Archive for

April, 2012



Connecticut Repeals Death Penalty, California Prepares for Ballot Intiative

On Wednesday, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed legislation repealing the death penalty, making Connecticut the 17th state in the nation without a death penalty!

Connecticut is the fifth state in five years to put an end to the death penalty, after  Illinois, New Mexico, New Jersey, and New York along with many other states considering repeal (Montana, Colorado, Kansas, and Maryland). A recent New York Times editorial captured much of this action taking place across the country, declaring, “Connecticut is part of a growing movement against capital punishment.” Additionally, Connecticut’s success is due in large part to the voices of more than 180 family members of murder victims who do not believe that the death penalty serves their needs.

And in California, the nation-wide momentum towards abolition is growing stronger as state organizers recently got the necessary signatures to get death penalty repeal as an issue on the November ballot. Over 800,000 Californians signed in the effort to give voters the ability to abolish the death penalty, which if passed would commute the sentences of over 700 people on California’s death row, the largest death row in the country, from death to life without parole.

Each new state that repeals the death penalty opens the doors a little wider for states like ours still wrestling with this failed system. We applaud the efforts all around the country, and hope that these successes continue to build towards a future without the death penalty.

Photo Courtesty of Jessica Hill, File | AP Photo

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National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

April 22-28 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, a time to remember those impacted by crime and rededicate efforts to build a better system that ensures that all victims receive the services and support that they need and deserve.

Yesterday, The Tennessean featured a great opinion editorial written by Verna Wyatt, a victim advocate with You Have the Power. This piece provides information on victimization, what can be done to help stop the cycle of violence, and how to support crime victims. It also includes a link to events going on around Nashville this week that promote victims’ rights and honor crime victims and those who advocate for them.

We at TADP continue to be deeply grateful for the surviving family members of murder who have taught us so much over the years, both those families who are working to end the death penalty as well as those who do not agree with us on this issue. Both have been our teachers as we do this work, and we hope that we are becoming more aware and sensitive to the needs of these families. We are, of course, particularly grateful to the members of the TADP Sharing Our Stories (SOS) speakers bureau who are willing to tell the painful stories of the murder of a loved one in the hopes of creating a more effective criminal justice system that focuses more on the needs of victims and their families, and not on the death penalty.

To learn more about crime victims’ rights and the resources and services available to crime victims, please visit The National Center for Victims of Crime’s website.

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Victory: Landmark Ruling Under Racial Justice Act

This Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of the McCleskey v. Kemp 1987 Supreme Court decision that kept criminal justice laws and practices from being challenged on the basis of racial discrimination. Since then, we’ve witnessed increasing racial disparities at all levels of the criminal justice system, including who is sent to death row. Today, April 20, 2012, marks the day that the tide begins to turn to a new sense of fairness, and an acknowledgement that race matters, and that it has heavily influenced our system of justice.

This morning, Judge Gregory A. Weeks of Cumberland County Superior Court in North Carolina made the first decision under the state’s Racial Justice Act, ruling that racial bias was a significant factor in the prosecution’s use of peremptory strikes in Marcus Reymond Robinson’s trial 18 years ago. He ordered that Robinson’s death sentence be reduced to life in prison without parole.

North Carolina passed the Racial Justice Act in 2009, allowing inmates to present evidence, including statistical data, that shows that race influenced their death sentences. During Robinson’s hearing, defense attorneys cited findings from a Michigan State University study that reveled that prosecutors used peremptory challenges to remove black individuals from juries more than twice the rate that they used such challenges to exclude white jurors. This week a new study also came out from Duke University demonstrating the greater likelihood of all-white juries to convict defendants of color.

The state said they will appeal today’s decision. Many more cases are expected to be heard under the Racial Justice Act. We applaud Judge Weeks for this ruling that acknowledges the continuing role race plays in our justice system in determining who lives and who dies. Congratulations to everyone in North Carolina who has worked so hard over the years to make today’s victory a reality! Here’s to many more favorable rulings!

