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91 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 41]

Date Resource Read it at:
Jun 07, 2016 The Supreme Court Is Afraid of Racial Justice

QUOTE: 40 years ago Tuesday, the Supreme Court decided a pivotal case on race and equality whose legacy has profoundly shaped American race relations...The case, Washington v. Davis, involved the constitutionality of Test 21....a long American tradition — from grandfather clauses to literacy tests — of seemingly race-neutral measures functioning in a discriminatory manner. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that Test 21’s grossly disproportionate impact on minority applicants violated the Equal Protection Clause. But when the case reached the Supreme Court, the justices disagreed.

New York Times
May 27, 2014 Court Extends Curbs on the Death Penalty in a Florida Ruling

QUOTE: The Supreme Court on Tuesday continued a trend to limit capital punishment, ruling that Florida’s I.Q. score cutoff was too rigid to decide which mentally disabled individuals must be spared the death penalty.

New York Times
Aug 07, 2012 Texas Executes Man With IQ of 61

QUOTE: If 54-year-old Marvin Wilson is put to death on Tuesday, it will not be because Texas denies that he is intellectually disabled, or as the legal literature puts it, “mentally retarded.” This much, the state recognizes. It just does not believe that Wilson is disabled enough not to be executed in Texas—a flagrant violation of the 2002 Supreme Court ruling in Atkins v. Virginia, which held that “the mentally retarded should be categorically excluded from execution,” period.

Dec 19, 2011 Exonerated of Murder, Texan Seeks Inquiry on Prosecutor

QUOTE: A Texas man wrongfully convicted in 1987 of murdering his wife is scheduled to be officially exonerated on Monday. That is no longer so unusual in Texas, where 45 inmates have been exonerated in the last decade based on DNA evidence. What is unprecedented is the move planned by lawyers for the man, Michael Morton: they are expected to file a request for a special hearing to determine whether the prosecutor broke state laws or ethics rules by withholding evidence that could have led to Mr. Morton’s acquittal 25 years ago.

New York Times
Nov 25, 2011 The Prosecution’s Case Against DNA

QUOTE: Garrett pointed out another, striking detail in the false confessions: in 38 of 40 false confessions, the authorities said defendants provided details that could be known only by the actual criminal or the investigators, thus corroborating their own admissions of guilt by revealing secret information about the crime that could only have been provided by them. The issues raised by DNA exonerations have led to an overhaul of the criminal-justice system. Some states now require that evidence be preserved; others require mandatory videotaping of interrogations.

New York Times
Oct 23, 2009 Arizona May Put State Prisons in Private Hands

QUOTE: It is the first effort by a state [Arizona] to put its entire prison system under private control.

New York Times
Sep 19, 2009 Is a second execution attempt cruel and unusual?

QUOTE: The aborted execution [of Romell Broom in Ohio] has renewed concerns about lethal injection, and raises the question of whether a second execution attempt would violate the 8th Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

Los Angeles Times
May 18, 2009 Death row's revolving door: Courts mull post-trial proof

QUOTE: advocates for the wrongfully convicted say his [death row inmate Troy Davis]case, set for another U.S. Supreme Court appeal this week, represents one of possibly dozens in which courts are reluctant to consider evidence discovered after conviction that might exonerate inmates on death row.

Dec 24, 2008 China's Capital Cases Still Secret, Arbitrary

QUOTE: Starting in 2007, China began for the first time in more than two decades to require a final review of every capital case by the Supreme People's Court. The hope was to reduce the number of executions and bring some consistency to a process that had been handled unevenly by lower courts....But in a largely closed legal system directed by party committees, the changes have not been as far-reaching as the statistics suggest, and consistency remains a distant goal.

Washington Post
Dec 16, 2008 In Georgia, Push to End Unanimity for Execution

QUOTE: three jurors shocked the legal community here by failing to agree with nine others on a death sentence and therefore, under Georgia law, sparing Mr. Nichols from execution....Georgia legislators have began lining up to introduce bills eliminating the requirement that juries be unanimous for a death sentence. Hard-on-crime lawmakers have long favored easier rules on death sentencing...

New York Times
Dec 09, 2008 Five 9/11 Suspects Offer to Confess:But Proposal Is Pulled Over Death Penalty Issue

QUOTE: Five of the men accused of planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks said Monday that they wanted to plead guilty to murder and war crimes but withdrew the offer when a military judge raised questions about whether it would prevent them from fulfilling their desire to receive the death penalty.

