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Death Penalty Focus, New Solitary Confinement Policy, The Louisiana Board of Pardons, Death penalty bill for child rapists in Florida & Scott Panetti unfit to be executed by Texas!

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) released its long-awaited new solitary confinement policy following an order by Gov. Gavin Newsom. But, the new regulations have been criticized as not going far enough. The new policy, which only applies to prisoners in isolation for alleged gang membership or activities, allows for four hours out of their cells a day but does not change the amount of time they can be kept in isolation, which can still be years. Criticism centers mainly on the length of time someone can be placed in solitary and the fact that prisoners are still being placed in isolation for alleged gang affiliations rather than actual offenses. Activists and inmates’ rights groups say the lack of monitoring and accountability within the CDCR means that the new policy could easily be ignored, as was the case with past reforms.

The Racial Justice Act has been a highly debated topic in the California legal system, and its fate was recently decided by a state appeals court. In a split 2-1 ruling, the court upheld the Racial Justice Act, which has been developed to address the issue of systemic racism in the legal system and ensure that racial bias is not a factor in prosecutions and sentencing. This ruling marks a landmark moment in California’s efforts to achieve a fair and impartial justice system for all citizens, regardless of their race or ethnicity. It is a significant step forward in the fight against racial discrimination, and it solidifies California’s commitment to promoting justice and equality. The Racial Justice Act has been praised by many legal experts, civil rights advocates, and marginalized communities, who see it as a critical tool in addressing the systemic biases that have long been present in the justice system.

The Louisiana Board of Pardons has recently made a decision that has caused ripples in the world of justice. The board has denied the clemency hearing of the first five appeals who had applied to be granted mercy. The hearing could have given them a chance to turn their lives around and make amends for the wrongs they had committed. It is a disappointing turn of events that these individuals were denied the opportunity to state their case. The decision is being closely scrutinized by those who support the appeals for clemency while others, perhaps with a different perspective on the matter, seem to be applauding the move. Regardless of where you stand in the matter, it is clear that the Louisiana Board of Pardons’ decision has impacted the lives of the five individuals who were denied the chance to appeal for clemency.

Scott Panetti’s battle with paranoid schizophrenia has spanned over three decades, leading to a heinous crime committed in the year 1992 – the murder of his wife’s parents. Despite being convicted and sentenced to death in Texas in 1995, the severity of his mental illness could not be overlooked. In a recent development, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman blocked Panetti’s execution on the grounds of his debilitating affliction, which renders him unfit for capital punishment. The decision provides a glimmer of hope and renewed faith in the judicial system, showcasing that the court recognizes and respects the need for considering individual health and well-being in rendering verdicts. We hope that this ruling sets a precedent for the betterment of legal aid and the re-evaluation of similar cases to ensure that justice is served even to those struggling with mental illness.

A recent development in Florida has brought about a new law that is designed to significantly increase the consequences of committing a particularly heinous crime. The bill, which was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis back in May, establishes a minimum sentence of life without parole for individuals who are found guilty of the heinous crime of raping a minor. However, what is particularly noteworthy about this law is that it goes even further than this, allowing individuals convicted of this crime to be sentenced to the death penalty. This has been hailed by many as a significant step forward in the fight against child abuse in Florida, and it is hoped that it will send a strong message to would-be offenders that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in any way.

Indiana Public Media has recently released a gripping and comprehensive 13-part series called “Rush to Kill.” With an intense focus on the six-month killing spree of then-President Donald Trump, this series delves into the events of 2020 where Trump, along with his Attorney General Bill Barr, ordered the execution of 13 individuals – twelve men and one woman – in the final months of Trump’s presidency. The series provides a detailed and exhaustive analysis of these events, and aims to shed light on the political machinations behind them. Additionally, we recommend the review of Stephen B. Bright’s and James Kwak’s thought-provoking book, “The Fear of Too Much Justice: Race, Poverty, and the Persistence of Inequality in the Criminal Courts.” Together, these two recommended works strive to challenge and interrogate our society’s relationship with justice, and how it intersects with issues of race, poverty, and inequality.

In Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey scheduled an execution date for Casey McWhorter for a 30-hour window between midnight November 16, and 6 a.m., November 17, the Montgomery Advertiser reports. McWhorter was sentenced to death for the 1993 murder of Edward Lee Williams. He was 18 when he was sentenced to death by a jury in a 10-2 vote. He had four accomplices, including the 15-year-old son of the victim, but he was the only defendant sentenced to death. 

In Texas, 48-year-old Jedidiah Murphy was killed by lethal injection early this month for the murder of 80-year-old Bertie Lee Cunningham in October 2000, CBS News reported. Murphy was killed after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal judge’s order that had been upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, delaying his execution after his lawyers “filed a lawsuit seeking DNA testing of evidence presented at his 2001 trial,” according to CBS. 

Also in Texas, Will Speer was granted a stay of execution last Thursday, less than 24 hours before he was scheduled to be killed by the state. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay for Speer, whose attorneys alleged that prosecutors withheld evidence and presented false testimony during his 2001 trial. He also alleges that his trial lawyers failed to provide evidence of the severe physical and sexual abuse he was subjected to as a child. Speer, sentenced to death for the killing of another imprisoned individual, was named the first “Inmate Coordinator for the Death Row Faith-Based Program” just a few months ago by corrections officials.

