Entries tagged with “Veterans

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Upcoming Executions

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Military

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Oct 11, 2019

100th Execution or 30th Exoneration? Florida Sets Execution Date for 73-Year-Old Military Veteran Who May Be Innocent

Florida has sched­uled the exe­cu­tion of 73-year-old James Dailey (pic­tured) for November 7, 2019, despite sub­stan­tial evi­dence that he had no involve­ment in the killing, includ­ing a state­ment by the admit­ted killer, Daley’s co-defen­dant, that he had act­ed alone. Dailey stands to be either the 100 death-row pris­on­er put to death by Florida since exe­cu­tions resumed in the 1970s or the state’s 30th death-row exoneree.

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Costs

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Deterrence

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Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Mental Illness

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Race

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Representation

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Feb 21, 2022

56 Prosecutors Issue Joint Statement Calling for End of Broken’ Death Penalty

Calling cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in the U.S. bro­ken,” 56 elect­ed pros­e­cu­tors from across the coun­try have issued a joint state­ment urg­ing sys­temic changes to end the death penal­ty nation­wide. As an ini­tial step, the pros­e­cu­tors pledged to not seek the death penal­ty against peo­ple with intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ties, post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der, his­to­ries of trau­mat­ic brain injury, or oth­er intel­lec­tu­al or cog­ni­tive chal­lenges that dimin­ish their abil­i­ty to ful­ly under­stand and reg­u­late their own actions.”

Policy Issues

Mental Illness

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Military

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Nov 12, 2018

A Veterans Day Review: Recent Cases Highlight Concerns About Veterans and the Death Penalty

As Americans become increas­ing­ly aware of the role of com­bat trau­ma in the devel­op­ment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and oth­er men­tal health dis­or­ders, the shift in pub­lic per­cep­tions towards vet­er­ans suf­fer­ing from these dis­or­ders has played out in the courts in recent death penal­ty cas­es. In 2018, at least four mil­i­tary vet­er­ans fac­ing death sen­tences have instead been sen­tenced to life in prison, and anoth­er two vet­er­ans won relief in their death-penal­ty cas­es. One mil­i­tary vet­er­an has been exe­cut­ed so far this year.

State & Federal Info

Military

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Nov 10, 2023

A Veterans Day Review: Uneven Progress Understanding the Role of Military Service in Capital Crimes

In 2015, DPIC’s Battle Scars report brought world­wide atten­tion to the issue of mil­i­tary vet­er­ans on death row. DPIC found approx­i­mate­ly 300 vet­er­ans incar­cer­at­ed under a sen­tence of death, rep­re­sent­ing at least 10% of death row, and many more who had been exe­cut­ed. Since that report, research and under­stand­ing about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), trau­mat­ic brain injury (TBI), sub­stance use dis­or­ders, and men­tal ill­ness among vet­er­ans has only grown. A 2023 sur­vey of mem­bers of the Wounded Warrior Project found that 76% of ser­vice­mem­bers who incurred a men­tal or physical…

Nov 10, 2015

Battle Scars: Military Veterans and the Death Penalty

In many respects, vet­er­ans in the United States are again receiv­ing the respect and grat­i­tude they deserve for hav­ing risked their lives and served their coun­try. Wounded sol­diers are wel­comed home, and their courage in start­ing a new and dif­fi­cult jour­ney in civil­ian life is right­ly applaud­ed. But some vet­er­ans with debil­i­tat­ing scars from their time in com­bat have received a very dif­fer­ent recep­tion. They have been judged to be the worst of the worst” crim­i­nals, deprived of mer­cy, sen­tenced to death, and exe­cut­ed by the gov­ern­ment they served.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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Sentencing Data

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Executions Overview

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Jun 06, 2020

Capital Case Roundup — Death Penalty Court Decisions the Week of June 12020

NEWS (6/​5/​20) — North Carolina: The North Carolina Supreme Court has struck down the state leg­is­la­ture’s attempt­ed retroac­tive repeal of the state’s Racial Justice Act, restor­ing the rights of approx­i­mate­ly 130 death-row pris­on­ers to seek redress of death sen­tences that they had claimed were sub­stan­tial­ly affect­ed by racial bias.

