Dr. Maya Angelou as a powerful young goddess
Jury nullification. Pass it on.
Jury nullification is so fucking important.
This is something that more people should be aware of, if only because (in many states, at least) defense attorneys are actually prohibited from mentioning it to jurors. The law allows a jury to return a “not guilty” verdict contrary to the facts of the case, but not for the defense to inform them of that power or to argue for its application in the current trial.
I didn’t know about this. Wow.
This is SUPER IMPORTANT and also a good reason to show up for jury duty. You know all those laws you think are stupid? This is your chance to maybe do something about it.
Native American Hopi Tribe Sues Auction House In Attempt To Stop Sale Of Sacred Masks
The Native American Hopi tribe took a Paris auction house to court Tuesday to try to block the upcoming sale of 32 sacred tribal masks, arguing they are “bitterly opposed” to the use as merchandise of sacred objects that represent their ancestral spirits.
San Francisco is often viewed as a Mecca for gay people. But the warmth of the city’s welcome can quickly vanish for those who are poor.
City leaders were startled this year when a survey revealed that 29 percent of the homeless population —about 2,100 of the 7,350 people counted — identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Bevan Dufty, the director of the city’s homelessness initiatives, said he was surprised the percentage held true for all age groups, even adults and the elderly. “What was really staggering was to see that it didn’t change as you got older,” he said.
The survey found that gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people who are homeless had higher rates of disability than homeless heterosexuals and were more likely to be homeless when they arrived in the city. Some of them were older gay men with AIDS who had been evicted from their apartments or people who had been cast out by their families in other states. Others, like Mr. Bolvito, a native of Guatemala who graduated from college in Hayward, Calif., with a degree in political science and once worked as a real estate agent, had good jobs that disappeared during the recession.
In response to the findings, Mr. Dufty and Kara Zordel, a coordinator of Homeless Connect, organized an event in October that offered medical and dental services and other assistance to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people who are homeless. And in August, the city’s planning commission approved permits for a 24-bed shelter with a focus on helping them. The shelter is expected to open in the coming months. Other cities have shown interest in San Francisco’s efforts, Mr. Dufty said. Officials from Santa Clara and Phoenix attended the Homeless Connect event.
Brian Basinger, a co-founder of the AIDS Housing Alliance in San Francisco, said the harassment of gays is common in the city’s shelters.
People there “do not have a lot of status in society to begin with, and so the way they protect or generate status in these social environments is to step on the queers,” Mr. Basinger said.
Gay and transgender residents have their shoes stolen, he said. They are robbed or beaten up in line.
Supervisor David Campos, who held hearings on the shelter problem, said that even though the homeless population may not have grown, homelessness has become more visible in San Francisco recently, perhaps because of an increase in evictions. Mr. Basinger and other advocates held a “sleep in” in Dolores Park in October to protest a proposed ordinance that would close city parks, where many homeless people sleep, between midnight and 5 a.m. The proposal narrowly passed on Nov. 5.
Disclosure: Only the facts and statistics were published in this post. Check out the article by the New York Times to read about the life and experiences of the homeless queer people who were interviewed.
Nichelle Nichols talks to a group of students at NASA Mission Control in 1977 and visits the Lewis Research center that same year.
In the mid-1970s, Nichols has given a speech that criticized NASA for not selecting women and people of color as astronaut candidates. The agency’s response was to hire her to find and recruit talented minorities and women, and she did exactly that. In her tenure as a recruiter, she helped the agency bring five women, three African American men and an Asian American male on board.
if you don’t think this lady is the best. You’re lying to yourself and we can’t be friends
I love the way that history works behind the scenes
You got Lucille Ball pushing to make Star Trek happen
You got MLK pleading with Nichelle to stay on the show
And then you get Nichelle helping motherfuckers get jobs at NASA
that is the tightest shit and if you don’t like you can get off my blog
FREE CECE, the new documentary with Laverne Cox, explores the roles race, class and gender played in CeCe McDonald’s case. McDonald’s claim of self defense was rejected by Hennepin County prosecutors. The documentary explores the implications of CeCe’s story as a survivor, housing trans women in male prisons, and the practice of keeping trans women in solitary confinement.
Please take a moment to visit the site and contribute a tax deductible donation so this important work can continue.
|—||Audre Lorde (via larmoyante)|
NEW YORK — A New York attorney on Thursday said the life of a murdered transgender woman wasn’t worth the same punishment as if his client had killed someone “in the higher end of the community.”
Piece of scum attorney.My blood is fucking boiling.