In Idaho, the Commission of Pardons and Parole agreed to a commutation hearing for Thomas Creech, who was scheduled to be executed on November 8. The commission’s decision, announced in a news release from the Federal Defender Services of Idaho,  means his execution date will be postponed. A date for the hearing was not set. “He looks forward to elaborating on the reasons for requesting to have his death sentence commuted to life without parole when the hearing is held,” the statement said. The 73-year-old Creech has garnered broad support for commutation, including from the judge who sentenced him to death 44 years ago. Judge Robert Newhouse said killing Creech now would be “just an act of vengeance” by the state, according to the FDS. Creech has been on the state’s death row longer than anyone else. There are currently eight people on the state’s death row. Idaho’s last execution was in July 2012, when it executed Richard Leavitt by lethal injection.

In Utah, Ralph Menzies, sentenced to death in 1988 for the 1986 kidnapping and murder of Maurine Hunsaker, has exhausted his appeals and will face a hearing this month where a judge is expected to sign his death warrant, the Utah Attorney General announced in a news release. But according to Fox 13, the Utah Board of Pardons & Parole could commute his sentence. In addition, Menzies is one of four others on death row who have filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s execution protocol. Utah’s primary method of execution is lethal injection, but when the drugs aren’t available, it relies on a firing squad to kill its citizens. It’s believed the state does not have the drugs it would need to kill Menzies. 

In Oklahoma, Philip Hancock, scheduled to be killed November 30, filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking DNA testing on evidence he maintains could establish that he acted in self-defense, the City Sentinel reports. Hancock was convicted and sentenced to death for killing Robert Jett and James Lynch in 2001. He has always maintained that he acted in self-defense. In his lawsuit, Hancock states that DNA testing of Lynch’s fingernail scrapings and his clothing, as well as Jett’s clothing, wallet, and a letter recovered from the scene would “to prove that Jett and Lynch violently assaulted Hancock immediately before, and then while, Hancock shot them in self-defense.” None of the crime scene evidence has ever been tested. Republican Reps. Kevin McDugle and Justin Humphrey and former Pardon and Parole Board member Adam Luck are asking the parole board to recommend clemency for Hancock, and for Gov. Kevin Stitt to commute his sentence, KOSU reported. 

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Will Spear, National Park Foundation, Mt. Hope Auction in Ohio, SPCA Tampa Bay, Envigo’s Beagle-Breeding Facility, Petco, PetSmart, Chewy, & The Worst Roadside Zoo in America at Sustainable Action Now, Rescue TV & SAN TV!

Just three and a half months ago, Texas named Will Speer as the first Inmate Coordinator for the Death Row Faith Based Program. Now, the State plans to execute him on October 26, 2023.

Will Speer is one of the original members of a voluntary, immersive evangelical Christian program for people incarcerated on Texas death row.

Through the program, Will has deeply studied the way of Christ and recommitted his life to Him. He has developed deep faith in God and grown to feel sincere remorse for the violent acts of his past. His newfound relationship with God and the tools he learned in the program have enabled him to heal from the trauma, neglect, and abuse he experienced as a child.

Will now ministers to others who are incarcerated, carrying a message of healing, redemption, and love to people in Texas’s prisons.

Despite all that Will overcame and the positive impact he is making in his historic new role as the first Coordinator for the Faith Based Program, the State plans to execute him in a little over a month. If allowed to live, Will wants to devote the rest of his days to serving as a prison minister.

A Dead Ram, a Fox With a Fractured Leg, and Bone-Thin Antelope Without Wateranimals stacked in cages at auction

The Mt. Hope Auction in Ohio, which is “Mt. Horror” for wild animals, is nothing but cruelty on display. See for yourself what PETA Foundation eyewitnesses documented at a recent auction—and take action before more animals sustain injuries or die for this inhumane event. Click Here to help and Click Here for information about how to help with Animals and Wildlife!

Tell SPCA Tampa Bay to End Its Corrupt Puppy Mill Collaboration

dog in muddy kennel outsideHow could the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Tampa Bay—an organization that claims to protect animals—partner with a puppy mill broker and a pet shop? Dogs bred for the pet trade are often kept in constant deprivation and confinement and force-bred repeatedly, only to have their babies taken from them—often before they’re even weaned. This is cruelty! Click Here to help and Click Here for information about how to help with Animals and Wildlife!

Overweight Animals Swelter in the Heat at the ‘Worst Roadside Zoo in America’

bear in enclosure in the hot sunWe’ve seen the exploitation of baby bears who were torn from their mothers and animals showing signs of psychological distress at a dismal roadside zoo. Take a minute to help Lucie, Topaz, and other animals at a facility PETA has named the “Worst Roadside Zoo in America.” Click Here to help and Click Here for information about how to help with Animals and Wildlife!

Envigo’s beagle-breeding facility, Urge Petco, PetSmart, and Chewy to Stop Supporting Beagle Abuse

A groundbreaking PETA investigation blew the lid off neglect, intense confinement, suffering, and death at Envigo’s beagle-breeding facility, sparking a historical domino effect that paved the way for the closure of the dog prison. As a result, thousands of dogs were released from the facility and given the opportunity to have a loving home. Now, we’re working to save tens of thousands of other beagles who are being bred for use in cruel laboratory experiments. Marshall BioResources operates massive facilities that are among the world’s largest breeders of dogs, cats, ferrets, pigs, and other animals for sale to laboratories. The multinational conglomerate also owns Marshall Pet Products, which makes toys and other merchandise sold by Petco, PetSmart, and Chewy. Petco sells ferrets obtained from Marshall, too.

