“Recommended this week” features highlights from the past week in news about the death penalty, crime survivors, and trauma-informed responses to crime.
Three States to Watch if You Care About the Death Penalty, The Marshall Project
Voters in Oklahoma, Nebraska, and California will face death penalty questions at the polls. The Marshall Project looks at what’s on the ballot in each of the states and what is at stake.
Baltimore Is Attacking the Roots of Violence with Public Health Measures—and Saving Lives, Scientific America
Violence is contagious and can spread from person to person, just like a disease. The Baltimore City Health Department is bringing down violence in some of Baltimore’s highest violence neighborhoods using a public health approach.
Florida’s death penalty has remained in the national spotlight as of late. In January, the Sunshine State’s capital sentencing scheme was ruled unconstitutional because it gave judges, rather than jurors, too much power in the death penalty sentencing process. As a result, Florida’s legislature passed a bill requiring at least a 10-2 jury vote in order to sentence someone to die, but this statute was quickly deemed unconstitutional by a Miami-Dade judge.
However, the courts didn’t settle the matter until recently when the decision was appealed to the state’s Supreme Court, which agreed that Florida’s sentencing statute was a constitutional violation. Until the legislature addresses this issue, Florida is effectively without a death penalty, which should be a welcome hiatus given the state’s poor record with capital punishment.
This morning, religious leaders from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties in Florida held a press conference to react to a report from Harvard’s Fair Punishment Project, branding the counties as “outliers” due to their overuse of the death penalty.
Press conference participants released a letter to the State Attorney’s Office signed by more than 75 local religious leaders demanding a halt to death penalty prosecutions in both counties. EJUSA’s Florida-based organizer, Christine Henderson (pictured at the podium), helped organize the sign-on letter and was on hand to speak about the national implications of the ‘outlier’ report.
Harvard’s Fair Punishment Project released the second installment of a report showing the dysfunction in the use of the death penalty in the only 16 counties that continue to use it with any regularity. “Too Broken to Fix: An In-depth Look at America’s Outlier Death Penalty Counties,” looks at the 16 “outlier counties” – of 3,143 counties nationwide – that imposed five or more death sentences between 2010 and 2015.
The report looks at that last 10 years of court opinions and records from these 16 “outlier counties” and analyzes all of the new death sentences handed down in these counties since 2010. Continue Reading →
In less than a month, Nebraska voters will go to the polls to decide whether to RETAIN the end of the death penalty in the state. In fact, some people are already voting with their early and absentee ballots.
It’s easy. You’ll get training, and a script will guide you through the whole thing.
It’s effective. Person-to-person conversations are the single best way to get people to take action. Your voice could make the difference to this campaign. So if you’ve got a phone and internet access, you can help end the death penalty in Nebraska.
Every state that ends the death penalty paves the way for the next. Use your voice. Literally. It will make a difference.
Latinos are disproportionately affected by the criminal justice and face a higher risk of wrongful conviction than their white counterparts. Increasingly, Latinos in the United States are skeptical of the death penalty, and community leaders and national organizations are calling for its end.
We are excited to publish a new resource with detailed information about Latinos and the death penalty. The resource is available in both English and Spanish and can be found on our learn pages. You can also download a formatted version (in Spanish too!) to hand out at your next death penalty discussion or while you’re tabiling.
Our friends at the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP) have an amazing event planned for Saturday, October 22, and we wanted to make sure you heard about it!
Join KCADP for their annual Abolition Conference at 1pm on 10/22 at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Olathe. You’ll hear Kansans speak about the social, economic, political, and psychological costs of the death penalty in “The Kansas Death Penalty: What a Waste!”
The four panelists each have personal experience with and a unique perspective to share on the death penalty:
Please pre-register either via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (785) 235-2237. The event is free and open to the public, so we hope you’ll go and bring a friend!
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