Archive for

April, 2014



Botched Execution in Oklahoma: Expediency Trumps Due Process

Last night, while most of us sat down for dinner or settled in for the evening, the state of Oklahoma seemed to be concluding its most recent battle over the death penalty with the first of two scheduled executions for the night.

At 6:23 PM (CST) Clayton Lockett lay strapped to a gurney to be executed by lethal injection for the murder of 19-year old Stephanie Nieman. At 7:06 PM, forty-three minutes later, Lockett was pronounced dead due to a heart attack, and Charles Warner, the second inmate to be executed, was granted a stay for fourteen days.

The botched execution highlights the national problem with lethal injection, drug secrecy, and the disastrous consequences of state governmental dysfunction.  Oklahoma lawmakers believed Lockett’s execution, right or wrong, would mark the end of the bitter battle between Oklahoma’s branches of government: a battle marked by infighting between the state supreme court and lower courts, a move to impeach the supreme court justices by state legislators, and ultimately, Governor Mary Fallin’s order to proceed with the execution despite the court’s ruling. Instead, Oklahoma opened the proverbial Pandora’s box of utterly predictable consequences.

Regardless of one’s feeling on the death penalty, Americans must decide if they approve of an inmate’s execution becoming a “human science experiment.” Here in Tennessee, with ten executions looming and lethal injection secrecy laws similar to Oklahoma’s, we are confronted by the same possibility of botched executions. The prospect of expensive challenges to the state’s secrecy law, coupled with the specter of experimental drug cocktails – all carried out under the guise of due process – is a recipe for legislative gridlock and governmental incompetence. The Tennessee state legislature’s recent passage of a bill bringing back the electric chair as a means of executing individuals if drugs cannot be procured only demonstrates the level of desperation states are feeling as this system continues to crumble.

Andrew Cohen claims in his brilliant article for the Atlantic:

In killing Clayton Lockett this way, state officials thus elevated a convicted murderer to a status he surely did not deserve in life or would have ever obtained had his execution been preceded by acceptable levels of due process….  Oklahoma turned him into a symbol.

A symbol of what? Many things. What happened last night was the inevitable result of a breakdown in government in Oklahoma, where frustration at the continuing delay in the resolution of Lockett’s case blinded state officials to the basic requirements of due process.

The potential for many more Clayton Lockett’s exist, so long as states are not required to divulge the source and composition of their lethal injection drugs. This is a stark reality all Tennesseans should prepare themselves for as an October execution date rapidly approaches.

Photosource: http://kfor.com/2014/04/21/convicted-murderer-to-be-executed-tomorrow-with-drug-never-used-by-state/

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New Innocence Study Reveals Deep Problems on Death Row

“The great majority of innocent people who are sentenced to death are never identified and freed,” so says University of Michigan Law School professor Samuel Gross, lead author of a study to account for those defendants who are innocent, yet not exonerated.

Gross and others published the article under the title “Rate of false conviction of criminal defendants who are sentenced to death” and it was released to the public on Monday. According to their findings, an estimated 4 percent of inmates receiving a death sentence or executed have actually been innocent. They estimate that with enough time and resources to review the innocence claims of inmates another 200 prisoners would have been freed over the thirty year period they studied (1974-2004).

One of the most interesting claims of the study concerns those who are not sentenced to death: The authors surmise that there is likely an even higher rate of innocence for this population, simply put, because the stakes are lowered when death is not sought. The authors put the matter starkly for the vast majority of innocent defendants who are neither executed nor exonerated: “They are sentenced, or resentenced to prison for life, and then forgotten.”

This study raises disturbing questions for Tennessee:  With our state fully complying with only seven of the 93 American Bar Association guidelines for a fair and accurate system and with four wrongfully convicted men now free after spending years on death row, how many more innocent people remain on Tennessee’s death row? Are any of the ten men that the state has scheduled to execute actually innocent? With this new evidence of the scope of our system’s dysfunction, how can we resume executions?

Photosource: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2011/12/accused_shooter_of_madison_cou.html

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 core trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction 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 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.

The Cross and the Chair

As Christians prepare for Good Friday, Tennessee’s legislature is marking the occasion by making the electric chair the state’s method of execution if lethal injection is deemed unconstitutional or if the essential ingredients to carry out the lethal injection process are unavailable.

Needless to say the irony of the passage of the “Capital Punishment Enforcement Act” during the same week Jesus himself was executed by a Roman capital punishment enforcement act is profound. And the fact this action comes the same week that New Hampshire’s legislature is closer than ever to repeal only compounds the irony.

It would be easy for those of us in Tennessee who long for the death penalty’s demise to lose heart given this bill’s passage.  But we shouldn’t.

This tragic attempt to “fix” the system actually demonstrates exactly what we have been saying: citizens are growing more and more  frustrated with the state of the death penalty system and want to see change. However, this particular change is likely to only make things worse, creating an even longer and more expensive process with the inevitable litigation that will accompany this legislation.

In fact, such legislative “fixes” aren’t unprecedented in other states that have finally repealed the death penalty.

In 1995, Connecticut passed legislation that attempted to speed up the death penalty process and make the system more workable.  It did neither, and frustration continued until repeal was achieved in 2012.

