What's New

NEW RESOURCE: The Innocents

Posted: October 30, 2003
A new book of photography by Taryn Simon features portraits of 45 men and women who served more than 500 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. The book includes summaries of each case accompanied by related images, such as re-creations of the scenes of the arrest, portraits of alibi witnesses, or vignettes from the lives of the wrongfully convicted. The book also contains commentary by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld of The Innocence Project at Cardozo Law School in New York. (Umbrage Editions, 2003). See Resources.
 

NEW VOICES: Conservative Commentator Concludes that the Death Penalty Can No Longer Stand the Test of Reason

Posted: October 30, 2003
In a recent column examining Massachusetts' consideration of the death penalty, conservative columnist George Will cites the conclusions of death penalty experts who have closely examined the accuracy and effectiveness of this punishment. Will cited the work of the Illinois Commission on Capital Punishment and especially the experience of author Scott Turow. Will believes that Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's effort to find a faultless death penalty will ultimately fail:
 A properly, meaning narrowly, drawn capital punishment
 

Report Reveals Police Rarely Reopen Cases After Death Row Exonerations

Posted: October 30, 2003
A report in the Chicago Tribune reveals that police and prosecutors rarely pursue new leads and suspects after a wrongly convicted defendant has been exonerated of the crime and released from death row. As a result, few suspects are brought to justice for crimes once considered so heinous that they were worthy of the death penalty, and the actual perpetrators remain in society to potentially commit additional crimes. The Tribune report noted that court records indicate that an alternate suspect was identified in dozens of cases that resulted in
 

NEW RESOURCE: Law Review Features American Bar Association's Defense Counsel Guidelines

Posted: October 28, 2003
A special edition of the Hofstra Law Review features an in-depth look at the American Bar Association's Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases. The law review examines the ABA's revised defense counsel guidelines that were approved on February 10, 2003, and it contains articles based on an October 2003 conference at Hofstra University during which all death penalty jurisdictions were urged to implement the revised guidelines. The ABA's guideline recommendations aim to create a system that insures due process and minimizes the risk
 

President Carter Calls on U.S. to Protect Children's Rights

Posted: October 28, 2003
In a speech urging U.S. leaders to ratify the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which forbids the execution of juvenile offenders, President Jimmy Carter noted that the United States and Somalia are the only two countries in the U.N. that have not approved the guidelines. "My wife (Rosalyn) writes letters to the governors of each state when a child is going to be executed," Carter noted as he praised his wife's work to end the juvenile death penalty.  Carter added that America's objection to the CRC because it forbids the juvenile death penalty weakens the United
 

President Carter Calls on U.S. to Protect Children's Rights

Posted: October 28, 2003
In a speech urging U.S. leaders to ratify the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which forbids the execution of juvenile offenders, President Jimmy Carter noted that the United States and Somalia are the only two countries in the U.N. that have not approved the guidelines. "My wife (Rosalyn) writes letters to the governors of each state when a child is going to be executed," Carted noted as he praise his wife's work to end the juvenile death penalty.  Carter noted that America's objection
 

President Carter Calls on U.S. to Protect Children's Rights

Posted: October 28, 2003
In a speech urging U.S. leaders to ratify the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which forbids the execution of juvenile offenders, President Jimmy Carter noted that the United States and Somalia are the only two countries in the U.N. that have not approved the guidelines. "My wife (Rosalyn) writes letters to the governors of each state when a child is going to be executed," Carted noted as he praise his wife's work to end the juvenile death penalty.  Carter noted that America's objection
 

Victim's Son Awarded Scholarship from Prisoners on Death Row

Posted: October 23, 2003
Two years after Brandon Biggs first expressed forgiveness for Chante Mallard, the woman who killed his father in a nationally-publicized Texas murder, he has received a $10,000 college scholarship from prisoners on death row. The scholarship is funded through advertising and subscriptions to "Compassion," a two-year-old newsletter edited by and featuring articles by death row inmates across the nation. Biggs, whose father was struck by a car on a Fort Worth highway and left to bleed to death, is the third murder victims' family member to earn the award. During Mallard's
 

NEW RESOURCE: An Expendable Man

Posted: October 22, 2003

A new book by Margaret Edds, an award-winning editorial writer with the Virginian-Pilot, explores the wrongful conviction of former Virginia death row inmate Earl Washington. "An Expendable Man: The Near-Execution of Earl Washington, Jr." provides detailed analysis of the state's prosecution of Washington, a mentally retarded man who spent almost 18 years in prison - nearly 10 of those on death row - for a murder he did not commit.

 

Judge Throws Out Last Piece of Evidence Against Tennessee Man

Posted: October 22, 2003

Michael Lee McCormick has been on Tennessee's death row for 17 years, but a recent court decision throwing out the remaining evidence against him could result in his freedom. Judge Doug Meyer ruled that tapes containing conversations between McCormick and an undercover police officer who had befriended him were inadmissible due to "police misconduct." Meyer noted that McCormick, who is an alcoholic, had continually denied his involvement in the crime "until the authorities made him dependent upon them for his alcohol.

 

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