Weekly digest for November 15, 2010
De: Our Compass <no-reply@...>
Asunto: Weekly digest for November 15, 2010
Fecha: lunes, 15 de noviembre, 2010 01:07My So-Called "Life"
By Marie Couglin, RepublishedMy story……I cannot remember ever being allowed to be a regular kid. As soon as I reached puberty, I was repeatedly raped until I became pregnant.While horrified from the events, I instantly obtained mothering instincts. The joys of carrying my child for the next nine months were unexplainable. Then came the most joyous day of my life, the birth of my son. He was beautiful. I kissed him on the cheek and noticed he had my eyes. Then he was gone from my life forever, taken from me against my will by the same men who raped me. I thought my life could not get any worse. It was like I was stuck in an infinite loop.The rapes continued until I became pregnant again. Another son….as I looked into his eyes I knew he would be snatched from me, as well. And he was. This was my life for the next five years. I have four children. Three boys and a girl.I tried to get out. I tried to fight back. To make matters worse, I found out I had many diseases. How could I? I never asked for this? I was now damaged goods. What about the people who gave me these diseases? Unfortunately the same fate awaits my daughter.My name is Suzy and I am a dairy cow on death row. I don’t know what is worse….you eating my veal offspring or enjoying the fruits of my pain by eating cheese and milk.This is my body! You do not own it! VEGAN….the ONLY option!
Related, Industrial Slaughter
By Daniel Rigos
Before you understood who the victim represents, you probably felt shock, anger, and sadness; please understand that, regardless of species, this type of victimization, exploitation, and suffering is unethical and wrong. Take one moment just to think, "what if ..." What if it were you or someone you love? What would you do to change? Please start by rejecting victimization by speciesism.On Friday 5th November 2010 a heinous crime was committed in Elounda, Crete, against a shepherd dog, who was wildly abused by his owner. Specifically, his eyes were extracted with the use of a pointed object. The poor animal was transferred immediately to a veterinarian, who unfortunately had to put him down due to the dog’s irreversible health. Much to everyone's surprise, the district attorney, in spite of the peculiarity of the incident and the savagery of the crime, let the offender go without setting a date for a hearing, violating thus the procedural rules. (More below under Petition Text, English.)PETITION TEXT, ENGLISH
To Mr. Head Prosecutor of Crete
NOTIFICATION Mr. Kastanidis, Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights
Subject: OPEN LETTER - PROTEST
Crete, 9th November 2010
On Friday 5th November 2010 a heinous crime was committed in Elounda, Crete, against a shepherd dog, who was wildly abused by his owner. Specifically, his eyes were extracted with the use of a pointed object. The poor animal was transferred immediately to a veterinarian, who unfortunately had to put it down due to the dog’s irreversible health. According to the veterinarian’s relevant opinion, Dr. John Sfakianakis, who addressed the incident, the perpetrator abused the dog in the eyes and head, using his bear hands.
As soon as the lawsuit was filed against the specific person by a witness at the police station of Elounda, the police doing their job perfectly well arrested the offender and sheep owner.
Much to everyone's surprise, the district attorney, in spite of the peculiarity of the incident and the savagery of the crime, let the offender go without setting a date for a hearing, violating thus the procedural rules.
We would like to inform you that the alleged offender, as soon as he went back to his sheep, brought a new small animal, which he also tied like the one before it, as if nothing had happened. We are wondering what if tomorrow the same sheep owner did the same to one of his children?
We are also wondering whether or not the district attorney did the same if the crime was committed against a human. We have every reason to believe that the district attorney let the offender go because this heinous and barbaric abuse and death was against an animal.
Lawyers, journalists and animal welfare groups, all believe that the decision of the district attorney circumvented any aspect of legitimacy and justice, since she did not comply with the current legislation (Laws 1197/81 and 3170/2003).
The terrible and tragic living conditions of the stray animals and pets in Greece, the daily hundreds upon hundreds of poisonings, the barbaric abuse of thousands of animals, squashed on the Greek roads or thrown away alive into the garbage bins, etc are all well-known to everyone.
BECAUSE we strongly believe that the district attorney’s attitude is totally unacceptable and unfair.
BECAUSE, if anything, the district attorney should condemn the crime for pure ethical reasons and decide to set a trial date.
