Death Penalty and Race

Replacing the Noose With a Needle: The Legacy of Lynching in the United States

Replacing the Noose With a Needle: The Legacy of Lynching in the United States

By Angel Harris, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:28pm
Ida B. Wells said it best, "Our country's national crime is lynching."
In the Battle of Racial Bias vs. Racial Justice in North Carolina, Governor Insists on Bias

In the Battle of Racial Bias vs. Racial Justice in North Carolina, Governor Insists on Bias

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:32pm

For just over three years, it looked like North Carolina was going to pull out in front of states that still have the death penalty...

Tomorrow, Willie Manning Is Scheduled To Die. Shouldn't Mississippi Find Out If He's Innocent First?

Tomorrow, Willie Manning Is Scheduled To Die. Shouldn't Mississippi Find Out If He's Innocent First?

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 10:33am

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant alone has the power to save Willie Manning, who is scheduled to die tomorrow, May 7, 2013...

The Smackdown Continues! ¡Y La Lucha Tambièn!

The Smackdown Continues! ¡Y La Lucha Tambièn!

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 4:09pm

In taking control of Puerto Rico, in 1898, the United States introduced its brand of capital punishment; in 1927, Puerto Rico undertook its last execution; in 1929 it abolished the death penalty. The people wrote "the death penalty shall not exist"…

Court Rejects Attempts to Devalue Life of the Accused in South Texas Capital Case

Court Rejects Attempts to Devalue Life of the Accused in South Texas Capital Case

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:58am

"A life in Cameron County [Texas] is worth just the same as a life in other parts of the United States."

This pointed sentence came in Judge Elia Corenjo Lopez's 63-page order this week, in which she recommended that former death-row prisoner…

March Madness Takes on New Meaning When a Person's Skin Color is Cause For His Execution

March Madness Takes on New Meaning When a Person's Skin Color is Cause For His Execution

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 10:44am

Welcome to March Madness at the ACLU! We know you usually turn to other sources for this kind of coverage, but we've got something important to add. As you're filling out winning brackets, imagine this scenario: the tournament selection committee decides…

Velez Hearing Wraps Up With Summations, Offers Lessons on Role of Counsel

Velez Hearing Wraps Up With Summations, Offers Lessons on Role of Counsel

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 12:02pm

Yesterday was the final day of the hearing in Brownsville, Texas, for ACLU client and former death-row prisoner Manuel Velez.  Judge Elia Cornejo Lopez heard summations, requested the parties to prepare proposed findings for her consideration,…

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...

Velez Hearing Day 3: A Portrait of Constitutionally Inadequate Counsel

Velez Hearing Day 3: A Portrait of Constitutionally Inadequate Counsel

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:47pm

In Day 3 of the Velez hearing in Brownsville, Texas, I want to take a moment to explain the legal context – the rule of constitutional law – that will entitle Manuel Velez to relief if the judge, the Hon. Elia Cornejo Lopez, credits the…

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