by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.
While anyone who enjoys the exercise of executive powers, including a president or a governor, may grant a pardon or commute a sentence, it is usually done in December. While, according the Washington Post, President Barack Obama has pardoned a turkey in his first year, he has refused, so far, to pardon a human being.
For those in attendance at UAM’s forum on Wednesday, November, 24, at Elks Plaza at 7:30 p.m., will be asked to sign a petition asking the governor to respect a “Commission on Pardons and Commutations” which will provide him with a list of inmates who deserve executive clemency. This commission will seek, from the community, the names of deserving persons to be submitted to Gov. David Paterson.
New York has a budget crisis. An emergency session of the New York Legislature will be held in December. An eyesore in the current, state budget is the warehousing of Black and Latino inmates at exorbitant costs. Many were wrongfully-convicted and others received sentences in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
My list of petitioners for executive clemency include Glenda Brawley who is barred from New York and will be arrested if she steps on New York soil. This is a life sentence from an illegal contempt citation. No lie can live forever. To make matters worse, the contempt citation is beyond judicial review. Glenda Brawley had the right to exercise the parent-child privilege before a bogus grand jury investigation.
The second person on my list is John White who was a homeowner in Suffolk County, NY. Despite the teaching of first-year law students that “a man’s home is his castle”, man means “white man”. Since John White is a descendant of enslaved Africans, he forgot his place in society when he attempted to protect his family from a lynch mob which had threatened to do bodily harm to him, and his family, in general. The all-white mob also threatened to rape his wife.
Amid this violence, the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department said, “the defendant had a clear alternative to confronting the youths gathered outside of his home, and that alternative was to call 911 for police assistance”. This mob was trespassing on his property and a homeowner has no duty to retreat from his own property. Time was of the essence. White policemen have never sided with Black victims against a white mob.
An all-white jury convicted White of killing a white trespasser. He had to surrender this year to New York Department of Correctional Services. No Black elected official in New York City has lifted a finger to help John White. Governor Paterson not only has an opportunity to correct an injustice but he also has an obligation to reduce the budget.
Tawana Brawley was abducted and raped by Steven Pagones, Harry Crist et. al. on November 24, 1987. Later, Crist was murdered within forty-eight hours after Tawana was found. The state unsuccessfully sought to not only cover-up the crimes against Tawana but also the murder of Crist. The white murderers are still at large.
There will also be some important video footage that will be shown to bring some people up to speed. Your presence will demonstrate the outrage of our people to this heinous crime. A similar rape happened to Mrs. Recy Taylor on September 3, 1944 near Abbeville, AL. Six white men raped her and Black men ran for the tall grass. It is still illegal for a Black person to file a complaint against a white rapist.
Elks Plaza is located at 1068 Harriet Tubman (Fulton Street) nr. Classon Ave. in Brooklyn. Take the “C” train to Franklin Ave. Two blocks to Elks Plaza. It is time for Black men to start fingering white rapists. All Black elected officials are scared to death to finger Steve Pagones.
For more information call UAM at 718-834-9034.
Too honest for the White Press and too black for much of today’s Black Press; bullet columnist Alton Maddox upsets the same people and status quo as he did as an uncompromising Defense Attorney. He is also a founding member of the Freedom Party. Contact him at c/o UAM P.O. BOX 35 BRONX, NY 10471