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Justice For All

Atheists have our own ideas about what is just and what is unjust.  This group will explore the elusive concept of justice.  Topics include racial injustice, death penalty, imprisonment, crime, and other aspects of justice in modern society and in history.  Without gods, what is the basis for justice?  What do humanists and others say about justice?  What do you think about current controversies and cases regarding justice or injustice?

Members: 41
Latest Activity: Dec 9

Welcome!

Troy Davis's photo was chosen as this original icon for this group.  Davis symbolized inequality of justice in the US.  At the time of his execution, 9/21/11, the evidence supporting his conviction was flimsy.  There was known evidence supporting his innocence.  He was executed anyway. Since then the icon is changed to represent justice in general.

 

There are different nontheist points of view about justice, punishment, penalties, death penalty.   There is strong support for retribution and execution in the theist community (in the US).

 

What serves as "justice" is not distributed evenly across communities.  The most egregious injustice has strong racial overtones.  If you would like to read about, and discuss justice, what it is, who gets justice, and who doesn't, and stories relevant to this topic, please join and contribute to the discussions.

 

Resources

www.deathpenalty.org  factsheet.

www.deathpenalty.org  main page

deathpenaltyinfo.org  executed possibly innocent

amnestyUSA death penalty information

death row population (CNN)  sept 2011.

innocence project.  The innocent and the death penalty.

innocence project Wikipedia discussion

California innocence project

Chicago innocence project

Georgia innocence project

ThinkProgress/Justice

Discussion Forum

On Burying the Torture Report

Started by Bertold Brautigan. Last reply by Daniel W Dec 9. 3 Replies

Black Panic

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by k.h. ky Sep 4. 7 Replies

Environmental Activist Hit Lists

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 30. 2 Replies

Harsher sentences increase crime

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Luara Jun 27. 4 Replies

Debtors Prison in the US

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jun 12. 4 Replies

Coal Ash contaminated water jail coverup

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 26. 0 Replies

"White Guilt" by Shelby Steele

Started by Luara. Last reply by Luara May 16. 3 Replies

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Comment by Daniel W on March 29, 2012 at 2:22pm

David, I just looked at the entire video, enlarged to my computer screen.  My vision is not perfect.  I could not make out any significant detail in the entire video. Even where license plates were visible, I could not make out the numbers.  In the indoor shots, there is one that more or less shows the right side of Zimmerman's face, but I could not make out full detail there either. I'm not defending him - my current thought is he has a bit of an over-diligent cop wannabe complex, was probably racially profiling in his mind, saw a young black man wearing a hoodie walking in the neighborhood, instantly suspected bad intentions, got into an ill-advised altercation that was actually recommended that he not do, and killed Trayvon.  That is with no really good information about what was in Zimmerman's mind.  Would the police have allowed Zimmerman to clean off his face?  change his shirt?  I don't know.  There is no "chain of custody" given for Zimmerman between the incident and the police station videos.

*

In the list of 'factoids" that pass for news / information, I forgot to add,

Zimmerman is white.

No he's not, he's Hispanic (a descendent of the Zimmermans of Tepoztlán maybe?)

No he's not, he has a Zimmerman parent and a Hispanic parent.

All of this suggesting that no Hispanic person can be prejudiced or racially profile a black person.  We can tell what is going on his mind due to his ethnic heritage....  sort of like racial profiling.

Comment by David Philip Norris on March 29, 2012 at 11:22am

Here's an article posted on Twitter just now (yes, yes, Huff Post):

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/trayvon-martin-police-vide...

There is a conspicuous lack of blood or bruising on Zimmerman, and according the funeral director no signs that Trayvon had attacked Zimmerman as he claims happened. This is at very least suspicious.

Comment by David Philip Norris on March 29, 2012 at 11:07am

What really sounds fishy is Zimmerman claimed that Trayvon attacked him and was bashing his head on the ground or something. Zimmerman had at least 100 pounds on the kid, and is built like a linebacker. Unless Trayvon was a champion wrestler or jujitsu master, there is no way he could have attacked, let alone posed a threat, to Zimmerman.

