Category: Capital Punishment

A Modest Proposal

Yesterday, the New York Senate voted to pass “Brittany’s Law,” to create a new public registry of offenders. Think “sex offender” registry, only for anyone convicted of any violent felony. People with a conviction in their past would have to register for ten years or more (under penalty of another...

What Would Plato Do?

Wanda: What would an intellectual do?  What would… Plato do? Otto: Apol- Wanda: Pardon me? Otto: Apollgzz. Wanda: What? Otto: Apologize! Well, no.  He probably wouldn’t.  Not Plato. And certainly not in the case of Troy Davis, whose final clemency request was denied this morning, and who now faces execution...

Innocence Not Proven

  A year and eight days ago, the Supreme Court took the unusual step of granting an “original writ,” and handed down a novel decision directing a federal court to revisit the murder conviction of Troy Anthony Davis by allowing Davis to put on evidence of actual innocence.  (See our...

Steering the Broken Machine

The Last Lawyer: The Fight to Save Death Row Inmates By John Temple 2009 University Press of Mississippi, 234 pages, $25.95 Amazon.com :: Barnes & Noble The world is loaded with books about criminal lawyers. They fill the shelves in the mystery and thriller aisles, dominate true crime and related...

Supremes Punt, but Stevens AND Scalia Agree: It’s Time to Clarify whether Feds Can Still Prosecute Old Civil Rights Crimes

While the boys were still alive, they were chained to the engine block of an old Jeep, and to pieces of railroad track. Then the Klansmen dumped the boys in the river, where they drowned. One of the Klansmen later reported that Seale “would have shot them first, but didn’t want to get blood all over the boat.”

The boys were killed because they were black, and because Seale thought they might have been civil-rights workers.

Dersh Being Disingenuous

We love Alan Dershowitz. And we love Justice Scalia. So at first we were intrigued to hear that Dersh had challenged Scalia to a debate over his recent dissent in Davis. (See our post on it here.) But it turns out that Dersh is just being disingenuous. Pity. Quick recap:...

SCOTUS Clarifies Cruel & Unusual Execution, Without Saying a Word

Richard Cooey was executed by lethal injection this morning, after the Supreme Court denied without comment his final appeal. He had claimed that lethal injection could cause a painful death. The Court declined to address the issue, and simply denied a stay of execution. Yesterday, the Supreme Court rejected without...