Additional Issues

North Carolina Supreme Court Debates Doctors' Roles in Executions

The North Carolina Supreme Court heard arguments on November 18 on whether the state's Medical Board can sanction doctors who participate in an execution. The Board forbids physician participation in executiions as a violation of the medical code of ethics. At the same time, North Carolina's death penalty statute requires a physician’s presence at all executions.

Senators Leahy and Specter Introduce Habeas Corpus Restoration Act

On December 5, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania introduced legislation (S. 4081) to restore the right to habeas corpus to those deemed to be enemy combatants and who are facing trial before military commissions, including those being detained at the U.S. Guantanamo prison in Cuba.  Habeas corpus provides an avenue for inmates in detention to challenge the constitutionality of their confinement.  The roots of this protection go back to early English law and the right to habeas corpus is guaranteed in the U.S.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006: A Short Primer

Part One (Part Two Follows)
October 9th, 2006

10 days ago, by a vote of 65 to 34, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA). To facilitate the prosecution of detainees that the Bush Administration "disappeared" into secret CIA custody for several years, Congress created a system of justice that is far inferior to that of the federal courts and courts-martial. And not only did Congress give the Administration much of what sought in terms of substandard justice, it also allowed the Administration to pack the bill with a grab-bag of unnecessary and abusive measures.

With 10 separate sections, a few hundred provisions, and thirty-eight pages of fine print, the military commissions bill is complicated and, in a few areas, unclear. Its concrete impact will be assessed in what will no doubt be a long series of court cases that will end up in the Supreme Court.

What follows is a first stab at interpreting the scope and meaning of this exceedingly harmful bill.

Terrorism Trial's Strategies Revealed

Washington Post, Nov. 14, 2005, by Jerry Markon

As preparations intensify for the upcoming death penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, newly unsealed court documents are laying out the arguments prosecutors and defense attorneys plan to make in what is likely to be the only judicial reckoning for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Prosecutors will tell an Alexandria federal court jury that Moussaoui
deserves to die because he lied to the FBI when he was arrested a month
before the terrorist assaults that killed nearly 3,000 people, the papers

U.S. Plans Death Camp


May 26, 2003

THE US has floated plans to turn Guantanamo Bay into a death camp, with its own death row and execution chamber.


September 11, 2001: A Forum of Information and News, Especially Related to Capital Punishment

Terrorist Attacks Affirm Need for a Paradigm Shift

Sr. Helen Statement after Terrorist Attacks Sister Helen Prejean, csj
September 17, 2001

I'm on a U.S. Airways plane - half-filled - on my way back to New Orleans after a week of cancelled speaking engagements. I've seen American flags everywhere - in shops, on people's suitcases, on the lapels of pilots and flight attendants. Everybody's been glued to the T.V. looking in disbelief at the sight of our own planes crashing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Everybody's swapping stories of the horrors: a couple, holding hands, jumping to their deaths from 80 stories up; the


U.S. death penalty could prove hurdle to extradition of terror suspects from Britain

U.S. death penalty could prove hurdle to extradition of terror suspects from Britain
Associated Press
October 8, 2001

European human-rights legislation may hinder Britain from extraditing suspects in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks who could face the death penalty in the United States, a government official said Sunday. Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights bars Britain and the other signatories from extraditing prisoners if they could face capital punishment. There is no death penalty in any of the 15 member nations of the European Union.