In Depth Look at the Law: China Death Vans and China's Widespread Corruption - There is No Fairness in China's Criminal Justice System

Corruption of China's Communist Party

It has been reported that there is widespread corruption among Chinese government officials including graft, bribery, use of official position for personal gain, blackmail, misuse of public money, and extortion. [161] One source cites graft and bribery as constituting over 50% of the economic crimes in China.[162]

Under the current Chinese government, the rights of individuals are always subject to the drafting of new legislation that may suspend those rights. [163] Moreover, violations of those rights guaranteed by the Chinese constitution are generally not enforceable against the government because of the lack of checks and balances in the system. [164]

The Communist Party always takes precedent over the independent rule of law. [165] Chinese citizens may only exercise their right to freedom if their behavior does not infringe upon the interests of the society and the state. [166] Research has indicated that Chinese citizens who engage in promoting freedom of expression are arbitrarily arrested, detained, tortured, and convicted. [167]

Many crimes involving expression of ideas or even an association with an idea or movement that differs from the party line are classified as political crimes. [168] The ensuing trials are held in secret, excluding observers and even lawyers, under the excuse of maintaining state secrets.[169]

Economic gain from organ harvesting

China sells organs of executed prisoners on a large scale for profit under the guise of state secrets. [170] China has a system that readily sentences, condemns, and executes human beings so that their organs can be sold by government officials for personal gain. [171]

Arrestees are often denied immediate access to legal representation following their detention. [172]  Chinese police even take extreme steps to limit defense attorneys from assisting their clients. [173]

For example, Chinese police severely limit the length and number of times a defendant is allowed to meet with his attorney, require the attorney to brief police concerning the nature of the conversation prior to the meeting, cancel meetings that are intended to cover topics that are not preapproved, and severely restrict the attorney's access to the prosecution's evidence. [174]

Torture Is An Accepted Practice

Moreover, torture is often used to elicit confessions. [175]  International organizations have documented the widespread abuse and torture of prisoners occurring at all types of detention facilities and legal institutions in China. [176]

One individual reported that he was forced to confess to a crime after undergoing torture perpetrated by the police that included electrical shock applied to the toes, fingers and genitals, beating with heavy chains and sticks, and injection of hot pepper, gasoline, and ginger into his nose. [177] Thus, it is not surprising then that China refuses to accept the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which allows for regular international inspection of detention centers.[178]

Injustice is Inherent in China's Criminal Justice System

In addition to the arrest and detention of prisoners, trials are often held before defendants are provided adequate time to prepare a defense. [179] Defendants do not have a guaranteed right to cross-examine witnesses. [180]

In addition, verdicts and subsequent sentences are often determined by private committees prior to a proper trial. [181]Unfortunately, it is quite common for a court to have reached a verdict before the defendant even enters the courtroom. [182]

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New DPIC Study Urges Repeal of Death Penalty On Solely a Budgetary Basis just as California inmate asks for death to get nicer Death Row digs

Today's news includes the story about the Death Penalty Information Center's new study of capital punishment costs.  Released this week, and looking solely at the bottom line, the DPIC analysis demonstrates that significant monies can be saved by eliminating the death penalty.  Since 1976, $2,000,000,000 (that's two billion dollars) has been spent on capital punishment in the United States that would not have been spent if the death penalty were not an option. 

Sure, the DPIC released its study this week in a blatant argument that today's financial times call for the end of the death penalty, regardless of the other huge arguments against capital punishment - morally, ethically, etc.   From the DPIC study:"[t]he promised benefits from the death penalty have not materialized .... If more states choose to end the death penalty, it will hardly be missed, and the economic savings will be significant."

Also in today's news:  an inmate in California is asking to be sentenced to death.  Why?  He's wanting to live on Death Row, because the prison facilities on California's Death Row are so much nicer than his current prison digs.   Billy Joe Johnson is serving 45 years for murder, and is in lockdown almost 24/7 every day.  He's waiting for the jury to return on a second murder charge -- he's been convicted, and he is waiting for his sentence.  Billy Jo is asking for his jury to come back with death, so he can move into a better residence. 