(Photo: Shirley Burns hugs her friend Margaret Tinsley after Judge Greg Weeks overturned her son’s death sentence, ruling that racial bias played a role in his trial and sentencing. By: Shawn Rocco)

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Unusual Advocates: A Change of Heart

A recent New York Times article featured Donald Heller, a former prosecutor who authored California’s death penalty law, and Ron Briggs, a Republican who led the campaign to reinstate the law in 1978.  Thirty-four years later, both men are helping to lead the fight for repeal of the death penalty in California, replacing it with life without parole. The money saved would be used to solve cold cases.

Heller and Briggs had a change of heart for moral reasons but also because they realized that capital punishment has been “a colossal failure.” In addition to concerns that it does not provide swift justice, causing victims’ families even more pain, they are also very troubled by the enormous financial burden that their law created. Although California has not carried out an execution in six years, it has  720 inmates on death row and continues to spend $184 million a year to maintain its death penalty system. They are hopeful that although polls show that public support for the death penalty remains high, that the cost argument will resonate with people from across the political spectrum.

Other big names supporting the November ballot initiative to repeal the death penalty include Jeanne Woodford, who served as the warden at San Quentin State Prison and oversaw four executions during her tenure, and Gil Garcetti, a former Los Angeles district attorney.

(Photo: Donald Heller, author of California’s death penalty law, speaking out against the death penalty. Courtesy of davisvanguard.org)

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile malfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be very much dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile disfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Hung Jury Means a Third Trial for Timothy McKinney

Yesterday, a criminal court judge declared a mistrial in the capital murder case against Timothy McKinney after jurors said they could not reach a unanimous decision. Their final vote was 11-1 for guilty of first degree murder in the 1997 death of Don Williams, an off-duty Memphis police officer.

McKinney spent 13 years on death row but was awarded a new trial in 2010 by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals after reviewing the troubling facts of his case, including inadequate defense. During this retrial, which started last Monday and lasted eight days, McKinney’s defense attorneys called witnesses to the stand who insisted that the shooter who killed Williams was someone else.

McKinney remains in jail without bond. Both the defense and the state prosecutor are anxious for a new trial date. The lawyers will meet with Criminal Court Judge Lee Coffee next Tuesday to set the date for the third trial.

(Photo: Defense attorney Gerald Skahan (left) talks to Timothy McKinney after Judge Lee Coffee declared a mistrial in the retrial of McKinney on Monday. By: Alan Spearman)

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual claim among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as soul trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying heartiness conditions that can be much dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Victims’ Families Voices Heard in Connecticut

A recent Associated Press article highlighted the important role that murder victims’ family members played in last week’s passage of the death penalty repeal bill in Connecticut. Nearly 180 relatives of crime victims urged their legislators to repeal the death penalty by sharing their stories in private meetings with them, organizing petition drives, and speaking out at news conferences.

Although it is unusual to have such a large number of murder victims’ families involved in a repeal campaign, victims have been and continue to be an important part of abolition efforts throughout the country.  Speaking from their own experiences, these families find that seeking the death penalty is a long, painful, and uncertain process that only prolongs their suffering. It also diverts millions of dollars that could be better spent on needed support services for victims’ families, as well as on resources to help solve murder cases.

As other states move closer to repeal, we are hopeful that lawmakers will not only consider the extreme costs, risk of innocence, and unfairness of the death penalty, but will also listen carefully to those most affected by murder and weigh the variety of concerns articulated by these families.

(Photo: Victoria Coward, Taila Levine and Winston Levine, the mother, sister and father respectively of New Haven homicide victim Tyler Coward (pictured as baby) attended a press conference to show their opposition to the death penalty. Brad Horrigan/New Haven Register) .

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as soul trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying heartiness conditions that can be very dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Connecticut Passes Death Penalty Repeal Bill

Late last night, the Connecticut House of Representatives passed the repeal bill 86-62, receiving bi-partisan support after nearly 10 hours of debate. The legislation passed the state Senate last week and now heads to Governor Daniel Malloy, who has said he will sign the bill into law, making Connecticut the 17th state to abolish the death penalty, and the fifth in the last five years.