Washington Post
Dec 08, 2008 The Politics of the Federal Bench: GOP-Appointed Majorities Winning Ideological Battles at Appellate Level

QUOTE: Although the impact of Bush's judicial appointments is most often noticed at the Supreme Court, it has played out much more frequently and more importantly here and in the nation's 12 other appellate courts, where his appointees and their liberal counterparts are waging often-bitter ideological battles.

Washington Post
Aug 23, 2008 After Prosecutor's Firing, a Shift in Case: Justice Dept. Approves Plea After Pushing U.S. Attorney for Death Penalty

QUOTE: Justice Department officials have reversed course and approved a plea deal in a controversial death penalty case that may have prompted the firing of a U.S. attorney in Arizona....then-Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said Charlton's reluctance to support the administration's position on capital punishment in the case amounted to "poor judgment" and attracted criticism in the department's political ranks.

Washington Post
Jul 17, 2008 Court Orders U.S. to Halt Execution of 5 Mexicans

QUOTE: A U.N. court ruled Wednesday that the United States should halt the executions of five Mexican nationals -- including a convicted killer sentenced to die in three weeks -- until their cases can be reviewed.

Washington Post
May 07, 2008 As Executions Resume, So Do Questions of Fairness

QUOTE: fresh questions about whether states are supplying capital-murder defendants with adequate counsel, even as an execution on Tuesday night in Georgia ended a seven-month national suspension. In all three cases, North Carolina appeals courts found that evidence that would have favored the defendants was withheld from defense lawyers...

New York Times
May 03, 2008 After Hiatus, States Set Wave of Executions

QUOTE: Less than three weeks after a United States Supreme Court ruling ended a seven-month moratorium on lethal injections, at least 14 execution dates have been set in six states between May 6 and October.

New York Times
Apr 16, 2008 Supreme Court Upholds Use of Lethal Injection: Split Reasoning Opens Door to New Challenges

QUOTE: The Supreme Court today upheld the constitutionality of execution by lethal injection in Kentucky, rejecting claims that the procedure amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and clearing the way for a resumption of executions in states that were awaiting the court's decision.

Washington Post
Apr 14, 2008 Child Rape Tests Limits Of Death Penalty: La. Law Spurs Review Of Eighth Amendment

QUOTE: Proponents say society demands retribution for those who harm its most vulnerable members. But some child advocacy experts say the unintended consequences of the death penalty might be a decline in the reporting of sexual assaults by family members, or even an incentive for the rapist to kill the victim.

Washington Post
Jan 19, 2008 Lawyer Reveals Secret, Toppling Death Sentence

QUOTE: [A Virginia lawyer] reluctantly kept a secret because the authorities on legal ethics told him he had no choice, even though his information could save the life of a man on death row, one whose case had led to a landmark Supreme Court decision.

New York Times
Jan 07, 2008 Lethal-Injection Ruling May Have to Wait: Justices Question Whether Kentucky Case Is Enough to End Three-Drug Protocol

QUOTE: Several justices who support the death penalty clearly indicated during oral arguments that they believe the three-drug protocol used around the country passes the constitutional test. But even those sometimes critical of how capital punishment is carried out wondered if the case [brought by two death row inmates]...would be enough to decide whether lethal injection should be scrapped.

Washington Post
Nov 18, 2007 Does Death Penalty Save Lives? A New Debate

QUOTE: The studies, performed by economists in the past decade, compare the number of executions in different jurisdictions with homicide rates over time — while trying to eliminate the effects of crime rates, conviction rates and other factors — and say that murder rates tend to fall as executions rise. One influential study looked at 3,054 counties over two decades.

New York Times
Nov 07, 2007 Gay Muslims Find Freedom, of a Sort, in the U.S.

QUOTE: For gay Muslims, change may come via a nascent body of scholarship in minority Muslim communities where the reassessment of sacred texts used to damn homosexuality is gaining momentum.

New York Times
Nov 06, 2007 ‘Bad’ Legal Advice and the Death Penalty

QUOTE: A federal appeals court eventually ruled that the lawyer’s advice reflected such bad judgment as to fall below the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of the effective assistance of counsel. On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would use the case to decide how appellate courts are to evaluate claims of ineffective assistance of counsel in plea negotiations.

New York Times
Oct 23, 2007 Death Penalty Is Thrown Out in Wendy’s Killings

QUOTE: Under current [New York] law, if a jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict on the question of death, the trial judge is required to tell the panelists that a sentence, to include parole, will be automatically imposed. The Court of Appeals ruled in a split decision in 2004 that such jury instructions were unconstitutional, because they could coerce deadlocked jurors to vote for death out of a fear that a violent defendant might one day walk free.

