The Value Life

I am a Catholic and a conservative. As such, I believe in the dignity and  equality of every human life; a belief that the founders of our nation also claimed when they wrote that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Though it has taken us years as a nation to live up to these ideals, and we are not there yet, our founders believed that such rights are rights to which our nation should aspire.

Pope John Paul II wrote in Solictude Rei Socialis, “At stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator.”

Pope Francis then expanded on his predecessor’s thoughts  saying, “There is neither real promotion of the common good nor real human development when there is ignorance of the fundamental pillars that govern a nation, its non-material goods: life, which is a gift of God, a value always to be protected and promoted; the family, the foundation of coexistence and a remedy against social fragmentation; integral education, which cannot be reduced to the mere transmission of information for purposes of generating profit; health, which must seek the integral well-being of the person, including the spiritual dimension, essential for human balance and healthy coexistence; security, in the conviction that violence can be overcome only by changing human hearts.”

The death penalty simply does not fit within the framework of human dignity and equality, both deeply held convictions of my faith and of our nation. The death penalty destroys life, harms surviving murder victims’ families by dragging them through the court system for decades with little hope of legal finality while traumatizing the families of the executed who broke no law themselves, never mind that it risks executing innocent people which can never, under any circumstances, be called justice. It wastes millions of dollars that could be used in the prevention of crime, compensation for victims’ families, and support of law enforcement, which would make our communities stronger and safer.

The right to life is not exclusive. It should not be determined based on where a person lives, a person’s skin color, or having money in the bank. Human dignity is something God gives each of us, whether we are deserving or not. With alternatives to the death penalty, we can keep our communities safe, support victims’ families, and save dollars that can be used for other needs in our state without taking a life. As a pro-life Christian, I am committed to a culture of life in our nation, and this includes the end of the death penalty.

 

Emily N. Haas, TADP Intern

# 157: Another Death Row Inmate Exonerated

On January 19, 2017, Isaiah McCoy, a former Delaware death row inmate, was exonerated when a judge acquitted him at a retrial. Mr. McCoy became the 157th person exonerated from death row in the U.S. in the modern era of the death penalty and the first in 2017.

Mr. McCoy was convicted and sentenced to death in 2012, but the Delaware Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 2015 as a result of prosecutorial misconduct and ordered a new trial. The Court suspended Deputy Attorney General R. David Favata from practice because of his misconduct at Mr. McCoy’s trial. Favata not only belittled Mr. McCoy for representing himself, but he also made intimidating comments to Mr. McCoy during a break in proceedings. Then, Favata lied to the judge about making the comments.

Because Mr. McCoy waived his right to a jury for his retrial, Kent County Superior Court Judge Robert B. Young made the decision to acquit based on the lack of physical evidence and that the two alleged accomplices had given contradictory testimony, including one accomplice who received a reduced sentence for his testimony against Mr. McCoy.

Upon his release, Mr. McCoy said, “I just want to say to all those out there going through the same thing I’m going through ‘keep faith, keep fighting. Two years ago, I was on death row. At 25, I was given a death sentence – and I am today alive and well and kicking and a free man.”

On February 1, 2017, Rhodes College and TADP will present a panel called A Broken System: Perspectives on the Death Penalty in Tennessee, featuring speakers including Sabrina Butler Porter. Mrs. Porter is one of only two women in the U.S. to be exonerated from death row.

In 1990, Sabrina Butler Porter, a 17 year-old mother from Mississippi, was convicted of murdering her nine-month-old son, Walter. She was later exonerated of all wrongdoing and is one of only two women in the United States exonerated from death row.

On April 12, 1989, Mrs. Porter rushed Walter, who had already been diagnosed with a heart murmur, to the hospital after he suddenly stopped breathing. Doctors attempted to resuscitate the baby, but failed. The day after her son’s death, Mrs. Porter was arrested for child abuse because of the bruises left by her resuscitation attempts. She was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death.