Seems like Billy Joe is helping the budgetary argument that the DPIC is advancing much more than he probably knows.  If any state budget should be looking for ways to cut costs, it's probably California....

Note:  The DPIC has published its new report on its website if you are interesting in reading the entire study.  Alteratively, the DPIC is offering a synopsis on its site if you don't want to go thru all the details.

Washington Sniper Seeks Clemency With Mental Illness Argument To Halt Nov 10th Execution

At this point, it's pretty late in the legal game for John Muhammad, known as The Washington Sniper.  Tried and sentenced to death for the killing of Dean Meyers, the victim of a sniper's bullet at a Manassas, Virginia gas station in 2002, Muhammad has already exhausted appellate avenues aside from the United States Supreme Court.  His attorneys have announced they'll be filing an appeal with the Supreme Court on or before November 3rd.

Asking for Clemency Now Rather than Later

Usually, going to the Governor with a clemency request wouldn't happen until all the court remedies had been exhausted.  With the Washington Sniper, the strategy is different.  Already, his attorneys have met with Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine -- and they've shown the governor a video prepared to support their position.

Mental Illness as a Bar to the Death Penalty

There is already precedent from the United States Supreme Court (Ford v. Wainwright) holding that the mentally ill cannot be condemned to die because it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. 

Why urge clemency with the Governor's Office now?

At the Devine, Connell, Sheldon & Flood website, defense counsel have posted their arguments in the unusual clemency request: 


  • 1.  a juror has said they would not have voted for death if they had known of Muhammad's mental illness; 

  • 2.  experts report that the Washington Sniper suffers from severe mental illness, and this is documented by his brain damage, brain dysfunction, and other neurological deficits as well as his psychotic and delusional behavior; 

  • 3.  he may additionally suffer from Gulf War Syndrome. 


According to media reports, the Governor hasn't been that open to considering clemency for the Washington Sniper -- he's said so, and his office has also leaned on the standard operating procedure of clemency considerations occuring only after judicial review is finished.  

It's an interesting and aggressive tactic that the Sniper's defense counsel is taking.  For all of us that oppose the death penalty, we're rooting for 'em.

In Depth Look at the Law: China Death Vans and the Sale of Human Organs Harvested from Death Penalty Executions

Sale of organs "illegal" in China after July 2006

In 2006, the government enacted the provisions on the "Entry and Exit of Cadavers," which officially banned the commercial sale of human organs. [136] However, the 2006 provisions failed to address the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, leaving the 1984 order intact.[137]

The drafter of the 2006 provisions stated, "The guideline will specifically not mention the use of executed prisoners' organs, even though it's the main source of organs in China . . . . The executed prisoners' organs will not be specifically banned in this guideline or in the coming Human Organ Transplant Rule."[138]

This new legislation became effective July 1, 2006, banning the sale of human organs, requiring donors to provide written permission for the transplantation of their organs, limiting transplant surgery to certain institutions, compelling an ethics committee to review and approve all transplants in advance, and requiring institutions performing transplant surgery to verify that the organs are from legal sources. [139] The provisions attempt to regulate the transportation of cadavers.[140]

However, the provisions still provide the Chinese government with the ultimate authority on all decisions related to export matters. [141] For example, Article 8 of the provisions states, "It is strictly prohibited to trade in cadavers, and to make use of cadavers to engage in commercial activities." [142] However, Article 7 states that if Chinese customs officials are presented with a valid certificate issued by the Chinese government to approve the transport of cadavers, the body is released.[143]

In China, enacting legislation does not mean enforcing it.[144]

In China today, the reality is that the abstract principle of law is often corrupted by the wish for personal gain or the interests of the Communist Party. [145] It has been reported that organs are still being sold following this 2006 legislation.[146]

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Death Row Inmate Troy Davis' Defense Attorney Tom Dunn Gives Up Law, Starts Teaching Career

Troy Davis is a name you probably recognize because of the international movement to free him as an innocent man, wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death by the State of Georgia. We've posted about Troy Davis here, and support the efforts to free him.

Who is Tom Dunn?