Marshall breeds beagles and other animals for sale to research labs around the world, where their gentle and trusting nature is exploited and they’re tormented. At Marshall, animals are confined to barren, windowless buildings. The company has been cited for housing dogs and ferrets inside filthy, decrepit wire cages in buildings teeming with mice and flies and for failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care. A company representative callously stated, “We will breed anything a lab wants. If they want a dog with 3 legs or an abnormally large heart, we can do it.”

Most people see dogs as beloved family members, and many imagine that it must be illegal to experiment on and kill them. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and beagles have become the animal experimentation industry’s dog of choice because they’re of a convenient size and naturally docile. Even when they’re being abused, they don’t bite. Click Here to help and Click Here for information about how to help with Animals and Wildlife!

The National Park Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that is committed to ensuring that our country’s national parks are protected, enjoyed, and preserved for generations to come. The foundation works closely with the National Park Service to support initiatives that promote conservation, education, and recreation in our parks. It also strives to raise awareness about the importance of preserving these precious natural and cultural resources, as well as to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to visit and explore these incredible places. By partnering with individuals, businesses, and communities, the National Park Foundation is able to harness the power of philanthropy to protect and preserve America’s national parks both now and in the future. So whether you’re an avid adventurer, a history buff, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, the National Park Foundation is here to help you connect with and support our nation’s most treasured landscapes.

The answer is that we aren’t against older people in government. We just want to make sure younger people are represented at a level that more closely reflects our population, too. Given the unique issues facing young people today, it’s pretty important that we have leaders who understand where we’re coming from!

Make sure to read more, and then please be a part of electing young leaders all over the country.

Since we launched Leaders We Deserve, there is one question that I keep getting asked. It’s a question I’ve been getting asked regularly since I started my activism with March For Our Lives, where we were an organization run by young people.

“If you want more young people in office — Why do you support Joe Biden?”

Leaders We Deserve is not about young people vs. old people — it’s always been about making sure Gen Z and Millennials have representation that reflects that we make up a third of the country’s population.

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Ohio and the Death Penalty, Dolphin Hunting, Capturing & Killing Season Begins, Harvard University, EGYPTAIR, Running with the Bulls!

If It's September, it is the start of the Dolphin Hunting, Killing & Captivity Season in Taiji, Japan!

It stirs up a feeling of sadness and empathy within me to think about how Angel, the albino dolphin, was taken away from the peaceful waters of the cove in Taiji, Japan so many years ago. The thought of Angel living in a tank for all these years, with limited space to swim and explore, breaks my heart. I can only imagine the toll that such confinement can take on a creature that was meant to roam free in the vast expanses of the ocean. It’s a sobering reminder of the consequences that human actions can have on the natural world. I can only hope that Angel is being well-cared for, receiving the best possible treatment and care, and that someday, maybe, she will be able to return to the ocean and be reunited with her pod.

On the first day of September every year, the Taiji dolphin slaughter begins. For six months, dolphin-hunting vessels sail out of Taiji, Japan; hunt down pods of wild dolphins; surround them; and drive them back toward land to the infamous killing cove.

Taiji Dolphin Slaughter and Capture

Once in the cove, dolphin hunters snare the animals with nets and drag them to shore for the selection process. Dolphin trainers work with the hunters to choose the youngest and most attractive—the ones who will be sold to marine parks and “swim with dolphins” encounters. Pod members try to fight them off and protect one another, but their efforts are in vain. The mother was unable to save her baby.

Those who aren’t chosen also face a cruel fate. Hunters—and sometimes even trainers—kill them by hammering metal rods into their spinal cords just below the blowhole. They then remove the rods and replace them with corks to keep the water in the killing cove from turning bright red. Dolphins die slowly and painfully of hemorrhaging or suffocation while watching their family members and podmates die around them. Their flesh is then sold as meat.

Taiji Dolphin Slaughter and Capture

This deadly spectacle takes place only because tourists want to pet dolphins and take pictures with them.

The captive-dolphin industry directly funds the Taiji dolphin slaughter. A single dolphin can sell for as much as $152,000. Even in countries that no longer allow the importation of dolphins caught during the gruesome slaughter, marine parks and “swim with dolphins” facilities can still display animals purchased before the ban. Animals can also be moved through other countries to disguise their origin. And exhibitors that claim not to purchase from Taiji often still have hidden connections to the slaughter.

When humans stop paying to see suffering dolphins performing stupid tricks, swimming in circles in cramped tanks, or hauling tourists around on their dorsal fins, the slaughter will no longer be profitable.

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Dolphins deserve better.

Dolphins’ brains are much larger than those of humans. (Many would argue their hearts are, too.) These brilliant animals use complex echolocation to navigate the vast ocean, swimming up to 60 miles a day. They have highly developed communication skills, and it’s believed that individuals respond to the sound of a signature whistle the same way humans respond to the sound of their names. Forcing these emotionally complex animals to live in tanks for our entertainment is morally bankrupt.

Let’s end the dolphin slaughter.

What You Can Do

Ohio just moved one step closer to ending the death penalty!

Last Wednesday, Demetrius Minor, the National Manager of CCATDP,  had the opportunity to join the #NoDeathPenaltyOH campaign at the Ohio Statehouse for a press conference announcing the introduction of the House bill to end the death penalty!

