The newly elected district attorney in Denver, Beth McCann, announced last month that her office would no longer seek the death penalty. “I don’t think that the state should be in the business of killing people,” she said.
In Harris County, Tex., which includes Houston and has long been one of the most execution-friendly counties in America, the new district attorney, Kim Ogg, said there would be “very few death penalty prosecutions” under her administration.
Read more: New York Times
On many issues, President Donald Trump’s opinions are murky at best. He’s offered a number of different positions on issues like abortion rights, foreign policy and even his favorite issue, immigration. There’s 1 issue, though, where Trump has remained unambiguous throughout his campaign, even dating back to his days as a real estate mogul: capital punishment.
Read more: mic.com (scroll down to the end of that story for an excellent photo from the Jan. 17 action against the death penalty!)
Eighteen protesters were arrested on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday morning after displaying a large “STOP EXECUTIONS!” banner calling for an end to capital punishment in America.
The demonstration was timed to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1977 execution by firing squad of Garry Gilmore, the first since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. Similar protests have taken place every five years . . . continue reading: National Law Journal
Abolitionist Action Committee press release
Activists call on Nation to End the Death Penalty as State Executions hit Historic Lows
Members of the anti-death penalty Abolitionist Action Committee (AAC) and many faith leaders will stage a highly visual demonstration at the U.S. Supreme Court in the 10:00 am hour, Tuesday, January 17 to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1st execution under contemporary laws. A program featuring death row exonerees, murder victim family members and others, will take place the evening before. Continue reading
A Charleston, S.C., jury convicted racist murderer Dylann Roof of hate crimes last month, and now the only question is whether the state will put him to death. We oppose the death penalty even for the Dylann Roofs of the world. But if the jury disagrees with us, at least it would hand down the ultimate punishment in retribution for a truly unusual crime and without a shadow of doubt about Mr. Roof’s guilt.
Read more: Washington Post editorial
Last week, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution calling for a worldwide “moratorium on the use of the death penalty”—the sixth that the U.N. has approved in the past decade. Each one has gained the support of more of the organization’s members. The latest vote was a hundred and seventeen countries in favor to forty against. (Thirty-one abstained, and five did not vote.)
Read the article at The New Yorker
Year End Report
Another Record Decline in Death Penalty Use
Death sentences, executions and public support for the death penalty at historic lows.
Courts bar unconstitutional practices in four states.
Read the full report or watch a two minute summary: Death Penalty Information Center
Guests—-Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of Repairers of the Breach and head of the North Carolina NAACP.
. . . And while Dylann Roof has been found guilty, lastly, Amy, South Carolina is still guilty. South Carolina, after those 9 deaths – you know, my frat brother, Reverend Pinckney, was killed. He fought for more money for public education. The South Carolina Legislature has not passed more money for public education in his name. He fought against voter suppression. Nikki Haley supported voter suppression. And now she’s going to be an ambassador to other nations. He fought for the pulling down of the Confederate flag. The flag did not come down until 9 people were killed, which, in an eerie way, sends the signal that only black death matters. You know, he fought for a living wage. He fought for healthcare expansion that would help black and poor white people in South Carolina. South Carolina is still guilty of not expanding healthcare and not raising their living wage and still having right-to-work laws, which are actually right-to-discriminate laws that keep labor unions out of the South. . . .
Read the interview: Democracy Now
A federal judge overseeing a death penalty trial in Vermont on Tuesday ruled that only the US Supreme Court can declare the death penalty to be unconstitutional – but nonetheless issued a strong critique of what he found to be an arbitrarily imposed punishment “in which chance and bias play leading roles.” Continue reading: Buzzfeed
An appellate court says a South Carolina man should be released from death row because a prosecutor’s “racially coded references” made a fair sentencing impossible. Continue reading