The name Tom Dunn probably isn't one you recognize, however. Tom Dunn is a criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years experience in the defense of capital/death penalty cases -- and Mr. Dunn acted as defense counsel for Troy Davis.

As the head of the Georgia Resource Center, Tom Dunn worked tirelessly as the nonprofit group sought justice for Troy Davis and many others. Now, Tom Dunn has apparently had enough.

Tom Dunn isn't going to be a lawyer anymore.

Beginning this year, Mr. Dunn is a middle school teacher. Specifically, he's teaching students at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School -- an Atlanta school within walking distance from his old law firm, and where 97& of the student body qualifies for free/reduced lunches.

Why the career change?

You might be thinking burn out, or disillusionment with the current system of justice in this country.  Who could blame Tom Dunn if these were his reasons?  Death Penalty defense is the hardest job for a defense attorney -- you've literally got someone's life in your hands.  Passion, tenacity, and a strong moral commitment are just three necessary components to doing this work.   With Troy Davis being stonewalled time and again, it would be easy to understand throwing up your hands, throwing in the towel in frustration....

However, none of that applies.  Tom Dunn changed careers for health reasons:  he's got heart problems and the stress of Death Penalty defense doesn't jive with a condition that has left him with the heart of an elderly man.  

Death Penalty Defense Work Doesn't Lend Itself to "Gone Fishin'"

Obviously, Mr. Dunn could have retired and just "gone fishing."  Many do when faced with health crises like his.  And that's fine.  But what does one do with all the zeal, the knowledge and compassion, with the warrior that still has the need to right wrongs? 

It's one thing to resign your position, but being a Death Penalty defense attorney isn't something that you can just quit.  It's a field of work where the boundaries get blurry, and part of what you do becomes part of what you are. 

Today, Tom Dunn is taking all those years of experience and the wisdom culled from a Death Penalty Defense career, and he's helping young people see their potential, teaching them things that are not just in textbooks.   Tom Dunn is still in the fight, just on a different battlefield. 

And our hats are off to brother Tom Dunn. 

In Depth Look at the Law: China Death Vans and Harvesting Prisoner Organs for Profit

Due to reports of the torture and anguish of prisoners and the secrecy surrounding the death penalty's application in China, it is virtually impossible to independently verify that any executed prisoners truly gave consent for the use of their organs.[100]

Chinese prisoners are generally not notified of their impending execution until just hours before it occurs.[101] As a result, donor consent is rarely obtained in spite of it being a lawful requirement. [102]The family members of the condemned prisoners are also rarely informed of the execution.[103]

Even when the family members are notified of the execution, they are rarely informed of the prearranged plans for organ extraction. [104] In the rare instances where the family members are notified, they are offered money in advance to authorize the use of the prisoner's organs. [105] If the family refuses the payment, it is then common for the government to provide the family with a large bill following the execution to recoup losses ranging from food and lodging for the prisoner to the cost of the bullet used to perform the execution.[106]

One death row prisoner was witnessed lying on the floor in solitary confinement with all of his limbs stretched out and shackled to the ground by his wrists, ankles, and even his neck. [107] He was fed one meal a day.[108]  Only after he "consented" to donating his organs was he unshackled from the ground. [109] However, he was still in leg irons and handcuffs.[110]

It has also been reported that prisoners who are healthy and have useful organs are often pushed to the front of the waiting lists for executions.[111] In essence, once a prisoner has been deemed fit for an organ transplant, the prisoner becomes nothing more than a warm object sheltering an organ for some other waiting and paying person.[112]

Chinese ideology

The underlying ideological principles of China's social and political culture justify the use of organs from executed prisoners. [113]Society as a whole is deemed more important than individual rights. [114] Because of the organ deficit for transplantation and the demand from high-paying foreigners, China justifies the use of these prisoners' organs for the overall good of the country. [115] The Chinese government considers the use of death row prisoners for organ transplants charity.[116]

The criminals are considered bad people deserving of their death sentence. [117] In producing the death, the prisoners create waste that can be used to help others continue their lives, hence charity. [118] Even hospital and prison employees deem the system of retrieving organs without consent just a way to pay back the state for the expense of the prisoners' care while incarcerated.[119]

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Found: One Recent In-depth Article on the China Death Vans. Who's Covering the Story? Tibet. And They've Researched Death Vans Back to the Nazis.