The House bill will serve as a companion to SB 101, which is already moving in the Senate. This bill is yet another sign that momentum is on our side, but we still have more work to do to cross the finish line.
Thank the Bill Sponsors

As Ohio reckons with other life issues this fall, Republican leaders recognize that the death penalty is part of that conversation. It’s time to end this costly government program that fails to protect families, puts innocent lives at risk, and only causes more anguish.

Please join the Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty in thanking our 15 legislative champions, using this easy action on our website.

Many thanks for all the support you’ve shown during this endeavor. We couldn’t have made it this far without you!

Learn More about the Death Penalty.

EGYPTAIR Is Again Shipping Monkeys to Their Deaths

EGYPTAIR has apparently gone back on its word and has resumed shipping monkeys to their deaths in laboratories, risking the spread of disease and depleting the world of an endangered species, all to make a few quick bucks. We need your help to stop it.

PETA has learned that the airline appears to have recently shipped approximately 500 long-tailed macaques—listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature—from the island nation of Mauritius to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, all bound for torment in laboratories. Moreover, they were reportedly shipped from a monkey-breeding company that has been in the midst of an outbreak of tuberculosis, a highly infectious disease that monkeys have transmitted to humans.

This shipment is a blatant violation of EGYPTAIR’s pledge last year announcing that in view of its support of “the vision and mission” of animal protection organizations, it would no longer transport monkeys to laboratories.

Shamefully, that promise ended up proving worthless.

PETA, Action for Primates, One Voice, and Abolición Vivisección have urged EGYPTAIR Holding Company CEO Yehia Zakaria to honor the company’s promise.

But we urgently need you to speak up for monkeys, too.

PETA entities coordinated dozens of actions, and supporters flooded EGYPTAIR with more than 100,000 e-mails and hundreds of telephone calls asking it to stop shipping monkeys to laboratories. It worked until the company’s greed overcame integrity and empathy.

It’s time we did it again. Please TAKE ACTION below!

Original post:

Thanks to the efforts of PETA, other animal protection organizations, and caring people around the globe, nearly every major airline in the world has stopped transporting monkeys to laboratories. Now, it’s time for us to use our collective voices again to let EGYPTAIR know that it has made a very bad business decision by getting involved in the cruel trade in primates for experimentation. We recently received information that 720 long-tailed macaques who’d been torn away from their families in Cambodia were transported to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York on April 30, 2022.

photo of monkey in crate

Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited EGYPTAIR for poor handling and inadequate ventilation and enclosures after a kitten being transported as checked baggage from Cairo to JFK arrived dead. The crate holding the kitten had been covered in solid plastic wrap, preventing airflow. She had not been given any food or water for the 11-hour flight, and her legs, chest, and muzzle were covered with urine. Since March 2022, EGYPTAIR has transported as many as 5,000 macaques to the U.S.—we don’t know whether they all survived and can only imagine the conditions they endured.

Every year, tens of thousands of monkeys are transported to the U.S. to be imprisoned in laboratories and tormented in experiments that consistently fail to lead to meaningful scientific advances. These highly social and sensitive individuals are either captured in nature or bred in captivity on squalid factory farms, where many die from injury and disease even before they’re crammed into small wooden crates and confined to dark, terrifying cargo holds of planes for shipment around the globe.

photo of monkey in crate

The EGYPTAIR flight landed at JFK in the wee hours of the morning. The monkeys would have been traveling on planes for more than 30 hours. The torturous and deadly journey didn’t stop in New York—the no doubt terrified animals were apparently loaded into trucks and driven to quarantine facilities in Texas.

The incentive for airlines to stop shipping monkeys to laboratories is even clearer now, after a truck transporting 100 long-tailed macaques—who had been flown by Kenya Airways from Mauritius to JFK—collided with another vehicle earlier this year. Dozens of wooden crates holding the cold and scared monkeys were thrown from the truck onto a Pennsylvania highway. Several escaped, and authorities confirmed that three were shot dead. Several people who stopped to survey the scene of the accident interacted with the monkeys, and at least one reported symptoms of illness afterward. Given the panoply of pathogens carried by macaques that can be transmitted to humans, it’s clear that the international transport of monkeys is not only a serious ethical issue but also a grave threat to public health and safety—including for passengers and crewmembers on these flights. After PETA contacted Kenya Airways with this information, it committed to stop shipping monkeys from Mauritius to the U.S.

We privately urged EGYPTAIR to follow Kenya Airways’ lead by ending this practice, but so far, the airline has failed to respond to us. We need your help!

Please send polite e-mails to the EGYPTAIR staff below, asking them not to transport monkeys to laboratories or be involved in this cruel industry in any other way. EGYPTAIR should join other airline industry leaders in prohibiting the shipment of primates destined for laboratories.

Ahmed Shaheen
Chair
EGYPTAIR Cargo
cgo.chairman@egyptair.com

Tarek Adawy
Chief Executive, U.S. and Canada
EGYPTAIR
t.adawy@EGYPTAIRnyc.com

EGYPTAIR Cargo Manager, JFK
newyork_ff@egyptair.com

You’re welcome to use the template letter you’ll see when you click on the above e-mail addresses, but putting your subject line and message into your own words will help draw attention to your e-mail.

Please feel free to use our sample letter, but remember that using your own words is always more effective.

