Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XXIV Number 5, May 2016


 UPCOMING EVENTS
  Thursday, May 26, 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, June 14, 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, June 19, 6:30 PM.  Rights Readers 
Human Rights Book Discussion group. This 
month we read "Blood-Drenched Beard" by 
Daniel Galera.

COORDINATOR'S CORNER
Hi everyone

Did you see the article in the New York Times 
Sunday Magazine on the issue of legalizing 
prostitution?  Those of us who attended the 
Western Regional in LA remember this 
discussion! (some of us not so fondly!)
Here's the link to the article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/08/magazi
ne/should-prostitution-be-a-crime.html?_r=0

Con Carino,
Kathy




Next Rights Readers meeting: 
Sunday, June 19 
 6:30 PM
Vroman's Bookstore
(upstairs)
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena

Blood-Drenched Beard: A Novel

by Daniel Galera




RIGHTS READERS
Human Rights Book Discussion 
Group

Keep up with Rights Readers at 
http://rightsreaders.blogspot.com


AUTHOR BIO
 
 Daniel Galera is a Brazilian writer, translator 
and editor. He was born in Sao Paulo, but was 
raised and spent most of his life in Porto Alegre, 
until 2005 when he went back to Sao Paulo. He 
is considered by critics to be one of the most 
influential young authors in Brazilian literature. 
Daniel is one of the founders of the publishing 
house Livros do Mal and had some of his works 
adapted into plays and movies.

BOOK REVIEW

BLOOD-DRENCHED BEARD
by Daniel Galera, translated by Alison Entrekin

KIRKUS REVIEW
Pensive, sometimes oppressive, altogether 
impressive novel by a young writer only now 
becoming known outside Brazil.

A translator of Zadie Smith and David Mitchell, 
Galera here blends some of the wistfulness of 
Latin American magical realism with a brooding 
dystopianism. His Macondo is a place called 
Garopaba, a beach town that the world pretty 
well forgets once the season is over. There, a 
blameless and nameless young man, left in the 
world without family or friends, finds an 
anchorage of sorts and even something like love: 
"Jasmim is the first person he has ever met," our 
narrator tells us, "who knows what 
prosopagnosia is." Prosopa what? Well, the 
young man has an unfortunate condition that 
causes him to forget faces, which makes it 
altogether too easy for bullies to victimize him 
without him being able to identify the assailant. 
So they do, but they 'fess up to things like 
stealing his faithful old canine companion: "I 
forget people's faces," he says. "Now who was 
it?" Says the bad guy, "It was me," knowing that 
his victim won't remember in a minute, that he 
isn't even capable of hating his enemies, since he 
can't tell them apart from anyone else. His 
tormentors may have cause to behave badly, 
though, since, as the young man learns, his 
grandfather, who was killed in Garopaba, may 
not have been altogether undeserving of his fate. 
Galera writes lyrically of a land of jungle and 
beach, even when the mood turns Hitchcock-
ian: "He steps on a loose stone, and his fall is 
broken by his backpack, but his elbow gets a 
good whack, and he feels the pain travel up his 
arm to his shoulder like an electric shock." The 
mystery mounts: Will the young man plunge 
onto the rocks below? Will those he trusts betray 
him? Are we really made of stardust? All will be 
revealed, though Galera warns on the last count, 
"Stop talking like hippies."

An elegant, literate and literary mystery of 
appearances and disappearances.

Pub Date: Jan. 26th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-59420-574-3
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Penguin Press
Review Posted Online
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-
reviews/daniel-galera/blood-drenched-beard




PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE
Narges Mohammadi

by Joyce Wolf (for Alexi Daher)


The Revolutionary Court of Iran has notified 
Narges Mohammadi's family of the results of 
the trial that began on April 20. She is sentenced 
to serve 10 years in prison for charges stemming 
from her human rights activism. 
https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2016/05/n
arges-mohammadi-13/

On May 19 Alexi received an email from Jean-
Christophe of Amnesty Belgium: "Narges has 20 
days to appeal. And she will do so. Shall we try 
to do something quickly?" Today Alexi 
proposed a "tweet-storm" similar to what we 
did in April, and immediately got an 
enthusiastic response from Amnesty Denmark. 
Alexi will tell us the date soon as it has been 
decided and provide other details of the action. 




DEATH PENALTY NEWS
By Stevi Carroll


Justice That Works

Justice That Works is the name of the campaign 
to put the abolition of the death penalty in 
California on the November ballot. I have yet to 
receive any information from Amnesty 
International USA/CA about how we can be 
useful in this campaign.  I have signed up our 
group as endorsing this measure.  At this point, 
the most important thing we can do is 
contribute to the campaign at 
http://www.justicethatworks.org/ and as 
individuals endorse the campaign, also at this 
link.

