases match a list of criteria he released, could have their cases reviewed for clemency! FAMM has long decried how dysfunctional the Pardon Attorney’s office is, so today’s announcement is really big news and could have deep impact.

Three corporations announced their divestment from Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, the two largest private prison companies in the United States, late last week. Scopia Capital Management, DSM North America, and Amica Mutual Insurance pulled nearly $60 million in investments from CCA and GEO Group in the final quarter of 2013, marking full divestment for DSM and Amica and a 27 percent decrease in shares for Scopia. (Scopia has decreased its private prison stock by 59 percent since December 2012.) Their announcements mark the first round of success for civil rights nonprofit Color of Change, which has been pushing over 150 companies to divest from for-profit incarceration companies since last year. Color of Change is one of 16 organizations working towards these divestment goals as part of the National Prison Divestment Campaign.

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