Blog of Rights

Denny
LeBoeuf

Denny LeBoeuf is the director of the ACLU's John Adams Project, assisting in the defense of the capitally charged Guantánamo detainees. Previously, she served as the director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, which works toward the end of the death penalty by supporting repeal and reform with public education, advocacy and targeted litigation. She has been a capital defender for over 20 years, representing persons facing death at trial and in post-conviction in state and federal courts, and she teaches and consults with capital defense teams nationally. LeBoeuf holds a J.D. from Tulane University and a B.A. from Hunter College.

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Guantánamo and the Death Penalty: Two Terrible Ideas Come Together

Guantánamo and the Death Penalty: Two Terrible Ideas Come Together

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 1:38pm

The "new" military commission has a new motto: "Fairness, Transparency, Justice." But this week is all about a system that cannot seem to provide basic rights to a defendant.

Lady Justice Rolls the Dice: the Death Penalty is "Random Horror"

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 5:19pm

The death penalty is supposed to be for the worst of the worst. The system of capital punishment in the United States has always assumed it was so, from its beginnings. Not all crimes may be punished with death, and not all trials for death-eligible…

Discrimination by the Numbers

Discrimination by the Numbers

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 5:26pm

North Carolina’s district attorneys have seen the promise of that state’s Racial Justice Act (RJA) up close, and they don’t want it to get any closer. This week they sent a letter to state legislators asking them to scuttle the…

Time to Confess Error on the Death Penalty

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 4:16pm

Yesterday at the Supreme Court, a New Orleans prosecutor defended the conviction of a man despite the admitted failure of her office to turn over evidence they were required to provide to his defense team. This fraudulently obtained conviction was…

The Confederate Flag, Never Proud, No Longer Waves at Shreveport Courthouse

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 4:43pm

The confederate flag, deliberately adopted as a symbol of white race domination and control, no longer flies on the steps of the Shreveport, Louisiana courthouse. Last week, Caddo Parish commissioners voted 11-1 to take it down, after litigation…

Uncle Sam's Drug-Seeking Behavior

Uncle Sam's Drug-Seeking Behavior

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 10:52am

This summer, travelers should be on the lookout for some new American drug addicts, slouching around the foreign capitals where Americans abroad seek to score. They are a little older than most of the druggies, and they aren't looking to get high.…

100 Years from Tahrir Square

100 Years from Tahrir Square

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 11:15am

An Open Letter to the Women of the Peaceful Egyptian Revolution:

Dear Sisters:

The world watched as you began the revolution that toppled a brutal regime. Most of you are very young, and you creatively used the tools of modern communication…

Executing the Evidence

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 12:23pm

The New York Times reports that the Obama administration is preparing to move forward with the military commission trial of Abd al-Rahim Abdul al-Nashiri, accused conspirator in the U.S.S. Cole bombing. Unfortunately, prosecuting al-Nashiri in the…

Gitmo Word of the Day: "No"

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 4:01pm

The court heard pretrial motions this week in the Guantánamo death penalty cases of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the four men charged with 9/11 crimes in the Bush administration's military commissions.

Given that this is arguably the most high-profile…

The Man Who Wasn't There

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 5:47pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

Monday's hearing in the Guantánamo Military Commission prosecution of the alleged 9/11 plotters was expected to address the now-familiar allegations of improper command influence by Brigadier General Thomas Hartmann, who has already been excluded from three other commission trials for politicizing his legal advice in favor of the prosecution. But if there's one thing we've learned to expect about these military commissions, it's that nothing goes according to plan. In that regard, Monday didn't disappoint.

At 9 a.m., when proceedings were scheduled to begin, one seat was noticeably empty: Ramzi bin al-Shibh's. The other four so-called "High-Value Detainees" were there, as were their military and civilian lawyers and advisors, the prosecutors, the many guards, and the unnamed and never-identified civilian contractors who control security. But bin al-Shibh was nowhere in sight.

For the next 90 minutes, the defendants spoke to their "co-counsel" (three of the detainees are representing themselves) and to each other. Then a recess was announced. There was no explanation.

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