Ex-Texas Prosecutor Disbarred After Sending Innocent Man To Death Row

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Charles Sebesta was disbarred for his conduct in the conviction of Anthony Graves, who spent 18 years in prison on charges.

Source: Ex-Texas Prosecutor Disbarred After Sending Innocent Man To Death Row

Former Texas Prosecutor Disbarred For Sending Innocent Man To Death Row

Charles Sebesta lied and presented false testimony against Robert Carter for the murders of six people.

02/09/2016 04:52 am ET

A Texas legal panel voted on Monday to disbar a former prosecutor for sending an innocent man to death row by presenting tainted testimony and making false statements that undermined the defendant’s alibi.

The Board of Disciplinary Appeals appointed by the Texas Supreme Court upheld a state licensing board’s decision to disbar Charles Sebesta for his conduct in convicting Anthony Graves, who spent 18 years in prison on charges of setting a fire that killed six people before being freed. 

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Anthony Graves spent 12…

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Be a Mensch

Be a Mensch

       A mensch learns to muzzle his inner pit bull

 

Be a Mensch

… A mensch must face his beast to transcend it.

A mensch is not a perfect person.

A mensch is not someone who backs down from fighting an injustice or an unwarranted attack.

A mensch is someone who believes in the value of a civilized life.

A mensch learns to muzzle his inner pit bull.

Rob Goldstein

Wrongful Convictions Get $24m Payout For Freed Men

Social Action

LA will pay more than $24 million to settle lawsuits from two men, Kash Delano Register and Bruce Lisker, who alleged that investigations by corrupt LAPD detectives led to their wrongful murder convictions and caused them to spend decades in prison. Both men claimed that police ignored evidence of their innocence and falsified evidence of their guilt. We look at the case of police misconduct on the Lip News with Margaret Howell and Jo Ankier.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la…

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‘Corporate Courts’ Have Taken from the Poor and Handed to the Rich – TTIP Will Turbo-Charge This Redistribution

‘Corporate Courts’ Have Taken from the Poor and Handed to the Rich – TTIP Will Turbo-Charge This Redistribution | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

 

‘Corporate Courts’ Have Taken from the Poor and Handed to the Rich – TTIP Will Turbo-Charge This Redistribution

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‘Corporate Courts’ Have Taken from the Poor and Handed to the Rich – TTIP Will Turbo-Charge This Redistribution

Corporate-friendly agreements like TTIP are nothing less than Robin Hood in reverse in which the wealth and power of the many is transferred to the elite few. (Image: flickr/cc/Lance Page/t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Steve Wampler, epicharmus)

Huge corporations and the seriously wealthy will be the big winners from the controversial US-EU trade deal known as TTIP. That’s the implication of a new study which shows that billions of pounds have been won by giant companies like Mobil, EDF, Enron, Suez and Cargill, which have sued governments under similar treaties for taking action they believe to be ‘unfair’.

The most controversial element of TTIP is the ‘corporate court’ system, formally called ISDS. This system allows multinational corporations and other foreign ‘investors’ to sue governments for enacting regulation which damage their profits. Proponents argue that this offers investors, like small business, protection against ‘arbitrary’ government action.

But such corporate courts already exist in numerous other agreements and have allowed corporations to take action against many developing countries for freezing water and electricity prices, raising the minimum wage, introducing a sugar tax and putting health warnings on cigarette packages.

Gus van Harten’s new report shows that the really big winners of these cases are, unsurprisingly, really big corporations (over $1 billion in annual revenue) and super rich individuals (over $100 million wealth). Almost 95% of all compensation awarded in the corporate court cases studied went to these groups.

The report also shows that the success rate of cases brought by such corporate giants is around 71% – far greater than the success rate of smaller companies and investors.

This means, as has often big argued, corporate courts act to redistribute income from the public purse to the richest people in the world. $6.7 billion has been won in 48 cases, with another $1 billion being won by super rich individuals. While smaller companies and investors do sometimes take action, the report suggests that any winnings on their part  is normally wiped out by the legal costs.

In fact, the biggest sums have been won by well-known extractive and energy companies – with Occidental, Mobil, EDF, BG Group, Enron and Chevron winning cases, especially against countries like Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina.

Interestingly the biggest such case in history – $50 billion awarded against Russia – has been dealt with separately because of its size. Van Harten suggests that this case was essentially won by Russian oligarchs using a series of European tax havens, including the Isle of Man.

Another big winner is what van Harten terms the ‘ISDS legal industry’ – including a selection of corporate law firms – which has made an incredible $1.7 billion in over 214 cases. Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising, given a Friends of the Earth report from last year which showed that legal costs for such ISDS cases average over $8 million, exceeding $30 million in some cases, while 80% of the legal costs end up in the pockets of the parties’ lawyers. Elite law firms can charge  $1,000 per hour, per lawyer.

The biggest losers of all, of course, is  public. In the cases studies by van Harten, $10 billion has haemorrhaged from the pockets of developing world governments. But this will only be the tip of the iceberg if TTIP and its sister agreements like CETA (the EU-Canada agreement) are agreed. After all, most cases to date have been won outside Europe and the USA. TTIP and CETA will open up far most lucrative cases up to far more business.

The idea that TTIP is about hard-done-by small business is clearly untrue. TTIP is a vehicle for channeling wealth from the public to the 1%.

Nick Dearden

Nick Dearden is the director of Global Justice Now (formerly World Development Movement) and former director of Jubilee Debt Campaign.

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Life After Death Row Three unjustly convicted people who spent years in prison and then were exonerated tell Scott Pelley how they are adjusting to being free

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Life After Death Row

Three unjustly convicted people who spent years in prison and then were exonerated tell Scott Pelley how they are adjusting to being free

The following is a script from “Life After Death Row” which aired on Jan. 10, 2016. Scott Pelley is the correspondent. Henry Schuster, producer.

About 10 times a month now, an innocent person is freed from an American prison. They’re exonerated, sometimes after decades, because of new evidence, new confessions or the forensic science of DNA. There is joy the day that justice arrives, but we wondered, what happens the day after? You’re about to meet three people who have returned to life from unjust convictions. One of them, Ray Hinton, was on death row. He remembers, too vividly, the Alabama electric chair and the scent that permeated the cell block when a man was met…

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Robert Jones Locked up for 23 years – when the real killer had already been jailed

            

Robert Jones Locked up for 23 years – when the real killer had already been jailed

Robert Jones

Locked up for 23 years – when the real killer had already been jailed

America imprisons a higher proportion of its citizens than anywhere else in the world, and Louisiana more than anywhere else in America.

It is estimated that 14 out of every 1,000 adults in the state are in prison.

This is the story of one of them, Robert Jones, who was jailed in the 1990s for killing a young British tourist in New Orleans.

It was a crime another man had already been convicted of, but he was prosecuted anyway.

The judge who sentenced the young father to life in prison now says his skin colour sealed his fate.

But even today, more than 23 years after he was arrested, Robert Jones is still not a free man….

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-5ad914e1-afed-4e0d-b7ab-754bf3d0b1e6