News and Updates

DNA clears Cornelius Dupree from 30 years in Texas jail

Credit: AP
Mr Dupree served 30 years behind bars between December 1979 and July 2010
BBC News US and Canada
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A man in the US state of Texas has had his robbery conviction overturned after serving 30 years in jail - longer than anyone in Texas cleared by DNA.

Cornelius Dupree Jr was jailed from 1979 to 2010 as part of a 75-year sentence for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.

On hunger strike, to be on death row

By: Denis O’Hearn
Youngstown Vindicator
Monday, January 3, 2011

Why would anyone want to go on death row?  A federal judge from Ohio once asked that question. To be specific, he asked, “Why would anyone rather be on death row than at Ohio State Penitentiary?”

Why, indeed!

I’ve been asking myself that question since I began visiting OSP Youngstown a few years ago.

Schwarzenegger Commutes Sara Kruzan’s Sentence

Rare commutation highlights the excessive nature of life without parole sentences for youth

The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
Monday, January 3, 2011

Yesterday, Sara Kruzan’s life without the possibility of parole sentence was commuted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to a 25 years to life sentence with parole eligibility.  He wrote that, “given Ms. Kruzan’s age at the time of the murder and the significant abuse she suffered at his hands, I believe her sentence is excessive.” This decision provides a second chance for a young woman who was told at sentencing that she was undeserving and would die in prison. 

The death penalty: It's time for capital punishment to become Texas history.

The Houston Chronicle
Saturday, January 1, 2011

The death penalty in Texas is fraught with demonstrable error, and the people of the state seem more willing to deal with that fact than their leaders.

For Two Sisters, the End of an Ordeal

By: Bob Herbert
The New York TImes
Friday, December 31, 2010


I got a call on New Year’s Eve from Gladys Scott, which was a terrific way for 2010 to end.

On the Death Sentence

Death row inmates in Texas’s Ellis I Unit, with Perry Mason on the television, 1994; photograph by Ken Light from his 1995 book Texas Death Row
By: John Paul Stevens
New York Review of Books
Thursday, December 23, 2010


Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition
by David Garland
Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 417 pp., $35.00

Biggest Prison Protest In History Underway In Georgia

News One for Black America
Monday, December 13, 2010


From Correntewire and Davey D’s Hip-Hop Blog

Georgia — On Thursday morning, December 9, 2010, thousands of Georgia prisoners refused to work, stopped all other activities and locked down in their cells in a peaceful protest for their human rights.

Prisoners Strike in Georgia

By: Sarah Wheaton
The New York Times
Sunday, December 12, 2010

In a protest apparently assembled largely through a network of banned cellphones, inmates across at least six prisons in Georgia have been on strike since Thursday, calling for better conditions and compensation, several inmates and an outside advocate said.

The verdict on legal lynching

The lethal injection chamber in Terre Haute, Indiana
By: Marlene Martin
Socialist Worker
Thursday, December 9, 2010


Marlene Martin, national director of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, looks at the arguments made against capital punishment by a former Supreme Court justice.

Framed for Murder?

Kevin Cooper
By: Nicholas D. Kristof
The New York Times
Wednesday, December 8, 2010


“California may be about to execute an innocent man.”