News and Updates

Spanish PM calls for worldwide moratorium on death penalty
Friday, October 8, 2010


MADRID, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, called for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty on Thursday.

Zapatero was speaking at the International Commission against the Death Penalty, which was founded in Madrid on Thursday with the aim of bringing an end to the death penalty within five years.

Amnesty issues call for U.S. to drop death penalty

Credit: Reuters/California Department of Corrections/Handout
The death chamber at California's San Quentin State Prison, 18 miles (29 km) north of San Francisco, California is shown in this undated file photograph.
Friday, October 8, 2010

Rights group Amnesty International called on the United States on Friday to set an example to other nations by abolishing the death penalty.

Amnesty said the United States was the only country in the Americas to carry out executions in 2009.

"A clear majority of countries have rejected the death penalty.

Clemency plea may not sway sentence for Canadian on U.S. death row

By: Bill Graveland
The Globe and Mail
Sunday, October 3, 2010


The man who could hold in his hands the life of the only Canadian on death row in the United States says the Harper government's plea for clemency will have only a limited influence on him.

Innocence Lost

By: Pamela Colloff
Texas Monthly Magazine
Friday, October 1, 2010

Since August 23, 1992, Anthony Graves has been behind bars for the gruesome murder of a family in Somerville. There was no clear motive, no physical evidence connecting him to the crime, and the only witness against him recanted, declaring again and again before his death, in 2000, that Graves didn’t do it. If he didn’t, the truth will come out. Won’t it?

Honor homicide victims - oppose death penalty

By: Judy Kerr
San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, September 29, 2010


When someone you love is murdered, life as you know it changes. Your world changes. You change.

I would know; my brother, Bob Kerr, was murdered in 2003. Suddenly, I joined countless victims learning to navigate their way through the criminal justice system on their own.

A stay was issued Tuesday to halt the state of California's scheduled execution of Albert Brown at 9 p.m. on Thursday. As the legal issues may not be resolved until the last minute, the victim's family silently waits, not knowing what lies ahead.

Woman Charged With Murder Campaigns for Innocence

Credit: Photo illustration by: Todd Wiseman
By: Brandi Grissom
The Texas Tribune
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

When Sonia Cacy walked out of prison after serving six years of a 99-year sentence for murder, she told reporters that those were just her first steps toward freedom. To be truly free, she told the San Antonio Express-News in 1998, she wanted her name cleared. She wanted to be exonerated of a crime that many experts say she did not commit.

Twelve years later, Cacy is still not free despite multiple expert reports concluding that she did not douse her uncle with gasoline and light a fire that killed him and destroyed the small Fort Stockton home they shared. Now 63, she lives in Fort Worth and is on parole. “I have faith,” she says.

Drug shortage threatens executions, but not in Texas

By: Mike Ward
The Austin American Statesman
Monday, September 27, 2010


Though some executions in the United States have been put on hold because of a shortage of one of the drugs used in lethal injections, Texas officials said Monday they have no such plans.

"We have three executions scheduled through the end of this year, and we have an ample supply to carry those out," said Michelle Lyons, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville. "At the present, we are unaffected by the shortage."

Asheville pastors: SBI crime lab woes show need to eliminate death penalty

By: Clarke Morrison
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ASHEVILLE — North Carolina's criminal justice system is so fraught with cheating that lawmakers should eliminate the death penalty to keep innocent people from being executed, local pastors and an exonerated death row inmate said Tuesday.

Confessing to Crime, but Innocent

Credit: Steve Hebert for The New York Times
Eddie Lowery spent 10 years in prison after confessing to a rape he did not commit. He got a $7.5 million settlement.
By: John Schwartz
New York Times
Monday, September 13, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Eddie Lowery lost 10 years of his life for a crime he did not commit. There was no physical evidence at his trial for rape, but one overwhelming factor put him away: he confessed.

At trial, the jury heard details that prosecutors insisted only the rapist could have known, including the fact that the rapist hit the 75-year-old victim in the head with the handle of a silver table knife he found in the house. DNA evidence would later show that another man committed the crime. But that vindication would come only years after Mr.

Shortage of death penalty drug in Oklahoma delays executions

By: Michael Baker
Monday, September 13, 2010

A nationwide shortage of a sedative used in Oklahoma's lethal injection cocktails has delayed executions, spurred legal battles and prompted state prison officials to try to find substitute drugs.