Comment by Daniel W on March 29, 2012 at 10:40am

Trying to follow the "fog of war" on the Trayvon / Zimmerman story.  The press, mainstream and nonpress internet continue to dole out little tidbits of information without going into detail about what to make of them.  Then people comment and argue in the comments depending on their biases, based on the tidbits that are like little Rorschach tests into our psyches and ideas about race, youth, guns, and political spectrum. 

*

So far, I've noted:

Zimmerman is still not arrested.

Trayvon was a skinny little teenager.

Trayvon was over 6 foot and a football player - but still skinny.

Zimmerman was a little fat humpty dumpty.

Zimmerman in police video looked rather fit, but still short.

Zimmerman's face was covered with blood.

Zimmerman in police video was not covered with blood.

Somebody "lightened" Trayvon so he would look less black.

Trayvon had a marijuana baggie.

Trayvon had jewelry in his back pack.

Trayvon was suspended from school.

Trayvon was a good kid.

Zimmerman was following Trayvon.

Trayvon surprised Zimmerman.

Stand your ground does/does not apply.

*

In all of this, many of the tidbits tell us next to nothing.  How many teenagers use pot?  How many teenagers get suspended from school?  Who was the adult in this altercation?  Why isn't Zimmerman charged, when there was clearly a killing and he was clearly the shooter - doesn't every killing require an investigation?

*

I know my own biases in this case.  It still looks to me like Zimmerman provoked an altercation that he was warned not to do, he brought the gun with him, he used it and Trayvon is dead. 

Comment by Daniel W on March 23, 2012 at 10:23pm

Tony, I think you are right.  The James Anderson murder looks as obvious as it can get - the perpetrators expressed their plan (not specifically to murder but "fuck with" a black person - but in more racist language) in advance, the murder itself was videotaped, and they bragged about it afterwards, all while using racist language.  On the other hand, Anderson's family asked that it not be the death penalty, citing their christian values. There are other cases where I question myself about the death penalty - there really are people who torture to death and murder for play.  Peewee Gaskins made a hobby of kidnapping teenage girls, torturing them to near death, tying them up with chains and throwing them into the swamp, watching until the bubbles stopped rising.  Or in one case, into a septic tank.  He also murdered a woman in front of her 2 year old, then raped and tortured the 2 year old before murdering her.  He claimed to have murdered 90 or more people.  Cases like this are extreme, but they are not hypothetical. 

Comment by Tony Carroll on March 23, 2012 at 8:05pm

Hey SB. I grew up in Mississippi. At 18, joined the USAF, left, never looked back. And I,m fairly certain  that he didn't get the death sentence because he was white. I'm mostly against the death penalty also. But sometimes...sometimes.

Comment by Daniel W on March 23, 2012 at 8:23am

Tony, I agree that there is some movement.  In the Mississipi case that you mention, James Anderson was brutally murdered by white teenagers, who were looking for a black man to harass (and kill, since that's what they did).  Mississippi currently has death penalty, and there are 66 people on death row in Mississippi.  In a case that was torture, premeditated murder, and hate crime as motivation, why wasn't the death penalty given here?  It's a complicated argument for me, since I am against execution.  This is one of the reasons why - it is meted out in a racially biased way.

Comment by Tony Carroll on March 22, 2012 at 11:44pm

Hi, SB. It can be done. Reaing, trying to catch up on some news, when I read about a 19 y.o. kid in Mississippi sentenced to a life in prison yesterday for killing an African American . Hate crime. Yes. You go, Mississippi! Florida, watch and learn.

Comment by Richard ∑wald on March 22, 2012 at 11:39pm

From Greg Laden's blog, 

Sanford Police Chief Steps Down!

Comment by Daniel W on March 22, 2012 at 12:21pm

I think this needs to be viewed as a hate crime.  Zimmerman may be protected by the "Stand Your Ground" law although there is controversy about that.

 

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