Her conviction was overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court in 1992 (Butler v. State, 608 So.2d 314 (Miss. 1992)). The court said that the prosecution had failed to prove that the incident was anything more than an accident. At re-trial, she was acquitted on Dec. 17, 1995 after a very brief jury deliberation. It is now believed that the baby may have died either of cystic kidney disease or from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Mrs. Porter was spent more than five years in prison and 33 months on death row.

Sabrina Butler Porter now joins other exonerees in the Tennessee area, including Ray Krone, Paul House, Michael McCormick, Gussie Vann and Perry Cobb. Ndume Olatushani was released from death row in Tennessee in 2012 after spending 28 years in prison and 20 of those on death row. He took an Alford plea, allowing him to maintain his innocence while taking a plea for an immediate release.

The list of those sentenced to death for crimes that they did not commit continues to grow, and it is imperative that Tennesseans hear their stories. I hope you can join us in Memphis on Feb. 1 to hear Mrs. Porter’s story and to become educated on just how broken Tennessee’s death penalty system is.

Picture from http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/crime/2017/01/09/dover-murder-retrial-begins-former-death-row-inmate/96199288/

 

TADP Wishes You Joy and Peace This Season as the Death Penalty Continues to Decline

As 2016 comes to a close, TADP is deeply grateful for your support and for another year marked by historic lows for the nation’s death penalty. Death sentences, executions, and public support for capital punishment continue to fall.

According to a report released Dec. 21 by the Death Penalty Information Center, 2016 saw the fewest new death sentences imposed in the modern era of U.S. capital punishment, dating back to the Supreme Court’s 1972 decision declaring existing death penalty statutes unconstitutional. New death sentences fell 39% from last year’s already 40-year low, and executions reached their lowest level in 25 years. Tennessee reflected the national trend with only one new death sentence and no executions. And, for the first time in four decades, opinion polls showed that fewer than half of Americans supported capital punishment.

The new year will bring opportunites and challenges to be sure, but with your continued support, TADP is prepared to make significant gains as we moved toward our goal together. Thank you.

Read DPIC’s report.

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 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 dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile malfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness 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.

Goodbye from The Brit

I am sad to say that these are my final few days at TADP. It doesn’t seem like a whole three months have passed since I wrote my first blog post, but this week I will sadly be returning home to London. This has been a truly enriching and unforgettable experience for me. I generally have a somewhat pessimistic view of the world, often believing that there is more bad than good out there, however, during my time here I have met some of the most wonderful, kind, giving and compassionate people who work on this issue with such passion and conviction.

There are some specific lessons I will take away with me. The first is that, contrary to my prior understanding, the death penalty is a non-partisan issue. Although support for it remains a bit higher on the political right, this fact belies the change in conversation that is happening in conservative circles. I have come to truly admire the work of Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty and have learned so much from its national and Tennessee coordinators. My mind has been opened to the idea that it is in fact because of, not despite, conservative values that many on the right no longer support the death penalty. The trend in public opinion away from the death penalty reflects this transition, and it has been encouraging to witness.

Secondly, my experience in Tennessee has strengthened my own opposition to the death penalty. Before I came here, I didn’t think this would have been possible, but experiencing firsthand a society where the practice is legal and meeting those involved from so many different perspectives has proven me wrong. If anything, I am more determined and committed than ever to this fight

Finally, I have been truly humbled by seeing the work that TADP and other criminal justice reform organizations in Tennessee do day in, day out to ensure justice for all. I have met people who work tirelessly on issues such as restorative justice, re-entry after prison, reforming money bail, reducing juvenile and general mass incarceration, abolishing the use of solitary confinement, as well as individuals and groups advocating on behalf of victims of violent crime and their families. The dedication and commitment to improving their community and society has challenged me to make the most of every day, to learn and to grow, to develop a better understanding of how these systems work (or don’t work), and how we can come together to improve them. I might be from a country far, far away, but I believe that with knowledge comes responsibility, and I will continue striving for change from the UK and, hopefully someday soon, make my way back here to the States.

