News and Updates

Commentary: Time for Texas to end the death penalty

By: Bob Ray Sanders
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Monday, April 16, 2012

Two events -- one in the Connecticut Senate chamber, the other in a Dallas courtroom -- helped once again to focus attention on two of the nation's most glaring flaws: wrongful convictions and capital punishment.

Fight against death penalty gains momentum in states

Connecticut will be the fifth in five years to do away with it. The high cost to taxpayers is increasingly a factor.

Credit: Mark Mirko, Hartford Courant / April 4, 2012
Victoria Coward, whose son was murdered in 2007, supports the Connecticut Legislature's decision to end capital punishment. Her son's killer is serving a 30-year sentence under a plea deal she agreed to.
By: Dalina Castellanos
Los Angeles Times
Saturday, April 14, 2012

The fight against the death penalty is gaining momentum, opponents of the practice say, with Connecticut's decision this month to abolish capital punishment making it the fifth state in five years to so do.

"For this to be happening in succession, and coupled with the decline in death penalty convictions, it creates a momentum that other states will at least consider to be a part of," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the independent Death Penalty Information Center.

Death Penalty Repeal Changes The Legal Landscape

By: Alaine Griffin
The Hartford Courant
Friday, April 13, 2012

When lawyers for death row inmate Todd Rizzo urged the state Supreme Court to throw out his death sentence in 2010, they pointed to what had happened at the state Capitol a year earlier to make their argument that the punishment should be tossed on constitutional grounds.

In 2009, the General Assembly voted to repeal the death penalty. But then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed the bill.

Connecticut lawmakers vote to repeal death penalty

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said he will sign a bill banning the death penalty that has passed the House and Senate.
By: CNN Wire Staff
Thursday, April 12, 2012

(CNN) -- Connecticut's governor says he will sign a bill abolishing the death penalty, making it the 17th state to abandon capital punishment.

On Wednesday night, lawmakers in Connecticut's House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 86-63. The state Senate approved it last week.

George Zimmerman Arrested for 2nd Degree Murder

By: Andrew Chow
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

George Zimmerman is under arrest, charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a Florida special prosecutor announced Wednesday.

Zimmerman, 28, who's been in hiding since news of Martin's killing gained worldwide attention, turned himself in on an arrest warrant, called acapias, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey said at a news conference. 

Ex-Death Row Inmate Wins DNA Test Ruling

By: Brandi Grissom
The Texas Tribune
Monday, April 9, 2012

Updated, April 9, 2012, 4:30 p.m.

Connecticut Senate votes to abolish death penalty

The legislation would not affect sentences of the 11 inmates currently on Connecticut’s death row

Credit: Jessica Hill/AP
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy speaks after signing a two-year $40.1 billion budget bill into law at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, May 4, 2011.
By: The Associated Press
New York Daily News
Thursday, April 5, 2012

HARTFORD, Conn. - A push to abolish Connecticut's death penalty is one step closer to becoming a reality after clearing a key legislative hurdle in the state Senate early Thursday morning.

State senators voted 20-16 in favor of a death penalty repeal bill after about 11 hours of impassioned floor debate.

Two young victims of racist hate

Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin
By: Marlene Martin
The Socialist Worker
Tuesday, April 3, 2012

AN AFRICAN American teenager murdered in the South. His killer goes unpunished. The authorities and local media blame the victim. But his death sparks a mass movement against racism.

That could describe the case of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida in February 2012. But it's also the story of 14-year-old Emmett Till, who was killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan in Money, Miss., in 1955.

Connecticut Weighs Ending Death Penalty

By: Ashby Jones
The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, April 3, 2012

State senators in Connecticut are slated to vote Wednesday on whether to become the fourth state in recent years to repeal the death penalty.

Senate Democrats say they have enough votes to approve the bill and send it to the state's House of Representatives, where it would widely be expected to pass. Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, has said that if presented to him, he would sign the bill into law.

Cruel and unusual?: Death row inmate challenges state execution procedure

By: Brian Lyman
Montgomery Advertiser
Sunday, April 1, 2012

A death row inmate who had his execution blocked by a federal court that cited Alabama’s “secrecy” concerning its execution procedure says that procedure could leave him conscious while drugs that stop his breathing and his heart flow through his body.

Attorneys for Thomas Arthur, who was convicted in a 1982 murder-for-hire scheme, argue that the use of pentobarbital to anesthetize a prisoner during an execution violates Arthur’s Eighth Amendment protections.