What’s wrong with executions? Breyer offers opinions

Six capital convictions to be reviewed

Justice Stephen G. Breyer has a couple reasons why he wants to hear arguments from both sides on the constitutionality of capital punishment.

Breyer called for briefing on the issue in a dissent, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in a June decision that upheld the use of the execution drug midazolam. In an interview with MSNBC, Breyer explained why he’s ready to examine the issue.

Continue reading; ABA Journal

The execution of a US prisoner who didn’t kill anyone has raised questions about the death penalty

. . . According to Save Innocents, a group dedicated to highlighting possible death row miscarriages of justice, about 40 people have been put to death since the mid-1970s despite serious doubts about their guilt.

Meanwhile, a 2014 study by academics in Michigan and Pennsylvania found up to 4.1 per cent of prisoners sentenced to death since 1973 may well be innocent. If accurate, and some say it is closer to 2 per cent of cases, it could mean more that 300 people have either languished or perished on death row.

Read the article at News.com.au

Habeam Death Penalty Challenge

One of the most important Catholics in the world said something important this week about the death penalty in America, and it wasn’t Pope Francis. Two days after the pope told a joint session of Congress that capital punishment should be abolished, Justice Antonin Scalia, one of six Catholics on the U.S. Supreme Court, speaking at a college in Tennessee, said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if his colleagues banned capital punishment. Continue reading

Supreme Court Justice Argues World Opinion Matters on the Death Penalty

Should the Supreme Court care that other countries have abolished the death penalty?

That looming question animates Justice Stephen Breyer’s “The Court and the World,” a brisk but academic book that argues that it is relevant for the nation’s top judges to consider what other countries’ legal systems have decided when faced with difficult issues.    Continue reading: Time

Sister Helen: Oklahoma is about to execute an innocent man

Richard Glossip is fighting for his life. I firmly believe, as do so many others, that Richard is innocent of the crime that sent him to Oklahoma’s death row. Richard was convicted of a murder for hire. The man who confessed to the murder, Justin Sneed, got a life sentence in a medium security prison while the self-serving testimony that saved Justin’s life sent Richard to death row.
Read more on Sister Helen Prejean’s website, and please contact Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and ask her to stay Richard Glossip’s execution

Prosecutors to Seek Death Penalty for Dylann Roof

State prosecutors have said in court documents that they will seek the death penalty for Dylann S. Roof, who is charged with the racially motivated murders of 9 people in a church in Charleston, S.C., The Associated Press reported Thursday.

After the June 17 massacre of black ministers and parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, it emerged that the suspect, Mr. Roof, 21, who is white, had expressed white supremacist views and hatred of black people.
Continue reading: The New York Times

The opposite of poverty is justice

By Judy Elliot
Until he was a Harvard Law School student, Bryan Stevenson had never been inside a maximum security prison.

Then he signed up for a one-month course on race and poverty litigation and found himself in Georgia as an intern with the Southern Prisoners Defense Committee. The group took on cases of Death-Row inmates, prisoners with no lawyers to represent them.

In his book, “Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemption,” Stevenson, who finished law school and changed by his work with Death-Row prisoners, founded the Equal Justice Initiative, writes as a man who believes “we have to pay attention to justice served with equal measure.”

Continue reading: The Marietta Daily Journal