BECAUSE, the district attorney by the power vested in her should implement the state institutions against the culture of violence which thrives throughout the island.
BECAUSE the district attorney without even hearing the heinous crime which was brought before her, placed the prosecutor in a diminished position in relation to the european citizens of the other member states.
For all the above reasons:
We urge you as a superior authority to intervene promptly in order to implement the existing legislation so that the perpetrator of such an attrocious crime does not remain unpunished, show sensitivity on this subject, and take the necessary steps to ensure the immediate implementation of the provisions of the relevant legislation.
The Pan-Hellenic Coordinating Committee of Welfare Societies
of 100 animal welfare groups
Anastasia Bompolaki, lawyer
District Attorney of the Magistrates' Court in Lassithi Crete
Related, Violence Towards Animals Leads To Violence Towards Humans
The deliberate sadistic abuse and murder of non-human animals is cause for investigation, prosecution, and imprisonment of the offender REGARDLESS of any potential tendencies towards abuse against human animals. Nevertheless, our speciesist society reacts primarily towards self-preservation, thus this link is explored, examined, and taken seriously in some cases (others forgive the "offense" labeling it as natural or understandable).From The Washington PostRepublicans say their midterm election victory shows that the American people want to shrink the federal government and make it smarter. If that's true, and if the new GOP majority in the House wants to deliver on its promises, we can think of no better place to start than Dairy Management. This little-known appendage of the Agriculture Department exists for one purpose: to encourage Americans to drink more milk and eat more cheese, so that dairy farmers can make more money. This is not our idea of an urgent national priority.
NY Dairy Investigation
There are similar entities designed to increase demand for other commodities such as beef and pork. The Supreme Court has called these programs "government speech" that does not violate the Constitution.To the contrary, annual cheese consumption in the United States has grown from 11 pounds per person in 1970 to 33 pounds per person now, which may help explain the rise in obesity and related illnesses. Dairy Management supports this troubling trend by encouraging fast-food restaurants to market new products laden with high-fat cheese. Its efforts include helping Domino's develop extra-cheese pizzas containing two-thirds of the daily recommended amount of saturated fat per slice, according to a recent story in the New York Times.
Behind the Mustache
And Dairy Management, which has made cheese its cause, is not a private business consultant. It is a marketing creation of the United States Department of Agriculture — the same agency at the center of a federal anti-obesity drive that discourages over-consumption of some of the very foods Dairy Management is vigorously promoting. NYTimes
Things that make you go, 'hmmmm ...'Wildlife in Florida have an unlikely new ally in the fight against poaching -- a remote-controlled buck lovingly known as Robo-deer. Although he can do little more than flick his tail and turn his head, Robo-deer is so convincingly lifelike that some illegal hunters can't help but take a shot at him. But when they do, those poachers end up getting served something a lot worse than steel veal -- that's because Robo-deer works for the cops.No, Robo-deer isn't a character from science-fiction -- he's actually the latest modern tool being used by Fish and Wildlife Conservation officers to nab folks who keep on killing deer after the close of hunting season, a time when animal and man should be able to live in peace. "We have a problem with people poaching in this area," says officer Greg Stastay. "So, we're going to set up a deer for them to shoot."That's where Robo-deer steps in. He's here to take a few bullets so his real-deer peers don't have to.Officers are able to control Robo-deer's movements from up to 50 feet away with a radio-controlled device mounted its back. When the tempting target is placed in the brush along the roadside, folks driving by who have no qualms about hunting illegally will inevitably stop to shoot at the majestic, albeit mechanical, "animal" -- giving officers justification to step in and arrest them."Anybody who shoots at that deer will be arrested for illegal method and hunting deer out of season," says Stastay. Those who Robo-deer helps reveal as poachers can expect a severe punishment, too -- maximum penalties range between 60 days and one year in the slammer.
Robo-Deer Protects Innocent Wildlife From PoachersDespite the fact that he is purely mechanical at heart, the robotic buck has been gaining a bit of celebrity in his own right. Robo-deer's special crime-fighting skills are the centerpiece of tonight's (November 12th | sr) episode of Operation Wild on Planet Green, a show which highlights some of the novel techniques law enforcement officials are using to protect nature's most vulnerable animals.Immediate, please click on the following two links and sign:1. BACKGROUNDTargeting: Priscilla Holcomb (Director, Parsons School of Fashion)Started by: Annie HartnettEach year, furrier Saga conducts courses and contests at the Parsons School of Fashion. Fashion students are given free samples of fur and encouraged to use fur in their future lines.Parsons has a lengthy sustainability manifesto on their website, encouraging students to be environmentally conscious and to "buy better."It isn't consistent with Parson's sustainability message to allow Saga to hand out free fur to students. If Parsons is truly serious about the ethics of their young designers, they won't allow Saga to give out fur to their students.
