Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XXVIII Number 3, March 2020

  Tuesday, April 14, would have been our 
regular Letter-writing meeting. You can still 
write letters on your own: go to
action/urgent-action-network/. Check the  
AIUSA home page for online actions and 
updates on coronavirus and human rights.
  Sunday, April 19, was our scheduled 
Human Rights Book Group meeting. 
Vroman's has cancelled all of their upcoming 
book group meetings and their other events. 
We will let you know if we can arrange an 
online or email discussion. Our April selection 
is "The End of Ice" by Dahr Jamail.

Hello everyone,

Hoping this finds you sane and healthy as we 
are self-isolating (at least here in California and 
New York). It's a strange and frightening time.
We are having to change the way we do things 
because of the activity limitations imposed on us 
in the goal of "flattening the curve" aka slowing 
the spread of the coronavirus so that hospitals 
are not overwhelmed (as they are in Italy) to the 
point where they are having to refuse care to 
certain types of patients. 

The Rathskeller, Vroman's Bookstore and the 
Caltech Y are all closed. Perhaps we can "meet" 
via the Zoom app. It's free, easy to set up and 
participants can see and hear one another. I've 
participated in Zoom meetings for work and 
other events (including a yoga class earlier this 
week!) and it works great. Let me know what 
you think. Otherwise if we meet at someone's 
home, we'd have to sit 6 feet apart per the state 

We are circulating a tribute to one of our 
members who passed away from cancer, Candy 
D'Addario. She came to book group and letter 
writing on a regular basis and was active in the 
Pasadena chapter of the League of Women 
Voters. Her husband had organized a memorial 
in a local park, but this may be postponed due 
to the state-wide stay at home order. 

Please obey the governor's orders and stay safe 
and healthy.

Con Carino, Kathy

The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and 
Finding Meaning in the Path of 
Climate Disruption 


Dahr Jamail


A war journalist and mountaineering aficionado 
chronicles his global travels to witness the stakes 
of humanity's greatest battle: the destruction of 
our planet.

Award-winning journalist Jamail (The Will to 
Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and 
Afghanistan, 2009, etc.) began covering climate 
disruption-the term he prefers over the more 
common "climate change"-in 2010 and has 
since "published more than one hundred 
articles" on the subject. For his latest book, he 
traveled to the front lines of extreme shifts in 
habitat and ecology: Denali in Alaska, where 
glaciers are rapidly melting; the Pribilof Islands 
in the Bering Sea, where increasingly horrific 
storms and "large-scale die-offs" decimate the 
local culture; the Rock Islands of Palau in the 
western Pacific ocean, where corals experience 
often fatal "bleaching"; and the Amazon, whose 
famous biodiversity is threatened by 
deforestation, warming temperatures, and 
various other human-caused effects. The book is 
assiduously researched, profoundly affecting, 
and filled with vivid evocations of the natural 
world. Jamail's deep love of nature blazes 
through his crisp, elegant prose, and he ably 
illuminates less-discussed aspects of climate 
disruption, like the Alexandrium toxin, a 
"marine dinoflagellate" responsible for the mass 
deaths of birds and fish, and white pine blister 
rust, "one of the single largest threats to trees in 
the continental United States." The constant 
assessment of Earth's grim status can be a tad 
repetitive, but perhaps that's the point, as Jamail 
infuses the book with a sense of reluctant 
futility. Near the end, he writes that he has 
surrendered his hope that "bludgeoning people 
with scientific reports about increasingly dire 
predictions of the future would wake them up 
about the planetary crisis we find ourselves in." 
Now, he grieves, which "is a way of honoring 
what we are losing."

A passionate, emotional ode to the wonders of 
our dying planet and to those who, hopelessly 
or not, dedicate their lives to trying to save it.


In late 2003, weary of the overall failure of the US media 
to accurately report on the realities of the war in Iraq for 
the Iraqi people, Dahr Jamail went to the Middle East to 
report on the war himself, where he has spent more than 
one year in Iraq as one of only a few independent US 
journalists in the country. Dahr has also reported from 
Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. He has also reported 
extensively on veterans' resistance against US foreign 
policy, and is now focussing on anthropogenic climate 
disruption and the environment.
Dahr's stories have been published with Truthout, Inter 
Press Service, Tom Dispatch, The Sunday Herald in 
Scotland, The Guardian, Foreign Policy in Focus, Le 
Monde, Le Monde Diplomatique, The Huffington Post, 
The Nation, The Independent, and Al Jazeera, among 
others. Dahr is currently and has been a feature writer for for five years, and his climate feature page 
there is titled 'Climate Disruption Dispatches'.
His writing has been translated into French, Polish, 
German, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, 
Arabic and Turkish. On radio as well as television, Dahr 
has reported for Democracy Now! and Al-Jazeera, and 
has appeared on the BBC, NPR, and numerous other 
stations around the globe.

