Blog of Rights

Cassandra
Stubbs

Cassy Stubbs is the director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project. Cassy joined the project in 2006 and since then has served as lead and associate counsel on behalf of death row inmates and defendants in trials and appeals throughout the South, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. Her clients have included Levon "Bo" Jones, a North Carolina death row inmate who was exonerated in 2008 when the state dismissed all charges against him, and Richard C. Taylor, a severely mentally ill man who was sentenced to death after a sham trial in Tennessee, but who won a new trial on appeal and was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment.

Cassy has also worked with numerous organizations and ACLU affiliates to file amicus briefs in capital cases in state and federal courts around the country. She has written policy papers, editorials and blog posts on a wide range of capital issues, such as the persistence of racial disparities in capital punishment and the fundamental flaws of purported claims that the death penalty deters future murders.

How Did a Lifelong Prison Sentence for an Iraq Vet Turn Into an Imminent Death Sentence?

How Did a Lifelong Prison Sentence for an Iraq Vet Turn Into an Imminent Death Sentence?

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:39pm
Courtney Lockhart is an Iraqi war veteran now on Alabama's death row, but he shouldn't be.
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…

Serial and What It Says About America's Criminal Justice System

Serial and What It Says About America's Criminal Justice System

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:57pm

Serial, the pop culture podcast phenomenon, isn't just a well-produced and addictive listening experience (though it is both of those things). By questioning the validity of some criminal justice procedures and educating its listeners to ask questions,…

Scott Panetti

Texas Wants to Kill This Mentally Ill Man

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:47am

Wearing a cowboy costume and a purple bandana, Scott Panetti defended himself at his capital trial in Texas without counsel, where he tried to call the Pope, J.F.K, and Jesus Christ to the witness stand. In Tennessee, Richard Taylor represented himself…

Missouri Lies About Lethal Injection, Still Puts a Man to Death

Missouri Lies About Lethal Injection, Still Puts a Man to Death

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:14pm

We know almost nothing about how Earl Ringo Jr. was executed in the early hours of the morning by the State of Missouri. Missouri deliberately hid crucial facts about its lethal injection drugs and their administration, blocking the public from understanding…

Getting It Dead Wrong for 30 Years

Getting It Dead Wrong for 30 Years

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:19pm

According to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Henry Lee McCollum deserved to die for the brutal rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie. There's just one problem, and a frequent one in death penalty cases: Henry Lee McCollum didn't do it.

Instead…

The Definition of Insanity

The Definition of Insanity

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 4:01pm

Last night marked the first executions in this country since the horrifically botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April.

In case you've forgotten, it took Mr. Lockett over 40 minutes to die. He remained conscious, writhing in pain, as an…

Supreme Court: An IQ Point or Two Shouldn’t Determine Who Lives and Who Dies

Supreme Court: An IQ Point or Two Shouldn’t Determine Who Lives and Who Dies

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:25pm

IQ tests are intrinsically imprecise. On one, Freddie Lee Hall scored 71. On other tests, he's gotten various scores between 60 and 75.

The problem for Mr. Hall is that until today, scoring over 70 on even one IQ test gave Florida the green…

Killing this man would be cruel and unusual. Barbaric punishment has no place in

Killing Russell Bucklew: Missouri's Planned Departure from Decency

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:47pm

Something is scheduled to happen in Missouri at 12:01am on Wednesday morning that the state desperately doesn't want you to see.

Just two weeks after the horrific, botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma, Missouri plans to execute…

Failed Experiments: Stop All Lethal Injections Now

Failed Experiments: Stop All Lethal Injections Now

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:21pm

Assurances about lethal injection rest on the premise that inmates are sedated and unconscious before other excruciating drugs are administered. The horrifying experiences of recent executions make clear these assurances are false. The drugs used in…

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