Law and Disorder Radio

Archive for the 'political prisoner' Category


Law and Disorder June 13, 2016


Update:

  • Norman Seabrook, NYC Corrections Officer’s Union Head Arrested On Federal Corruption Charges.

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Native American Activist Leonard Peltier Clemency

As most listeners know, Leonard Peltier is a Native American activist convicted of killing two FBI special agents –Jack Coler and Ronald Williams—during a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1975. He has spent over four decades in prison, despite the fact that prosecutors and federal agents manufactured evidence against him, suppressed evidence that would establish his innocence, presented false testimony obtained through harsh interrogation, defied court orders and perjured themselves to the jury. Numerous constitutional violations plagued Pelteri’s case, and many dignitaries, governments and international human rights organizations continue to call for his release. The Bush administration denied clemency to Peltier, and efforts are under way to urge President Obama to grant executive clemency before he leaves office.

Guest – Cynthia K. Dunne, is a former federal prosecutor who now directs a nonprofit that works with youth on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Cindy calls on United States President Barack Obama to grant clemency to AIM activist Leonard Peltier.

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Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence, and Identity

More and more it seems we hear of stories of wrongfully convicted persons being released after years, even decades, behind bars in the United States. Helping to secure their freedom are Innocence Projects across the nation, dedicated lawyers and years of painstaking work to uncover prosecutorial misconduct, false eyewitness identifications, or forensic mishaps. What we don’t hear, however, is how exonerated individuals piece their lives together after lengthy periods of incarceration. Award-winning journalist Alison Flowers has humanized four such persons in her book “Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence, and Identity.” Alison is a Social Justice News Nexus fellow and works at the invisible Institute in Chicago.

Guest – Alison Flowers is an award-winning investigative journalist who focuses on social justice and criminal justice. She is the author of “Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence and Identity” (Haymarket Books, 2016), and she contributed to the anthology “Who Do You Serve? Who Do You Protect?: Police Violence and Resistance in the United States.” In 2013, she produced a multimedia series about exonerees for Chicago Public Media and NPR affiliate WBEZ. The yearlong project was a finalist for a national Online Journalism Award.

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Law and Disorder June 6, 2016


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Lawyers You’ll Like : Attorney Jim Lafferty

Periodically we feature a segment on Law and Disorder called Lawyers You’ll Like. Our guest today is attorney Jim Lafferty.  Jim has been a lawyer and movement activist in Detroit, New York City, and Los Angeles since the 1960s when he served as executive director of the National Lawyers Guild and carried out civil rights work in the deep South. He was one of the national leaders of the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War.  He also headed up the very successful National Lawyers Guild chapter in Los Angeles for 25 years.

Guest – Jim Lafferty, Executive director of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles and host of The Lawyers Guild Show on Pacifica’s KPFK 90. 7 FM.

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American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes

World War II started on September 1, 1939 when fascist Germany attacked its neighbor Czechoslovakia.  By the end of the war six years later some 80 million people had died and the continent lay devastated. The first trials of 22 Nazi leaders, general’s and bankers wer organized by the victorious allies, America, Britain, Russia, France and took place in Nuremberg Germany.  19 were found guilty and executed.  Robert H Jackson, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court and Chief Prosecutor for United States and Nuremberg wrote then that “we must not forget that the record on which we judge the defendants today is a record in which we will be judged tomorrow.” A recent article –  Crimes of the War on Terror Should George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Others Be Jailed? 

Intentional war is the greatest of all crimes because it contains with it all the rest of horrible crimes. The United States of America’s intentional war against Iraq, which was motivated to the public with lies about weapons of mass destruction, and which has since spread to six other countries in the Middle East, has resulted in over 1 million deaths, driven millions more from their homes, and destroyed ancient peoples and their cultures.

The United States helped establish the international principles that guided the prosecution of war crimes when Nazi officials were held accountable for their crimes against humanity. But the American government and its legal system have consistently refused to apply the same principles to our own officials. In her book American Nuremberg, Rebecca Gordon indicts the officials who, in a just society, whould be put on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.  She acknowledges that the U.S. government is unlikely to do this and proposes an alternative based on the Russell Tribunals held in 1967 exposing American criminality in the war against Vietnam.

