News and Updates

Paul Pfeifer, Ohio Judge, Rejects Death Penalty Law He Wrote


Credit: Associated Press
Justice Paul Pfeifer
By: Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Huffington Post
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As a young state senator 30 years ago, Paul Pfeifer helped write Ohio's death penalty law. Today, as the senior member of the state Supreme Court, he's trying to eliminate it.


Conn. lawmakers push anew for death penalty repeal

Activists from the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty began lobbying efforts on opening day of the legislative session

By: Shannon Young
PoliceOne.com
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

HARTFORD, Conn. — Some state lawmakers are reviving a push to end Connecticut's death penalty, hoping for an easier road this year following the conclusion of two widely publicized trials for a brutal 2007 triple slaying.

While the only survivor of the Cheshire home invasion personally lobbied legislators last year to keep the death penalty, at least one state senator who was swayed by Dr. William Petit says he is now ready to vote for repeal.

"Last year was not an appropriate time to discuss (repeal)," said Sen. Andrew Maynard, a Stonington Democrat.


Texas executions threatened as stocks of death penalty drug run low

Most prolific judicial killing state in America has only enough sedative for six more executions – and could run out by June


Credit: Linda Nylind for the Guardian
Texas has only enough quantities of pentobarbital to serve in six more executions.
By: Ed Pilkington
The Guardian
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Texas, the powerhouse of the death penalty in America which last year executed more than twice the number of prisoners than any other state, is running out of supplies of lethal drugs and may be incapable of carrying out further death sentences beyond June.


The Framing of Kevin Cooper, on San Quentin’s Death Row

An interview with J. Patrick O’Connor


Kevin Cooper
By: Hans Bennett
Prison Radio
Friday, February 10, 2012

In this interview, author J. Patrick O’Connor discusses his newly released book Scapegoat: The Chino Hills Murders and The Framing of Kevin Cooperexplaining why he is convinced of Kevin Cooper’s innocence.


Ramarley Graham: NYPD Slays Unarmed Black Teen as Outrage over Targeting of People of Color Grows

Democracy Now!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The New York City Police Department is under mounting criticism after police shot dead an unarmed teenager inside his own home. Eighteen-year-old Ramarley Graham was shot at close range in his parents’ apartment in the Bronx after being chased into the house by narcotics detectives. Police said they found marijuana in the home and think Graham may have been trying to flush some down the toilet. The NYPD is coming under criticism not only for shooting Graham, but also for its broader stop-and-frisk policy, which critics say disproportionately targets people of color.


Death row inmate's case before Fla. Supreme Court

By: James L. Rosica
The Miami Herald
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A man set to be executed next week should be spared because of newly discovered evidence, his attorney told the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Robert Waterhouse, 65, was sent to death row for the rape and murder of a 29-year-old woman in St. Petersburg in January 1980. Gov. Rick Scott already has signed a death warrant and Waterhouse is scheduled to be put to death next Wednesday.


Death penalty case puts racism on trial in North Carolina


Marcus Robinson was found guilty of killing Erik Tornblom
By: Kate Dailey
BBC News Magazine
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In North Carolina, the Racial Justice Act seeks to remedy years of inequity on death row. But can racism be regulated?

In 1991, 18-year-old Marcus Reymond Robinson and a friend convinced Erik Tornblom, 17, to give them a ride home from a gas station.


Anniversary Message from Leonard Peltier


Credit: leonardpeltier.net
By: Leonard Peltier
Monday, February 6, 2012

Today marks the 36th year that Leonard Peltier has been wrongfully imprisoned. Below are some words that he wrote about this devastating anniversary.


Race and Death Penalty Juries

By: Editorial
The New York Times
Sunday, February 5, 2012

North Carolina courageously passed the Racial Justice Act in 2009, making it the first state in the country to give death row inmates a chance to have their sentences changed to life without parole based on proof that race played a significant role in determining punishment.


Wrongfully Imprisoned 29 Years, Stanley Wrice Wins Second Chance


David Protess, Director, Chicago Innocence Project
By: David Protess
Huffington Post
Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rhythmically bouncing a faded orange basketball with his right hand, Stanley Wrice drives past a defender half his age, dribbles left and stops on a dime. Freezing a muscular youth in his tracks, Wrice pulls up and lofts the ball towards the rusted cylinder. Floating fifteen feet, the ball's arc is true. Nothing but net.