Friday, October 06, 2006


A life is a life, isn't it?

Anyone who isn't blind and deaf probably knows that we are in full election swing. There are yard signs, TV ads, campaign blogs and emails. It's all around us. In this time, I've received a number of emails asking about TCASK endorsements for candidates, etc. As a 501(c)3 organization, of course, TCASK does not endorse candidates. And we don't believe that the death penalty should become a partisan issue. We are about public education and organizing, demonstrating the inherent flaws of the capital punishment system, and finding common ground with as many people as possible.

But not everyone feels that way. Lots of bigger organizations do make candidate endorsements, donations, etc. Which brings me to the subject of today's post. One email I got, from a Catholic friend of mine included the following:

I continue to get information from "pro-life" organizations on candidates who support the "pro-life" message - many even including voter guides (like this one)

It seems inconsistent to me that many of these same "pro-life" candidates are also "pro-death", supporting capital punishment.

Now, while TCASK doesn't endorse candidates, I find myself agreeing with the overall sentiment of this email. Some of the candidates who bill themselves as "pro-life" are also "pro-death" when it comes to executions. Tennessee Right to Life has maintained a position of being against the taking of "innocent" life. I wonder what they would say about the execution of Paul House? Or Ruben Cantu? How about Carlos De Luna?

One of the candidates that TN Right to Life endorses is Matthew Hill, from the 7th House District. Representative Hill is a "pro-life" candidate who has sponsored legislation to expand the use of the death penalty. Expand a system that we know threatens innocent lives, costs tax-payers money, target the poor, and fails to deter crime.

As abolitionists we should be concerned that the pro-life mantle is so easily assumed by so many cheer leaders for state-sponsored killing. Because let's remember, the official cause of death for a person who has been executed is homicide. It's hard to reconcile "I'm pro-life" with "I support homicide."
Comments :
Remember Ru-486? Perhaps you may still yet recall the 1994 National Right To Committee Boycott of pharmaceutical products manufactured by the German pharmaceutical company formerly known as Hoechst AG and all Hoechst subisdiary operations including the U.S. based Hoechst Marion Roussel(HMR), and more particularly the Hoechst-owned cardiac prescription drug Altace.

By the early summer of 1995 (and during the ongoing National Right To Life Committee Boycott of Hoechst), then King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. President Jefferson "Jeff" Gregory (brother of then King CEO John M. Gregory) began negotiations with Hoechst to acquire U.S. marketing and distribution rights to Altace and other Hoechst branded pharmaceutical products.

The Gregorys completed the accquistion of Altace from Hoechst during late 1998, thereby allowing King Pharmaceuticals (and more specifically, the King subsidiary Monarch Pharmaceuticals) to become a business partner and circumvent both the NRTLC boycott of Hoechst pharma products within U.S. markets and to sanitize the Hoechst corporate image with the United States (giving up the corporate name "Hoechst" in January 1999 and undertaking at least one corporate merger that would help disassociate the new corporate identity with RU-486.

The Gregorys (based in Bristol, Tennessee) became extremely wealthy after Altace was reintroduced into the U.S. market under the Monarch Pharmaceuticals brand. Gregorys had also become more influential within the Tennessee Republican political circles by making extremely generous campaign contributions under a "pro-life" and "conservative" banner.

Read more at:

Tennessee RU-486 Representative Matthew Hill

Hill Boy's Deception

You will not ever find Rep. Matthew Hill speaking out against the RU-486 abortion drug or speaking about "Altace" and abortion in the same breath...
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