Tomorrow, our series on the China Death Penalty Vans continues.  This horror is happening right now, and it's amazing how this story is not being covered by the media.  No one knows about this!!! 

Searching this week for news stories on China's growing industry in human organs with death penalty vans driving the villages for product, this piece appeared which gives gory details and even includes a photo of a condemned man entering one of the Death Vans. 

Problem is, the newstory comes from Tibet.  That's right, little Tibet.  Not Japan, or the US, Canada, Australia, England, France, Italy, New Zealand, Germany, India, ... you get the idea.

Entitled "China's hi-tech 'death van' where criminals are executed and then their organs are sold on black market," and published by TibetCustom, this article gives some very good information including:

1.  China isn't the first to think of Death Vans.  Nope.  The NAZIS were using them back in WWII, killing people in sealed trucks with carbon dioxide they piped in from the exhaust (and yes, TibetCustom provides a photo of a Nazi Death Van).

2. The China Death Vans are designed and manufactured by Jinguan Auto, a Chinese auto maker.  Jinguan Auto charges the Chinese government £60,000 for each vehicle.  They can go as fast as 80mph and they are intentionally designed to look like an ordinary police vehicle out on the roads. 

3.  The vans are supposed to have video cameras inside, so that each execution is videotaped.  Purportedly, this is to make sure that the death isn't cruel or inhumane.  Yeah, sure.

4.  Undercover investigations are showing that not only the government, but the police and the doctors are making lots of money from these Death Vans.

5.   "Organ Tourism" is a booming business in the Chinese border cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.  Weathy people from all over the world come to China, where they can get a kidney transplant for as little as $10,000.00.   (According to the University of Maryland, in 2009 the cost of a kidney transplant (with the follow up med care for the first year after the surgery) was close to $100,000.00 here in the U.S. )

More on Trial by Media: Mark Fuhrman has a New Book Coming Out ...The Murder Business: High Profile Crimes and The Corruption of Justice

Granted, the end of the O.J. Simpson murder trial saw Detective Mark Fuhrman with a very spotted reputation. However, in the many years since that Trial of the Century, Fuhrman has worked hard to build a career, and a reputation, based upon solid facts and hard work. The Martha Moxley case comes to mind as one of his turning points.  His courageous book exposing the corruption of death penalty prosecutions in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma is well done, and well worth your time.

Today, many people respect what Mark Fuhrman has to say about crime -- and perhaps that will be to the benefit of everyone when his new book is released next month.

Entitled The Murder Business: High Profile Crimes and The Corruption of Justice, Fuhrman reviews several big criminal cases and how the media crosses the line from reporting the news to building an audience through spin and entertainment.  

He's talking about trial by media in the following cases, whose names you will recognize: Caylee Anthony, Drew Peterson, Melinda Duckett, Martha Moxley, Scott Peterson, JonBenet Ramsey, Vince Foster, and O.J. Simpson.

With a little tip of the hat to the irony of the media's coverage of Mark Fuhrman turning him into the household name that may help sell this book, it's still important to get as many people out there hearing this message as possible .

Trial by media is wrong.   I'm opposed to it and I've jumped on my own soapbox about it.  While freedom of the press must be protected, when it turns into a vehicle of entertainment and puffery just to boost advertising dollars, then a line needs to be drawn.  For the sake of justice -- something that a trial by media perverts, twists, and all too often, destroys. 

I look forward to reading Mark Fuhrman's new book when it hits the book stores on November 16th, and I hope you'll take a look at it too.

