Publications & Testimony

Items: 31 — 40

Oct 17, 2023

Victim’s Sister, Faith Leaders, and Others Plead for Clemency for Will Speer, Faith Based Coordinator on Texas’ Death Row

On Friday, October 13, the sole sur­viv­ing fam­i­ly mem­ber of mur­der vic­tim Gary L. Dickerson joined dozens of faith lead­ers and oth­ers in ask­ing the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for clemen­cy for Will Speer. Mr. Speer is set to be exe­cut­ed on October 26, 2023. After a child­hood of hor­rif­ic abuse, a life sen­tence by age 18, and a judg­ment of death by age 23, Mr. Speer devot­ed him­self to the study of Christianity and has become a promi­nent prison min­is­ter. In my heart, I feel that he…

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Oct 16, 2023

Louisiana Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole Denies Clemency Hearings for Five Death-Sentenced Prisoners

On October 13, 2023, after a brief admin­is­tra­tive hear­ing, the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole denied clemen­cy hear­ings for five of the 56 death-sen­tenced pris­on­ers seek­ing clemen­cy before Governor John Bel Edwards leaves office in January 2024. The four-mem­ber pan­el split its vote on four of the five appli­ca­tions, with a major­i­ty deny­ing the fifth appli­ca­tion on the grounds that Winthrop Eaton is unlike­ly to be exe­cut­ed because he is men­tal­ly incom­pe­tent. Clifford Deruise, Daniel Irish, Emmett Taylor, and Antoinette Frank were denied clemen­cy hear­ings despite having…

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Oct 13, 2023

New Legal Research Declares Heightened Standards” of Due Process in Capital Cases an Illusion”

In a new law review arti­cle, Professor Anna VanCleave of the University of Connecticut School of Law argues that the height­ened stan­dards” of due process pro­tec­tion for cap­i­tal defen­dants, required under the Eighth Amendment, are in prac­tice no more than a veneer of legit­i­ma­cy and pro­ce­dur­al cau­tion” that fail to vin­di­cate defen­dants’ rights. Professor VanCleave found that in the absence of clear guid­ance from the Supreme Court as to the actu­al mean­ing of height­ened stan­dards,” low­er courts apply the same stan­dards used in non-cap­i­tal crim­i­nal cas­es or even relax rules…

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Oct 12, 2023

Republican-Led State Legislative Committee Considers Death Penalty Moratorium in Oklahoma

On October 5, 2023, the Oklahoma House Judiciary Criminal Committee met to dis­cuss ongo­ing con­cerns regard­ing the state’s cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment sys­tem and the pos­si­bil­i­ty of rec­om­mend­ing a mora­to­ri­um on exe­cu­tions. Republican Representative Kevin McDugle (pic­tured) called for the meet­ing and is a long­time sup­port­er of the death penal­ty. He spoke of his increas­ing con­cern regard­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of exe­cut­ing an inno­cent per­son, par­tic­u­lar­ly cit­ing the case of Richard Glossip, who has long main­tained his inno­cence. At the meet­ing, Rep. McDugle told his col­leagues that there are cas­es right now… [of]…

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Oct 12, 2023

Worldwide Wednesday International Roundup: China, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Vietnam

October 10, 2023 marked the 21st World Day Against the Death Penalty. Regarding this year’s theme, The Death Penalty, an Irreversible Torture,” Raphaël Chenuil Hazan, exec­u­tive direc­tor of France-based abo­li­tion­ist group EPCM, said Today, we no longer need to demon­strate to any­one that the death penal­ty is a sophis­ti­cat­ed form of tor­ture, both in the phase of sen­tenc­ing or inves­ti­ga­tion (where phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal tor­ture is often used to obtain con­fes­sions), where the ele­ments of a fair tri­al are often unfor­tu­nate­ly not met, and dur­ing the psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly unbear­able wait for…

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Oct 10, 2023

French Embassy Hosts Exhibit Featuring Former Death Row Prisoners’ Artwork to Raise Awareness

On October 10, 2023, the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C. will host open­ing night of C’est la vie? Restoring Awareness on Capital Punishment through Art,’ in con­junc­tion with sev­er­al oth­er mem­bers of the European Union. The event will fea­ture the work of death row inmates, and some of whose sen­tences have been over­turned, and a dis­cus­sion on the influ­ence that art has had on their lives.” With the European Union Delegation, Witness to Innocence, and Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, the French Embassy, along with the embassies of…

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Oct 06, 2023

New Details Emerge Surrounding Federal Executions Under Trump Administration

A recent arti­cle by Associated Press jour­nal­ist Michael Tarm reports new details about the thir­teen fed­er­al exe­cu­tions that took place in 20192020, includ­ing last-minute clemen­cy appeals for death-sen­tenced pris­on­ers like Brandon Bernard. Mr. Tarm wit­nessed ten of the exe­cu­tions and spoke with a num­ber of indi­vid­u­als who were involved in the process for his sto­ry. As a result of these inter­views, he says that the fuller pic­ture that has emerged shows that offi­cials cut cor­ners and relied on a pli­ant Supreme Court to get the exe­cu­tions done, even…

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Oct 05, 2023

World Psychiatric Association Releases Report Opposing the Death Penalty for People with Mental Illness or Development and Intellectual Disabilities

In July 2023, the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) released its report and posi­tion state­ment on men­tal health and the death penal­ty. The issues addressed in the report include: the impo­si­tion of the death penal­ty on pris­on­ers with men­tal ill­ness or devel­op­men­tal and intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ties, the over­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of death-sen­tenced pris­on­ers who have been socioe­co­nom­i­cal­ly mar­gin­al­ized, and the role of psy­chi­a­trists in death penal­ty cases. 

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