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Federal Court Affirms Constitutional Rights of Kids in Landmark Climate Case

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  • Federal Court Affirms Constitutional Rights of Kids and Denies Motions of Government and Fossil Fuel Industry in youths' landmark climate change case.
  • Victory in landmark climate case!

Our Children's Trust

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http://ourchildrenstrust.org/sites/default/files/_DSC3359.jpgMeet the Youth Plaintiffs!

Read Youth Plaintiffs' complaint.

Click here for the major pleadings and court orders in the case.

April 8, 2016 | U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin of the federal District Court in Eugene, OR, decided in favor of 21 young Plaintiffs, and Dr. James Hansen on behalf of future generations, in their landmark constitutional climate change case brought against the federal government and the fossil fuel industry.

The Court’s ruling is a major victory for the 21 youth Plaintiffs, ages 8-19, from across the U.S. in what Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein call the “most important lawsuit on the planet right now.” These plaintiffs sued the federal government for violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property, and their right to essential public trust resources, by permitting, encouraging, and otherwise enabling continued exploitation, production, and combustion of fossil fuels.

Our Children's Trust elevates the voice of youth to secure the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate for the benefit of all present and future generations. Through our programs, youth participate in advocacy, public education and civic engagement to ensure the viability of all natural systems in accordance with science.

Full story … 

Up to half of people killed by US police are disabled

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  • In the US and the UK, police brutality towards citizens with disabilities, in particular, those with mental difficulties, is a shameful reality. Yet the facts go unreported. Media organisations must change this.
  • Related: 'We go rotten': man granted clemency describes life in the US prison system

Mary O'Hara, Guardian

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/ea3a8a1564f30af209c434162b8f5811b2750788/0_72_3000_1799/master/3000.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=88c951c68bee1e0e0297e5d6d33c0a2fFamily photos of Ethan Saylor, who had Down’s syndrome and died, aged 26, after being restrained by US police. Photograph: The Washington Post/Getty Images

Tuesday, 29 March 2016 | Not only are the total numbers of police-involved deaths in the US appalling – 1,134 in 2015 alone – the final tally for the year highlighted once again the shockingly disproportionate number of African Americans affected, as was exposed by a Guardian investigation, The Counted. Young black men aged between 15 and 34 accounted for 15% of all deaths logged (five times higher than for their white counterparts), despite being just 2% of the population.

There is another, much less well-documented feature of police brutality and violence: the prevalence of disabled people and, in particular, those with mental difficulties, who are victims.

Mary O'HaraGuardian journalist and Fullbright scholar

Full story … 

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https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/56424017a35ea3492878a991fa6b5bd8155d4a57/0_185_2799_1679/master/2799.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=0f6248390e27b2588cd55a01ad67c2eb  'We go rotten': man granted clemency describes life in the US prison system, David Smith, the Guardian 

Norman Brown served 24 years of a life sentence for distributing cocaine, until his became one of 248 Obama has commuted during his presidency.

The nation’s criminal justice system is broken.

Full story ... 

'We go rotten': man granted clemency describes life in the US prison system

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  • Norman Brown served 24 years of a life sentence for distributing cocaine, until his became one of 248 Obama has commuted during his presidency.
  • The nation’s criminal justice system is broken.

David Smith, the Guardian

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/56424017a35ea3492878a991fa6b5bd8155d4a57/0_185_2799_1679/master/2799.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=0f6248390e27b2588cd55a01ad67c2eb Norman O’Neal Brown at the Famm (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) office in Washington on 24 March 2016. Photograph: Evelyn Hockstein for the Guardian

Thu, 31 March, 2016 | In 1993 Norman Brown was told he would die behind bars. He was among 17 people found guilty of distributing crack cocaine after an FBI sting that involved tapping drug dealers’ phones. Due to a previous minor offence with two criminal counts, he was sentenced to life without parole. Even the judge said the punishment was too harsh but his hands were tied by mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

Then, last July, Brown walked free after being granted clemency by Barack Obama. And on Wednesday, the US president commuted the sentences of a further 61 drug offenders. In all he has now commuted 248 sentences, more than the previous six presidents combined. “It does not make sense for a non-violent drug offender to be getting 20 years, 30 years, in some cases life in prison,” Obama said at a lunch with Brown and some of the other former inmates. “That’s not serving anybody. That’s not serving taxpayers. It’s not serving public safety. And it’s damaging families.”

