Raleigh Report — April 17, 2017
By George Reed, Retired Executive Director Newly Introduced Bills BUDGET AND TAXES H 540, Teachers &… Continue Reading
Date: Good Friday – Apr. 18, 2014
Topic: The Death Penalty
Focus Text: John 18:1-19:42
Because Christians have come to understand the cross as a rich symbol of all that God has accomplished in Jesus it is sometimes easy to forget that the symbol of our faith is (or was) also an instrument of torture and execution (it is certainly more than that, but not less). The details of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion are a reminder that Jesus did in fact receive a form of capital punishment. As ethicist Glen Stassen writes, “Christians who remember that their Lord was unjustly and cruelly given the death penalty have a hard time being enthusiastic about imposing the death penalty on others.”
The General Assembly on Monday overrode Governor Perdue’s vetoes of three bills. By doing so they gutted the Racial Justice Act, revised the budget for 2012-13, and moved ahead with fracking. The outcome was not in doubt in the Senate. In fact, several Senate Democrats had excused absences and didn’t even show up for the votes. The drama was in the House.
The News & ObserverDeath penalty opponents and advocates of the state’s Racial Justice Act have embarked on an intense petition drive, letter-writing and email campaign, targeting five Democrats in the state House of Representatives.
The goal is to persuade the representatives to sustain the governor’s Thursday veto of the legislature’s overhaul of the Racial Justice Act.
The General Assembly leadership is committed to having this short session truly be short, and there’s talk of adjourning by early July. In fact, an adjournment resolution was introduced yesterday with a target date of June 19. This session, which starts in May of even-numbered years, is primarily to tweak the second year of the budget adopted the year before. In addition, certain bills which were introduced last year (mostly ones which passed in one house) can be considered. For a new bill to be introduced this year, it must fit into one of a few specific categories, with most new bills having to do with budgetary matters or coming from a study commission which met during the interim. Finally, pending veto overrides are also thought by the House and Senate leadership to be eligible for consideration.
The 2011 session of the General Assembly adjourned around midday on Saturday, June 18. Legislative leaders and the media are trumpeting the efficiency of the session and the fact that this is the earliest adjournment since 1973. But that is misleading since they aren’t really finished with their work. The adjournment resolution calls them back into a special session on July 13. At that time, they will take up the thorny issue of redistricting as well as controversial bills from the just-ended session which remain in conference committees and any bills vetoed by the Governor.
If there were such a thing as a six o’clock news cast in the first century, Jesus the felon would appear walking down the street escorted by the police of his day—handcuffed—if you will. The announcer would tell us that the vandal who destroyed Temple property and repeatedly broke Jewish laws; the welfare king who relied on the generosity of unsuspecting middle class women to promote his suspicious doctrine; the man known to frequent the establishments of tax collectors and prostitutes—and claimed to be God, had finally been apprehended and was awaiting sentencing. Yes, in the minds of this first century felon’s accusers, he was little more than a common criminal.
This is a preliminary report concerning a new study of capital punishment in the State of North Carolina that has been undertaken during the past nine months – the North Carolina Death Penalty Study 2001. It is the first major social scientific study of the death penalty conducted in North Carolina in over 20 years, and the first systematic look for patterns of racial discrimination in capital sentencing in the South employing data more recent than 1984. The report has been prepared by Dr. Robert Unah of the Department of Political Science of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with the assistance of Professor John Charles Boger of the UNC School of Law.As we will elaborate below, the preliminary findings present clear and disturbing evidence that North Carolina’s capital system in the 1990s continues to exhibit patterns of racial discrimination that cannot be explained by any of the legitimate sentencing considerations that have been sanctioned by North Carolina’s legislative and judicial branches.
This curriculum builds on “The Elephant in the Courtroom: Racism and Criminal Justice in North Carolina,” a policy paper developed by the North Carolina Council of Churches’ 1999-2000 Task Group on Racism and Criminal Justice in North Carolina. The policy paper has been disseminated among policy makers, judges, prison officials, and the media. The Task Group holds, however, that needed change will not happen until ordinary citizens, informed by a sense of fairness as well as an understanding of the nature of community and the power of forgiveness, demand equity in the administration of justice in our country. The curriculum addresses itself to adult education groups in congregations and workshop leaders at ecumenical and denominational meetings. The packet is self-contained and requires only that the leader copy some of the individual readings for the number of participants at the session.
Many of us are so desperate to break through this illogical dystopia, we’ve come to see ill gain as good gain. The current proposal to #ClosetheGapNC by charging people a premium and imposing a work reporting requirement is hailed as progress. #ncpol ncchurches.org/2019/… pic.twitter.com/HeI5…
Interested in learning more about the state of our state when it comes to opioids? Interested in learning more about ways your congregation can help with the crisis? Join us for one of our 8 clergy breakfasts happening across NC in May and June. ncchurches.org/event…
Happy #GoodFriday! How grateful we are on this day for a community of brothers & sisters born through Christ's love. We use this day to reflect on gratitude and thank you all for supporting us and collaborating with us. pic.twitter.com/6nl7…
Are you a veteran, family of a veteran, or caretaker for a veteran? We invite you to this important event focused on aging across the life cycle & planning for your future. ncchurches.org/event… pic.twitter.com/QcYo…
RT @GeorgiaIPL Our planet is hurting. Our planet is crying out. Our planet needs change. -LessWasteLaura Have you watched Netflix's "Our Planet"? If so, what changes has it inspired you to make? How will you care for Creation today? bit.ly/2VPvNFv bit.ly/2VPvNFv
RT @interfaithpower This morning in DC: Faith leaders gathered to pray in front of the @EPA asking @EPAAWheeler to stop his #PoisonPlan rollback of the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule. A blessing to stand w/ @CreationCare @NRPEorg @CatholicClimate @coejl @CreationJustice @TheRAC @YECAction & others. pic.twitter.com/WX89…
RT @StephanieKelton I won’t list the entire group, but you can come hear me along with @NaomiAKlein, @KateAronoff, @drvox, @rgunns, etc. on Friday, September 13. Register here: eventbrite.com/e/des… pic.twitter.com/Kf7o…
RT @drvox Watching something that took centuries to develop, something that can never entirely be recreated, disappear in the comparative blink of an eye -- that, in slow motion, is going to be the dominant feeling of the 21st century. Only instead of buildings: glaciers, forests, species.