Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News Volume XXVII Number 7, July 2019 UPCOMING EVENTS Note: We're taking a summer break and won't have any Thursday monthly meetings in July or August. Letter writing and book group meetings will continue as usual. Tuesday, August 13, 7:30-9:00 PM. Letter Writing meeting at the Caltech Athenaeum, corner of Hill and California in Pasadena. (In summer we meet outdoors at the "Rath al Fresco" on the lawn next to the building.) This informal gathering is a great way for newcomers to get acquainted with Amnesty. Sunday, August 18, 6:30 PM. Rights Readers Human Rights Book Discussion Group. For August we read a mystery set in Taiwan, "Ghost Month" by Ed Lin. COORDINATOR'S CORNER Hello all, This is Joyce, substituting for Kathy, who's taking a break this month from column-writing. AIUSA has announced information for the Regional Conferences, which are usually held in November. The Western Regional will be Nov. 9-10 in Seattle. https://www.amnestyusa.org/take- action/events/2019-regional-conferences/ Seattle is a great city, but it might be a little far for us here in Southern California. Take heart, and mark your 2020 calendars for the AGM March 6-8 in San Diego, according to a note posted in the aiusa-d Google group. Watch for the AGM 2020 announcement, which is expected to appear on the AIUSA website in August. I hope that many of us from Group 22 will be able to attend. My last AGM was 2013 in Washington DC, and I'm really looking forward to this one. Weather shouldn't be a problem! Our book group has always (pretty sure about that) chosen to read a mystery for the month of August. The author of our current selection, Ed Lin, has a delightful webpage: http://www.edlinforpresident.com You might enjoy his video of his Greyhound bus journeys to promote the book we're reading. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR8AIOfSCT8 You can leave him a comment if you liked it. Happy summer! Stay cool. Joyce Next Rights Readers Meeting Sunday, August 18 6:30 PM Vroman's Bookstore 695 E. Colorado Blvd Pasadena Ghost Month by Ed Lin KIRKUS REVIEW https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book- reviews/ed-lin/ghost-month/ The creator of the Robert Chow mysteries (One Red Bastard, 2012, etc.), set in New York's Chinatown in the 1970s, turns to contemporary Taiwan for this ambitious, muddled tale of murder in a culture that sees itself as both the center of the world and overshadowed by its powerful mainland rival. In the seven years since Cheng Jing-nan last saw Julia Huang, he's thought about her every day. After going through schools in Taipei together, the two departed for the U.S., Jing-nan for UCLA, Julia for NYU. Both of them ended up back in Taipei when Julia flunked out of college and Jing-nan returned to his father's side during his last illness and then took over both Unknown Pleasures, the family's food stand, and the mountain of debt his family had run up. But they didn't end up together, although Jing- nan always intended to return to Julia the minute he was in a position to marry her. Now he's missed his chance. Julia's been found shot to death at the side of a highway in the scanty costume of a betel-nut girl, one step removed from a prostitute. Dazed with grief, Jing-nan seems like the most unlikely investigator ever. Nor is he the cleverest or the most resourceful detective. But his questioning of his old schoolmates gradually reveals unwelcome news about some of the people he thought he'd known best, including Julia herself. At the same time, his sex-first romance with music-store clerk Nancy Han, formerly the mistress of a disgraced financier, forces him to face some equally unsparing revelations about himself and the love he cherished for a woman he hadn't seen since they graduated from high school together. The teeming Taipei setting and the tormented hero combine to create a furious energy that transcends a whodunit plot too mundane even to capture Jing-nan's full attention. ABOUT THE AUTHOR http://www.edlinforpresident.com/about-ed- lin/who-is-ed-lin/ Who Is Ed Lin? Ed Lin, a native New Yorker of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards and is an all- around standup kinda guy. His books include Waylaid, and a trilogy set in New York's Chinatown in the 70s: This Is a Bust, Snakes Can't Run and One Red Bastard. Ghost Month, published by Soho Crime in July 2014, is a Taipei-based mystery, and Incensed, published October 2016, continues that series. Lin lives in Brooklyn with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung, and son. DEATH PENALTY NEWS By Stevi Carroll By the Numbers June marked an important milestone for the death penalty. On