Publications & Testimony

Items: 31 — 40

Mar 11, 2024

OP-ED: Journalist Recalls Witnessing an Execution and Describes the Importance of Media Witnesses

In May 1990, Jonathan Eig, then a reporter for The New Orleans Times-Picayune, wit­nessed the elec­tric-chair-exe­cu­tion of Dalton Prejean at Angola State Penitentiary for the 1977 mur­der of a Louisiana state troop­er. Mr. Eig watched Mr. Prejean’s exe­cu­tion through an obser­va­tion win­dow, and report­ed see­ing his chest heave, his fists clench and his right wrist twist out­ward. A spark and a puff of smoke shot from the elec­trode attached to his left leg.” In the years fol­low­ing the exe­cu­tion, Mr. Eig regret­ted his deci­sion to wit­ness Mr. Prejean’s exe­cu­tion, writing…

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Mar 07, 2024

Georgia Sets March 20 Execution Date for Willie Pye Despite Strong Evidence of Intellectual Disability and Previous Finding of Ineffective Representation by Attorney with History of Racial Bias

The Georgia Attorney General has announced that Willie James Pye, who pre­vi­ous­ly had his death sen­tence reversed due to his attorney’s fail­ure to inves­ti­gate his back­ground, only to see the death sen­tence rein­stat­ed on appeal, is set to be exe­cut­ed on March 20. Mr. Pye’s court-appoint­ed tri­al attor­ney, Johnny Mostiler, has been accused of inef­fec­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion or racial bias in at least four cas­es involv­ing Black defen­dants and report­ed­ly called one of his own clients a lit­tle n****r.” Mr. Pye also has undis­put­ed” signs of intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty, with an IQ

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Mar 06, 2024

Worldwide Wednesday International Roundup: Afghanistan, China, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United States, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe

In the after­math of Idaho’s failed exe­cu­tion of Thomas Creech and Texas’ exe­cu­tion of Ivan Cantu on February 28, the European Union released a state­ment express­ing its regret and reit­er­at­ing its unequiv­o­cal oppo­si­tion to the death penal­ty.. “[The death penal­ty] is a vio­la­tion of the right to life and fails to act as a deter­rent to crime. It rep­re­sents the ulti­mate pun­ish­ment that makes mis­car­riages of jus­tice irre­versible,” said the state­ment. “[W]e are con­cerned by the fact that the num­ber of exe­cu­tions in the US increased last year, as 24

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Mar 05, 2024

Oklahoma Execution Moratorium Bill Unanimously Passes Committee and Makes Its Way to the State-House Floor

On February 28, 2023, the Oklahoma House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee unan­i­mous­ly passed a bill that would pause all pend­ing exe­cu­tions and pro­hib­it new death sen­tences while an inde­pen­dent task force reviews cur­rent Oklahoma death penal­ty pro­ce­dures. House Bill 3138, also known as the Death Penalty Moratorium Act, was intro­duced by Republican Representative Kevin McDugle and would cre­ate a five-mem­ber Death Penalty Reform Task Force to study and report on the progress of imple­ment­ing reforms to the use of the death penal­ty in this state.” The task force would…

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Mar 01, 2024

Death-Sentenced Philadelphia Prisoner Daniel Gwynn Exonerated After Nearly 30 Years

On February 27, 2024, Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara A. McDermott approved a motion from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office to dis­miss first-degree mur­der, arson, and aggra­vat­ed assault charges against 54-year-old death-sen­tenced pris­on­er Daniel Gwynn. Mr. Gwynn is the 197th per­son exon­er­at­ed after being sen­tenced to death since 1973, accord­ing to DPIC’s Innocence Database. Today is most­ly for us a day of tremen­dous relief and sad­ness, a guy like him, an inno­cent soul spent that amount of time wait­ing for his exe­cu­tion lan­guish­ing in jail,” said Mr. Gwynn’s defense attorney…

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Feb 29, 2024

Idaho Halts First Lethal Injection Execution in 12 Years After Failure to Establish I.V. Lines

Thomas Creech’s February 28 exe­cu­tion was halt­ed after the Idaho Department of Correction exe­cu­tion team was unable to set an intra­venous line after an hour of repeat­ed attempts. Mr. Creech remained strapped to the gur­ney and con­scious while unsuc­cess­ful attempts were made to access veins in both arms and legs. Officials did not dis­close why the exe­cu­tion team was unable to estab­lish an IV line, but the train­ing and qual­i­fi­ca­tions of staff, as well as the acces­si­bil­i­ty and qual­i­ty of Mr. Creech’s veins, could have been fac­tors. Mr. Creech’s attorneys…

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Feb 29, 2024

Black History Month Profile Series: Elaine Jones

This month, DPIC cel­e­brates Black History Month with week­ly pro­files of notable Black Americans whose work affect­ed the mod­ern death penal­ty era. The fourth and final entry in this series is lawyer and civ­il rights activist Elaine Jones, for­mer pres­i­dent and direc­tor-coun­sel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and coun­sel of record in Furman v. Georgia.

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Feb 28, 2024

New Report from Texas Defender Service Examines Ongoing Racial Disparities in Harris County Death Penalty Practices and Recommends Reforms

A new report from the Texas Defender Service (TDS) titled Arbitrary and Capricious: Examining Racial Disparities in Harris County’s Pursuit of Death Sentences” was pub­lished on February 22, 2024 and is the lat­est in series of TDS reports on use of the death penal­ty in Texas. The report focus­es on Harris County’s out­lier death penal­ty prac­tices, both with­in the state and nation­al­ly. While more than half of the 254 coun­ties in Texas have nev­er imposed a death sen­tence, Harris County is respon­si­ble for most of the state’s cur­rent death row…

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