Three States to Watch if You Care About the Death Penalty

Nebraska, Oklahoma, and California will test the prospects of abolition.

Public support for the death penalty is at its lowest level since the Supreme Court suspended capital punishment in 1972. A Pew Research poll published late last month revealed that only 49 percent of Americans now favor executing murderers, a seven-point decline from March 2015. Those poll numbers may reflect growing public concern about botched executions, the high costs of operating death rows, and the suspicion that states may have executed innocent people.                  Continue reading: The Marshall Project

A Road Map For Death Penalty Abolition

. . .  Capital punishment is a dwindling sanction but it’s still authorized by law, entrenched in the South and supported by millions of Americans. Carol and Jordan Steiker, professors at Harvard and the University of Texas Law Schools respectively, are the leading contemporary scholars of the death penalty. In Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment they have brilliantly defined—in language accessible to the general reader— the massive dysfunction of the current system and the course that a future Supreme Court could take to do away with it.

Read the article at the Huffington Post

How Did Literal Poison Become ‘Political Speech’?

It would be the perfect metaphor for this election if it weren’t reality.

All of us are painfully aware, thanks to the extraterrestrial logical thinking of one Anthony Kennedy, that corporations are now people and money is now speech. Out in the country, there are states desperate to kill people. They have had trouble getting the poison they need to do so because pharmaceutical companies have been reluctant to be seen as accessories before the fact of judicial murder. But now, as Buzzfeed News so ably informs us, one anonymous drugmaker and its hired mouthpieces have decided to supply the political buttonmen with their ammo, and they’ve come up with an innovative legal theory by which to do so.
Continue reading: Esquire

‘Very clear line’ between lynching and death penalty

As a co-founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson is a disruptor of chronic injustices who fights for the lives of prisoners on Alabama’s death row.

“[In the U.S.], 156 people exonerated after being sentenced to death. That means for every 10 people that have been executed in the U.S., we’ve identified 1 innocent person on the row, which is a really shameful rate of error,” Stevenson tells The Current’s Anna Maria Tremonti.

Life Requires More From Us Than Death: Ending The Death Penalty In Charleston, Too

. . . For the first peoples of this land, communities of African descent, other communities of color and poor people, news about America the violent is not really news at all. Ours is a different recognition grounded in a historic set of oppressions established through searing social custom, legislative fiat, religious teachings, and racial taxonomies. Enslavement, segregation, discrimination, criminalization, removal, poverty, second-class citizenship, and all manner of brutality and violation are its legacy. It is a legacy that continues still, nowhere more prominently than in the continued administration of the death penalty. . . . Read more

(source: Alton B. Pollard, III, Ph.D.–Dean and Professor of Religion and Culture at Howard University School of Divinity; Henderson Hill Veteran criminal defense and civil rights attorney and trial advocacy instructor based in Charlotte, NC.—-Huffington Post)

Report Aims To Explain “Outlier” Counties Imposing Most New Death Sentences

As the death penalty slows across the U.S., some counties continue to impose significant numbers of new death sentences. A report out Tuesday looks at eight key counties — including one in Arizona where 28 death sentences were imposed between 2010 and 2015.
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Also: When A ZIP Code Can Determine A Death Sentence by Kim Bellware, Huffington Post