I would like to extend my thanks to all the people I have met here who have touched my life for the better, to the staff and board members of TADP, who welcomed me with open arms and have shown me such kindness during my time here, and to everyone who has supported my passion. I will miss Tennessee very much, and I hope to be back soon.

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 soundness 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 soundness 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.

Texas’ Unique Take on Intellectual Disability

In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Atkins decision that it is unconstitutional to execute those with intellectual disability. The Court concluded that such individuals are less culpable for their actions because of their limited ability to understand and process information. As the death penalty is supposedly reserved for the ‘worst of the worst’, executing those who are not able to fully understand the implications of their crime, the court ruled, is not effective. Immediately, Texas’ highest criminal court appealed the decision and ruled on its own set of criteria for what constitutes intellectual disability.

Despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court enforced guidelines requiring that states refer to a medical diagnosis for intellectual disability, Texas continues to defend its own, unique set of standards, which defy the medical communities’ reasoning. In fact, Texas prohibits the use of any medical definition of intellectual disability in capital cases, despite relying on such a definition in other contexts, like placing a child in special education or as eligibility criteria for disability benefits. Instead, the court asks arbitrary and non-medical questions such as whether the individual’s family considers him/her to be intellectually limited, or whether ‘Texas citizens’ would agree with the label being applied. Astonishingly, the court has referred to John Steinbeck’s fictional Of Mice and Men character, Lennie, as a benchmark for a person with an intellectual disability.

This month the U.S. Supreme Court will review Texas’ unique approach to intellectual disability in capital cases. At the center of the case is Bobby Moore, a man considered intellectually disabled by all standards other than those of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, who was involved in a botched robbery in Houston in 1980 during which a store clerk was killed. His lawyers argue that as a teenager, Moore did not even understand the days of the week, how to tell the time, and has repeatedly scored within the ‘retardation’ range in IQ tests. The prosecution states that, because Moore was able to ‘adapt to circumstances’ that meant he survived living on the streets after his father kicked him out aged 14, he is deemed mentally efficient enough to be considered for the death penalty.

The U.S. Supreme Court will have to decide whether the standards used by Texas to define intellectual disability can stand. Years before the Atkins decision, in 1990, the Tennessee legislature voted to exclude those with an intellectual disability from the death penalty. Fair-minded Tennesseans determined, even before the U.S. Supreme Court, that the death penalty was not appropriate for individuals with intellectual disability.

Today in Tennessee, a coalition of mental health advocates and other organizations called the Tennessee Alliance for the Severe Mental Illness Exclusion (TASMIE) is advocating for this exclusion to be extended to those with severe mental illness. These individuals could still be found guilty and receive sentences like life without the possibility of parole, but a death sentence would be off the table, saving taxpayers millions in capital litigation costs that could provide more resources for law enforcement and more access to treatment for those with mental illness.

TASMIE is educating Tennesseans about these concerns and organizing citizens to advocate for this change in 2017. If you would like to get engaged in supporting the work of TASMIE, please visit TASMIE.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 disfunction. 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 malfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction 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.

Post-Election: Death Penalty Update

On Tuesday, Americans cast their votes for U.S. President. On the same day, citizens in Nebraska, California, and Oklahoma voted on ballot initiatives regarding the death penalty. Though our allies in these states worked tirelessly to educate voters about the death penalty’s dysfunction, the referendums did not go in favor of repeal. However, despite the fact that the outcomes are disappointing, the definitive trend away from the death penalty continues. Support for the death penalty used to be as high as 80%, and it is now reaching historic 40 year lows, despite a few losses at the polls.

Other electoral results support the trend away from the death penalty as well. District Attorneys who frequently pursued the death penalty lost elections in Florida and Texas. Governors who imposed moratoriums on the use of the death penalty were re-elected. Judges in Kansas who were attacked for their death penalty decisions were retained, and Democrats in the New Mexico Senate retained control after they refused to bring the death penalty back.

