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Just Parole for Malik & Leonard! * Death for Capital Punishment * Marijuana

01 June 2002


1) Just Parole for Malik Abdullah Akili
2) Don't forget Leonard - Interim Parole Hearing Set for July 1
3) Last Statement: Texas Death Row Inmate Napoleon Beazley
4) Digging a Grave for Capital Punishment?
5) Marijuana prohibition insane public policy

The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates.
-- Tacitus

Editor's Notes:
This issue seeks your support in writing letters for the parole and freedom of Malik Abdullah Akili and Leonard Peltier. Please don't pass up this opportunity to work for the just freedom of these two wonderful people. Their cases represent the concerns of millions, and they are deserving of every effort we can share in the freedom of our day to day, to help another locked into hell by a system running amok with lost values of justice and compassion. Item 3 passes forth a poignant statement by another person executed by the state of Texas. Item 4 is part of an article questioning the demise of capital punishment. A related article examines the lives of hundreds of inmates released from prison due to DNA evidence proving their innocence, after excruciating years of suffering, the AP writers follow their path of continued hardships. Item 5 is an editorial examining another insane policy, the prohibition of marijuana. Flyby News is committed to a justice system where corruption is not rampant, where most all nonviolent offenders receive alternative sentencing for community service, and not locked up into a place of morbid values and influences. Please help with your actions and deeds.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.
-- Albert Einstein (1950)

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1) Just Parole for Malik Abdullah Akili


Malik, his family, his friends, and those who know of his case and Malik's commitment as a peacemaker, request that you write a letter on his behalf for a parole hearing this October that could lead to his freedom from the torturous confines of prison.

We need all the help and support that we can get, knowing too well the cards are stacked up against Malik, who is Black, a devout Sunni Muslim, and a former Black Panther member with a long prison record. Malik is not a celebrity, yet his story is of tremendous consequence for those who have worked with him, for those that know of his case and why he is in prison today, and for those missing him the most, his daughter and his wife.

To learn more on this case, see a Flyby News' posting "A Nation Behind Bars," Item 1
http://www.flybynews.com/cgi-local/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid999200948,87474,m

A personal letter from you to the Board reviewing Malik's case is the best sort of letter. Try to reach into the parole review examiner's heart and mind, and offer your experience, your understanding of why you are encouraging him/her to give Malik parole. The following is a sample letter that you are invited to use. Please send your signed letter with your address to the Parole Board to Malik's wife, Talibah. She will send a copy of your letter immediately to the Parole Board, and will hand deliver the original at the hearing in October. Please act soon in sending your letter, since time is of an essence, and your support will uplift what is good in the spirit of freedom, justice, and family.


SAMPLE LETTER>>= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = >


New York State Parole Board
Re: Parole Application For: Malik Abdullah Akili, #94-A-5238

To whom It May Concern,
I am writing this letter on the behalf of Malik Abdullah Akili, who is about to receive a parole hearing. I learned of Malik and his case initially by his writings. I believe with firm conviction that this person poses no threat to society, and in actuality, there are many good reasons for you to give a favorable review for his freedom. I realize about his lengthy prison record, his former involvement with the Black Panther party, but beyond these issues, (where some in society would rather have him locked behind bars), if they knew Malik, like I do, like I hope you will, most anyone would agree that justice would be most served by releasing Malik from prison to join his wife in Rochester, NY.

This is a time when the healing work of a devout Muslim is clashing with the background of much corruption in the criminal justice system, (where even the Director of the FBI knew about an innocent men going to prison for decades), where one smudged fingerprint at the scene of a robbery was enough to incarcerate Malik for years...this should not be used against his parole in 2002. Beyond any questions of corruption in the system, the reality is that Malik has a wonderful life to go home to outside of NYC, where his wife, of five years, resides and works as a respected professional (PhD), and a valued member of the Islamic community in Rochester, NY. Malik has already received good prospects for employment opportunities.

Also, Malik has suffered with asthma since early childhood, developed diabetes as an adult, and has hypertension, hepatitis C and other medical conditions. Yet he would not only be best served by parole, but our society, too. Malik is a wonderful human being and friend, and as long as he remains in prison, a part of what is good in each of us is in prison, too. Please support what is best for justice and freedom for all. Please grant Malik Abdullah Akili a favorable parole board hearing review.

Please contact me if I can offer any further support for Malik.

