FBI Found Scientific Errors in 27 Death Penalty Convictions

By: Thursday July 18, 2013 9:54 am

So much for beyond a reasonable doubt. According to a new report by the FBI, the bureau’s forensic experts have made numerous┬ámistakes in linking evidence to defendants in death penalty cases. The report noted 27 instances of incorrect testimony that helped convict defendants in death penalty cases. An unprecedented federal review of old criminal cases [...]

Scalia Denies Stay, Allows Execution of Mentally Retarded Man in Texas

By: Tuesday August 7, 2012 4:13 pm

The Supreme Court justices have jurisdiction over various regions of the country when it comes to injunctions, particularly when it comes to stays of execution. In the case of Marvin Wilson, the mentally retarded man with an IQ of 61 and an intelligence level of a 6 year-old, set to die today in Texas in [...]

Mentally Retarded Man Faces Execution in Texas Today, in Contravention of Supreme Court Ruling

By: Tuesday August 7, 2012 6:55 am

Staying with my Texas theme this morning, the state is about to execute a mentally retarded man today, despite a Supreme Court prohibition on the practice which they managed to get around: In 2002 the Supreme Court ruled that executing the mentally retarded violated the Eighth Amendment. The Court left it up to individual states [...]

Connecticut Poised to Abolish Death Penalty

By: Thursday April 5, 2012 6:17 am

Almost imperceptibly, and despite nominal support nationally for capital punishment, states are, one by one, abolishing the death penalty, citing the risks of executing innocents, the inherent biases in the system, and the extreme costs. Legislatures in New Jersey, New Mexico and Illinois have abolished the death penalty in recent years, and the courts in [...]

Murder in Georgia

By: Thursday September 22, 2011 6:25 am

Troy Davis was murdered by the state of Georgia at 11:08pm ET last night, after a last-ditch request for stay by the Supreme Court was denied. “The application for stay of execution of sentence of death presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied,” read the terse order, with no [...]

Supreme Court Stops Texas Execution

By: Friday September 16, 2011 6:50 am

The Supreme Court made the rare decision to step in and order a stay of execution for Duane Edward Buck in Texas, hours before he was to die, because the jury sentencing him to death was told that Buck posed a greater threat to public safety because of his race. The justices still must determine [...]

Electability and the GOP Presidential Primary

By: Thursday September 8, 2011 7:04 am

I’ve only been able to catch snippets of last night’s GOP primary debate in Simi Valley, particularly Rick Perry’s double down on the “Social Security is a monstrous lie and a Ponzi scheme” argument. This has led to an interesting argument about electability and Presidential primaries. Some, like Nate Silver and Matt Yglesias, think that [...]

Humberto Leal Execution Raises Thorny International Issues

By: Thursday July 7, 2011 6:50 am

The state of Texas is hours away from defying the White House and international law by executing a Mexican national, and the Supreme Court could step in today to stop the execution. Humberto Leal, 38, is awaiting a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on whether to block his lethal injection in Huntsville. He was [...]

Bill Banning Death Penalty Passes Illinois Legislature

By: Wednesday January 12, 2011 6:36 am

One of the first things I was asked after the initial shock of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting wore off last weekend was whether I supported the death penalty for Jared Loughner. I answered that I wasn’t the prosecutor making the decision, of course, but I always find it odd when people downplay life in prison [...]

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