In Depth Look at the Law: Death Penalty Organ Harvesting is a Government Business in China

Organ harvesting is a government business in China. [77]

At least ninety percent of all organ transplants performed in China come from executed prisoners. [78] Only the government has the power to carry out these executions, and therefore, only the government can control the organ trade.[79]

Without the death penalty in China, the entire system of organ harvesting would be nonexistent. [80] Recently in 2006, both the Vice-Minister of Health in China and senior transplantation specialists finally admitted that the vast majority of organs used for transplants were harvested from executed prisoners.[81]

Different people in the government play an integral role in the organ transplant process.[82]

The judges and other court officials speed up the process from appeals to death sentence, which ensures that prisoners are available for the optimum time to extract organs for waiting patients. [83] Court officials inform doctors when death sentences are handed down, so they can contact the prisons to make matches for waiting patients. [84] Prison guards and other officials allow hospital staff into the wards to test prisoners to determine appropriate donors for waiting transplant patients.[85]

Many times, prisoners are subjected to a large variety of medical screening tests prior to execution to determine the compatibility of their organs for transplantation. [86] In these instances, medical personnel are strictly forbidden from revealing the purpose of these screenings.[87]

The prison guards also set the execution dates and ensure that family members are unaware of the execution until after-the-fact. [88] The guards also allow the doctors to perform the organ extractions immediately after execution directly at the execution site. [89] In fact, medical personnel are routinely informed of the date, time, and location of executions in advance, so they are prepared for the immediate extraction of organs for transplantation.[90]

Deliberately Botched Execution and Harvesting Organs From the Living

There have also been credible reports of deliberately botched executions to postpone brainstem death to aid in the retrieving of the organs while the blood is still circulating through the body.  [91] It has been reported that organs such as kidneys are removed the night before the scheduled execution. [92]

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Kudos to Justice Raoul Cantero III and Mark Schlakman for op-ed piece on Florida's current Death Penalty system - "abysmal"

Justice Raoul Cantero III knows his stuff: he's served as a justice on the Florida Supreme Court. So does Mark Schlakman, who has been a senior program director at the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights at Florida State University. When these two team up to write an opinion piece, you betcha I'm gonna read it -- and hopefully a lot of other people will, too.

Cantero and Schlakman are Blunt: the Current Florida Death Penalty System is "FRAUGHT WITH PROBLEMS"

Essentially, these two experts in the field have taken the American Bar Association report that analyzed the state of Florida's death penalty system as it stood three years ago, and they've compared it to the realities of the system today.  It wasn't a namby-pamby report:  the ABA put together a team of the highest quality experts in the field, and financed their TWO YEAR study of the Florida system.  Surely some of what they recommended (and their recommendations had to be unanimous to be included) would be respected and implemented, right?  Nope.

Florida fails in the comparison. 

According to their op-ed piece, Cantero and Schlakman discovered that neither the Florida Bar Association nor the State of Florida have done much of anything in response to the ABA's report.  Nada, really.  Meanwhile, since 1973, they note that Florida has exonerated more Death Row inmates than any other state.

 The op-ed itself is R. Cantero & M. Schlakman, "State's death penalty system still 'fraught with problems,'" Florida Times-Union, Sept. 25, 2009 (op-ed), 

Here are some highlights: 

"Among the report's findings was that legal representation of death penalty defendants in postconviction proceedings is often abysmal."

"...called upon the Legislature to revisit the death penalty statute."

"The report also expresses concern about socioeconomic and geographic bias. Prosecutors from one circuit might opt for the death penalty while prosecutors from another might opt for life without parole."

"Circuit judges, who preside over capital cases, while nonpartisan and subject to the judicial canons, are not completely immune from such dynamics, since they also face the voters periodically."

Please read this opinion piece and share it with others.  It's important. 

New Tool for Those Involved in the Death Penalty Fight: a Searchable Database of Death Row Inmates that can be Edited

The Death Penalty Information Center is providing details on their website regarding a new online tool for those interested in the death penalty.  Created by OpposingViews.com, an entire database of information on Death Row inmates in this country has been provided for our free use. 

What's encouraging about this particular project is that this new database can be edited, so if you have details about any of the inmates, you can add it to the site, correct errors, etc.   You can search the list via name, state, birthdate, and other criteria.  Today, a quick search of all Death Row inmates in the State of Florida turned up 8 pages of results.

In Depth Look at the Law: China's Death Penalty - 3: Who are the Falun Gong? Why are they targeted for execution and organ harvesting?

