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.

North Carolina Moves Against Executions Based on Race

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:44pm
"Ain't it a great day in North Carolina!" North Carolina General Assembly Representative Larry Womble celebrated with these words this morning, moments before North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue signed into law a bill Rep. Womble championed entitled the "Racial Justice Act". The bill will allow criminal defendants facing the death penalty to introduce statistics as evidence of impermissible racial discrimination in their capital sentencing proceedings.
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

Update: Intellectually Disabled Georgia Man Faces Monday Execution if Supreme Court Does Not Step In

Update: Intellectually Disabled Georgia Man Faces Monday Execution if Supreme Court Does Not Step In

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:47am

Georgia stands poised to execute Warren Hill on Monday even though a Georgia court affirmed yesterday that Hill has an IQ of only 70.

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).…

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…

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…

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…

Horseshoes, Hand Grenades, and Habeas

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:03pm

Imagine you or someone you loved were accused of a crime and tried in state court. Our federal constitutional rights give us certain protections in these state trials, but imagine your trial was an unfair one. Imagine the state court did not uphold…

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,…

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