News and Updates

Former death row inmate Joe D'Ambrosio, finally free, speaks out

By: Regina Brett
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Attempted murder. That's what Joe D'Ambrosio wants the prosecutors to be charged with.

He says the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office tried to kill him by withholding 10 pieces of evidence at his trial, evidence that could have led to a not-guilty verdict.

The case for a second chance

Robert Gattis
By: Marlene Martin
Socialist Worker
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We are so overjoyed to report that Delaware Governor Jack Markell just granted clemency to Robert Gattis, who was scheduled to be killed in just a few days. Thanks so much to everyone who signed the petition and supported Robert, his mother Barbara Lewis and the rest of their family. The Delaware chapter of the CEDP, including Barbara, worked hard over the last few years to win this victory. 

Death sentence overturned

Man who has spent 20 years on death row could be freed

Jermaine Wright was convicted in 1992 in the killing of a clerk at a liquor store on Gov. Printz Boulevard.
By: Sean O'Sullivan
Delaware Online
Wednesday, January 4, 2012


WILMINGTON -- The second-longest-serving inmate on Delaware's death row may be free on bail as soon as next week.

 At a brief hearing Tuesday that left prosecutors speechless, Superior Court Judge John A. Parkins Jr. overturned the conviction and death sentence of Jermaine Wright for the January 1991 slaying of liquor store clerk Phillip Seifert. 

The racial bias of the US death penalty

Credit: Dave Martin/AP
Holman prison's lethal injection chamber, in Atmore, Alabama
By: David A. Love
The Guardian
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The application of the US death penalty is unfair, arbitrary and racially biased. Whether a defendant receives a death sentence depends not on the merits of the case, so much as on his or her skin colour – and the race of the victim – and the county in which the murder case was prosecuted. Two recent news items in the US provide some illustrative context. 

Why the Death Penalty Is Slowly Dying

Adam Cohen
By: Adam Cohen
Time Magazine
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

California is having problems with its death penalty. It hasn’t executed anyone since 2006, when a federal court ruled that its method of lethal injection was improper and could cause excessive pain. The state spent five years coming up with a better method — and last month, a judge threw that one out too. One indication of just how bogged down California’s capital-punishment system is: the inmate who brought the latest lethal-injection challenge has been on death row for 24 years.

Stop the execution of Robert Gattis January 20th!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Robert Gattis, Delaware death row prisoner, has been given an execution date of January 20th. The CEDP has worked closely with Robert's mother Barbara Lewis over the last few years, both nationally and with the Delaware chapter of the CEDP, which Barbara helped to found. We are urging folks to do what they can to show support and solidarity for Robert Gattis and Barbara Lewis and demand that Delaware stop this execution!

Mumia Abu-Jamal Will No Longer Face Death Penalty

By: Jorge Rivas
Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced Wednesday this office has called off their 30-year battle to execute former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal for allegedly murdering a white police officer, the Associated Press reports. The decision comes just two days short of the 30th anniversary of the killing.

Funeral arrangements for Martina Correia

Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Friday, December 2, 2011

Last week, Martina Correia, the courageous sister of Troy Davis, passed away.  As many of you know, she was fighting breast cancer and had become very ill and weak in the last few month.  For all of you that were lucky enough to meet Martina, you met someone with incredible conviction and determination.

Her life was consumed by the fight to win justice for her brother and to raise the banner for abolition of the death penalty.  She was an inspiration to us all.  Now it will be up to us all to fight in her memory and in Troy's memory -- and to not give up.

Bias on death row? North Carolina lawmakers now not so sure

Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times
A statue of Lady Justice stands atop the courthouse in Goldsboro, N.C.
By: Richard Fausset
Los Angeles Times
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The North Carolina Senate on Monday approved a bill that critics view as a gutting of the Racial Justice Act, the state law that gives death row inmates and death penalty defendants the ability to use statistics on racial bias as a way to challenge their prosecutions.

An Intolerable Burden of Proof

By: Editorial Board
New York Times
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that it is unconstitutional to execute mentally retarded criminals, finding that the death penalty cannot be justified for these offenders because they are morally less culpable.