Dahr's reporting has earned him numerous awards, 
including the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Award for 
Journalism, The Lannan Foundation Writing Residency 
Fellowship, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice 
Journalism, the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic 
Courage, and five Project Censored awards.

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Izzy Award, in 
2018 the Park Center for Independent Media (PCIM) at 
Ithaca College awarded Dahr an Izzy for his "path-
breaking and in-depth reporting in 2017" exposing 
"environmental hazards and militarism." The Izzy 
Award, presented for outstanding achievement in 
independent media, is named in memory of I.F. "Izzy" 
Stone, the dissident journalist who launched I.F. Stone's 
Weekly in 1953 and challenged McCarthyism, racism, 
war and government deceit.

By Robert Adams


Calling on governors and state health officials to use 
their authority to act in the interest of public health 
and protect immigration detainees, Human Rights 
First, Amnesty International USA and Physicians for 
Human Rights asked that these officials direct drastic 
reductions in detention occupancy and pressure the 
federal government to release immigration detainees 
being held in their states, in letters sent out today.

State-level officials have proven themselves decisive 
in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, taking action 
to limit social interaction, pulling health permits for 
large events, canceling concerts and closing schools 
and public buildings. Advocates from the three 
groups also sent a similar letter appealing to the 
acting head of the Department of Homeland Security.

 "One of the most critical steps you can take to 
immediately reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to 
utilize your public health and licensing authority to 
instruct federal immigration detention facilities, 
county and local jails to substantially reduce their 
detainee occupancy capacity," the letter reads. 
"Given the documented inadequacies of medical care 
and basic hygiene in immigration detention facilities, 
it is of vital importance for state public health 
authorities to address the state-wide risk posed by 
crowded immigration detention facilities."

Immigrants detained by ICE, as well as lawyers and 
those working in the detention facilities and in 
immigration courts face grave risks if they are 
exposed to infection in immigration detention 
facilities. Already, a staff member employed at an 
ICE detention center in Elizabeth, New Jersey is 
being tested after exhibiting symptoms of 
coronavirus. Rapid spread within crowded detention 
centers is a major concern.

 "The COVID-19 pandemic exposes immigrants and 
staff at detention facilities to unacceptable, 
unnecessary and grave risks. These facilities also 
threaten the health and safety of the broader 
community and country," said Dr. Michele Heisler, 
medical director at Physicians for Human Rights. 
"You can't practice social distancing in a crowded 
detention facility. Given the well-documented 
medical neglect, poor sanitation, and often 
inadequate supplies of necessities such as soap in 
many detention facilities, it is essential that state 
authorities act now to safeguard the health and 
human rights of detainees and the public."

Public health experts have already recommended 
reducing the population in prisons and detention 
centers in response to the pandemic. The letter to 
governors and state health officials explained that the 
release of detained immigrants by ICE is already 
authorized under existing federal laws, regulations 
and agency guidance, including the legal authority to 
release people under its parole authority.

 "Detention for traumatized asylum-seekers and 
other immigrants awaiting their day in immigration 
court has never been necessary or humane, but now 
it also presents a danger to their health and the health 
of the community," said Human Rights First's 
Director of Refugee Protection Eleanor Acer. "The 
legal authority to release people in immigration 
detention already exists, all that is needed is for the 
Department of Homeland Security to begin to parole 
people. We are asking governors and state health 
officials to press their federal counterparts to do what 
is in the best interest of public health and human 
rights. Depriving asylum seekers and immigrants of 
visits from family or friends, but leaving them stuck 
in densely populated facilities, is not the answer.  It's 
a recipe for a health and human rights disaster."

ICE's current protocols include suspending visitation 
by family members for all facilities and isolation for 
people who meet the exposure risk criteria. ICE has 
said that it will transfer those requiring a higher level 
of care to hospitals, but creating additional strain on 
the U.S. healthcare system can be avoided by 
dramatically reducing the population of detention 
centers now.

 "All people should have the same access to care and 
safety, and immigrants and asylum-seekers can't be 
treated as an afterthought. As the U.S. responds to 
the COVID-19 pandemic, the men, women and 
children locked up in U.S. immigration detention are 
left behind in crowded facilities with limited access 
to care and exposed to greater risk of infection," said 
Denise Bell, Researcher for Refugee and Migrant 
Rights at Amnesty International USA. "Governors 
and state health officials should urge the U.S. 
government to safeguard the universally recognized 
human right to health and immediately mitigate the 
risk of infection, illness and death by releasing 
immigrants and asylum-seekers from detention."

