Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What Picture Do you Post on Your Blog When a Man is About to Be Executed?

June 9 TODAY - Execution Set for Richard Strong

Richard Strong’s execution date is set for June 9, 2015, and is based on  his conviction in the homicides of his girlfriend, Eva Washington and her two-year old daughter Zandrea Thomas.  His capital sentence arose as a result of the work of incompetent trial counsel, as well as behavior driven by mental illness and extreme childhood trauma.  He has been diagnosed with Major (Recurrent) Depression,  PTSD and Schizotypal Personality Disorder. 
Horrific childhood trauma:  Due to the incompetence of mitigation counsel, the trial jury never learned of Strong’s horrific childhood and history of mental illness.  Richard Strong’s father abandoned him soon after conception and was incarcerated when he was born.  Richard grew up “extremely poor, often not having anything to eat” and without basic necessities.  His mother lived with a series of abusive boyfriends throughout his childhood, at 26 different places, most all were “derelict apartments in violent” St. Louis neighborhoods, many of them were rat and roach-infested often without electricity.
As a child, Strong experienced a turbulent environment where his mother gambled and sold herself to support the family.  He also lived through a number of traumatic events.  He saw a friend get shot in the back and found his best friend’s mother dead.   He and his siblings were also forced to listen to their mother’s screams as she was being raped.  He and brothers were frequently beaten by his mother’s many boyfriends.  A babysitter sexually abused Strong when he was five, as did a stranger when he was 12.
Low intellectual functioning and mental illness:  Richard had to repeat first grade.  Because of his chaotic living arrangements, he would often miss school and only graduated from high school with a 1.8 GPA.  An evaluation at the Potosi Correctional Center determined he has an IQ of 74, reads at a 3rdgrade level and spells like a 2nd grader.  Other mental health specialists determined he suffers from Major (Recurrent) Depression, PTSD and Schizotypal Personality Disorder among other conditions.
Woefully inadequate legal counsel:   Richard’s trial lawyers were paid $15,000 to represent him, a fraction of the cost needed for a robust fight against the death penalty.  In violation of the ABA standards for representation in death penalty cases, the attorney overseeing the sentencing phase of trial had just finished law school the previous year and had never tried a criminal case, much less a capital case.  He had no experience with presenting a mitigation defense and only began interviewing relatives as the jury was being selected.  He and the lead counsel chose to stress during the sentencing trial that Strong was “a good and loving person” with a “faith in God.”  Jurors, and his own trial attorneys, had no clue about Mr. Strong’s brutal childhood and psychological issues.  It was only when post-conviction attorneys did a thorough investigation that these issues came to light.
Another St. Louis County case.  Mr. Strong is the 4th African-American man set for execution this year in cases coming from St. Louis County (fortunately two of those executions were stayed.)  The county has been responsible for the 9th most executions of any US jurisdiction.  Ten of the 32 current inmates living under a death sentence is Missouri were convicted by St. Louis County prosecutors.
·     CONTACT Gov. Jay Nixon.  Urge him to commute his death sentence.  Call 573-751-3222; send a letter, by mail: Rm 216, State Capitol, Jefferson City MO 65101; fax: 573-751-1495 or e-mail:
·       CONTACT Attorney General Chris Koster. Urge him to cease pushing for executionsincluding Mr. Strong’s. Call 573-751-3321, write: PO Box 899, Jefferson City MO 652101 or e-mail

6320 Brookside Plaza Suite 185
Kansas City, MO 64113

Monday, September 14, 2015


Lets just hope that some elected leader can do more with this federally mandated local police killing data than Missouri has done with over a decade of racial profiling data.  So far we are 0-1 for civil rights and data reporting.

Friday, September 11, 2015

CALL A STATE REP and tell them not to vote for Right to Work is a lie - its a ticket to be poor!