New York Times
Oct 08, 2007 Going to Court, but Not in Time to Live (Sidebar)

QUOTE: Mr. Williams’s appeal included a challenge to the constitutionality of the chemicals used in lethal injections, which have the potential to cause excruciating torture if administered improperly. A month after his execution, the court agreed to hear that question in another case.

New York Times
Oct 03, 2007 Texas Ruling Signals Halt to Executions Indefinitely

QUOTE: The reprieve by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals was granted a week after the United States Supreme Court agreed to consider whether a form of lethal injection constituted cruel and unusual punishment barred under the Eighth Amendment.

New York Times
Sep 11, 2007 Jury Consulted the Bible, But Death Sentence Stands

QUOTE: The federal appeals court in San Francisco yesterday upheld a death sentence from a jury that had consulted the Bible’s teachings on capital punishment. In a second decision on the role of religion in the criminal justice system, the same court ruled Friday that requiring a former prisoner on parole to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous violated the First Amendment’s ban on government establishment of religion.

New York Times
Aug 01, 2007 Black and White: A new study finds that blacks who kill whites are more likely to face execution.

QUOTE: A new study finds that blacks on death row convicted of killing whites are more likely to be executed than whites who kill minorities.

Jul 16, 2007 Execution Of Ga. Man Near Despite Recantations: Some Witnesses Now Say He Is Innocent

QUOTE: A Georgia man is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Tuesday… even though the case against him has withered in recent years as most of the key witnesses at his trial have recanted and in some cases said they lied under pressure from police.

Washington Post
Jun 09, 2007 Ruling Likely to Spur Convictions in Capital Cases

QUOTE: A decision by the Supreme Court on Monday that made it easier for prosecutors to exclude people who express reservations about the death penalty from capital juries will make the panels whiter and more conviction-prone, experts in law and psychology said this week.

New York Times
Apr 29, 2007 Do We Need the Death Penalty?: Yes, It's Ethical and Effective

QUOTE: It seems premature, at least, to insist that the possibility of capital punishment has no effect on public safety. And deterrence does not have to mean absolute prevention. Even a 10 percent decrease in Maryland's homicide rate, for instance, would save more than four dozen lives annually.

Washington Post
Apr 27, 2007 World execution numbers fall: Number of people executed in Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Pakistan rises despite overall decline, Amnesty international says.

QUOTE: In its annual report on the death penalty, the human rights group Amnesty International said at least 1,591 people were executed last year, down from 2,148 the year before. "Last year saw a slight drop in execution numbers - but it was another grim death toll around the world and we are particularly concerned about a disturbing 'revival' of executions in countries like Iraq, Sudan and Pakistan," Kate Allen, the director of Amnesty International UK, said.

Guardian Unlimited
Apr 24, 2007 Drugs Used in Executions May Cause Paralysis, Pain for Conscious Inmates

QUOTE: The analysis, released yesterday and based on published data about the three drugs used and public records of executions in North Carolina and California, concluded that the protocol does not dependably induce a quick, painless death. "This raises the possibility people are being tortured and you can't see it because they are paralyzed," said University of Miami surgery professor Leonidas G. Koniaris, who led the analysis.

Washington Post
Apr 17, 2007 Does death penalty ever apply to those found insane?: The US Supreme Court hears Wednesday the case of a killer who may not grasp the tie between his crime and his punishment.

QUOTE: There is universal agreement in the United States that an individual convicted of a capital crime who is mentally incompetent may not be executed. To do so would violate the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishments. But just how mentally ill does a defendant have to be to trigger that broadly accepted Eighth Amendment prohibition?

Christian Science Monitor
Feb 10, 2007 Sudden death: American support for the death penalty is diminishing—except on the Supreme Court

QUOTE: Our newfound national queasiness over the death penalty extends from the methods of execution to growing fears that we're executing the wrong guys.

Dec 31, 2006 Rush to Hang Hussein Was Questioned

QUOTE: the Americans who questioned the political wisdom — and justice — of expediting the execution, in ways that required Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to override constitutional and religious precepts that might have assured Mr. Hussein a more dignified passage to his end.

New York Times
Sep 06, 2006 In Europe, a search for what defines the EU's moral identity: Newer EU members struggle to promote a more traditional morality.

QUOTE: if EU member states started to turn their back on the European community and declare moral issues to be an internal affair, that would spell trouble, he says. "If, for instance, Poland were to introduce the death penalty and say, 'Well, we don't care what Europe feels about this because it's a matter of national sovereignty,' then I would be concerned."

