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back to article Georgia Parole Board blocks Amnesty email campaign

The Georgia Parole Board has decided that a mass email campaign counts as a denial of service campaign, and is consequently dropping traffic from Amnesty International New Zealand. The human rights organization had launched a campaign in New Zealand calling for clemency for Troy Davis, convicted of killing a policeman and …

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Meh

It is a sad thing. The case is old and the evidence is iffy - they won't even let the guy take a polygraph; they've got to fry someone for killing that cop. Half of my family is from Georgia and I grew up on the Tennessee/Georgia border: Georgia is a fucked up place and they're still quick to blame a "darkie" for any crimes. The worst part is we will never know the truth and someone is going to die in about 50mins. Sad.

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There may be other reasons to object to this execution, but not allowing polygraphs isn't one of them. Passing a polygraph proves just as much as a séance, except that the props are more expensive.

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Unhappy

It's a sad indictment for the US system

that even though it's not mentioned in the article, I knew for sure that the guy they're executing is black. The US as a whole is actually a great country but some parts of it seem to me to be as backwards as Zimbabwe. There's no real evidence except eyewitness testimony (which is notoriously unreliable), and 9 out of 12 witnesses have come out after the trial saying that they were pressured by the police to identify this guy as the killer.

800 emails a DOS attack? What sort of crap systems do they have that it can even feel any sort of strain with 800 emails?? The sad thing is that some of these holier-than-though christianist wingnuts enjoy executing people, get some sort of kick out of (excuse my language) 'frying a n*****r' AND at the same time think that attitude / behaviour will somehow contribute to booking them a place in heaven.

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It's a disgrace that capital punishment still exists, and that the majority of the UK population want to see it restored. However, one point of interest with this case is that 7 out of the 12 jurors were black.

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Anonymous Coward

Georgia

Some friends of mine emigrated to Georgia and live in a very nice middle class area, they were shocked to find that practically every house in their street has someone who has been to prison. If they don't it's got grandparents looking after children while the parents are in prison.

A local kid was sent down for five years for having sex with a minor (he was also a minor, of the same age) and neither set of parents wanted to prosecute. Another kid was sent down for having a baggie of weed worth about $20, he again got about five years. They're really fucked up when it comes to imprisoning people.

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Georgia

The local kid was luckey then, up until 1971 (I think) you could get the death penalty for rape in georgia.

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Anonymous Coward

@FMVK

That would be statutory rape., but point taken.

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Mushroom

Lest we forget

The US Gov doesn't give a flying spaghetti monster what anyone in New Zealand thinks. Most of them probably think New Zealand is a place in the Caribbean anyway.

In fact, the US Gov doesn't really even care what Obama thinks.

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This is Georgia

Georgia is a state within the US, so the article reflects Georgia's state government. It really have nothing to do with the US government.

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Big Brother

"In fact, the US Gov doesn't really even care what Obama thinks."

I think you underestimate the appeal of the Dark Side.

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Don't care what New Zealand thinks?

Actually they don't give a monkeys toss what anyone else thinks. Partly this is because the rest of us have spent too long doing nothing about the US. It has the worlds biggest debt yet spends more per year on 'defence' than the rest of the world combined (well at least damned nearly) - God knows who they are 'defending' against... to me they are the school bully and no one has the balls (or anything else) to stand up against them.

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Mushroom

cry me a river

Now if it was an Atlanta chapter, or Dekalb County chapter, or a Georgia chapter, that would be an different story but New Zealand? If they wanted to protest, they should have done so it when he was sentenced, not fifteen years later after he ran out of appeals.

The jury said he was guilty, I'm not going to argue with that because I haven't paid any attention to that case since 1994 (because I worked in Atlanta at the time.) If investigators find out that the prosecuting attorney, or anyone else responsible for his conviction or sentence, commited fraud by manufacturing evidence, then send all of them to the same chair. That wouldn't bother me at all, but neither would it make up for their having framed and executed Mr. Davis.

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Anonymous Coward

Well, all witnesses retracted their statements in the meantime.

