U.S. Death Penalty

Killing the Mentally Ill

Killing the Mentally Ill

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 4:00pm
Reading today’s editorial in the New York Times led me to ask: when will our country finally stop the execution of the severely mentally ill?
Judges Still Free to Ignore Juries in Alabama

Judges Still Free to Ignore Juries in Alabama

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:46am

Picture a death row trial in Alabama. The twelve jury members have spent days, maybe even weeks, listening to testimony and evidence about the crime, the defendant, and his life. They are sent back to a room to make the difficult decision whether the…

Running Scared in Nebraska: Death Penalty Loving State Senators Hide Behind a Filibuster

Running Scared in Nebraska: Death Penalty Loving State Senators Hide Behind a Filibuster

By Amy Miller, ACLU of Nebraska & Tyler Richard, ACLU of Nebraska at 2:36pm

This week in Nebraska, a handful of senators – four in particular – used filibusters and frivolous amendments to stall a full debate...

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…

Justice for Reggie Clemons: Not Another Troy Davis

Justice for Reggie Clemons: Not Another Troy Davis

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 5:02pm

Monday, a “special master” in St. Louis begins review of the case of Reggie Clemons to determine if his trial was fair and his death sentence is just.   Reggie Clemons is on Missouri’s death row for murders he did not commit.

Race, Reasonable Doubt and Reggie Clemons

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 3:26pm

The ACLU often provides examples of the problems with the capital punishment system in the United States. Reggie Clemons is scheduled for execution on June 17, 2009. Clemons, a black man, was convicted of the murder of two young white women in St.…

A Nun and a Movie Star Walk Into a Bar...

A Nun and a Movie Star Walk Into a Bar...

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 12:18pm

Okay, it was a restaurant, in New Orleans, where Sister Helen Prejean ate crawfish with Susan Sarandon and the movie "Dead Man Walking" was birthed. Listen to 2 very funny minutes of Sister Helen talking about this meeting.

But before there…

What Does $10,000 Buy in Alabama? Less-than-Truthful Testimony Used to Sentence Someone to Death

What Does $10,000 Buy in Alabama? Less-than-Truthful Testimony Used to Sentence Someone to Death

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 11:22am

A trial is supposed to be a search for the truth. That can never be more important than in a death...

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…

Spared From a Death Sentence Based On Falsehoods

Spared From a Death Sentence Based On Falsehoods

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 5:52pm

An almost-certainly innocent man was spared from death at the hands of the state of Texas yesterday when the highest criminal court in Texas threw out the death sentence of ACLU client Manuel Velez, ruling it was based on the false testimony of a state…

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