159 and counting…

RalphWright

Florida Supreme Court Orders Exoneration of Ralph Daniel Wright, Jr. The Florida Supreme Court has directed that Ralph Daniel Wright, Jr. (pictured) be acquitted of the murder charges for which he was sentenced to death in 2014, making him the 159th person exonerated from death row in the United States since 1973. On May 11, […]

Review Commission Report: Oklahoma Death Penalty Cases Cost Triple That Of Non-Capital Cases

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An independent study of the costs of seeking and imposing the death penalty in Oklahoma, prepared for the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, has concluded that seeking the death penalty in Oklahoma “incurs significantly more time, effort, and costs on average, as compared to when the death penalty is not sought in first degree murder […]

Former Prosecutor on Trial on Charges that His Misconduct Led to Wrongful Execution of Cameron Willingham

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John Jackson, the former Navarro County, Texas prosecutor and judge, is on trial for ethics violations in the 1992 capital trial of Cameron Todd Willingham (pictured), which many believe led to the execution of an innocent man. Willingham was convicted of arson and murder and sentenced to death in connection with the house fire that […]

Arkansas Prisoners, Asserting Their Innocence, File Requests for DNA Testing

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Two Arkansas death-row prisoners who are scheduled be executed on April 20 have asked the Arkansas courts to stay their executions to permit DNA testing in their cases. Stacey Johnson (pictured, l.) and Ledell Lee (pictured, r.) both say they did not commit the crimes for which they were sentenced to death, and both say […]

State and Federal Courts Grant Stays, Preliminary Injunctions Blocking 8 Arkansas Executions

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In legal challenges filed separately by Arkansas death-row prisoners and a company involved in the distribution of pharmaceuticals, the Arkansas state and federal courts issued preliminary injunctions putting on hold the state’s plan to carry out an unprecedented eight executions in the span of eleven days. After a four-day evidentiary hearing that ended late in […]

Remembering Justice John “Skeff” Sheehy, abolition activist

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We are greatly saddened to learn of the passing of John “Skeff” Sheehy. The Honorable John Sheehy, a former legislator and Supreme Court Justice was greatly admired by many and certainly by those of us in the Coalition. He was a remarkable man who could always be counted on to stand up for what he […]

Former Warden: Arkansas Execution Rush Is Dangerous and Risky

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By Dr. Allen Ault, Originally published in Time Magazine The Arkansas government is preparing to execute eight death-row prisoners in a ten-day span, before one of its lethal-injection drugs expires. It plans to execute two people per day over four days: April 17, 20, 24 and 27. The decision is dangerous for many reasons. As […]

Report finds exonerations in the US rose again in 2016

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By JUAN A. LOZANO, ASSOCIATED PRESS The number of people exonerated in the U.S. rose again in 2016, with more than half of them involved in cases in which it was later determined no crime occurred, according to a report released Tuesday. A record 94 of last year’s 166 total exonerations came in such cases, […]

Moving forward…

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Sometimes victory is a bittersweet stalemate. We celebrate that for another biennium Montana does not have the legal means to carry out executions. Our work has created a political climate in the legislature where attempting to restart executions isn’t tenable or possible. At the same time, after exploring all possible options, the Montana Abolition Coalition […]

Let’s have a BLAST!

BLAST HB366

Last week, the Montana House Judiciary Committee attempted to curb our effort to repeal the death penalty. The Committee voted 10-11 on HB 366, tabling the bill.  But we still have a chance to repeal! With a BLAST VOTE we can bypass the committee and move HB 366 for a full debate and vote on the House Floor. […]