Feb 19, 2021

National Geographic Publishes Feature Story on Innocence and the Death Penalty

For the first time in its his­to­ry, National Geographic mag­a­zine has tack­led the sub­ject of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. Sentenced to death, but inno­cent, a fea­ture sto­ry in the March 2021 issue of the mag­a­zine, chron­i­cles the sto­ries of fif­teen death-row exonerees and illu­mi­nates the per­va­sive issue of inno­cence and the death penal­ty in the United States. The arti­cle, released on the same day as the Death Penalty Information Center’s new report The Innocence…

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Aug 12, 2020

New Resources: Capital Punishment and the State of Criminal Justice 2020

The American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section has released The State of Criminal Justice 2020, its annu­al report on issues, trends, and sig­nif­i­cant changes in America’s crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. The ABA book includes a chap­ter on sig­nif­i­cant cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment devel­op­ments over the past year, authored by Ronald J. Tabak, chair of the Death Penalty Committee of the ABA’s Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice. Tabak’s analysis…

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Feb 04, 2020

New Scholarship: Born in the Legacy of Discrimination, What Comes After Capital Punishment Goes?

As the death penal­ty con­tin­ues to wilt across the coun­try, what­ev­er peno­log­i­cal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion it once pur­port­ed­ly served is dying as well, say cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment schol­ars Carol Steiker and Jordan Steiker (pic­tured). In their new arti­cle The Rise, Fall, and Afterlife of the Death Penalty in the United States in the January 2020 Annual Review of Criminology, the Steikers exam­ine four cen­tral issues in the rise and fall of the death penal­ty in…

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Jan 23, 2019

Bill to Abolish Wyoming’s Death Penalty Introduced with Bipartisan Support

A bipar­ti­san coali­tion of Wyoming leg­is­la­tors has intro­duced a bill to abol­ish the state’s death penal­ty. On January 15, 2019, Cheyenne Republican State Representative Jared Olsen (pic­tured, left) and Republican State Senator Brian Boner (pic­tured, right), intro­duced HB145, which would repeal the death penal­ty and replace it with a judi­cial­ly imposed sen­tence of life with­out parole or life impris­on­ment. The bill, co-spon­sored by six­teen other…

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Jan 14, 2019

With Backing of New Governor, Florida Clemency Board Posthumously Pardons the Groveland Four”

On January 11, 2019, the Florida Clemency Board unan­i­mous­ly grant­ed posthu­mous par­dons to the Groveland Four,” four young African-American men false­ly accused of rap­ing a young white woman in Lake County, Florida in 1949. During the racist hys­te­ria fol­low­ing the accu­sa­tion, white mobs burned down black res­i­dences, a mas­sive white posse lynched a black sus­pect, all-white juries con­demned two inno­cent men to death and an…

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Jun 01, 2018

ANALYSIS: Research Supports Assertion that U.S. Death Penalty Devalues Black Lives”

The Movement for Black Lives has called for abol­ish­ing the death penal­ty in the United States, assert­ing that cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment is a racist lega­cy of slav­ery, lynch­ing, and Jim Crow that deval­ues Black lives.” A Spring 2018 arti­cle in the University of Chicago’s phi­los­o­phy jour­nal Ethics, co-authored by Michael Cholbi, Professor of Philosophy at California State Polytechnic University and Alex Madva, Assistant Professor of…

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May 15, 2018

Illinois Governor Uses Gun-Control Veto to Attempt to Re-Enact Death Penalty

llli­nois Governor Bruce Rauner has con­di­tion­al­ly vetoed a gun-con­trol ini­tia­tive unless the leg­is­la­ture agrees to rein­state cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in the state. Exercising an amenda­to­ry veto — a pow­er some gov­er­nors are grant­ed that per­mits them to amend leg­is­la­tion in lieu of an out­right veto — Rauner called for mak­ing the killing of a police offi­cer or any mur­der in which more than one per­son was killed a new crime of death penal­ty mur­der.” In a May 14, 2018 news con­fer­ence at the…

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May 01, 2018

Los Angeles Times Editorial: Exoneration Shows Why Death Penalty Needs to End

The April 2018 exon­er­a­tion of Vicente Benavides Figueroa, wrong­ful­ly con­vict­ed and sen­tenced to death on charges of rap­ing, sodom­iz­ing, and mur­der­ing his girl­friend’s 21-month-old daugh­ter, illus­trates why the death penal­ty should be abol­ished, the Los Angeles Times said in an April 27, 2018 edi­to­r­i­al. Benavides — an intel­lec­tu­al­ly dis­abled Mexican nation­al who was work­ing as a sea­son­al farm work­er — was sen­tenced to death after med­ical wit­ness­es had been provided…

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