UA for POC Narges Mohammadi (Iran)    13
Other UAs                             35
POC Gao Zhisheng (China)              12
Total                                 60

Candy D'Addario (1946-2020)

Group 22 members are very sad to learn of the 
death of Candy D'Addario, one of our most 
active and cherished members, on January 19. 
We extend our heartfelt condolences to her 
husband Larry and her family.

Candy began participating in Group 22 activities 
in 2006 after she and Larry moved to Pasadena 
from Tucson, Arizona. She attended our book 
group meetings regularly and always 
contributed thoughtful insights to the 
discussions. Actions against the death penalty 
and efforts for Prisoners of Conscience were 
among her special interests in our Letter Writing 
monthly meetings. She was a key supporter of 
Group 22 participation in many community 
events such as the Earth Day Fairs and Doo Dah 
parades. More photos of Candy at with Group 
22 are available at

Candy also devoted much of her time to the 
League of Women Voters in Pasadena. The LWS 
published a very nice article about her, which 
you can read here: 

During the years when I organized our annual 
Write For Rights events, Candy was always the 
first one there, often helping me set up. Sharing 
my admiration for Pete Seeger, she wrote, 
"Joyce, Pete Seeger is my hero, too.  I went to a 
concert that he gave at the American University 
of Beirut when I was there.  It was in the lounge 
in the student union and the only payment he 
asked for was to have some Arab musicians 
perform at the same concert so that he could 
hear them." 
I am grateful for the privilege of knowing 
Candy, and I will miss her very much.
-Joyce Wolf

By Stevi Carroll

Coronavirus - COVID 19

First of course, I want everyone to stay safe, stay 
healthy, and stay strong. We have had 
deplorable directions from our Federal level of 
government which have left us confused and 
perhaps even frightened, except when Dr Fauci 
speaks, and left our state and local governments 
to figure out how best to respond not only to 
this health crisis, especially for our frontline 
healthcare providers and hospitals, but also to 
the economic ramifications essentially shutting 
down much of our country. One thing I learned 
from the 2008 crash is that 70% of our GDP 
comes from our consumption. Many of our 
sisters and brothers find themselves without 
work. Businesses from the bakery down the 
block where we may have picked up our 
weekend treats to movie theaters to school 
districts to movie and TV productions to that 
intimate restaurant we liked going to on Friday 
night after work are closed. The workers are left 
without 'billable' hours and perhaps even 
without health insurance benefits. We have an 
opportunity to be a very different country when 
we finally emerge from the full brunt of this 
pandemic. As one meme says (and here I 
paraphrase) we are a society of people, not an 
economy. May we spend this time caring for one 
another - from a distance of course, and may we 
spend this time thinking about what kind of 
country we want to live in going forward, along 
with what we are willing and able to do to help 
create that country. And come November, let's 
remember. VOTE. For many of us, our sisters 
and brothers fought hard, some even died, for 
this right. Let's exercise it.

Colorado: the 22nd State to Abolish the Death 

This is more or less good news. Now with that 
said, the abolition applies only to 'offenses 
charged on or after July 1, 2020,' but Colorado 
has only three people on death row at this time: 
Nathan Dunlap, Robert Ray, and Sir Mario 
Owens. James Holmes who murdered 12 people 
and tried to kill 70 others in a theater in Aurora, 
Colorado, in 2012, was sentenced to life without 
parole when one juror voted against the death 

Colorado Governor Jared Polis could grant a 
formal clemency for the three men presently on 
death row. One problem with executions 
Colorado has is the drugs used for lethal 
injection. The state is unable to obtain sodium 
thiopental since the drug companies do not 
want their drugs to be used for administering 
government-ordered death.  Prison officials said 
they would "take any steps we needed to take" 
should they be ordered to execute someone. 
Presently, the Colorado drug protocol includes 
pancuronium bromide that causes paralysis and 
stops breathing and potassium chloride that 
stops a person's heart. Annie Skinner,  a 
spokeswoman for the Department of 
Corrections said, "In addition, as has been 
reported previously, sodium thiopental is no 
longer available on the open market for 

So Colorado - welcome to the club of abolition 
states: Alaska, 1957; Connecticut, 2012; 
Delaware, 2016; Hawaii, 1957; Illinois, 2011; 
Iowa, 1965; Maine, 1887; Maryland, 2013; 
Massachusetts, 1984; Michigan, 1847; Minnesota, 
1911; New Hampshire, 2019; New Jersey, 2007; 
New Mexico, 2009; New York, 2007; North 
Dakota, 1973; Rhode Island, 1984; Vermont, 
1972; Washington, 2018; West Virginia, 1965; 
Wisconsin, 1853, and those states with 
gubernatorial moratoria: California, 2019; 
Oregon 2011; and Pennsylvania, 2015. The 
District of Columbia has also abolished the 
death penalty.


