Fascist noose and a Hangman ‘Democracy’: Resist the Indian state’s judicially orchestrated elimination of political dissent!

by Democratic Students Union, Delhi University
“..what a state of society is that which knows of no better instrument for its own defense than the hangman.” – Marx
Oh Enemy
One fine morning in the
wee hours
After tying behind the back
The hands that fought for sunrise
After blindfolding the eyes
That looked for sunrise
After putting the noose
around the throat
That spoke for sunrise
You turn that side
Only to find the sky blood red
In that crimson lap
Someone’s eyes have just opened.
– Varavara Rao

The Indian state is right now in its worst ever killing spree. Putting people mercilessly in the gallows and killing them in cold blood! The secret hanging of Afzal Guru has once again brought to the fore the barbaric practice of death penalty which the Indian state continues with, even after a great majority of countries have abolished it. Death penalty gives the state complete impunity to kill and is the worst form of cold-blooded judicial murder. While 140 countries in the world have abolished death penalty, as per the records of the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB),in India according to the Ministry of Home Affairs, a total of 1,455 convicts or an average of 132.27 convicts per year were sentenced to death penalty during 2001 to 2011. Death penalty, which the Indian state claims that it applies only in the “rarest of rare” case, is in actuality a routine tool in the hand of the ruling classes to browbeat and intimidate the oppressed and struggling masses. It is estimated that the number of those executed after 1947 is over 4,300.

Now after executing Afzal, the Indian state continues with its killing spree and has rejected the mercy petition of Simon, Meesakara Mathayan, Bilavendran and Gnanaprakasam who were a member of Veerappan’s gang and had spent 18 years in jail already. The state had sat on their mercy petition for nine long years before rejecting it finally. In their case the state even more cruelly has merely communicated the execution orders orally and has given nothing in written. All the four convicts are above 60 years old, with the senior-most being 70. The decision to execute these old men who have spent nearly two decades in jail, display the violent retributive & vengeful character that Indian judicial system has acquired.Along with continuing with this barbaric system, the Indian state off late has gone a step further in making it a clandestine affair. So the Indian state’s cowardice goes hand in hand with its ruthlessness. Continue reading

Supreme Court stops the execution–the people say, “Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!”

New SCOTUS Decision In Abu-Jamal Case Is Good, But Not Enough

By Mary Shaw

12 October, 2011
Countercurrents.org

The drama continues in the case of America’s most famous living death row prisoner.

On October 11, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request from the Philadelphia District Attorney to overturn a federal appeals court decision declaring Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death sentence unconstitutional. Abu-Jamal had been convicted and sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

Now, according to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), “Mr. Abu-Jamal will be automatically sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole unless the District Attorney elects to seek another death sentence from a new jury.”

This development is good, but it’s not enough. Continue reading

Apology demanded for black teenager executed in South Carolina in 1940s

[The execution last week of Troy Davis by the State of Georgia, despite overwhelming evidence of innocence and the protest of millions worldwide, was a continuation of racist state executions throughout the US.  Here, the ongoing demand for posthumous exoneration of a Black child executed in South Carolina in 1944 in an earlier case of historic, and racist, injustice. — Frontlines ed.]

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Protests for inmate Troy Davis staged worldwide

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Wednesday’s scheduled execution of Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis has sparked protests worldwide from Savannah, where Davis was convicted of killing an off-duty police officer 20 years ago, to one planned in Paris.

After four years of legal battles, Wednesday appeared to be the last chance for his supporters and anti-death penalty advocates to rally in an effort to spare his life.

“We’re trying everything we can do, everything under the law,” said Chester Dunham, a Savannah civil rights activist and talk show host.

Davis, 42, was to die by lethal injection for the 1989 slaying of Mark MacPhail, a Savannah officer killed while working off-duty as a security guard. MacPhail was rushing to help a homeless man being attacked when he was shot twice.

Davis has insisted he’s innocent and his pending execution has been stopped three times since 2007. In the process, he’s gained thousands of supporters worldwide.

In Savannah, Dunham was among 16 Davis supporters who gathered outside the Chatham County courthouse Wednesday morning to press District Attorney Larry Chisolm to stop the execution. They delivered three boxes of petitions to the prosecutor’s office, saying they had 240,000 signatures supporting clemency for Davis.

Chisolm has said he’s powerless to override an execution order for Davis signed by a state Superior Court judge. But activists are still pressuring him, insisting he has enough influence to sway Georgia officials to back down from executing Davis.

In Jackson, home to the prison housing Georgia’s death row, the Rev. Al Sharpton planned to lead a prayer rally Wednesday afternoon.

After that, prison officials planned to allow a small group of demonstrators to gather inside the prison’s perimeter fence, just outside the walls, before the scheduled execution at 7 p.m. Eastern. A large crowd was expected to also gather outside.

In Europe, where plans to execute Davis have drawn widespread criticism, lawmakers and activists were making a last-minute appeal to Georgia officials to spare the inmate. Amnesty International and other groups planned a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Paris later Wednesday.

Renate Wohlwend of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly noted doubts raised about Davis’ conviction. She said that “to carry out this irrevocable act now would be a terrible mistake which could lead to a tragic injustice.”