Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XXIV Number 6, June 2016

  Thursday, June 23, 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.) We will be planning our 
activities for the coming months. Please join 
us! Refreshments provided.
  Tuesday, July 12, 7:30 PM. Letter writing 
meeting at Caltech Athenaeum, corner of Hill 
and California in Pasadena. In the summer we 
meet outdoors at the "Rath al Fresco," on the 
lawn behind the building. This informal 
gathering is a great way for newcomers to get 
acquainted with Amnesty.
  Sunday, July 17, 6:30 PM.  Rights Readers 
Human Rights Book Discussion group. This 
month we read "Thieves of State" by Sarah 

Hi everyone

Hot enough for you?!  I had postponed putting 
away my warmer clothes because of the "May 
Gray" and "June Gloom", but finally got down 
to business today!

The senseless tragedy in Orlando shocked many 
this week. AI supports LGBT rights and has 
campaigns to end discrimination.  Read the 
press release here:
June 12, 2016 
Attack in Orlando Shows Utter Contempt for 
Human Life
"Last night's shooting in Orlando demonstrated 
utter contempt for human life, and our thoughts 
are with the victims of these attacks and the city 
of Orlando. But thoughts must be backed up 
with actions to protect people from such 
violence," said Jamira Burley, senior campaigner 
for Amnesty International USA.

As a party to the International Covenant on Civil 
and Political Rights and the International 
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of 
Racial Discrimination, the U.S. government is 
obligated to protect people from gun violence.

"While much is still unknown about this horrific 
crime, a full investigation must be guided by 
facts, rather than speculation or bigotry of any 
kind. The U.S. government must uphold its 
obligations under international law and address 
gun violence as the human rights crisis that it is. 
It is critical to reform the current patchwork of 
federal, state and local laws to ensure everyone's 
safety and security. No one's life should be 
threatened just by walking down the street, 
going to school or dancing at a nightclub."

Every day (or every hour, it seems!) I'm copied 
on an email from one of our members, Mr. Vince 
DeStefano, who is a traveling salesman, about 
which urgent action he's sent off from the 
current destination he's in! Let's pack the next 
letter writing and challenge Vince to see who 
can write more letters!

Con Carino, Kathy

Next Rights Readers meeting: 
Sunday, July 17 
 6:30 PM
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd

Thieves of State
by Sarah Chayes

Sarah Chayes is a senior associate in the 
Democracy and Rule of Law Program and the 
South Asia Program at the Carnegie 
Endowment. Formerly special adviser to the 
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, she is an 
expert in kleptocracy and anticorruption, South 
Asia policy and civil-military relations. 
A former reporter, she covered the fall of the 
Taliban for National Public Radio, then left 
journalism to remain in Kandahar in order to 
contribute to the reconstruction of the country, 
living there almost continuously since December 
2001. After running a nongovernmental 
organization founded by President Karzai's 
brother Qayum, Chayes launched a 
manufacturing cooperative, Arghand. that 
produces skin-care products for export from licit 
local agriculture. The goals were to help revive 
the region's historic role in exporting fruit and 
its derivatives, promote sustainable 
development, and expand alternatives to the 
opium economy. Deeply embedded in the life of 
the city and fluent in the Pashtu language, 
Chayes gained a unique perspective on the 
unfolding war.
In 2009, she was tapped to serve as special 
adviser to Generals David McKiernan and 
Stanley McChrystal, commanders of the 
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). 
She contributed her unique understanding of 
the Afghan south to the decisionmaking process, 
built ISAF's anticorruption policy, and assisted 
the U.S. embassy in developing an integrated 
approach to Afghan kleptocracy. In 2010, 
Chayes became special adviser to Chairman of 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, 
contributing to strategic policy on Afghanistan, 
Pakistan, and the Arab Spring.
Chayes is author of The Punishment of Virtue: 
Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban (Penguin 
Press HC, 2006). Her most recent book, Thieves 
of State (WW Norton and Company) is now 
She is a contributing writer for the Los Angeles 
Times opinion section, and her articles have 
appeared in the Washington Post, the New York 
Times, Foreign Policy and the Atlantic, among 
other publications.


