Items: 81 — 90

Sep 10, 2012

EDITORIALS: Sacramento Bee Ends Support for Death Penalty

The Sacramento Bee announced in an edi­to­r­i­al that it is revers­ing its his­toric 150-year sup­port of the death penal­ty and endors­ing the repeal of Californias cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment law. The edi­to­r­i­al called the state’s death penal­ty an illu­sion,” which is rarely car­ried out, despite the large num­ber of death sen­tences. It cit­ed the high cost of the death penal­ty as one of the rea­sons for sup­port­ing repeal, not­ing, California has already spent bil­lions of dol­lars – one recent study pegged the fig­ure at $4 bil­lion – admin­is­ter­ing the death penal­ty since…

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Aug 31, 2012

EDITORIALS: We’re wasting money on a process that accomplishes little”

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the Paradise Post of California called the state’s death penal­ty a cha­rade” and rec­om­mend­ed that it be end­ed. The edi­to­r­i­al cit­ed fig­ures released by the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office, which found that repeal­ing the death penal­ty would save state and coun­ties about $100 mil­lion annu­al­ly in mur­der tri­als, death penal­ty appeals and cor­rec­tions in the first few years, grow­ing to about $130 mil­lion annu­al­ly there­after.” The edi­to­r­i­al also empha­sized that since the death penal­ty law was enact­ed in California in 1978, 900 indi­vid­u­als have been sentenced…

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Jul 10, 2012

EDITORIALS: An Urgent Plea for Mercy”

A recent New York Times edi­to­r­i­al encour­aged the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reduce the sen­tence of death row inmate Warren Hill to life. Hill is fac­ing exe­cu­tion on July 18. The edi­to­r­i­al not­ed that Mr. Hill’s intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ties, includ­ing an IQ of 70, led the tri­al judge to find him men­tal­ly retard­ed. Georgia’s Supreme Court, how­ev­er, over­turned the judge’s rul­ing because men­tal retar­da­tion had not been proven beyond a rea­son­able doubt.” The Times not­ed that Georgia is the only state with a statute requir­ing a defen­dant to…

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Jun 28, 2012

OP-ED: Time to Kill the Death Penalty?”

John J. Donohue (pic­tured), a research asso­ciate for the National Bureau of Economic Research and a pro­fes­sor at Stanford Law School, recent­ly high­light­ed con­tin­u­ing prob­lems with the death penal­ty sys­tem, forty years after it was struck down for being applied in an arbi­trary man­ner. Professor Donohue wrote that despite new and improved” statutes accept­ed by the Court when it rein­stat­ed the death penal­ty in 1976, four decades lat­er, there is plen­ty of evi­dence that the death penal­ty con­tin­ues to be applied in an unfair man­ner and not a shred of…

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Jun 14, 2012

EDITORIALS: Intellectual Disabilities and Death Sentences

The edi­tors of the Birmingham News in Alabama recenl­ty called upon a tri­al court to over­rule a jury’s 10 – 2 rec­om­men­da­tion for death in the case of Esaw Jackson because of his men­tal dis­abil­i­ties. While not­ing that in many states Jackson would not even be eli­gi­ble for the death penal­ty fol­low­ing a non-unan­i­mous vote, the News added that an IQ test, con­duct­ed by a state expert on Jackson, showed an IQ of 56, well below the lev­el that gen­er­al­ly indi­cates an intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty. In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court held that…

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Jun 07, 2012

EDITORIALS: Death Penalty’s Failure to Account for Severe Mental Illness’

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the New York Times called for greater atten­tion to be paid by courts to inmates on death row with severe men­tal ill­ness: The death penal­ty sys­tem fails to take ade­quate account of severe men­tal ill­ness, whether at tri­al, at sen­tenc­ing or in post­con­vic­tion pro­ceed­ings,” the paper wrote. The edi­to­r­i­al praised Governor John Kasich of Ohio for grant­i­ng a two-week reprieve to Abdul Awkal on June 5 just pri­or to his sched­uled exe­cu­tion. However, the Times said the the Ohio courts should have assumed the respon­si­bil­i­ty to…

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Jun 04, 2012

ARTICLES: The Tensions Between Protecting the Innocent and the Objectives of Capital Punishment

A recent arti­cle in the Justice Quarterly by Professor James Acker (pic­tured) and Rose Bellandi of the University at Albany, New York, exam­ined whether there is an irrec­on­cil­able con­flict between recent reforms to pre­vent the exe­cu­tion of the inno­cent and the tra­di­tion­al goals of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. The authors stud­ied recent changes to Maryland’s death penal­ty statute that were designed to reduce the risk of wrong­ful exe­cu­tions while try­ing to main­tain the death penal­ty for the most heinous crimes. Maryland’s law requires either bio­log­i­cal evi­dence of guilt, a video­taped con­fes­sion, or…

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May 17, 2012

EDITORIALS: The Fallibility of Forensic Evidence Argues Against the Death Penalty

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in the Lincoln Journal Star of Nebraska con­clud­ed that expe­ri­ence with inac­cu­rate evi­dence from crime labs shows that the death penal­ty can­not be trust­ed in the tak­ing of life. The paper called for the repeal of the death penal­ty based on a case in which the state’s CSI direc­tor tam­pered with evi­dence in a mur­der case. Recently, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld the con­vic­tion of for­mer CSI chief David Kofoed for plant­i­ng evi­dence in a dou­ble mur­der. Kofoed placed a speck of blood in a car belonging…

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