Tag Archives: White House

Black teens forced to confess to murder …Rashad Robinson, ColorOfChange.org – Black History- called them the Dixmoor 5, they were innocent !!!!!!!

DNA results prove the innocence of ten Chicago-area men arrested as teens, some imprisoned for nearly 20 years.
Please tell the State’s Attorney to correct these injustices:


Recent DNA testing has proven the innocence of 10 Black men who were were only children when they were forced by Illinois police to confess to murders they didn’t commit.

Some of them have been imprisoned for nearly 20 years, but despite the overwhelming evidence, which has even linked the crimes to the real killers, the state of Illinois refuses to recognize their innocence.

If enough of us speak out, we can expose these injustices and force the state of Illinois to do right by these men. Please join us in demanding that State Attorney Anita Alvarez immediately agree to overturn their convictions. It takes just a moment:


The Dixmoor Five

In the first case, which occurred in October 1992, five Black teenagers, later called the Dixmoor Five, were arrested in Cook County, IL for the sexual assault and murder of 14-year-old Cateresa Matthews. Three of the five boys confessed to the crime in exchange for lighter sentences and testified against the others. They’ve since recanted their testimony, with one man claiming that he was tricked into signing a confession by local police.1

A few months ago, DNA samples taken from the victim were tested using modern techniques. The DNA didn’t belong to any of the men accused of her rape and murder — instead it was linked to a convicted rapist and armed robber who was 32 years old at the time.2

In the face of this overwhelming evidence, the State’s Attorney’s office stubbornly downplayed the significance of the DNA evidence and opposed the release of the men.

The Englewood Five

Two-and-a-half years later, five more Black Cook County teenagers, known as the Englewood Five, were taken into custody for the sexual assault and murder of a 30-year-old woman named Nina Glover. In this case, five juvenile confessions resulted in the convictions of four teenagers (aged 14-18 at the time). While one teenager wasn’t convicted, the other four received lengthy prison sentences. Recently, DNA extracted from the victim was matched to a now deceased serial rapist and murderer — a man who has a history of preying on women and strangling them.3

The State has argued that any DNA match in this case would be inconclusive due to the lifestyle of the victim, who was known to engage in prostitution. However, the semen found in the strangled body of Ms. Glover is from a man that the Cook County State’s Attorney‘s office has long believed was responsible for two strangulation-murders of prostitutes and violent assaults of at least five others.4

The Common Thread

The thread that connects both these cases? The teenagers were incarcerated as a result of confessions we now know were forced by police. Eight of the 10 teenagers confessed to police during intense and coercive interrogations, and six of the now grown men are still in custody.

Coerced confessions play a part in almost a quarter of all wrongful convictions nationwide.5 Even the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that teenagers are particularly susceptible to falsely incriminating themselves during questioning from police and should not be subjected to harsh interrogation tactics.6

Coercive interrogation practices must come to an end. Ensuring the release of these men wouldn’t just help correct a gross injustice — it would send a message to law enforcement that they can’t get away with forcing teenagers to confess to crimes they didn’t commit, and that this practice compromises the entire public’s safety.

Please join us in demanding that Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez agree to vacate the convictions of these young Black men, and when you do, ask your friends and family to do the same:


Thanks and Peace,

— Rashad, James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
    August 9th, 2011

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1. “DNA evidence links man to 1991 murder, may clear 5 convicted in case,” Chicago Tibune, 04-15-11

2. “State’s response to petition for relief from judgement,” Circuit Court of Cook County, 04-29-11

3. “Man convicted in 1994 rape, murder pins hopes on advanced DNA test,” Chicago Tribune, 03-25-11

4. “State’s motion to dismiss request for post-conviction DNA testing,” Circuit Court of Cook County, 01-19-2011

5. “Understand the Causes,” Innocence Project

6. “Supreme Court case J.D.B. v. North Carolina,” Supreme Court opinion, October, 2010


a message from Lilly Ledbetter – Women’s History Month ~ a reminder

My name is Lilly Ledbetter, and I was discriminated against because I’m a woman.

Some of you may have heard my story.

In 1998, after 19 years of service at a Goodyear factory, someone left an anonymous note in my mailbox listing the names and salaries of my male coworkers — who I learned that day were making at least 20 percent more than I was, even though many had less education, less training, and fewer years on the job.

I went to court and won, but in an appeal, the Supreme Court claimed I should have filed my complaint within six months of the first unfair paycheck. Of course, they didn’t say how I was supposed to fight for fair pay when I didn’t know I was being paid unfairly.






We are all Freedom Fighters on some level every day… Thursday &some News

The weather has been wicked windy

The latest events have made me wonder if Congress on the State and Federal level and or rhetoric from Republicans and folks who lean right of center will really get the push back or beat back by the Democratic Party after Congress gets back from Easter break because i sure have not heard much from the Democratic Party in general and that is not only disturbing it is offensive to anyone who voted these folks into office. I will say it was good to hear that Leader Reid has decided to hold an up and down vote on the PaulRyan Budget. It should open the eyes of most if not all Republican constituents, well maybe. In a time when millions are unemployed, more layoffs coming and Corporate America is still outsourcing and holding jobs hostage. The Republican Party continues to cut slash and burn American Workers. The party of No, which used to be just a conservative pro-life scary group, is now so extreme that the slogan “taking their country back”, is no longer code but an overt statement from Republican Tea Party members. Obviously, it is about not wanting “his kind” in the White House. The Tea Party wants to Privatize Public Service Jobs, which includes Teachers, Fire Fighters, Police, and others while gutting Social Service programs that help the elderly, women, and children around the country suffering already but are now willing to take the basics away from the middle/lower class.

