Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XXVII Number 10, October 2019

  Thursday, October 24, 7:30 PM. Monthly 
  Tuesday, November 12, 7:30-9:00 PM. Letter 
Writing meeting at the Caltech Athenaeum, 
corner of Hill and California in Pasadena. 
(Starting in November, our letter writing 
meetings will be back indoors in the 
Rathskeller.) This informal gathering is a great 
way for newcomers to get acquainted with 
  Sunday, November 17, 6:30 PM. Rights 
Readers Human Rights Book Discussion 
Group. For this month we read a graphic 
memoir, "Belonging: A German Reckons 
with History and Home" by Nora Krug.

Hello All,

This is Joyce, writing the column this month in 
place of group coordinator Kathy. 

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, the 
October monthly meeting had to be cancelled. 
We had intended to discuss strategies and plans 
for our monthly meetings in the first half of 
2020. We are hoping to arrange a meeting very 
soon to brainstorm about ideas, possibly on a 
Saturday afternoon. If you are interested in 
attending, please let us know at We welcome new ideas - 
the more the merrier!

December 10 is International Human Rights 
Day. This year Amnesty's ten featured cases in 
the annual Write For Rights campaign are all 
young people. You can find the case 
descriptions, target addresses, and sample 
letters at
Please join us at our Group 22 Write For Rights 
event, which will probably be on a Saturday in 
early December. Stay tuned for details! You can 
check for upcoming events on our website at 

If you are on Facebook, please "like" and follow 
Group 22. There's a link on our website above, 
or you can just type 'amnesty pasadena' into the 
Facebook search box. Keep up to date with 
group coordinator Stevi's announcements  and 
links to current Amnesty news and actions!

Next Rights Readers Meeting

Sunday, Nov. 17,
6:30 PM

Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd 

Belonging: A German Reckons with History 
and Home
by Nora Krug


Nora Krug's story of her attempt to confront 
the hidden truths of her family's wartime past 
in Nazi Germany and to comprehend the 
forces that have shaped her life, her 
generation, and history.

Nora Krug was born decades after the fall of the 
Nazi regime, but the Second World War cast a 
long shadow throughout her childhood and 
youth in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany. For 
Nora, the simple fact of her German citizenship 
bound her to the Holocaust and its unspeakable 
atrocities and left her without a sense of cultural 
belonging. Yet Nora knew little about her own 
family's involvement in the war: though all four 
grandparents lived through the war, they never 
spoke of it.

In her late thirties, after twelve years in the US, 
Krug realizes that living abroad has only 
intensified her need to ask the questions she 
didn't dare to as a child and young adult. 
Returning to Germany, she visits archives, 
conducts research, and interviews family 
members, uncovering in the process the stories 
of her maternal grandfather, a driving teacher in 
Karlsruhe during the war, and her father's 
brother Franz-Karl, who died as a teenage SS 
soldier in Italy. Her quest, spanning continents 
and generations, pieces together her family's 
troubling story and reflects on what it means to 
be a German of her generation.

[Goodreads Community Review by Emily May]
This is not an easy book to read. It's a graphic 
memoir of what it was like to grow up in a post-
Hitler Germany. In Krug's childhood, the 
Holocaust looms in the background of 
everything but is rarely spoken about. The book 
looks at the collective shame of the German 
people-- a shame drilled so deep that the word 
"heimat" or "homeland" brings no sense of pride; 
a shame that means hiding your accent to avoid 
provoking strong and painful emotions in those 
you meet.

The mixed art is very powerful. Krug uses a 
scrapbook-style scattering of images, clippings 
and traditional comic strip art to first explore 
her own upbringing, and then later to delve into 
her family's past. There's nothing simple about 
this book at all. It's both an informative read for 
the non-German reader, and an emotional 

It's also a good little piece of investigative 
journalism, though nowhere near as 
dispassionate as that sounds. Krug finds herself 
asking the difficult questions that no one in her 
family seems willing to ask. She wants to know - 
she has to know - what role her grandparents 
played in the Nazi atrocities.

For what reason? She's not sure. Perhaps to 
absolve them in her mind; perhaps to 
adequately blame them. Whatever the 
reasoning, I felt every bit of the author's 
desperation to find out about her grandparents. 
I sat along as she dug into their history and 
hoped so very much that they weren't guilty of 
the worst crimes. I, too, wanted it to not be 
them. I wanted them to have been the good 

Ultimately, though, it's not that easy and Krug 
knows it all too well. Most Germans were 
complicit in some way; the true "good guys" 
didn't live to tell the tale. Despite an extensive 
investigation, many answers remain out of 

Not a simple read, or fully satisfying, but 
thought-provoking nonetheless. CW: 
antisemitism; holocaust (disturbing images).