Conclusions 15years ago on another set of evidence than there remains now: that is sufficient reason to reconsider the facts, and consider a stay of execution if not a retrial. All told, "reasonable doubts" standard is not met, without direct evidence putting the accused at the scene; that's on top of no material witnesses maintaining what they said 15y ago in court.

Not living in Atlanta and not bothering therefore is not sufficient reason to not consider them. And international pressure while a case is meandering through courts is not the way it should be done, even though you ask for it.

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Anonymous Coward

Simple answer.

Probably the reason this guy is not getting a stay, is that someone is looking to run for higher office and does not want to look "soft on crime".

The USA - Land of the free, home of the brave, and the career politician.

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Looking the Davis case on wikipedia, there is one word that keeps appearing with frightening regularity... "denied".

Looking at the information on wikipedia, and to be honest, I haven't looked anywhere else, it would seem to me that there is reasonable doubt about Davis's guilt in this case. It also seems contradictory to me that evidence for a later appeal is rejected because it was not presented at original trail and at same time circuit court found that neither prosecutors nor defense counsel had acted improperly or incompetently!!!!!

Flagging 800 emails Amnesty as a DOS attack does seem to say that the Georgia Parole Board were only looking for an excuse to ignore the emails, not that another 800 emails were going to make a difference since (according to wikipedia) over 660,000 people had signed the petition for clemency.

If killing is wrong, then it applies to all killing, the state killing a human being is not justice, it's just revenge

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"If killing is wrong, then it applies to all killing, the state killing a human being is not justice, it's just revenge"

Some people think that killing in self-defense is acceptable (and even at time praiseworthy). You don't? Or is your statement that "all killing is wrong" not something in which you actually believe? And as for killing a human being not being "justice", is that an objective fact, or is that just you, as a bourgeois moralist, assuming that your blather represents some sort of eternal truth to which you have access?

Further, since there are no prison sentence that can cause a crime to be "uncommitted", it turns out that *all* prison sentences can be categorized as "revenge".

So what's your point?

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I think his argument can be better summed up like this:

if ($killing == "wrong")

{

$killing = "wrong";

}

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@Turtle

So I’m a “bourgeois moralist”, in what sense am I “bourgeois”?? socially middle class, no, I’m definitely from a working class background and was a blue collar worker for many years.

Is it because I am overly concerned by commercial and industrial interests, definitely not…

Or is my concern for material interests, respectability and a tendency toward mediocrity?? No its not that either, can’t stand mediocrity, especially if the best you can do is to engage in an ad hominem attack by calling me a bourgeois moralist.

So let clarify some of the subtleties of my post that seem to be lost on you

First of all I did not mean to say that all killing is wrong, the point I am trying to make is the example of the state taking a life to show people that taking a life is wrong, is wrong.

We also need to differentiate between murder, killing and execution. In America the death sentence is usually only applied in cases that cause the intentional death or murder of another person.

If you are attacked and you pick up a baseball bat and hit your attacker and in so doing you kill the attacker, that is self defence, you did not set out to do any thing wrong and it was the actions of another person that put you in the position whereby you killed another person.

Execution is just a term that implies some form of legality when taking another persons life.

People are convicted and condemned to death by other fallible people and the fallible systems they create, there have been several cases over the years where people convicted of heinous crimes if the face of irrefutable evidence only to have that evidence overturned many years later due to technological advances, two cases that come to mind are the Gilford four and in particular the Birmingham Six where there may have been fabrication of evidence, suppression of evidence, discredited confessions and wrong forensic evidence. At least these people were released from prison and compensated for the miscarriage of justice, which is more that could have been done if they had been executed.

It’s true that no punishment can case a crime to be uncommitted, however if people chose to ignore the rules/laws of society (and this too can be a problem because a law may not be fair and just) then they have no right to live within that society and I see no problem removing them from society and the benefits of society for a period of time.

As Gandalf said in the lord of the rings “Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends”.

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Raz
Coat

What? Say again?

I thought that someone has killed a policeman in New Zealand, and I did not know what Georgia (the US state, that much I got) has to do with that. But it seems that the guy is in Georgia, and NZ did not find anything closer to protest. Sorry, my mistake. Never mind, just saying. Got my coat.

