"I'm innocent, and I've got peace in my heart, and I'm ready to go home," Malcolm Rent Johnson told his prison chaplain. Soon after, he was executed by the state of Oklahoma. Now, eighteen months too late, evidence has been uncovered that will almost certainly clear his name, and the state of Oklahoma will have the blood of an innocent man on its hands.
At Johnson's 1982 trial, Oklahoma City police chemist Joyce Gilchrist testified that semen found at the murder site matched Johnson's. But a recent re-examination of the samples showed that no sperm was even present!
By: Lawrence Hayes, Former New York Death Row Inmate
On September 11, I watched in utter shock as World Trade Center (WTC) One was engulfed in flames and smoke, and a civilian aircraft slammed into WTC Two. My nephew, Cornelius Butler, who spent two-and-a-half years in the New York death house with me, worked in WTC One.
There was no doubt as to whether or not he was in the building. His work hours were 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. I am glad to say he made it out of the building, but I am concerned about the effect that these two brushes with "death" are having on him.
Bud Welch spoke to the New Abolitionist about the politics of the death penalty in the wake of the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.
I think the most important thing we can do for the people in New York and Washington is to let them know that it's okay to be angry. You should be angry, you should be wanting vengeance-those are very normal responses.
Some 2,000 people came to Philadelphia on August 17 to demonstrate for justice for Pennsylvania death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Mumia was supposed to appear in court at a hearing to decide whether or not new evidence of his innocence can be presented. But he was barred from attending when a city prison official said there was "no room" at the city jail. That was clearly an excuse to silence Mumia, probably the best-known prisoner on death row in the U.S.
Prosecutors' Flimsy Case Against Him Is Falling Apart
Kenny Collins deserves a new trial!
By: John Coursey
"When I was on the witness stand, I did not tell the truth." Those were the recorded words of Andre Thorpe, heard recently by a Maryland judge. They provide yet another reason why Maryland death row inmate Kenny Collins deserves a new trial.
Will He Be The 14th Innocent Man Freed From Death Row?
By: Julien Ball
Madison Hobley should be the fourteenth man freed from Illinois death row. Although the state of Illinois has no credible evidence left against him, Madison has been on death row since 1987.
Prosecutors have been ordered by a judge to come to court prepared in November when a hearing will be held into questions about the unraveling evidence in the case. This upcoming court date has galvanized Madison's supporters, who have held a series of activities to publicize the injustices of his case.
The Death Row 10 are prisoners on Illinois death row who were beaten and tortured by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and his detectives. In 1993, Burge was forced into taking early retirement, but Burge and his cronies were never charged. Burge now spends his time fishing on his boat in Florida!
In the summer of 1998, the Death Row 10 decided to become a group and asked the Campaign to End the Death Penalty to help them organize.
Jay Nickerson Explains The Twists Of The Justice System
The system can't guarantee that the innocent won't be executed
For opponents of the death penalty, the workings of the criminal justice system often seem impossible to understand, much less to have anything to do with justice. In this first in a series of articles, the New Abolitionist interviewed Jay Nickerson, an attorney who specializes in defending death row prisoners, about how the system works.
When someone who is innocent is sentenced to death, why is it so difficult to remedy this through the courts?
The American criminal justice system simply doesn't do innocence well. It is obsessed with finality.
I recently became a new subscriber to your publication the New Abolitionist. I received the July issue not long ago and settled down to read it.
As I looked through the pages, a very small article at the bottom of one page jumped out at me. It was a short letter from Angel Maturino Resendiz, who is on death row in Texas. In the note, he explained that the pain and suffering of death row was just too much. He wrote that he no longer wished to live and had decided to give up his appeals.
Having spent the academic year at Ohio State University on a travel grant from Fulbright, Tanja Jung came to Chicago as a volunteer intern for the Campaign. She is now back in Berlin to continue her studies.
Napoleon Beazley was set to be executed in Texas ten days after his 25th birthday on August 15 when the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a stay of the execution to hear a number of the issues surrounding the case.
Stanley "Tookie" Williams, a cofounder of the Crips youth gang and a Califonia death row inmate, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by seven members of the Swiss parliament for writing nine anti-crime and antiviolence books for children and for creating an international peer mentoring program for youth at risk for gang involvement. An active advocate against the death penalty, Williams wrote the following comments about California's most recent execution.