In 2009, the Maryland legislature attempted to make sure the death penalty did not result in the execution of an innocent person. The result was a system that did not limit this risk but instead allowed death penalty prosecutions on cases that involved only certain types of evidence–cases that were not necessarily the worst of the worst. Murder victims’ families continued to be divided and drawn through an endless process, and according to law enforcement, the death penalty was not very workable. Maryland repealed its death penalty last year.

What this bill does is remind us that we must rededicate ourselves to educating Tennesseans about why such ill-advised legislation only makes things worse.  There is simply no fixing the death penalty, and the sooner our lawmakers figure that out, the better off our state will be.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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 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 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 to send four back to Death Row?

Why should we care whether or not unquestionably guilty men were tried and convicted under the specter of racial injustice?

Simply put, because in the state of North Carolina and around the country, such injustice means the difference between life and death.

This week the North Carolina Supreme Court heard arguments concerning the fate of four death row inmates whose sentences had been reduced following the passage of the state’s Racial Justice Act in 2009. Before its repeal in 2013, the law allowed defendants to challenge their conviction on the grounds that racial bias had affected their prosecution and sentencing. Jurors may be struck for any number of factors; however, a Michigan State study found race to be “substantial factor” in striking potential jurors in 173 death penalty cases in North Carolina.

According to Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), when these inmate challenges were heard in 2012 it was revealed by the defendants’ attorneys that some Cumberland County (the site for eleven death penalty trials) prosecutors

“…took racially charged notes during the jury selection process (noting, for example, that one juror was a “black wino”). Cumberland prosecutors also participated in a training seminar, sponsored by the N.C. Conference of District Attorneys, where prosecutors from across North Carolina were taught ways to get around the law barring them from striking jurors based on race.”

With the repeal of the Racial Justice Act, the state of North Carolina is now seeking to reinstate the previous death sentences for Marcus Robinson, Tilmon Golphin, Quintel Augustine, and Christina Walters. If this legal maneuver succeeds, then does this not esentially codify racial discrimination in jury selection?

And such discrimination is not limited to North Carolina. In 2011, Equal Justice Initiative released a report on racial discrimination in jury selection.  The report looked at the jury selection processes in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and found shocking evidence of such racial discrimination in every one of these states.

Regardless of one’s opinion about the death penalty, if it is to be fairly applied, there can be no bias concerning who gets the death penalty or who decides who gets the death penalty.  Sadly, this is another area where the system falls short. It is time for the courts not only to acknowledge the discrimination involved in the current system but to address it.  Letting these new sentences stand in North Carolina seems like a place to start.

Photosource: http://www.wral.com/news/state/story/10663807/

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 dysfunction. 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 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 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.

Historic repeal vote coming in New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s Senate Judiciary Committee passed a recommendation by a 3-2 vote to repeal the death penalty. The NH House voted last month by a count of 225-104 in favor of repeal. All eyes now turn to the state senate’s 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats who vote next Thursday (April 17) on the measure. Governor Maggie Hassan has already said that if the measure passes she would sign it into law, making New Hampshire the nineteenth state to abolish the death penalty.

Photosource: http://www.livefreeordiealliance.org/Issues/PrincipalIssues/DeathPenalty/tabid/135/Default.aspx

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 disfunction 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 so 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.

Maryland Passes Legislation to Aid Murder Victims’ Families

With the help of murder victims’ families, Maryland repealed the death penalty last year, becoming the 18th state that does not have a death penalty statute.  In light of the savings made possible by repealing the death penalty,  repeal advocates worked with victims’ advocates, whose opinions about repeal differed, to urge Maryland to do more for murder victims’ families. Unanimous votes on the companion legislation in both chambers revealed the common ground between pro- and anti-repeal lawmakers that these victims’ families need more support.  On April 5, with the passage of the 2015 fiscal year budget, Maryland  dedicated a half million dollars for support and services to these family members. Maryland is the second state in the country after Illinois to reallocate savings from death penalty repeal to improve services for victims’ families.

This budgetary flexibility has emerged directly from the state’s savings from the death penalty.  Shari Silberstein, Executive Director of Equal Justice USA, stated, “Without the death penalty to distract and divide us, it was easy to find common ground. Lawmakers and advocates all agree that victims matter.” Murder victims families were critical in the work to repeal Maryland’s death penalty and  their efforts have now .

Bonnita Spikes, whose husband Michael Spikes was murdered in 1994, was one of the leading advocates calling for death penalty repeal and funding for victims’ services as a member of the broad coalition.

Please thank the Governor and key lawmakers who made passage of this legislation possible.

Photo source here.

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

National Crime Victims Rights Week

Next week, April 6-12, is a a week set aside to remember all victims of crime, to acknowledge the progress that has been made in supporting these individuals and their families, and to advocate for policies that recognize the violation victims experience while working to create even more opportunities for healing.

TADP gives thanks for the work of victims’ advocates throughout Tennessee and the country who tirelessly advocate for those whose voices are too often lost in the legal process and whose needs too often go unmet.

An event to remember crime victims will occur on Sunday at Nashville’s Centennial Park at the pavilion near the train from 2:00-4:00 p.m. There will be a resource fair as well as kids’ activities.  Join others around Nashville to  show your support of victims of crime on Sunday.

Picture found here.

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 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 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 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.