BOOKS: Contemporary Religious Views on the Death Penalty

By edeleon Anthony Santoro has written a new book about religious perspectives on the death penalty, Exile and Embrace: Contemporary Religious Discourse on the Death Penalty. In describing the book, John D. Bessler, a law professor at the University of Baltimore, said, “Santoro tells the stories of everyone from death row chaplains to bloggers and […]

STUDIES: The Role of Implicit Racial Bias in the Death Penalty

By edeleon A new study testing internal attitudes and stereotypes among potential jurors in six death penalty states may help to explain the racial disparities that persist in the application of capital punishment. Researchers Justin Levinson (l.), Robert Smith (r.), and Danielle Young tested 445 jury-eligible individuals and found they harbored two kinds of racial […]

MENTAL ILLNESS: Man Who Defended Himself in a Cowboy Suit Deemed Sane Enough for Execution

By edeleon The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that Texas death row inmate Scott Panetti is sane enough to be executed, despite his long history of severe mental illness. Panetti was sentenced to death for the 1992 murder of his in-laws. Putting aside Panetti’s bizarre behavior in court, the judge […]

EDITORIALS: Ohio Paper Calls for Transparency and Caution in Selecting Execution Process

By edeleon As Ohio prepares to change its execution process in October, the Toledo Blade called on the state to stop the secrecy surrounding the selection of an alternative to current lethal injection drugs. The editors wrote, “No state should proceed with scheduled executions until the drug, or multidrug cocktail, it plans to use has […]

RECENT LEGISLATION: Texas Law To Protect the Innocent May Curtail Death Penalty

By edeleon A new Texas law requiring DNA testing of all biological evidence prior to seeking the death penalty could reduce the number of capital cases. District Attorney Billy Byrd of Upshur County noted, “Essentially, every piece of evidence will have to be tested,” he said, which could delay trials more than a year. “Certainly, […]

POSSIBLE INNOCENCE: Federal Judge Throws Out Pennsylvania Conviction As ‘Grave Miscarriage of Justice’

By aholsinger A federal judge in Pennsylvania overturned the conviction of a death row inmate, stating he was “sentenced to die for a crime in all probability he did not commit.” U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody found errors in all facets of the case, noting that “Improper police work characterized nearly the entirety of […]

VICTIMS: District Attorney Pursues Death Penalty Despite Wishes of Murder Victims’ Families

By edeleon Via: VICTIMS: District Attorney Pursues Death Penalty Despite Wishes of Murder Victims’ Families     

RACE: Former Military Officials and Other Groups Ask North Carolina for Fairness in Jury Selection