Items: 111 — 120

Jun 17, 2011

EDITORIALS: Texas Inmate With IQ of 62 Faces Imminent Execution

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the Houston Chronicle high­lights the case of Texas death-row inmate Milton Mathis, whose IQ of 62 places him well below the thresh­old for intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty (for­mer­ly called men­tal retar­da­tion”). Mr. Mathis faces exe­cu­tion on June 21, despite the 2002 U.S. Supreme Court rul­ing in Atkins v. Virginia, which banned the exe­cu­tion of inmates with intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ties. The Chronicle not­ed, If put to death, Milton Mathis would have one of the low­est — if not the low­est — undis­put­ed IQ scores of any Texas inmate sen­tenced to…

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May 23, 2011

EDITORIALS: Philadelphia Inquirer — Juries Know Better”

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the Philadelphia Inquirer con­cludes the pub­lic is ready to scrap the death penal­ty in Pennsylvania, even if the leg­is­la­ture is not. According to the edi­to­r­i­al, juries opt­ed for the death penal­ty in just 3% of first-degree mur­der cas­es over the past four years: Pennsylvania juries clear­ly are more com­fort­able with the alter­na­tive sen­tence of life with­out parole, which assures that first-degree mur­der con­victs will waste away behind bars.” The Inquirer cites sev­er­al dif­fer­ent rea­sons for what they called a sea change” in atti­tudes toward cap­i­tal punishment:…

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May 02, 2011

EDITORIALS: Birmingham News Calls for Moratorium on Alabama’s Death Penalty

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the Birmingham News called on Alabama law­mak­ers to pass leg­is­la­tion that would require a three-year mora­to­ri­um on impos­ing death sen­tences and car­ry­ing out exe­cu­tions, giv­ing the state time to address flaws in the death penal­ty sys­tem. The edi­to­r­i­al out­lined five rea­sons why leg­is­la­tors with var­i­ous posi­tions should be unit­ed in such an effort. The paper stated:

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Apr 22, 2011

NEBRASKA EDITORIAL: Instead of a new means of capital punishment, the Legislature should get rid of it

Days after the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that the elec­tric chair was uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, a Lincoln Journal Star edi­to­r­i­al urged the state to recon­sid­er the death penal­ty: Instead of rush­ing to pass a new means of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, the Legislature should take this oppor­tu­ni­ty to final­ly get rid of the death penal­ty.” Nebraska was the only state to retain the elec­tric chair as its sole means of exe­cu­tion. The paper not­ed that it was the right time to take a broad­er look at the death penal­ty. With the advent of more…

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Mar 10, 2011

EDITORIALS: Illinois Death Penalty Repeal Called a Victory for Justice”

An edi­to­r­i­al in the Chicago Sun-Times applaud­ed Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for sign­ing the bill abol­ish­ing the death penal­ty. The edi­tors wrote, We’ve learned that the sys­tem makes too many mis­takes to entrust it with the ulti­mate pow­er of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. We’ve learned that legal safe­guards can be pushed aside when emo­tions are high after a heinous crime. We’ve learned that polit­i­cal ambi­tion some­times blinds those in pow­er to the weak­ness­es of a case. We’ve learned that evi­dence can dis­ap­pear or be mis­rep­re­sent­ed, that wit­ness­es seek­ing spe­cial deals may lie,…

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Mar 02, 2011

EDITORIALS: Chicago Tribune Urges Governor to Sign Death Penalty Repeal Bill

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the Chicago Tribune urged Gov. Pat Quinn to sign the bill to end the death penal­ty in Illinois. The paper not­ed that for­mer Gov. Bill Richardson signed a sim­i­lar bill in New Mexico, despite pre­vi­ous­ly say­ing he sup­port­ed the death penal­ty when he came into office. Richardson said that his mind was changed after study­ing the issue and see­ing too many mis­takes” and evi­dence that the pun­ish­ment was applied dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly to minori­ties. The Illinois bill would divert state funds used for cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment to a fund…

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Feb 10, 2011

EDITORIALS: Baltimore Sun – Death Penalty Inherently Inhumane”

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the Baltimore Sun urged Gov. Martin O’Malley to work toward repeal­ing the death penal­ty in Maryland. The paper sug­gest­ed that changes in the com­po­si­tion of the state Senate might make the General Assembly more recep­tive to end­ing cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. There have also been con­cerns raised about lethal injec­tions on the the state and nation­al lev­el. But it was the fun­da­men­tal unfair­ness and high costs of the death penal­ty that under­scored the paper’s posi­tion: Countless stud­ies have shown that the death penal­ty is no more effec­tive in…

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Feb 01, 2011

EDITORIALS: National Papers Raise Concerns About Lethal Injection

Recent edi­to­ri­als in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times called into ques­tion the cur­rent use of lethal injec­tion in exe­cu­tions, in light of the deci­sion by the sole U.S. man­u­fac­tur­er of a key drug used by almost all states to stop its pro­duc­tion. Hospira Inc. was the only U.S. pro­duc­er of sodi­um thiopen­tal, the main anes­thet­ic used in lethal injec­tions, but the com­pa­ny said inter­na­tion­al con­cerns about the death penal­ty prompt­ed its halt. The short­age of the drug caused some states to seek it over­seas. The New York…

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Jan 03, 2011

EDITORIALS: Major Papers Around the Country Tracked DPIC’s Year End Report

The infor­ma­tion and analy­sis in DPIC’s recent 2010 Year-End Report were report­ed in hun­dreds of media out­lets around the coun­try. Among the papers writ­ing edi­to­ri­als on the trends cit­ed in the report were the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Colorado’s Aurora Sentinel. The Times’ edi­to­r­i­al, Still Cruel, Less Usual,” not­ed, A report released this month by the Death Penalty Information Center count­ed 46 exe­cu­tions in 2010. That is near­ly 12 per­cent few­er than a year ago, and down sharply from the 85 exe­cu­tions of 2000.……

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Jan 02, 2011

EDITORIALS: New Hampshire’s Concord Monitor Says Abolish the Death Penalty”

Following the release of the report from the New Hampshire Commission to Study the Death Penalty, New Hampshires Concord Monitor called for an end to cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in the state. The Commission con­clud­ed a year of pub­lic hear­ings and care­ful study and chose by a 12 – 10 vote to rec­om­mend nei­ther expand­ing nor abol­ish­ing the death penal­ty. However, the Monitor point­ed out that the evi­dence pre­sent­ed to the com­mis­sion was pri­mar­i­ly in favor of repeal­ing the death penal­ty. One of the many argu­ments against the death penal­ty con­sid­ered by the Commission…

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