Archive for

June, 2013



Happy Freedom Day to Kirk Bloodsworth!

Today Kirk Noble Bloodsworth is celebrating 20 years of freedom. He was released from prison in 1993, becoming the first person in the U.S. who had spent time on death row and was freed because of DNA evidence.

Kirk was sentenced to death in Baltimore County, Maryland in 1985 for the rape and murder of nine year old Dawn Hamilton based on circumstantial evidence and faulty eyewitness testimony. The following year the Maryland Court of Appeals overturned his conviction, finding that the prosecution had illegally withheld exculpatory evidence from the the defense. Kirk was tried and convicted again and was sentenced to life in prison.

In 1992, Kirk read about DNA fingerprinting, and was able to get prosecutors to agree to use it to test evidence that had been collected at the crime scene. The tests proved Kirk’s innocence and identified the real perpetrator, Kimberly Shay Ruffner, who was serving a sentence for another rape. In December 1994, Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer granted Kirk a full pardon and he received compensation. Both the DNA evidence that led to Kirk’s release and the compensation he received are rare. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, of the 142 death row exonerees in the U.S., DNA played a substantial factor in establishing innocence in only 18 cases.  The Innocence Project also reports that only 27 states compensate the wrongfully convicted, and the requirements, amount, and length of time it takes to receive compensation varies widely. 

Kirk now works as the Director of Advocacy for Witness to Innocence. He travels the country, sharing his story of wrongful conviction and advocates for repeal of the death penalty. He played a significant role in Maryland’s successful campaign to end the death penalty earlier this year. According to his biography on Witness to Innocence’s website, Kirk has also been an ardent supporter of the Innocence Protection Act (IPA) since its passage by Congress in February 2000. The IPA established the Kirk Bloodsworth Post-Conviction DNA Testing Program, a program that helps states defray the costs of post-conviction DNA testing.

You can watch videos of Kirk’s powerful story here and here.

(Photo of Kirk on The Colbert Report on March 4, 2013 wearing his DNA tie. Via colbertnewshub.com)

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Texas Poised to Execute 500th Prisoner

Kimberly McCarthy is set to be executed in Texas tomorrow, June 26th, marking the state’s 500th killing since the moratorium on capital punishment was lifted in 1976.

McCarthy recently filed an appeal for a stay of execution on the grounds of racial discrimination and inadequate counsel during her 1997 trial, two reoccurring issues with capital cases. Despite a 23 percent black population in Dallas County at the time of the trial, only four of the pool of 64 potential jurors were non-white, and only one of the jurors in her case was black. McCarthy’s appeal argues that black jurors were unfairly eliminated from her jury through prosecutors’ peremptory strikes and that her counsel failed to challenge the selection process. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied the appeal yesterday, citing that her claims should have been made earlier. This recent New York Times editorial details the long history of racial discrimination embedded in the death penalty system in Texas.

Despite a long history of racial concerns, Texas has executed more prisoners since 1976 than the next six states combined, accounting for more than one third of the nation’s total executions. Despite these grim statistics, executions and death sentences in Texas are declining, in line with the national trend.

(Photo via Marcia Powell)

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 health problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction 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.

New Video Highlights Racial Discrimination in Texas Death Penalty

The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. released a new video today highlighting the racial discrimination in the Texas death penalty system as evidenced by the case of Texas death row inmate Duane Buck.  Mr. Buck was sentenced to death in Harris County (Houston), Texas, in 1997 after the prosecutor elicited testimony from a  psychologist indicating that Mr. Buck was likely to be more dangerous in the future because he is black.

Three years after Mr. Buck’s trial, then Texas Attorney General and now U.S. Senator John Cornyn identified six cases, including Mr. Buck’s, in which the state relied on testimony linking race to future dangerousness to secure a death sentence. The Attorney General supported new sentencing hearings for all six defendants, and five of them received new hearings. However, the State of Texas has not granted Mr. Buck a new hearing and is now pursuing his execution.

