U.S. Death Penalty

An Execution, Censored

An Execution, Censored

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:01am
On April 29, 2014, Clayton Lockett was scheduled to die by lethal injection at the hands of the State of Oklahoma. Under a state law that requires public witnesses to all executions, 12 journalists gathered to observe his death.
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…

The Shadow Economy of Lethal Injection Drug Deals

The Shadow Economy of Lethal Injection Drug Deals

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 4:46pm

For all we know, the "pharmacy" might be a high school science class.

That's how a federal appeals court judge described Missouri's secretive death penalty system back in the spring.

Shady medical experiments masquerading as legal executions…

660 Gasps for Breath, Then Death

660 Gasps for Breath, Then Death

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:16pm

We still don't know where the drugs came from.

We know they used midazolam and hydromorphone. We know the combination was experimental. And now we know that instead of working, the drugs took nearly two hours to kill Joseph Wood, as he snorted…

The Definition of Insanity

The Definition of Insanity

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 4:01pm

Last night marked the first executions in this country since the horrifically botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April.

In case you've forgotten, it took Mr. Lockett over 40 minutes to die. He remained conscious, writhing in pain, as an…

Supreme Court: An IQ Point or Two Shouldn’t Determine Who Lives and Who Dies

Supreme Court: An IQ Point or Two Shouldn’t Determine Who Lives and Who Dies

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:25pm

IQ tests are intrinsically imprecise. On one, Freddie Lee Hall scored 71. On other tests, he's gotten various scores between 60 and 75.

The problem for Mr. Hall is that until today, scoring over 70 on even one IQ test gave Florida the green…

Killing this man would be cruel and unusual. Barbaric punishment has no place in

Killing Russell Bucklew: Missouri's Planned Departure from Decency

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:47pm

Something is scheduled to happen in Missouri at 12:01am on Wednesday morning that the state desperately doesn't want you to see.

Just two weeks after the horrific, botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma, Missouri plans to execute…

U.N. Human Rights Chief: Stop Lethal Injection in U.S.

U.N. Human Rights Chief: Stop Lethal Injection in U.S.

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 4:56pm

The pain and suffering of Clayton Lockett during his gruesome execution in Oklahoma this week has been met with outrage around the world. Today the United Nations human rights chief said that Lockett's botched execution may violate international law,…

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…

The Red River Bridge

30 Years a Prisoner

By Angel Harris, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:08pm

12 Years a Slave was painful to watch, perhaps the only comfort being that you could walk out of the movie theater into 2014, where such cruelty is ostensibly a thing of the past.

Or is it? Along the Red River in Louisiana – where Solomon…

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