Blog of Rights


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.

Prominent Texans Call for DNA Testing Before November Execution Date

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:01pm
If prosecutors don’t change course, on November 9th Hank Skinner could be the 476th person executed by the State of Texas since 1976. Problem is, Skinner, like Troy Davis, may well be innocent, and Texas prosecutors have so far blocked DNA testing of evidence that could prove it.

Fewer Americans Supporting the Death Penalty

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 12:55pm

Is it that the State of Georgia executed an innocent man last month? Is it the dawning realization that the risk of executing an innocent person exists in many cases beyond Troy Davis? Is it that race cannot help but to seep into the consideration…

Execution By Race

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:35pm

When the United States Supreme Court approved death penalty statutes, it did so on the promise that race would play no role in the decision to execute a person. That, of course, mirrors society's moral stance. Some people believe capital punishment…

Prosecutors Delay Historic Racial Justice Act Hearing

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project & Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:17pm

More than two years after the North Carolina Legislature enacted an historic law barring race discrimination in death penalty cases, Marcus Robinson and his lawyers were in Cumberland County Superior Court earlier this week to argue his claim under…

Texas AG's Flawed Opinion Need Not Spell End to Scrutiny of Convictions and Executions Based on Junk Science

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:05pm

An opinion letter issued on Friday by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is the latest chapter in Texas’s efforts to cover up its 2004 execution of an innocent man named Cameron Todd Willingham. The letter concerns the scope of authority of the…

Texas Puts Head in Sand at Prospect of Executing Innocent People

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 4:45pm

The highest criminal court in Texas yesterday halted an historic hearing in which lawyers for a man accused of murder and facing the death penalty argued that capital punishment is unconstitutional because it carries high risks that innocent people…

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…

Medication Shortage Reveals Some States' Shamefully Wrong Priorities

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 12:35pm

The last-minute legal maneuverings over the pending execution of Albert Brown in California this past week put a spotlight on sodium thiopental, one of drugs used in lethal injection executions.

Physicians use sodium thiopental as an anesthetic…

Act Now to Save a Virginia Woman on Death Row

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 4:12pm

Teresa Lewis has an IQ of 72. In 2003, she pled guilty to two counts of murder in Virginia. The victims were her husband and his adult son. Immediately after the crime, she told police that another man, Matthew Shallenberger, masterminded the killings…

Saluting Justice Stevens' Principled Decisions in Capital Cases

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:00pm

(Originally posted on ACS Blog.)

"Society changes. Knowledge accumulates. We learn, sometimes, from our mistakes. Punishments that did not seem cruel and unusual at one time may, in the light of reason and experience, be found cruel…

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