Steven Donziger Trial Set To Begin This Week; and International Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence in the US

Steven Donziger Trial Set To Begin This Week

Sixty-year-old environmental lawyer Steven Donziger has been under house arrest without trial for the last 25 months on charges that normally have a max sentence of six months. To date this is the longest sentence imposed in New York on an attorney convicted of contempt. The contempt charges are from Donziger’s refusal to give his cellphone and computer to the court. We’ve been covering Chevron’s retaliation campaign against Donziger after he helped communities in Ecuadors Amazon win a historic $9.5 billion judgment against the oil giant. His case showed how Chevron for deliberately dumped billions of gallons of carcinogenic oil water onto Indigenous ancestral lands. The multinational corporation enlisted 60 law firms and 2,000 attorneys to block Donzigers advocacy. In the process they bankrupted his family, and intimidated environmental activists and allies internationally.

At last, Donzigers trial is set to begin Monday, May 10. This case offers a play-by-play account of a private oil company set out to destroy an altruistic lawyer, environmental justice, corporate accountability, Indigenous rights, and free speech.

Guest ” Attorney Martin Garbus,one of three pro bono lawyers representing Donziger in an attempt to get his law license restored.Garbus has a long and distinguished career as a civil rights and first amendment litigator.


International Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence in the US

As issues of violent policing nag at the American publics consciousness, a new report finds the US guilty of crimes against humanity and other violations of international law. On April 27, the International Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence in the US Released its final Report on Racist Police Violence in the US. The report pulls together weeks of live hearings chronicling cases of people killed by police with African descent. The report also contains recommendations addressed to national and international policy makers.

The International Commission of Inquiry was organized by the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and the National Lawyers Guild. A distinguished panel of international legal experts from eleven countries served as Commissioners. The full 188-page document is available at the Commission’s website as are videos and transcripts from the live hearings in 44 cases.

Guest – Marjorie Cohn, professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law where she taught from 1991-2016, and a former president of the National Lawyers Guild. She lectures, writes, and provides commentary for local, regional, national and international media outlets. Professor Cohn has served as a news consultant for CBS News and a legal analyst for Court TV, and a legal and political commentator on the BBC, CNN, NPR, and other major stations.


Attorney Jim Lafferty Commentary on Solitary Confinement


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