[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-----CALIF., TENN.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jan 4 15:09:59 CST 2006
Do not execute Clarence Ray Allen, says Secretary General of the Council
"The death penalty is a brutal and vindictive travesty of justice" said
Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, in a statement
"Following the Christmas break, executions in the United States are
expected to resume on 17 January 2006, when Clarence Ray Allen is
scheduled to be put to death in the state of California. He is 75 years
old. Mr Allen is not an innocent man. He was found guilty of a
particularly gruesome crime, but in executing him at his advanced age and
decades after the crime had been committed, the authorities are coming
close to win the contest in cruelty and vengeance.
The death penalty is aberrant and inhuman in all circumstances, but even
more so when it is applied in the cases of children, elderly or mentally
ill people. In all member states of the Council of Europe, the death
penalty was abolished because it is futile and wrong. The death penalty is
not justice. It is a pathetic attempt to satisfy a primitive craving for
spectacle and revenge. I therefore call on the Governor of California to
spare the life of Clarence Ray Allen and on the US authorities to join
virtually all other civilised and democratic countries in the world and
abolish the death penalty once and for all. This is not just about the
life or death of an old man - what is at stake is the respect for human
dignity in American society as a whole" Terry Davis said.
The Council of Europe is the oldest European political organisation,
established in 1949 to promote democracy and protect human rights and the
rule of law in Europe. It has 46 member states. Abolition of the death
penalty is a legal obligation on the basis of Protocol 6 to the European
Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The United States of
America, together with Japan, are the only observer states to the Council
of Europe to continue executing people.
(source: Council of Europe)
Internet petition seeks reprieve for Thompson
An Internet website and on-line petition have been established for the man
on Tennessee's death row for the murder of a Shelbyville woman 21 years
ago this week.
The petition created for Gregory Thompson, 43, speaks for itself,
according to Sharlott Swanger who, despite repeated e-mail requests for a
telephone interview for nearly a month, has not been available to discuss
the petition or to describe herself. She said she's waiting for approval
from Thompson's attorney.
Thompson is the confessed and convicted killer of Brenda Blanton Lane whom
he stabbed in Coffee County after abducting her for her car at a shopping
center on Lane Parkway.
Among hundreds of names on the petition are people who signed as Chop Suey
Louie and Nuke Mecca. Most use plausible names such as Kristie Thompson, a
"white female with no relation to the defendant." Others signed as sam,
hunter and one as "-=GOD=-."
"'Thou shall not kill' applies to the state as much as it does toward
individuals," is the comment from "-=GOD=-."
Dale Wisely says: "Governor, please -- this is about decency."
Governors can convert a death sentence into life in prison.
The petition asks Gov. Phil Bredesen to do so, claiming prosecutors lied
about Thompson's mental illness and his defense counsel failed to provide
the jury with evidence of his madness.
E-mail addresses aren't displayed with the petition to reduce the spread
of viruses and keep spammers from getting addresses, the on-line petition
Therefore, Nuke Mecca can anonymously say "Mohammedans ... should lighten
up," and "Mohammed was [an] illiterate, cannibalistic, pedophile
barbarian," so Thompson should be executed because "we need the jail
Thompson's execution date is Feb. 7 in Nashville.
The petition is not by the Tennessee Coalition to Abolish State Killing,
TCASK Associate Director Alex Wiesendanger said in a telephone interview
from the coalition's Nashville office.
TCASK Executive Director Randy Tatel says the petition "has been up for
some time ... prior to Thompson's previous execution date," Aug. 19, 2004.
"This campaign and our campaign are focused around the question on whether
we should execute people who are screaming mentally ill," Tatel said.
While Bedford County Sheriff Clay Parker questions whether Thompson's
execution will occur, an essay on the TCASK web site says the "2nd
execution of a severely mentally ill man may well happen."
Tatel is "hopeful that (Thompson's execution) will be stopped, but we are
proceeding as if it won't."
The most recent execution in Tennessee was of Robert Glen Coe on March 19,
"Since then there have been about 20 execution dates set by the Tennessee
Supreme Court and then they were stopped," Tatel said.
TCASK is working to form a network of mental health professionals to
challenge Thompson's execution, explaining it's wrong to kill people who
(source: Shelbyville Times-Gazette)
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