Guest – Rebecca Gordon received her B.A. from Reed College and her M.Div. and Ph.D. in Ethics and Social Theory from Graduate Theological Union. She teaches in the Philosophy department at the University of San Francisco and for the university’s Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good. Previous publications include Letters From Nicaragua and Cruel and Usual: How Welfare “Reform” Punishes Poor People . Prior to her academic career, Gordon spent a few decades working in a variety of national and international movements for peace and justice. These include the movements for women’s liberation and LGBT rights; movements in solidarity with the struggles of poor people in Central America; the anti-apartheid movement in the United States and South Africa; and movements opposing U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Law and Disorder May 30, 2016


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Remembering Michael Ratner

Hosts Heidi Boghosian and Michael Smith remember Michael Ratner as cohost, activist, radical attorney, author and close friend. In this show, hosts reflect on Michael’s work and listen back to several monologue updates. They include his work as co-counsel for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the Dahiya Doctrine, SNAP- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, NSA survelliance in the Bahamas and Guantanamo Bay prisoner exchange.

Michael Ratner (1943-2016) was president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and author of Guantanamo: What the World Should Know. Michael worked for decades, as a crusader for human rights both at home and abroad litigating many cases against international human rights violators resulting in millions of dollars in judgments for abuse victims and expanding the possibilities of international law. He acted as a principal counsel in the successful suit to close the camp for HIV-positive Haitian refugees on Guantanamo Base, Cuba. Michael Ratner has litigated a dozen cases challenging a President’s authority to go to war, without congressional approval. In the wake of the September 11 attacks, the Center has focused its efforts on the constitutionality of indefinite detention and the restrictions on civil liberties as defined by the unfolding terms of a permanent war. Among his many honors were: Trial Lawyer of the Year from the Trial lawyers for Public Justice, The Columbia Law School Public Interest Law Foundation Award, and the North Star Community Frederick Douglass Award.

 

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Law and Disorder May 23, 2016


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A Full Life: James Connolly, The Irish Rebel

Executed by a British firing squad on May 12, 1916 for his role in organizing the Easter Rising, James Connolly was one of the most prominent radical organizers and agitators of his day. Born in Scotland in 1868 to Irish immigrant parents Connolly spent most of adult life organizing for labor unions and Socialist organizations in Ireland, Scotland and the United States. Despite attending school for only a few years, Connolly became a leading Socialist writer and theoretician, founding and editing newspapers including The Socialist Scotland, The Harp in the United States, and the Worker’s Republic in Ireland. As a labor organizer, Connolly stressed the importance of direct action, broad working class unity and a commitment to ending labor’s exploitation. As a Socialist agitator, Connolly saw economic and political independence as inextricably intertwined. The pamphlet, A Full Life: James Connolly, The Irish Rebel is the first graphic treatment on Connolly’s life. Its been issued on the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Guest – Paul Buhle, formerly a senior lecturer at Brown University, produces radical comics. He founded the SDS Journal Radical America and the archive Oral History of the American Left and, with Mari Jo Buhle, is coeditor of the Encyclopedia of the American Left. He lives in Madison.
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Songs of Freedom: The James Connolly Songs of Freedom Band

Songs of Freedom is the name of the songbook initially edited by James Connolly and reedited by Mat Calahan and republished by PM Press. Connolly’s introduction is better known than the collection for which it was written contained in his oft quoted maxim “Until the movement is marked the joyous defiant singing of revolutionary songs, it lacks one of the most distinctive marks of a popular revolutionary movement. It is the dogma of a few and not the faith of the multitude. Songs of Freedom is the celebration of the life and work of James Connolly, the Irish revolutionary Socialist martyred by the British government for his role in the Eastern Rising of 1916. Songs of Freedom the CD, makes contemporary music out of old revolutionary songs. The band turns the timeless lyrics of James Connolly into timeless manifestos of today.

Guest – Mat Calahan is a musician and author originally from San Francisco, where he founded Komotion International. He is the author of three books, Sex, Death & the Angry Young Man, Testimony, and The Trouble With Music. He currently resides in Bern, Switzerland. http://www.matcallahan.com

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Law and Disorder April 11, 2016


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From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation

Cornel West calls it the best analysis we have of the Black Lives Matter moment of the long struggle for freedom in America. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s new book, “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation,” explores how a new generation of Black radicals–in challenging abusive policing practices, over-imprisonment of Black persons, deeply ingrained stereotypes of African Americans as especially dangerous and devoid of humanity, along with other forms of racist state oppression–is carrying on the fight for Black liberation through renewed activist uprisings. Combining historical accounts with insightful analysis, she demonstrates the interconnection between institutional racism and class oppression, reminding us how inequality and racialized state violence are byproducts of capitalism.