This year will be defined by historic lows with regards to new death sentences and executions, and the use of the death penalty is increasingly isolated to just a handful of counties. These election results are just blips on an otherwise clear trajectory away from capital punishment.

Unfortunately, the ballot initiatives were dominated by voter confusion and misinformation. When citizens are given accurate information about this broken system, they often move away from their support of the death penalty. Despite the results, all indications are that the death penalty will continue towards its inevitable extinction as more and more citizens get the facts.

TADP will continue to educate, mobilize, and activate Tennesseans to make repeal a reality in our state. Building common ground with conservatives, law enforcement, correctional officers, murder victims’ families, as well as partnering with our historic allies, we will continue to make the case that the death penalty is a failure, does not make us safer, and wastes resources that we could be using to support murder victims’ families and to prevent violent crime.

As 2016 draws to a close, we hope you will recommit to join us. We are standing on the edge of history as the failure of the death penalty system continues to become more evident. With your help, we can make repeal a reality. Consider supporting TADP today.

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 soundness problem such as heart 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 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.

Sharing Our Stories Spotlight: Clemmie Greenlee

TADP would like to shine a spotlight on some of people who have profoundly impacted the work for death penalty repeal through the sharing of their stories with countless Tennesseans. This week we are focusing on Clemmie Greenlee.

Clemmie is the founder and CEO of the non-profit Nashville Peacemakers, an organization which aims to transform the lives of those living in communities plagued by poverty, violence and crime. Nashville Peacemakers approach change through open dialogue, education, mentoring, communication and well-being.

Clemmie did not have an easy life growing up. She was trafficked into sex work at a very early age, giving birth to her only child at 13. A life of drugs, crime, gangs and violence meant that she did not have the chance to develop a strong relationship with her son. However, as a middle aged woman she was rescued from the streets by the Magdalene program, which helped her turn her life around. She began to re-learn how to trust and love again, and she managed to reconnect with her son, Rodriguez. Devastatingly, not long after the two had rekindled their relationship, he was killed in a gang-related shooting.

Despite this tragedy, Clemmie has never desired for her son’s killer to be executed. The prosecutors in the case appealed to her to seek this sentence, but for Clemmie this was not the solution. It would not bring her closure, or relieve her pain and suffering in any way. Clemmie states, “Why would I, the mother of a murdered son, want to see another mother’s son murdered? I just can’t live with that.” In fact, she wanted to sit down with the young man who committed the murder and to talk to him, to ask him what was going on in his life that brought him to the point of killing another person. She wanted to help him.

It was after her son’s death that Clemmie decided enough was enough, and she started up Nashville Peacemakers to address the issues that affected her own life and her community. She runs programs and projects which aim to empower youth and young adults living in conditions that Clemmie herself knows only too well. He work is focused on helping these young people turn their lives around and move away from gang violence. She is also passionate about ending human sex trafficking, reducing teen pregnancy, drug use and incarceration rates. One of her organization’s program is called Moms Over Murder (M.O.M.), which offers support for mothers who have lost a child or other loved ones to violence. The group also inspires these women to become advocates for change in their own communities. M.O.M will participate in TADP’s Justice Day on the Hill on March 7, 2017, giving the moms an opportunity to share their stories with lawmakers and to identify what their needs really are.

We are so grateful for the time and energy Clemmie gives to us at TADP, and we are excited about the work she is doing to improve communities and to change the lives of our city’s youth for the better. Her support of death penalty repeal is inspired by and interwoven with her deep-rooted determination to reduce violence, to meet people where they are, and to share her vision of a better world for all of us.

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 soundness 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 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.

