Recently one of my favorite people ordered a book for me from Amazon that is entitled Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson (Spiegel & Grau, 2015), saying that she had read it and thought of me. I was flattered, because this is a book about an attorney/author in the Alabama and Georgia area who filed appeals on death penalty cases and told us about the stories and players surrounding them. And, if one accepts Mr. Stevenson’s facts as true (which I do), there have been many atrocious cases in those states even into the late 1980s in which African Americans were put to death for crimes for which they were factually innocent. The existence of just one of those cases is simply too much, but there were many. And even if the guilt was fairly established, the book quoted the statistic that a Black man was eleven times more likely in those states to receive a death penalty sentence if his victim had been a Caucasian instead of the victim being Black. This fact cannot make us proud!
Many people in the African American community were terrified of the police and the court system – and for good reason. How can we respond? As one older Black lady was quoted in the book as saying to the author when he was working on one of his cases: “You must beat the drum for Justice!” In that regard, in August of 2010, I published two back-to-back articles in the Los Angeles Daily Journal that advocated the full repeal of the death penalty throughout the United States. My argument was then and is still that, regardless of one’s political philosophy, the death penalty is simply not working. (The two articles are enclosed for those who would like to read them.) What do you think? Please let me know your thoughts and then spread the word to your social media and other friends to help us abolish the death penalty – once and for all. Let’s all join together and beat the drum for Justice!

Quote for the week: “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.” Abraham Lincoln

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President