U.S. Death Penalty

International Human Rights Body Seeking Answers on U.S. Civil and Political Rights Record

International Human Rights Body Seeking Answers on U.S. Civil and Political Rights Record

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 4:16pm
An international human rights body is set to question the United States on its obligations under a key human rights treaty. The U.N. Human Rights Committee, an independent body of experts tasked with monitoring compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), this week released its list of issues, which will serve as the basis for its upcoming review of U.S. compliance with the treaty. The U.S. ratified the ICCPR in 1992 and is obligated to submit to periodic reviews of its treaty implementation efforts.
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…

Texas Court Upholds Death Sentence of Innocent Man Although "There is Something Very Wrong" with Case Against Him

Texas Court Upholds Death Sentence of Innocent Man Although "There is Something Very Wrong" with Case Against Him

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 10:06am

With an opinion yesterday from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, ACLU client Max Soffar moves a step closer to an unjust execution.  And, little more than one year after the execution of Troy Davis, our system moves closer to another miscarriage…

Child Predators, Cheating Prosecutors and Terry Williams: How Pennsylvania Is Poised to Execute a Victim of Horrific Sexual Violence Despite the State’s Own Bad Acts

Child Predators, Cheating Prosecutors and Terry Williams: How Pennsylvania Is Poised to Execute a Victim of Horrific Sexual Violence Despite the State’s Own Bad Acts

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 12:52pm

Here we go again – but, wait, this is Pennsylvania, not Texas or Florida, which have been known to execute individuals despite evidence supporting innocence and/or horrifying trauma histories and major mental health and intellectual deficits. …

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.

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?

The editorial rightly praises Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who on Tuesday provided at least a…

Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 6:09pm

This week, Northwestern and the University of Michigan law schools released a National Registry of Exonerations, a new database chronicling the ever-growing number of exonerees from our nation’s criminal justice system.   The database…

Key Evidence Found in Reggie Clemons Case

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 5:39pm

Last year, Chris Hill, formerly of our Capital Punishment Project, blogged about the case of Reggie Clemons. Chris called the case a horrifying confluence of "police brutality, prosecutorial misconduct, witnesses with motivations to give false…

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…

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,…

Statistics image