Sweet Home Alabama seems not to come to me 
when I consider its prison system nor its death 
penalty. Governor Kay Ivey definitely wants to 
win a lifetime hypocrisy award. In May of 2019, 
Alabama passed and Governor Ivey signed into 
law an abortion law that could make it a felony 
for a doctor to perform an abortion in nearly all 
cases. Doctors who performed an abortion at 
any stage of pregnancy would face a minimum 
of 10 years in prison - unless the life of the 
woman were at risk. When she signed the law, 
Governor Ivey said, "To the bill's many 
supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful 
testament to Alabamians' deeply held belief that 
every life is precious and that every life is a 
sacred gift from God."  Maybe yes and maybe 

This section will have two parts: the Alabama 
prison system and the execution of Nathaniel 
Woods. As we look at these, let's remember 
Governor Ivey's declaration and the powerful 
testament to Alabamians "every life is precious 
and that every life is a sacred gift from God."

The Alabama Department of Corrections, 
prisons, has one of the highest homicide rates of 
any state prison system. In 2019, the US 
Department of Justice issued a report that says 
Alabama prison conditions violate the 

The case of Billy Smith is an example. Mr Smith, 
35, died from massive brain injuries. First, he 
was injured in a fight with another inmate. Then 
he was beaten and hog-tied by guards who 
denied him treatment for hours. What was done 
to him? He was doused with water when he was 
unresponsive and a nurse refused to treat him. 
His mother, Teresa Smith, was understandably 
distressed when she found out he'd been 
injured. She called the prison for information. 
Her calls went to voicemail. When Ms Smith 
finally found her son at Jackson Hospital in 
Montgomery, he lay handcuffed, unconscious, 
rigid, and twitching with a bandage covering his 
head and bruises on his body. He was connected 
to a life support machine. After weeks of visiting 
him, Ms Smith finally got an answer to her 
question about her unresponsive son: he was 
brain dead. Ms Smith was told her son belonged 
to the state, so the decision to remove life 
support was theirs to make. In late November, 
Mr Smith was taken off life support. He died on 
December 9, 2017.

What contributed to Billy Smith's fight? Drugs. 
While Governor Ivey has appointed a panel to 
recommend how to solve the violence in the 
Alabama prisons, the violence continues, and 
drugs are part of the problem. According to 
some inmates, drugs and weapons are easy to 
get. Where do the drugs come from? One inmate 
in a Donaldson Correctional Facility said he 
buys from a corrections officer. An inmate at 
Staton Correctional Facility said whatever drugs 
an inmate wants can be found within the prison 
walls. He went on to say, "You might as well be 
on the street." This adds to the chaos, confusion, 
and corruption within the prison system.

Steven Davis, 35, was beaten to death by guards 
at Donaldson Correctional Facility. Accounts 
from guards and other witnesses differ but the 
guards said Mr Davis rushed them with a 
weapon in each hand. When his mother, Sandy 
Ray, visited him in the hospital, she said she 
saw  "a man so severely beaten, his head was 
misshapen. A man who looked nothing like the 
son she knew, who barely looked human." 
(When I read that sentence, I thought of the 
photos of Emmett Till after he was murdered.) 

Not only is the freedom of the incarcerated 
human beings taken from them, but in Alabama, 
they also then are housed where violence is 
commonplace. In 2019, more inmates were 
killed by other inmates than any other year in 
the past 10 years. The Justice Department has 
used consent decrees to reform prisons, but 
under the Trump Administration, the Justice 
Department has curtailed their use, which leaves 
civil rights advocates worried about widespread 
abuse that will be left unchecked. Alabama 
lawmakers say the Justice Department will let 
the state fix its own problems. Or as Governor 
Ivey said, "This is an Alabama problem that 
must have an Alabama solution."

