News and Updates

High court orders drastic prison population reduction in California

Inmates sleep on bunk beds in a gym modified to hold prisoners at the state prison in Chino, California.
By: Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer
Monday, May 23, 2011

Washington (CNN) -- The Supreme Court has affirmed a federal order telling California to reduce its overflowing prison population, a situation the majority said "falls below the standard of decency."

The 5-4 ruling Monday from the justices come in a classic battle over state versus federal authority, focusing on whether U.S. courts can step in and essentially run state prisons when officials have repeatedly violated basic constitutional guarantees afforded inmates.

Georgia switches lethal-injection drugs

By: Bill Rankin
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Friday, May 20, 2011


The Department of Corrections on Friday said it has approved a new drug for its lethal-injection procedure, clearing the way for the state to begin executing condemned killers once again.

The Executioner's Dilemma

Author Liliana Segura
By: Liliana Segura
The Nation
Thursday, May 12, 2011

As Emmanuel Hammond lay strapped to a gurney with lethal drugs seeping into his veins, witnesses to his execution could tell something wasn't right. First he closed his eyes. But moments later, they fluttered open.

Exonerated Death Row Survivors Urge Georgia to Stop the Execution of Troy Davis

Witness to Innocence
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chairman James E. Donald
Georgia State Board of Pardons & Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE
Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334

Dear Chairperson Donald and Members of the Board:

Capital punishment: America's worst crime

Mumia Abu-Jamal has been on death row for 29 years. Now, a court rules his sentencing unconstitutional. When will we learn?

By: Amy Goodman
The Guardian
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The death penalty case of Mumia Abu-Jamal took a 

Afraid of an innocent man

Imagine what a reporter would learn if they could interview Troy Davis.

By: Marlene Martin
Socialist Worker
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TROY DAVIS has been on death row in Georgia for nearly 20 years. He has faced down three execution dates and, with the U.S. Supreme Court's rejection of his latest appeal, and could face a fourth any day in the coming weeks and months.

The Fire This Time

By: Liliana Segura
Friday, April 22, 2011

Nobody knew how the fire started.

There were rumors at first. Kids smoking cigarettes. A mysterious “old woman.” The latest report said it was electrical. But no one really knew.

High court blocks Death Row inmate's execution

Cleve "Sarge" Foster
By: Melody McDonald
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Texas Death Row inmate Cleve Foster has had his execution blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Foster, convicted in the 2002 rape and murder of a Fort Worth woman, would have been the third condemned Texas prisoner executed this year and the first since the state switched to pentobarbital in its lethal three-drug mixture.

The Supreme Court agreed to reconsider its January order denying the 47-year-old’s appeal. That appeal raised claims of innocence and poor legal help during his trial and early stages of his appeals.

A voice for Black liberation and democracy

Manning Marable
By: Lee Sustar
Socialist Worker
Monday, April 4, 2011

Lee Sustar looks at Manning Marable's wide-ranging contributions to African American scholarship and the Black liberation movement.  

ANYONE WHO studies the Black liberation movement and seeks to renew its struggles will be saddened by the untimely passing of Manning Marable, the Columbia University professor who combined wide-ranging scholarship with an active commitment to social transformation.