Blog of Rights

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.

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.

Italy's decision on March 3 to…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Sweeping Ruling about Racial Bias in Capital Jury Selection Shows the Need for Sweeping Reforms

Sweeping Ruling about Racial Bias in Capital Jury Selection Shows the Need for Sweeping Reforms

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:47pm

Last week, North Carolina state Judge Gregory Weeks issued a sweeping ruling setting aside the death sentences of three North Carolina prisoners...

Death Penalty Maintains Racial Inequality

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:10am

The inauguration of Barack Obama, one day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, has prompted a healthy discussion in the nation about racial and socioeconomic inequality.

As part of that discussion it is important to point out that, just like the…

Ohio Wants to Cloak the Death Penalty in Secrecy

Ohio Wants to Cloak the Death Penalty in Secrecy

By Mike Brickner, ACLU of Ohio at 5:16pm

It would be an understatement to say Ohio has had many problems administering capital punishment.

Over the last decade, the state granted clemency to 10 people and botched four executions, including the tortuous death of Dennis McGuire, who…