Greetings,I recently read on Change.org that Parson New School for Design is still planning to conduct Saga's annual fur contest.Parson's has an admirable sustainability manifesto on its website, but holding a contest sponsored by furriers isn't consistent with this message. How can you ask students to "buy better," and then hold a contest that promotes the torture and slaughter of thousands of animals?I urge you to immediately discontinue the annual fur contest. I am aware that Parsons recently held a workshop conducted by The Humane Society of the United States. While this is a move in the right direction, Parsons should take a true stand against fur. The school helps shape the careers of young designers, and Parsons has a responsibility not to allow furriers to lure young students into supporting the cruel fur industry.Thank you.
Related, Fur Cruelty2. BACKGROUNDTargeting: London College of Fashion, Wimbledon College of Art, Royal College of Art, and Central Saint Martins College of Art and DesignStarted by: Action for our Planet .comA number of colleges (Central Saint Martins College, London College of Fashion, Royal College of Art & Wimbeldon College of Art) are currently using a significant amount of fur in their fashion and design departments. The amount utilised by the colleges is so significant that they even have their own fur suppliers. Not only is it offensive to use fur, as many students are against animal cruelty, it also sets a bad example by showing students it is acceptable and perfectly normal to use fur from skinned alive animals. When these students grow up, they may develop their own fashion collections and incorporate fur because they have learnt it is an acceptable fashion material. Many designers who have previously studied at these colleges, have gone on to become successful fashion designers who often use fur in their collections. The British Fur Trade even bribes students with free fur pelts to use in their end of year fashion show so as to promote the fur trade. Please sign this petition asking colleges to ditch fur and go cruelty free.
I was horrified to learn that the design departments at your college uses a significant amount of fur. The amount utilised is so significant that the college even has it’s own fur supplier. Animals are kept in appalling conditions on fur farms where they are subject to isolation, psychological and physical trauma and even premature death. Once these animals are deemed ready for slaughter, they are skinned alive, anally electrocuted, bludgeoned to death, gassed, poisoned or suffocated. Once an animal has been skinned alive, it’s body is thrown into a pile where it faces an agonizing and slow death.
I invite you to watch this video depicting Norwegian fur farms: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2i6pocxJO8
I also ask that you watch this video of animals being killed for their fur: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXygC9li_oE
Regardless of what fur farmers may claim, no fur is ethically sourced and all animals suffer immensely. Expecting your students to use fur is not only offensive to those that care about animals, it also sends a message to students showing them it is perfectly normal and acceptable to skin animals alive. Your college has been named and shamed on an anti-fur website because of it’s lack of compassion. I urge you to stop using fur immediately and utilise faux fur alternatives or other materials so as to stop directly funding the cruel fur trade.
Thank you for your time.
DNA tests obtained by the Innocence Project and partner organizations have proven that a Texas man was executed in 2000 based on hair evidence that wasn’t his. Claude Jones, above left with his mother, always maintained his innocence of the crime.
Contact: Paul Cates, (212) 364-5346 | pcates@...Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck called the case "another disturbing example of a miscarriage of justice in Texas capital murder prosecutions."Before Jones was executed in 2000, he requested a 30-day stay from then-Governor George W. Bush so he could seek DNA testing on a hair that allegedly tied him to the scene of a robbery and shooting. Bush was awaiting a decision from the Florida Supreme Court on whether the recount in the presidential election could continue. Although Bush had previously said DNA testing should be conducted when "it can be relevant as to the guilt or innocence of a person on death row," the memo to Bush from the Texas General Counsel's office recommended against the stay and failed to mention that Jones was seeking DNA tests. Bush denied the stay, and Jones was executed on December 7, 2000."It is unbelievable that the lawyers in the General Counsel's office failed to inform the governor that Jones was seeking DNA testing on evidence that was so pivotal to the case," said former Texas Governor and Attorney General Mark White. "If the state is going to continue to use the death penalty, it must figure out a way to build safeguards in the system so that lapses like this don't happen again."The Innocence Project sought testing in Jones' case since 2007. After the San Jacinto County District Attorney's Office denied access to the evidence to conduct tests, the Innocence Project joined with the Texas Observer, the Innocence Project of Texas and the Texas Innocence Network in bringing a lawsuit that eventually led to the testing.
