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Anna
Arceneaux
Oklahoma Plays Torture Roulette With Lethal Injection

Oklahoma Plays Torture Roulette With Lethal Injection

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project & Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:32pm
The logical response to Clayton Lockett's bloody, pain-filled, unconstitutional execution in Oklahoma eight months ago would be to prevent such torture from happening again. But Oklahoma has another idea for its first execution since Lockett's. Instead of learning from its mistakes, the state will administer midazolam, the same drug used in Lockett's horribly botched execution.

138 Reasons to Abolish the Death Penalty

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:00pm

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once wrote that there has not been "a single case — not one — in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an event had occurred in recent years, we would…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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