Education about Justice That Works will be vital 
during this election cycle. This measure will be 
competing with another ballot measure that asks 
voters if they would like to hire more lawyers to 
defend death row inmates thus speed up the 
trials, streamline the appeals process, and 
change the lethal injection protocol to one drug.  
I am not sure what the pro-death penalty 
campaign is called, but it is essential voters 
know the difference.

California one-drug protocol

I received a letter from the California 
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 
saying the public comment period regarding the 
proposed amendments that would allow the 
one-drug protocol has been extended to July 11, 
2016.  These repeated extensions may be because 
of the two ballot measures California voters will 
decide in November.  I don't know, but if you 
have not yet submitted your thoughts, you can 
email them to LI.comments@cdcr.ca.gov.  
Amnesty International USA also has an online 
petition at 
http://www.amnestyusa.org/california_deathpenalty

Pfizer

In past columns, I've talked about 
pharmaceutical companies not selling drugs that 
could be used in executions to the prison 
systems in the US.  This month Pfizer joined the 
club.  According to an article in the LA Times, 
"Pfizer's decision to block the use of its drugs in 
lethal injections means that all federally 
approved pharmaceutical companies whose 
medications could be used for executions have 
put them off limits."  

Last year Pfizer bought Hospira Inc., a company 
that had already prohibited the use of its drugs 
in executions.  Now approximately 25 FDA-
approved companies worldwide that were able 
to make drugs to be used in execution have been 
blocked from providing those drugs to kill death 
row inmates.  This action still leaves the door 
open for compounding pharmacies to make 
lethal-injection drugs.  In response to these bans 
on drugs, many states are turning to other 
methods to kill.  Utah has approved the use of 
firing squads, Oklahoma nitrogen gas, and 
Tennessee the electric chair.  The US Supreme 
Court may have to weigh in on changes.

Recent Exonerations

Eddie Bolden  State: IL
Date of Exoneration: 4/19/2016
In 1996, Eddie Bolden was convicted of two 
murders and an attempted murder and 
sentenced to life in prison without parole. He 
was exonerated in 2016 when witnesses testified 
Bolden was inside a nearby restaurant at the 
time of the shootings.

Jack McCullough State: IL
Date of Exoneration: 4/22/2016
In 2012, Jack McCullough was convicted and 
sentenced to life in prison for the 1957 abduction 
and murder of a 7-year-old girl in Sycamore, 
Illinois. He was exonerated in 2016 after the 
prosecution reinvestigated the case and 
concluded McCullough's original alibi was true.

Paul Gatling State: NY
Date of Exoneration: 5/2/2016
In 1964, Paul Gatling pled guilty to murder in 
Brooklyn, New York, and was sentenced to 30 
years to life in prison. His sentence was 
commuted and he was paroled in 1974. Gatling 
was exonerated in 2016 after a re-investigation 
by the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office 
Conviction Review Unit uncovered evidence 
that the victim's wife - the only eyewitness - may 
have lied about the killing.
source: 
http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration

Stays of Execution
April
20		Gregory Lott		OH*
27		Robert Pruett		TX	
	Date changed to August 23, 2016

May
2		Stephen Treiber		PA
3		Shonda Dee Walter	PA
11		Terry Darnell Edwards	TX
	Date Changed to October 19, 2016
12		Vernon Madison		AL
18		Angelo Fears		OH*

Executions
April 
27		Daniel Lucas		GA	
	Lethal Injection (1-drug Pentobarbital)

May
11		Earl Forrest 		MO	
	Lethal Injection (1-drug Pentobarbital)

	All 2016 Ohio executions granted a reprieve 
because new execution drugs could not be 
obtained.




GROUP 22 MAY LETTER COUNT
UA for POC                                       13
Other UAs                                        13
Other Actions (Write For Rights)                  5
Total                                            31
To add your letters to the total contact 
aigp22@caltech.edu 




Can't Join Group 22 for Letter 
Writing?

Sign up for the Urgent Action Network: 
http://www.amnestyusa.org/uan

You can select the regions of the world or 
the human rights issues for which you will 
receive Urgent Actions. Most important of 
all, you can choose how many Urgent 
Action emails you wish to receive per 
month!

Group 22 member Vincent DeStefano has 
been participating in the UAN for many 
years. Vincent recalls writing letters for 
imprisoned Czech playwright Vaclav 
Havel, who went on to become president 
of his country. Perhaps sometime we can 
get Vinnie to share his system for 
organizing UAs and letters! 


Amnesty International Group 22
The Caltech Y
Mail Code C1-128
Pasadena, CA 91125
www.its.caltech.edu/~aigp22/
http://rightsreaders.blogspot.com

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.