"The target of her zeal is government corruption 
around the world - an old challenge but one 
she recasts in urgent and novel terms."  
- Carlos Lozada, Washington Post
"Chayes develops a muscular new vocabulary 
for talking about the problem of corruption." 
- Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker 
"Entirely unique...  cogent and fascinating." 
- Joel Whitney, San Francisco Chronicle
"For anyone confused by how the world ended 
up in such a state, I would strongly recommend 
Sarah Chayes's book." 
--Oliver Bullough, The Telegraph 
"An important book... about how government 
corruption helped turn Afghans away from us 
and from the pro-U.S. Afghan regime" 
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times
"This is an important book that should be 
required reading for officials in foreign service, 
and for those working in commerce or the 
military. The story will interest the 
nonspecialist reader too " 
-By Giles Foden, New York Times
How bribes create terrorists 
By Kevin Hartnett 
February 3, 2015 
What stokes terrorism? There are lots of 
explanations, many of which focus on macro 
forces, like the politics of fundamentalist Islam 
and the uneven distribution of rewards in 
market economy. This past Friday at the Boston 
Athenaeum, Sarah Chayes offered a surprisingly 
different explanation: Terrorism, she argued, is 
an outgrowth of the daily humiliations that arise 
in corrupt countries.
The New Yorker 
Corruption and Revolt 
Does tolerating graft undermine national 
"Chayes develops a muscular new vocabulary 
for talking about the problem of 
corruption.  Good governance is often construed 
as an essentially humanitarian preoccupation, a 
civil-society concern that is forever trumped by 
more pressing strategic obligations.  But Chayes 
became convinced that in Afghanistan 
kleptocratic rule was actually "manufacturing 
Taliban," providing fodder for the expanding 
insurgency.  In unstable and potentially 
explosive places..., she argues, the dilemma of 
corruption is not, as it might appear, one in 
which American values and interests are in 
tension.  Even a hard-nosed realist should 
regard corruption as a dire concern, she 
maintains, because it is not merely a matter of 
the rule of law and democratic principles - it is a 
"matter of national security."  This is the real 
intellectual innovation of Chayes's book: she 
takes what has always been the losing position 
in policy debates and imbues it with a new 
rhetorical power."

How corruption abroad threatens U.S. national 
Doyle Mcmanus 
November 29, 2014 
"Chayes, whose writing frequently appears on 
these pages, has written a new book, "Thieves of 
State," that makes a persuasive case that 
corruption harms U.S. national security interests 
in at least two ways: It makes it easier for 
insurgent movements to win support among 
aggrieved citizens. And it makes U.S.-friendly 
governments incapable of defending themselves 
against insurgents, criminal cartels and even 
foreign invaders." 

By Robert Adams

CIA Torture Just Got One Step Closer to 
Facing Accountability
By Elizabeth Beavers 
April 28, 2016 	
"You rarely win, but sometimes you do." I keep 
a poster up in my office with this quote from 
Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. To me, it 
perfectly summarizes Amnesty International's 
work of pushing back against the human rights 
abuses carried out in the name of national 
security. That's because we're fighting against 
fear and hate, which are powerful, intimidating 
adversaries. But recent victories have reminded 
me that there's something stronger than fear and 
hate, and that our fight is worthwhile. We may 
feel sometimes as if human rights rarely win - 
but this time, they did. And they won big.

In an unprecedented victory for torture 
accountability, the U.S. Justice Department 
decided not to block a private lawsuit from 
going forward, and to actually allow survivors 
and victims of CIA torture to have their day in 
court. This was a shocking development - 
typically, the U.S. government invokes "state 
secrets" and blocks these types of lawsuits from 
ever really going anywhere. For years, Amnesty 
International has urged the U.S. government not 
to use "state secrets" to block torture 

Amnesty International members across the U.S. 
re-iterated that call for accountability this past 
December. After gathering by webinar to learn 
about this case, then taking action by flooding 
the Justice Department with phone calls, emails, 
and petition signatures, activists urged the 
Department of Justice not to use "state secrets" 
yet again in this case to block accountability for 
torture. It was a natural continuation of work 
they'd long been doing, because one of the 
names in this lawsuit was very familiar to 
Amnesty International activists: Gul Rahman.

Gul Rahman is one of the victims of CIA torture 
represented in this case. You can read more 
about his tragic story here, including how he 
froze to death in CIA custody. Moved by his 
story to take action, thousands of Amnesty 
members have sought accountability from the 
U.S. government for Gul Rahman's torture.

Just a few days ago, activists got what they 
asked for. In a shocking development, the 
Justice Department decided not to invoke state 
secrets and not to block the lawsuit from going 
forward. These survivors and victims of CIA 
torture will get a day in court. To be sure, there 
is still a long road to travel as they seek 
accountability, but for now, they're still being 
allowed to push forward. It's a milestone few 
thought we would reach.

Amnesty International activists helped this 
happen. Every phone call, every email, every 
petition, and every social media post 
contributed to a wave of activism that refuses to 
let anyone get away with torture, and refuses to 
let the world forget about Gul Rahman.
Today, accountability for the American Torture 
Story is just a little closer within reach. Onward.

Narges Mohammadi

by Joyce Wolf (for Alexi Daher)

Alexi reported the results of the recent Twitter 
action for Narges. Alexi wrote on June 2:
"According to @hashtracking Hashtag Explorer 
#FreeNarges generated 1,175,082 impressions 
with 767 tweets in the last day. Thank you for 
supporting June 1st Tweetstorm!!"

Amnesty's current action for Narges is at

By Stevi Carroll

Justice That Works

According to an LA Times article June 17, the 
initiative to abolish the death penalty will be on 
the November ballot.  Executions would be 
replaced with life without possibility of parole 
and required work with wages paid to the debts 
owed to crime victims. The 743 California 
inmates on death row would benefit from its 

We need to remember there also may be a pro-
death penalty measure on the ballot. An 
understanding of which initiative is which will 
created informed voters.  We can become 
familiar with the abolition initiation and help 
spread information about Justice That Works.  

