Monday, May 18, 2009


What Are you doing May 27th? Think of the possibilies. If the internet was a boarder less Political Party with the bloggers being precinct captains how would we act? I think Tom Rico is on the right tract.-trb

The Following from Blogging for Justice.

Michigan Bloggers – and their network of blogging friends across the country – are invited and encouraged to address online the issue of ending juvenile life sentences without parole in Michigan and throughout the United States. Bloggers committing to "attend" this event will be promising to post commentary on their blogs on a single day, May 27, 2009, in support and solidarity to end juvenile life sentences without parole.Human Rights Watch has confirmed that the United States is the only country that incarcerates youth offenders with life sentences without parole, which violates or raises concerns with three international treaties.

Youth sentenced under these conditions – for crimes committed as teens and at younger ages – allows for no hope or chance of rehabilitation. "Our research indicates that many teens received life without parole for their first offense," Human Rights Watch reports. "There is little in their histories to warrant the assumption that they would not mature and be rehabilitated if they were spared a lifetime in prison."

The Michigan State Legislature is currently considering House Bills 4518 and 4594-4596, which would end the juvenile life without parole sentencing and would revise parole eligibility for juveniles sentenced as adults. Similar bills passed the House during the last legislative session but were stalled in the state Senate.

On May 6, 2009, the Michigan House Judiciary Committee held hearings on these bills. A second round of hearings is scheduled in Lansing for May 27, 2009. Michigan-based bloggers will be invited to join the debate through a Facebook event encouraging some of our keenest social and political observers to address the issue on a single day.

The Peace Education Center of Greater Lansing is launching this online blogging event in conjunction with The Injustice Must End (T.I.M.E.) Committee, a citizens action committee supporting the release of the wrongly-convicted Benton Harbor 15-year-old Latino honor-roll student, Efren Paredes, Jr., who has been imprisoned for 20 years. The Paredes case has been recognized by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other organizations as an illustration of the need for legal reform. Both groups are supporting passage of the bills before the House Judiciary Committee, as well as federal legislation recently introduced by U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers. The federal legislation is H.R. 2289, the Juvenile Justice Accountability and Improvement Act of 2009.

All bloggers participating in the "Blogging for Justice" day on May 27th will be invited to two scheduled online audio press conferences with the Peace Education Center and T.I.M.E. Efren Paredes, Jr. will be available by phone to answer questions about his specific case and about the topic of reforming laws on juvenile life sentences without parole.

The press conferences are planned forthe following dates/times:
Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. EST
Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. EST

Call-in details will be announced soon and provided to participating bloggers.A list of informational resources and links on the topic, as well as additional updates, will be posted with this FB event notice.

Also, the Peace Education Center can send bloggers a general resource packet upon request.

For more information, contact the Peace Education Center at 517-889-1175 or
. Or contact Tom Rico, the co-chair of the PEC and a blogger himself, at

Thanks Tom, I’ll be there in ether and possibly in person.
Posted Here by Terry Bankert 5/7/09 You are invited to continue this discussion on my Face Book Page.

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