Meet TADP Intern Emily Haas

Conservatives, where I grew up in a rural town just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, are loyal to their party the same way a Catholic is loyal to the church. My dad went to work at a steel mill everyday, my mom worked hard as a homemaker, and my sisters and I learned from our books. The three of us were brought up by our family’s convictions: Catholic, pro-life, small government, low taxes, Reagan worship, and pro-death penalty. And why wouldn’t we support the death penalty? The individuals convicted are individuals that have lost their right to be a part of greater humanity because of their heinous crimes, right?

As an undergraduate student at Lipscomb University studying history and philosophy, to which I fell madly in love, I had opportunities to explore my convictions related to faith, policy, and the human experience. After being elected the College Republican President for the university, I had the opportunity to meet with individuals like Marc Hyden, who represents Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. Marc, and the presentation that he delivered to a joint gathering with the College Republicans and the history department, introduced new ways of thinking about the death penalty, how it is administered, and why it is used how it is. The opinions my family impressed upon my sisters and me could not withstand the facts. The institution of death over a citizenry never sounded right to me, but now I had the evidence to back up my concerns and the confidence to dive deeper into the subject.

As a student in Lipscomb University’s first Leadership and Public Policy masters class, I am thrilled now to take action. The death penalty is misplaced as a political issue. The state of Tennessee, as well as the United States of America as a whole, has a responsibility to itself and to the rest of the world to lead through positive action; this is also referred to as soft power. We are all humans in community in this world, and it is our civic duty to do all we can to see the humanity in each and every individual. Not only does the death penalty fail to do so, but it also fails to make us safer, to prevent crime, and to ensure that innocent people aren’t executed. During the next year as I work with TADP, I will work to transform the criminal justice system into a system that better serves all people, including victims, defendant, and their communities.

Our political views and understanding of government may be different, but we can all see how the death penalty is failing and join together to work for change.

 

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 soundness problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness 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.

Duane Buck: ‘Black and Dangerous’

“The race factor [of the defendant], black, increases the future dangerousness for various complicated reasons – is that correct?”

This was the question put to psychologist Walter Quijano by the defense for Duane Buck, an African-American Texas man currently on death row for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and her friend in 1995. Quijano’s answer was clear: yes. As a death sentence in Texas rests on the jury unanimously agreeing that the defendant presents a future danger, Quijano’s testimony might have tipped the balance for Buck. What’s more shocking still is that Quijano was offered as a witness by Buck’s own lawyer, Jerry Guerinot, a defense attorney who has seen 20 of his clients sent to death row.

Last Wednesday, October 5, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case to decide whether Buck received a fair trial, or whether the racial bias in his case means he should be granted a new one. Buck had previously tried to appeal his sentence, but it wasn’t until a Texas attorney general stated in 2000 that a defendant’s race should not be an issue at sentencing that the content of Quijano’s testimony was ever questioned. Buck’s was not the first case at which Quijano offered this kind of testimony; he had done so in seven other cases. All of these cases were granted a re-sentencing hearing, but not Buck’s. The only difference is that in Buck’s case, Quijano was appointed by the defense, not the prosecution. However, as Justice Elena Kagan pointed out, this only makes it ‘more prejudicial’ that it was the defense offering such unfavorable testimony. The US Supreme Court heard the oral arguments of Buck’s case last Wednesday.

No one is denying that Buck committed the crime for which he was sentenced, least of all Buck himself. The issue is not one of guilt, but one of whether he received a fair trial. Racial bias is a long-standing issue in the criminal justice system, with evidence of it being present at every stage of the trial process. It is linked to jury selection, for example, where black jurors have been struck from jury service by prosecutors for fear that a black person is less likely to is convict and/or sentence someone to death. Nationally, in a case where the victim is white, a defendant is 4.3 times more likely to receive a death sentence than where the victim is black (Baldus Study, 1983). Additionally, studies show that a jury is 4.5 times more likely to administer a death sentence for a black defendant than a white defendant (Washington Study, 2014).

