News & Developments


Jun 14, 2024

Remembering the Execution of 14-year-old George Stinney, 80 Years Later

June 16, 2024, marks 80 years since South Carolina exe­cut­ed 14-year-old George Stinney Jr. Historical reports indi­cate that on March 24, 1944, Mr. Stinney and his younger sis­ter, Aime, were play­ing out­side when two white girls approached them, ask­ing where they could find a par­tic­u­lar flower. Neither Mr. Stinney nor his sis­ter knew where the young girls could find these flow­ers and they quick­ly moved along. That evening, when both young girls failed to return home, a search par­ty was sent to…

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Jun 13, 2024

By Reversing Grants of Relief, Supreme Court Signals Lower Courts to Apply Stricter Approach to Review of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claims

In the past two weeks, the Supreme Court over­turned grants of relief for two death-sen­tenced pris­on­ers. In both cas­es, low­er courts had found they received inef­fec­tive assis­tance of coun­sel at tri­al. The Court’s rul­ings are in line with its oth­er deci­sions in death penal­ty cas­es restrict­ing appeals for death-sen­tenced pris­on­ers and extolling the impor­tance of final­i­ty” over merits-based…

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Jun 12, 2024

Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Identifies Death Penalty as a Legislative Priority Due to Legacy of Racial Violence and Bias

On June 11, 2024, the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) held a press con­fer­ence high­light­ing the group’s leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties, which includ­ed the death penal­ty as a key con­cern. Noting the racial cycle of injus­tice per­pe­trat­ed by the death penal­ty,” State Representative Terrence Upchurch, who is also the pres­i­dent of the OLBC, insist­ed that leg­isla­tive lead­er­ship move toward dis­man­tling this flawed sys­tem and estab­lish­ing a new lega­cy of equal­i­ty and jus­tice in…

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Prosecutorial Accountability

Jun 11, 2024

New Accusations of Prosecutorial Misconduct in Virginia Capital Case Emerge Three Years After State Abolishes Death Penalty

A June 2024 peti­tion filed in the Prince William County, Virginia Circuit Court, accus­es for­mer Commonwealth Attorney (CA) Paul Ebert of with­hold­ing excul­pa­to­ry evi­dence dur­ing the tri­al of Louis Jefferson Dukes Jr., who, along with his nephew Lonnie Weeks Jr., was con­vict­ed of mur­der­ing a state troop­er in 1994 dur­ing a traf­fic stop. Mr. Dukes was found guilty and sen­tenced to life in prison, while Mr. Weeks was found guilty, received the death penal­ty, and was exe­cut­ed in 2000. In the…

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Jun 10, 2024

Missouri Supreme Court Sets Execution Date for Marcellus Williams Despite County Prosecutor’s Pending Motion for Innocence Hearing

On June 4, 2024, the Missouri Supreme Court set a September 24, 2024, exe­cu­tion date for death-sen­tenced pris­on­er Marcellus Williams (pic­tured), despite seri­ous doubts that he was not involved in the mur­der for which he is incar­cer­at­ed. The announce­ment came just hours after the state Supreme Court ruled that Governor Mike Parson did not vio­late any rules when he dis­solved a board of inquiry estab­lished in June 2023 by his pre­de­ces­sor, Eric Greitens, to inves­ti­gate Mr. William’s claim of…

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