To contribute to Justice That Works, go to

If you are on Facebook, you might consider 
'liking' the Justice That Works page at

Consistent Connecticut?

In 2012 Connecticut state lawmakers repealed 
the death penalty, but only for future crimes.  
The 11 inmates already on death row would stay 
on death row.  That is until May of this year.  At 
that time, the Connecticut Supreme Court 
upheld its ruling that the state's death penalty 
repeal was extended to those 11 inmates, thus 
having their death sentences converted to life 
without parole.  Connecticut is one of 19 states 
and the District of Columbia without the death 

Oklahoma Death

Oklahoma may be the OK state, but something 
is not OK about the way the death penalty has 
been administered.  What would it feel like to be 
in your boxer shorts waiting to be strapped to a 
gurney, not to go into surgery, but to your 
death?  Richard Glossip knows first hand.  

In 1997, Mr. Glossip managed a motel well 
known to police for drug busts, prostitution, and 
violence and to its owner for terrific profits.  He 
may have just been doing his job or it may have 
been his understanding of the profits for the 
owner that motivated Mr Glossip to be a 'decent 
motel manager' who received a bonus nearly 
every month, but it didn't seem as though he 
had any beef with the owner.  Barry Van Treese 
owned the motel and in January 1997 on a 
routine visit to the property to inspect it, he was 
murdered in the guest room he always used for 
his visits. Justin Sneed admitted to hitting Mr. 
Van Treese, but with the encouragement of his 
interrogators, he also admitted Richard Glossip 
was the mastermind behind the murder.  Mr. 
Sneed used this confession to avoid the death 
penalty. Mr. Glossip, however, was sentenced to 

Among other aspects of Mr. Glossip's case that 
point to innocence, lawyers - both court 
appointed and hired - share some responsibility 
for the convictions because the quality of their 
work influenced the outcome of the trial. 
According to a study by the Judicial Conference 
of the United States, lawyers used an average of 
1,900 hours defending clients in death penalty 
trials. To put this in perspective, if all the 
lawyers did was work without time to eat or 
sleep, they would have time for approximately 
four and a half trials per year.  Indigent defense 
lawyers, the kind of lawyer Mr. Glossip had in 
2004 for a retrial, are assigned between 12 and 
15 death penalty cases per year.  Attorney 
Wayne Fournerat, who was paid $2,500.00 by 
Mr. Glossip's brother's girlfriend, certainly did 
not invest that many hours building Mr. 
Glossip's defense in the first trial, not for that 
kind of money.

The US Supreme Court declined to consider the 
constitutionality of the death penalty.  Justices 
Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer 
appealed to their colleagues to reconsider.  In 
the dissent to the Glossip v. Gross case, Justice 
Breyer wrote, "Rather than try to patch up the 
death penalty's legal wounds one at a time, I 
would ask for full briefing on a more basic 
question: whether the death penalty violates the 

We know obtaining execution drugs has become 
near impossible, but Oklahoma's problem is 
acquiring the wrong kind of drug. After a 
couple of less than smooth-sailing executions 
and the discovery of the use of a wrong drug, 
executions are on hold.  Perhaps with this lull in 
executions in Oklahoma, new lawyers handling 
Mr. Glossip's case will be able to assemble 
enough information to convince a judge that Mr. 
Glossip deserves a new trial.  Then perhaps the 
case of Richard Glossip can be displayed at the 
The National Registry of Exonerations.

To read more about Richard Glossip's case, go to

Recent Exonerations

Joel Alcox State: CA Date of Exoneration: 
In 1987, in Santa Barbara, California, Joel Alcox 
was convicted of murder based on a false 
confession and sentenced to 26 years to life in 
prison. He was exonerated in 2016 after the real 
killer was identified and Alcox's confession was 
proven false.

Malcolm Bryant State: MD Date of Exoneration: 
In 1999, Malcolm Bryant was convicted of 
murder in Baltimore, Maryland based on a 
single eyewitness identification and sentenced 
to life in prison. He was exonerated by DNA 
testing in May 2016.

Calvin Harris State: NY Date of Exoneration: 
In 2009, Calvin Harris was convicted of 
murdering his estranged wife in Tioga County, 
New York and was sentenced to 25 years to life 
in prison. He was acquitted at a retrial in May 
2016 after the woman's death was linked to two 
other men.

Jerome Morgan State: LA  Date of Exoneration: 
In 1994, 18-year-old Jerome Morgan was 
convicted of murder in New Orleans, Louisiana 
and sentenced to life in prison without parole. 
He was exonerated in 2016 after two witnesses 
admitted their identifications were false and 
pressured by police.

source: The National Registry of Exonerations

Stays of execution
2	Charles Flores	TX
21	Robert Roberson	TX
22	Warren Henness	OH


HOORAY! None since our last newsletter.

UA for POC              14
Other UAs               27
Total                   41
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.