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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.
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…

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! 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…

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...

Louisiana Supreme Court Sees Problems with the Confederate Flag, but Allows it to Wave for Now

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:35pm

In 1951, in response to the burgeoning civil rights movement, Caddo Parish, Louisiana defiantly raised a Confederate flag outside the entrance to its courthouse. It flies there today.

In 2009, long-time Caddo Parish resident Carl Staples,…

Why Have a Jury?

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:52pm

In Alabama, as we’ve discussed here before, elected judges have the authority to override the jury’s sentencing decision in death penalty cases – in other words, a judge can sentence a person to die even if a jury of his or her…

Women on Death Row

Women on Death Row

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:39pm

Perhaps because men make up the overwhelming portion of the death row population in the United States, we often don't think of the 61 women sentenced to death, or the 12 women who have been executed in the modern death penalty era which commenced…

Ignoring the Voice of the Jury

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:33am

Last week, Alabama executed John Forrest Parker. Ten of the 12 members of Parker's jury thought he should live, but the trial judge disagreed and overrode the jury's life verdict. Parker's execution was Alabama's second in as many years in which…

Texas Execution Tomorrow Risks Needless Pain and Suffering

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:57pm

Tomorrow, Texas plans to execute Cleve Foster using a brand new, untested lethal injection protocol. If this protocol doesn’t work properly, Foster could suffer excruciating pain during the execution.

Most death penalty states across…

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