Guest – Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is assistant professor in the department of African American Studies at Princeton University. She writes on Black politics, social movements and racial inequality in the United States.
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Black Movement-Law Project

Several attorneys and legal activists involved in Ferguson, Baltimore and Cleveland protests have formed the Black Movement-Law Project. The Project provides legal support to local communities across the nation as they take to the streets to protest police misconduct, and systemic racism.

Their approach to community activism is itself community based: they offer legal and technical assistance based on the premise that local mass movements frequently lack legal expertise. They help arrange rapid responses to support activists on the ground by providing legal observers, know your rights trainings, and jail support. Their national network of human and civil rights attorneys offer assistance to local communities in the form of legal representation and long-term impact litigation.

Guests -Black Movement-Law Project co-founder Abi Hassen. Abi Hassen is an attorney, consultant and cofounder of the Black Movement-Law Project. He was formerly the mass defense coordinator at the National Lawyers Guild. He has a J.D. from New York University School of Law, and an undergraduate degree in computer science from The Evergreen State College. With his extensive background in labor, political and community organizing, Abi has been active at the intersection of law, technology and organizing for social justice for over a decade.

Guest – Black Movement-Law Project co-founder Nathan (Nash) Sheard, is a legal activist and organizer with the BMLP.

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Law and Disorder March 28, 2016


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Seeds Of Fascism In The United States

There has been much discussion in liberal and left circles about whether Donald Trump is a fascist and whether the country is in danger of becoming fascist. It is pointed out the Trump is a demagogue, lies, is for violence, is a racist against Muslims and Mexicans, and is misogynist with respect to women. He is for bringing back torture and and increasing American aggression in Syria.

Guest – Professor Paul LeBlanc, a professor of history at the La Roche College in Pittsburgh and has written and participated in the US labor, radical, and civil rights movement. Professor LeBlanc is the author of books on the European revolutionaries Lenin, Trotsky, and Rosa Luxembourg. With respect to America, he wrote “a short history of the US working class.” And co-authored with economist Michael Yates the highly acclaimed “freedom budget for all Americans: recapturing the promise of the civil rights movement in the struggle for economic justice today.”

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United States, Cuba Relations 2016

The Cuban revolution of 1959 was not just a political revolution. It was a social revolution. The 99% took over the resources of their own country and the 1% fled to Miami.  In response United States began a blockade of Cuba in 1960. A memo written by a senior State Department official laid out American policy. It advocated “a line of action that makes the greatest inroads into denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and the overthrow of the Castro government. ”

Last year United States reestablished diplomatic relations with Cuba and last week Obama said in Havana that “I affirm that Cuba’s destiny will not be decided by the United States or any other nation.  We talk about the US relations with Cuba and President Obama’s recent visit with Walter Lippman.

Guest – Walter Lippmann, editor of the Cuba News Yahoo News Group.

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8th Annual Brookyn Folk Festival

Co-hosts Michael Smith and Heidi Boghosian are joined by Eli Smith to talk about the upcoming Brooklyn Folk Festival. Eli is a banjo player, writer, researcher and promoter of folk music. He’s a Smithsonian Folkways recording artist and produces two folk festivals annually, the Brooklyn Folk Festival in the Spring and Washington Square Park Folk Festival in the Fall.

 

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Law and Disorder March 7, 2016


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Law and Disorder hosts Heidi Boghosian and Michael Smith remember New York City Attorney and publisher Bill Schaap.

Bill Schaap died in his home on February 25th after a long illness. He was 75.  After graduating from the University of Chicago Law school in 1964 Schaap worked for the Center for Constitutional Rights on its project in Japan representing antiwar GIs during the Vietnam war. For 20 years he and his companion the late Ellen Ray lived in Washington DC and published and wrote for the magazine “Covert Action Quarterly” which exposed the crimes of the CIA.  In its early years they named CIA agents, until a naming names act was passed by Congress making the exposure of agents a crime. In the early 80s they moved to New York City and founded Sheridan Square Press. They published books about the CIA by former CIA agents.  Most prominently they published New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison’s book “On the Trail of the Assassins” showing CIA involvement in the Kennedy assassination. The book became a New York Times bestseller and was the basis for the Oliver Stone movie “JFK”.  In the early 90s they founded the Institute For Media Analysis and began publishing the magazine “Lies of Our Times”, a magazine of media criticism. Bill Schaap was a recognized expert in government propaganda and wrote and spoke widely and frequently on the topic.

