Sunday, September 20, 2009
Google Outage on 9/1: Was it Cyberstalking?
It is infinately preferable to prevent a likely wrongful execution than it is to protest one after the fact. Authorities had the fire report in Cameron Todd Willingham's arson/murder case before his execution in 2004, but executed the Texan anyway. Authorities now have the DNA test results for Thomas Arthur that rule him out as the source for forensic evidence at the scene of Troy Wicker's murder, but plan his execution anyway. Mainstream media quit reporting about Arthur upon receipt of his DNA test results in July that indicate innocence, and my own reports are met with censorship and cyberstalking. Why?
Will the media also simply stop reporting on the Troy Davis case if authorities decide to execute him despite strong indications of innocence? Why is there censorship around planned executions? Troy Davis is under gag order, and mainstream news reports about Thomas Arthur's DNA test results are nonexistent. If authorities are ashamed of capital punishment and the mistakes that are made, censorship is not the answer. It is simply time to say DEATH TO THE DEATH PENALTY!
Did Google discover the cause for gmail going down on September 1, 2009? My inquiry is because of interference experienced announcing an article I published on that day in Care2 News Network. eCards I sent to 200 friends and human rights groups on September 1 were sabotaged. And gmail, which I use for my prisoner advocacy email box, went down. Care2 reported a cyberattack on September 1 in the ecard area. Is this coincidence?
The article I published on September 1 that encountered such interference concerned condemned Alabama man, Thomas Arthur. More than two months after his DNA results were received, mainstream media still has not reported that Arthur's DNA was a negative match for the evidence tested. However, if one enters "Thomas Arthur Alabama" into the Web browser, there is extensive media coverage on Arthur's quest to prove his innocence through DNA testing, which was denied repeatedly during many of the 26 years of his imprisonment. Numerous news reports over the years covered the courts' and governor's denial of Arthur's requests for post-conviction DNA testing, protests regarding his lethal injection, and Arthur's stays of execution. But there were no mainstream media reports about his test results that were received this summer. What happened?
I learned of Arthur's favorable DNA test results from his daughter immediately after the forensic lab released them in July. Sherrie Stone wrote to prisoner activists and thanked us for working on behalf of her father finally being granted DNA testing, which substantiated his innocence. At the time, she anticipated that Arthur's test results would lead to his exoneration and release. (Sherrie Stone's email thanking prisoner activists and informing us about her father's DNA results is in the fourth comment in the Care2 News Network article at LINK # 3 below.)
It was therefore surprising to discover that Arthur was still on death row in August and to read in The Birmingham News that a district attorney planned to ask for a death warrant. The news report was dated August 11, and it made no mention whatsoever of Thomas Arthur's DNA test results. The article reported that Arthur had allegedly committed a "fraud on the court" by inducing Bobby Ray Gilbert, another inmate, to make a false confession regarding Wicker's murder, which resulted in Arthur winning a stay of execution on July 31, 2008. The Birmingham News article reported that Gilbert had undergone DNA testing, and forensic evidence conclusively proved the inmate's confession was false; he did not kill Wicker. Why did The Birmingham News omit reporting that Thomas Arthur's DNA test, presumably against the same evidence, also proved that Arthur was not Wicker's murderer, I wondered. (See the link below for The Birmingham News article entitled "Alabama prosecutor seeks execution date for Thomas Arthur," LINK #1)
To be executed for committing fraud to save one's life seemed so extreme that I launched this poll at Voting Central on August 31: Should Thomas Arthur, Whose DNA Test Results Were Negative As the Murderer, Be Executed Anyway? (The poll is available at LINK #2 below)
On September 1, I published the poll in a short article at Care2 News Network, but my attempts to notify people about the poll and article via Care2 ecards were sabotaged. The ecards I sent to 200 friends, human rights groups, and others were stripped of all the data about Thomas Arthur, the DNA test results, and his impending execution, and only the title and tag lines (leading nowhere) were intact. In fact, the ecards arrived to my addressees basically blank. Care2 was attacked on September 1 in its ecard system and gmail had an outage. Comments at my Care2 News Network article evidence the cyberwar that was waged against my alerting people about Arthur's pending execution despite the outcome of his DNA test. (See the article at LINK #3 below)
After publishing the article, I also spoke with Arthur's daughter, Sherrie Stone, on September 1. She explained that Judge Pulliam had put her father's DNA results under seal, prohibiting his lawyers from publishing the results. Perhaps because the court sealed Arthur's DNA test results, mainstream media must also keep the DNA test results secret until after Arthur's execution. Arthur's DNA test results are published on his website at LINK #4 below. Sherrie wrote:
Mary, Thank you for all the articles you have done on behalf of my father. I have posted the DNA test results on my fathers web site. There are still a few items that could be tested, but state will not allow that. The state also denied any additional testing on the items that were recently tested. The Innocence Project* feels more advanced testing should have been made available to the defense from the beginning. The whole ordeal has just been a nightmare that never ends. I really appreciate all you have done and continue to do on my father's behalf. Sincerely, Sherrie
*The Innocence Project is not Arthur's lawyers.