Christian Science Monitor
Jul 15, 2006 Missouri Says It Can't Hire Doctor for Executions

QUOTE: [A federal judge--Ed.] demanded an overhaul of the system after the doctor who now mixes the drugs for the state described an improvised process that Judge Gaitan found so chilling that he temporarily barred executions in Missouri.

New York Times
Apr 26, 2006 As Challenges to Lethal Injection Mount, Justices Set to Hear Case

QUOTE: ...lethal injection is now on the defensive, facing a surprisingly effective attack in the courts from those who argue that it actually can cause intense but undetectable physical pain.

Washington Post
Feb 10, 2006 Supreme Court Puzzles Some With Mixed Answers on Lethal Injection

QUOTE: ...Supreme Court stopped two executions in Florida and allowed a lower court to halt another in Missouri -- but the justices allowed three other death sentences, in Texas and Indiana, to proceed. The court's actions are not necessarily contradictory under the law, but they have puzzled many on both sides of the debate over capital punishment because in each case the death-row inmate raised a similar issue: the legality of lethal injection as the means for execution.

Washington Post
Jan 06, 2006 Warner Orders DNA Testing In Case of Man Executed in '92

QUOTE: Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner has ordered DNA testing that could prove the guilt or innocence of a man executed in 1992, marking the first time a governor has asked for genetic testing of someone put to death.

Washington Post
Nov 30, 2005 Warner Commutes Death Sentence: Governor Cites Clerk's Destruction of DNA In Arlington Slaying

QUOTE: Warner said in a statement that the destruction by an Arlington County court clerk of DNA evidence that might have cleared Lovitt convinced him that Lovitt should instead spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Washington Post
Nov 26, 2005 As Execution Date Nears, Gang Founder Stirs Debate: As Execution Date Nears, Gang Founder Stirs Debate

QUOTE: Williams is probably the most prominent death row prisoner in the country -- co-founder of the Crips gang, convicted of killing four people in 1979 and then nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times in the past five years for his anti-gang work -- so his imminent execution also keeps him busy managing a flood of calls, letters and visits. His death date has prompted one of the most high-profile debates on capital punishment in years.

Washington Post
Nov 07, 2005 Supreme Court to Hear Cases of Convicted Honduran, Mexican Citizens: Convicted of Murder, Honduran Says Police Denied Him Access to Embassy

QUOTE: The U.S. justice system recently has begun paying closer attention to the issue, with some prodding from the International Court of Justice. After Mexico filed a complaint with the international court in 2003, contending that the U.S. had violated the Vienna Convention rights of 51 Mexican defendants on death row, the ICJ ordered the U.S. government to review all 51 cases, saying Mexican consular officials could have aided the defendants.

Washington Post
Oct 18, 2005 Court Backs States' Role on Retardation and Execution

QUOTE: The question of how to decide who is actually retarded ... is a crucial issue in determining how widely the court's ban on capital punishment for the retarded will ultimately extend.

Washington Post
Aug 08, 2005 Stevens Cites 'Serious Flaws' In Use of the Death Penalty

QUOTE: Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens issued an unusually stinging criticism of capital punishment Saturday evening, telling the American Bar Association that he is disturbed by "serious flaws."

Washington Post
Jul 12, 2005 Va. Man Granted Stay of Execution:High Court Agrees To Consider Case

QUOTE: Just 4 1/2 hours before his scheduled execution, Virginia death row inmate Robin Lovitt was given a reprieve yesterday by the U.S. Supreme Court, which stayed his sentence until the fall, when it will consider whether his case deserves a hearing on its merits.

Washington Post
Jun 08, 2005 Bias in Capital Cases Argued in Md.: Killer Seeks to Debate Issue Before Md.'s Highest Court

QUOTE: of every 10 black men sentenced to death for killing a white victim would have been spared had their victims been black... sending the message that "the Maryland death penalty statute is there to protect white suburbanite communities from the predations of black men."

Washington Post
Mar 29, 2005 Justices Consider Rights of Foreigners: Power of International Court at Issue

QUOTE: The Supreme Court seemed divided over how best to handle a dispute over the role of international law in U.S. death penalty cases yesterday, as the justices heard oral arguments in the case of a Mexican who says Texas violated his rights under a U.S.-ratified treaty when it sentenced him to death more than a decade ago.

Washington Post
Mar 28, 2005 Colorado Court Bars Execution Because Jurors Consulted Bible

QUOTE: ... Colorado's highest court on Monday upheld a lower court's decision throwing out the sentence of a man who was given the death penalty after jurors consulted the Bible in reaching a verdict.

New York Times

91 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 41]