Buck’s case also highlights the issue of ineffective counsel. Justice Ruth Ginsberg questioned, “what counsel would put that kind of evidence before a jury? What competent counsel would put that evidence before a jury?” Those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds – and this tends to overlap with race – often end up with a public defender or a state-appointed attorney, who may have a heavy caseload and few resources to defend his/her client. Sometimes this is grounds enough for a new trial, or at least an appeal. An article in the New York Times explained that ‘a good way to end up on death row in Texas is to be accused of a capital crime and have Jerry Guerinot represent you’ (May 18, 2010). The fact that it was Guerinot who presented Walter Quijano as a witness in Buck’s case is a key example of his ineffectiveness shows this statement in the New York Times to be particularly credible.

Buck has reached the end of his appeals. If he is not successful, he is likely to receive an execution date. If he is successful, he should get a new sentencing hearing. We now await the Court’s decision.

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 disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness 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.

Ready to Get Stuck In: A Word from TADP Intern Molly Lipson

I’m writing this post as the new intern at TADP. I was born and raised in London, England, and have very recently moved over here to Nashville to work at TADP.

It was my love of country music that first got me involved with the anti-death penalty movement. Back home not a lot of people even know who the Dixie Chicks are, let alone would consider themselves their biggest fans. I, however, certainly do. On a typically rainy Sunday in London I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and noticed a tweet by the band’s lead singer, Natalie Maines, with a link to the website for the West Memphis Three. Anything Natalie tweeted, I would read. I clicked on the link and began to read the stories of Damien, Jessie and Jason. I watched the Amy Berg documentary, I read Damien’s book Life After Death, and I couldn’t believe what I was learning. It sounds naïve knowing what I know now, but at the time I had never considered that an innocent person would ever be accused of a crime he/she didn’t commit, let alone end up on death row. Not only that, but the bias, prosecutorial misconduct and injustice of that particular case barely scratched the surface of all the many, many problems taking place in capital trials. The sense of shock and outrage I felt only deepened as I researched further and further into and around the issue of the death penalty. I quickly realized that abolishing the death penalty was very important to me and was something I wanted to dedicate my time to.

 In my first year of university, I founded and chaired the UK’s first and only anti-death penalty university society, with the aim of informing and educating the student body on the issues relating to the death penalty. I organized talks both live and via Skype with death row exonerees, including Tennessean Ray Krone  (100th U.S. death row exoneree), with the aim of getting more people on board with the abolition movement. For me, I first had to get educated about the issue to go from just disagreeing with it to becoming activated, moving out to the States to try and help with repeal. If I could get even one other person as motivated to make change as me, then I would be happy.

On the academic side, I knew I wanted to write about the death penalty for my 10,000 word thesis (most people write one in their final year as an undergrad in the UK), but I couldn’t really figure out what I wanted to say. It was only after a good three months of reading and research that I found social contract theory and knew I had hit the nail on the head. Without wanting to get too deep into it, I will try to give a rough outline of the main ideas. Basically, given that government is an entity constructed to protect the lives of everyone in the society which it governs, executing its own citizens conflicts with its core construct.  The principles of democracy are founded on this very concept of social contract, and for me, this theory precludes the use of the death penalty. But whether you agree with me or not on this academic theory, there are plenty of other reasons to have concerns about the death penalty, including the execution of the innocent, the death penalty’s unfair application, the pain the long legal process inflicts on victims’ families, as well as the cost. 

It has been amazing to receive such a great response from the campaigning I’ve done in England, but there’s only so far that activism can go in a country that abolished the death penalty in 1965. I want to help make change, but before I can do that I need to understand the system as much as possible. Over the next three months I hope to get as involved as I can with all the work that TADP does, travel around and speak to a variety of different people to glean their perspectives on the issue. I am excited to get stuck in (or to get started as you in the US would say), slightly nervous about what I might discover, but mostly determined to make the most of being here and to take advantage of this opportunity.

Pictured above: TADP Board Chair, Bob Goodrich; me; and Ndume Olatushani, wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death in TN 

 

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