Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rest In Peace, Delbert L. Tibbs

"It really makes me believe the Great Spirit laid this trip on me so that I could bear witness of this terrible thing we call the deathpenalty in the U.S." - Delbert Tibbs

I Just found out that death-row survivor Delbert Tibbs passed away last night. I first met Delbert at the Fast and Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty in front of the SCOTUS about 8 years ago. He was one of the few exonerees that had kept in touch with me after I left Witness to Innocence. Sometimes he would send messages of encouragement and support, and sometimes poetry. He always refereed to me as "hoo" or "cowboy" in private, and never capitalized a single word in his messages. I always assumed that he was taking a poetic license. He was a poet, with several published pieces in magazines and books. Pete Seeger put a few lines of his poems into a song titled "Delbert Tibbs." At that time he was dedicating the song to a young black man serving a death sentence for the 1994 murder of a white woman at the Raiford State Prison in Starke, Florida. After finding out that I speak Persian, he would recite from memory verses of poetry from not just Rumi and Hafiz (whom he always refereed to as "Sheikh Hafiz"), but also from Farid ud-Din Attar's "Conference of the Birds."

In his letter to Gary Graham (executed in 2000 by George Bush), who Delbert believed to be innocent, he wrote: "...those who know not the sacred thing called life may break and destroy the physical body but your warrior spirit Will never die; you are part of the One who made the Sun and the Stars and the laughter of children and love." R.I.P. delbert l. tibbs. Your warrior spirit lives on among those of us fighting the death penalty.

<iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=""></iframe>

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Execution Watch: Jamie McCoskey, Nov. 12

Jamie McCoskey

HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Texas plans to execute a man Tuesday whose sentencing hearing included a presentation by a prosecution psychologist whose testing methods for developmental disability have since been debunked as unscientific.

Execution Watch will air coverage of the state killing, plus a taped interview with the condemned, Jamie McCoskey.

Unless a stay is issued, we'll broadcast live:
Tuesday, 12 November 2013, 6-7 PM Central Time
KPFT FM Houston 90.1 and Online...
Updates and discussion on Facebook: Execution Watch

JAMIE McCOSKEY, a Houston bartender convicted in the 1991 kidnapping and stabbing death of a 20-year-old man. McCoskey was one of 16 defendants sentenced to death in separate cases after the now-disgraced psychologist George Denkowski used his own, non-standard methods to conclude that none was developmentally disabled. His determination sank the defendants' chances of having their death sentences declared unconstitutional. Denkowski's punishment included being barred from performing such evaluations in future.

Host: RAY HILL, an ex-convict and activist who founded -- and hosted for 30 years -- The Prison Show on KPFT. His internet radio show airs each Wednesday at 2 PM CT.:

Legal Analyst: JIM SKELTON, a legal educator, retired attorney and native Texan who has seen capital trials from both the prosecution and defense tables. Joining him will be Houston criminal defense attorneys SUSAN ASHLEY, LARRY DOUGLAS, MICHAEL GILLESPIE & JACK LEE.

Featured Interview: JAMIE McCOSKEY, who accepted Execution Watch’s invitation to tape an interview on death row, with the understanding that the recording would air unedited, in its entirety, and only in the event of his execution.

Reporter, Outside the Death House, Huntsville: GLORIA RUBAC, member, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement,

Reporter, Vigil, Houston: DAVE ATWOOD, founder and former board member, Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty,

On Dec. 3, Texas plans to kill JERRY MARTIN. If it does, Execution Watch will air coverage.

PRODUCER: Elizabeth, eliza.tx.usa
THEME:  By Victoria Panetti, SheMonster International,

Monday, November 04, 2013

WCADP: Iran: The indiscriminate executions continue

World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

4 November 2013

Iran: The indiscriminate executions continue –
The UN, EU and the International community must put the situation of the death penalty at the top of the agenda in their dialogue with Iran

While the political climate between Iran and the international community has been improving since the election of President Rouhani, and the P5+1 Group is preparing their second round of nuclear negotiations with Iran, executions continue at a higher rate than before inside the country.
Forty-five executions in Iran have been confirmed since Saturday, October 26. We condemn this wave of lawlessness in the strongest possible terms.
Six executions took place this morning, November 4, according to reports from Iran: Shirkoo Moarefi, a Kurdish political prisoner, was hanged in the prison of Saghez (west of Iran), and five prisoners charged with murder were executed in the prison of Kermanshah.
Following the execution of 18 prisoners on Saturday, October 26, among them two Kurdish political prisoners and 16 Baluchi prisoners executed in retaliation for an armed attack by insurgents the day before, another Baluchi prisoner was hanged on Monday, October 28, convicted of membership in a Baluchi militant group, and one prisoner was executed on Tuesday, October 29, convicted of drug-related charges.
Referring to the retaliatory execution of the 16 Baluchi prisoners, Florence Bellivier, President of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, stated, “The death penalty in Iran is often carried out in violation of international law; in this case none of the safeguards provided not only by international law but also by internal regulations were respected”.
Reports from Iran had indicated that at least 12 Kurdish prisoners might be in imminent danger of execution. Iran Human Rights (IHR) warned about the imminent danger of execution for four Sunni Kurd prisoners sentenced to death, convicted of the assassination of a Sunni Cleric. Those prisoners were in detention when the assassination took place. Amnesty International has also warned of the danger of execution for the two Kurdish political prisoners Zanyar and Loghman Moradi, reportedly tortured into “confessing” to the 2009 murder of the son of a senior cleric in Marivan, Kurdistan Province, and participating in armed activities with a Kurdish opposition group. Additionally, four Ahwazi Arab death row prisoners have been transferred to an unknown location and could be executed at any time.
Since the election of the new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani in June, at least 278 prisoners have been executed in Iran. Of those, 166 including one juvenile offender convicted of a murder committed at 14 years of age, have been announced by official sources. This is a higher monthly average number of executions than in recent years. In the same period, the diplomatic ties between Iran and the international community have improved and EU and the P5+1 Group have resumed their dialogue with Iran.
“It is a paradox that the relations between Iran and the international community improve at the same time as the number of the executions in Iran increases. Notably, many of the death row prisoners are subjected to torture, forced confessions and unfair trials,” said Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of Iran Human Rights. “Demanding a halt to the executions and due process of law must be on top of the agenda in the dialogue between the international community and Iran”.
The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, an alliance of more than 150 NGOs, bar associations, local authorities and unions, was created in Rome on 13 May 2002. The aim of the World Coalition is to strengthen the international dimension of the fight against the death penalty. Its ultimate objective is to obtain the universal abolition of the death penalty.
For further information on the death penalty in Iran, see Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran, 2012,

Press Contact:

Raphaƫl Chenuil-Hazan
Executive Director ECPM & Vice-President WCADP

Maria Donatelli 
Director WCADP