Legendary Civil Rights leader CT Vivian with Rev. Susan McCann in Kansas City

On July 16,  Mayor James and the Kansas City Council proved that they are among the few elected officials in the country with the moral courage to challenge the sin of poverty wages. This decision to raise the minimum wage made by City Council is now in question and it's time we act.  We can sit by and do nothing or we can stand together as a faith community. It's our sacred duty to respond. 

With one week to go until Veto Session, we are in a close fight to maintain the veto of House Bill 722 with a "NO" vote and stand by the principle that the residents of each community understand their needs and deserve a voice!  This means local control of decision-making in Missouri. 

Thank you for acting now as a faith community. 
Theresa A. Garza, MPA
Communities Creating Opportunity

P.S. - This is our last chance to make sure we keep local control in Missouri. Please contact your legislators ASAP to voice your opposition to House Bill 722.

PS: Follow CCO on Twitter (or on Facebook) to see some of our latest updates, including new photos and images.

Your support is vital. Chip in $5 today to help fuel our efforts to move human dignity to the center of public life. 

Want to Make Jefferson City Better Place to Live?

Want to make Jefferson City a better place to live?

CAMPO wishes to invite you to our next Advisory/Steering Committee meeting on:

Thursday, September 17, 2015
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Police Classroom
Jefferson City Police Department, 401 Monroe St
Jefferson City, MO 65101
St. Louis-based Bicycle and Pedestrian advocates Trailnet will assist us in our goal-setting activity for the Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan. We have provided Trailnet with background information gathered from our previous meetings and open house. Trailnet will be assisting us in one session, which is why there is more time budgeted than in previous meetings, which typically run only two hours.

We really anticipate to be done prior to 3:00 p.m. and will be providing lunch, but have reserved the facility in case we need the extra time. We understand if you can't stay for the entire activity, but are welcome anyway.
The displays and comments from our June open house and other information gathered from our meetings and survey results are available on our website for you review.
We will be providing a working lunch so please RSVP to Alex Rotenberry or 573-634-6525 so that we can plan on having the appropriate amount of food.

Please make plans to join us!

Please note the change of venue.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

NAACP FREEDOM FUND DINNER OCT 3, 2015 at 6 PM at Capital Plaza


Nimrod Chapel, Jr., JC NAACP President


 (855) 9 WORKER



September 9, 2015

Jefferson City NAACP 52nd Freedom fund Dinner Fundraiser

Jefferson City, Missouri, September 10, 2015–
The Jefferson City, Missouri NAACP hosts the 52nd  Annual Freedom Fund Dinner with speaker Rueben Shelton. This year’s theme is “Justice & Mercy Now.”

The dinner is Saturday, October 3, 2015 at the Capital Plaza Hotel, Jefferson City, MO.  An auction will be held before the dinner at 6 pm. The dinner starts at 7 pm. The organization is now accepting table purchases and ticket purchases. Tickets are $50.00 per person. Table purchases are a minimum of $550. 

The JC NAACP is also accepting donations for the auction. Items that have been donated and auctioned in the past include electronics, sports memorabilia, etc. Please contact Glenn Bonner at, or (573) 690-1097, for table/ticket purchases, and to make donations.  Jefferson City, MO NAACP P.O. Box 104221, Jefferson City, MO 65110-4221

“Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.  The issues faced in Missouri over the last 14 months have made the state an example - an example of what is still being determined.  We are part of the solution and we at the NAACP encourage you to join us in ensuring that Jefferson City is on the right side of discussions about justice and equality,” said NAACP president, Atty. Nimrod Chapel, Jr. in discussing the event. “We welcome everyone to the dinner.”
The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.
# # #

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Nimrod Chapel, Jr., JC NAACP President at  (855) 9 WORKER or email at


Cole County Health Flu Clinic

The CCHD will again offer a flu clinics in Jefferson City. If you have questions about the clinics
please call the CCHD at 636.2181. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Want Changes to Law Enforcement? Tell the Governor in a public meeting on 9/17 in Jefferson City or 9/24 in St. Louis

Contact:          Mike O’Connell, (573) 751-4819

Sept. 8, 2015

Missouri POST Commission announces details on next two public meetings to gather suggestions on changes to law enforcement officer training standards

JEFFERSON CITY – The Department of Public Safety today announced details of the next two Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission public meetings in Jefferson City and the St. Louis area to gather suggestions for changes to law enforcement officer training requirements. Please note the date of the St. Louis meeting has been rescheduled from the original date announced on Aug. 26.

