Friday, September 16, 2005

Five sentences. Seventy-nine words.

Doubt they'll print it, but I sent the following to the New York Times yesterday:

Sept. 15, 2005

To the Editor:

The paltry five sentences (79 words) you gave to coverage of the Sept. 14 Frances Newton execution served only to compound an injustice.

Newton – the first African American woman executed by the state of Texas since the Civil War – was denied adequate review of her sentence. Her execution was not noteworthy because she was a woman, nor because she was African American. It was noteworthy because she may well have been innocent.

The failure of multiple layers of courts, and of officials of the executive branch of Texas’ government to give Newton the comprehensive review she deserved was a failure of American democratic principles and due process. When war abroad and natural tragedy at home dominate the headlines, it is more important than ever to display cases like Newton’s under the light of day – and under the type of public scrutiny that ample media coverage can bring.


milo_s said...

I couldn't agree with you more -- I hope they publish it as well. Be sure to post it on your blog if they do -- maybe you could let other "Abolitionist" bloggers know about it.

Heck, I bet if you asked everyone reading your blog to send a message to the NYT's editorial staff letting them know that they think it stinks that the NYT didn't give this case some above-the-fold attention, then the NYT might be inclined to publish it.

milo_s said...

In case you weren't able to click on the link, the NYT Public Editor Byron Calame's email address is

Mikeypod said...