Jan 28, 2024 – Maid extended…

Smart Justice Network

Jan 28, 2024 – Maid extended…

Toronto Star – Masih Khalatbari

Surge in medically assisted deaths under Canada’s MAID program outpaces every other country… Canada’s psychiatric community has been divided on the country’s emergence as a global leader in assisted death under the MAID program.

The legislation to include mentally ill patients in the Medical Assistance in Dying process has already passed the Parliament and is waiting to be declared law in Canada. The article fits with the “sober second review” approach, suggesting that the practice has already ceded first place internationally on the medical side but acknowledging too that the mental illness as a rationale for medical assistance in dying may be fraught with obstacles and points of decision making that are less clear; there seems to be a willingness to delay the implementation of the new legislation. The problem for those advocating delay is that the legislation is already passed and making it law is inevitable. “Some experts see the rapid growth as a human rights triumph that allows Canadians to make their own choice about when they wish to die with the full support of the state and their doctors. Others fear that failures in the health-care system and social safety net may be contributing to the surge.” Canada’s surge in deaths under MAID outpaces other countries (thestar.com)


CNN – Elizabeth Wolfe and Dakin Andone

Alabama carries out nation’s first known execution with nitrogen gas. Here’s what we know…

Alabama executed Kenneth Smith on Jan. 25, the second attempt at execution, this time using nitrogen gas, a first in the history of executions and a method that vets refuse to use on animals. Witnesses to the execution said that “Nitrogen flowed for about 15 minutes during the procedure,” state corrections commissioner John Hamm said in a news conference. Smith, who was on a gurney, appeared conscious for “several minutes into the execution,” and “shook and writhed” for about two minutes after that, media witnesses said in a joint report. That was followed by several minutes of deep breathing before his breath began slowing “until it was no longer perceptible for media witnesses,” the media witnesses said.” Besides Alabama, Oklahoma and Mississippi have approved the use of nitrogen in state executions. https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/26/us/alabama-execution-nitrogen-what-we-know/index.html Related article / petition: Change.org Canada is Complicit in Capital Punishment: STOP the production of gas masks used to kill! Petition · Canada is Complicit in Capital Punishment: STOP the production of gas masks used to kill! · Change.org   Related tweet from Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP): “Tonight Alabama causes humanity to take a step backwards,” Mr. Smith said in his last words. “I’m leaving with love, peace, and light.” He signed “I love you” to his family after the gas mask was put on. @DPInfoCtr.” https://x.com/FADPorg/status/1751292274313449883?s=20


Human Rights Watch (US) –

“We’re Dying Here” – The Fight for Life in a Louisiana Fossil Fuel Sacrifice Zone
The Watch raises issues of Cancer Alley in the US, a stretch from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, over-run by oil operations – fossil fuel and petrochemical – and making the area the worse in the US for cancer. “Sharon Lavigne, 71, lives in the small community of Welcome in the state of Louisiana, United States. Like many of her neighbors, the retired special education teacher has placed a sign in her front yard which reads, “We live on death row.” It is a morbid twist on the nickname by which their region has come to be more broadly known: “Cancer Alley.” The problems appear to stem from both a state – Louisiana – and a federal neglect to enforce basic standards. “We’re Dying Here”: The Fight for Life in a Louisiana Fossil Fuel Sacrifice Zone | HRW


The Marshall Project (US) – Life Inside – Darrell Jackson

How a Borrowed Blazer, Tie and Dress Shirt Helped Me See Myself as a Man, not a Prisoner – On a special visiting day at Washington Corrections Center, incarcerated men were able to dress up. This seemingly minor change made a big difference.

This is a humane article – one about the importance of human touches in the life of an incarcerated person. It is about a special day in Washington State prison called “significant Woman Event,” in which the normal rules are relaxed for a visit from a woman who is significant in the life of the prisoner. (Female prisons have a significant man visit). In this case, the significant woman was Jackson’s mom. Normally the rules for visitors prohibit actual touching and force the visit at seated at a table. The visit is time extended and this one allowed the prisoner to put on shirt, tie and blazer. It makes a difference says Jackson. How a Borrowed Blazer, Tie and Dress Shirt Helped Me See Myself as a Man, Not a Prisoner | The Marshall Project


Common Dreams.com (US) – Jake Johnson

‘Crucial Moment in History’: ICJ Orders Israel to Prevent Acts of Genocide in Gaza – “One thing has been made clear on the world stage: There is vastly documented evidence that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians,” said the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.
The International Court of Justice has accepted as credible the South African insistence that the people of Gaza are suffering genocide. The Court stopped short of ordering a ceasefire but the extent of the court’s orders, if followed, would change the face of the war in Gaza. The court’s directives carry at least considerable moral force but not the force of law since the participation is the ICJ is voluntary among sovereign nations and several involved in the Middle East are not members. The final determination of whether genocide is occurring could be years away. “”This ruling from the ICJ is a massive legal defeat for Israel and its premiere defenders, the U.S. and Germany,” The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill wrote Friday. “The question now is enforceability and whether the U.S. will openly trample international law in an effort to continue aiding Israeli crimes against Palestinians.” ‘Crucial Moment in History’: ICJ Orders Israel to Prevent Acts of Genocide in Gaza (commondreams.org)  Related article: CNN – Zachary B. Wolfe What Texas is (and is not) doing to defy a Supreme Court setback https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/27/politics/texas-border-supreme-court-what-matters/index.html


Toronto Star – Rosy DiManno

Convicted cop James Forcillo is back, and the Sammy Yatim inquest is cut off at the knees… With strict parameters around questioning the former police officer convicted in the teen’s death, the emphasis was on mental health and wellness — of cops.

The focus of the Sammy Yatim inquest may be somewhat novel in the history of police killings. From 10 years ago now, this inquest focus seemed more on the police constable, James Forcillo, who fired nine shots into Yatim who was displaying a small knife. “Given the parameters Cameron (David Cameron, Coroner) outlined, the emphasis Tuesday was on mental health and wellness — of cops. Their trauma. Their strain.” Forcillo is back, and Yatim inquest is cut off at the knees (thestar.com)

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