Mentally Retarded Man Faces Execution in Texas Today, in Contravention of Supreme Court Ruling

By: Tuesday August 7, 2012 8:15 am

Staying with my Texas theme this morning, the state is about to execute a mentally retarded man today, despite a Supreme Court prohibition on the practice which they managed to get around, by finding a man with the intellect of a six year old was eligible for the death penalty.

California Voters Will Soon Decide Fate of the Death Penalty

By: Tuesday April 24, 2012 12:00 pm

The SAFE California Campaign has managed to qualify for the November ballot an initiative that would abolish the death penalty and replace it with life without the possibility of parole. Polling indicates the campaign will have a bit of an up hill fight in convincing voters to abolish the death penalty. A poll by SurveyUSA from last month found that 61% of registered voters in California would vote to keep the death penalty, but initiative backers hope to convince voters the move would save millions in state costs.

Connecticut Poised to Abolish Death Penalty

By: Thursday April 5, 2012 6:45 am

Almost imperceptibly, and despite nominal support nationally for capital punishment, states are, one by one, abolishing the death penalty, citing the risks of executing innocents, the inherent biases in the system, and the extreme costs. Legislatures in New Jersey, New Mexico and Illinois have abolished the death penalty in recent years, and the courts in New York found it in violation of the state Constitution. Now, Connecticut is poised to become the 17th state to ban the death penalty, after a successful vote last night in the state Senate.

Lakeside Diner

By: Wednesday December 21, 2011 4:45 am

A variety of links to articles/interviews on current topics that may, or may not, be of interest.

Late Night FDL: Newt Goes from Smoking Weed to “Smoke ‘Em All!”

By: Tuesday December 13, 2011 8:00 pm

Former New Mexico governor and barely-blipping GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson resurrected the specter of Newt Gingrich’s doobie-dabbling and pot policy on MSNBC this weekend (though Johnson overstated Newt’s nonsense a bit). Here’s Newt’s most recent position, as of 1996, when as Speaker of House he introduced H.R. 4170 (Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996) to the House of Representatives, which sought to “provide a sentence of death for certain importations of significant quantities of controlled substances” including marijuana.

Oregon Governor Issues Death Penalty Reprieve, Will Not Execute Any Inmate During His Term

By: Tuesday November 22, 2011 6:30 pm

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, M.D., in an announcement today at the state capital, said he will put a temporary reprieve on executions in the state, including the pending execution of Gary Haugen, convicted of two murders in 1981 and 2003. The governor, in an unexpected addendum to his announcement regarding Haugen, also said he will not sign any death warrants while in office.

Tinkering with the Machinery of Death Continues

By: Saturday September 24, 2011 9:00 am

In 1994, Justice Harry Blackmun famously announced his opposition to the death penalty: “From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.” It cannot be administered fairly, he said, and “the inevitability of factual, legal, and moral error” ensures that some innocent defendants will be killed.

The circus around Troy Davis’ execution tells me that we are continuing to tinker with the machinery of death. We are diminished as a society as a result.

The State-Sanctioned Killing of Troy Davis

By: Thursday September 22, 2011 6:01 am

Was it when it was after 10 pm and the Supreme Court still hadn’t issued a decision? Was it when the Supreme Court issued a “temporary reprieve” instead of a stay of execution and left people emotionally on edge outside the prison? Or was it when there was an abrupt flurry of sirens that pulled up and police storm troopers marched over to provide reinforcement for a line of police, which had been standing on guard? Was that when it became apparent Troy Davis was going to be killed Wednesday night?

Troy Davis’ Scheduled Execution: Democracy Now! Broadcasts from Georgia Prison

By: Wednesday September 21, 2011 3:35 pm

UPDATE 2: Supreme Court refuses the stay, will not block the execution.

UPDATE: The Supreme Court of the United States has temporarily issued a reprieve while they consider the case. Could be minutes, could be hours, could be seven days.

The Georgia Pardons & Paroles Board is set to execute Troy Davis at 7 pm ET on International Day of Peace. Troy Davis’ attorneys filed a motion for an emergency stay of execution. Lawyers wrote, according to Huffington Post, “No physical evidence has ever conclusively linked Mr. Davis to the murder and significant suspicion rests on the man who implicated Mr. Davis to the police originally.” The Board denied the motion. The defense also wanted a certificate of probable cause to appeal. That was denied too.

UN Special Rapporteur Urged US Government to Intervene Before Troy Davis Was Executed

By: Tuesday September 20, 2011 1:30 pm

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied Troy Davis clemency. The five-member board reviewed pleas for clemency yesterday and did not make a decision until this morning. Davis is scheduled for execution tomorrow, September 21. Clemency or the issuance of a stay of execution was Davis’ last available avenue for avoiding lethal injection.

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