Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XXVII Number 7, July 2019

  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. 

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.

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:
You might enjoy his video of his Greyhound bus 
journeys to promote the book we're reading.
You can leave him a comment if you liked it.

Happy summer! Stay cool.


Next Rights Readers Meeting

Sunday, August 18
6:30 PM

Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd 

Ghost Month
by Ed Lin


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 

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.


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.

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 

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

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.

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


Breaking News 

(July 25) Attorney General William Barr 
reinstates the Federal death penalty.

(With permission from Gary Huck, the cartoonist.)

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."

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.

Group 22 will continue our efforts for both our 
adopted Prisoners of Conscience. 

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
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.