The attorney and whomever that scum is defending are the worthless ones
All right, listen up, Tumblr. This is one of the few times I’ll actually give a social commentary, so here we go. When you’re a lawyer, your job is to fight for your client. No questions asked. You make whatever argument you can. You verbally rip apart people on the stand when they side against you. You say whatever you need to. Do I think this murderer is a piece of scum? Yes. Do I think his lawyer is probably a piece of scum too? Yes. But this has to be said. When you’re a lawyer, sometimes you’re forced to do dirty work. Because at the end of the day, if people stop fighting for the guilty ones, sooner or later, there’s no one to fight for the innocent ones either. You got a problem with that? Don’t be a lawyer. Problem solved. Does what this lawyer said suck? Yes. But it wasn’t your friend or family member that got murdered and it’s not years of your freedom on the line, so kindly fuck off. This lawyer’s job is probably hard enough as it is.
You’re fucking awful. Kindly fuck off
He said she was less than human.
What does that have to do with his job at all.
How does that make the murderer any less guilty?
I am a lawyer. (Disclaimer: I am not your lawyer. Consult a lawyer in your own state for anything that affects your rights.)
What this scumbag said does not fall under the ambit of zealous representation.
Arguments made to a court have to have a basis in law or a reasonable argument for reversing existing law and/or making new law. (I’m paraphrasing.)
There is no basis in law to argue that the murder laws do not or should not apply to transgender women or sex workers because of what kind of people they are or because their lives are somehow less valuable. None. Zero. Nada.
If I were that judge, I’d have reported the attorney for a Rule 11* violation for even making that argument, and be looking into my state’s rules of professional conduct to see what else he might have violated by doing so. In my state, even without a provision specifically protecting people on the basis of gender identity, I would be comfortable making the argument that this lawyer’s conduct was prejudicial to the administration of justice as a knowing manifestation of bias or prejudice based on sex. See TNRPC 8.4(d) and Comment 3 thereto.
Attorneys get enough shit for legitimate zealous representation issues without muddying the water as if every argument an attorney makes is ok because of zealous representation. It is not. This is not ok.
Also, if the commenter who posted that is a lawyer, they need to take a few more PR CLEs, because zealous representation does not and has never meant “you say whatever you need to.” Doing so violates Rule 11, shows a lack of candor toward the tribunal, and contributes to the degradation of the profession.
Does zealous representation mean we sometimes have to do things that seem unfair - hell, that are unfair? Yep. I can’t give a specific example because of my own professional limitations, but even in the short time I have been practicing law I have had to make arguments based on existing law that I know is unfair.
Does zealous representation extend to making an argument that a human being wasn’t really a person worthy of protection of the laws against violence because of who they were or what job they did? No, I can’t think of a set of facts where that would be true even in a PR hypothetical for students, much less real life. To make a Rule 11-compliant argument, the lawyer would need a cogent and reasoned analysis as to why the Fourteenth Amendment doesn’t apply to this victim such that they should be exempted from the protection of the laws against murder. “Because bigotry” is not such an argument. Again, I can’t think of any argument that would pass Rule 11 to get around equal protection of the laws against murder because of the status of the victim.
This is not just a “oh, popelizbet is a dang hippie lawyer” argument, either. Prominent law bloggers with many more years of service than I, whose politics barely brush mine, are condemning this. This kind of hateful garbage brings disrepute on our profession because it is morally wrong to make these kinds of arguments. Scummy lawyers get away with enough fuckery without people excusing things they do that are inexcusable based on their complete misunderstanding of what zealous representation actually is.
*Some states may not designate the rule with this rule number, but in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 11 is, in part, the rule against making arguments to the court that are not supported in law or do not advance a colorable argument to change existing law. A similar Rule exists in the Rules of Criminal Procedure. To my knowledge, every state has adopted this portion of the Federal Rules.
Passive Resistance Training, SNCC, Atlanta, GA, 1960, by James Karales, courtesy Duke University Library
people had to be trained to deal wit the evil of white peopleLet this sink in ppl. We don’t dislike y’all for no reason. This wasn’t 500 years ago. This happened in my grandmothers AND mothers lifetime.
I hope this makes it clear to folks that non-violence as expressed during the Civil Rights Movement was not simply a moral or political choice. It was a tactical application as well.
Do y’all think SNCC, SCLC, CORE, MLK, Jr. or anyone else wanted to witness their people being beaten, that they wanted to stay their fists and guns when their CHILDREN were being murdered? If you do, I suggest you go back to history class, because MLK, Medgar Evers, Bayard Rustin, almost any person you can think of who advocated non-violence had armed guards and personnel in place for their and their people’s safety.
Non-violence as a resistance strategy was an attempt at provocation. Recognize that. Recognize that’s why these folks are training. Because they’re performing provocation through passive resistance. By not striking back they were illustrating the madness and vitriol of white supremacy. They were exposing in the most dramatic manner possible the denial of their humanity.
Understand: This was not turn the other cheek, this was looking into the eyes of the Devil and not backing down.