Jefferson City Meeting, 1:45 p.m. Sept. 17
Lincoln University
Scruggs Student Center – 2nd Floor Ballroom
820 Chestnut Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101

St. Louis Meeting, 1 p.m. Sept. 24*
St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley Campus
Student Center – Multipurpose Room
3400 Pershall Road
Ferguson, MO 63135
*Rescheduled from original date

The first POST Commission public meeting was held at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield on Sept. 1. Fifteen speakers addressed the representatives of the POST Commission and the Department of Public Safety.

The POST Commission met in Jefferson City on Aug. 21 and voted to hold the public meetings in response to Gov. Jay Nixon’s Aug. 6 directive to the commission and the Department of Public Safety to update and enhance law enforcement training standards in Missouri. The Governor’s directive included holding public meetings around the state to gather input from Missourians, including law enforcement agencies, advocacy groups and other stakeholders.

The Governor has directed the POST Commission and DPS to put forward by Dec. 1 new rules to improve access to effective and ongoing training in the key areas of tactical training, fair and impartial policing, and the health and well-being of officers. 
Additional public hearings will be held in Sikeston, Sept. 29; Kansas City, Oct. 7; and Kirksville, Oct. 14. Meeting locations and times will be released as arrangements are finalized. 

Written comments from the public can be emailed to through Oct. 15.

Established by state statute, the POST Commission is responsible for the curriculum for law enforcement officer basic training and continuing education in Missouri. More information about the commission and Missouri’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Program is available here


Friday, September 4, 2015

Complaints of state discrimination must be addressed.

Please send complaints of discrimination to your local NAACP unit.  

Here is what is happening after the NAACP in Washington got a bunch of complaints.

What is Labor Day?

Labor Day 2015 Statement and Resources
In this year's Labor Day statement, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, focuses on creating sufficient, decent work that honors the dignity of families.

"We must not resign ourselves to a 'new normal' with an economy that does not provide stable work at a living wage for too many men and women," Archbishop Wenski said. "We are in need of a profound conversion of heart at all levels of our lives." Archbishop Wenski challenged Catholics to "recommit ourselves to our brothers and sisters around the world in the human family, and build systems and structures that nurture family formation and stability in our own homes and neighborhoods."

Archbishop Wenski noted that even though work is meant for the sake of family, "Wage stagnation has increased pressures on families, as the costs of food, housing, transportation, and education continue to pile up." He added that "the violation of human dignity is evident in exploited workers, trafficked women and children, and a broken immigration system that fails people and families desperate for decent work and a better life."

Archbishop Wenski said that, in Laudato Si', Pope Francis challenges people to see the connections between human labor, care for creation, and honoring the dignity of the "universal family, a sublime communion which fills us with a sacred, affectionate and humble respect."
The full text of the 2015 Labor Day statement is available online. English | Spanish

Is Slavery Still Alive Today?

Is Nestle Using Slave Labor?

A Word From Our NAACP President

Hello from South Carolina!

I have to keep this short: I'm about to start the 28th day of America's Journey for Justice. 

On our journey we've marched down roads while hostile residents yelled out slurs and waved Confederate flags. We're walking through heat indexes well above 100 degrees—only stopping to have a meal, wrap our sore, blistered feet, and sleep before embarking once more. 

Nimrod, we need your support to keep our marchers safe. Please help provide food, water, security, and medical supplies for our marchers today by chipping in just $5—or whatever you can—today.

This journey has been incredibly inspiring so far—people of all ages, colors, faiths, are marching hand in hand in the name of justice. And no matter the obstacle, we're walking with our heads held high because we know we are on the right side of justice. We're on the right side of history, and we will not be silenced.