David Smith is the Guardian's Washington correspondent.

Full story … 

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The nation’s criminal justice system is broken, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • Can we get our society to begin to acknowledge the cruelty, the barbarism of these institutions and what that means and what that says about us?
  • Hopelessness' Is the Enemy of Justice
  • Part 1: 8 Facts You Should Know About the Criminal Justice System and People of Color
  • Get These Killer Cops Off the Streets
  • Part 2: Dean Strang Interviews Bryan Stevenson, An "Exceptional" Trial Lawyer 

 

The nation’s criminal justice system is broken.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Rights%20%26%20Liberties%20Banner.jpg

  • Can we get our society to begin to acknowledge the cruelty, the barbarism of these institutions and what that means and what that says about us?
  • Hopelessness' Is the Enemy of Justice
  • Part 1: 8 Facts You Should Know About the Criminal Justice System and People of Color
  • Get These Killer Cops Off the Streets
  • Part 2: Dean Strang Interviews Bryan Stevenson, An "Exceptional" Trial Lawyer 

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: 8 Facts You Should Know About the Criminal Justice System and People of Color

The nation’s criminal justice system is broken. 

Jamal Hagler, Think Progress

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Madison, Wisconsin, Mayor Paul Soglin (D) addresses a crowd of protestors on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Madison on March 9, 2015, during a protest of the shooting death of Tony Robinson. Source: AP/Andy Manis

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | The nation’s criminal justice system is broken. People of color, particularly African Americans and Latinos, are unfairly targeted by the police and face harsher prison sentences than their white counterparts. Given the nation’s coming demographic shift, in which there will be no clear racial or ethnic majority by 2044, the United States cannot afford for these trends to continue. Not only could the money spent on mass incarceration—$80 billion in 2010—be put to better use, but the consequences for people who become entangled in the criminal justice system are also lifelong, leading to barriers to employment and housing, among many other things.

The shocking deaths at the hands of police in New York City; Ferguson, Missouri; North Charleston, South Carolina; and Baltimore, to name a few, have awakened the nation to the criminal justice system’s disparate impact on people of color. Tensions have flared throughout the country as news stories about how people of color are targeted and mistreated have come to light. As Americans reflect on the devastating recent events and as momentum builds to reform the U.S. criminal justice system, it is important to take note of the many ways in which the current system disproportionately affects people of color and creates significant barriers to opportunity for people with criminal records. Consider the following eight facts:

Jamal Hagler is the Special Assistant for Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress.

Full story …

Related:

Get These Killer Cops Off the Streets, Scott Roberts, ColorOfChange.org

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Part 2: Dean Strang Interviews Bryan Stevenson, An "Exceptional" Trial Lawyer 

'Hopelessness' Is the Enemy of Justice

Dean A. Strang, Progressive

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Charlie Bloss for this contribution.

http://www.progressive.org/sites/default/public_files/8jY6IkYbs0QcqtwoKa1RHhk6ZyenA5V4BEPZjIZYCOc.jpgPhoto of Bryan Stevenson by Nina Subin

December 28, 2015 | Most trial lawyers engage, daily, with the emotions and vices that underlie human conflict—anger, jealousy, greed, spite. Some do more than engage: They adopt these vices. Bryan Stevenson is the rare exception. He has dedicated his life to healing anger and fear, and bringing light to the darkest corners of our criminal justice system. 

Harvard graduate, MacArthur fellow, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, Stevenson is vibrantly bright and thoughtful. He exudes hope. He lives much of his life among the dispossessed and hopeless. 

Dean A. Strang is a criminal defense lawyer in Madison, Wisconsin. He is the author of Worse Than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow, and Justice in a Time of Terror (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013) 

Full story … 

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