Harvard Still Funding Fraudulent Colombian Operation—Even After NIH Defunded It

The fallout from PETA’s 18-month investigation into the Caucaseco Scientific Research Center, the fraudulent Colombian organization that ran hellholes funded by U.S. taxpayer money, has been sweeping. Its monkey facility was shuttered, and the animals were rescued. They’re now recovering under the care of environmental authorities. What’s more, Colombian officials found Caucaseco’s human trials to be fraudulent. Legislation aimed at preventing this sort of disaster is currently being debated in the U.S., and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has finally yanked the Colombian operation’s funding.

But the more we dig, the more we find.

Two aotus monkeys sit in a filthy cage on top of a corrugated pipe

PETA discovered that Harvard University is among Caucaseco’s financial backers. The university has had every opportunity to distance itself publicly from the sham operation, but it has declined to respond—even after NIH pulled Caucaseco’s funding.

Here’s What We Know

Caucaseco is a recipient of Harvard grant money.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a national charitable organization, awarded a grant to the university’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which then turned over part of that money to Caucaseco. Gates Foundation officials have confirmed to PETA that as of May 31, the Colombian operation was a recipient of money awarded to Harvard.

There’s More

In August 2022, while monkeys were dying at the Primate Center Foundation—Caucaseco’s affiliated monkey facility—a Harvard professor attended a seminar there, just a few feet from the suffering caged animals.

PETA has kept officials at the T.H. Chan School informed of the latest Caucaseco developments and the investigations by Colombian authorities against Sócrates Herrera Valencia and Myriam Arévalo Ramírez, the married couple at the helm of the organization.

We’ve asked Harvard officials to distance the university from this sham organization, but they’ve remained silent.

Harvard Parallels Caucaseco’s Animal Abuse

Interestingly, Harvard is also home to another monkey experimenter on PETA’s radar: Margaret Livingstone, who has sewn baby monkeys’ eyelids shut and left the animals in complete darkness for up to a year in gruesome sensory deprivation experiments.

Harvard is also silent about her.

What You Can Do

Please TAKE ACTION today and urge your U.S. representative to support the Cease Animal Research Grants Overseas (CARGO) Act, which aims to end public funding of all foreign animal laboratories so that no U.S. taxpayer dollars are ever again sent overseas for pointless animal experiments.

Then URGE HARVARD to finally cancel Livingstone’s abominable cruelty. 

Take Action against all forms of cruelty to animals and wildlife and learn more about alternatives to testing on animals and wildlife. Learn more about the reasons why testing on animals and wildlife is not needed!

Tell Travel Companies to Cut the Bullsh*t and Stop Promoting Bull Torture!

The Running of the Bulls is held every July at the annual festival of San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain. It’s a horrific bloodbath in which at least 48 bulls are tortured and killed, and it must end. But travel companies Iberian Traveler, TGW Travel Group, Bucket List Events, Fanatics, and Palace Tours seem to think it’s OK to promote this barbaric event by selling tickets to it.

During this event, bulls are deliberately terrified and chased down cobblestone streets. They’re hit by people, they fall, they smash into walls, and later they’re forced into the bullfighting ring and violently killed.

Bulls have unique personalities and form complex social bonds with each other. The Running of the Bulls causes them extreme suffering, and they never make it out alive.

Please take these important steps to politely urge these travel companies to stop selling tickets for and otherwise promoting the Running of the Bulls.

Text BULL to 73822 to tell travel companies to stop promoting bull torture. Then post this image on social media to encourage your friends and family to text, too:

Text BULL to 73822 to tell travel companies to stop promoting The Running of the Bulls.

Contact Iberian Traveler using its contact form.

CONTACT IBERIAN TRAVELER
Comment on TGW Travel Group’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

COMMENT ON TGW’S INSTAGRAM PAGE

Chat with Bucket List Events using the chatbot in the lower right corner of its website

CHAT WITH BUCKET LIST EVENTS
Comment on Fanatics’ Facebook and Instagram pages.

COMMENT ON FANATICS’ INSTAGRAM PAGE
Call Palace Tours at 1-800-724-5120. Here are some talking points you can use:

Please stop selling tickets to the Running of the Bulls. At least 48 bulls are tormented and killed during the event every year. It’s a barbaric bloodbath that must end.

Bulls are sentient beings with unique personalities who form complex social bonds, just like dogs. The Running of the Bulls causes them extreme suffering, and they never make it out alive. If you wouldn’t promote an event that kills at least 48 dogs every year, why do you promote an event that kills bulls?

CALL PALACE TOURS
Take Action against all forms of cruelty to animals and wildlife!

Once her former owners agreed to relinquish her, we wasted no time spiriting Ada away to our headquarters and gave her a nice long bath and a brand-new haircut. She quickly found the perfect home with PETA staffer Hollie Wood.

As the video shows, Ada quickly formed an unbreakable bond with Hollie’s daughter, Eliot, and now the two best friends are inseparable. Ada’s always first in the car when it’s time to pick her human sister up from school—she can’t wait to see her again—and while she may technically count as a senior dog, she happily matches Eliot’s youthful energy. Now, Ada’s much too preoccupied with school runs, play time, walks, and cuddles to give a thought to her decade of deprivation—and Eliot wouldn’t have it any other way.

Dogs Like Ada Suffer Every Day—Here’s How You Can Help Them

For 10 years, PETA fieldworkers showed up for Ada to make her life spent chained in a backyard as good and safe as we possibly could. And while Ada is now finally inside a home with people who love and respect her, thousands of dogs are still stuck outside all year round, forced to suffer through scorching heat in the summer and devastating cold in the winter.