Nora Krug's drawings and visual narratives 
have appeared in The New York Times, The 
Guardian, and Le Monde diplomatique. Her short-
form graphic biography, Kamikaze, about a 
surviving Japanese WWII pilot, was included in 
the 2012 editions of Best American Comics and 
Best American Nonrequired Reading. She is the 
recipient of fellowships from the Maurice 
Sendak Foundation, Fulbright, the John Simon 
Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Pollock-
Krasner Foundation, and of medals from the 
Society of Illustrators and the New York Art 
Directors Club. She is an associate professor at 
Parsons School of Design in New York and lives 
in Brooklyn with her family. Krug is the author 
of the graphic memoir, Belonging. 

By Stevi Carroll

Julius Jones - Oklahoma 

"They should just take the n****r out and shoot 
him behind the jail" a juror told the judge 
another juror said during Julius Jones's trial. No 
action was taken. Christopher Jordan, the co-
defendant, in Mr Jones's trial made a deal with 
prosecutors to testify against Jones. He served 15 
years in prison. In 1999, when Mr Jones was on 
trial for the murder of a white businessman, his 
court appointed lawyer did not call any alibi 
witnesses, did not cross-examine Christopher 
Jordan, and did not have Mr Jones testify. 
Additionally, an eyewitness described the 
shooter as looking like Mr Jordan, not Mr Jones.

Mr Jones's clemency petition also included 
letters from faith and civil rights leaders. The 
Oklahoma NAACP, the Congressional Black 
Caucus, the Catholic Archbishop of Oklahoma 
City Paul S Coakley and Oklahoma 
Representative George Young have also 
weighed in on this case. And Kim Kardashian 
West tweeted to her followers to ask the pardon 
board and Gov. Kevin Stitt "to give 'careful and 
thoughtful consideration' to Jones's petition."

In a 21-year period, the Oklahoma County 
District Attorney sent 54 men and women to 
death row. Over half of those convictions have 
been reversed and several people have been 
exonerated. While Oklahoma has not executed 
anyone since 2015, the state has carried out more 
executions since 1976 except for Texas and 

Stay of Execution for One of the Federal 
Death Penalty Cases

Lezmond Mitchell is a member of the Navajo 
Nation and is the only Native American on the 
Federal death row. Attorney General William 
Barr and the US Department of Justice 
scheduled Mr Mitchell to be executed on 
December 11, 2019.  When AG Barr announced 
the resumption of the Federal death penalty last 
July 25, the DOJ falsely said that the five inmates 
had exhausted their appeals and "that it was 
carrying out the executions to advance the 
interests of the victims' families." Mr Mitchell 
was granted a 'certificate of appealability' which 
means that the courts thought the issues he 
raised are worthy of further judicial review. 
Additionally, the Navajo Nation and the 
victims' family are on the record at his trial 
stating they oppose the government seeking the 
death penalty in his case. The appeal argument 
for his case is scheduled for December 13, 2019.

To read more about this case, go to

Recent Exonerations

Larry Trent Roberts - State: PA
 - Date of Exoneration: 9/17/2019
In 2007, Larry Trent Roberts was sentenced to 
life in prison without parole for a murder in 
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was acquitted at a 
retrial in 2019 based on cell phone evidence 
showing he was miles away from the crime.

Carlos Weeks - State: NY
 - Date of Exoneration: 10/2/2019
In 1995, Carlos Weeks was sentenced to 27 1/2 
years to life in prison for a shooting that killed 
one youth and injured another in Brooklyn, 
New York. He was exonerated in 2019 after one 
eyewitness admitted she never saw the gunman 
and the other said she didn't remember the 
shooting at all.

Willie Veasy - State: PA
 - Date of Exoneration: 10/9/2019
Willie Veasy was convicted of murder in 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1993 and 
sentenced to life in prison. He was exonerated in 
2019 after the only eyewitness at trial recanted 
and Veasy's confession was deemed to have 
been obtained through police misconduct.

Stays of Execution

2	Stephen Barbee	TX
10	Randy Halprin	TX
16	Randall Mays		TX	(Warrant 
withdrawn for court to study medical records)
17	Jamies Frazier		OH 	(Reprieved 
- sentenced to die October 20, 2021)
17	Angelo Fears		OH	 
(Resentenced to life - death warrant vacated)


25	Robert Sparks		TX
Lethal Injection 	1-drug - pentobarbital	
Years From Sentence To Execution - 10

1	Russell Bucklew	MO	
Lethal Injection	1-drug - pentobarbital
Years From Sentence To Execution - 22

Group 22 September Letter Count
AIUSA Banned Books Actions    23

Group 22 October Letter Count
UAs                           14
POC Narges Mohammadi (Iran)   14
POC Gao Zhisheng (China)      13
Total                         41

Amnesty International Group 22
The Caltech Y
Mail Code C1-128
Pasadena, CA 91125
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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.