News and Updates

Exclusive: Dying Lawyer Lynne Stewart’s Jubilant Return Home After Winning Compassionate Release

Credit: Photo: Renée Feltz
my Goodman interviews Lynne Stewart as she is greeted by her supporters upon her arrival at the airport in New York City. Husband Ralph Poynter looks on.
Democracy Now!
Thursday, January 2, 2014

The civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart has returned home from prison after a federal judge ordered her compassionate release. Stewart is 74 years old and dying from late-stage breast cancer. Viewed by supporters as a political prisoner, she had served almost four years of a 10-year sentence for distributing press releases on behalf of her client, Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric known as the "blind Sheikh." Stewart arrived to a group of cheering supporters in New York City on Wednesday. Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman and Renée Feltz were at the airport to cover the homecoming and speak with Stewart about her time behind bars and her plans to continue fighting for political prisoners — and for her own life — now that she's free.

Report from the CEDP's 13th Annual Convention

By: Lily Hughes
Friday, December 13, 2013

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty's convention and the 14th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty took place over the weekend of Nov. 1-3. It was a great weekend filled with touching moments, serious discussions and inspiring actions!

The  “I Am Troy Davis”  Book Launch Event

Rodney Reed case gets a fresh look by the 5th Circuit Court

By: Lily Hughes
Thursday, December 5, 2013

Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans heard oral arguments in the case of Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed. This is the first time that this court has reviewed the case. 

The Uncommon Life and Natural Death of Delbert Tibbs

Credit: One for Ten films/YouTube
By: Andrew Cohen
The Atlantic
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death in Florida 40 years ago, this remarkable man of faith was exonerated—and then dedicated the remaining decades of his life to the poetic advocacy of racial justice in America. 

Sharing his story for justice

By: Noreen McNulty
Socialist Worker
Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WE LOST a freedom fighter, a poet, a friend and a beautiful soul a few days ago in Chicago. Delbert Tibbs passed away in his home on November 23.

Delbert was known to people around the world as a witness to the barbarism of the death penalty system in the U.S. and an activist against it. Delbert spent three years on Florida's death row until he was found innocent and exonerated.

Delbert was born in Mississippi to tenant farmer parents--when he was 12, he and his mother moved to Chicago. While traveling the country in 1974, Delbert was stopped and questioned by police in Florida about the rape of a teenaged woman and the murder of her companion, both of them white.

'San Antonio 4' speak out after prison release: 'We're actually innocent'

Credit: John Brecher / NBC News
Cassandra Rivera hugs her son Michael on Nov. 19, his 22nd birthday and her first full day out of prison in nearly 14 years. "I made it in time for your birthday," she told him Monday just after her release.
By: Miranda Leitsinger
Thursday, November 21, 2013

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – They didn’t get to watch their children grow up into young adults. They missed saying goodbye to grandparents, and in one case, a father, before those loved ones passed away.

But three women who were released from prison on Monday after spending more than a decade behind bars – for crimes they say they didn’t commit – said they relished their new-found freedom and would continue fighting for their full exoneration.

Why Should Thousands of Prisoners Die Behind Bars for Nonviolent Crimes?

Credit: (AP/Amber Hunt)
A holding cell in South Dakota State Penitentiary.
By: Liliana Segura
The Nation
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

This past August, the Lafayette-based IND Monthly published a story about a 54-year-old man named Bill Winters, incarcerated at a medium-security prison in Epps, Louisiana. Winters, who is black, was arrested in June 2009, after he drunkenly entered an unlocked oncologist’s office on a Sunday morning, setting off a security alarm. When police arrived, he had rummaged through a desk drawer, and was in possession of a box of Gobstoppers candy. Winters was convicted of simple burglary a week before Thanksgiving, and given a seven-year prison sentence—hardly a slap on the wrist.

Herman Wallace, Free at last

By: Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan
Democracy Now!
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

After close to 42 years in solitary confinement, Herman Wallace is free. Wallace is dying of liver cancer, with days if not hours to live at the time of this writing. In a stunning legal ruling, Judge Brian A. Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana ordered Wallace’s release by overturning his 1974 murder conviction. As he lies dying, Herman Wallace knows that after a lifetime of enduring the torture of solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit, he is now a free man.

Remembering Troy Davis

By: Randi Hensley
Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Thursday, September 26, 2013

We recently marked the two year anniversary of the murder of Troy Davis by the state of Georgia. We will always remember Troy, his sister Martina, and the incredible fight to save his life. We continue the struggle for justice for Troy and for all the other Troy Davis'.

Democracy Now! aired a segment about Troy Davis, the fight to save his life, and the newly released book about him and his family. You can watch their coverage here:

Emanuel apologizes for torture under former Chicago Police commander, cohorts

Credit: Sun-Times files
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.
By: Fran Spielman and Tina Sfondeles
Chicago Sun-Times
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mayor Rahm Emanuel apologized Wednesday for the torture of black suspects by former Area 2 Commander Jon Burge and his cohorts after the City Council approved $12.3 million in additional settlements to alleged torture victims.

Emanuel issued the apology that victims’ attorneys have long demanded after authorizing a third round of settlements that spared former Mayor Richard Daley from answering questions under oath.

Identical, $6.15 million settlements will go to Ronald Kitchen and Marvin Reeves, who spent 21 years in prison for a 1988 murder of five they did not commit, only to be released and exonerated in 2009.

Kitchen’s lawsuit alleged that he was arrested after an erroneous tip from a convicted burglar-turned-jailhouse informant and was beaten by police with a phone book and a telephone receiver and had his genitals bashed with a nightstick during 16 hours of questioning.

“I am sorry this happened. Let us all now move on,” the mayor said.