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.

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 could be executed.

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…

Jerry Guerinot: Most Dangerous Defense Attorney Ever?

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 10:32am

An article in Monday's New York Times underscores an observation we have made before: one of the biggest predictors of who gets sentenced to death has nothing to do with relevant factors such as the heinousness of the crime, the culpability of the…

Executing on a Technicality

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

When a person accused of a crime goes free, we often hear the refrain, "He got off on a technicality." In reality, these technicalities often involve a violation of a person's constitutional rights. In the case of Holland v. Florida,…

Former Execution Volunteer Joins ACLU Lethal Injection Suit

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:13pm
On October 15, 2007, the State of Nevada was set to execute by lethal injection death-row inmate William Castillo, who had abandoned his appeals and volunteered for execution. In late September, the Supreme Court had agreed to hear the case Baze v.…
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,…

Velez Hearing Day 3: A Portrait of Constitutionally Inadequate Counsel

Velez Hearing Day 3: A Portrait of Constitutionally Inadequate Counsel

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:47pm

In Day 3 of the Velez hearing in Brownsville, Texas, I want to take a moment to explain the legal context – the rule of constitutional law – that will entitle Manuel Velez to relief if the judge, the Hon. Elia Cornejo Lopez, credits the…

Rhode Island's Rightful Stand Against the Federal Government

Rhode Island's Rightful Stand Against the Federal Government

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:44pm

Last week, the Rhode Island ACLU announced its disappointment with a federal circuit court's decision overturning Gov. Lincoln Chafee's efforts to prevent the institution of federal death penalty charges against Jason Wayne Pleau, whom Rhode Island…

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…

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