Blog of Rights

Anna
Arceneaux
Counting Down to the End of the Death Penalty

Counting Down to the End of the Death Penalty

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:28am
The start of a new year always presents an opportunity to think back on the successes and failures of the past year and to look forward to the future with a sense of hope and optimism. Before the countdown begins to 2014, let’s take a moment to reflect on the progress we’ve made towards abolition of the death penalty in 2013.  We’ve got a lot to celebrate.
Judges Still Free to Ignore Juries in Alabama

Judges Still Free to Ignore Juries in Alabama

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:46am

Picture a death row trial in Alabama. The twelve jury members have spent days, maybe even weeks, listening to testimony and evidence about the crime, the defendant, and his life. They are sent back to a room to make the difficult decision whether the…

Florida Will Kill Severely Mentally Ill Man Unless Supreme Court Intervenes

Florida Will Kill Severely Mentally Ill Man Unless Supreme Court Intervenes

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:22am

Unless the United States Supreme Court intervenes in the next few days, Florida will execute John Ferguson on August 5, despite a well-documented history of his psychosis spanning over 40 years.

Victory! An Innocent Man's Journey from Death Row to Freedom

Victory! An Innocent Man's Journey from Death Row to Freedom

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:19am

For the last five years, I have been representing an innocent man.

I first met Montez Spradley on Alabama's death row in 2008. From that very first day, he vigorously maintained his innocence of the crime that landed him there: the 2004 murder…

What Does $10,000 Buy in Alabama? Less-than-Truthful Testimony Used to Sentence Someone to Death

What Does $10,000 Buy in Alabama? Less-than-Truthful Testimony Used to Sentence Someone to Death

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 11:22am

A trial is supposed to be a search for the truth. That can never be more important than in a death...

New Film Highlights the Gross Injustices of the West Memphis Three Case

New Film Highlights the Gross Injustices of the West Memphis Three Case

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:44pm

In June 1993, Damien Echols, 18, Jason Baldwin, 16, and Jessie Misskelley, 17, who would come to be known as the “West Memphis Three,” were wrongfully arrested for the murders of three young boys in the small Arkansas town of West Memphis,…

VICTORY! One Less Person Faces Execution in Alabama

VICTORY! One Less Person Faces Execution in Alabama

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:13pm

One less person faces possible death at the hands of Alabama’s arbitrary capital punishment system, after the State agreed to stop seeking the death penalty for ACLU client LaSamuel Gamble late last week. Gamble, who has been on death row for…

Reporting from Guantánamo: "Trust Us"

Reporting from Guantánamo: "Trust Us"

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:08pm

This week, I've been in Guantánamo Bay observing a hearing in the first capital case before this latest iteration of military commissions, that of Abd al-Rahim Hussayn Muhammad al-Nashiri. As the hearing has progressed over the last few…

Reporting from Guantánamo: Leaving the Constitution on the Mainland

Reporting from Guantánamo: Leaving the Constitution on the Mainland

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 4:15pm

This week I am in Guantánamo Bay observing a hearing in the case of Abd al-Rahim Hussayn Muhammad al-Nashiri (pronounced al-NAH-shiri), the first death penalty case to be tried by military commission. Mr. al-Nashiri faces charges for his…

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