Items: 111 — 120

Aug 23, 2011

How Preconceptions and Bias May Have Led to Wrongful Convictions of West Memphis Three

In a recent op-ed in the L.A. Times, Professor Jennifer L. Mnookin (pic­tured) of the UCLA Law School pro­vid­ed an analy­sis of how pre­con­cep­tions and bias­es toward the uncon­ven­tion­al sus­pects known as the West Memphis Three may have led to their wrong­ful con­vic­tions and a death sen­tence in Arkansas in 1994. Because of the gris­ly nature of the mur­ders, inves­ti­ga­tors decid­ed ear­ly on that it was prob­a­bly relat­ed to satan­ic cult rituals.

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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