Repeal a high priority in Delaware black community

Repeal a high priority in Delaware black communityLike many people around the country, the people of Delaware – especially African Americans – have grown increasingly frustrated with the criminal justice system. Reflection, education, and dialogue have led to an urgency for action, and the state’s death penalty has come to the forefront as the highest priority.

“People in Delaware, especially within the black community, see the death penalty as the highest form of racial injustice,” says Donald Morton, Director of Complexities of Color (CoC). CoC is a coalition of service and advocacy organizations that have come together to improve the conditions of the African American community. Morton and CoC have worked with EJUSA and a number of other organizations to coordinate Town Hall meetings about race and the criminal justice system in each of Delaware’s three counties. Out of the Town Halls has come a commitment to see an end to Delaware’s death penalty.

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Death penalty documentary garners Oscar buzz

Last Day of Freedom

Last Day of Freedom is a new, short documentary that follows the story of Bill Babbitt and his younger brother, Manny. It has already sparked conversations around the country, and now the it’s gaining momentum as a contender for an Academy Award.

The film centers on the moral challenges Bill faces when he learns Manny has committed a crime. Bill narrates, sharing Manny’s life journey from childhood to his hardships after returning from the Vietnam War. He navigates complex questions surrounding mental health access, veterans’ care, and criminal justice. We love the way the film uses animation to tell the powerful story.

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Supreme Court looks at exclusion of blacks from jury in Georgia death penalty case

Supreme Court BuildingIn its next look at the death penalty, the Supreme Court is faced with the case of Timothy Tyrone Foster, to be argued on November 2. Foster is a black man who was convicted and sentenced to death by an all-white jury for the murder of a white woman. The jury was composed entirely of white Georgia residents after the prosecution excused all four qualified black prospective jurors using its peremptory challenges (challenges for which no reason need be given). The question before the Court is whether those challenges were legal or not, based on precedent set by the 1986 caseBatson v. Kentucky,1 which prohibits peremptory challenges based on the race of potential jurors.

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