Items: 41 — 50

Aug 22, 2018

NEW RESOURCES: Capital Punishment and the State of Criminal Justice 2018

The American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section has released its annu­al report on issues, trends, and sig­nif­i­cant changes in America’s crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. The new pub­li­ca­tion, The State of Criminal Justice 2018, 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 reports that 2017 had the sec­ond low­est num­ber of death sen­tences (39) imposed in the United States in four decades –…

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Aug 02, 2018

New Podcast: Authors of Tennessee Death-Penalty Study Discuss Arbitrariness

The lat­est edi­tion of Discussions with DPIC fea­tures H.E. Miller, Jr. and Bradley MacLean, co-authors of a recent study on the appli­ca­tion of Tennessee’s death penal­ty. Miller and MacLean describe the find­ings from their arti­cle, Tennessee’s Death Penalty Lottery, in which they exam­ined the fac­tors that influ­ence death-penal­ty deci­sions in the state.

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Jun 27, 2018

STUDY: Tennessee Could Save $1.4 Million Annually Ending Death Penalty for Severe Mental Illness

Tennessee could save an esti­mat­ed $1.4 – 1.89 mil­lion per year by adopt­ing a ban on cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment for defen­dants with severe men­tal ill­ness, accord­ing to a new report by the American Bar Association Death Penalty Due Process Review Project. The report said a severe men­tal ill­ness death-penal­ty exclu­sion could result in cost sav­ings [because] a sub­set of indi­vid­u­als who cur­rent­ly could face expen­sive cap­i­tal pros­e­cu­tions and decades of appeals would become inel­i­gi­ble” for cap­i­tal pros­e­cu­tion. As a result, their tri­als and appeals would be sig­nif­i­cant­ly trun­cat­ed, while still result­ing in guilty…

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Jun 26, 2018

Report Finds Systemic Flaws, Recommends Major Reforms in Pennsylvania Death Penalty

Pennsylvanias death-penal­ty sys­tem is seri­ous­ly flawed and in need of major reform, accord­ing to a report released June 25, 2018, by the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Committee on Capital Punishment. The bipar­ti­san task force and advi­so­ry com­mit­tee — which con­sist­ed of leg­is­la­tors, pros­e­cu­tors, defense attor­neys, police chiefs, judges, and vic­tims’ advo­cates — began work in 2012 and exam­ined 17 issues relat­ed to the Commonwealth’s death penal­ty. Their years-long exam­i­na­tion of top­ics such as costs, bias, inno­cence, pro­por­tion­al­i­ty, men­tal ill­ness and intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty, qual­i­ty of rep­re­sen­ta­tion, and impact on vic­tims’ fam­i­lies result­ed in numerous…

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Jun 15, 2018

STUDY: Local Mississippi Prosecutors Struck Black Jurors at More than Four Times the Rate of Whites

A new study shows that the Mississippi District Attorney’s office that has pros­e­cut­ed Curtis Flowers for cap­i­tal mur­der six times — strik­ing almost all black jurors in each tri­al — has dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly exclud­ed African Americans from jury ser­vice for more than a quar­ter cen­tu­ry. Reviewing the exer­cise of dis­cre­tionary jury strikes in 225 tri­als between 1992 and 2017, American Public Media Reports dis­cov­ered that dur­ing the tenure of Mississippi’s Fifth Circuit Court District Attorney Doug Evans (pic­tured) pros­e­cu­tors have exer­cised peremp­to­ry strikes to exclude African Americans from jury ser­vice at near­ly 4½ times the…

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May 23, 2018

STUDY: Pervasive Rubberstamping by State Courts Undermines Legitimacy of Harris County, Texas Death Sentences

State-court factfind­ing by judges in Harris County, Texas death-penal­ty cas­es is a sham” that rub­ber­stamps” the views of coun­ty pros­e­cu­tors, accord­ing to a study of the coun­ty’s cap­i­tal post-con­vic­tion pro­ceed­ings pub­lished in the May 2018 issue of the Houston Law Review. In The Problem of Rubber Stamping in State Capital Habeas Proceedings: A Harris County Case Study, researchers from the University of Texas School of Law Capital Punishment Center exam­ined factfind­ing orders in 191 Harris County cap­i­tal post-con­vic­tion pro­ceed­ings in which fac­tu­al issues were con­test­ed, and found that in 96%…

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May 11, 2018

STUDIES: Death-Penalty Jury Selection Whitewashes” Juries and is Biased Towards Death

As sup­port for the death penal­ty has declined in America, the process of death-qual­i­fi­ca­tion” — which screens poten­tial jurors in death-penal­ty cas­es based upon their views about cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment — pro­duces increas­ing­ly unrep­re­sen­ta­tive juries from which African Americans are dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly exclud­ed and, accord­ing to a new study by researchers at the University of California, increas­ing­ly bias­es juries in favor of con­vic­tion and death sentences.

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May 08, 2018

NEW RESOURCES: BJS Releases Capital Punishment, 2016

The nation’s death rows con­tin­ue to shrink more rapid­ly than new defen­dants are being sen­tenced to death, accord­ing to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) sta­tis­ti­cal brief, Capital Punishment, 2016,” released April 30, 2018. (Click image to enlarge.) The sta­tis­ti­cal brief, which ana­lyzes infor­ma­tion on those under sen­tence of death in the United States as of December 31, 2016, con­tains offi­cial gov­ern­ment fig­ures doc­u­ment­ing con­tin­u­ing declines in exe­cu­tions, new death sen­tences, and death-row pop­u­la­tions across the U.S. BJS reports that 2,814 pris­on­ers remained under sen­tence of death in 32 states…

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Apr 26, 2018

DPIC Study Shows 97% of Prisoners Who Overturn Pennsylvania Death Sentences Are Not Resentenced to Death

In Pennsylvania, death-row pris­on­ers whose con­vic­tions or death sen­tences are over­turned in state or fed­er­al post-con­vic­tion appeals are almost nev­er resen­tenced to death, a new Death Penalty Information Center study has revealed. Since Pennsylvania adopt­ed its cur­rent death-penal­ty statute in September 1978, post-con­vic­tion courts have reversed pris­on­ers’ cap­i­tal con­vic­tions or death sen­tences in 170 cas­es. Defendants have faced cap­i­tal retri­als or resen­tenc­ings in 137 of those cas­es, and 133 times — in more than 97% of the cas­es — they received non-cap­i­tal dis­po­si­tions rang­ing from life with­out parole to exon­er­a­tion. Only four pris­on­ers whose…

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