Blog of Rights

Christopher
Hill

Volunteering for Execution at Ely State Prison

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 3:49pm
The ACLU National Prison Project has filed suit in Nevada because the abhorrent medical care at Ely State Prison. This prison houses all of Nevada's death row inmates. Ten of the last 12 people executed in Nevada waived their rights to appeal and "volunteered" to die. It is likely that the lack of medical care at the facility is directly connected to the high rate of volunteerism in the state. ACLU Capital Punishment Project Staff Attorney Brian Stull discusses this issue in a podcast (MP3).

Making Failed Death Penalty Laws History

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 3:23pm
Kenneth Foster Jr. was scheduled to be executed yesterday for a murder he did not commit or intend to commit. But in a remarkable turn of events, Texas Governor Rick Perry did something he rarely does: he commuted Foster's death sentence. In fact,…

Supreme Court Narrowly Upholds 8th Amendment Protection for Mentally-Ill Defendants Facing Execution

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 3:52pm
In a troublingly close 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States reaffirmed that a mentally ill person is entitled to Eighth Amendment protection if he does not have a rational understanding of the reason for his execution. In Panetti v.…

ACLU Highlights Flaws in American Capital Punishment

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 4:39pm

In his continuing effort to bring to light human rights issues in the United States before an international stage, Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU Human Rights Program, made a statement about the capital punishment system at the Human Dimension…

New Report Examines the Effect of Severe Mental Illness and Capital Punishment on Families

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 11:58am

Double Tragedies: Victims Speak Out Against the Death Penalty for People with Severe Mental Illness is a report written by a collaboration of Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights (MVFHR) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).…

Race, Reasonable Doubt and Reggie Clemons

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 3:26pm

The ACLU often provides examples of the problems with the capital punishment system in the United States. Reggie Clemons is scheduled for execution on June 17, 2009. Clemons, a black man, was convicted of the murder of two young white women in St.…

The Perils of Junk Science

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 11:08am

(Originally posted on Change.org)

If a scientist were to testify that he saw a person commit a crime because he went to the scene in the Way Back Machine with Peabody and his pet boy Sherman, everyone would know it was untrue. Unfortunately,…

John Holdridge on California's Broken Death Penalty System

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 4:28pm

In July 2008, the ACLU's Capital Punishment Project Director John Holdridge was interviewed on Pacifica Radio about the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice report on the death penalty. John was interviewed with Bill Babbitt(PDF),…

Almost Certainly Innocent, Troy Anthony Davis Receives Another Execution Date

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 1:04pm

Troy Anthony Davis almost certainly is innocent, but that has not stopped the State of Georgia from giving him a new execution date: September 23, 2008. A hearing on his case is scheduled before the State of Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole…

Ohio Judge to Review State's Execution Protocol

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 11:57am
The Ohio Supreme Court will allow a judge to hold a hearing on the constitutionality of the state's lethal injection law. Previously, the state sued to prevent Judge James Burge from holding a hearing about the state's lethal injection process. The…
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