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There's a clue in the title

Its Amnesty INTERNATIONAL. Its been a founding principle that Amnesty International members campaign for human rights (against torture and capital punishment) in OTHER countries. This is (and was) to stop members being persecuted in their home countries by iffy governments.

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

You seem to have totally missed the point of an Amnesty *International* letter writing campaign. They write to governments where there is percieved wrong doing *internationally*.

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Hmmm

There is some seriously fucked up people in charge in Georgia, thats for sure.

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Flame

Difference between Iran and the USA?

Not as much as you might think. Both countries execute a lot of people, both have world leading percentages of their population in prison, both are hamstrung by religious fundamentalism. Need I go on?

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The USA has 788 prisoners per 100,000 population, whereas Iran has a mere 302 per 100,000. For comparison, the UK has 158, but that is an all time high due to the recent riots, usually it is about 146.

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Anonymous Coward

"Need I go on"

yes, because I suspect you have run out of similarities.

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Difference between Iran and the USA

Well apart from the obvious answer of "about 800 years"....

The top 8 countries that actively use captial punsihement are (in decending order)

01 China - not released. prob In the thousands

02 Iran - 252+

03 North Korea - 60+

04 Yemen - 53+

05 United States - 46

06 Saudi Arabia - 27+

07 Libya - 18+

08 Syria - 17+

All of these countries have totalitarian or fundamentalist governments, some of then are even elected by a popular vote. And there is one of them that condems the others nearly all the time!

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Anonymous Coward

@DanceMan

First off: I am totally opposed to the death penalty in all forms, for anything.

Now: The Iranian use of the death penalty - often public, stonings, strangulation hangings, etc, and for "crimes" such as homosexuallity, opposing the government, having been raped, etc compared to the US* use of the death penalty, is not really comparing apples with apples.

Both countries* use of the death penalty is barbaric, but the reasons for its use in Iran are particularly disgusting.

*Actually it's state use in the USA, execution or not is at a state level. You should think of the US as 50 different legal systems, with a separate umberella system to govern how the others work.

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Yeah, Iran had a much better economy until recently ;)

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Bronze badge

There is a difference...

One has a thirst for oil and the worlds biggest military machine

One has oil and a much smaller military

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Mushroom

It's not a 'callous disregard' - they probably don't even know where New Zealand is.

And even if they do, the idea that any Americans are going to care about the feelings of people in a small country on the other side of the globe seems far-fetched, given precedent...

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Amnesty International has, since it's inception, organised letter writing campaigns from countries outside the one in which the alleged violation is said to have taken place. It is not unusual for letters to come from the other side of the world, in fact that is by design as politicians - in the past at least - have always paid more attention to people outside their own sphere of influence.

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FAIL

The Sixth Commandment, ...

... according to the State of NC: "Thou shalt not kill (except when it would be convenient for you)."

After all, *this* guy isn't going to sue the state for miscarriage of justice any more. Case closed.

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"politicians - in the past at least - have always paid more attention to people outside their own sphere of influence."

Probably true, but a sad indictment of those politicians: my MP is elected by me and the rest of us in this constituency to serve OUR interests and wishes, not those of some foreign activists! I'd be pretty angry to hear my MP paying more attention to email from another continent than from his actual employers.

I have a bit of sympathy for the admins, too: of course in technical terms, 800 pieces of email is trivial, even my mobile phone could handle it if I stuck an smtpd on there, while my actual servers wouldn't even notice a traffic blip that small. The last time I received a thousand items, though? (Backscatter from some spammer abusing my domain: I didn't have protection against misdirected bounces in those days.) It took ages for me to clear all the bounces and angry but misdirected "why are you sending me this?" replies from my inbox. One way or another, someone's got to delete all this stuff, and a simple filter rule is much more efficient than doing all the messages individually.

Besides, 800 or 800,000, it's not as if the parole board would have been reading them all and suddenly go "Hey, kiwihippie434@eol.co.nz has spotted a piece of evidence we'd missed for 20 years!" - or indeed decided that "enough" New Zealanders felt that way that they should overturn the court's verdict and myriad appeals court rulings.

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