Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XXIV Number 4, April 2016

  Thursday, April 28, 8:00 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.) Please join us for a 
discussion with special guest Jim Waterhouse 
from Citizens Climate Lobby. Refreshments 
  Tuesday, May 10, 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, May 15, 6:30 PM.  Rights Readers 
Human Rights Book Discussion group. This 
month we read "Ghettoside: A True Story of 
Murder in America" by Jill Leovy.

Hi everyone

Group 22 members Paula, Joyce, Laura and Ted 
Brown and Alexi went to the rally for Narges 
Mohammadi this past Thursday, April 21, in 
Westwood.  They were joined by members of 
the Iranian community and other groups.  Old 
friends Tracy, Ali and Ann Lau were also there.  
See Alexi's email report and photos in this 
Hopefully this local action and others 
worldwide will draw attention to her case, and 
put pressure on the Iranians to let her go.

Con Carino,

Next Rights Readers meeting: 
Sunday, May 15 
 6:30 PM
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America
by Jill Leovy

Human Rights Book Discussion 
Keep up with Rights Readers at

Jill Leovy has been a reporter and editor for the 
Los Angeles Times since 1993 and is currently 
assigned to the features desk in Los Angeles. 
She is the author of the nonfiction book 
"Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in 

Putting 'Black Lives Matter' Into Action 
Jill Leovy's 'Ghettoside,' a South Los Angeles 
Murder Case

The true-crime podcast "Serial" was a phenomenon, 
in part, because it was told in the first person. The 
narrator, Sarah Koenig, all but whispered the story 
into our ears, and her brainiac sensibility was as 
interesting as the killing at her story's core. Her 
uncertainty was fetching on an existential level.

Jill Leovy's powerful new book, "Ghettoside," also 
relates the story of a murder, this time of a young 
black man in South Los Angeles. It's possible to 
admire "Serial" while praising Ms. Leovy as the anti-
Koenig. The depth of the reporting and analysis in 
"Ghettoside" makes "Serial," by comparison, 
resemble a book of poetry.

 "Ghettoside" is old-school narrative journalism, told 
strictly in the third person. It's as square as a card 
table. Yet the book is a serious and kaleidoscopic 
achievement, from a reporter for The Los Angeles 
Times who's spent most of her career covering cops 
and thinking about what their work means.

Nestled inside the story of one gang-related killing is 
a well-made and timely argument - especially in the 
wake of the protests in Ferguson, Mo., and over the 
death of Eric Garner - that transcends a single 
death. Ms. Leovy suggests, six decades after the start 
of the civil rights movement, that the "impunity for 
the murder of black men" remains America's great 
and largely ignored race problem.

We've allowed black lives to become cheap. "This is a 
book about a very simple idea," she declares. "Where 
the criminal justice system fails to respond 
vigorously to violent injury and death, homicide 
becomes endemic."

Like an orchestra, "Ghettoside" needs time to warm 
up. There are a few squawks early on. Yet once it gets 
rolling, it is tidal in its force.

The first few chapters introduce us to characters we'll 
come to know intimately: beat cops, detectives, 
parents, young men and women. We are introduced 
as well to life in largely black South Los Angeles - 
the "boxy apartments, chain-link fences, converted 
garages, bad dogs with no collars, and Chevy 
Caprices" - and to the parameters of the murder 
problem one detective refers to as "the Monster."

The early parts of "Ghettoside" also introduce us to 
Ms. Leovy's greatest gift as a journalist: her ability to 
remain hard-headed while displaying an almost 
Tolstoyan level of human sympathy. Nearly every 
person in her story - killers and victims, hookers 
and soccer moms, good cops and bad - exists within 
a rich social context.

She traces the families of most of the black men and 
women she writes about back to their roots in the 
American South. She's interested not merely in who 
people are but also in what made them so. One black 
detective puts this kind of imaginative sympathy 
somewhat differently when he says about a 
murdered prostitute: "She ain't a whore no more. 
She's some daddy's baby."

Ms. Leovy, we learn in an author's note, spent years 
embedded with the Los Angeles Police Department, 
her desk in the detectives' squad room. For two 
years, on her newspaper's website, she kept track of 
every murder in Los Angeles County on a blog called 
the Homicide Report.

Only in this author's note does this book slip into 
first person. The author frequently worked out of her 
car, a 2001 Ford Escort. "I carried a police radio, went 
to crime scenes, talked up people I met on the street 
and got to know police officers." She adds, "I was 
watching the statistics unfold in real time."

