Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XXI Number 9, September 2013

  Thursday, September 26, 7:30 PM. Monthly 
Meeting. We meet at the Caltech Y, Tyson 
House, 505 S. Wilson Ave., Pasadena. (This is 
just south of the corner with San Pasqual. 
Signs will be posted.) We will be planning our 
activities for the coming months. Please join 
us! Refreshments provided.

  Tuesday, October 8, 7:30 PM.  Letter writing 
meeting at Caltech Athenaeum, corner of Hill 
and California in Pasadena. This informal 
gathering is a great way for newcomers to get 
acquainted with Amnesty!  
  Sunday, October 20, 6:30 PM.  Rights 
Readers Human Rights Book Discussion 
group. This month we read “Into the beautiful 
North” by Luis Alberto Urrea.

Hello everyone,

[This is Joyce, substituting for Kathy this 

I had the most delightful day last week in 
Wisconsin, visiting with Martha. For those of 
you who don't know, Martha was one of the 
original founders of Group 22.  She edited the 
Group 22 newsletter and started our human 
rights book discussion group in 1999. After 
moving to Wisconsin in 2007, she continues to 
provide us with suggestions for our book 
selections and with wonderful supplementary 
material in her Rights Readers blog. 

Martha and I met in La Crosse, midway between 
her home farther north and my cousin's place 
near Milwaukee. We sat and watched barges on 
the Mississippi and talked books and human 
rights until the storm clouds rolled in and the 
rain drove us inside. I told her that Group 22 
sent their regards and how much we all miss 

Save the date: the annual Amnesty Western 
Regional conference is Nov. 1-3 at the Sheraton 
Hotel near LAX.

Best regards,

[Look for Kathy's column next month!]

Human Rights Book Discussion Group

Keep up with Rights Readers at

Next Rights Readers meeting:
Sunday, October 20 
6:30 pm 

Into the Beautiful North
 by Luis Alberto Urrea
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado, Pasadena


Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop 
in her Mexican village and dreams about her 
father, who journeyed to the US to find work. 
Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the 
only man who has left town. In fact, there are 
almost no men in the village--they've all gone 
north. While watching The Magnificent 
Seven,Nayeli decides to go north herself and 
recruit seven men--her own "Siete Magníficos"--
to repopulate her hometown and protect it from 
the bandidos who plan on taking it over.

Filled with unforgettable characters and prose as 
radiant as the Sinaloan sun, INTO THE 
BEAUTIFUL NORTH is the story of an 
irresistible young woman's quest to find herself 
on both sides of the fence.


Luis Alberto Urrea, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist 
for nonfiction and member of the Latino 
Literature Hall of Fame, is a prolific and 
acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life 
experiences to explore greater themes of love, 
loss and triumph.

Born in Tijuana, Mexico to a Mexican father and 
an American mother, Urrea has published 
extensively in all the major genres. Urrea 
attended the University of California at San 
Diego, earning an undergraduate degree in 
writing, and did his graduate studies at the 
University of Colorado-Boulder.
After serving as a relief worker in Tijuana and a 
film extra and columnist-editor-cartoonist for 
several publications, Urrea moved to Boston 
where he taught expository writing and fiction 
workshops at Harvard. He has also taught at 
Massachusetts Bay Community College and the 
University of Colorado and he was the writer in 
residence at the University of Louisiana-
Lafayette. Urrea lives with his family in 
Naperville, IL, where he is a professor of 
creative writing at the University of Illinois-

Gao Zhisheng

by Joyce Wolf

Good news from China on human rights! On 
September 8 the early release of journalist Shi 
Tao was announced. He had served over 8 years 
of his 10-year sentence for “leaking state secrets 
abroad”. Amnesty has been working on his case 
since his arrest in 2005 after Yahoo revealed his 

We hope that China soon decides on an early 
release for Group 22's adopted prisoner of 
conscience, imprisoned human rights lawyer 
Gao Zhisheng. He is now serving a 3-year 
sentence in remote Shaya Prison, but his ordeal 
of harassment, detention, torture, and enforced 
disappearance began more than 7 years ago.

For next month, we suggest sending cards of 
support to Gao Zhisheng in prison and telling 
him that we sent birthday greetings to his son 
Gao Tianyu, who turned 10 on August 27. (Gao 
Zhisheng's wife and children escaped to the US 
in 2009.)

