Death Penalty Topics

Death-penalty

Since 1996, Democracy Now! has closely followed the national debate over capital punishment in the United States. See our interviews with key scholars, journalists and activists over the years. We have covered extensively the death row cases of Troy Davis and Mumia Abu-Jamal.

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  • Mumia
    In the early morning hours of December 9, 1981, Daniel Faulkner, a white police officer, was fatally shot in the streets of Philadelphia. Journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal was arrested and charged with his murder. The following summer a predominantly white jury sentenced him to death. Twenty-eight years later, the debate is still raging over whether justice was served. The debate spilled onto the silver screen in Philadelphia Tuesday night, with two...
    Sep 22, 2010 | Story
  • Angela-davis-dn
    For over four decades, Angela Davis has been one of most influential activists and intellectuals in the United States. An icon of the 1970s black liberation movement, her work around issues of gender, race, class and prisons has influenced critical thought and social movements for years. She is a leading advocate for prison abolition, a position informed by her own experience as a fugitive on the FBI’s Top 10 most wanted list forty years...
    Oct 19, 2010 | Story
  • Four prisoners in the supermax Ohio State Penitentiary have launched a hunger strike to protest what they call their harsh mistreatment under solitary confinement. The prisoners — Bomani Shakur, Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Jason Robb and Namir Abdul Mateen — were sentenced to death for their involvement in the 1993 prison uprising in Lucasville, Ohio. For over 17 years, they’ve been held in 23-hour-a-day solitary lockdown....
    Jan 04, 2011 | Web Exclusive
  • Greenwald_wiki
    A British judge ruled today that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden to face questioning on allegations of sexual crimes. Assange plans to appeal within 10 days. His defense team had argued against the extradition, in part by citing the potential he could wind up being extradited to the United States and prosecuted for publishing classified government documents, a crime that could result in the death penalty. We speak...
    Feb 24, 2011 | Story
  • 030311_manning
    The U.S. Army has filed 22 additional charges against Army Private Bradley Manning, who is alleged to have illegally downloaded hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. military and State Department documents that were then publicly released by WikiLeaks. One of the new charges, "aiding the enemy," could carry a death sentence. We speak with Glenn Greenwald, constitutional law attorney and legal blogger for Salon.com. "Although...
    Mar 03, 2011 | Story
  • Play_davis
    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear the appeal of well-known Georgia death row prisoner Troy Anthony Davis, likely setting the stage for Georgia to schedule his execution. Davis was convicted in the 1989 killing of off-duty white police officer, Mark MacPhail. Since then, seven of the nine non-police witnesses who fingered Davis have recanted their testimony. No physical evidence ties Davis to the crime scene. With his legal...
    Mar 29, 2011 | Story
  • Texicution_play
    Tonight Texas plans to use a new drug for the execution of death row prisoner Cleve Foster. Like many states, it is experimenting with its lethal injection process due to a shortage of the sedative sodium thiopental. The new method was shrouded in secrecy until records revealed Texas prison officials chose a replacement execution drug, pentobarbital, without consulting a medical professional and relied on news articles to help them choose a...
    Apr 05, 2011 | Story
  • Drdeath
    Last Friday, Texas reprimanded a psychologist who used what critics say were unscientific methods to examine at least 25 Texas death row prisoners for intellectual disabilities, two of whom were later executed. Dr. George Denkowski was the go-to psychologist for prosecutors who wanted to prove defendants were not mentally handicapped — and therefore eligible for the death penalty. Democracy Now! first covered Dr. Denkowski in January...
    Apr 21, 2011 | Story
  • Mumiabutton
    The case of Pennsylvania death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal took a surprising turn Tuesday when the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously declared his death sentence unconstitutional. It is the second time the court has agreed with a lower court judge who set aside Abu-Jamal’s death sentence after finding jurors were given confusing instructions that encouraged them to choose death rather than a life sentence. Now Abu-Jamal, a...
    Apr 27, 2011 | Story
  • Mumia Abu-Jamal has been on death row for 29 years. Now, a court rules his sentencing unconstitutional. When will we learn?
    Apr 27, 2011 | Columns & Articles