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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  • Amys_column_default_640x360_2014
    Death brings cheers these days in America. In this week’s Republican presidential debate, when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked, hypothetically, if a man who chose to carry no medical insurance, then was stricken with a grave illness, should be left to die, cheers of “Yeah!” filled the hall. When, in the prior debate, Gov. Rick Perry was asked about his enthusiastic use of the death penalty in Texas, the crowd erupted into sustained applause....
    Sep 14, 2011 | Columns & Articles
  • Splash_image20110822-1659-y1qe2r-0
    A trio of men convicted of brutally murdering three young boys in Arkansas in 1993 were released from prison Friday. Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. — otherwise known as the West Memphis Three — entered a rare plea deal in which they maintained their innocence, but pleaded guilty to murder, with the state of Arkansas recognizing them as child-killers safe enough to be set free. The men were convicted of the killings...
    Aug 22, 2011 | Story
  • Texas_victim_shooter
    In Texas, a hate crime victim is attempting to save the life of a convicted murderer who shot him in the face at close range after 9/11. Rais Bhuiyan is suing Governor Rick Perry in order to stop the execution of death row prisoner Mark Stroman scheduled for Wednesday. Stroman shot Bhuiyan in 2001, partially blinding him in his right eye. Stroman, an Aryan Brotherhood member, also killed Vasudev Patel, an Indian immigrant who was Hindu, and...
    Jul 19, 2011 | Story
  • Humberto
    The Obama administration has urged Texas to delay tonight’s execution of a Mexican national, saying it would put the U.S. in breach of international obligations. Humberto Leal García is set to be executed for the 1994 kidnapping, rape and murder of Adria Sauceda, a 16-year-old girl. After his arrest, Leal was provided with court-appointed lawyers but never informed he could have access to Mexican consular officials, as is required under...
    Jul 07, 2011 | Story
  • Steve_earl
    Singer-songwriter, actor and author Steve Earle joins us for an extended interview on the popular uprisings in the Middle East, the connection he sees between his antiwar and anti-death penalty activism, and to perform a ballad he wrote from the perspective of the captured American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh, who is now serving a 20-year prison sentence. [includes rush transcript]
    May 13, 2011 | Web Exclusive
  • Amys_column_default_640x360_2014
    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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