Here is Gao Zhisheng's prison address:
Gao Zhisheng
Shaya Prison
P.O. Box 15, Sub-box 16
Shaya County, Aksu Prefecture
Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, 842208
People's Republic of China



At Group 22's monthly meeting in August, we 
participated in an action for human rights in Sri 
Lanka. As requested by AIUSA country 
specialist Jim McDonald, we took photos of 
ourselves holding #TellTheTruth signs. Can you 
spot the Group 22 members who made it into 
the Amnesty collage? 

 (for larger image go to, or 
click on

By Stevi Carroll

Marshall Gore

So there is this mentally ill inmate in Florida 
who was scheduled to be executed on 
September 10 but had his execution rescheduled 
for October 1.  Amnesty International is on 
record that “a federal judge…noted that there 
was a “reasonable basis” for asserting that 
Marshall Gore might be incompetent for 
execution, given the various “delusional” 
statements he had made. The judge noted that 
Marshall Gore had indicated a belief that his 
execution was set for his ‘death and organ 
harvesting/to be a human sacrifice or both,' that 
his then execution date of June 24 added up to 6-
6-6 and that “because of his virgin innocence of 
murder, he is a target of Satan Worshipers who 
have threatened that date by mail for years.”

A reasonable person might believe that Mr. 
Gore's execution date was changed so that his 
mental state could be evaluated with perhaps a 
thought leaning toward not executing a 
mentally ill person, especially since the US 
Supreme Court has ruled that shouldn't happen.  
But no.  Apparently, Attorney General Pam 
Bondi had a re-election fundraiser to attend on 
September 10th that created a conflict for her 
attendance at Mr. Gore's execution.

In an effort to underscore her death penalty bona 
fides, AG Bondi did say, “I personally put two 
people on death row and, as Attorney General, 
have already participated in eight executions 
since I took office, a role I take very seriously.”

By our next newsletter, AG Bondi may have her 
calendar cleared of fundraisers, and Marshall 
Gore may have had his final meal.

Debra Milke

After 24 years in prison, most of it on death row, 
Debra Milke was released on a $250,000 bond.  
September 23, 2013, she attended a status 
conference in the Maricopa County (AZ) 
Superior Court where she learned that her case 
may be re-tried January 2015.  Or it may not.

Ms Milke's conviction for the first-degree 
murder of her four-year-old son rested on a 
confession taken by Detective Armando Saldate.  
It seems there is no recording of the confession 
and no witnesses who corroborate the 
confession took place.  Ms Milke denies she 
confessed to this crime.   “In March, the U.S. 9th 
Circuit Court of Appeals overturned her 
conviction and death sentence because a judge 
had denied her defense attorneys' request to use 
the detective's sordid personnel record to 
counter his claims that Milke confessed to him,” 
according to an account at the website  Presently, Detective Saldate has 
said he will invoke his rights under the Fifth 
Amendment and refuse to testify about the 
questioned confession.

Debra Milke may not be retried.

California and the Death Penalty

November 2012 Californians rejected 
Proposition 34 in favor of retaining the death 
penalty.  What a difference a few months can 
make. A September 11, 2013, article by Paula 
Mitchell begins, “Public support for the death 
penalty among California voters has shifted 

The counties with the most death penalty cases 
voted to repeal it.  Los Angeles County uses the 
death penalty more than any other county in the 
nation.  Two hundred twenty-nine of the 736 
inmates on death row come from LA County.  
Fifty-four percent of the voters in LA County 
voted for Prop 34; this was 10% more than the 
state average.  In Northern California in 
Alameda County, the percentage of voters in 
favor of repeal was even higher at 62.5%, and 
Alameda County is ranked ninth nationally for 
people sentenced to death.

California has 58 counties.  Of those counties, 20 
have no one on death row.  Another 17 counties 
have three or fewer inmates on death row, a 
total of 35 inmates. Therefore, 37 of California's 
58 counties either do not prosecute capital cases 
or do so sparingly.

With the current suspension on lethal injection, 
and possible move to the 1-drug application of 
lethal injection, it will be interesting to see what 
we the citizens of California and our elected 
officials decide about State-sanctioned homicide.

Interactive Death Penalty Map

For an interactive map of the US that shows the 
states that have abolished the death penalty and 
the frequency of executions in other states, go to

Stays of Executions
15	Nathaniel Jackson		Ohio
18	Nathan Dunlap		Colorado


10	Anthony Banks		Oklahoma 
 			3-drug lethal injection

19	Robert Garza			Texas 
			1-drug lethal injection	

UAs    18
POC     7
Total  25
To add your letters to the total contact

Amnesty International Group 22
The Caltech Y
Mail Code C1-128
Pasadena, CA 91125

Amnesty International's mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave 
abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from 
discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights.