Death Penalty and Race

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 (RJA). Senate Bill 416, the so-called “Amend Death Penalty Procedures” makes it so that a judge may not make a finding of racial bias in the system based on statistical proof – as North Carolina Superior Court Judge Greg Weeks did just a few months ago in the first-ever ruling under the RJA.
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.

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"…

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,…

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

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…

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