Rufus Henry, a Black man convicted of second-degree murder by a non-unanimous jury, has been released on parole after spending thirty-one years in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Henry, 69, said at trial that he acted in self-defense; all ten white jurors voted to convict him, and the two sole Black jurors voted to acquit him. The non-unanimous jury system persists as a relic of Jim Crow, civil rights advocates say, and the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in its 2020 ruling, Ramos v. Louisiana.
“I really appreciate the hard work that my lawyers did to get me where I am,” Henry said. “It was a long, hard fight for me to get where I am today. I thank my lawyers, but most of all I thank God for blessing me with my lawyers. He knew I needed y’all. One thing I can say is that y’all stuck with me every part of the way. I’ll never forget it as long as I live.”
Read more about Rufus Henry’s case on our website.
Majid Khan’s lawyers Tuesday filed a habeas petition on his behalf in federal court in Washington, DC, challenging his imprisonment beyond the end of his military commission sentence. The U.S. government is still holding him at Guantánamo even though he completed his 10-year sentence on March 1.
Khan was captured in Pakistan in 2003 and disappeared into the CIA torture program, where he endured brutal treatment that he detailed last year in historic testimony at his sentencing hearing. He was sent to Guantánamo in 2006 and pleaded guilty to serious offenses before a military commission in 2012. Pursuant to his plea agreement, he cooperated with U.S. authorities for more than a decade. He did so at substantial, continuing risk both to himself and his family.
“As with every prior military commission defendant who has served a sentence of less than life, Majid must be promptly transferred from Guantánamo,” said Senior Staff Attorney Wells Dixon. “Majid also must be transferred in a manner consistent with his status as an important U.S. government cooperator.”
Continue reading about Khan’s case on our website.
We are proud to invite you to join the Mass Poor People’s & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington, on June 18th 2022.
The last few weeks alone – from attacks on reproductive health to staggering acts of violence in our schools and grocery stores, heightened calls for war, extreme weather events, the ongoing pandemic, and another round of election without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act – have reminded us of the interlocking nature of the challenges we face today and the need to embolden our agitation at the ballot box, the courts, the legislatures, and in the streets.
Our communities are suffocating under the weight of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation and the denial of healthcare, the war economy, and a distorted moral narrative that tells us that in the richest country in the world there is not enough to go around. And at the center of these interlocking injustices are 140 million people who are poor or one emergency away from economic ruin. As long as America ignores the needs of these many millions, we all live in an impoverished democracy.
Today, the moral conscience of our society must be shocked into action.
Interlocking crises demand an intersectional response and on June 18 thousands upon thousands will offer exactly that. Poor and low-wealth people will stand shoulder to shoulder with all justice loving people to make the country hear and see their pain.
We hope to see you in Washington DC on June 18!
Thanks to our dear friend Katherine Franke, all new and increased gifts to the MICHAEL RATNER CAMPAIGN FOR THE NEXT GENERATION will be matched. Give today and deepen our capacity as the go-to partner of social justice movements, enable us to spend more time on the ground with our partners, and allow us to recruit, mentor, and train young movement lawyers and advocates!
Visit Michael Ratner Campaign for the Next Generation page on our website and donate today.
June 13, 2022