October 27, 2005
STANLEY "TOOKIE" WILLIAMS is a charismatic symbol of what's wrong with the death penalty -- and of what's wrong with the debate about the death penalty. His story of sin and redemption powerfully illustrates the unfairness of capital punishment. But to argue that capital punishment is unjust for some defendants is to concede that it may be acceptable for others. The reason to oppose capital punishment has to do with who we are, not who death row inmates are.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 2000
The Innocence Project, which has used DNA testing to help free at least 65 wrongly convicted death row inmates in several states, is coming to California. Last week, California Western Law School in San Diego announced that it will house the California Innocence Project, which is slated to start work this fall. Justin Brooks, who will oversee the project, faces a rising tide of e-mails and letters from death row inmates, their parents and lawyers, all seeking help.
May 8, 2007 |
LAST MONTH, the state of Texas executed James Lee Clark, a plumber's assistant who raped and killed a teenage girl. Clark's lawyers argued in vain that their client, a high school dropout with a low IQ, should have been spared because of his mental impairment. Within hours of Clark's death, California's highest court spared Jorge Junior Vidal from a possible death penalty trial in the torture and murder of a teenager because he is mentally retarded. Five years ago this June, the U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2001
Convicted killer Justin Merriman will become the 12th man sent to death row from Ventura County since the death penalty was reinstated in California in 1978. Here is a look at the other men and their crimes: * Kenneth McKinzie was convicted in 1999 for strangling 73-year-old Ruth Avril during a botched robbery at her Oxnard apartment building Dec. 21, 1995.
March 30, 2011 |
A bitterly divided Supreme Court on Tuesday tossed out a jury verdict won by a New Orleans man who spent 14 years on death row and came within weeks of execution because prosecutors had hidden a blood test and other evidence that would have proven his innocence. The 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Clarence Thomas shielded the New Orleans district attorney's office from being held liable for the mistakes of its prosecutors. The evidence of their misconduct did not prove "deliberate indifference" on the part of then-Dist.
April 8, 2014 |
It's hard to get executions right. This week, the Supreme Court denied appeals by Louisiana and Missouri death row inmates who argued that they were entitled to know the source of the drugs with which they are to be executed, and that denial of that information compromises their right to due process. It's unclear why the court refused to hear the cases, but the underlying argument remains potent. Another challenge is underway in Oklahoma, where two inmates are seeking stays of execution because state officials have revised protocols on the fly as the lethal drugs they usually use have become more difficult to obtain.
December 24, 2010 |
It's not that difficult to find the heart of this small east Texas city with wide-open spaces and lanky pine trees that breach the pale blue sky. Cruise past the 67-foot statue of Sam Houston (who's buried here), the town square and the plantation-style homes with the porches that wrap all the way around. Turn on to Avenue I, and there it stands: high, red brick walls the color of a schoolhouse. Inside are cramped cinderblock cells, inmates, guards and ? what put Huntsville on the map ?