The only article covering Arthur's DNA test results that I found on the Internet other than my own was written by another blogger in Alabama News Commentary. The blogger opined that since Arthur's DNA results came back as a negative match for crime scene evidence tested, the State of Alabama should not hurry to execute him. (See the link to the blog below as LINK #5.)
Since I publish MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com as my prisoner advocacy email box and use it to send announcements whenever I publish articles, I wondered if the cyberstalkers attacked gmail, as they attacked the Care2 ecards program. Just how secret are Thomas Arthur's DNA test results?
My Internet cyberstalking is not unlike what an activist named Cyxymu reportedly experiences. On August 8, TheLoop21 reported that cyberstalkers caused Twitter to go down for two hours and negatively impacted operations at other networks in order to stop Cyxymu's reports, including Google and Facebook. "Facebook said its service had been degraded," the article reported. I commented under the TheLoop21 article about my own cyberstalking problems.
"The attack appears to be directed at an individual who has a presence on a number of sites, rather than the sites themselves," a Facebook spokesman told BBC News. (See a link to The Loop21 report Web Attack Aimed at One Activist Blogger below as LINK #6.)
On September 1, despite the fact that Care2 reported suffering a cyberattack that destroyed the data I had input on ecards about Thomas Arthur's DNA test results, and although Google had an outage that negatively affected my getting information about my article published to friends and human rights groups via gmail, the article with Thomas' poll nevertheless made front page at Care2 News Network and helped to notify many people who care. Ironically, the same thing happened a week later when I published an article featuring a petition for Cameron Todd Willingham to be exonerated post mortem. The petition is sponsored by Texas Moratorium Network to request that the State of Texas admit it wrongly executed Willingham for the arson murders of his children, because fire reports indicate there was likely no arson. eCards I sent to notify friends and human rights groups about the petition and article arrived to addressees stripped of my input except the heading, just as had happened a week before regarding the Thomas Arthur article and poll. I know of no other Care2 ecards having data deletions except these.
Why do I publish news about such justice issues as Thomas Arthur's? In part because the media never reported my family's justice quest regarding the secret arrest and wrongful death of Larry Neal, my handicapped brother, we have been deprived of the information needed for closure for over six years. No media coverage was given to The Cochran Firm Fraud that followed his death, wherein that law firm used its position as Larry's wrongful death attorneys to help Memphis Shelby County Jail, our defendant, to avoid accountability for Larry's demise.
Because my brother's secret jail death is not afforded the investigative effort of animal abuse and our family's pleas for justice were met with denial of due process of law, people like Arthur's family have my sympathy. I try in my limited way to bring their justice quests before the public in hopes that someone will care enough about human and civil rights to give them the assistance that my family is denied. Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (AIMI) was founded to help decriminalize mental illness, but we also advocate for the wrongly convicted, which appears to apply to Thomas Arthur. It would be rewarding to help save a family from enduring the wrongful death of a loved one rather than helping to publicize the loss after it already happened like Todd Willingham's execution and my brother's demise. (See LINK #7 below for our website about Larry Neal's secret arrest and wrongful death.)
SEPTEMBER 1, 2009 WAS APPARENTLY A BUSY DAY FOR CYBERSTALKERS SEEKING TO PREVENT DISSEMINATION OF NEWS ABOUT ARTHUR FACING EXECUTION DESPITE HIS DNA RESULTS.
Sample of the basically empty ecard that went from Care2 to my network:
Dear Mary Neal,
Your Care2 eCard was received by "Jim P." on Sep 1, 2009.
To view your eCard, click on the following link:
Internet links referenced in this article:
(1) The Birmingham News, August 8: Alabama prosecutor seeks execution date for Thomas Arthur http://www.al.com/news/birminghamnews/metro.ssf?/base/news/124997852313600.xml&coll=2
(2) Poll - Voting Central, August 31: Should Thomas Arthur, Whose DNA Test Results Were Negative As the Murderer, Be Executed Anyway?
(3) Care2 News Network article published Sept. 1: ...The Thomas Arthur Story
(4) Thomas Arthur's Website - with DNA test results - http://www.thomasarthurfightforlife.com/
(5) Blog: Alabama News Commentary- al.com: OUR VIEW: Alabama Death Row inmate Thomas Arthur's DNA tests don't prove his innocence but they don't confirm guilt, either
(6) The Loop21, August 8: Web Attack Aimed at One Activist Blogger
(7) Website: Wrongful Death of Larry Neal http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com/