[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----MO., PENN.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Apr 12 14:52:58 CDT 2005
Reporters Get First Look At New Missouri Execution Room
As the state prepares to execute convicted killer Donald Jones on April
27th, reporters get their 1st look at Missouri's new death chamber.
Last month, the state announced it was moving the execution site from the
Potosi Correctional Center to a new maximum-security prison in nearby
Prison officials say the new prison was built with the execution chamber
in mind. There are key distinctions.
Witness areas are more spacious, now allowing easier access for
wheelchairs. The inmate holding cell near the chamber now has a shower.
The inmate strapped to the gurney no longer will be able to see witnesses
for the state and for the victim's family through the glass.
(source: Associated Press)
City blue-collar union endorses Williams for DA
The city's white-collar employee union today snubbed District Attorney
Lynne M. Abraham, endorsing challenger Seth Williams in the May 17
"He's a mover and a shaker," said Linda Rhym, vice president of AFSCME
District Council 47, which represents 3,400 city workers, including some
staff in the prosecutor's office and the city prisons. "He has a vision
and a goal ... his ideas were excellent."
The endorsement gives Williams, a former assistant prosecutor, another
political credential in the campaign for district attorney, which has so
far been a low-key affair. He was endorsed 2 weeks ago by of the Fraternal
Order of Police, which represents active and retired Philadelphia
Williams, 36, has centered his campaign on a plan to base prosecutors in
neighborhood police stations, putting them closer to community concerns
and streamlining the preparation of cases.
He also contends that Abraham has not done enough to combat the illegal
gun trade that has contributed to the city's high rate of homicide by
"The criminal justice system of Philadelphia and its leadership are
failing the citizens," Williams said in news conference with union
leaders. He said it was "unacceptable" that an estimated 50 percent of
felony cases are dismissed before trial.
Abraham has the unanimous support of the city Democratic Party and its
ward leaders, traditionally a powerful advantage in a low-turnout election
that does not feature marquee races for president, U.S. Senate, mayor or
governor to draw voters.
Symbolism aside, DC 47 has never endorsed Abraham, officials said. Four
years ago, for instance, the union backed former City Commissioner Alex
Talmadge Jr., who ran a primary campaign against Abraham based on the
message that she was racially insensitive.
"My members have never been into Lynne Abraham," Rhym said. "We don't like
the death penalty, the way it's imposed."
Williams took the endorsement as a sign that he is gaining momentum in his
shoe-leather campaign to deny Abraham the Democratic nomination. He
thanked the union.
"It does take courage to stand with the person who's running against the
machine and against the people who have all the money," Williams said.
(source: Philadelpia Daily News)
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