The U.S. Supreme Court  intervened before Mr. Buck’s scheduled September 2011 execution with two Justices agreeing that “our criminal justice system should not tolerate” a death sentence “marred by racial overtones.”

Over 50,000 people have signed a petition asking that Texas officials grant Mr. Buck a new sentencing hearing.  Please sign this petition now.

Picture from North Dallas Gazette

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 dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as soul trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness 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.

North Carolina Legislature Repeals Racial Justice Act

Yesterday, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted to repeal the Racial Justice Act, a law that has been in effect since 2009 and allowed death row inmates to use state and county statistics to try to prove that racial bias played a significant role in their case in an attempt to be re-sentenced to life in prison.

Opponents of the Racial Justice Act have been trying to restrict the law since its inception. Last year the legislature limited the use of statistics that could be used to prove racial bias and put a stronger burden of proof on the defendant. Despite these rollbacks, some inmates were able to receive reduced sentences under the Act. A judge in Cumberland County cited a Michigan State study of North Carolina when he reduced the sentences of four convicted murderers on racial grounds. The study examined cases between 1990 and 2010 and found that prosecutors had removed black people from capital trial juries at more than twice the rate of others.

The Senate already passed the bill to repeal the Racial Justice Act but now has to approve some small changes that were added by the House. The bill will then head to the desk of Governor Pat McCrory, who has already said that he will sign it. North Carolina hasn’t carried out an execution since 2006 due to various legal appeals. They have 152 individuals on their death row and this repeal bill will likely cause executions to resume.

“It’s incredibly sad,” said Representative Rick Glazier, who strongly supported the Racial Justice Act. “If you can’t face up to your history and make sure it’s not repeated, it lends itself to being repeated.”

Photo: North Carolina Legislative Building

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 health problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile malfunction 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.

Conservatives Are Concerned About the Death Penalty

Those of you who attended our annual Justice Day back in April will remember Marc Hyden, who is a conservative outreach specialist for EJUSA and a coordinator for the newly formed national group, Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. Marc talked to Tennessee legislators that day, discussing the many concerns that growing numbers of conservatives have about our broken system.

Today the Chattanooga Times Free Press published an opinion editorial written by Marc that details his experience with us on Justice Day and highlights his concerns with capital punishment. “The time has come to re-examine capital punishment from a conservative perspective, in terms of the waste of tax dollars, the risk of executing innocent people and the system’s negative impact on victims’ families,” Marc writes. “Conservatives want to limit government’s power; we want to reduce the waste and excessive cost of government; we want to protect liberty. The death penalty has proven to be inconsistent with these values, and it’s time we all did something about it.”

We at TADP want to encourage anyone who is concerned about this issue to join us in this work. When our lawmakers understand that people from a variety of backgrounds, political persuasions, and perspectives all have concerns about how broken this system really is, then we will see change happen in Tennessee.

Photo: Marc Hyden speaking to TADP Justice Day participants April 3, 2013

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 malfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core 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 highly 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.

Repeal Stands in Maryland

In his opinion editorial that appeared in yesterday’s The Baltimore Sun, NAACP President Benjamin Jealous celebrated the end of the death penalty in Maryland and called for nation-wide repeal, advocating for a reallocation of funds to community-oriented policing and more resources for solving cold cases.

Last week, death penalty proponents who had hoped to overturn SB 276, the death penalty repeal bill that Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law last month, announced that they failed to gather the required amount of signatures to petition for a referendum on the issue to be on the ballot in the November 2014 election. “The people of Maryland have spoken,” said Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, in a press release on Friday. “Voters are standing behind the decision by their elected officials to abolish the state’s death penalty.”

Jealous wrote that his organization remains committed to working to abolish the death penalty elsewhere and pointed to strides that are being made in other states as public opinion on the issue continues to shift. “Our strategy is clear,” he said. “We will outlaw it in a majority of states, and then we will go to the United States Supreme Court and make the argument that the punishment is not only cruel by its very nature but also unusual because most states have passed laws against it.”

Photo: NAACP President Ben Jealous and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (naacpphotos via Compfight)

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 heart trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction 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 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.