The detectives she most admired scorned elite 
L.A.P.D. divisions and worked the bleakest parts of 
Los Angeles, devoting themselves to, as she puts it, 
"making black lives expensive." The complicated 
hero of "Ghettoside" is one such detective, John 

He's Irish-American; he votes Republican; he goes at 
his work like a highly caffeinated master carpenter. 
You get the sense he could have solved the mystery 
in "Serial" in a long afternoon. About having him 
work a case, a woman whose husband was murdered 
said, "It was like how your own brothers would go 
and look for the guy, you know?" He was a rarity.

The central murder in "Ghettoside" is that of Bryant 
Tennelle, a sweet if troubled 18-year-old who was in 
the wrong place at the wrong time and wearing a 
baseball cap that covertly linked him to the wrong 
gang. He was shot on a sidewalk not far from his 
home. A black S.U.V. peeled away from the scene.

It was the kind of case that's often not solved in 
South Los Angeles. People are afraid to testify; 
"snitches" are often shot. There was so much fear 
about speaking to authorities, Ms. Leovy writes, 
"that the $25,000 rewards offered for help on cases 
were virtually never collected."

A few things made the Tennelle case different. 
Bryant's father, Wallace Tennelle, was an L.A.P.D. 
detective, one of the rare ones who raised children in 
South Los Angeles. The case was different, too, 
because Detective Skaggs was involved.

Ms. Leovy is excellent on the street-level detective 
work that went into fingering Bryant Tennelle's 
killers. Listened to on audio, "Ghettoside" would, I 
suspect, come over like a "Law & Order" episode of 
the highest caliber. She is just as excellent on the 
resulting court proceedings.

This story moves swiftly, but Ms. Leovy pauses 
frequently, like a judge calling defense lawyers over 
for sidebars, to frame and reframe larger issues. 
These pauses are mostly seamless.
She is pointed about the ways progressives (and 
many researchers) don't like to dwell on black-on-
black crime, for fear of being considered racist. The 
subject is "like incest," one activist says. She explores 
why black murder rates are higher than those of 

Her answers are complex and persuasive. "The 
Monster's source was not general perversity of mind 
in the population that suffered," she writes. "It was a 
weak legal apparatus that had long failed to place 
black injuries and the loss of black lives at the heart 
of its response when mobilizing the law, first in the 
South and later in segregated cities."

Ms. Leovy's narrative has its share of clichˇs and 
mildly soggy moments, yet on the whole she's a crisp 
writer with a crisp mind and the ability to boil entire 
skies of information into hard journalistic rain.

 "The detective story is not about murder," P. D. 
James has written, "but the restoration of order." This 
case at the center of this book suggests that the legal 
authority, so longed for by the citizens of South Los 
Angeles and elsewhere, would not be that hard to 
introduce and make permanent.
"But you had to be willing to pay the cost, to put in 
the effort," Ms. Leovy writes. "You had to be very 

Her book is persistent as hell.

Security With Human Rights
By Robert Adams

Torture Is Not the Answer
By Elizabeth Beavers 
April 20, 2016 	

Too little, and much too late. CIA Director 
John Brennan this week declared that the CIA 
would refuse to engage in waterboarding in 
the future, even if ordered to do so.

This was the latest in a recent string of headline-
grabbing proclamations from current and 
former U.S. officials insisting that, if faced with 
the dilemma between following orders or 
rejecting torture, they would reject torture.

As welcome as these promises are, they ring 
hollow. That's because the same U.S. 
intelligence community was already faced with 
that exact dilemma, and they got it wrong.

John Brennan is exactly right that interrogators 
should refuse orders to carry out torture and 
other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, 
but he's wrong that it's a viable option in the 
first place.

As a reminder, torture is illegal under both 
domestic and international law. But the senior 
officials responsible for devising, authorizing, 
and ordering unlawful detainee abuse have so 
far evaded investigation or prosecution by the 
U.S. government. Free from fear that they may 
face justice, those same individuals actually 
churn out memoirs detailing and justifying the 
torture that they oversaw, unconcerned with the 
possibility of criminal prosecutions.

It's a dangerous precedent to set. It sends the 
message that torture is an option that some 
officials may nobly choose not to exercise, 
instead of a hard line that law and morality 
forbid in all cases without exception.

Thankfully, there have been meaningful changes 
to help protect against a future return to torture. 
Landmark legislation was passed last year to 
strengthen changes already made through 
executive order. But until there are 
consequences for the crimes that were 
committed, policymakers may regard torture as 
a policy option that's ready to be dusted off and 
put back to use in the future, if circumstances 
seem to justify it.

