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."

In Memory of Rachel King: July 2, 1963 – August 25, 2008

By Jack Payden-Travers, Capital Punishment Project at 11:54am

It is with sadness that we report the passing of Rachel King. Rachel was the former State Strategies Coordinator and later the Director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project.

Rachel passed away in Wayne, Maine, where she was raised and…

An Innocent Man Is Dying of Cancer on Texas's Death Row

An Innocent Man Is Dying of Cancer on Texas's Death Row

By Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:53pm

Max Soffar has a long history of self-medicating. When he was four, his parents found him passed out next to their car, gas cap in hand. Since birth, Max's brain has been damaged. That damage has been made worse by years of physical and mental abuse…

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…

Missouri Lies About Lethal Injection, Still Puts a Man to Death

Missouri Lies About Lethal Injection, Still Puts a Man to Death

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:14pm

We know almost nothing about how Earl Ringo Jr. was executed in the early hours of the morning by the State of Missouri. Missouri deliberately hid crucial facts about its lethal injection drugs and their administration, blocking the public from understanding…

Failed Experiments: Stop All Lethal Injections Now

Failed Experiments: Stop All Lethal Injections Now

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:21pm

Assurances about lethal injection rest on the premise that inmates are sedated and unconscious before other excruciating drugs are administered. The horrifying experiences of recent executions make clear these assurances are false. The drugs used in…

How Racial Bias Corrupts Juries

How Racial Bias Corrupts Juries

By Barry Scheck, Co-Director, The Innocence Project at 8:56am

This piece originally appeared on Salon.

Earlier this month, Glenn Ford, an African-American man, walked out of the Louisiana State Penitentiary after spending thirty years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. One of the most important…

Texas Shouldn't – BUT JUST DID – Execute a Mexican National

Texas Shouldn't – BUT JUST DID – Execute a Mexican National

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:52pm

Yesterday, at 9:32 p.m., the state of Texas executed Edgar Arias Tamayo, a 46-year-old Mexican national. Injecting lethal drugs into Mr. Tamayo's bloodstream was a clear violation of the United States' international obligations, and yet the state of…

Victory! An Innocent Man's Journey from Death Row to Freedom

Victory! An Innocent Man's Journey from Death Row to Freedom

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:19am

For the last five years, I have been representing an innocent man.

I first met Montez Spradley on Alabama's death row in 2008. From that very first day, he vigorously maintained his innocence of the crime that landed him there: the 2004 murder…