Charleston School of Law President Ed Bell [held] a press conference Friday morning to announce a new development in the case of George Stinney Jr., a 14-year-old African-American boy from Alcolu who was executed in 1944 in the killing of two white girls.
Read more: Post and Courier
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
Last June, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer suggested that the death penalty might be close to its ultimate demise. “Rather than try to patch up the death penalty’s legal wounds one at a time,” he wrote in a dissent to Glossip v. Gross, to which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg added her name, “I would ask for a full briefing on a more basic question: whether the death penalty violates the Constitution.”
. . . Regardless of what case they pick, the justices have many options; they could restrict the death penalty without abolishing it altogether. They could raise the age of who qualifies for the punishment or define more stringent tests for IQ or other indicators of mental ability. They could strike down the laws governing how juries make death decisions in some states1 but not others, or strike down laws keeping information about execution drugs secret. They could restrict the death penalty to the most heinous crimes, such as mass acts of terrorism or killing a police officer or prison guard. Read the article: The Marshall Project
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (MissouriNet) — A man whose death sentence was thrown out in November will be retried for the 1991 murders of two sisters on the Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer M. Joyce says she will retry 44-year-old Reginald Clemons for the murders of Julie and Robin Kerry, and says she will seek the death penalty against him. She is also filing charges of forcible rape and first-degree robbery. Continue reading
By Kim Bellware, Huffington Post
From papal speeches to street protests, death penalty news loomed large in 2015.
Some states like Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Connecticut informally halted or outright struck the practice from their books, while others like Texas and Oklahoma scrambled to keep their death chambers running — sometimes with disastrous results. Continue reading: The Huffington Post
, , , Even though polls show that 60 % of the public still supports the death penalty, and even though the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld it as constitutional, the number of executions this year so far is almost the same as the number of fatalities from lightning strikes – 27 executions versus 26 deaths by lightning.
It’s an ironic statistic. When the Supreme Court briefly banned the death penalty in 1972, it did so, in part, because, as Justice Potter Stewart put it, capital punishment was being imposed so randomly and “freakishly” that it was like being “struck by lightning.”
Please read Nina Totenberg’s article at NPR/South Carolina Public Radio
A culture of death. The counties that lead the nation in death sentences also invariably lead the nation in per-capita killings by police officers.
Read the article at the Washington Post
A death row inmate who was exonerated at the 11th hour opens up about the psychological turmoil he faced, and the problems with capital punishment.
It could only make sense in the twisted world of American justice. A death row prisoner’s life was saved because he wrote to a judge begging to be executed.
After decades behind bars protesting his innocence, he could no longer stand the failed appeals, the enforced silences, and the despair of another extinguished dream of freedom. He requested that his trip to the electric chair take place in the coming months.
Continue reading: The Daily Beast
Review of “The Fear of 13”
All life is worth saving
Just as in Clarence Darrow’s day, the death penalty continues to be practiced in many American states. Yet around the world, the majority of nations no longer executes their prisoners, showing increasing support for the abolition of capital punishment. Recently, in December 2014, when the United Nations General Assembly introduced a resolution calling for an international moratorium on the use of the death penalty, a record 117 countries voted in favor of abolition, while only 38 nations, including the United States, voted against it. Indeed, falling just behind China, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, the United States is recorded to have the 5th highest rate of execution worldwide. Continue reading
In a discussion at the George Washington University School of Law, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said the death penalty creates a higher risk of error than other criminal cases and is unfair, unnecessary, and a “terrible waste” of resources.
Continue reading: Death Penalty Information Center