Jessie Daniels: This bold move against racism and the death penalty by a retired Supreme Court Justice is good news for those concerned with the injustice of capital punishment.
Steve Hochstadt: Our nation also has far to go. Claiming that we are color blind, that whites no longer have privileges in America, that we need no longer worry about preventing discrimination is nonsense. One need only have observed the reception of our first black President to know how important skin color still is in America.
Steve Hendricks: I derive immense comfort, for example, from the similarity between the pro-torture 70 percent and the 68 percent of Americans who believe “angels and demons are active in the world.” Surely many of my pro-torture countrymen just need a little more education about torture. Well, a lot more.
Paul Hogarth: California voters are already filling out their absentee ballots. While they vote to pass Prop 19 and “no” on Prop 23, it’s important for them to also vote “yes” on Prop 24 and 25 – but most importantly, “no” on Prop 26. If we don’t get the word out, it could pass.
Mark V. Sykes: Robert M. Nelson and 27 fellow Caltech scientists, engineers and administrators working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are risking their jobs and their personal financial well-being to fight for their right of privacy against unwarranted government intrusion. They are fighting for all of us, and they deserve our respect and support.
Diane Lefer: Though the Supreme Court ruled on May 17 in Graham v. Florida that juveniles must not be sentenced to life without parole for any crime short of homicide, California continues to impose sentences so extreme they are the effective equivalent of life without the possibility of parole.
Seth Hoy: While Governor Brewer’s opening remarks meltdown is at least understandable, her inability/refusal to defend controversial anti-immigrant statements—which has become the centerpiece of her re-election platform—is not.
Robert Illes: So this AB1070 is perhaps not so much a “protect Arizonans from brown aliens” scheme as it is a protect the private prisons profits scheme. And of course, a fatten up the war chests of Republican politicians scheme.
Andrea Nill: The FBI crime statistics show that as undocumented immigration has increased, crime in Arizona and other border states has gone down. Data from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) additionally shows that the violent crime rate in Arizona has been declining since 2006 and in 2008 and is at the lowest level since 1973.
Ivan Eland: The U.S. Justice Department is apparently considering prosecuting Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which is a Web site that publishes classified documents from governments, under the rarely used Espionage Act of 1917. Such a prosecution would have adverse effects on the American people’s right to know what their government is doing in a republic that is supposed to be run by them.
Diane Lefer: “Nightwind”–the play we created in 2004 about his experience and his brother’s abduction, torture, and murder by a death squad–has toured the US and the world, including Afghanistan, to raise global opposition to the practice of torture. Performing it for the first time in Medellín, the city where the atrocities took place, Hector was nervous.
Lucia Brawley: 9/11 was the single largest attack on U.S. soil, killing 3,000 Americans of every color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age and level of physical ability. Those who responded to this tragedy with total disregard for their own personal safety are unequivocally American heroes. And yes, some illegal immigrants rank among those heroes. I saw them with my own eyes.