News and Updates

Schwarzenegger Commutes Sara Kruzan’s Sentence

Rare commutation highlights the excessive nature of life without parole sentences for youth

The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
Monday, January 3, 2011

Yesterday, Sara Kruzan’s life without the possibility of parole sentence was commuted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to a 25 years to life sentence with parole eligibility.  He wrote that, “given Ms. Kruzan’s age at the time of the murder and the significant abuse she suffered at his hands, I believe her sentence is excessive.” This decision provides a second chance for a young woman who was told at sentencing that she was undeserving and would die in prison. 

The death penalty: It's time for capital punishment to become Texas history.

The Houston Chronicle
Saturday, January 1, 2011

The death penalty in Texas is fraught with demonstrable error, and the people of the state seem more willing to deal with that fact than their leaders.

For Two Sisters, the End of an Ordeal

By: Bob Herbert
The New York TImes
Friday, December 31, 2010


I got a call on New Year’s Eve from Gladys Scott, which was a terrific way for 2010 to end.

On the Death Sentence

Death row inmates in Texas’s Ellis I Unit, with Perry Mason on the television, 1994; photograph by Ken Light from his 1995 book Texas Death Row
By: John Paul Stevens
New York Review of Books
Thursday, December 23, 2010


Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition
by David Garland
Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 417 pp., $35.00

Biggest Prison Protest In History Underway In Georgia

News One for Black America
Monday, December 13, 2010


From Correntewire and Davey D’s Hip-Hop Blog

Georgia — On Thursday morning, December 9, 2010, thousands of Georgia prisoners refused to work, stopped all other activities and locked down in their cells in a peaceful protest for their human rights.

Prisoners Strike in Georgia

By: Sarah Wheaton
The New York Times
Sunday, December 12, 2010

In a protest apparently assembled largely through a network of banned cellphones, inmates across at least six prisons in Georgia have been on strike since Thursday, calling for better conditions and compensation, several inmates and an outside advocate said.

The verdict on legal lynching

The lethal injection chamber in Terre Haute, Indiana
By: Marlene Martin
Socialist Worker
Thursday, December 9, 2010


Marlene Martin, national director of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, looks at the arguments made against capital punishment by a former Supreme Court justice.

Framed for Murder?

Kevin Cooper
By: Nicholas D. Kristof
The New York Times
Wednesday, December 8, 2010


“California may be about to execute an innocent man.”

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.