Late Night: We’re Exceptional, All Right

By: Thursday March 27, 2014 8:00 pm

So it turns out that Michele Bachmann was right all along, but as usual, not in the way she intended. America is exceptional; just like say, Saudi Arabia is.

 

Torture, Racism, Drones & Unlawful Killings: UN Human Rights Committee Releases Report on US Government

By: Thursday March 27, 2014 3:18 pm

he United Nations Human Rights Committee completed its review of the United States’ compliance with a major human rights treaty. It takes issue with the government’s interpretation that the treaty only applies to persons when they are inside the country and also expresses concern with drones, racism, gun violence, excessive use of force by police, Guantanamo, NSA surveillance, mandatory detention of immigrants and impunity for those who commit torture and unlawful killings.

A Few Religious Objections to Hobby Lobby, et al.

By: Wednesday March 26, 2014 3:57 pm

After reading through some of the recaps of the oral arguments at SCOTUS yesterday in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, it appears that some of the justices, and perhaps a majority, are willing to allow private religious objections to trump the laws, regulations, and ordinances enacted by local, state, and federal governments. Just so that no one is surprised later, I thought I’d lay out some of my strongly held religious beliefs now.

Web Series Raises Questions About Death Penalty Convictions

By: Sunday January 26, 2014 2:10 pm

One For Ten is, a documentary web series about people who have been exonerated and released from death row. Each of the ten films in this series range from 5-6 minutes and focus on an individual exonerees’ story. One For Ten’s co-director Will Francome explains, “Many of these people left prison and thought there was going to be an investigation, or some ramifications for the fact that the state almost killed them and they spent 20 years of their life on death row. They thought people were going to care and something was going to change. But nothing changes. So what is that about? What do people gain from the death penalty politically to make this self-perpetuating thing keep going?”

Never have truer words been spoken…

By: Thursday January 23, 2014 1:30 am

And now we come to a family member of the victims, who opposes reopening the case, but sums up attitudes towards past injustice in this country vividly.

And in ghouishly predicted news

By: Friday January 17, 2014 1:30 am

On the other hand, for proponents of the death penalty it was a great form of erotica.

Our “civilized” society

By: Tuesday January 14, 2014 1:30 am

“Experimenting” with ways to kill people has an awful Josef Mengele quality to it.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Evan J. Mandery, A Wild Justice: The Death and Resurrection of Capital Punishment in America

By: Sunday November 3, 2013 2:58 pm

This book provides unparalleled insights into the workings of the Supreme Court and the often wildly unpredictable and clandestine underpinnings of rules of law that eventually emerge in far tidier terms in the justices’ written opinions. It is rich with revelations, intrigue, and scholarly perspective about the law and politics of capital punishment. A Wild Justice pays many handsome dividends in the reading.

FBI Found Scientific Errors in 27 Death Penalty Convictions

By: Thursday July 18, 2013 11:30 am

So much for beyond a reasonable doubt. According to a new report by the FBI, the bureau’s forensic experts have made numerous mistakes in linking evidence to defendants in death penalty cases. The report noted 27 instances of incorrect testimony that helped convict defendants.

Preventing the Texecution of Duane Buck, Sentenced to Death Because Black

By: Thursday July 11, 2013 5:05 pm

To even the most casual observer, it is clear that Texas’ justice system is plagued by serious racial inequalities. The case of Duane Buck is an outrageous example of racial discrimination in Texas’ death penalty. At Mr. Buck’s capital sentencing hearing sixteen years ago, the prosecutor elicited testimony from a psychologist who said Mr. Buck posed a future danger to society because he’s black. Based on this testimony, the prosecutor then urged the jury to issue a death sentence — which they did. Neither the judge nor Mr. Buck’s attorney at the time objected to this testimony, belying a larger national problem in which defense for the indigent is horribly lacking and under-funded.

This testimony was so egregious that in 2000, Senator John Cornyn, who was then Texas’ Attorney General, identified seven cases in which the state unconstitutionally relied on testimony linking race to future dangerousness. All of the defendants — except Mr. Buck — were awarded new sentencing hearings. Mr. Buck was arbitrarily and unfairly singled out in this instance.

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