It’s been over a month since Michael Brown’s death reignited a desperately needed national conversation about the importance of defending human rights at home just as strongly as we do abroad. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
This piece originally appeared in The Guardian under the title “Police Brutality Must Be Punished if We Want Real Justice for Michael Brown.”
From California to New York, from the streets in Ferguson to those in the south side of Chicago, police brutality continues unabated all across the United States because of brazen impunity – because in this country’s long history of abuse and violence by those obligated to respect and uphold the human rights of our communities, there is still little accountability.
The majority of human rights abuses documented by Amnesty International are linked to guns. We’ve long recognized that their widespread availability creates a climate of fear and intensifies violence – involving countless numbers of people who have been tortured, killed, injured, raped and forced to flee from their homes.
Back when I served as a death row attorney, I experienced first hand that the death penalty is anything but just. I was there at the trial of Bill Andrews when a note reading ‘Hang the N*****’ was found in the jury’s lunchroom. I saw people die by lethal injection and the electric chair who I believed were innocent.
But victories like today’s remind me that the tide is turning for the death penalty in America.
Today, we came one step closer to a significant victory when the New Hampshire House voted to repeal capital punishment in the state.
This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post under the title, “The Death Penalty Is The Tip of an Iceberg of Injustice.”
For much of my working, adult life, I have been witness to the consequences of our country’s addiction to the death penalty, and to the damage it does even as we loosen its grip.
This week, we at Amnesty International USA and anti-death penalty activists around the country hope to witness a moment we will one day say was another important step towards our collective recovery.
Wednesday, March 12, the New Hampshire House of Representatives will vote on a bill that, when signed into law, would end the death penalty in the state. Thirty-two states throughout this country have yet to rid themselves of a punishment that is not just cruel, unfair and expensive, but is tainted with human error.
Amnesty International USA is bringing our membership to Chicago for our 2014 Human Rights Conference. This year, we’re talking about how we must forge change at home in order to have an impact globally.
And today, we are proud to announce that Glenn Greenwald will join the conference via video link from Brazil for a discussion about the U.S. government’s use of mass surveillance. Glenn will also discuss the federal government’s persecution of whistleblowers who seek to tell the truth about human rights violations.
Hey super activist.
You’ve defended dignity, spoken out against injustice, and probably even helped save a life by taking action with Amnesty.
Here’s what’s next: Amnesty’s Human Rights Conference & Annual General Meeting in Chicago April 4-6.
In just a few weeks, we will unite in Chicago to fire up this movement and tackle some of the biggest human rights challenges of our time.
Sarah Hager, Chair of the Southern Africa Co-Group, contributed to this post.
A few hours ago, the world learned of the passing of Nelson Mandela. There are few people in the world who inspired so much reverence and devotion. Through all he did to advance human rights issues, Mandela became a living symbol of love and forgiveness, perseverance and redemption.
Mandela’s courage helped change our entire world. His life of political struggle and self-sacrifice became, and remains, an example to millions around the globe. His name is now synonymous with the struggle of people everywhere for freedom, equality and justice and is a reminder that we must stay determined to confront injustice.