Blog of Rights

Italy's Complete Abolition of Death Penalty Is Evidence of Growing International Trend

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 3:53pm
Editor's Note: Jurist asked Christopher Hill, State Strategies Coordinator for the ACLU's Capital Punishment Project, to comment on Italy's recent abolition of the death penalty. The following is his response.
Wrongful Convictions, Wrongful Bias

Wrongful Convictions, Wrongful Bias

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 9:55am

The most important payment we can make on the debt we owe to wrongfully convicted defendants is to break the link between race and the death penalty.

Good and Bad Lawyers Determine Who Lives and Who Dies

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 12:46pm

In a separate post yesterday, I addressed how a person on death row's life can be decided on a technicality, an issue to be decided by the Supreme Court in Holland v. Florida. Today's post addresses another issue the Holland case raises —…

After 9 Years, Manuel Velez, an Innocent Man, is Free at Last

After 9 Years, Manuel Velez, an Innocent Man, is Free at Last

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 10:36am

At 12:32 p.m. ET, Manuel Velez, my client and an innocent man, stepped out of prison and into the Huntsville, Texas air a free man.

For nine years, Manuel has languished behind bars. What's ironic about watching him walk out of this particular…

An Innocent Man’s Tortured Days on Texas’s Death Row

An Innocent Man’s Tortured Days on Texas’s Death Row

By Anthony Graves, who spent years in solitary confinement on Texas’ death row before being proven innocent in 2010. Yesterday he testified about the experience at a Senate subcommittee hearing on solitary confinement. His website is www.anthonybelieves.com.

On…

138 Reasons to Abolish the Death Penalty

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:00pm

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once wrote that there has not been "a single case — not one — in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an event had occurred in recent years, we would…

The Right to Life Denied: Death Penalty Violates the Constitution and International Law

By Avinash Samarth, ACLU National Security Project at 3:51pm

Yesterday, in Warsaw, Poland, Jamil Dakwar of the ACLU Human Rights Program delivered a statement to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) addressing the continued use of capital punishment in the United States.

The…

Death Row is Not a "Constitution-Free Zone"

Death Row is Not a "Constitution-Free Zone"

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:58pm

Alfredo Prieto sits alone 23 hours a day in a locked, seventy-square-feet box. The lights never go out.

According to trial records, Prieto grew up in tough circumstances in war-torn El Salvador, escaped with his family to California. He became…

Let an Innocent Man Spend His Last Days at Home

Let an Innocent Man Spend His Last Days at Home

By Barry Scheck, Co-Director, The Innocence Project at 11:39am

This piece originally appeared at the Texas Tribune.

Max Soffar, an innocent man on death row in Texas, has just a few months to live.

He's dying of liver cancer, and his last wish is to hold his wife, Anita, in his arms.

His…

U.N. Flag

U.S. Human Rights Record Undergoes International Scrutiny

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 10:25pm

This week, the United Nations Human Rights Committee will review U.S. compliance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by the U.S. in 1992. The review will cast light on a dark underbelly of American…