Sunday, September 04, 2005

Save Frances Newton

The United States' mistreatment of blacks is not a thing of the past. There are those who would have us believe that Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks ended discrimination. Those two legendary proponents of justice fought the good fight and as a result blacks can sit anywhere they want on the bus, but that's not the whole story. Today in 2005 in some aspects life for black people in these United States of America is worse. The recent neglect of the black and poor white populations of Louisiana during hurricane Katrina just shows us how insensitive the so called "leaders" of this country can be. During the past five years a growing number of African-Americans fill U.S. prisons. They are the majority of the prison population while only 12.1 percent of the overall US population. The authorities are more than eager to give a black adolescent a criminal record because it creates employment for the usually white prison guard and other predominately white poorly educated prison personnel. Some prisons have even forced prisoners to provide "free" labor for corporations. Other prisons permit prisoners to vote but their vote doesn't count for their place of residence but for the county of the place where they are imprisoned, therefore making their vote totally meaningless. Many blacks have served their time only to come out and find that they can't find a job and that they have been stripped of the right to vote. In an effort to increase the prison population there was an attempt to arrest the entire black population of Tulia, Texas on false drug charges. Elsewhere in the supposedly "liberal" state of Pennsylvania, Mumia Abu Jamal is still on death row. even though there is another man who has admitted to committing the crime. The majority of the people on Texas death row are black. One of these people is Frances Newton, who was accused of murdering her husband and her children. The evidence that the state of Texas is using to convict Newton is the fact that she purchased a life insurance policy, so what, I have a life insurance policy too. Does that make me a murderer. Like Abu Jamal, Newton also has new evidence that could persuade a jury that she is innocent but she has not been permitted to testify in front of a jury in her own defense. On September 14, 2005 Frances Newton is scheduled to be put to death. At the very least Frances Newton is entitled to a new trial. We must keep in mind that we are talking about the state of Texas, that leads the nation in state executions. This is the state that whose courts permitted defense attorneys to actually sleep during cases (Defense attorney Joe Frank Cannon slept during the murder trial of Calvin Burdine and Ron Mock slept during the murder trial of Shaka Sankofa(a.k.a Gary Graham, who was executed during the gubernatorial term of George W. Bush). It is under these circumstances that Frances Newton is fighting for her life. I am asking everyone to contact their elected officials as well as Governor Perry of Texas and demand a new trial for Frances Newton. Visit www.freefrances.org now for more information. Once again urgent action is needed because she is scheduled to be put to death on September 14, 2005

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