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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  • 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. [includes...
    Jan 04, 2011 | Web Exclusive
  • 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
  • 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
  • Troydavis4
    A federal judge in Georgia has rejected death row prisoner Troy Anthony Davis’s claims of innocence. Last year the Supreme Court took the unusual step of ordering a district court in Georgia to hold a special evidentiary hearing to consider evidence that surfaced after Davis’s conviction and might establish his innocence. Davis was convicted for the 1989 killing of an off-duty white police officer, Mark MacPhail. Since then, seven...
    Aug 25, 2010 | Story
  • Convicted-nw
    Prosecutors in Chicago are targeting a group of Northwestern University journalism students who have helped exonerate eleven wrongfully convicted prisoners, including five on death row. Cook County prosecutors have subpoenaed Northwestern and the Medill Innocence Project to hand over student grades, grading criteria, class syllabi, expense reports and email messages. Prosecutors are focusing on the students who conducted a three-year investigation...
    Jan 12, 2010 | Story
  • Mentally-ill-deathrow
    A 2002 Supreme Court ruling allowed states to set their own definitions of mental retardation to decide who meets the criteria for execution. Instead of adopting the Supreme Court’s accepted clinical standards for mental retardation, Texas has granted heavy leeway to psychologist evaluations. Now one psychologist, George Denkowski, is facing scrutiny over methods that critics say unfairly send mentally retarded prisoners to death row. For...
    Jan 12, 2010 | Story
  • Kunstler-web
    A new documentary looks at a man once described as the most hated and most loved lawyer in America: the late William Kunstler. We play excerpts of William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe and speak to the film’s co-directors, Kunstler’s daughters Emily and Sarah Kunstler. [includes rush transcript]
    Nov 12, 2009 | Story
  • Blanton1-web
    A controversial death row case is unfolding in Texas today. Twenty-eight-year-old Reginald Blanton is set to be executed tonight for the 2000 killing of Carlos Garza. Blanton was convicted of breaking into Garza’s apartment and shooting him in the head. But Blanton has maintained his innocence, and his lawyers have said the case has been tainted by prosecutors’ attempt to exclude African Americans from the jury and by the initial mistakes...
    Oct 27, 2009 | Story
  • Timeline_9-8-2009_ben_jealous
    We speak with Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP about Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent announcement that efforts are being made to reshape the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the case of Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP and more. [includes rush transcript]
    Sep 08, 2009 | Story
  • Sitting on death row in Georgia, Troy Davis has won a key victory against his own execution. On Aug. 17, the U.S. Supreme Court instructed a federal court in Georgia to consider, for the first time in a formal court proceeding, significant evidence of Davis’ innocence that surfaced after his conviction.

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    Aug 19, 2009 | Columns & Articles