This is third part of our new Friday Legal Memo Series - In Depth Look at the Law, where we're focusing on an international horror that is not getting enough attention. In China, people are being executed inside mobile death vans, vehicles that drive from village to village. First, the victim is killed inside the van. Thereafter, his organs are taken from him almost immediately so they can be sold for a profit. All this, while grieving loved ones may well be just outside the vehicle. This is real. Take notice. Spread the word.

Practitioners of Falen Gong have been targeted for execution and organ harvesting by China. Why?

Falun Gong was founded in 1992 by Li Honghzi in northeastern China. [46] Falun Gong followers practice meditative, slow-motion exercises and adhere to the movement's guiding principles of truthfulness, benevolence, and forbearance taken from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism.[47]

The Chinese government touts protection of certain religious activities, which include Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism, and Catholicism. [48]However, all other religious groups, sects, and denominations are illegal and subject to suppression by the Chinese government.[49]

In April 1999, over ten thousand Falun Gong members gathered in Tiananmen Square to peacefully protest the persecution of their practices.[50]

On April 25, 1999, fifteen thousand members of Falun Gong gathered outside of the government's central headquarters in Beijing and demanded official recognition.[51] Following the April 1999 protests, the Chinese government began a campaign to eradicate the Falun Gong. [52]Leaders of the movement were detained, the organization was outlawed, and a massive media campaign was launched aimed at discrediting the organization.[53]

On July 22, 1999, the People's Republic of China's Ministry of Civil Affairs decreed the Falun Gong an illegal organization.[54]

Following the outlaw of Falun Gong, the international news media and academic groups began producing and disseminating documentation of the group's rapid dismantling. [55] In October 2000, the Chinese government increased efforts to destroy the Falun Gong by pronouncing the group as a "reactionary and hostile" organization.[56]

As a result, detention and re-education efforts were increased. [57] The Chinese government undertook a three-pronged approach to quash the Falun Gong movement: 1) re-education of members; 2) violent treatment of members; and 3) distribution of anti-Falun Gong propaganda.[58]

Eight hundred thirty thousand Falun Gong followers had been arrested by the conclusion of April 2001. [59] However, it was reported in April 2006 that each year, more than twice as many Chinese nationals join Falun Gong than the Communist Party, much to the Chinese government's fear and dismay.[60]

In 2001, the Chinese president, Jiang Zemin, stated, "Religion must never be allowed when it opposes the direction of the Party of the socialist system, or destroys national reunification or ethnic identity." [61]

In late 2001, China declared the use of the Internet to organize or coordinate the activities of "evil cults" a criminal offense. [62] In the years following, thousands of Falun Gong followers were detained and charged with violating the anti-cult laws.[63]

President Jiang Zemin actually created the 6-10 office, a special branch of the Chinese government designed specifically to eliminate the Falun Gong movement. [64] The 6-10 office sent thousands of Falun Gong practitioners to prisons and labor camps.[65]

Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to torture, capricious detention, and re-education to include confinement, forced labor, and psychological treatments. [66] One research group identified over three thousand Falun Gong practitioners who have lost their lives as a result of persecution by the Chinese government.[67]

Organ harvesting of Falun Gong prisoners may have begun a decade ago

Researchers linked the large surge in organ transplants performed in China to the persecution and imprisonment of Falun Gong members in 1999. [68] In many prisons and labor camps, Falun Gong practitioners have been singled out from non-practitioners for blood tests and organ examinations.[69]

Although those practitioners were given medical screenings, presumably to determine compatibility for organ transplants, many diagnosed with illnesses were not provided with any medical treatments.[70]

One study found that Falun Gong practitioners who die in captivity would officially be categorized as suicide by the Chinese government, and their bodies would be immediately cremated. [71] Furthermore, it has been reported that a large number of these deaths were carried out specifically to gather organs for transplants.[72]

Many family members of executed Falun Gong practitioners have reported seeing corpses with surgical incisions and missing body parts. [73] Moreover, the government gave no explanation as to why the corpses were mutilated.[74]

Many Falun Gong practitioners whose organs were harvested following their execution were never identified by their families because these practitioners refused to identify themselves to the authorities when they were captured. [75]Therefore, it is easy to conclude that these unidentified practitioners were the easiest and safest targets for clandestine organ harvesting.

