Items: 71 — 80

Jan 07, 2013

EDITORIALS: Florida’s Death Penalty Needs a Fresh Look”

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in Floridas Tampa Bay Times called for law­mak­ers to study the state’s death penal­ty because of its high num­ber of exon­er­a­tions and death sen­tences. Using infor­ma­tion from DPIC’s recent 2012 Year End Report, the edi­to­r­i­al not­ed that 2012 marked the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year in which the state led the coun­try in new death sen­tences. The edi­to­r­i­al sug­gest­ed that one of the rea­sons for these num­bers was like­ly Florida’s fail­ure to require a unan­i­mous jury rec­om­men­da­tion for death sen­tences, one of the few states in the coun­try with…

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Jan 03, 2013

DPIC’S YEAR END REPORT: What the Media Are Saying

DPIC’s 2012 Year End Report received exten­sive media cov­er­age in the U.S. and inter­na­tion­al­ly. Coverage includ­ed pieces by the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Reuters, New York Times, CNN, and hun­dreds of oth­er out­lets. National broad­cast out­lets such as NPR, MSNBC, and CBS Radio also ran pieces. Many papers edi­to­ri­al­ized about the themes high­light­ed in the Report, includ­ing the con­tin­u­ing decline in the use of the death penal­ty around the coun­try, the geo­graph­ic clus­ter­ing of sen­tences and exe­cu­tions in just a few states, and reasons…

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Jan 02, 2013

EDITORIALS: America’s Retreat From the Death Penalty”

Following the themes of DPIC’s 2012 Year End Report, the lead edi­to­r­i­al for Jan. 2 in the New York Times con­clud­ed that cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment is cru­el and unusu­al” as judged by the coun­try’s evolv­ing stan­dards” of decen­cy and should be abol­ished” by the Supreme Court. The Timess edi­to­r­i­al not­ed the few­er num­ber of states car­ry­ing out exe­cu­tions, the lack of any mean­ing­ful ratio­nale, the arbi­trari­ness of its appli­ca­tion, and the risk of exe­cut­ing the inno­cent as major prob­lems with the cur­rent death penal­ty. The edi­tors said the pri­ma­ry pur­pos­es for…

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Dec 10, 2012

How the Death Penalty Might Be Ended in California

In a recent op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, death penal­ty schol­ar Franklin Zimring sug­gest­ed that the close (52 – 48%) vote in November on Californias Proposition 34 to end cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment means the repeal effort is far from over. Zimring, a law pro­fes­sor at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote, For decades, it has been assumed that the death penal­ty was the third rail of California pol­i­tics …. Measured against that rep­u­ta­tion, the nar­row­ly divid­ed elec­torate on Prop. 34 is quite a sur­prise.” He sug­gest­ed two tra­di­tion­al ways – oth­er than anoth­er ref­er­en­dum – that…

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Nov 29, 2012

EDITORIALS: Oregon’s Life-or-Death Vote”

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in The Oregonian, one of the state’s major news­pa­pers, endorsed a bill in the upcom­ing leg­isla­tive ses­sion that could result in the repeal of the death penal­ty. The bill, to be intro­duced by Rep. Mitch Greenlick, would begin the process of amend­ing the state’s con­sti­tu­tion through a ref­er­en­dum as ear­ly as November 2014. The edi­tors wrote, 5 states — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois and New Mexico — have aban­doned the death penal­ty in recent years. Advances in DNA test­ing, com­bined with dogged advo­ca­cy work, have…

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Nov 21, 2012

EDITORIAL: End the Death Penalty in New Hampshire”

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the New York Times called for the end of the death penal­ty in New Hampshire. The edi­to­r­i­al high­light­ed the case of Michael Addison, who is the only pris­on­er on the state’s death row. Addison was sen­tenced to death in 2008 for fatal­ly shoot­ing a police offi­cer. The state Supreme Court recent­ly held hear­ings for Addison, who is seek­ing a new tri­al or sen­tenc­ing hear­ing because the orig­i­nal pro­ceed­ings were unfair. According to the edi­to­r­i­al, The tri­al was held about 100 yards from the police depart­ment where…

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Nov 02, 2012

EDITORIALS: Preserving Independent Funding for Death Penalty Representation

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the Miami Herald applaud­ed a court deci­sion find­ing that the costs of rep­re­s­en­ing defen­dants in Florida death penal­ty cas­es should be kept sep­a­rate from the judges’ annu­al bud­get. A state judge held it would be uncon­sti­tu­tion­al to have judges mak­ing deci­sions about attor­neys’ fees when the mon­ey for such expens­es comes from the judges’ own resources. The edi­to­r­i­al stat­ed, We depend on the court sys­tem to dis­pense jus­tice — peri­od. Not jus­tice on a bud­get, not jus­tice on the cheap, not jus­tice with ka-ching’ in the back of…

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Oct 03, 2012

NEW VOICES: It’s Time to End Montana’s Death Penalty”

In a recent edi­to­r­i­al, the Great Falls Tribune reversed its long-stand­ing posi­tion and called for the end of the death penal­ty in Montana. The paper cit­ed the cost of main­tain­ing the death penal­ty as a pri­ma­ry rea­son for why the pun­ish­ment should be repealed. The edi­tors joined in the efforts of a rel­a­tive­ly new con­ser­v­a­tive group to end cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment: “[E]ven with­out defin­i­tive state data [on costs], we align with the Montana Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty. It’s time to end cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in Montana.” The edi­to­r­i­al con­clud­ed, In…

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Sep 21, 2012

STUDIES: Reasons Behind the Abolition of the Death Penalty in Illinois

A new report by Rob Warden (pic­tured), Executive Director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, explores the con­di­tions that led to the end of Illinoiss death penal­ty in 2011. Warden says abo­li­tion came about because of a series of for­tu­itous cir­cum­stances, but also because of the work of count­less attor­neys, aca­d­e­mics, jour­nal­ists and activists who took advan­tage of these devel­op­ments. The cav­al­cade of exon­er­a­tions from death row, includ­ing the high-pro­file release of Anthony Porter, who was freed through the work of jour­nal­ism stu­dents, under­scored the flaws in the death penalty.…

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