You can help “backyard dogs” by sponsoring a PETA doghouse today. Another effective way to help them all year long is to work with elected representatives to pass ordinances that ban or restrict chaining. To get started, see what current legislation on tethering dogs your community has.

white and black dog chained to plastic house

Dogs should never be left outside unattended, but when they’re outside and deprived of access to water or shelter, the situation is an emergency and local authorities should be contacted immediately. If they’re unresponsive, contact PETA for help. Their well-being, if not their life, could depend on your taking action.

If you see a chained dog in your area whose situation is not an emergency, read PETA’s tips to help chained dogs

Track and Follow All Rescues!

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Bell County Commonwealth Attorney to seek death penalty in

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Bell County Commonwealth Attorney to seek death penalty in toddler’s death

Published 11:06 am Friday, September 8, 2023

STAFF REPORT

The Bell County Commonwealth Attorney will seek the death penalty against Erica Lawson in the death of her child. Lawson was charged last month in the death of her daughter, 17-month-old Elena Hembree.

On Tuesday, Lisa Fugate of the Commonwealth Attorney’s office filed a Notice of Aggravating Circumstance in the case stating that the Commonwealth “for the purpose of notifying the Defendant that it intends to present evidence regarding an aggravating circumstance, pursuant to KRS 532.025 (2)(a)(9), that being that the offense of murder was intentional and resulted in the death of a seventeen month old toddler. Therefore, the Commonwealth intends to see, the imposition of the death penalty.”

On July 28, Hembree was taken to the Middlesboro ARH Hospital after being beaten and raped, according to police. The child arrived was transported to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville, where she died two days later.

Lawson was initially arrested in early August and charged with manslaughter, failure to report child abuse, criminal abuse, child under 12, and wanton endangerment. She was arraigned on Aug. 22, and charges were amended to include first degree murder.

Lawson is being held on a $1 million dollar cash bond in the Leslie County Detention Center.

There have been no further arrests made, and DNA test results are still pending from the laboratory for multiple submissions related to potential involvement in the case.

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Man Faces Death Penalty for Violating Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law

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Ugandan flag – Photo: Nicolas Raymond, via Flickr.

A man in Uganda could face the death penalty after becoming the first person in the country to be charged with “aggravated homosexuality” under the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act.

According to Amnesty International — which is protesting the man’s prosecution — the 20-year-old was arrested along with a 41-year-old man after the two were allegedly found half-naked around midnight on August 15 at the Soroti Sports Ground in the eastern part of the country.

Initially, both men were going to be charged with engaging in sexual relations with a person of the same sex.

The charge carries a penalty of 10 years in prison for attempting to engage in same-sex conduct and life imprisonment for those found guilty of engaging in same-sex conduct.

However, the 41-year-old, who is reportedly “disabled” — a claim for which no evidence was provided — was released because he could not provide consent due to his “mental status.” 

As a result, the 20-year-old was charged with “aggravated homosexuality,” which the law defines as instances in which a person engages in same-sex relations while living with HIV, or with a partner who can either not legally consent or has been coerced or seduced into sex.

Such offenses are punishable by death under the law, which was signed into effect by President Yoweri Museveni in May. 



Critics had previously argued that the way the bill was crafted would lead one party in consensual sex acts to betray their former sexual partner to avoid prosecution, which the 20-year-old’s lawyers believe may have occurred in this case.

Police also reportedly subjected the 41-year-old to an anal examination, an outdated procedure often used in countries that criminalize homosexuality to “prove” (based on faulty science) whether a person has engaged in anal sex previously.

While at least 67 countries worldwide have laws criminalizing homosexuality, Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law is considered one of the harshest anti-LGBTQ laws in the world. The law’s passage has drawn criticism from LGBTQ advocates and Western countries, and even prompted the World Bank to freeze all new loans to Uganda in response to the law’s passage.

The 20-year-old defendant appeared in court in mid-August, Jacquelyn Okui, a state prosecutor spokesperson, told the AFP news agency. Okui told Reuters that the man will remain in custody until his case is heard by Uganda’s High Court, given that he’s charged with a capital offense.



If found guilty, he could be the first person executed in the country since the death penalty was last carried out in 2005, reports BBC News.

The defendant’s lawyer, Justine Balya, who serves as a director at the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum, told The New York Times that the Anti-Homosexuality Act’s passage has intimidated LGBTQ Ugandans and led to increased violence and abuse against individuals suspected of being LGBTQ.

According to Balya, 53 people have been evicted from rental properties due to their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, 47 have faced violence or threats of violence, and 17 have been arrested on charges related to their sexual orientation or gender identity.


Balya told Reuters she believes the entire Anti-Homosexuality Act is unconstitutional. The law has been challenged in the courts, but judges have not yet taken up the case. She said that four other people have officially been charged under the new law, but that her client is the first to face a charge of aggravated homosexuality.

Human rights advocates have denounced the prosecution of Balya’s client, arguing that the law under which he’s charged — and the penalty to which he’d be subjected if found guilty — violates basic human rights and international law.

“It is deeply disturbing that the Ugandan authorities are prosecuting people based on their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, said in a statement. “Discrimination and persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the country must be halted.”




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Push returns to end death penalty in Ohio | Ohio

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(The Center Square) – Ohio Republican Attorney General Dave Yost isn’t ready to get behind the most recent bipartisan push to end the death penalty in the state.