These findings parallel international human rights groups that have widely reported that executions in China are often performed in conjunction with specific transplant requirements, i.e., shooting a prisoner in the head when kidneys are needed or shooting a prisoner in the chest when corneas are needed.[76]

[46]Christopher Chaney, The Despotic State Department in Refugee Law: Creating Legal Fictions to Support Falun Gong Asylum Claims, 6 (No. 1) Asian-Pac. L. & Pol'y J. 130, 142 (Winter 2005).

[47]Leavy, supra note 50, at 756-57.

[48] 48Id. at 757-59.

[49]Chaney, supra note 51, at 142.

[50]Id. at 131.

[51] Leavy, supra note 50, at 761.

[52] Id.

[53]Matas & Kilgour, supra note 46, at 9.

[54]Id. at 10.

[55]Joseph Watson & Alex Jones, Falun Gong Demonstrator Speaks Out on Chinese Government's Ghoulish Organ Harvesting, Prison Planet.com, Apr. 25, 2006, ¶¶ 13-14, http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/april2006/250406speaksout.htm (last visited July 29, 2008).

[56] Edelman & Richardson, supra note 48, at 254.

[57]Id.

[58]Id.

[59]Matas & Kilgour, supra note 46, at 10.

[60]Id. at 11.

[61]Leavy, supra note 50, at 756.

[62]David Matas & David Kilgour, Bloody Harvest Revised Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China, OrganHarvestInvestigation.Net, Jan. 31, 2007, at 34 [hereinafter Bloody], available at http://organharvestinvestigation.net/report0701/report20070131-eng.pdf (last visited July 29, 2008). Matas and Kilgour continued their research after publishing their first report and published this updated report with additional findings.

[63] Kirk C. Allison, Ph.D., M.S., Assoc. Dir., Univ. of Minn., Program in Human Rights and Health, Address at the University of Hawaii at Manoa: Transplantation and Human Rights in China, slide 89 (Oct. 29, 2007), available at http://organharvestinvestigation.net/events/Kirk_Allison_102907.pdf (last visited July 29, 2008).

[64]Bloody, supra note 67, at 38.

[65]Allison, supra note 68, slide 70.

[66] Matas & Kilgour, supra note 46, at 9.

[67]Fear of Torture or Ill-Treatment/Prisoner of Conscience, Amnesty Int'l (ASA 17/049/2006), Aug. 29, 2006, at 1, available at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA17/049/2006/en/dom-ASA170492006en.pdf (last visited July 29, 2008).

[68]Bloody, supra note 67, at 45.

[69]Id.

[70]Id. at 35.

[71]Hemphill, supra note 29, at 439-40.

Next Friday: Prisoners as another source for China's organ harvesting business

Casey Anthony Case: The Defense Requests that the Death Penalty be Taken Off the Table and Here's My Response to Your Questions, as Casey Anthony's Prior Death Penalty Attorney.

Today, the news media is reporting that defense counsel for Casey Anthony (Prof. Andrea Lyon, Jose Baez) have filed a motion with the court challenging the State of Florida's decision to seek the death penalty. 

I am proactiving providing my response to the questions that I have received already and assumedly will continue to receive regarding this issue. 

First, I am not acting as counsel for Ms. Anthony any longer and I'm not privy to the decision-making process of her defense team

Second, the legal focus of the motion is upon "aggravating circumstances" as they are defined here in Florida.  For the legal details on aggravating circumstances as well as mitigating factors under Florida law, please read my earlier articles here on the blog:

1.  Discussion of Aggravating Circumstances

2.  Discussion of Mitigating Factors

3.  Series entitled "Filicide is Different"

For my prior posts on this blog regarding the Casey Anthony case, please review:

1.  When I was on Nancy Grace last week....

2.  Another lesson from the Casey Anthony case....

3.  Five questions to ask yourself about the Casey Anthony case....

4.  Please check out my op-ed piece in the Orlando Sentinel...

 
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