Publications & Testimony

Items: 81 — 90

Mar 14, 2024

North Carolina Racial Justice Act Hearing Concludes in Hasson Bacote Case

On Friday, March 8, 2024 a Johnston County tri­al court con­clud­ed a his­toric hear­ing regard­ing the claims of Hasson Bacote, a death-sen­tenced pris­on­er in North Carolina, that racial dis­crim­i­na­tion in jury selec­tion played a role in his 2009 cap­i­tal sen­tenc­ing. The case, which is being reviewed pur­suant to North Carolina’s 2009 Racial Justice Act (RJA), could have impli­ca­tions for more than 100 oth­er death row pris­on­ers who have pend­ing claims under the…

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Mar 13, 2024

Tennessee Death Row Prisoner’s New Appeal Alleges Innocence, Prosecutorial Misconduct, and Ineffective Counsel

Jessie Dotson, a man sen­tenced to death for killing six peo­ple in 2008 in the Binghampton neigh­bor­hood of Memphis, Tennessee, has filed a peti­tion for a writ of a habeas cor­pus ask­ing a judge to vacate his con­vic­tion and death sen­tence. His peti­tion alleges that he is inno­cent, that police coerced him to false­ly con­fess, and that a num­ber of pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al and defense errors occurred at tri­al. Mr. Dotson has been on death row since 2008, when he was sen­tenced to death for the mur­ders of four…

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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.

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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.”…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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