1. The Executioner's Song
No matter what side of the death penalty debate you are on, it is hard to deny the provocative power of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Web site and calendar of scheduled executions. Of the 13 executions scheduled in the entire United States in the next six months, SEVEN will take place in Texas. All of the condemned have exhausted their appeals, and many of them have been on death row for years now. An exception is Ynobe Matthews, scheduled to die on January 6, 2004, after spending less than three years on death row. The TDCJ has put up a web page for each of the men scheduled to die, including a picture of each, so that you can see exactly who the State is killing for you.
Web site: http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/scheduledexecutions.htm
2. Amnesty International's Campaign to Stop Child Executions
In 1944, 14 year-old George Stinney was given the distinction of being the youngest person put to death in the United States since WWII. In the US, 16 states allow 16-year-olds to be sentenced to death. Since 1977, 22 child offenders have been put to death in the US16 of the executions took place in Texas, including three in 2002.
On January 21, 2004, Amnesty International kicks off a worldwide campaign "aimed at ending the use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders throughout the world." See, the US is not alone in executing children, we just do it more frequently.
Web sites: http://www.amnestyusa.org/abolish/
For More Information on Juvenile Executions:
The Sad Story Of George Stinney:
An Exhaustive Overview of Juvenile Death Penalty Laws and Stats from Law Professor Victor L. Streib:
3. Elementary, my dear Watson!
You live for Thursdays when Grissom and company knock your socks off with yet another riveting crime scene investigation on CSI. You TiVo The Forensic Files, Unsolved Mysteries, Cold Case, and pretty much every minute of Court TV. You have a framed picture of Jodie Foster in Silence of The Lambs in your den. You have a house with a den.
In short, you are a criminal forensics junkie. If you think you have the stomach, sign up for a course at the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine, in Richmond, where, for $475, you can spend three days learning about the art of solving real crimes. Topics at the Basic Forensic Science and Medicine Seminar include, "Sudden, Unexpected Deaths,""Bodies in Water," and "Use of Cadaver Dogs In The Retrieval Of Human Remains."
Web site: http://www.vifsm.org/
When: February 17-19, 2004
4. Gun Safety Courses
Like my daddy always says, if you are going to have a gun, you darn well better know how to shoot it. Annie, get your gun and head to Gunsite, a gun shooting range and training facility outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Their popular "Ladies-Only Pistol" classes give participants confidence to use a firearm in the face of danger. Emphasizing personal safety and knowledge, they claim the course is life-changing. Look out for Dirty Mary!
Web site: http://www.gunsite.net/pistol.htm
When: Classes Start March 20, 2004
5. The Innocence Project and The Innocents
The Innocence Project is the Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld crusade to bring justice to the wrongly imprisoned. Using DNA evidence, the nonprofit organization has helped free 130 people convicted of crimes they didn't commit. Working in partnership with The Innocence Project, photographer Taryn Simon interviewed and photographed men and women imprisoned and finally exonerated of violent crimes. The photographs are available in one volume, The Innocents, from Umbrage Editions. An exhibit of photographs from The Innocents along with a documentary will be at The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, from April 1 through May 31, 2004.
Web site: http://www.innocenceproject.com/
When: April 1 through May 31, 2004
-Compiled by Alisa Welch
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