Gorilla Executions in the Congo

June 28, 2011

The African gorilla has long been seen as one of the most intelligent endangered species in the world.  Sadly, it appears that the heightened illegal charcoal trade in the Congo has prompted the execution of several mountain gorillas.  This is especially significant because there are only 700 of these gorillas in existence worldwide.

The following national news articles reveal the stunningly cruel outcomes that have resulted from the insatiable global demand for charcoal:

National Geographic

U.S. News

CNN

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Stories of Detention: Jerry’s Story

June 22, 2011

Jerry’s Story:   This article by Nina Bernstein of the New York Times reports on a green card holding legal resident who spent 3 years in jail awaiting a deportation hearing after a misdemeanor drug offense, because that offense, in combination with an earlier drug arrest, added up to what the government considered an “aggravated felony” that required automatic deportation.  The article’s description of the government’s handling of the case–including considering his earlier minor drug offense a “conviction” even though the case had been dismissed–is positively Kafkaesque.

Many immigrants got caught in this draconian interpretation of the law.  But there is now a potential remedy (if they appear before a sympathetic immigration judge):  in July of 2010 the  Supreme Court determined that  legal residents with minor drug convictions are eligible to have an immigration judge weigh their offenses against other factors in their lives and decide whether to let them stay.  The full story is here:  Bernstein on Supreme Court Ruling