Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Former AZ Supreme Court Chief Justice Joins Defense for Indicted Humanitarians

February 6th, 2006
Former AZ Supreme Court Chief Justice Joins Defense for Indicted Humanitarians

Tucson, AZ: Following a 1:30 hearing in which supporters of No More Deaths once again filled the courtroom, former Arizona Supreme Court Justice Stanley Feldman announced that he will join attorneys Bill Walker and Jeff Rogers as Council of Record for defendants Shanti Sellz and Daniel Strauss.

Justice Feldman (who is not related to prosecutor Irene Feldman) decided to join the case after acting as an independent consultant for Shanti and Daniel, who had been ordered by Magistrate Bernardo Velasco to speak with outside attorneys in relation to a potential conflict of interest for defense attorney Bill Walker.

After supporting Walker?s role as counsel for defendant Shanti Sellz, Justice Feldman expressed interest in joining the defense and will now serve pro-bono as co-counsel.

Shanti and Daniel were arrested on July 9th, 2005 while medically evacuating three sick migrants to Tucson. At the time of their arrest they were acting on the advice of two physicians and a nurse, who had directed them to seek emergency medical care. They
have since been charged with two felonies and face a maximum of fifteen years in prison, all for attempting to save lives in the midst of the deadliest month on record along the Arizona border.

In response to the charges against Shanti and Daniel No More Deaths has launched the campaign Humanitarian Aid is Never a Crime. More than 50,000 petitions have been sent to U.S. prosecutor Paul Charlton calling on him to drop the charges, Seventy-five hundred yard-signs are distributed across southern Arizona, and various community leaders and groups have come together to voice their outrage at this wrongful
prosecution. More than 2,000 individuals and organizations have endorsed the campaign.

Some of these endorsers include:

  • Amnesty International

  • the American Civil Liberties Union

  • Rick Ufford-Chase, moderator of the 16th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA

  • Sister Kathleen Mary McCarthy Esq., Senior Vice President of Missions, Carondelet Health Network

  • Episcopal Bishop Kirk Smith, Arizona Diocese

  • the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

  • the AFL-CIO (Pima County)

  • Dozens of local and national elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva

  • More than 50 churches and 100 religious leaders nationwide

Since 2003 the No More Deaths coalition has worked to mitigate the human toll of Americas failed border policies. Hundreds of medical professionals, church
volunteers and community leaders have provided humanitarian assistance along the border, encountering thousands of people in need and providing direct medical assistance, as well as advocating for policies that will resolve the border crisis and provide real security.

No More Deaths continues to call on the United States to cease the wrongful prosecution of Shanti and Daniel, and to come to the table to define legal avenues for humanitarian assistance. Every year hundreds of children, women and men die needless deaths along our border. We must work together to end this human tragedy. Humanitarian aid isnever a crime!

For more information, please visit
No More Deaths.org or call (520) 882-5466.


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