1. Philip Chism Convicted in his Math Teacher’s Murder and Rape
  2. UPDATED –>  Police Want a Warrant to Photograph Teen Explicitly (Detective Commits Suicide as He is Charged with Unrelated Pedophilia)
  3. Hearing Set for February 5th and Feb. 8th for Adnan Syed, the subject of the record smashing podcasting series, Serial (listen to the episodes here:  Serial Podcast:  Season 1, all 12 episodes)
  4. The son of Ethel Rosenberg, an American executed during the “Red Scare” political controversy in the 50s, wants an Exoneration for his Mother, not a pardon

“The evidence shows that my mother should not have been convicted. It was wrongly obtained through lies in testimony. She was not a spy and would not be convicted today,” Robert Meeropol said.

5.  3 Men in New York Are Innocent of Arson/Murder of Family (Amaury Villalobos, William Vasquez, and Raymond Mora), 1 died in prison, the others spent more than 30 years wrongfully imprisoned  [NYTimes]

6. Calm in Baltimore After Freddie Gray Mistrial Declaration.  Prosecutors have not yet decided whether to retry the case.  Five other officers still face trial.    [ABCNews]

“We thank this hard-working jury for their service to the public, their quest for justice, their personal sacrifice of their time and effort. We are not at all upset with them, neither should the public be upset. They did the best that they could,” said Richard Shipley, Gray’s stepfather.

7.  Hate Crimes Against Muslims Spike Across the United States (and the World:)  Where’s the Outrage? (Salon)

  • The Stunningly Long List of Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Since San Bernardino (TPM)  [20 in just 15 days]
  • California Police and the FBI Open Hate Crimes Inquiry Into Vandalism of Mosques [NYTimes]
  • Spike In Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Reflects America’s ‘Tremendous’ Bigotry Problem [Mint Press]
  • The Rise of the Hate Search [NYTimes]
  • SPLC Gives a Statement on Presidential Candidate Donald Trump’s Call to Ban Muslims from Immigrating to the U.S. [SPLC]

“The mainstreaming of hate and extremism is dangerous to the millions of peaceful Muslims in our country and harmful to the fabric of our society…”

In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, anti-Muslim hate crimes jumped 1,600% in the U.S.  After the 2005, London bombings, the rate of hate crimes rose 6-fold.  In 2010, they increased by 50% as anti-Muslim propaganda and speech moved into the mainstream of society.  Earlier this year, after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters in France, they rose 281%.  Today, anti-Muslim hate crimes are 5 times more common than 14 years ago.  These hate crimes are not unique to the U.S., in the U.K., a salon owner said she would no longer take customers of the “Islamic faith” and in Canada, a mosque in Ontario was burned and a Muslim woman was punched in the face and stomach by two men after they called her a “terrorist”.  [FBI,  Washington Post, ibTimes]

Surveys have shown that there is evidence that citizens take their leaders’ messages to heart when it comes to backlash against groups of people.

“One thing that we did find in our polling immediately in the aftermath of 9/11 is that there was a very clear sense in the data that President Bush’s statement to not blame all Muslims, to make distinctions and not lay upon the Muslim-American population a responsibility for what happened on 9/11, seemed to actually make a difference,” survey research director Scott Keeter said.

This largely seems to be missing today, with more than half of U.S. governors on both sides of the aisle openly opposing Syrian refugees and messages from front-running candidates for 2016 that are questionable at best.

“The mainstreaming of Islamophobia by a number of our nation’s political and religious leaders has encouraged the latest hate-filled actions of anti-Muslim bigots,” CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper said in a statement. “Now is the time for those leaders who are concerned about traditional American values of religious inclusion and tolerance to speak out…”

8.  YOU MAY HAVE MISSED IT:  The Tarboro Three Speak Out on Life After Death Row and the SPLC Case

9.  You Will Be Surprised at What Areas of the U.S. Have the Highest Incarceration Rates (Hint:  It Isn’t LA, Chicago, or NYC)  [The Incarceration Trends Project]





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