Stories from an execution coordinator: ‘There will never be closure’

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by Ryan Braschler, KTUL news LONGTOWN, Okla. (KTUL) — It’s a quiet, breezy day in Longtown. And as John East looks across the valley toward the lake, he reflects on a life in the state penitentiary. “I talked to every inmate that wanted to talk to me,” East says. “Every time I, every morning at 8 […]

Seattle Times Urges End to Washington’s “Zombie” Death Penalty

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End costly limbo and repeal the death penalty By Seattle Times editorial board Originally published May 21, 2017 at 12:02 pm Updated May 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm The state Supreme Court again passed on a chance to overturn the death penalty. It is up to the Legislature — if it has the courage to put […]

159 and counting…

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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, […]