The Murders at The Lake.
"In the summer of 1982 the city of Waco was confronted with the most vicious crime it had ever seen: three teenagers were savagely stabbed to death, for no apparent reason, at a park by a lake on the edge of town. Justice was eventually served when four men were found guilty of the crime, and two were sent to death row. In 1991, though, when one of the convicts got a new trial and was then found not guilty, some people wondered, Were these four actually the killers? Several years after that, one of the men was put to death, and the stakes were raised: Had Texas executed an innocent man?" [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Mar 19, 2014 -
All this brings me to an Indian I want you to know better than his jury did—Douglas Ray Stankewitz, the longest tenured inmate on California’s death row. Like most Indians who find themselves in a group of non-Indians, he is currently known as Chief, but unlike many Indians, he is proud of the nickname.
The government wants to kill Chief because Theresa Greybeal was shot dead in the course of a robbery by a group of people high on heroin, and there is no question that Chief was one of them. There is a serious question about who pulled the trigger, and juries are reluctant to kill individuals who did not pull the trigger. But as far as his jury knew, Douglas Stankewitz pulled the trigger. And he might have, but we will never know, based on his trial.
posted by latkes
on Jan 15, 2012 -
In 1991, Troy Davis
was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of policeman Mark MacPhail in a Savannah, Georgia parking lot. Since then, seven of the nine prosecution eyewitnesses have recanted
all or part of their testimony, with some citing pressure from the police to make false statements. An exception is Sylvester "Redd" Coles, who made the initial report of Davis’s guilt, and is regarded by the defense as the chief suspect. New witnesses have sworn affidavits that Coles confessed the crime to them. An array
of figures have called for a stay of execution, including death-penalty supporters Senator Bob Barr and former FBI director William S. Sessions. Today
, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles
denied clemency; barring action
from the District Attorney, Davis is set to be executed
by lethal injection tomorrow at 7pm. [Previously
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94
on Sep 20, 2011 -
"I decided I had to do something to save this person’s life. That killing someone in Dallas is not an answer for what happened on Sept. 11." Rais Bhuiyan
petitions the state of Texas to stay
the execution of a white supremacist who shot him and murdered two others in a hate-motivated crime
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Jul 18, 2011 -
A very big day for the Supreme Court. In Morse v. Fredrick
, the Court ruled that a school could suspend a child for holding up a "Bong HiTs for Jesus" banner. (Previous post here
). In Hein v. Freedom from Religion
, the Court held that taxpayers lacked standing to challenged Faith Based Initiatives (previous discussions
). In Wilke v. Robbins
, the Court held that land owners do not have Bivens claims if the federal government harasses landowners for easements. In FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life
, the Court held that the portion of the campaign finance law which had blackout periods before elections on issue advocacy advertising was an unconstitutional restriction of speech (other
). This Thursday, the Justices will deliver their last opinions of the term, including a death penalty case
and the school assignment cases
. (Opinions are .pdfs)
posted by dios
on Jun 25, 2007 -
This year, Maryland has been on a path to become the first state to abolish capital punishment,
and a bill to repeal the death penalty will be voted on in committee within days. Exonerated death row inmates
have been campaigning fervently in support of the bill (including Kirk Bloodsworth, a Marylander who was the first death row inmate ever to be proven innocent by DNA)--and the exonerated are joined by a gamut of other voices that one might not normally expect in the debate. Murder victim family members
are vocally supporting abolition. Law enforcement officials
, including prosecutors, wardens and police chiefs, are vocally supporting abolition. The Baltimore city council – which presides over the lion’s share of Maryland’s violent crime -- is unanimously in support of abolition
. Even Maryland's governor, Martin O’Malley, has taken a bold stance in support of abolishing executions, going so far as to publish an op-ed, "Why I Oppose the Death Penalty,"
in the Washington Post on the day of the abolition bill’s hearings in Annapolis. And, last but not least, the public is more than 60% in support of replacing the death penalty with life without parole
So why are so many legislators still supporting death penalty
Even if the bill doesn’t pass in this session, it seems like Governor O’Malley has nothing to worry about
for having come out ahead of the legislature on this issue. It’s the legislatures—in Maryland and elsewhere—that are falling behind, as the entire country backs steadily away from capital punishment
posted by snortlebort
on Mar 15, 2007 -
is a British businessman who was convicted of the 1986 murder of a Jamaican father and son in a hotel room in Miami, Florida. He was given the death penalty, but this was commuted to a life sentence in 2002 due to irregularities in his trial. Well, "irregularities" is an understatement: none of Maharaj's seven alibi witnesses were called to the stand. Maharaj is widely understood to be innocent, and another prime suspect has been identified. In 2001, 300 British politicians wrote to Jeb Bush, requesting a retrial. Considering this possibility in 2004, the Florida judge said that “newly discovered evidence which goes only to guilt or innocence is insufficient to warrant relief" and denied the motion. The US Supreme Court refused to take the case. Krishna Maharaj must now rely on the mercy of Jeb Bush.BBC Newsnight with 2-part video documentary2004 FAQCampaign website
posted by thirteenkiller
on Oct 18, 2006 -
Want to see some great theater and learn a bit about our great system of justice and capital punishment? Then The Exonerated
may be the show for you.The other night I went to see The Exonerated, which has been playing Off Broadway since last fall and is also appearing in theaters around the country this year. Composed wholly from court records and interviews by playwrights Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, this documentary drama recounts true tales of horror from the American criminal-justice system. The actors sit downstage and read their parts as the stories of six innocent citizens condemned to death row unfold. If this sounds like a worthy endeavor, it is; if it sounds dull or didactic, it isn’t.
posted by nofundy
on Jul 3, 2003 -
"Mr. Banks, a man with no prior criminal record, is most likely innocent of the charge that put him on death row. Fearing a tragic miscarriage of justice, three former federal judges (including William Sessions, a former director of the F.B.I.) have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to block Wednesday's execution."So far, no one seems to be listening." [via atrios]
posted by donkeyschlong
on Mar 11, 2003 -
Three Supreme Court Justices publicy oppose executing teenage criminals.
In a rare move, Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Stevens made a public statement in a delay request to state their opposition to executing someone who committed murder before the age of 18. With the Court already banning the execution of the mentally retarded this year, is this another sign of a soon-to-be next step in the abolishment of the death penalty? Or does the average American still believe that regardless of what time, when you do the crime you walk the line?
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Aug 30, 2002 -
Even if it works, using the detah penalty as deterrent is morally flawed
The mere fact that an orthodontist in Cleveland feels more anxious about crime shouldn't make the state more "right" to take a life. And, if you are in favor of the death penalty, the mere fact that the same orthodontist feels comfortable leaving his door unlocked shouldn't mean that a murderer should pay less of a price for killing a child.
posted by magullo
on May 24, 2002 -