News and Updates

Texas Appeals Court Halts Hearing on Death Penalty Flaws

By: Debra Cassens Weiss
ABA Journal
Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Legal Challenge to the Death Penalty Begins in Texas

Credit: Nick De La Torre/Houston Chronicle, via Associated Press
Judge Kevin Fine, a Democrat elected last year, shocked many Texans by giving arguments against implementing the death penalty serious consideration.
By: James C. McKinley
The New York Times
Monday, December 6, 2010


HOUSTON — The death penalty went on trial Monday in Texas, a state where more prisoners are executed every year than in any other and where exonerations of people on death row occur with surprising regularity.

Panel OKs legislation to end Illinois death penalty

By: Kurt Erickson
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

SPRINGFIELD -- A panel of lawmakers narrowly approved legislation Tuesday to abolish the death penalty in Illinois.

Broken Beyond Repair

Credit: Damon Winter/The New York Times
Bob Herbert
By: Bob Herbert
The New York Times
Monday, November 29, 2010

You can only hope that you will be as sharp and intellectually focused as former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens when you’re 90 years old.

Ex-Justice Criticizes Death Penalty

Former Justice John Paul Stevens wrote an essay for The New York Review of Books
By: Adam Liptak
The New York Times
Saturday, November 27, 2010


When Texas gets it dead wrong

Claude Jones, photographed on the day before his execution
By: Lily Hughes
Socialist Worker
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Revelations about innocent prisoners on Texas death row show why such a corrupt system shouldn't have the power over life and death. Lily Hughes explains.


Poll Finds Growing Aversion to Death Penalty

By: William Fisher
Inter Press Service
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A clear majority of U.S. voters - 61 percent - would choose a punishment other than death for murder if given a choice, the Death Penalty Information Centre said Tuesday as it released the results of "one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted" of U.S. citizens' views on capital punishment.

In a national poll of 1,500 registered voters conducted by Lake Research Partners, alternative punishments to execution included life with no possibility of parole and with restitution to the victim's family (39 percent), life with no possibility of parole (13 percent), or life with the possibility of parole (nine percent). 

DNA Tests Undermine Evidence in Texas Execution

New results show Claude Jones was put to death on flawed evidence.

By: David Mann
The Texas Observer
Thursday, November 11, 2010


Claude Jones always claimed that he wasn’t the man who walked into an East Texas liquor store in 1989 and shot the owner. He professed his innocence right up until the moment he was strapped to a gurney in the Texas execution chamber and put to death on Dec. 7, 2000. His murder conviction was based on a single piece of forensic evidence recovered from the crime scene—a strand of hair—that prosecutors claimed belonged to Jones.

Mumia supporters rally at federal courthouse

By: Nathan Gorenstein
Lexington Herald-Leader
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

PHILADELPHIA -- About 500 people rallied outside the federal courthouse in Center City Tuesday in support of death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal in advance of an appeals court hearing on his sentencing for the murder of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.

"Free Mumia," and "No justice, no peace," protesters shouted at the demonstration.

Demonstrators included local residents and out of towners, including a group from Hunter College in New York that made the trip to Philadelphia as part of a history class on revolutionary history.

Federal appeals panel rejects Davis challenge

By: Greg Bluestein and Russ Bynum
The Washington Examiner
Friday, November 5, 2010

 ATLANTA — A federal appeals panel on Thursday dismissed an appeal from Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis, dealing him another setback in his attempt to prove he was wrongly convicted of the 1989 murder of a Savannah police officer.

The three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals did not rule on the merits of Davis' case, but it contended he should appeal the case only to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling said reviewing Davis' appeal would be "in complete contradiction to the express intent of Congress."