 "We tortured some folks."

That's how President Obama memorably 
summarized the systematic abuse of detainees 
carried out in his predecessor's "war on terror." 
Waterboarding may be the most iconic symbol 
of the era, but there was more. The treatment 
included sexual abuse, other injury, and even 

This is not a secret - human rights 
organizations have documented the crimes and 
lack of justice for years. A landmark Senate 
report last year spelled out the torture in 
excruciating detail. If one wanted to learn about 
CIA and military detainee torture practices, 
there are thousands upon thousands of pages 
available to read.

From the mountains of documentation, a pattern 
emerges: when faced with the choice to defy 
orders or to embrace torture, the U.S. 
government embraced torture. And it provided 
cover for all who did the same. Both through a 
CIA-run secret detention and rendition 
program, and through military prisons in Iraq 
and Afghanistan, the U.S. government 
constructed a powerful infrastructure that not 
only delivered immoral and unlawful acts of 
torture, but also provided built-in impunity for 
the abusers.

The recent promises not to return to torture are a 
welcome development, but arrive too late for the 
individuals who already suffered at the hands of 
the U.S. torture regime.

The death, injury, and psychiatric damage 
endured by those who were tortured must 
never be repeated. As the news cycle continues 
to place torture squarely on the national debate 
stage, it is crucial that the actual lives impacted 
by torture not be forgotten.

As fear and hate continue to seep into the public 
consciousness, and the global war continues to 
prove itself endless, it is more important than 
ever to draw firm boundaries. Each person has a 
right to be free from torture simply by virtue of 
their humanity, and it's a right that requires 
constant vigilance. No amount of fear can justify 
returning to torture, and only real consequences 
for past actions can protect against future 

Words aren't enough - there must be a shift 
from impunity to accountability. Only then can 
the United States truly avoid repeating its 
tortured past.

for Narges Mohammadi
by Alexi Daher

[Here is Alexi's email report about the rally.]

Thank you Elise and Ali for all your support! 
and thank you Group 22!! 

It was such a thrill to be standing besides Group 
22 and the Iranian community in support of our 
prisoner of conscience Narges Mohammadi. Our 
efforts really paid off every time we heard so 
many cars honking for Narges. 

Ann Lau (from Group 146 and Visual Artists 
Guild) and Tracy Gore were also there; thank 
you so much for your support!

Paula, Laura and her husband, and I attended 
the UCLA event right after our rally. Signs for 
#UnitedForNarges were visible in support of 
our campaign. Nazanin Boniadi addressed the 
audience about Narges and her work in Iran and 
spoke about her experience as a refugee. At the 
UCLA event, I read Dr. Edadi's statement on 

Many members of the Intercultural Circle of 
Women and members of the Iranian community 
joined us. Elahe Amani, Chair of the Global 
Circles of Women's Intercultural Network wrote 
an article and promoted our rally. We plan to 
work together in the future to continue our 
work to bring human rights in Iran.  

On social media, Madison Group 139, 
UnitedForIran, and Amnesty International 
groups in Canada, Australia, Denmark and 
Belgium conducted actions for 
#UnitedForNarges and supported our action as 
well. Many campaign for Narges but it was 
awesome uniting our efforts. 

 Amnesty Los Angeles Gathering at UCLA
 Laura, Paula and Alexi
Sidewalk at the Federal Building in Westwood
Ann Lau, Group 146 and Visual Artists Guild

By Stevi Carroll

Public Comments About the One-Drug 

The California Department of Corrections and 
Rehabilitation has once more extended the date 
for public comments about the State's adopting 
a one-drug protocol for executions.  This time 
the extension is to May 15, 2016.  Perhaps the 
Department is running out the clock until 
Californians get to vote to change the death 
penalty to life without possibility of parole in 
November after which a State sanctioned 
method for killing will be null and void. Let's 
hope, and work for, justice that works instead of 
having to speak out in opposition to any 
protocol for executions.

 "Any person may submit written comments 
about the proposed regulations to the California 
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 
Regulation and Policy Management Branch 
(RPMB), P. O. Box 942883, Sacramento, CA 
94283 - 0001, by fax to (916) 324-6075, or by e-
mail to"

Justice That Works

April 12th, I attended a meeting with Terry 
McAffrey, the California Amnesty International 
point person for the Justice That Works 
campaign, at the Archdiocese of LA's offices.  
After a lively discussion among Terry and the 
four other men there regarding the local bishops 
and whether or not the bishops will give their 
permission to collect signatures after Masses, the 
bottom line possibility the measure will be on 
the ballot was brought up.  The consensus was 
that yes, it will be on the ballot.  