Sincerely,
Your Name
cc: Malik Abdullah Akili

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Please send your signed/addressed letter to:
Talibah Amatullah Akili
P.O. Box 40412
Rochester, NY 14604

If you wish to write to Malik, and send him a copy of your letter too, it would lift his spirits!
His address and more on his case can be found at the following URL:
http://www.flybynews.com/cgi-local/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid999200948,87474,m

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2) Don't forget Leonard - Interim Parole Hearing Set for July 1

Reminder: Please do not forget to send your letter in support of parole for Leonard Peltier. The interim hearing is on July 1st. The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee would like to have the letters collected by Monday, June 24. Please send your letters with signatures and addresses to the LPDC. They are collecting the letters and will send copies to the parole commission as they receive them. They will hand deliver originals to the parole examiner at the hearing itself, so that they will be part of the record, and knowing how many were generated.

For sample letter, addresses, and for more information, see Flyby News Archive May 15, 2002 - Letters Needed to Free Leonard Peltier after 26 years - Item 1 -
http://www.flybynews.com/cgi-local/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1021500607,77209,m

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3) Last Statement: Texas Death Row Inmate Napoleon Beazley

Last Statement: Napoleon Beazley
Executed by the state of Texas, USA.
Last Statement: May 28, 2002

"The act I committed to put me here was not just heinous, it was senseless. But the person that committed that act is no longer here - I am. I'm not going to struggle physically against any restraints. I'm not going to shout, use profanity or make idle threats. Understand though that I'm not only upset, but I'm saddened by what is happening here tonight. I'm not only saddened, but disappointed that a system that is supposed to protect and uphold what is just and right can be so much like me when I made the same shameful mistake. If someone tried to dispose of everyone here for participating in this killing, I'd scream a resounding, "No." I'd tell them to give them all the gift that they would not give me ... and that's to give them all a second chance.


I'm sorry that I am here. I'm sorry that you're all here. I'm sorry that John Luttig died. And I'm sorry that it was something in me that caused all of this to happen to begin with. Tonight we tell the world that there are no second chances in the eyes of justice ... Tonight, we tell our children that in some instances, in some cases, killing is right. This conflict hurts us all, there are no SIDES. The people who support this proceeding think this is justice. The people that think that I should live think that is justice. As difficult as it ma seem, this is a clash of ideals, with both parties committed to what they feel is right. But who's wrong if in the end we're all victims?

In my heart, I have to believe that there is a peaceful compromise to our ideals. I don't mind if there are none for me, as long as there are for those who are yet to come. There are a lot of men like me on death row - good men - who fell to the same misguided emotions, but may not have recovered as I have. Give those men a chance to do what's right. Give them a chance to undo their wrongs. A lot of them want to fix the mess they stated, but don't know ho. The problem is not in that people aren't willing to help them find out, but in the system telling them it won't matter anyway. No one wins tonight. No one gets closure. No one walks away victorious."

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Sharing by Brenda Pitts Bennett
TEXAS ADVOCATES
http://www.geocities.com/copbrutality

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4) Digging a Grave for Capital Punishment?

State moratoriums have some in the U.S. predicting the end is near.

By John Ibbitson

May 11, 2002, The Toronto Globe & Mail

They killed Lynda Block yesterday. The state of Alabama strapped her into Yellow Mama, as the chair is called, and poured 2,200 volts of electricity through her until a doctor pronounced her well and truly dead.

The day before, the Governor of Maryland had put a temporary halt to executions in his state, joining what many believe is a swelling tide of government restraint that could see the death penalty eliminated in the United States, not in one grand gesture, but state by state, act by humanitarian act.

"It's much more than a blip," Dennis Elliott of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty said in an interview yesterday. "The entire terrain on which the debate is being waged has shifted. Now the death-penalty proponents have to defend a system that is irreparably broken.

"For the first time in a quarter of a century their backs are against the wall, and we have the momentum."

But supporters of the death penalty say capital punishment is alive and well in the United States. And two economists have produced a report that maintains homicide rates actually increase when death-penalty moratoriums are imposed.

Ms. Block, 53, was the first woman put to death in Alabama since 1957.

She was impassive as death approached, officials said. "She never displayed any emotion," said Mike Haley, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections. "She seemed very sombre, somewhat stoic."

(Nine years ago, Ms. Block and her common-law husband murdered a police officer during an identity check in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Her husband, too, is on death row. The two believed most of the U.S. government is illegitimate.)

Earlier this week, in Pennsylvania, Thomas Kimbell became the 101st person to be exonerated since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. A jury found him innocent when evidence that had been excluded at his first trial was presented at his second. He had been on death row for four years.

"With each troubling case, it is becoming increasingly clear that our system of capital punishment is so seriously broken that all executions should be stopped," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center.

Illinois was the first state to call a temporary halt to the death penalty. Illinois Governor George Ryan imposed the first moratorium two years ago, on the grounds that too many people convicted of murder had later been found innocent, in some cases because of DNA testing. In Maryland's case, Governor Parris Glendening cited evidence of racial bias in awarding the death penalty.

For the complete article, inquire
http://www.globeandmail.ca/
2002 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc

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Related Article:

For 110 inmates freed by DNA tests, true freedom remains elusive

By SHARON COHEN, DEBORAH HASTINGS, AP National Writers

Their time in prison surpassed 1,000 years, and all were wrongly convicted. Then they returned to lives that had passed them by.

An Associated Press examination of what happened to 110 inmates after their convictions were overturned by DNA tests found that, for many of the men, vindication brought neither a happy ending nor a happy beginning.

For this complete article, see:
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/AP-CohenDNA.html

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5) Marijuana prohibition insane public policy


Marijuana prohibition insane public policy
By Bob Newland
Founder and president of SoDakNORML, an affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

This editorial ran in the Rapid City (SD) Journal; Sat., May 4, 2002.

Public school teachers are permitted only to speak of the evils of cannabis, forbidden to teach its 5,000-plus years of history of service to man. Politicians spout absurdity after slander when they speak of it at all. Misinformed people are moved to anger, threaten violence, or wax childish ("Oh, wow!") when the subject confronts them.

Within this melee of babble, a large and growing number of credible people are expressing doubt about the efficacy of marijuana prohibition. The politicians and their sycophants accuse us of advocating "giving drugs to babies." They say we're "supporting terrorism." They even make absurd statements like State Rep. Stan Adelstein made at a speech to the United Campus Ministries luncheon at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology on Nov. 22, 2001:

"I know the marijuana laws work, because only one of my three sons smoked marijuana. The other two didn't smoke it, because it's illegal. They told me so."

Adelstein refused to answer when asked if he thought his son who smoked marijuana should have gone to prison for it, as millions of others have.

Fact is, Adelstein's family is squarely in the mainstream. The National Institute on Drug Abuse's annual national household survey continually says that about one-third of adults in the U.S. have smoked marijuana. Yet, we continue:

Arresting people at the rate of one every 45 seconds for possession or sale of marijuana.

Confiscating folks' cars, houses, cash and children for mere suspicion of trafficking in marijuana. If they're convicted, we throw them in prison, also.

Paying snitches to create marijuana crimes so that law enforcement can confiscate even more property and children.

Allowing law enforcement agencies to keep most of the plunder they steal, thus perpetuating the vicious and counterproductive cycle.

Preventing legal access to marijuana for sick, disabled and dying people who currently benefit from it, albeit illegally.

Caught up in this insanity is industrial hemp, which has a potential worldwide market of $500 billion or more, but which is banned from production in the United States (but allowed in Canada and 30 other nations). Even more insanely and cruelly, the politicians maintain that there is no medical use for cannabis, in spite of disagreement from thousands of doctors and tens of thousands of patients.

How arrogant and stupid to make the statement that an herb has "no medical use." A fifth-grader wouldn't even make such a blanket statement about tomatoes or horseradish.

Here is the simple truth. Cannabis was first taxed out of the market, then made illegal in the United States in order to benefit the stockholders in a large consortium of industries which now do not have to face competition from industrial hemp. For that purpose, the politicians are willing to imprison millions and cruelly deny medical relief to tens of thousands of sick people.

When one understands that industrial hemp can be used for any purpose served by trees, cotton or flax, and petroleum, and that hemp seed is the most nutritious single food item in the world, one begins to understand the scope of the industries served by keeping it illegal. One begins to grasp whose ox will be gored by re-establishment of industrial hemp at the forefront of American farm products.

These are some of the reasons I've staked my life, my possessions, and my honor on exposing the truth about cannabis, knowing that, like countless others, I could be stopped, "found" in possession of something illegal, and imprisoned at the whim of the politicians.

It's just one more of the cruel truths of the so-called "war on drugs": that innocent people are sometimes silenced by police who frame them by "finding" drugs on them. Cops have unlimited access to drugs to use for such purposes. It's also sad that we must paint all policemen and women with the same brush, because the bad cops' and the good cops' uniforms look the same.

And it is for these reasons that SoDakNORML organized the Rapid City segment of the Million Marijuana March, an educational event being held in over 160 cities worldwide today. We're appealing to governments everywhere to stop all cannabis arrests, to stop lying about cannabis, to release cannabis as medicine to sick people, and to stop imprisoning people for simply trying to feel better.

There's more good information about cannabis on the Internet than just about any other subject. Simply inquire "hemp," "cannabis," or "marijuana" on any search engine. For a tragic laugh, see what the major disseminators of misinformation, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Parents for a Drug-Free America (whose largest funder is Anheuser-Busch) have to say on the subject.

It's time for all good people to help end this horrible cycle. Civilian and soldier, cop and just-folks alike, we must hold our local politicians and our federal delegations accountable for the carnage and economic damage created by marijuana prohibition.

From: "Bob Newland" newland@rapidcity.com

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