Items: 11 — 20

Oct 15, 2020

New DPIC Podcast: Former Illinois Governor George Ryan on Commuting Death Row and His Journey from Death-Penalty Supporter to Abolitionist

In the October 2020 episode of Discussions with DPIC, for­mer Illinois Governor George Ryan speaks with Death Penalty Information Center Executive Director Robert Dunham about the events that per­suad­ed him to com­mute the death sen­tences of all 167 death-row pris­on­ers in Illinois in 2003. Ryan and Dunham delve into the Governor’s jour­ney from death-penal­ty sup­port­er as an Illinois state leg­is­la­tor to death-penal­ty oppo­nent as Illinois gov­er­nor, and dis­cuss his new book, co-authored with Pulitzer-prize win­ning jour­nal­ist Maurice Possley, Until I Could Be Sure: How I Stopped the Death Penalty in…

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Sep 02, 2020

Books: When Truth Is All You Have” Tells Story of the Centurion Ministries’ Role in the Modern Innocence Movement

When Truth is All You Have, a new mem­oir by Centurion Ministries founder Jim McCloskey (pic­tured) tells the sto­ry of what many con­sid­er to be the birth of the mod­ern inno­cence move­ment. The book, writ­ten with for­mer USA Today nation­al edi­tor Philip Lerman, and released in July 2020, describes McCloskey’s per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al evo­lu­tion as he cre­at­ed Centurion Ministries in 1983, the first-ever orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cat­ed to fight­ing wrong­ful con­vic­tions in the United States.

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Aug 13, 2019

Sister Helen Prejean: A Memoir on a Life of Social Activism

Sister Helen Prejean, the acclaimed author of Dead Man Walking, has writ­ten a new spir­i­tu­al mem­oir, River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey. The book, released August 13, 2019 by Random House pub­lish­ers, tells the sto­ry of her spir­i­tu­al devel­op­ment from join­ing the Congregation of St. Joseph at age 18 to becom­ing a lead­ing voice in the move­ment to abol­ish the death penalty.

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Jul 15, 2019

Books: Arbitrary Death” Reveals a Prosecutor’s Evolution on Capital Punishment

Rick Unklesbay served as a pros­e­cu­tor in the Pima County Attorney’s Office in Arizona for near­ly four decades, pros­e­cut­ing more than 100 homi­cides, includ­ing six­teen in which death sen­tences were imposed. He put Don Miller on death row and, in November 2000, watched as Arizona put Miller to death. In Arbitrary Death: A Prosecutor’s Perspective on the Death Penalty, Unklesbay tells the sto­ry of nine of those death-penal­ty cas­es and how the arbi­trary nature of the U.S. jus­tice sys­tem has changed his mind about the death penal­ty. Who lives and…

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Jul 11, 2019

NEW RESOURCES: Capital Punishment and the State of Criminal Justice 2019

The American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section will soon release its annu­al report on issues, trends, and sig­nif­i­cant changes in America’s crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. The new pub­li­ca­tion, The State of Criminal Justice 2019, includes a chap­ter by Ronald J. Tabak, chair of the Death Penalty Committee of the ABA’s Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, describ­ing sig­nif­i­cant death penal­ty cas­es and cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment devel­op­ments over the past year. Tabak’s death-penal­ty chap­ter high­lights the long-term down­ward trend in death sen­tences and exe­cu­tions, which have remained near his­toric lows for four…

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Jul 08, 2019

Books: Lethal State — A History of the Death Penalty in North Carolina

The death penal­ty and lynch­ing were instru­ments of white suprema­cist polit­i­cal and social pow­er” in North Carolina, diverg­ing in form but not in func­tion. So writes University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill American Studies Professor Seth Kotch In his new­ly released book, Lethal State: A History of the Death Penalty in North Carolina. Lethal State tracks North Carolina’s use of the death penal­ty from post-Civil War Reconstruction to the present. Kotch sum­ma­rizes the through line of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, say­ing, The death penalty’s habits in North Carolina includ­ed prey­ing on the mentally…

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Jun 05, 2019

BOOKS: Grace Will Lead Us Home” Explores the Aftermath of Charleston Shooting

Four years after the racial­ly moti­vat­ed mur­ders of nine African-American parish­ioners at the his­toric Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015, a new book by Charleston Post and Courier reporter Jennifer Berry Hawes explores the after­math of the killings and the extra­or­di­nary nar­ra­tive of grace and for­give­ness it pro­duced. As a reporter for the Post and Courier, Hawes cov­ered the sto­ry of white suprema­cist Dylann Roof’s mur­der of the church­go­ers and the court pro­ceed­ings that led to his death sen­tence. In Grace Will Lead…

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Oct 25, 2018

NEW PODCAST: The Death Penalty and Human Dignity; Lessons From the Anti-Slavery Movement

“[T]he issue of race and the death penal­ty is not unique to the death penal­ty, it’s part of the broad­er prob­lem with the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem,” says Bharat Malkani (pic­tured), author of the 2018 book Slavery and the Death Penalty: A Study in Abolition, in a new Discussions With DPIC pod­cast. In the October 2018 DPIC pod­cast, Malkani — a senior lec­tur­er in the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom — speaks with DPIC’s exec­u­tive direc­tor Robert Dunham and Ngozi Ndulue, DPIC’s Director of Research and Special Projects.…

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Sep 07, 2018

Filming Underway for Movie Adaptation of Just Mercy’

Filming for the movie adap­ta­tion of Bryan Stevenson’s best-sell­ing book, Just Mercy, began August 27, 2018 in Montgomery, Alabama. The film will fea­ture Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Black Panther) as Stevenson and Oscar-win­ner Jamie Foxx (Ray, Django Unchained) as wrong­ful­ly con­vict­ed death-row pris­on­er Walter McMillian.

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Sep 06, 2018

BOOK: Slavery and the Death Penalty

It is wide­ly rec­og­nized that cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in the United States of America con­tin­ues to be imbued with the lega­cy of slav­ery” and, to end it, American death-penal­ty abo­li­tion­ists should draw on the rad­i­cal­ism of [anti-slav­ery] abo­li­tion­ists.” So argues British death-penal­ty schol­ar and abo­li­tion­ist Dr. Bharat Malkani, a Senior Lecturer at the Cardiff University School of Law and Politics, in his new book, Slavery and the Death Penalty: A Study in Abolition. Malkani’s book explores the his­tor­i­cal and con­cep­tu­al links between slav­ery and cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment and the efforts of abolitionist…

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