Blog of Rights

Prominent Texans Call for DNA Testing Before November Execution Date

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:01pm
If prosecutors don’t change course, on November 9th Hank Skinner could be the 476th person executed by the State of Texas since 1976. Problem is, Skinner, like Troy Davis, may well be innocent, and Texas prosecutors have so far blocked DNA testing of evidence that could prove it.

Execution Based On Lies

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 3:50pm

Manuel Velez was sentenced to death in 2008 for the murder of a 1-year-old boy based on the false testimony of his live-in girlfriend and mother of the child. The woman, Acela Moreno, failed to admit she had separately pleaded guilty to inflicting…

Federal Court Slaps Federal Prosecutor Down

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 4:19pm

More support for death penalty abolitionist states to remain that way came yesterday when a federal court upheld Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee's right to refuse to transfer a state inmate to federal custody where he might be subjected to…

Fewer Americans Supporting the Death Penalty

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 12:55pm

Is it that the State of Georgia executed an innocent man last month? Is it the dawning realization that the risk of executing an innocent person exists in many cases beyond Troy Davis? Is it that race cannot help but to seep into the consideration…

Death By Missed Deadline

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 11:29am

Yesterday the Supreme Court heard the appeal of Cory Maples, a man facing death in Alabama because his lawyers were late filing the appeal of his conviction in state court. This excellent New York Times editorial describes how the sad emphasis on…

Joining the Movement: Congress Takes Action to Abolish Federal Death Penalty

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:27pm

It's been more than a week now since the execution of Troy Davis. Protesters may no longer be standing vigil and the story may no longer be making front-page headlines. But one thing is certain: millions of Americans' eyes have been opened to the…

Racial Inequities Live On in Georgia

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 4:38pm

Twenty years ago this week, Warren McCleskey, an African-American man convicted of killing a white police officer in Atlanta, was executed in the state of Georgia. His case became famous for highlighting the gross racial discrimination in Georgia's…

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…

Murder Victims' Families Say No to More Killing

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 3:23pm

We heard a lot last week about the MacPhail family who wanted Troy Davis killed despite his innocence. But what about the loved ones of murder victims who oppose the death penalty?

Why haven't we heard many, if any, media accounts from James…

Troy Anthony Davis: Victim of American Injustice

Troy Anthony Davis: Victim of American Injustice

By James Clark, ACLU of Southern California at 3:04pm

Troy Davis was executed by the state of Georgia last night at 11:08 PM, despite a worldwide movement over 1 million strong that drew attention to the glaring doubts of his guilt. With no physical evidence and a host of witness recantations, all…