June 14th, Charles Ray Finch was exonerated when the charges against him were formally dismissed making him the 166th person found innocent since 1976. On June 20th, Marion Wilson was the 1500th person executed in the United States since 1976. According to Death Penalty Focus, this means that for nine of the men or women executed since 1976, one person who had been condemned to death was found innocent and released. While many incarcerated people claim innocence even though they are in fact guilty of the crimes for which they have been imprisoned, some incarcerated people are in fact innocent. For people who are imprisoned with a sentence of time for their crimes, those who are found innocent can be granted freedom. For people who are condemned to death and who have that death sentence carried out, no recourse is available for those people. People who are exonerated become free once again. The years they have served, 43 for Mr Finch, can never been regained. For those innocent people executed, their family members and friends will live with the reality of the death (by homicide as stated on their death certificates) of their loved ones. I am hopeful people will consider the numbers above and these numbers will give them pause as they decide their position concerning the death penalty. Recent Exonerations Charles Finch - State: NC - Date of Exoneration: 6/14/2019 In 1976, Charles Ray Finch of Wilson, North Carolina, was sentenced to death for murder. He was exonerated in 2019 after new evidence undermined the only eyewitness who identified Finch, as well as the ballistics that connected him with the shooting. Johnny Berry - State: PA - Date of Exoneration: 6/24/2019 In 1995, Johnny Berry was sentenced to life in prison for a murder in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was exonerated in 2019 after his co-defendant admitted he falsely accused Berry of being involved in the crime. Recent Stays of Execution June 21 Clifton Williams TX Stay granted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on June 5, 2018 to permit Williams to re-litigate his claim of intellectual disability under Moore v. Texas. The Texas courts had previously denied his claim, applying the "Briseno factors" that were declared unconstitutional in Moore. 27 Angelo Fears OH Rescheduled for October 17, 2019 by Gov. John Kasich on September 1, 2017. July 11 Scott Raymond Dozier NV Temporary restraining order granted by the Clark County District Court on July 11, 2018 barring Nevada from using midazolam manufactured by Alvogen Pharmaceuticals in any execution. Stay granted by the Clark County District Court on July 11. Recent Executions None Breaking News (July 25) Attorney General William Barr reinstates the Federal death penalty. (With permission from Gary Huck, the cartoonist.) PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE Narges Mohammadi and Gao Zhisheng By Joyce Wolf Last month there was worldwide concern for the health of Narges Mohammadi, because prison authorities had denied her the antibiotics necessary to treat post-operative infection. I have not found any recent updates on her condition, but in late June she was able to write an open letter to Richard Ratcliffe, who was at the Iran Embassy in London on a joint hunger strike with his wife, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Nazanin is in Evin Prison along with Narges. Narges wrote, "I am glad that for the sake of humanity and dignity, men and women like you are the voice of these women and mothers behind bars. ...You have stood in front of my country's embassy and amplified the voice of a mother who is living with the fear of losing her small child." https://iranhumanrights.org/2019/06/letter- political-prisoner-thanks-richard-ratcliffe-for-being- the-voice-of-mothers-behind-bars-in-iran/ The family of Gao Zhisheng has never received any information about him since he was "disappeared" nearly two years ago. The Epoch Times recently reported that his wife, Geng He, traveled to Hong Kong to support the protesters in the July 1 march. "This is the closest place to home that I have been since 10 years ago, but I can't see my family nor get in touch with them," Geng said. https://www.theepochtimes.com/wife-of- disappeared-chinese-rights-lawyer-gao-zhisheng-to- attend-hong-kongs-july-1-protest_2984249.html Group 22 will continue our efforts for both our adopted Prisoners of Conscience. GROUP 22 JULY LETTER COUNT UAs 17 POC Narges Mohammadi 11 POC Gao Zhisheng 11 Total 39 Amnesty International Group 22 The Caltech Y Mail Code C1-128 Pasadena, CA 91125 www.its.caltech.edu/~aigp22/ Find us on Facebook - search "Amnesty Pasadena" 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.