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Lawyers You’ll Like: Attorney Bill Schaap

Attorney William Schaap graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1964 and has been a practicing lawyer since. Bill specialized in military law and practiced in Asia and Europe. He later became the editor in chief of the Military Law Reporter in Washington for a number of years. In the 70’s and 80’s he was a staff counsel of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City. In the late 80s, he was an adjunct professor at John J. College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York where he taught courses on propaganda and disinformation.

Attorney William Schaap:

  • One of first cases at this big Wall Street firm, they had some outside counsel working on it, one of whom was David Lubel, and Dave Lubel who had I think been a recruiter for the Communist Party in his youth, was always good at spotting somebody who was always worth recruiting and he started to tell me there was this convention of this lawyers group.
  • It was this 1967 Lawyers Guild Convention in New York. He dragged me to one event, I met Bill Kunstler, I met Arthur Kinoy, I met Victor Rabbinowitz. I’d been on Wall Street for a year or two, I said I didn’t know there were lawyers like this.
  • I joined the same day and met Bernadine Dorhn and a few weeks she called me and said we need your help.
  • She said you gotta defend a bunch of Columbia students. The next thing I knew the riot started at Columbia and she said you have to go down there and defend them.
  • I signed up to be staff counsel on the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Project in Okinawa, Japan.
  • When you work overseas in that kind of a climate with the military you learn a lot fast about American imperialism.
  • Once you learn that, you learn about the CIA.
  • That led us to originally working on Counter Spy magazine and then on Covert Action Magazine.
  • The original purpose was to expose the CIA. We worked with Lou Wolf who is an expert in uncovering CIA agents in US embassies, not through any classified documents but because if you knew how to read the paperwork and State Department things, you could tell who are the “ringers.”
  • We were so successful that Congress passed a law against us.
  • Our goal was to make these people ineffective because the only way most CIA could work, particularly the ones that were assigned to an embassy was to have to pretend to be something else.
  • They were all third assistant political secretaries and those were all phony things. Their job was to finagle their way into various community organizations in whatever foreign capital they were posted to recruit people to turn against their own countries and become traitors to their own countries, to become spies for the U.S.
  • We thought if we identified these people, it might make their job a little bit harder, which it did.
  • Of course, the problem with that is the government said we were trying to get them killed which we weren’t trying to do and nobody we did expose ever did get killed.
  • He (Philip Agee) had been an adviser to Counter Spy. Counter Spy folded when Welch got killed, cause the pressure was too much and started Covert Action Quarterly.
  • He was not the person discovering who the under cover people were, Lou Wolf was doing that.
  • Phil wrote articles for us in every issue and we worked very closely with him.
  • Once you start exposing these things, they really don’t have any defense.
  • They tried to catch us in something phony. We would get tips that would turn out to be CIA trying to get us to print some story that wasn’t true so they could then discredit us.
  • We had more interference from the government when we were doing military law work, before Covert Action Quarterly.
  • They would plant bugs in our attic in Okinawa, things like that.
  • The Intelligence Identity Protection Act has 2 parts. One makes it a crime for someone in the government who has classified information to reveal someone’s identity. The second part makes it a crime to reveal the identity of someone you did not learn from classified information or you position. (But if you were in the business of exposing these people . . .)
  • Regarding his newsletter The Lies of Our Times – It was in the 90s, from 1990 to 1995 I think. To a certain extent, the abuses we were crying about got a little bit less over time because that’s sometimes the helpful result of that kind of exposure.
  • We were just tired of people thinking that if it was in the New York Times it must be true.
  • The fact is that those people lie all the time.
  • I think we’ve gotten to a point where people recognize that the government lies to them and that there’s an awful lot that goes on that they don’t know.

Guest – Attorney William Schaap graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1964 and has been a practicing lawyer since. Bill specialized in military law and practiced in Asia and Europe. He later became the editor in chief of the Military Law Reporter in Washington for a number of years. In the 70’s and 80’s he was a staff counsel of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City. In the late 80s, he was an adjunct professor at John J. College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York where he taught courses on propaganda and disinformation.

