sticks, beads and strings
make wonderful, beautiful things

From CNN – Georgia’s voter ID law approved – Aug 26, 2005
Georgia’s voter ID law approved
Only state to require photo ID at polls; other ID’s not enough

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Friday approved a controversial Georgia law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls, and opponents immediately vowed to challenge the measure in federal court.

The decision, written by John Tanner, chief of the department’s voting section, says that while Attorney General Alberto Gonzales doesn’t object to the law, approval doesn’t preclude lawsuits against it.

The Republican-backed measure sparked racial tension during the state’s legislative session last spring. Most of Georgia’s black lawmakers walked out at the state Capitol when it was approved.

Oh, that’s mature.

Democrats had argued the idea was a political move by the GOP to depress voting among minorities, the elderly and the poor — all traditional bases for Democrats.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, a veteran of the civil rights movement, said, “It is unbelievable, it is unreal the Department of Justice — an agency who is supposed to protect the American public by enforcing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — is now involved in attempts to weaken the act.

“This decision takes us back to the dark past of literacy tests and other insidious devices that were carefully devised to hamper the participation of all of our citizens in the political process,” Lewis said.

Oh, yes, because it’s so hard to get a photo ID.

The new Georgia law also allows people to vote absentee without an excuse, and for a longer period. Those votes by mail would not require a picture ID. Political observers say Republicans tend to benefit the most from absentee balloting.

Two words: mail box!

Force feed the Murderer

ROCKVILLE, Maryland (AP) — A judge allowed corrections officials to forcibly feed convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad while he awaits trial in the county for six October 2002 killings.

Muhammad had not eaten anything since being transferred to the Montgomery County, Maryland, jail on Monday, corrections officials said in court documents filed Thursday.

He was apparently upset with the food he was being served and the handling of his legal material.

Doctors had concluded that Muhammad, 44, was at risk of serious injury or death of he continued his hunger strike, corrections officials said.

Judge James L. Ryan issued an order allowing officials at the county jail to forcibly feed and hydrate him.

I just find this amazing, in the same country that starved Terri Schiavo to death. I mean… well, never mind, cause if you don’t get it, bless your heart, I can’t explain it.

Texas Execution??

HOUSTON, Texas (AP) — Lawyers for a death row inmate asked the Texas parole board Wednesday to commute her sentence and stop the lethal injection that would make her only the third woman executed in the state since the Civil War.

Frances Newton, 40, is scheduled to die Sept. 14 for the 1987 shooting deaths of her husband and two children. She has denied any role in the killings and says a drug dealer she knew only as Charlie may have been responsible.

In their petition to the Board of Pardons and Paroles, two lawyers with the Texas Innocence Network argue Newton’s guilt is in doubt because she had incompetent legal help at her 1988 trial, the state mishandled evidence, and her defense wasn’t told about a second gun at the scene.

Last winter, Newton came within two hours of execution before Gov. Rick Perry gave her a 120-day reprieve to allow more evidence testing.

I’ll be watching this one.

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