- DNA Test Proves Critical Hair Evidence in a Capital Murder Case Didn’t Match Man Executed
- General Counsel Memo to President Elect George Bush Hid the Fact that the Accused Sought DNA Tests That Could Have Spared Him from Execution
Related, The Innocence Project | After Innocence: TrailerAt a press conference in Houston this morning announcing the test results, Claude Jones' son Duane said the results "mean so much to me, my son in the military and the rest of my family.""I hope these results will serve as a wakeup call to everyone that serious problems exist in the criminal justice system that must be fixed if our society is to continue using the death penalty," Duane Jones said. "We must be careful that all aspects of our law enforcement and court systems are always driven by justice, truth and logic - not vengeance, emotion or politics."Get more facts on the case and review the memo to George W. Bush, the DNA testing results and more. (Below)(Houston – November 12, 2010) The Innocence Project today released DNA test results proving that crucial hair evidence found at the scene of a murder, the only physical evidence linking the accused Claude Jones to the crime, did not belong to Jones. Although he always maintained his innocence, Jones was executed for murdering Allen Hilzendager on December 7, 2000. George Bush, who was awaiting a decision from the Florida Supreme Court on whether the presidential election recount would continue, denied Jones’ request for a 30 day stay of execution to do DNA test on the hair sample. The memo from the General Counsel’s office that recommended against the stay did not tell Bush that Jones was seeking a DNA test of the hair. Evidence that the hair “matched” Jones was critical to the prosecution’s case at trial and proved to be the key factor in a narrow 3-2 decision by the Texas Court of Appeals finding there was sufficient corroboration of the accomplice who testified against Jones to uphold the murder conviction.“I have no doubt that if President Bush had known about the request to do a DNA test of the hair he would have would have issued a 30-day stay in this case and Jones would not have been executed,” said Barry C. Scheck, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Cardozo School of Law.Scheck noted that Bush had issued a stay for DNA testing just months earlier in another capital case and said at the time, “Any time DNA evidence can be used in its context and can be relevant as to the guilt or innocence of a person on death row, we need to use it.”
Related, The Innocence Project
Conviction: The Incredible True Story of Betty Anne Waters“It is unbelievable that the lawyers in the General Counsel’s office failed to inform the governor that Jones was seeking DNA testing on evidence that was so pivotal to the case,” said former Texas Governor and Attorney General Mark White. “If the state is going to continue to use the death penalty, it must figure out a way to build safeguards in the system so that lapses like this don’t happen again.”In November 1989, Hilzendager was shot to death while working at a liquor store in San Jacinto County, Texas. Jones was arrested for the crime with two co-defendants, Timothy Mark Jordan and Kerry Dixon. A father and his 14-year-old daughter who were working on a car across the street were the only witnesses to the crime, and neither were able identify the perpetrators. At trial and later on appeal, the key evidence against Jones was a small hair sample that was found on the counter near the victim’s body. A chemist for the state, Stephen Robertson, initially concluded that the sample was not “suitable” for microscopic comparison because it was too small, but by the time he testified at trial, Robertson swore the microscopic characteristics of the hair on the counter “matched” hair from Jones and could not have come from Dixon, the victim, or the 12 other people who frequented the store. When asked in a separate civil lawsuit why he changed his mind and decided that he could analyze the sample, Robertson said he didn’t know. Subsequently, an independent hair analysis expert examined the sample and concluded that Robertson’s first assessment was correct — the hair was in fact too small for proper analysis. Download the hair analyst’s report. (Below)A report released in 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) raises serious questions about the reliability of microscopic hair analysis. According to the report, “No scientifically accepted statistics exist about the frequency with which particular characteristics of hair are distributed in the population. There appears to be no uniform standards on the number of features on which hairs must agree before an examiner may declare a ‘match.’” Nearly one in five wrongful convictions overturned through DNA testing involved faulty hair analysis.