The other ballot measure that wants to speed up 
the appeals process to clear the way to execution 
may not.  People working on that petition 
started collecting signatures later than the 
Justice That Works folks and the cost for paid 
signature collectors has risen from 50¢ per 
signature to about $5.00 per signature.  Of 
course we have to wait to see what happens.  

Thanks to all who signed the petition and to 
those AI members who took petitions into the 
community for signatures.  As you can tell, the 
signatures we were able to collect are valuable 
not only for getting this on the ballot but also for 
saving money.

Once we know the Justice That Works measure 
is on the ballot, I will find out ways for us to be 
involved.  One way we can now be involved is 
to donate some cold hard cash.  Here's a link to 
the Justice That Works webpage:

Another takeaway from Tuesday's meeting was 
the reminder of Pope Francis' February 21st call 
for a worldwide abolition of the death penalty:
"I appeal to the consciences of those who govern 
to reach an international consensus to abolish the 
death penalty," Pope Francis told tens of 
thousands of people in St Peter's Square in the 
Vatican on Sunday.

James Clark's Op-Ed in U.S. News & World 

 "Time's Up on the Death Penalty: Capital 
punishment is barely used anymore, and should 
be repealed" reads the headline of James Clark's 
Op-Ed in the April 13, 2016, online edition of 
U.S.News & World Report.  James talks about 
how the US is in top five nations that still 
employ the death penalty and then points out that 
"in 2015 the United States was responsible for 
the fewest number of death sentences since 1977, 
and the fewest executions since 1991."

He closes his piece reminding his readers that 
most other countries have abolished the death 
penalty, and while the US wants to be seen as a 
supporter of human rights, "By stubbornly 
holding on to the death penalty, the United States 
undermines its claim that it stands for human 
rights. There can be no "improving the system" - 
the system is broken beyond repair and must be 
abandoned once and for all."

To read James' entire Op-Ed, go to

James Clark is the senior campaigner on the 
death penalty at Amnesty International USA.

The Personal Reality of the Death Penalty

David Kaczynski

We might remember the Unabomber, Ted 
Kaczynski.  His brother, David, has become a 
death penalty abolitionist, not because Ted was 
sentenced to death but because David has had 
insights into the death penalty that most of us 
have never been privy to.  To see a talk by 
David, go to

Bud Welsh

We've talked about Bud Welsh before.  His 
daughter, Julie Marie, was killed in the Murrah 
Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City.  
Although he initially wanted nothing more than 
swift and deadly revenge, he later became aware 
that Timothy McVeigh also had a father who 
was grieving. To see Bud Welsh discuss this, see

Daniel Anthony Lucas

Daniel Anthony Lucas is scheduled to be 
executed in Georgia on April 27th and there is 
still time for you to help halt this execution. This 
would be the fifth execution in Georgia of 2016, 
and the 13th nationwide. 

To send Georgia Governor Nathan Deal an email 
to ask to stop this execution, go to

And you can get this reply: "Thank you very 
much for making your views known. Your 
message will be shared with Governor Deal." 
Somehow this falls short of what one might 

Recent Exonerations 
30	Mario Casciaro	IL

In 2013, Mario Casciaro was sentenced to 26 
years in prison for murder in McHenry County, 
Illinois. In 2014, the chief witness against him 
recanted; in 2016, the murder conviction was 
vacated and the case was dismissed.

7	Keith Harward 	VA

In 1986, Keith Harward, a member of the U.S. 
Navy, was convicted of murder and rape and 
sentenced to life in prison in Newport News, 
Virginia. He was exonerated in 2016 by DNA 
tests which identified the real criminal who by 
then was deceased.
source: The National Registry of Exonerations

Stay of Execution
13	Ivan Teleguz		VA

22 	Adam Ward		TX 
	1-drug lethal injection (Pentobarbital)
31	Joshua Bishop		GA 
	1-drug lethal injection (Pentobarbital)

6	Pablo Vasquez		TX 
	1-drug lethal injection (Pentobarbital)
12	Kenneth Fults		GA 
	1-drug lethal injection (Pentobarbital)

UA fo                    29
Other UAs                 6
Total                    37
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.