With that in mind, one might remember that 
Alabama has harsh sentencing laws that has led 
to overcrowding, understaffing, and 
underfunded prisons, a situation one would 
believe could benefit from more federal 

This brings us to the case of Nathaniel Woods. 
Despite many people imploring the high court 
and Governor Ivey to intervene, Mr Woods was 
executed on March 5.  In 2004, Mr Woods was 
involved in the murder of three Birmingham 
police officers. He was not the shooter. Kerry 
Spencer, who is also on death row, was. The 
officers were murdered during a drug bust in 
the house with both Mr Spencer and Mr Woods 

Like so many people who end up on death row, 
Mr Woods had incompetent representation. His 
counsel failed to conduct an adequate 
investigation and missed key deadlines for his 
appeals. His counsel also told him he wouldn't 
be convicted of a capital crime because he was 
not the triggerman; therefore, when he was 
offered a plea deal, he did not take it. Also, 
when the jurors deliberated his fate, their 
decision was 10 in favor of the death sentence 
and two opposed. In most states this would 
have been enough to spare his life - but not in 

Additionally, a civil suit alleges that Mr Woods 
was targeted for execution because he would 
not participate in the selection of his execution 
method. Yes, in some states, having inmates 
decide how they will be killed is real.

So let's go back to Governor Kay Ivey's 
declaration: Every life is precious and that every 
life is a sacred gift from God. Given the violence 
unleashed in Alabama's prisons within 
the prison population and by the prison staff, as 
well as the side business of drug and weapons 
dealing with which some of prison staff increase 
their incomes, and ability of a person to be 
sentenced to die even if the jury is not 
unanimous and the person did not himself 
commit a capital crime, I believe Governor Kay 
Ivey can be granted a the honor of a Lifetime 
Hypocrisy Award.

Recent Exonerations

James Fletcher, Jr. - State: IL
 - Date of Exoneration: 1/30/2020
In 2005, James Fletcher Jr. was sentenced to life 
in prison without parole for a murder in 
Chicago in 1990. He was exonerated in January 
2020 after a witness recanted her identification 
and evidence showed detectives manipulated 
witnesses to lie.

Sean Washington and Kevin Baker - State: NJ
 - Date of Exoneration: 2/11/2020
In 1996, Kevin Baker and Sean Washington were 
sentenced to 60 years to life in prison for a 
double homicide in Camden, New Jersey. They 
were exonerated in 2020 after forensic evidence 
showed that the sole eyewitness's account was 

Ricky Davis - State: CA
 - Date of Exoneration: 2/13/2020
In 2005, Ricky Davis was sentenced to 16 years 
to life in prison for a murder in El Dorado 
County, California. He was exonerated in 2020 
after DNA excluded him and implicated another 
man in the murder.

Stays of execution
18    John Hummel 		TX	60-day stay
25    Tracy Lane Beatty	TX	60-day stay

16    Stanley T Adams		OH	reprieved
16    John Stumpf 		OH	 reprieved

One Recent Execution
5    Nathaniel Woods		AL
Lethal Injection    3-drug (Midazolam) 
Years from Sentence to Execution 14

Narges Mohammadi
By Joyce Wolf

Narges Mohammadi has received threats to her 
life and safety in violence-prone Zanjan Prison, 
according to a letter written by her mother to 
Head of Judiciary Ebrahim Raisi. As if that 
wasn't bad enough, Iran is rapidly becoming a 
new epicenter for the COVID-19 pandemic, right 
after China and Italy. Iran's political prisoners 
with medical conditions are especially 
vulnerable [, March 11].

Jean-Christophe of Amnesty Belgium provided 
the following English version of a March 10 
article from French news network Marianne, 
which includes a quote from Taghi Ramani, 
husband of Narges.

The families of the prisoners are worried. In an open 
letter, several of them asked the authorities "for their 
release, or at least temporary exit permits, in order to 
prevent a human catastrophe. One of the signatories 
to this letter is Taghi Rahmani, Narges Mohammadi's 
husband. Contacted by Marianne, he reveals that the 
journalist and human rights activist was transferred 
to Zanjan prison in north-west Iran, after having 
organized a peaceful sit-in denouncing the prison 
conditions in Evin, more than two months ago. 
Suffering from a severe pulmonary embolism, her 
husband fears that the coronavirus infection would 
be fatal if she was contaminated: "Deprived of all 
medical care, her requests for discharge were 
systematically rejected. While according to the 
regulations, she must be able to be granted parole to 
protect herself from the virus. In reality, she is not 
serving her sentence there, she suffers revenge for 
daring to protest. "

You can join members of Group 22 in writing on 
the recent Urgent Action for Narges by 
content/uploads/2020/02/f8u10515.docx. (You 
might mention fears for Narges being exposed 
to coronavirus in prison.) Please also consider 
sending a card of support to Taghi Ramani and 
perhaps to other families of Iran prisoners of 
conscience; visit the Amnesty action at

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.