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Begging to Be Executed Saved His Life

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”
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Overview

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

Amnesty International Report: Death Sentences and Executions 2014

An alarming number of countries used the death penalty to tackle real or perceived threats to state security linked to terrorism, crime or internal instability in 2014, Amnesty International found in its annual review of the death penalty worldwide.                                                                   Continue reading: Amnesty International

San Quentin warden Jeanne Woodford argues it is time to remove the death penalty

In San Quentin prison in California just after midnight on 4 occasions warden Jeanne Woodford checked her watch before giving the final order to execute 4 men on death row. Today she is among a growing number of Americans campaigning to end the death penalty in the United States, the only Western democracy that still imposes it.

Continue reading Bette Browne’s article: The Irish Examiner
Many thanks to Rick Halperin for alerting us to this story and many others.

United Nations vote on death penalty moratorium puts US in awkward spot

The United Nations General Assembly is expected on Thursday to vote once again on a draft resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty, with the United States likely to become even more isolated in its support for capital punishment.

The resolution was first adopted by the General Assembly in 2007; this is the 5th time member states will vote. On Nov. 21, 114 of the 193 U.N. member states voted “yes” on the draft resolution at a session of the Third Committee, which is responsible for social, humanitarian and cultural issues. 36 countries opposed the resolution.

The U.S. has repeatedly lodged “no” votes alongside countries with troubling human rights records – including China, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the top 4 executing countries in 2013. The United States ranked 5th.      Continue reading: Al Jazeera