South Carolina has no way of executing its more than 30 death row inmates, and state legislators are exploring how to fix that.
A Senate panel discussed Thursday looking into alternatives to lethal injection, the method the state most commonly used until the last set of drugs expired in 2013. Since then, the state has had no way of executing any of the 38 inmates on death row unless they choose to die by electrocution. Continue reading
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
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
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
. . . 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)
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
Please watch this shocking 4 minute YouTube video about racism and how African American defendants are treated in South Carolina and especially in Lexington County.
. . . They are: Joe Freeman Britt of Robeson County, North Carolina; Donnie Myers of Lexington, South Carolina; . . .
Please read the article at the Guardian and the report from Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project.
A Judge Overturned a Death Sentence Because the Prosecutor Compared a Black Defendant to King Kong
A federal trial judge in South Carolina last week overturned the death sentence of a man convicted of stabbing his victim more than 70 times with a screwdriver. The sentencing phase of the trial of Johnny O’Landis Bennett was so infected by racial animus by the prosecutor and a juror, U.S. District Judge Richard Mark Gergel concluded, that Bennett was deprived of his constitutional right to due process.
Continue reading: The Marshall Project