Blog of Rights

Brian
Stull

Brian Stull is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Capital Punishment Project. He has served as trial and appellate counsel in capital cases in North Carolina and Texas. Before joining the ACLU, Stull worked for five years at the Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) in New York City, where he represented indigent criminal defendants convicted of serious felonies on direct appeal and in post-conviction and federal habeas corpus proceedings. Stull holds a B.A. and a M.S.W. from the University of Michigan and graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law.

A Tale of Three States: Executing the Mentally Disabled

A Tale of Three States: Executing the Mentally Disabled

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:54pm
Georgia: On Monday, the State of Georgia stands ready to strap Warren Hill to a gurney, place IV lines in his arms, and pump his body with poison until he dies.  Warren Hill has an IQ of 70, and is intellectually disabled (mentally retarded).  That was the finding of a Georgia trial judge who held a hearing and looked at the relevant evidence – applying United States Supreme Court precedent barring execution of the intellectually disabled under the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the court ruled that Hill could not be executed.
A Shameful Race-Based System of "Justice"

A Shameful Race-Based System of "Justice"

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:29pm

Studies consistently show that the best predictor of who the State executes is the color of the victim's skin.

Junk Fire Science: Too Scary to be Believed

Junk Fire Science: Too Scary to be Believed

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 6:07pm

It's Halloween. So what could be scarier than a state throwing a person in prison for arson when the fire was accidental?

Executing him.

That's the lesson of a report released Friday by the Texas Forensic Science Commission. The…

Texas Court’s Bar on Unreliable Forensic Testimony Comes Too Late for Many

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:25pm

Under Texas law, a jury must unanimously find an inmate will pose a threat of future danger before it can sentence him to death. Many juries rely upon the testimony of psychiatrists and other doctors to make their determination.

Dr. Richard…

"Without continuing affirmative action in higher education, I worry that Kabir will not have the same enriching college experience that I enjoyed."

"Without continuing affirmative action in higher education, I worry that Kabir will not have the same enriching college experience that I enjoyed."

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 10:20am

At age four, my family moved for "better" schools from Detroit to a suburb just north of 18 Mile Road. Remember the movie 8 Mile, the story of Eminem's emergence from Detroit's suburban borderline? 18 mile road is 10 miles north, but 100 times whiter.…

Court Rejects Attempts to Devalue Life of the Accused in South Texas Capital Case

Court Rejects Attempts to Devalue Life of the Accused in South Texas Capital Case

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:58am

"A life in Cameron County [Texas] is worth just the same as a life in other parts of the United States."

This pointed sentence came in Judge Elia Corenjo Lopez's 63-page order this week, in which she recommended that former death-row prisoner…

March Madness Takes on New Meaning When a Person's Skin Color is Cause For His Execution

March Madness Takes on New Meaning When a Person's Skin Color is Cause For His Execution

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 10:44am

Welcome to March Madness at the ACLU! We know you usually turn to other sources for this kind of coverage, but we've got something important to add. As you're filling out winning brackets, imagine this scenario: the tournament selection committee decides…

Velez Hearing Wraps Up With Summations, Offers Lessons on Role of Counsel

Velez Hearing Wraps Up With Summations, Offers Lessons on Role of Counsel

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 12:02pm

Yesterday was the final day of the hearing in Brownsville, Texas, for ACLU client and former death-row prisoner Manuel Velez.  Judge Elia Cornejo Lopez heard summations, requested the parties to prepare proposed findings for her consideration,…

Day 1 of Velez Innocence Hearing: A Family Comes to Court for Justice

Day 1 of Velez Innocence Hearing: A Family Comes to Court for Justice

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 12:34pm

The façade of the U.S. Supreme Court bears the motto “equal justice under law.” But that ideal is not confined to our high court. People across this nation seek out the courts for equal justice

Statistics image