Dylann Roof’s lawyer a Canadian-born crusader against death penalty

David Bruck, a soft-spoken Montrealer, has become one of America’s foremost opponents of the death penalty.
The memories have faded a little in the 21 years since David Bruck saved her daughter from the electric chair. Linda Russell, mother of South Carolina murderer Susan Smith, now recalls 3 things about him.
How softly he spoke. How intensely he opposed the death penalty. And that photo, on his office wall, of a tiny black boy: George Stinney, a 14-year-old sent to the chair after a flawed trial in 1944.
Continue reading: The Toronto Star

The Day My Brother Took a Life and Changed Mine Forever

I grew up idolizing my brother. Then he killed a man.
Drive the backroads of South Carolina to the small town of Ridgeville, and you’ll be greeted by a large, handmade sign reading “Your sins killed Jesus” amid the pine forests and small barns. I grew up traveling those roads but only recently noticed the sign, long after I had stopped caring about sin and consequence or what either of those things means.
Continue reading: The Marshall Project

Life, Death, and Forgiveness

by Lisa Gensheimer

What does a nun wear to the Academy Awards?

No, it’s not a riddle answered by black-and-white-and-red-all-over. It’s a question faced by Sister Helen Prejean, whose soul-wrenching relationship with a death row inmate inspired her Pulitzer Prize-nominated book and the movie Dead Man Walking, nominated for four Oscars.
Continue reading: Erie Reader

Supreme Court gives black death-row inmate new life

. . . While jurors were being picked, prosecutors had highlighted the names of African Americans, circled the word “black” on questionnaires, and added notations such as “B#1” and “B#2.” On a sheet labeled “definite NO’s,” they put the last five blacks in the jury pool on top. And they ranked them in case “it comes down to having to pick one of the black jurors.”

SCOTUS_2006. . . [B]ecause Foster received a death sentence, it could bolster arguments voiced last year by Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg that the death penalty itself may be unconstitutional.    Read the article: USA Today

Pfizer v. Lethal Injections

. . . “Pfizer makes its products to enhance and save the lives of the patients we serve,” the pharmaceutical giant’s updated policy said. “Consistent with these values, Pfizer strongly objects to the use of its products as lethal injections for capital punishment. . . . Pfizer will consistently monitor the distribution of these 7 products, act upon findings that reveal noncompliance, and modify policies when necessary to remain consistent with our stated position against the improper use of our products in lethal injections.”       Read the article at The Atlantic