Congratulations to all of those who have worked so hard for years to make this happen!

(Photo: Majority Leader Brendan Sharkey gives a last speech before the state House of Representatives voted to repeal the death penalty. Credit: John Woike via the Hartford Courant)

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying heartiness conditions that can be very much dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile malfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Timothy McKinney’s New Trial

This week, a man who was facing the death penalty is being given a second chance in court. In 1999, Timothy McKinney was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death for the 1997 killing of Donald Williams, an off-duty Memphis police officer, who was working as a security guard at Crumpy’s Comedy Club in Memphis on Christmas night. Earlier that evening, McKinney had an altercation with Williams and police quickly identified him as the suspect after Williams was shot later that night in the back of the neck. McKinney has always maintained his innocence.

In 2010, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals granted McKinney a new trial after reviewing the troubling facts of his case. They ruled that McKinney’s representation at trial created “cumulative prejudice of such magnitude” that his right to a fair proceeding was prejudiced. The court stated, “there is reasonable probability that, absent their deficiencies, the outcome of both the guilt phase and the sentencing phase of the trial would have been different. The nature and extent of counsel’s deficiencies rendered the entire proceeding fundamentally unfair.”

McKinney’s new trial began this Monday in Shelby County. TADP is hopeful the grave doubts in this case will finally be addressed.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual claim among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be highly dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Connecticut Close to Repeal

After 11 hours of impassioned debate, the Connecticut Senate voted 20-16 to repeal the state’s death penalty early Thursday morning. The bill will now go before the House of Representatives, which is expected to pass it, and then to the desk of Governor Dannel Malloy, who has promised to sign it into law.

This has been a long battle for abolitionists in Connecticut. In 2009, state lawmakers in both houses tried to pass a similar bill, but were ultimately blocked by then Governor Jodi Rell. The legislation was halted again last year when two Democratic legislators changed their minds after speaking with Dr. William Petit, an outspoken death penalty supporter and the only survivor of a 2007 triple murder that took the lives of his wife and two daughters. The two defendants in that case have since been sentenced to death row, and senators who were influenced by the case were able to now support repeal. The bill would abolish the death penalty for all future cases and does not directly affect sentences of current death row inmates. There are currently 11 inmates on death row in Connecticut, and there has only been one execution in the state in 51 years.

TADP congratulates our colleagues in Connecticut who have worked so hard to make repeal a reality. If the legislation moves forward as expected, Connecticut would become the fifth state in five years to abandon this costly, unfair, and broken system.

(Image: The Connecticut State Capitol building in Hartford. Source: Yale Daily News / Wikipedia)

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile malfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile malfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be much dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Making Headway Toward Repeal

Twenty people from across Tennessee gathered at the state capitol yesterday for TADP’s annual Justice Day on the Hill. We met with state lawmakers to educate them about our broken death penalty system and why it must be repealed.

Among our number were murder victims’ family members who shared their stories and opposition to the death penalty, explaining that it is a painful, lengthy process that diverts resources away from critical services for victims as well as from solving cold cases. Paul House, one of Tennessee’s three exonerees, and his mother, Joyce House, also made visits, sharing Paul’s story of being locked up on death row for nearly 23 years before evidence of his wrongful conviction emerged.

Members of both parties engaged in thoughtful conversations with TADP supporters and seemed more open than ever to discussing the issue and listening to the concerns. Tennesseans are growing increasingly concerned about this issue and its impact on our state, and lawmakers are aware of this changing reality.

Thank you to all of those who participated in our lobby day. With your continued effort, support, education and persistence, Tennessee will one day end the death penalty as we hope Connecticut is ready to do, even as I am writing this blog.

After  years of organizing and educating, Connecticut’s Senate is scheduled to vote on repeal today. If the bill passes the Senate, it will then go before the House for a vote and then to Governor Malloy, who has already committed to signing it. This would make Connecticut the 5th state to abolish the death penalty in five years, following Illinois, New Mexico, New Jersey, and New York. Go Connecticut!!!

Photo credit: By Chris1050

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be very much dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile disfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.