However, I cannot begin to say how offensive though enlightening it is that they are actually legislating people into poverty. I have to say this has made me wonder what our neighborhoods will look after this nasty group is finished wreaking havoc on us all. We all know the more folks that are out of work the better the chances of fewer or quality services will be available. I ask everyone to just think what having less police, firefighters to help out not just the less fortunate but all those above the poverty line … a fire does not care if you have lots of money. I have to say the light of day on how low a Political Party is willing to go was quite evident with those behind the door deals they made to keep SOME firefighters and police employed. Did they think about this?

The media and certain Politicians say that in times of crisis people separate into cliques. I say our Politicians and Talking heads; “the media” have been doing a great job in forcing the public and or viewer into choosing side’s every day depending on the issue. It is offensive and while the November Midterms was proof of how that manipulation works, clearly a whole lot of buyer’s remorse has set in for the Political Party of No, Tea Party carpetbaggers who said one thing and are doing another. We all probably have family or know people who did March for equal rights, felt compelled, added to and a part of that strength in numbers adage we all hear frequently that i consider so important and speaks volumes when a change is near just over the horizon waiting to happen. This feeling of wanting a better way of life is possibly shared by most is spreading all over the world and while a couple of tyrants have seen the light others continue to participate in overt genocide others shutdown access to the World outside. I get the feeling the Republican Tea Party is a lot like those folks in other countries currently doing all they can to either keep control or take anyone down that happens to be in the way by murdering them …right?. In our case, American voters are demanding freedom but the people with the power have gone rogue without thinking about what the full impact on the lives of the many will be or don’t care and have decided to take that risk and try to usurp the rights of Americans whether it’s done legally, by consensus or not.

We are all Freedom Fighters on some level every day.





“A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama!”

This week, the Vice President traveled to Houston and Panama, the President honored both the legacy of John F. Kennedy and this year’s Medal of Freedom Winners and Nobel Laureates, and he attended the Wall Street Journal‘s CEO Summit.

Click here to watch this week’s West Wing Week:

West Wing Week: "A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama!"

Top Stories

Modern Slavery … a repost



Florida’s tomato farms supply 50% of all U.S. fresh tomatoes1 but have also been called America’s ‘ground zero for slavery.’ Countless workers have been found held against their will, threatened with violence and forced to haul hundreds of heavy tomato buckets a day for little to no pay.

And right now is the worst part of Florida’s tomato picking season – the days are hot and the vines have nearly been picked clean making it hard to fill quotas. In these final days, there is also tremendous pressure for tomato farms to turn a profit making conditions ripe for worker exploitation.

It’s important that we act now.

A new solution called the Fair Food Program has been proven successful in the fight against modern slavery in Florida’s tomato fields. But a major U.S. supermarket chain, Publix Super Markets, is refusing to support the Fair Food Program. Publix continues to buy tomatoes from growers that are not partners of the Fair Food Program and where workers still toil beyond the reach of its proven protection from modern slavery.

Tell Publix Super Markets’ CEO William Crenshaw to join the fight against slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

After decades of abuse, Florida’s farmworkers finally have a chance in the fight against exploitation with the Fair Food Program, demanding a policy of zero tolerance for human rights abuses, including slavery, on tomato farms.

The White House recently called the exciting new program “one of the most successful and innovative programs” in the world today in the fight to uncover – and prevent — modern-day slavery, and just last week United Nations investigators called it “impressive” and praised its “independent and robust enforcement mechanism.”

Leading brands including Subway, Whole Foods Market, McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s have already joined the fight against forced labour and now only buy tomatoes from growers who comply with the following Fair Food Principles:

  • A code of conduct for tomato growers;
  • Complaint mechanisms for farmworkers;
  • Education sessions to help workers understand their rights; and
  • Regular auditing of farm operations.

It’s been four long years of public pressure but Publix, one of the largest purchasers of local tomatoes, still refuses to take responsibility for their supply chain. 

Tell Publix to make the right decision to join the Fair Food Program and ensure our tomatoes meet the highest human rights standards in the food industry today.

Will Publix Super Markets, which prides itself on making Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” list, continue to turn a blind eye and give excuses, or will it leverage its vast market influence and lead the way in cleaning up slavery in the tomato supply chain once and for all?

We think Publix will make the right choice, but it won’t happen without broad public support. Once you’ve sent your message to Publix, please forward this email on to your friends and family, urging them to join the fight that is ending slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

Thank you for your support,

Debra, Kate, Ryan, Mich, Hayley, Nick, Jess, Amy and the Walk Free team.