Policy Issues

Mental Illness

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United States Supreme Court

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Military

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May 23, 2019

Florida Executes Mentally Ill Vietnam Veteran Diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Disease”

Florida has exe­cut­ed Bobby Joe Long (pic­tured), a men­tal­ly ill Vietnam vet­er­an with ser­vice-relat­ed trau­mat­ic brain injuries, after the U.S. Supreme Court on May 23, 2019 declined to review his case. Long had asked the Court to halt his exe­cu­tion to address “[w]hether an indi­vid­ual who suf­fers from severe men­tal ill­ness is exempt from exe­cu­tion under the Eighth Amendment. In 1980, Long received a diag­no­sis of Traumatic Brain Disease” from the Veterans Administration as a result of injuries sus­tained dur­ing his mil­i­tary ser­vice. He also had a his­to­ry of several…

Policy Issues

Intellectual Disability

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Mental Illness

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Public Opinion

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Feb 03, 2022

New Poll: Voters Overwhelmingly Oppose Las Vegas DA Seeking the Death Penalty Against Vulnerable and Impaired Persons

Likely vot­ers in Clark County, Nevada over­whelm­ing­ly oppose the use of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment against broad cat­e­gories of vul­ner­a­ble and impaired per­sons whom coun­ty pros­e­cu­tors have been try­ing to exe­cute, a new poll released by Vegas Watch on January 27, 2022 shows.

Policy Issues

Mental Illness

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Representation

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Feb 05, 2020

News Brief — Texas Appeals Court Upholds Conviction and Death Sentence of Veteran With PTSD

NEWS (2/​5/​20): The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the con­vic­tion and death sen­tence of Marine Corps vet­er­an John Thuesen, who sus­tained com­bat-relat­ed PTSD from his ser­vice in the war in Iraq. In an unsigned, unpub­lished opin­ion on February 5, the appeals court adopt­ed all but a hand­ful of the tri­al court’s find­ings of fact and con­clu­sions of law, which had reject­ed Thuesen’s claim that his tri­al lawyer had been inef­fec­tive in fail­ing to inves­ti­gate and present avail­able evi­dence of the psy­cho­log­i­cal impact of his post­trau­mat­ic stress disorder.

Policy Issues

Mental Illness

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Recent Legislative Activity

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New Voices

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Jan 05, 2018

Retired Lt. General: Exclude Mentally Ill Vets from the Death Penalty

Saying that the death penal­ty should be reserved for the worst of the worst in our soci­ety,’” retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General John Castellaw (pic­tured) has urged the Tennessee state leg­is­la­ture to adopt pend­ing leg­is­la­tion that would bar the death penal­ty for peo­ple with severe men­tal ill­ness­es. In an op-ed in the Memphis news­pa­per, The Commercial Appeal, General Castellaw writes that the death penal­ty should not be pre­scribed for those with severe men­tal ill­ness­es, includ­ing those peo­ple with ill­ness­es con­nect­ed to their mil­i­tary ser­vice.” A 2015 report by the Death…

Executions

Upcoming Executions

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Mar 17, 2020

Texas Court Issues 60-Day Stay of Execution for John Hummel in Response to Coronavirus Crisis

Responding to esca­lat­ing health con­cerns caused by the COVID-19 coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (TCCA) has tem­porar­i­ly halt­ed the exe­cu­tion of John Hummel. In an order issued on March 16, 2020, the TCCA stayed Hummel’s exe­cu­tion, which had been sched­uled for March 18, for 60 days, say­ing the delay was nec­es­sary in light of the cur­rent health cri­sis and the enor­mous resources need­ed to address that emergency.”

Policy Issues

Mental Illness

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Representation

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Military

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Aug 07, 2018

Two Servicemen Suffering From Brain Trauma, PTSD Win Death-Penalty Relief

Two ser­vice­men — one a for­mer air­man on the U.S. mil­i­tary death row, anoth­er a dec­o­rat­ed Vietnam vet­er­an sen­tenced to death in Pennsylvania—have won relief from their cap­i­tal con­vic­tions or death sentences.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Mental Illness

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Representation

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Nov 06, 2020

Webinar Series Highlights Issues Faced by Veterans Facing the Death Penalty

The Death Penalty Information Center is part­ner­ing with the Veteran Advocacy Project to present a six-part webi­nar series on Veterans and the Death Penalty. The webi­na­rs, which are co-spon­sored by Advancing Real Change, Inc. and Witness to Innocence, will address a broad range of seri­ous issues that have made vet­er­ans dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly vul­ner­a­ble to cap­i­tal pros­e­cu­tion. The series opens Monday, November 9, the week the nation com­mem­o­rates Veterans Day 2020, with a ses­sion on Veterans on Death Row.