Items: 31 — 40

Jan 20, 2015

EDITORIALS: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Voices Death Penalty Opposition Even in Murder of Fellow Journalist

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reit­er­at­ed its oppo­si­tion to the death penal­ty, even as Missouri pre­pares to exe­cute the man con­vict­ed of killing a for­mer Post-Dispatch reporter. Marcellus Williams is sched­uled to be exe­cut­ed on January 28 for the mur­der of Lisha Gayle (pic­tured), who left her job as a jour­nal­ist three years before she was killed. The paper not­ed Gayle’s like­ly oppo­si­tion to the death penal­ty: It would be sur­pris­ing, in light of her oth­er caus­es and pas­sions, if Lisha her­self was a death penal­ty supporter.”…

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Nov 19, 2014

EDITORIALS: Maryland Governor Should Commute Remaining Death Sentences

In a recent edi­to­r­i­al, the Washington Post urged Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to com­mute the sen­tences of the four men remain­ing on the state’s death row, say­ing, To car­ry out exe­cu­tions post-repeal would be both cru­el, because the leg­is­la­tion under­pin­ning the sen­tence has been scrapped, and unusu­al, because doing so would be his­tor­i­cal­ly unprece­dent­ed.” Maryland is one of three states that have repealed the death penal­ty prospec­tive­ly but still have inmates on death row. The oth­ers are Connecticut and New Mexico. O’Malley, who is leav­ing office in January, was a…

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Oct 02, 2014

ARTICLES: Excluding Blacks from Death Penalty Juries Violates Rights As Citizens

An arti­cle in the most recent issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review exam­ines the prac­tice of exclud­ing African-Americans from jury ser­vice, par­tic­u­lar­ly in death penal­ty cas­es in North Carolina. In Bias in the Box, Dax-Devlon Ross notes, Alongside the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury is an endur­ing pil­lar of our democracy.…Nevertheless, there is per­haps no are­na of pub­lic life where racial bias has been as broad­ly over­looked or casu­al­ly tol­er­at­ed as jury exclu­sion.” Ross traces the his­to­ry of civ­il rights lit­i­ga­tion that secured blacks the…

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Sep 26, 2014

The Angolite Features Louisiana’s Death Row Exonerees

An arti­cle in the lat­est edi­tion of The Angolite, a mag­a­zine pub­lished by pris­on­ers at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, tells the sto­ries of the ten men who have been exon­er­at­ed from death row in that state. The piece promi­nent­ly fea­tures Glenn Ford, the state’s most recent inmate to be freed. Ford spent 30 years on death row before being released in 2014. Among the oth­er cas­es described is that of John Thompson, who was freed after it was revealed that pros­e­cu­tors inten­tion­al­ly with­held evi­dence from his attor­neys. A…

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Jul 09, 2014

China Rethinking the Death Penalty

According to a recent op-ed about China in the New York Times, the world leader in exe­cu­tions is hav­ing sec­ond thoughts about the death penal­ty. Liu Renwen, a legal schol­ar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the annu­al num­ber of exe­cu­tions in China dropped by half from 2007 to 2011, as more offend­ers were giv­en sus­pend­ed death sen­tences,” which are gen­er­al­ly reduced to life sen­tences. According to a 2008 poll in three provinces, pub­lic sup­port for the death penal­ty is about the same in China (58%) as in…

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Jun 23, 2014

A Turn-Around in Texas’s Use of Death Penalty

A recent op-ed by Jordan Steiker, endowed pro­fes­sor of law and Director of the Capital Punishment Center at the University of Texas, high­light­ed the declin­ing use of the death penal­ty in that state. AlthoughTexas leads the nation in exe­cu­tions, death sen­tences and exe­cu­tions per year have dropped sharply since the 1990s. Prof. Steiker wrote, In 1999, Texas juries returned an astound­ing 48 death sen­tences. Since 2008, how­ev­er, Texas has annu­al­ly sent few­er than 10 defen­dants to death row. Executions in Texas have declined as well, from a high of 40

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Jun 09, 2014

EDITORIALS: Connecticut’s The Day Calls for Retroactive Death Penalty Repeal

When Connecticut abol­ished the death penal­ty in 2012, it did so prospec­tive­ly, leav­ing its death row pop­u­la­tion in place. Now, Connecticut new­pa­per The Day is call­ing on the state to have the courage and con­sis­ten­cy to out­law gov­ern­ment sanc­tioned killing in all instances.” The edi­to­r­i­al first high­lights the paper’s long­stand­ing oppo­si­tion to cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, say­ing It remains our posi­tion that a state-spon­sored exe­cu­tion dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly tar­gets minori­ties, has no deter­rent val­ue, can­not be undone if there is a mis­take and is a bar­bar­ic act that low­ers the state to the level…

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May 08, 2014

EDITORIALS: State-Sponsored Horror in Oklahoma”

A recent New York Times edi­to­r­i­al described the hor­rif­ic scene” of Clayton Lockett’s botched exe­cu­tion and called on Oklahoma to “[fol­low] oth­er gov­er­nors and leg­is­la­tures in ban­ning exe­cu­tions, rec­og­niz­ing that the American admin­is­tra­tion of death does not func­tion.” The edi­tors not­ed the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s tem­po­rary halt to the exe­cu­tion and point­ed to polit­i­cal pres­sure as a pos­si­ble expla­na­tion for why the Court then allowed it to go for­ward: “[S]everal law­mak­ers threat­ened to impeach the jus­tices, and Gov. Mary Fallin blind­ly ignored the warn­ing signs and ordered the exe­cu­tion to…

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