Death Penalty and Race

Day 1 of Velez Innocence Hearing: A Family Comes to Court for Justice

Day 1 of Velez Innocence Hearing: A Family Comes to Court for Justice

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 12:34pm

The façade of the U.S. Supreme Court bears the motto “equal justice under law.” But that ideal is not confined to our high court. People across this nation seek out the courts for equal justice

Could Manuel Velez be the 13th Prisoner Exonerated from Texas’s Death Row?

Could Manuel Velez be the 13th Prisoner Exonerated from Texas’s Death Row?

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:31pm

Imagine you are caring for a toddler and suddenly he stops breathing.  You quickly get him medical aid, but it’s too late: the child dies at the hospital where medical personnel were unable to revive him.  That would be a horrific nightmare…

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…

North Carolina's Historic Racial Justice Act Gutted

North Carolina's Historic Racial Justice Act Gutted

By Sarah Preston, ACLU of North Carolina at 2:42pm

The North Carolina General Assembly voted yesterday to override Gov. Bev Perdue's veto of SB 416, a bill that essentially guts the Racial Justice Act (RJA), meaning the destructive bill will become law. The RJA was an historic piece of legislation…

Forty Years after Furman: Still "Fastened to the Obsolete"

Forty Years after Furman: Still "Fastened to the Obsolete"

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 11:15am

We celebrate this day 40 years ago, when the Supreme Court, in Furman v. Georgia, declared the death penalty unconstitutional.

The Court divided in 1972 as it had never done before. Nine Justices wrote nine separate opinions, with a majority…

Historic Racial Justice Act Faces Repeal

By Sarah Preston, ACLU of North Carolina at 12:02pm

This week, rather than acknowledge a growing mountain of evidence of racial bias in death penalty proceedings, especially in the selection of capital juries, the North Carolina House of Representatives chose to essentially gut the Racial Justice Act…

A Personal Reflection on McCleskey v. Kemp

A Personal Reflection on McCleskey v. Kemp

By Diann Rust-Tierney

April 22 marked the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in McCleskey v. Kemp, in which the Court ruled that a defendant cannot rely upon statistical evidence of systemic racial bias to prove his death sentence…

25 Years After McCleskey, Looking Forward to Legislative Fixes of Supreme Court Error

25 Years After McCleskey, Looking Forward to Legislative Fixes of Supreme Court Error

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 9:54am

April 22 marks the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in McCleskey v. Kemp, in which the Court ruled that a defendant cannot rely upon statistical evidence of systemic racial bias to prove his death sentence unconstitutional,…

The U.S. Death Penalty — An International Human Rights Wrong?

The U.S. Death Penalty — An International Human Rights Wrong?

By Avinash Samarth, ACLU National Security Project at 9:51am

In 2011, the top five executioners were China, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and the United States. This is not the company we want to keep.

VICTORY! North Carolina Judge Finds Intentional Racial Discrimination in Death Penalty System

VICTORY! North Carolina Judge Finds Intentional Racial Discrimination in Death Penalty System

By Cassandra Stubbs, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:10am

Marcus Robinson will not be executed by the State of North Carolina but will instead spend the rest of his life in prison.

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