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Friday, July 26, 2013

  • Egypt Tensions Escalate as Morsi Detained and Supporters of Army, Brotherhood Hold Rival Protests

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    In the first update on ousted Egyptian President Mohamad Morsi’s status since he was forced from office and held incommunicado, Egyptian state media reports authorities have issued an arrest warrant calling for him to be detained for 15 days. A court is investigating Morsi’s alleged collaboration with the Palestinian group Hamas to escape from prison during the 2011 uprising against the Mubarak regime. The news comes as both sides of Egypt’s political divide are holding major protests after Army Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for public backing of a military crackdown on what he called "violence and potential terrorism" by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. "The [Morsi] charges are a way to whitewash the former regime’s crimes and whitewash police crimes during the Mubarak era and the revolution," says Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, joining us from Cairo.

  • Juror B29 Says Zimmerman "Got Away with Murder," Intensifying Scrutiny of Prosecution & Florida Laws

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    The only person of color on the all-female jury that voted to acquit George Zimmerman expressed anguish over trial’s outcome in her first interview since the trial. Speaking to ABC, the 36-year-old mother of eight who is of Puerto Rican descent said she believes Zimmerman "got away with murder" for killing Trayvon Martin, and claimed she shares the grief of his mother. Identifying herself only by her first name, "Maddy," the juror explained her "not guilty" vote by saying the "Stand Your Ground" law was in conflict with her heart, forcing her to let Zimmerman walk free despite believing he was culpable. "It is hurtful as a lawyer for someone to say 'I fought until the end,'" says Seema Iyer, an attorney specializing in constitutional, criminal and civil rights law who followed the Zimmerman trial closely. "No, she didn’t — if she had fought until the end, we would’ve had a hung jury."

  • "March for Dignity" Seeks Release of Marissa Alexander & Resignation of Prosecutor Angela Corey

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    We go to Florida, where calls are growing for the the release of Marissa Alexander, the African-American mother of three who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing what she maintains was a warning shot at her abusive husband. Alexander was prosecuted by Angela Corey, who also oversaw the case against George Zimmerman. Alexander insisted she was defending herself when she fired a shot into a wall near her husband, and attempted to use Florida’s "Stand Your Ground" law in her defense. But in March 2012 the jury convicted her after only 12 minutes of deliberation. A coalition of Southern community organizations are on a "Walk for Dignity" in Florida from Jacksonville — where Alexander was convicted — toward Sanford, where a memorial for Trayvon Martin is planned on Saturday. We speak with one of the march’s coordinators, Aleta Alston-Toure, who has visited Alexander in jail and is also calling for Corey to resign.