Amnesty International Report: Death Penalty Use Down Worldwide in 2017

Use of the death penalty declined worldwide in 2017, according to the Amnesty International’s annual global report on capital punishment. The human rights organization recorded 2,591 death sentences imposed in 53 countries in 2017, down 17% from the 3,117 death sentences it recorded from 55 countries in 2016. Executions also fell, with 23 nations carrying […]

The Psychological Burden of the Death Penalty

Mock executions at Riverbend shed light on the weight of state killings By Steven Hale, Nashville Scene Several years ago, in the middle of the Christian Holy Week leading up to Easter, an execution team strapped Jeannie Alexander onto a gurney at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. Alexander was then the head chaplain at […]

Ohio Gov. Kasich commutes death sentence of man convicted of killing woman during robbery

By the Associated Press COLUMBUS, Ohio –  Ohio Gov. John Kasich Monday spared a condemned killer who was set to die April 11 for fatally shooting a woman more than three decades ago during a robbery after questions were raised about discrepancies in the case and the fairness of the trial. The Republican governor’s release […]

Death penalty repeal appears poised to pass New Hampshire state Senate

By Adam Sexton, Political Director, WMUR CONCORD, N.H. — A repeal of New Hampshire’s death penalty is poised to pass the state Senate for the first time in almost 20 years, but there are concerns that the bill could overturn the capital sentence of the state’s only death row inmate. Thirteen state senators have signed on to a […]

Texas governor spares inmate from execution after a father’s pleas

By Meagan Flynn, Washington Post Thomas “Bart” Whitaker had already eaten his last meal. It was about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, roughly a half-hour before his scheduled execution in a Texas prison. He was supposed to be strapped to a gurney soon. Whitaker had been sentenced to death for orchestrating the ambush-style murders of his family in 2003 as they returned […]

Conservative Voices Continue to Call for End of Death Penalty

From October 2016 to October 2017, support for capital punishment among those identifying themselves as Republicans fell by ten percetage points. Two op-eds published towards the end of the year illustrate the growing conservative opposition to the death penalty. Writing in The Seattle Times on December 27, Republican State Senator Mark Miloscia (pictured, l.) called […]

Retired Lt. General: Exclude Mentally Ill Vets from the Death Penalty

Saying that the death penalty should “be reserved for the ‘worst of the worst in our society,’” retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General John Castellaw (pictured) has urged the Tennessee state legislature to adopt pending legislation that would bar the death penalty for people with severe mental illnesses. In an op-ed in the Memphis newspaper, The […]

America Had Fewer Executions In 2017 Than In 23 Of The Last 25 Years

Why Execution Numbers Continue To Fall Off A Cliff Midday on Tuesday, November 28, the Texas Court of Criminal appeals stayedthe execution of Juan Castillo, who was convicted and sentenced to death as the trigger-man in a 2003 robbery-murder on a San Antonio lovers’ lane. At Castillo’s trial, another inmate testified that Castillo had confessed his role […]

New Documentary by the National Institute of Justice chronicles the experiences of six individuals whose lives were impacted by a wrongful conviction.

Six individuals affected by wrongful convictions in the U.S. criminal justice system share their stories and the challenges they have faced since the wrongful conviction came to light. NIJ is dedicated to using science to learn about the causes and consequences of wrongful convictions. Only with this understanding will we minimize these miscarriages of justice, […]

Pope Francis Wants the Catholic Church to Change Doctrine on Death Penalty

He called for changing church doctrine By Eli Meixler, Time Magazine October 13, 2017 Pope Francis said the death penalty is “inadmissible” and called for changes to church doctrine to prohibit it, the church’s strongest comments yet on the controversial issue. “It must be strongly stated that condemning a person to the death penalty is an inhumane measure,” […]