The bipartisan group of lawmakers, along with religious groups and other policy groups from the state, recently announced a plan to introduce legislation in the House of Representatives that would ban the death penalty.

Yost, though, isn’t sold on the idea.

“Bad ideas do not magically become good ideas simply because both of our broken political parties agree on it,” Yost said.

Ohio’s last execution came in July 2018, and there are currently 31 people on death row.

In April, as previously reported by The Center Square, Yost said an Ohio inmate typically spends 21 years on death row and costs taxpayers up to five times more for a capital case versus a noncapital case.

Yost, who supports the death penalty, welcomes the conversation but wants victims’ families to be heard.

Similar bipartisan legislation was introduced by Minority Leader Nickie Antonio, D-Columbus, and Sen. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, in the Senate in March but has had only one hearing.

“By continuing to allow capital punishment in Ohio, we are permitting an unjust, expensive, inhumane, and occasionally erroneous practice,” Antonio said. “It will take both chambers and continued bipartisan work to accomplish this momentous and much-needed change in the state of Ohio.”

Huffman said the death penalty should be abolished for moral and financial reasons.

“I plan to continue to work diligently toward abolishing the death penalty in Ohio, as it lacks moral and financial justification in our current society,” Huffman said. “Replacing the death penalty with life without parole is a terminal sentence. It provides a definitive answer with the assurance that a person convicted of the most heinous capital case will spend the rest of their natural life behind bars and die in prison.”

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Death penalty only for criminals beyond reformation,

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KOLKATA: Upholding a 2007 trial court judgement of life imprisonment for four convicts accused of rape and murder of a minor, the Calcutta High Court on Monday ruled that death penalty can only be imposed in “rarest of rare cases” when the opportunity of rehabilitation and reformation of a convict has been ruled out. The court said mere gravity and heinousness of the crime cannot be the only criterion for a death sentence.
“Judges should never be bloodthirsty …life sentence is the rule and death sentence is an exception,” the courd stated.
At the time of the admission of appeal in 2007, a suo motu rule was issued to enhance the sentence of life imprisonment to death penalty. Hearing the issue after two decades, Justices Joymalya Bagchi and Gaurang Kanth observed: “the extreme penalty of death can only be imposed in the rarest of rare. In Bachan Singh v State of Punjab, the apex court emphasized the necessity of balancing mitigating circumstances with aggravating circumstances in order to come to a conclusion whether the case falls in a ‘rarest of rare’ category. Mere reference to gravity or heinousness is not enough. The court, prior to imposing death penalty, must satisfy its conscience that there is no possibility of rehabilitation and reformation of the convict and he would remain a continuing threat to society.”
The four accused were convicted of raping and murdering a minor at an abandoned steel factory in Taratala in January 2004. The victim’s body was found in the factory by ASI Prasanta Kumar Guchait of Taratala police station on January 7, when he was conducting his anti-crime patrolling duty. Medical examination showed that the victim had been raped by multiple people. The prosecution’s evidence revealed that two months before the victim went missing, her father had been assaulted by one of the convicts after he refused him money to buy liquor.
The HC observed that jail conduct of the convicts had been satisfactory, indicating that they cannot be deemed as individuals beyond rehabilitation and reformation.



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Calcutta HC: Death penalty only for criminals beyond reform

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KOLKATA: The death penalty should only be pronounced in the “rarest of rare cases” when rehabilitation and reformation of the convict are ruled out, the Calcutta high court said Monday while upholding a 2007 trial court judgment sentencing four men to life imprisonment for the rape and murder of a minor girl. The HC said the gravity and heinousness of the crime alone cannot be the criteria for capital punishment.
The case dates back to January 2004 when four men were arrested and charged with raping and murdering a minor at an abandoned steel factory in the Taratala neighbourhood of Kolkata. The victim’s body was discovered in the factory, showing evidence of rape by multiple perpetrators.
The prosecution also revealed that the victim’s father had been assaulted by one of the convicts two months before the girl went missing because he refused to give him money to buy liquor.
The four were subsequently convicted by a trial court in 2007. During an appeal that same year, a suo motu rule was issued to elevate the sentence from life imprisonment to death penalty.
After two decades, HC judges Joymalya Bagchi and Gaurang Kanth deliberated on the matter. In its judgment, the HC emphasised the need to balance mitigating circumstances with aggravating circumstances to determine whether a case qualifies as rarest of rare.
The court said: “Mere reference to gravity or heinousness is not enough. The court, prior to imposing the death penalty, must satisfy its conscience that there is no possibility of rehabilitation and reformation of the convict, and he would remain a continuing threat to society.”
In light of the commendable prison behaviour by the convicts, the court indicated that they cannot be regarded as people who are beyond the prospect of rehabilitation and reformation. The HC also highlighted that judges should not be “bloodthirsty” and that life imprisonment is the rule, while the death penalty is an exception.



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Iraq Debates Law on Death Penalty for Same-sex

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A draft bill has been introduced in Iraq that would see the death penalty introduced for homosexuality. Critics argue that it’s another attempt to distract locals from the country’s far bigger political problems.The Iraqi politician who introduced the bill into parliament is absolutely certain: Any behavior that deviates from heterosexuality is a danger to his country. This is why, in mid-August, Raad al-Maliki introduced a bill that would amend Iraq’s “Law on Combatting Prostitution” from 1988 to make same-sex relations a crime, alongside any kind of expression of transgender identity.

