In a speech urging U.S. leaders to ratify the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which forbids the execution of juvenile offenders, President Jimmy Carter noted that the United States and Somalia are the only two countries in the U.N. that have not approved the guidelines. "My wife (Rosalyn) writes letters to the governors of each state when a child is going to be executed," Carted noted as he praise his wife's work to end the juvenile death penalty. Carter noted that America's objection
Two years after Brandon Biggs first expressed forgiveness for Chante Mallard, the woman who killed his father in a nationally-publicized Texas murder, he has received a $10,000 college scholarship from prisoners on death row. The scholarship is funded through advertising and subscriptions to "Compassion," a two-year-old newsletter edited by and featuring articles by death row inmates across the nation. Biggs, whose father was struck by a car on a Fort Worth highway and left to bleed to death,
A new book by Margaret Edds, an award-winning editorial writer with the Virginian-Pilot, explores the wrongful conviction of former Virginia death row inmate Earl Washington. "An Expendable Man: The Near-Execution of Earl Washington, Jr." provides detailed analysis of the state's prosecution of Washington, a mentally retarded man who spent almost 18 years in prison - nearly 10 of those on death row - for a murder he did not commit.
Michael Lee McCormick has been on Tennessee's death row for 17 years, but a recent court decision throwing out the remaining evidence against him could result in his freedom. Judge Doug Meyer ruled that tapes containing conversations between McCormick and an undercover police officer who had befriended him were inadmissible due to "police misconduct." Meyer noted that McCormick, who is an alcoholic, had continually denied his involvement in the crime "until the authorities made him dependent upon them for his alcohol.
A Tennessee jury took only 2 hours to convict and another hour to sentence Richard Taylor to death. Taylor suffers from mental illness and defended himself. The trial took place 19 years after Taylor's original 1984 death sentence, which was set aside because he had inadequate representation and his complex mental-health history had not been fully investigated.
Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi was allowed to plead guilty to 10 murders, drug trafficking, racketeering and extortion, as federal prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty against him in exchange for his cooperation with ongoing crime investigations. Under the terms of the agreement, Flemmi - who has also admitted to murders in Florida and Oklahoma - will serve a life without parole sentence in a secure unit reserved for cooperating inmates. Among the murders committed by Flemmi were the murder of his girlfriend and the daughter of another girlfriend.
Kenyan government officials are working to abolish the nation's death penalty and replace the punishment with life in prison. The recommendation is currently under review by Kenya's constitutional review conference, a body comprised of members of parliament, professional bodies and religious and civic leaders. Kenya has not had an execution since 1987, but 2,618 people remain on the nation's death row.
"Life on Death Row" is a first-person account of living under a death sentence in Arizona. Written by Arizona death row inmate Robert W. Murray, the book explores how inmates cope with execution warrants, lethal injection, prison politics, and day-to-day life in a supermax prison facility. Find more information about this book. (www.1stbooks.com) ( Albert Publishing Co. in association with 1st Books Library, 2003) See Resources.
On October 3, 2003, the Alabama Supreme Court unanimously reversed Phillip Tomlin's death sentence and ordered him resentenced to life in prison without parole, marking the Court's first ruling to create a standard of review for judicial override in the state. Tomlin had been on death row for more than 25 years despite the fact that four juries have recommended that he receive a life sentence for his alleged role in a Mobile, Alabama, revenge killing. In each of those cases, the trial judge overrode the jury
In "Kiss of Death: America's Love Affair with the Death Penalty," attorney John Bessler presents arguments against capital punishment based on his work as a pro bono attorney for death row inmates in Texas. Woven into Bessler's personal account is an examination of U.S. capital punishment practices in contrast to the absence of the death penalty in other nations. The book also addresses the toll executions take on those who participate in the process. (Northeastern University Press, 2003) See Resources.