U.S. Death Penalty

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 that squads who fly blue as a team color are three times more likely to be invited to the tournament than non-blue teams. Duke, Kansas, and Michigan are likely in, but say goodbye to most of these powerhouses: Louisville (red & black), Indiana (red & white), Miami (green & orange), and Michigan State (green & white).
ACLU, in Geneva, Advocates Against Death Penalty, Solitary Confinement

ACLU, in Geneva, Advocates Against Death Penalty, Solitary Confinement

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 10:32am

One year ago, the ACLU's Amy Fettig stood before the United Nations Human Rights Council to condemn the use of solitary confinement in the United States. In a written statement also submitted to the Council last year, the ACLU expressed serious concern…

How Do I Explain to my Six Year-Old Son What Kind of a Society Plans to Execute an Intellectually Disabled Man? [UPDATED]

How Do I Explain to my Six Year-Old Son What Kind of a Society Plans to Execute an Intellectually Disabled Man? [UPDATED]

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 12:09pm

Breaking Update, 2:30pm, February 14th: State doctors reversed an earlier finding and officially declared today that Warren Hill has mild mental retardation, placing Mr. Hill in the category of citizens protected from capital punishment by the 2002…

Lives Lost in 2012: Who Did We Kill?

Lives Lost in 2012: Who Did We Kill?

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 2:14pm

At the end of the year many news sources review a year’s worth of obituaries, usually the passing of the famous. Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride. Whitney Houston, Dave Brubeck. Joe Paterno, a reminder that people’s lives are complicated,…

Executing Human Dignity: US Death Penalty System to Undergo International Scrutiny

Executing Human Dignity: US Death Penalty System to Undergo International Scrutiny

By Katie Haas, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:16am

The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) recently released its 2012 Year End Report, which contained some important news: the number of death sentences in the U.S. remained very close to its 2011 historic low. The 78 death sentences handed down…

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,…

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…

Day 2 of Velez Hearing: State’s Witness Dismantles State’s Timeline Theory

Day 2 of Velez Hearing: State’s Witness Dismantles State’s Timeline Theory

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:22am

We’re in day 2 of the Manuel Velez innocence hearing in Brownsville, Texas.  As we’ve previously explained, this case posed a dilemma because two adults were in a Brownsville home on Halloween 2005 when 11-month- old Angel Moreno was…

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

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