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Should al-Maliki’s bill be passed, same-sex relationships in Iraq would be punishable by death or long prison terms. The bill also pertains to transgender women and sets a penalty of up to three years in jail or a fine of up to €7,100 ($7,700) for anyone who “imitates a woman.” The latter is defined as wearing makeup or women’s clothing or “appearing as a woman” in public.

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The timing of this bill’s introduction is no coincidence, said Rasha Younes, a senior LGBTQ rights researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW). It’s connected to general discontent and public protests in Iraq. “It comes at a time when the Iraqi government has struggled to deliver on key demands made by protesters, leading to a further breakdown in the social contract between rulers and ruled,” she told DW. “The weaponization of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and legislation to mobilize a largely uninformed public against a marginalized group is a state strategy.”

According to Human Rights Watch, which has seen a copy of the bill, the Iraqi draft law describes same-sex relationships as “sexual perversion” and also punishes what it describes as the promotion of homosexuality with up to seven years of jail time and financial fines of up to €10,600 ($11,500). The draft law does not explain what is meant by the “promotion of homosexuality.”

New law adds to culture of impunity

Until now, Iraq has not had any laws explicitly against same-sex relationships, and authorities have tended to use morality laws to harass the LGBTQ community. “The introduction of the anti-LGBT bill follows months of hostile rhetoric against sexual and gender minorities by Iraqi officials, as well as government crackdowns on human rights groups,” HRW said in its report on the law.

“Armed groups and individuals have for decades launched attacks against people perceived as LGBTQ to ‘discipline’ any non-normativity expressed in Iraq,” Younes explained. “The arbitrary nature of the attacks and the fact that they occur in broad daylight in public testify to the climate of impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators, who know that they can literally get away with it.”

Given all this, the new law is just adding “fuel to the fire,” Younes continued. “It is an insult to individuals who are already trying to protect themselves from the armed groups that are hunting them down on a large scale.”

Amir Ashour, head of one of the country’s only LGBTQ rights organizations, IraQueer, feels similarly. If the bill is passed, those attacking locals they perceive as homosexuals will feel even more free to do as they wish. “This law would be against Iraqi and international laws which guarantee equal protection for all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation,” Ashour said.

The Iraqi government has been moving against the local LGBTQ community for several months.

“On August 8, the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission issued a directive ordering all media outlets to replace the term ‘homosexuality’ with ‘sexual deviance’ in their published and broadcast language and banning the use of the term ‘gender,'” HRW explained in its statement.

This populist strategy, making the LGBTQ issue a scapegoat in the middle of tough times and arguing that it is an import from liberal Western countries, seems to be working. When demonstrators in the Middle East protested against the burnings of the Muslim religious book, the Quran, recently, they would burn or stamp on rainbow flags — the symbol of the LGBTQ and diversity movement — as well.

The political establishment in the semi-autonomous northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan has also moved against the local queer community. “In September 2022, members of the Kurdistan regional parliament introduced the ‘Bill on the Prohibition of Promoting Homosexuality,’ which would punish any individual or group that advocates for the rights of LGBT people,” HRW noted.

In December last year, influential Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr tweeted that “believers” should unite to fight the LGBTQ community. He did add that the fight should be conducted “not with violence, killing or threats, but with education and awareness, with logic and ethical methods.”

Ongoing violence

Locals in the LGBTQ community in Iraq tell stories about regular violent and even deadly attacks against them.

“When I hear about the killing of a young man in Iraq because of his sexual orientation, it makes me very sad and afraid at the same time because I am aware that I am in constant danger and that I have no choice but to escape or wait for death,” a 43-year-old Iraqi man, who wants to live his life as a woman eventually, told the culture magazine, Raseef 22. “And all I want is to be myself. Every person should decide what he wants in his life freely and safely.”

This is even though there is a tradition of homosexuality in the Middle East that goes back hundreds of years. It is not an import from the West. However, the Iraqi draft bill reflects a relatively widespread public sentiment that often mixes with arguments against international interference in Iraq’s affairs. According to Equaldex, an organization tracking the progress of LGBTQ rights worldwide, around 56% of Iraqis thought that homosexuality was not justified. That number is actually an improvement. In 2014, around 80% of Iraqis felt that way, according to the same organization.

Author and performer Amrou al-Kadhi believes that the Iraqi aversion to same-sex relationships results from the importance of the family unit in Arab society.

“You’re not you, you’re me,” al-Kadhi’s mother said when they were just 15 and wanted to wear pink socks, the Iraqi-British author, who was brought up in a religious family in the Middle East and then London, wrote in “This Arab is Queer. An Anthology by LGBTQ+ Arab writers.”

“I can’t speak for all Arab families, obviously,” al-Kadhi continued. “But in the Iraqi community that I was raised in, parents view their children as direct social replications of themselves — not autonomous individuals who have their own wants and dreams, but byproducts of the Iraqi gene pool whose only goal is to ensure the survival of the wider family unit.”

What is developing in Iraq right now is not surprising, said Tea Brown, the chief executive of the Human Dignity Trust, a UK-based organization that uses legal means to challenge anti-LGBTQ discriminatory laws worldwide.

“The Trust’s position on the death penalty remains clear,” she said in a statement to DW. “It is patently a disproportionate and cruel punishment for consensual, human rights-protected conduct, and does not stand up against international law.”

This story was originally published in German.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 07, 2023 12:20 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).



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