May 2012, Week 4


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Sun, 27 May 2012 22:11:55 -0400
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50 Percent of Those Exonerated in National Registry are Black
by Jorge Rivas
May 22 2012

[moderator: the Registry may be found here -

The University of the Michigan Law School and the Center
on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University
School of Law have partnered to launch a National
Registry of Exonerations that keeps an up to date list
of all known exonerations in the United States since
1989. The group's inaugural report released this week
reveals 50 percent of false convictions are of black

The National Registry of Exoneration documents include
891 exonerations with summaries of the cases and
searchable data on each. Their latest report focuses on
the 873 exonerations that were entered in the Registry
as of March 1, 2012.

Below are key findings from the Center's study of the
873 exonerated defendants as printed in the report:

93% are men, 7% women; 50% are black, 38% white, 11%
Hispanic and 2% Native American or Asian; 37% were
exonerated with the help of DNA evidence; 63% without
DNA; as a group, they spent more than 10,000 years in
prison - an average of more than 11 years each. Since
2000, exonerations have averaged 52 a year - one a week
- 40% of which include DNA evidence. The 873
exonerations are mostly rape and murder cases, but the
data also include many more exonerations for other
crimes than previously known.

For all exonerations, the most common causal factors
that contributed to the underlying false convictions are
perjury or false accusation (51%), mistaken eyewitness
identification (43%) and official misconduct (42%) -
followed by false or misleading forensic evidence (24%)
and false confession (16%).

Union Gets New Election At a Target
The New York Times
May 22, 2012

A federal judge on Monday set aside an unsuccessful
unionization election at the Target store in Valley
Stream, N.Y., and ordered a new vote, finding that
Target managers had intimidated workers and violated
federal labor laws.

Steven Davis, an administrative law judge with the
National Labor Relations Board, said in a decision that
the election, which was held last June, should be set
aside because of what he said were Target's numerous
unfair labor practices. Workers voted 137 to 85 against
joining the United Food and Commercial Workers Union in
the election, which sought to make the Valley Stream
store the first unionized Target in the nation.

Judge Davis found, among other things, that Target
managers had barred employees from wearing union buttons
and distributing fliers, had improperly threatened to
discipline employees who discussed union matters and had
unlawfully threatened to close the store if the workers
voted to unionize.

Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said, "Target is
disappointed in the N.L.R.B. judge's ruling, and we
respectfully disagree with the judge's decision."

She said Target firmly believed that it had followed all
laws at the store and that the election had been fair.
She said the company was evaluating its next steps,
which include appealing the judge's ruling to the full
five-person labor board in Washington.

Target closed the Valley Stream store temporarily last
month for remodeling. The union has asked the labor
board to rule that the move was retaliation against
workers for seeking to unionize. Target denies that,
saying the remodeling was in the works for nearly two

"We have said from Day 1 that a neutral judge would find
that democracy was denied to Target workers," said
Patrick Purcell, a spokesman for Local 1500 of the
union. "Target needs to agree that it will no longer
engage in these practices at this location."

Happy Would-Be 100th Birthday to Studs Terkel
Festivities include rededication of Division Street 
Bridge, named in Terkel's honor
By Andy Grimm
Chicago Tribune
May 11, 2012

In his work as an author, broadcaster and oral
historian, legendary Chicagoan Studs Terkel celebrated
the lives of ordinary Americans.

Some of Terkel's many local friends and fans are hoping
to return the favor with a series of events marking the
100th birthday of a man whose work is a chronicle of the
20th century (and a bit of the 21st).

Terkel, who died in 2008, would have turned 100 next
Wednesday. The Studs Terkel Centenary, a group headed up
by Terkel's friends, including Tribune reporter Rick
Kogan, on Saturday will rededicate the Division Street
Bridge, which was named after Terkel 20 years ago, said
Tony Judge, a longtime friend of Terkel's.

"Of course, the bridge is scheduled to come down in few
weeks," Judge said. "When they rebuild it, one of our
goals is to make sure it remains the Studs Terkel

In the meantime, Judge and friends will ensure Terkel's
memory lives on, whether it's the day of Studs-only
programming on WFMT-FM on his birthday, the performances
of passages from Terkel's 2001 book "Will the Circle Be
Unbroken?" at Steppenwolf Theatre next week, or by
phoning in an anecdote about Terkel to a hotline set up
by the Hull House Museum.

The Newberry Library on Wednesday will host a birthday
party featuring guest speakers who will share stories
about Terkel. There will be three cakes: in the shape of
Terkel's trademark fedora, red-checked shirt and
microphone. Judge said he hopes the festivities will
continue for the rest of the year with programs at the
University of Chicago and the Old Town School of Folk

"What I'd like to come of all this is a foundation of
some sort," Judge said, "to have some ongoing presence
to honor Studs and the things that mattered to him."

Studs Terkel Brief Bio
Chicago Historical Society

Studs Terkel, prize-winning author and radio broadcast
personality was born Louis Terkel in New York on May 16,
1912. His father, Samuel, was a tailor and his mother,
Anna (Finkel) was a seamstress. He had three brothers.
The family moved to Chicago in 1922 and opened a rooming
house at Ashland and Flournoy on the near West side
{LISTEN}. From 1926 to 1936 they ran another rooming
house, the Wells-Grand Hotel at Wells Street and Grand
Avenue {LISTEN}. Terkel credited his knowledge of the
world to the tenants who gathered in the lobby of the
hotel and the people who congregated in nearby Bughouse
Square {LISTEN}, a meeting place for workers, labor
organizers, dissidents, the unemployed, and religious
fanatics of many persuasions. In 1939 he married Ida
Goldberg and had one son.

Terkel attended University of Chicago and received a law
degree in 1934. He chose not to pursue a career in law.
After a brief stint with the civil service in Washington
D.C., he returned to Chicago and worked with the WPA
Writers Project in the radio division. One day he was
asked to read a script and soon found himself in radio
soap operas, in other stage performances, and on a WAIT
news show. After a year in the Air Force, he returned to
writing radio shows and ads. He was on a sports show on
WBBM and then, in 1944, he landed his own show on WENR.
This was called the Wax Museum show that allowed him to
express his own personality and play recordings he liked
from folk music, opera, jazz, or blues. A year later he
had his own television show called Stud's Place and
started asking people the kind of questions that marked
his later work as an interviewer {LISTEN}.

In 1952 Terkel began working for WFMT, first with the
"Studs Terkel Almanac" and the "Studs Terkel Show,"
primarily to play music. The interviewing came along by
accident {LISTEN}. This later became the award-winning,
"The Studs Terkel Program." His first book, Giants of
Jazz, was published in 1956. Ten years later his first
book of oral history interviews, Division Street:
America, came out. It was followed by a succession of
oral history books on the 1930s Depression, World War
Two, race relations, working, the American dream, and
aging. His last oral history book, Will the Circle Be
Unbroken: Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for
a Faith, was published in 2001.

Late into his life Terkel continued to interview people,
work on his books, and make public appearances. He was
the first Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the
Chicago Historical Society.  His last book, P.S.:
Further Thoughts from a Lifetime of Listening was
released in November 2008.  Terkel died on October 31,
2008 at the age of 96.

100 Years of Studs Terkel
Celebrating the life and work of an actor, radio host
author, historian and enobler of his fellow man
1912 - 2008

Andrew Patner interviews Studs Terkel
Recorded by the University of Chicago in 2004


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