We really need your help today in order to see this through to the end. We've already walked 500+ miles, and your support could greatly ease our journey to Washington. 

Your contribution today will provide critical supplies for the men and women on this journey. Please make a donation now, we really need you with us:

Thank you,


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Do Any Lives Matter?

Do any lives matter?

We as citizens and family members extend our sincerest condolences to the loved ones of Ann Harrison and all individuals who have been murdered. We, as a caring society, must devote significant resources for nonviolent measures to eliminate suffering and promote healing (including counseling) for those grieving such horrible losses.
On a morning in March 1989 in Kansas City, Nunley was traveling in a stolen car with Michael Taylor after the two had been binging for four days on crack cocaine. Taylor directed Nunley to pull the car over so he could steal a purse from Harrison, just 15 years old, as she waited for a school bus near her home. Instead of a robbery, Taylor abducted her. They drove to the house of Nunley’s mother, where Taylor raped her — DNA evidence verified Nunley’s claim that he refused to do so. They placed the victim in the car trunk, where Taylor repeatedly and fatally stabbed her. Nunley drove the car several blocks away and abandoned it. A few days later, police found the vehicle and captured the two men. Soon after, Nunley confessed to his role in the awful crimes and has consistently expressed genuine remorse.
Nunley was ready to accept life in prison without the possibility of parole, waived his right to a jury trial and pleaded guilty as advised by his counsel, who wrongly believed the judge would sentence him to life. Instead he got a death sentence, as did Taylor, who was executed in February.
In its landmark 2002 Ring decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a jury, rather than a judge, must determine whether factors justify a death sentence. Dozens of people in U.S. prisons, including in Missouri, were consequently resentenced. Nunley and Taylor are among the few who remained under death sentences in such judge-sentenced cases. Had a jury of peers heard evidence of Nunley’s lesser role, his history of head traumas — exacerbating the effects of this rare drug use by him — and his remorse, he might well have received a life sentence.
All humans are precious, but this case reinforces the stark reality in terms of justice, not only in Missouri but nationwide: Black lives tend to matter less than those of their Caucasian counterparts as evidenced by the level of consequences levied against individuals for the crimes they commit, a level that is largely dependent on the race and gender of the victim and the perpetrator. According to a recent study by University of North Carolina researchers on Missouri’s death penalty, people convicted of killing white women were nearly 14 times more likely to be executed than those who had killed black men. The study found that although black men constitute 52 percent of all homicide victims, just 12 percent of individuals who were executed in Missouri were convicted of killing black men.
Since the death penalty was reinstituted in Missouri in 1977, well over 60 percent of the 15,000-plus murder victims in Missouri were black. Yet more than 76 percent — 66 of the 86 men — including Nunley, if he is indeed executed, were convicted of murdering Caucasians. Blacks make up about 40 percent of those executed in throughout the country but constitute less than 15 percent of the population.
Without a doubt, Nunley’s actions were reprehensible and indefensible, but his sentence of death is not in proportion to his criminal culpability. Please contact Gov. Jay Nixon’s office by phoning 573-751-3222 and urge him to stay Nunley’s execution and commute his death sentence.
Join other concerned citizens attending “Vigils for Life,” sponsored by Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, to remember all murder victims and to oppose murder by the state. They will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday in Jefferson City, outside the governor’s office, Room 216 in the state Capitol — with car-pooling from Columbia at 11:10 in the Clovers Market parking lot at East Broadway and Old 63 — and from 5 to 6 p.m. outside the Boone County Courthouse at Walnut and Eighth streets in Columbia.
Executing Roderick Nunley will put us in his shoes of complicity that day of his crimes. Like him, we will be aware of a life being taken through a criminal procedure we as taxpayers are responsible for, but for which we refuse to accept responsibility. Let’s stand for equality and justice and not the blind application of a law applied more based on skin color than justice.
Call 573-449-4585 for more information.
Nimrod Chapel Jr. is president of the Jefferson City branch of the NAACP.