Items: 21 — 30

Sep 21, 2015

Conservative Commentator, Texas Editorial Urge End to Death Penalty for Mentally Ill

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will hear argu­ments on September 23 regard­ing Scott Panettis com­pe­ten­cy to be exe­cut­ed. Panetti is a severe­ly men­tal­ly ill man who rep­re­sent­ed him­self at his tri­al wear­ing a cow­boy cos­tume, and attempt­ed to sub­poe­na the Pope, John F. Kennedy, and Jesus Christ. As the court pre­pares to hear Panetti’s case, opin­ion pieces in two Texas news­pa­pers used it to illus­trate larg­er prob­lems with the death penal­ty and men­tal ill­ness. In an op-ed in The Dallas Morning News, con­ser­v­a­tive com­men­ta­tor Richard Viguerie

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Aug 14, 2015

EDITORIALS: North Carolina Newspapers Critique Execution Secrecy Law

On August 6, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a law that removed the require­ment that a physi­cian be present at exe­cu­tions and shroud­ed in secre­cy many ele­ments of the lethal injec­tion process, includ­ing the spe­cif­ic drugs to be used and the sup­pli­ers of those drugs. By elim­i­nat­ing the physi­cian-par­tic­i­pa­tion require­ment, the law attempt­ed to remove a legal hur­dle that has halt­ed exe­cu­tions in North Carolina since 2006. Two major state news­pa­pers sharply crit­i­cized the new law, call­ing it, macabre” and an ugly spec­ta­cle.” The Fayetteville Observer said, We need…

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Jun 23, 2015

Editorials in Major Death Penalty States Call for Its Abolition

Recent edi­to­ri­als from lead­ing news­pa­pers in three of the largest death row states cri­tique flaws in the death penal­ty and call for its abo­li­tion. The Sacramento Bee quot­ed fed­er­al dis­trict court judge Cormac Carney’s recent rul­ing find­ing California’s death penal­ty uncon­sti­tu­tion­al because exe­cu­tions are so rare that they serve no ret­ribu­tive or deter­rent pur­pose.” The Bee called the state’s cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment sys­tem an abject fail­ure” and said, “[t]he death penal­ty has not worked, and nev­er will.” In the wake of the exon­er­a­tion of Alfred Brown from Texas’ death row, the…

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May 13, 2015

EDITORIALS: USA Today Urges Life Without Parole for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

On May 12, the edi­to­r­i­al board of USA Today affirmed its oppo­si­tion to the death penal­ty in an edi­to­r­i­al urg­ing that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev be sen­tenced to life with­out parole, rather than the death penal­ty, for his role in the Boston marathon bomb­ing. Laws aren’t writ­ten for a sin­gle indi­vid­ual, and the death penal­ty applies to many peo­ple,” the edi­to­r­i­al said. Tsarnaev and oth­er infa­mous defen­dants … demon­strate the penal­ty’s arbi­trary nature. While Tsarnaev has a superb legal team, most defen­dants get by with lawyers who are inex­pe­ri­enced, low-paid…

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May 12, 2015

EDITORIALS: Restarting North Carolina Executions Would Be Unjust”

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) has crit­i­cized leg­isla­tive efforts to restart North Carolina’s death penal­ty as ret­ro­gres­sive” and macabre.” The edi­to­r­i­al oppos­es a bill that would allow exe­cu­tions to resume in North Carolina by expand­ing the list of med­ical per­son­nel who can mon­i­tor exe­cu­tions.” In 2007, the North Carolina Medical Board said that doc­tor par­tic­i­pa­tion in exe­cu­tions vio­lates pro­fes­sion­al ethics, effec­tive­ly block­ing any doc­tors from par­tic­i­pat­ing in exe­cu­tions. The new law would allow physi­cian assis­tants, nurs­es, and emer­gency med­ical tech­ni­cians to over­see exe­cu­tions in place…

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Apr 14, 2015

EDITORIALS: New York Times Sees Alarming” Link Between Official Misconduct and Death Penalty Mistakes

In an edi­to­r­i­al on April 13, the New York Times described the death penal­ty as cru­el, immoral, and inef­fec­tive at reduc­ing crime” and called it so rid­dled with error that no civ­i­lized nation should tol­er­ate its use.” The Times described how pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al mis­con­duct and an all-too-com­mon mind-set to win at all costs” played a sub­stan­tial role in the con­vic­tions of many of the 152 inno­cent men and women who have been exon­er­at­ed after being­ly wrong­ly sent to death row and had con­tributed to the exe­cu­tion of at least two death-row…

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Mar 06, 2015

EDITORIALS: Four National Catholic Journals Urge End to Capital Punishment

In an unusu­al joint edi­to­r­i­al on March 5, four nation­al Catholic pub­li­ca­tions called for an end to the death penal­ty in the U.S. The edi­tors of America, National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter, and Our Sunday Visitor urged the read­ers of our diverse pub­li­ca­tions and the whole U.S. Catholic com­mu­ni­ty and all peo­ple of faith to stand with us and say, Capital pun­ish­ment must end.’ ” Citing oppo­si­tion to the death penal­ty in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and state­ments by Popes John Paul II and Francis, the edi­to­r­i­al said,…

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Feb 12, 2015

STUDIES: Lynchings in America Related to Racial Bias in Death Penalty

A new report from the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) of Alabama has doc­u­ment­ed more lynch­ings in American his­to­ry than pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed, par­tic­u­lar­ly of African Americans in the South, and has drawn par­al­lels between this prac­tice and the mod­ern death penalty.

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Jan 30, 2015

EDITORIALS: Washington Post Calls for Transparency in Executions

In light of the three botched exe­cu­tions that took place in 2014, the Washington Post pub­lished an edi­to­r­i­al urg­ing states not to drop a veil of secre­cy over exe­cu­tions.” In par­tic­u­lar, the edi­to­r­i­al board oppos­es a pro­posed law in Virginia, which, would make prac­ti­cal­ly every­thing about exe­cu­tions in Virginia a state secret — even the build­ing in which they take place. ” It’s hard to see the com­pelling need for that kind of bla­tant cen­sor­ship, which in oth­er states has been chal­lenged by death row inmates, civ­il lib­er­ties groups and…

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