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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  • Duane_buck
    Although Duane Buck’s guilt is not in question for the 1995 murder of his former girlfriend Debra Gardner and her friend Kenneth Butler, critics say jurors in his case were led to choose a death sentence over life without parole based on testimony of a state psychologist who argued that African-American criminals are more likely to pose a future danger to the public. We’re joined by two guests: Linda Geffin, the second-chair prosecutor...
    Apr 01, 2013 | Story
  • Jeanne_woodford
    The former warden of San Quentin State Prison, Jeanne Woodford, joins us to discuss why she has come out in favor of Proposition 34, a ballot initiative to abolish the death penalty in California. Home to nearly a quarter of the nation’s death row population and in a state coping with budget crisis, independent analysts estimate that getting rid of the death penalty could save California taxpayers $130 million annually. The latest polls...
    Oct 25, 2012 | Story
  • 20111202_ss_martinacorreia
    We speak with three people who joined us for our special live broadcast on the night Troy Davis was executed in Jackson, Georgia, including his sister, Kimberly Davis. "This is a tough time both for me and my family, but as my brother said, he always wanted us to continue the fight and to keep the faith, and that’s what we’ve been doing," Kimberly Davis says. As Texas executed its eighth prisoner of the year Thursday, Californians...
    Sep 21, 2012 | Story
  • Davis
    One year ago today, the state of Georgia executed Troy Anthony Davis for a crime many believe he did not commit. He was put to death on Sept. 21, 2011, despite major doubts about evidence used to convict him of killing police officer Mark MacPhail, including the recantation of seven of the nine non-police witnesses. As the world watched to see whether Davis’s final appeal for a stay of execution would be granted by the U.S. Supreme Court,...
    Sep 21, 2012 | Story
  • Terry_williams-death_row
    Advocates for child victims of sexual abuse are calling on Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett to grant clemency to Terrance "Terry" Williams, who is scheduled to be executed on October 3. In 1986, Williams was convicted of killing Amos Norwood. What the jury in that case did not know is that Norwood had sexually abused Williams and had allegedly violently raped him the night before. Furthermore, Williams had suffered years of physical and...
    Sep 14, 2012 | Story
  • Marvin-wilson-5
    Last night, Texas executed 54-year-old Marvin Wilson, despite evidence that he was mentally disabled and reportedly sucked his thumb into adulthood. Wilson’s lawyers had argued that an IQ test on which Wilson scored 61 — nine points below the standard for competency — should have saved him from execution under a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling barring execution of the intellectually disabled. Wilson is the second prisoner in Texas...
    Aug 08, 2012 | Story
  • Marvin_wilson_-_death_penalty-_texas
    Texas is preparing to kill death row prisoner Marvin Wilson tonight despite a 2002 Supreme Court ruling against the execution of the mentally retarded. Wilson was convicted of murdering Jerry Williams during a 1992 fight. His IQ is just 61, far below the cutoff of 70 that proves he is mentally impaired and therefore ineligible for the death penalty. But Texas argues the IQ test was improperly administered, and federal appeals courts have declined...
    Aug 07, 2012 | Story
  • Bud_welch_ok_city
    James Holmes, the suspected shooter behind Friday’s massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, is scheduled to appear in court for the first time today. He may face the death penalty. We’re joined by Bud Welch, who lost his 23-year-old daughter Julie in the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building on April 19, 1995, which killed 168 people. After initially supporting capital punishment for his daughter’s killing, Welch...
    Jul 23, 2012 | Story
  • Graves_hearing
    In the first-ever hearing of its kind, a Senate panel heard testimony this week on the psychological and human rights implications of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. While defenders of solitary confinement claim it is needed to control the most violent prisoners, many of the people called to testify at the hearing described how it can cause intense suffering and mental illness. We’re joined by Anthony Graves, a former Texas prisoner...
    Jun 22, 2012 | Story
  • Benjealous
    Lawmakers in Connecticut have given final approval to a measure that would repeal the state’s death penalty for future convictions. The bill now goes to Gov. Dannel Malloy, who’s pledged to sign it into law. Connecticut would become the fifth state in five years to abolish the death penalty and the 17th state overall, moving activists closer to the 26 states needed to bring a challenge to the Supreme Court. "This is our first...
    Apr 12, 2012 | Story