Sep 5, 2012

Dragging race into the fray...again.

Well, we knew that it was simply a matter of time
before the vultures swooped down grabbing up
the opportunities created by the recent Death penalty repeal. Naturally money is involved - profiteering and garnering attention for themselves under the guise of "protecting" the murderous men that reside in Connecticut prison's death row.

First there was this:
Killer fights Death Penalty based on recent repeal

And now this: 5 death row inmates suing state in class action suit

Held in solitary confinement, segregated from the regular prison population, these men stay in thier cells reading,writing, pen paling and communicating with each other ( every prison has it's vulnerabilities and suffice to say murderers, sex offenders etc are highly adaptable and not big on obeying rules. In fact Steven Hayes wasnt the first inmate to threaten a guards life taunting" I"m on death row there's nothing else you can do to me !" 

Hence the segregation.

For years we've heard claims from public defenders and some minority legislators that "the Connecticut Death Penalty was racially biased, :men of color were purportedely singled out for  the death penalty more readily by prosecutors. That is to say, these lawyers claim our prosecutors did not choose to pursue the death penalty based upon a multiple capital charges ie murder sexual assault, the aggravating factors" - in human-speak means how much brutality and suffering the victims endured, and other things such as the victims age(children) and the defendants motive premeditation etc.

The lawyers and legislators claiming that Cts DP was racially biased would have us all believe that this bias is multi pronged, If you are of color you're more likely to have the states attorney pursue a death penalty against you, as well  they claim that  no matter what color the murderer is , that murderer is also more apt to wind up with a zealous prosecutor choosing to pursue a death sentence if the victims were white.

They must be forgetting Karen and BJ Clarke, the two state witnesses in the Russell Peeler murder//Drug case.  Karen Clarke was black as was her 6 year old son BJ; both were tragically gunned down at the order of Russell Peeler Jr. and at the hands of Russel's brother, as the Peeler's knew the Clarke's had witnessed a murder that Russell Peeler was indicted for. Now here was a case that inflamed the state; we grieved the murders of this young mom trying to do the right thing, being courageous,instead of saying I don't want to get involved" as so many people do, she did the right thing, even allowing her son who also witnessed the murder to testify.

Drug Kingpin Russell Peeler learned that clarkes were cooperating w/ police the order to kill both Karen and little BJ was made. Peeler's brother was the trigger-man shooting Karen and her son in their  apartment. It was horrible,evil and it was made worse by the fact that mother and son were not adequately
protected or protected at all as witnesses in a federal murder case.

Prosecutors pursued the death penalty for Russell Peeler for ordering the murders of a child and young mother, Peelers  brother for carrying them out and the get away driver who enabled the delivery of the murderer and his escape with full afore-knowledge of the murders of Karen and BJ Clarke.

Unfortunately do to our unpredictable jury system the driver was the only man who actually was awarded the death penalty for his part in the murders. Somehow the Peelers  escaped the fate that they so clearly deserved.  The point here is that everyone in this terrible set of murders was African American or black. Yet clearly color did not inhibit nor propel the State in its pursuitof justice. Nor were the people of the state any less grief stricken angry and  involved in obtaining justice for the Clarke family. I personally recall seeing those shooting murders over and over in my mind and my anger at the fact that the Clarke's who were good brave people clearly did not have adequate protection as State witnesses in a case of that magnitude.

The case sparked the"BJ Clarke law"legislation that guaranteed that all witnesses for the State must be given maximum protection from Police State Police and the FBI.