In addition to being a practicing lawyer, Bill was a journalist, publisher and a writer specializing in intelligence as it relates to media. He was the co-publisher of a magazine called the Covert Action Quarterly for more than 20 years. He also published a magazine on propaganda and disinformation titled Lies Of Our Times. Attorney Bill Schapp has written numerous articles and edited many books on the topic of media and intelligence.

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Clinton Administration Sets Back African-Americans

A recent article by our next guest documents the Clintons shared responsibility for the disastrous policies of mass incarceration and the subsequent war on drugs. A topic Hillary Clinton has been confonted with by Black Lives Matter activists while on the campaign trail. The recently published article in Republic Magazine is titled “The Clinton’s War On Drugs: When Black Lives Didn’t Matter” by Professor Donna Murch.

Guest – Donna Murch, Professor of History at Rutgers University and author of Living In The City: Migration, Eduation and the Rise of the Black Panther Party. She also contributed an article to the forthcoming verso press book “False Choice: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Clinton.

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Law and Disorder February 22, 2016


Updates:

Co-hosts Heidi Boghosian And Katherine Franke Discuss Past Decisions By The Late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

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An Evening of Solidarity: PAROLE FOR THE MOVE 9

We hear select presentations from the many speakers and performances at the Parole For The Move 9 event. In the summer of 2015 supporters of The Move Organization initiated a petition for United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch . The goal of the petition is to push the United States Attorney General to investigate the wrongful and ongoing imprisonment of The  Move 9 who have been imprisoned since August 8th 1978. Last May marked 30 years since the unconscionable bombing and murder of the MOVE family by the U.S. government. Live Stream of the MOVE9 event.

Speakers:

Johanna Fernandez, Campaign to Bring Mumia Home  
Civil Rights Attorney Lynne Stewart
Amina Baraka, Poet/NJ Activist/Movement Leader
James McIntosh, CEMOTAP
Imam Al-Hajj Talib, Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood, Inc.
Harabic Tubman, Existence is Resistance
Calib Maupin, Press TV
Pam Africa, MOVE as Master of Ceremonies

Sponsored by: The MOVE Organization; Resistance in Brooklyn; NYC Leonard Peltier Support Committee; Pro Libertad Freedom Campaign; NYC Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal; Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network; Universal Zulu Nation; and many more.

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Law and Disorder February 15, 2016


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UN Panel: Julian Assange Has Been “Arbitrarily Detained”

Validating what WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s legal team has been long asserting, the United Nations working group on arbitrary detention recently found that Assange has indeed been subject to arbitrary detention. The working group called on Britain and Sweden to end his deprivation of liberty.

As listeners will recall, Assange was arrested in 2010, and has been has been staying in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, when he sought asylum. Assange is wanted for questioning over an allegation of rape in 2010, which he denies.

Great Britain and Sweden rejected the UN panel’s findings. Prime Minister David Cameron has said that Assange should leave the embassy and submit himself to a Swedish arrest warrant over allegations of rape to bring an end to what he called “this whole sorry saga.” Cameron dismissed as “ridiculous” the findings of a UN panel and said that Assange had in fact detained himself.

Guest – Carey Shenkman  is a First Amendment and human rights attorney working for Michael Ratner, President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). Formerly at CCR, Carey worked on litigation on behalf of the press in the court-martial of whistle-blower Chelsea Manning. Carey holds two degrees in mathematics, and is an alumnus of NYU Law School, where he was an editor on the NYU Law Review. He can be reached on Twitter @CareyShenkman
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Remembering People’s Lawyer Myron Beldock

Myron Beldock, founding partner of the law firm Beldock Levine and Hoffman, peoples lawyer and longtime National Lawyers Guild member, passed away peacefully on February 1. He was 86 years old. Jim Dwyer of the New York Times wrote that Myron “had an important hand in cases that helped define the landscape of 20th-century law, and in others that merely righted the grievous wrongs done to unknown people.” Members of the National Lawyers Guild knew Myron not only as a brilliant attorney who took on the seemingly intractible cases of the wrongfully convicted, but also as a mentor, advisor and inspiration to a multitude of other people’s lawyerss. His death is a monumental loss to the criminal defense and civil rights bars. In the 1960s, Myron was one of the attorneys for George Whitmore, who dropped out of school in the eighth grade and was picked up by police in Brooklyn in connection with several rapes and three murders. Police interrogated him until he falsely confessed, even though he was in South Jersey at the time of some of the crimes watching Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The confession was 61 typed pages in length. The US Supreme Court, in the 1966 Miranda decision, called the Whitmore confession the “most recent conspicuous example of police coercion.” And as a result of this coerced confession, New York State abandoned the death penalty in 1965.

