Items: 41 — 50

Apr 16, 2014

EDITORIALS: New Hampshire Should Abolish Death Penalty”

In advance of a New Hampshire Senate vote expect­ed on April 17, the Boston Globe pub­lished an edi­to­r­i­al call­ing on their neigh­bor­ing state’s leg­is­la­tors to sup­port repeal of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. The edi­to­r­i­al high­light­ed the bipar­ti­san sup­port for abo­li­tion in the New Hampshire House, and Gov. Maggie Hassan’s pledge to sign the repeal bill if it pass­es the Senate. Among their rea­sons for endors­ing the mea­sure, the Globe said, Death-penal­ty pros­e­cu­tions are expen­sive, ver­dicts often reflect racial bias, and there’s lit­tle evi­dence that exe­cu­tions actu­al­ly deter vio­lent crime.” Moreover, the editorial…

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Mar 21, 2014

EDITORIALS: Mississippi Paper Calls Pending Execution Gravely Inhumane”

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the Jackson Free Press in Mississippi called for a halt to the sched­uled exe­cu­tion of Michelle Byrom, say­ing she is clear­ly not guilty of the crime for which the state plans to exe­cute her next week.” The edi­to­r­i­al not­ed that Byrom’s son had con­fessed to the crime four times.” He said the sto­ry he orig­i­nal­ly told sher­iffs impli­cat­ing his moth­er was made up because he was scared, con­fused and high” when he was inter­ro­gat­ed. The paper point­ed to mit­i­gat­ing evi­dence about Byrom that could have been…

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Feb 17, 2014

EDITORIALS: Washington Paper Backs Governor’s Moratorium and Now Supports Repeal

In an edi­to­r­i­al sup­port­ing Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s recent­ly-announced death penal­ty mora­to­ri­um, the News Tribune (Tacoma) said its edi­to­r­i­al board has grown increas­ing­ly uncom­fort­able with cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in recent years, and we now share Inslee’s feel­ing that Washington should move beyond it.” The paper said the gov­er­nor’s deci­sion forced a wel­come new dis­cus­sion” of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. While acknowl­edg­ing the heinous­ness of many crimes, the edi­to­r­i­al dis­agreed that killing is the answer: Opponents of the death penal­ty, includ­ing us, must look the evil square in the face while say­ing that execution…

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Jan 13, 2014

EDITORIAL: Proposal to Speed Up Death Penalty Appeals Troubling”

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the Montgomery Advertiser crit­i­cized a pro­pos­al by Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to speed up death penal­ty appeals. His pro­posed leg­is­la­tion would require two parts of the appeal process to essen­tial­ly run con­cur­rent­ly. The edi­to­r­i­al cau­tioned that lack of ade­quate rep­re­sen­ta­tion for death penal­ty defen­dants would make the accel­er­at­ed process more prob­lem­at­ic. The paper con­clud­ed, Anything that smacks of haste in cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment cas­es is inher­ent­ly trou­bling. This is a dif­fi­cult issue for the Legislature to tack­le, espe­cial­ly in an elec­tion year, when emo­tion and political…

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Jan 07, 2014

Two Defendants from the Same Case Illustrate Inequities in Florida’s Death Penalty

In a recent arti­cle in the Atlantic, Marc Bookman com­pared the path through the jus­tice sys­tem of two co-defen­dants sen­tenced to death in Florida after com­mit­ting mur­der in 1977. Beauford White was elec­tro­cut­ed in 1987, despite his tri­al jury vot­ing 12 – 0 for a life sen­tence. The tri­al judge over­rode that rec­om­men­da­tion and imposed death. White’s co-defen­dant, John Ferguson, lived for anoth­er 26 years before being exe­cut­ed in 2013. His jury vot­ed 12 – 0 for death. The fore­man of White’s jury lat­er said, We vot­ed for life because we did not see…

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Dec 23, 2013

FROM DPIC: Extensive News Coverage of Year End Report

National and local media have focused sig­nif­i­cant atten­tion on DPIC’s recent 2013 Year End Report. Coverage has includ­ed pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, CNN, on the wires of the Associated Press and Reuters, and in hun­dreds of oth­er arti­cles and edi­to­ri­als. Papers high­light­ed the main theme of the report, which showed a con­tin­u­ing decline in the use of the death penal­ty around the coun­try. The New York Times quot­ed DPIC’s Executive Director, Richard Dieter, as com­ment­ing that…

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Dec 20, 2013

Toobin on America’s Ambivalence Toward the Death Penalty

Jeffrey Toobin, writ­ing in The New Yorker, used the cur­rent scram­ble among states to pro­cure the drugs for lethal injec­tions as a par­a­digm of the much longer effort to make the death penal­ty palat­able to the American pub­lic. The sto­ry of the death penal­ty in this coun­try,” he wrote, illus­trates a char­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly American faith in a tech­no­log­i­cal solu­tion to any prob­lem.” However, Toobin con­clud­ed, tech­nol­o­gy can not cov­er up the broad­er prob­lems of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment: The oxy­moron­ic quest for humane exe­cu­tions only accen­tu­ates the absur­di­ty of allow­ing the death penalty…

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Dec 04, 2013

NEW VOICES: Another Conservative Leader Challenges the Death Penalty

In an op-ed in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tennessean Drew Johnson evoked con­ser­v­a­tives’ inten­tions to pro­tect inno­cent life, pro­mote finan­cial respon­si­bil­i­ty and sup­port gov­ern­ment pro­grams that real­ly work” in crit­i­ciz­ing the death penal­ty. Johnson, a Senior Fellow at Taxpayers Protection Alliance and founder of the Beacon Center of Tennessee, cit­ed the many exon­er­a­tions from death row as anoth­er rea­son to chal­lenge cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment: Life is too pre­cious to rely on mis­take-prone process­es like the death penal­ty.” He not­ed that the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office’s found cap­i­tal tri­als to be 48% more expensive…

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Dec 02, 2013

EDITORIALS: Expanding Conservative Concerns About the Death Penalty

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the Dallas Morning News high­light­ed the voic­es of promi­nent con­ser­v­a­tives who now oppose cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, includ­ing for­mer Texas Congressman Ron Paul and con­ser­v­a­tive polit­i­cal leader Richard Viguerie. The paper not­ed the new part­ner­ship between the stu­dent-cen­tered orga­ni­za­tion Young Americans for Liberty and Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. The edi­to­r­i­al described why one Texas con­ser­v­a­tive, Pat Monks, a Republican precinct chair­man in Harris County (Houston), changed his mind on the death penal­ty: Ultimately .… [t]he impos­si­bil­i­ty of erad­i­cat­ing human error from the sys­tem hit home to…

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Nov 21, 2013

NEW VOICES: Deputy Editor Dissents from Toledo Blade’s Support for Death Penalty

Jeff Gerritt is the Deputy Editor of the Toledo Blade, a paper which has sup­port­ed Ohios death penal­ty for years. Disagreeing with the paper’s Editor, Gerritt called for repeal of the death penal­ty in the state, not­ing the risk of exe­cut­ing the inno­cent, Wrongly con­vict­ing any­one con­sti­tutes a hor­ri­ble injus­tice, but exe­cut­ing the wrong per­son elim­i­nates any chance of revers­ing the error. Nationwide, more than 140 peo­ple await­ing exe­cu­tion have been exon­er­at­ed. Mistakes are far more like­ly in cas­es involv­ing poor defen­dants, who usu­al­ly don’t have ade­quate legal coun­sel.” He…

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