Posts Tagged ‘death penalty’

Another innocent executed?

Saturday, May 19th, 2012


( Death-penalty abolitionists long believed that the execution of an innocent person would turn the public against capital punishment. But that conviction has recently been shaken. First, there was Cameron Todd Willingham, who, after his 2004 execution in Texas, was found to have been likely innocent of killing his three small daughters. Nearly a decade later, Georgia executed Troy Davis despite widespread doubts about his guilt.



A new investigative report by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review reveals that Carlos DeLuna, who was executed by the state of Texas in 1989, was likely innocent as well. The full report, titled “Los Tocayos Carlos: An Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution,” can be viewed at CHRLR’s newly launched interactive website where readers can view all of the evidence cited in the article.

Full story…

Black people blatantly excluded from Alabama juries, lawsuit claims

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

(The Guardian) Black people are being systematically and intentionally excluded from jury service in parts of Alabama almost 140 years after the practice was outlawed in the US, a lawsuit lodged with the federal courts alleges.

The class action has been launched on behalf of thousands of black people in Alabama who were allegedly prevented from sitting as jurors in serious criminal cases, many of which carried the death penalty, in a blatant move by prosecutors to achieve all-white or largely white juries. The complaint claims that the practice has been going on for decades.

It relates specifically to the actions of one prosecutor, Douglas Valeska, who is district attorney in the Alabama counties of Houston and Henry. The lawsuit alleges that he, together with his unnamed associate prosecutors, effectively relegated black people in their areas to "second class citizenship".

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#Racism common in jury selection. #blacks excluded from death penalty cases.

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

(CNN, Andrea Lyon) Some subjects are just plain hard to talk about. Religion, politics and money — maybe sex, too. But try talking about race and then add the emotional context of a death penalty trial, and no one will talk at all.

If you try to broach the subject during jury selection, asking all the racists to please raise their hands is not an option. We, as a nation, have to find a way to face the dirty secret of criminal justice — that prejudice often carries the day.

The issue of racial disparity in the administration of the death penalty has been a part of modern law. Starting with Furman v. Georgia and continuing on to McCleskey v. Zant, courts have struggled to come to grips with this issue as have those of us defending the most despised amongst us.

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