More recently, in 2013, Myron appeared in court on behalf of Everton Wagstaffe, who along with Reginald Connor, was convicting soley on the word of a crack-addicted police informant, of kidnapping a teenage girl found dead in 1992 in East New York. Mr. Wagstaffe spent two decades compiling records to show that the informant’s and detectives account were impossible. He wrote to Myron from prison, seeking his help. Myron worked with attorneys from the Innocence Project, the firm Davis Polk & Wardwell and the Legal Aid Society. In September 2014, the of the convictions of Mr. Wagstaffe and Mr. Connor were vacated. Myron was well known for securing the freedom of former boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter after he had served 19 years in prison for three murders in New Jersey. He also represented Yusef Salaam, one of five young black and Latino men who falsely confessed on videotape to the 1989 beating and rape of a woman who became known as the Central Park jogger. After serving terms of 7½ years to 13½ years, the five were exonerated in 2002, when an imprisoned man confessed to the crime and prosecutors confirmed his account with DNA evidence. We at Law and Disorder interviewed Myron in 2014, and remember him fondly as we take a listen to parts of that conversation:

In April of this year, celebrated boxer and prisoner-rights activist Rubin “Hurricane” Carter died at the age of 76. He had become an international symbol of racial injustice after his wrongful murder conviction forced him to spend 19 years in prison. Carter was arrested for a triple murder in his hometown of Patterson, New Jersey. He said he was innocent, was convicted by an all white jury, and sentenced to three consecutive life sentences. In 1976, the New Jersey State Supreme Court overturned his conviction on grounds the authorities withheld material evidence from the defense. But Carter was convicted again in a second trial in 1976. In 1985, that conviction was overturned by a U.S. district court judge, who concluded the state made an unconstitutional appeal to racial prejudice. In 1988, the Passaic, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office dropped all charges against Carter.

Attorney Myron Beldock:

  • He was a defendant in a criminal case in New Jersey involved the triple shooting and three murders of 3 people in the Lafayette bar in Patterson, New Jersey.
  • He and his co-defendant John Artis were represented at the first trial and they lost, (convicted) and Rubin started his campaign to get out of jail and wrote his book the 16th Round.
  • He was charismatic and powerful, a great thinker, very very intellectually strong person as well as being spiritually strong.
  • Almost a typical case, high profile case, where you get people who are vulnerable and easily manipulated because of their need for their own benefits to falsely testify.
  • We set aside the convictions when we learned about the benefits that were given to the witnesses.
  • We went again to trial in 1975. At that time the atmosphere had changed. There was a new prosecutor, they came up with a theory that it was actually a racial revenge killing.
  • Earlier that night, a white former bar owner had shot and killed the black purchaser of the bar from him.
  • That was always known and there was no motives attributed to the killings in the first trial but the second trial really based on speculation and bias, they argued persuasively to the jury that this was a racial revenge killing.
  • Mr. Bellow who was the supposed eye witness who testified, there were two of them in the first trial, was being questioned by me on the stand as to why he recanted his recantation. The prosecutor persuaded him to again tell the story he told at the first trial, identifying Rubin and John and I was trying to establish that they had falsely manipulated him when I was pulled into the chambers along with my co-counsel Louis Steele who represented John Artis and told that if I question him further, the jury would learn that he passed the lie detector test, supporting what he said at the first trial. Supporting his identification (of Rubin Carter)
  • We did have that test. It seemed like that was the result because that’s the way it was written. In fact that was a fraud.
  • The polygraph results were completely opposite of what they were purported to be.
  • The prosecutors in that case, two of them became judges, rewarded for what they did.
  • Rubin was not a popular person, he had been an outspoken civil rights person.  It was a cesspool of rumors without any evidentiary basis.
  • The entire community there almost in Passaic New Jersey treated us like we were the devil.
  • It was the coldest community reception I ever encountered in any place.
  • Rubin would call every year (from Canada) on the anniversary of his release.  He got a group of Canadian do-gooders and free thinkers to join him in fighting to set aside convictions for people who were wrongly convicted in Canada.
  • He would vet the briefs that we sent. He was a very unusual client.
  • Rubin refused to act as a prisoner because he wasn’t anyone who was guilty he said.
  • So, he didn’t eat prison food, he didn’t take prisoner assignments, he didn’t wear prison clothes and somehow or other he was able to pull that off.
  • People think of it as being another time, I’ve been practicing law long enough and I don’t think anything changes.
  • The same kind of bias runs deep throughout the community its just masked somewhat differently.
  • You make your luck in these cases, you have to forge ahead.
  • His insistence on being an innocent person and will not compromise with the system is the kind of inspiration that pushes us on as lawyers.

