Blog of Rights

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 not have to hunt for it; the innocent's name would be shouted from the rooftops."

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 —…

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,…

Justice Under Attack: The North Carolina Legislature Takes Aim at the Racial Justice Act

Justice Under Attack: The North Carolina Legislature Takes Aim at the Racial Justice Act

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

In 2009, North Carolina made history by becoming the first state to pass a law that addressed the systemic problems of racial discrimination in jury selection in capital cases. In the three years since the Racial Justice Act (RJA) was enacted, this…

NJ Senator Delivers Prize-Winning Speech Against Death Penalty

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 5:56pm

In a speech delivered before the Memorial de Caen International Human Rights Competition in Caen, France, yesterday, New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak said:The death penalty is a random act of brutality. Its application throughout the United…

New Execution Methods Can’t Disguise Same Old Death Penalty Problems

New Execution Methods Can’t Disguise Same Old Death Penalty Problems

By Mike Brickner, ACLU of Ohio at 12:26pm

Ohio made history today by becoming the first state to use the two-drug combination of midazolam and hydromorphone in the execution of Dennis McGuire.

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…

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…

VICTORY! One Less Person Faces Execution in Alabama

VICTORY! One Less Person Faces Execution in Alabama

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:13pm

One less person faces possible death at the hands of Alabama’s arbitrary capital punishment system, after the State agreed to stop seeking the death penalty for ACLU client LaSamuel Gamble late last week. Gamble, who has been on death row for…

Florida Prosecutor Goes on Killing Spree

Florida Prosecutor Goes on Killing Spree

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 3:55pm

Angela Corey is certainly making a name for herself. Not only has she worked to send more people to death row than any other state’s attorney in the Sunshine State, but she leads the pack nationally as well.

We’re all used to hearing stories…