Category Archive: Death Penalty

May 01 2014

Study: 4% of Executed Convicts Are Innocent

There has long been a debate over just how high a percentage of convicted criminals, especially those on death row, are wrongfully convicted. It’s very difficult to properly measure, of course. But a new study that applies a new methodology concludes that at least 4% of those put to death are innocent.

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May 03 2013

Florida Republicans Want to Speed Up Executions

The Florida legislature has passed a package of criminal justice reforms that include provisions to speed up the execution of those on death row. Gov. Rick Scott is almost certain to sign the bill. And one Republican callously declared that it’s “not about guilt or innocence.”

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Mar 20 2013

Maryland to Eliminate the Death Penalty

Maryland is poised to become the 18th state to outlaw the death penalty after the state legislature voted by a strong margin to do so. The governor says he will sign the bill, which would commute the sentences of those on death row to life in prison without parole.

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Feb 18 2013

The Death Penalty and Democracy

The Economist’s Lexington blog has a post about democracy and the death penalty, pointing out that major strides have been made to eliminate the death penalty in many states despite strong public support of this ultimate punishment. Those achievements, then, go against public opinion:

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Aug 03 2012

Goldberg Waxes Stupid on the Death Penalty

Jonah Goldberg has another one of his predictably trite and overly simplistic columns — that is, after all, the only thing he has to offer — about the Aurora shooter and the death penalty. He begins by beating up a rather silly straw man:

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May 25 2012

How a Prosecutor Should Act

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins should be the DA in every county, or at least someone like him. Not only did he establish the first Conviction Integrity Unit in the country to look at wrongful convictions by his office, he’s now asking that an execution be delayed so they can get the results of …

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May 24 2012

Judge Exonerated Executed Man

You may remember the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas in 2004, for what a great many people believe was a crime he did not commit. The Huffington Post notes that a Texas state judge wrote a declaration exonerating him in 2010, but it was never released because the appeals courts …

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May 21 2012

Texas Likely Executed an Innocent Man

A new report by a team of investigators concludes that the state of Texas likely executed an innocent man named Carlos DeLuna in 1989. He was convicted because he looked like the one who really committed the murder, and despite a good deal of evidence that he was innocent.

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Apr 30 2012

The Conservative Argument Against the Death Penalty

California is going to have a referendum on the ballot this fall to abolish the death penalty in that state and Conor Friedersdorf makes the conservative argument against the death penalty, based on both economics and the inherent contradiction within conservative rhetoric about the government:

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Apr 16 2012

Connecticut Outlaws Death Penalty

Three cheers for the state of Connecticut, which has repealed their death penalty law. Unfortunately, it doesn’t apply to the 11 men currently on death row, only to future cases. That’s 17 states that have done so, starting with my state, Michigan, which was the first in the country. More of this please.

Feb 22 2012

Oregon Governor Stops Executions

I found this on Stephen Bright’s blog, Second Class Justice. It’s about 3 months old, but I totally missed it at the time and I think it’s very cool. The governor of Oregon has ended executions in his state through the rest of his term in office, becoming the second governor to do so (the …

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Jan 05 2012

ACLU Ranks Presidential Candidates

The ACLU has put out a voter guide for all the 2012 presidential candidates, ranking them all on 7 issues: humane immigration policy, closing Gitmo and indefinite detention, gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, ending torture, ending the surveillance state, same-sex marriage, and reproductive rights. Anthony Romero, the ACLU’s executive director, writes:

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Dec 30 2011

Paul Campaign Welcomes Endorsement of Theocrat Pastor

The Ron Paul campaign announced the endorsement of Rev. Phillip Kayser of Dominion Covenant Church in Omaha, Nebraska this week. Warren Throckmorton documents that Kayzer is a theocrat who wants to impose Biblical death penalties on gay people and adulterers. The article on the Paul campaign site appears to have been deleted now, but here’s …

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Nov 09 2011

Scalia’s Faith-Based Judging

Daniel Fincke has an interesting post at Camels With Hammers about Justice Scalia and his use of faith-based arguments in favor of the death penalty — all the more interesting given his recent statements about the death penalty and the Catholic Church. This is from an opinion written in 2002 by Scalia in a death …

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