Guest – Attorney Myron Beldock, graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in 1946, Hamilton College in 1950 and Harvard Law School in 1958. He served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1954 and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York from 1958 to 1960. After several years as an associate with a small New York City firm and as a single practitioner, he brought together two friends and former Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Elliot Hoffman and Larry Levine, to form Beldock Levine & Hoffman in 1964. He is best described, by his own definition, as an old-time general practitioner. He concentrates on trial and appellate litigation, in state and federal courts, in defense of criminal charges and in pursuing plaintiffs’ civil rights actions based on police and prosecutorial misconduct and employer and governmental discrimination. He regularly consults and defends charges of professional discipline. He represents plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of personal and business related matters, working with others in the firm’s various practice areas.

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Sex Workers Project And Human Trafficking

Sienna Baskin is the Managing Director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York City, where she has worked since 2007.  At the Sex Workers Project she both directs a team that provides legal services to sex workers and is responsible for the Project’s policy and law reform work.  Sienna also just returned from a Fullbright Fellowship in New Zealand – a country that completely decriminalized sex work/prostitution in 2003 and she went to learn what effects – positive and negative – decriminalization has had, both for people engaged in sex work and for the larger society.

Guest – Sienna Baskin -Managing Director of the Sex Workers Project. Ms. Baskin directs the legal services and policy advocacy of SWP. Ms. Baskin trains and supervises legal staff in providing direct legal representation, public education and outreach. She promotes reform of laws and policies affecting sex workers and survivors of trafficking, and oversees the production of SWP’s human rights documentation reports. Ms. Baskin also provides direct legal education, advice and representation to sex workers and survivors of trafficking on housing, criminal, employment, and immigration matters. Ms. Baskin joined SWP as an Equal Justice Works fellow in 2007. Sienna is a graduate of Hampshire College and the City University of New York School of Law.

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Law and Disorder February 8, 2016


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Public Water Crisis Flint Michigan: Attorney Bill Goodman

We take another look at the public water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The legal cases being brought are being litigated at the intersection of environmental racism and capitalist austerity. Flint, a predominantly impoverished African-American city north of Detroit, had an emergency manager imposed on it by Tea Party Governor Rick Snyder. The emergency manager, acting outside of democratic controls, switched the clean water supplied to the city from the Detroit water system to the polluted Flint River claiming this would save money. Chemicals added to the filthy Flint River water caused lead from the supply pipes to leech into the drinking water.  This caused lead poisoning to thousands of children in Flint. Lead poisoning is known to cause irreversible brain damage. FlintWaterClassAction.com

Guest – Bill Goodman is the attorney for a number of victims of water poisoning in Flint, Michigan. He’s a leading civil rights attorney in Michigan and the former Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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Remembering Attorney Michael Kennedy

We speak today with Bernadine Dohrn about the late Attorney Michael Kennedy. Kennedy died two weeks ago in New York City from cancer at the age of 78.  He was one of the great civil rights in criminal law defense attorneys of his generation. Kennedy graduated from law school in California and began his career representing Cesar Chavez and the migrant farm workers. He also represented Black Panther leader Huey Newton and SDS leaders Rennie Davis and Bernadine Dohrn and Native American protesters at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. He later moved to New York and became staff counsel for the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee where he represented opponents of the war in Vietnam and supporters of the Irish freedom struggle.

Guest – Bernadine Dohrn, former leader of SDS and longtime member of the National Lawyers Guild where she served a student organizer in the late 60s.  Until recently Bernadine Dorh taught law at Northwestern University Law School supporting justice for juveniles.

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