Exceptional: But Not in a Good Way

Cuban hospital

John Peeler: On guns and prisons, we are more like a Third World country than like other rich nations. On health care, Third World countries simply cannot afford to waste the amount of money we do. And it is doubtful that we can, either.

ACLU Next: Death Penalty on the Ballot — May 21

aclu event

Guest Speakers: Jeanne Woodford (former San Quentin warden) and Obie Anthony (exonerated after being wrongfully convicted of murder) Monday, 21 May

Replacing the Death Penalty

Tani Cantil-Sakauye

Andy Love: Being on the front lines, capital defense practitioners have experienced first hand the unfairness, arbitrariness and unreliability of California’s capital punishment scheme.

The Torture of Mumia Abu-Jamal Continues Off Death Row

mumia

Hans Bennett: Abu-Jamal has asked for supporters to not just call for his release from the hole, but to challenge the very practice of solitary confinement and what are called in Pennsylvania “Restricted Housing Units.”

Dr. King’s Stance Against the Death Penalty

mlk-family-wide

David A. Love: Executions in the U.S. are part of a racially-coded system of retribution. Poor people and members of racial minorities are more likely to receive a death sentence, as are those who are charged with murdering a white victim.

Growing Consensus That California’s Death Penalty Must Be Replaced

death penalty vigil

Andy Love: California’s death penalty is incredibly costly, and the money would be far better spent keeping kids in school, keeping teachers and counselors in their schools and giving the juvenile justice system the resources it needs.

Cut The Death Penalty From California’s Budget Woes

death row san quentin

Andy Love: As California cuts critically important funds, the state continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into one government program that is expensive, arbitrary and ineffectual: the death penalty.

California, Like Oregon, Has a “Compromised and Inequitable” Death Penalty System

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber

Andy Love: The only way to end the death penalty in California is by a ballot initiative, and the statewide signature‑gathering effort to place such an initiative on the November 2012 ballot is well underway.

The Death Penalty and #OccupyWallStreet

shujaa graham

David Love: Capital punishment operates under a pretense of justice, when in reality it represents pure vengeance and mob retribution, favoring expediency and finality over finding the real killer.

Duane Buck: Tolerating Racism In Capital Cases

duane buck

Andy Love: After we we take a collective sigh of relief that Hank Skinner obtained a last minute stay so that his lawyers can once again seek to have key evidence DNA tested, we must then sigh in despair over the result of another Texas death penalty case.

America’s Shame: Troy Davis, Hank Skinner, and a Cast of Thousands

death penalty

Andy Love: The death penalty, as legendary capital defender Steve Bright has said, is often reserved for the case with the worst lawyer not the worst crime.

Saturday Survey: America’s Death Penalty Derby

death penalty vigil

Saturday Survey: Keeping its lead in the nation’s death penalty derby, Texas yesterday conducted its twelfth execution this year, putting a mentally impaired Frank Garcia to death for killing Hector Garcia, a police officer, ten years ago. In line with another execution yesterday in Texas, this week’s poll gathered your thoughts on the effectiveness and morality of the death penalty in America.

U.N. Tally Excluded Most Afghan Civilian Deaths in Night Raids

afghan casualties

Gareth Porter: A July United Nations report asserting that only 30 civilians died in targeted raids in Afghanistan during the first six months of 2011 reflected only a very small fraction of night raids in which civilians were killed.

Ending California’s Wasteful Tinkering With The Machinery Of Death

death penalty vigil

Andy Love: California’s death penalty needs to be abolished. Putting aside the philosophical and spiritual questions about the immorality of the death penalty, it is costly, arbitrary, discriminatory, and unworkable.

King Memorial: Now More than a Scar on the Nation’s Conscience

king-memorial-wide

Anthony Samad: King meant different things to different people, but one thing is for sure…America, black and white, had not gotten over King’s death – not if you have any sort of a conscience.

Evolution/Devolution

death penalty vigil

Andy Love: With recent polling that shows support for the death penalty has hit a 39-year low, and widespread discomfort over the execution of Troy Davis, a backlash is to be expected.

My Opposite

andy love

Andy Love: I told him that one of the most compelling aspects of my work was delving into their life histories to understand how it was they ended up on death row. I found humanity in all of them.

Final Hours

christine merulis

Christine Meuris: It is impossible to imagine what this is like, as impossible as finding the right words to say, when a man in this position, in his last hours, calls on the phone.

Death: And Law & Order

law and order jerry orbach

James Clark: California taxpayers spend $184 million each year to support a dysfunctional death penalty system that operates like an upscale life without parole: more death row inmates die of illness and old age than they do of execution.

A Shocking View of Bullying

Carl Matthes: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts.

Do We Care About Civilian Casualties in Our Wars?

civilian-casualties-1

John Tirman: The initial enthusiasm of engaging in savage wars often turns sour as the war goes badly, and then the hard reality of innocent suffering is all the more difficult to acknowledge.

The Myth of California’s Death Penalty

Cut-This

James Clark: Out of more than 900 men and women sentenced to die in California only 13 have ever been executed. Victims’ family members are dragged through decades of appeals and hearings while they wait for an execution that rarely comes.

California’s Death Penalty Prevents True Community Justice

Aqeela Sherrils

Aqeela Sherrills: The great irony, of course, is that while the state props up a failed system that discriminates against African-Americans and Latinos and anyone who is poor, it fails to provide justice to victims.

The Case for Actual Death Panels

Kevorkian-wide

Tina Dupuy: The person who rubbed our face in our own mortality, the most famous and wacky of Death with Dignity advocates, Dr. Kevorkian is no longer with us. He’d probably appreciate the irony in calling his death a loss for the dying.

Tide Turning on California’s Death Penalty

execute justice

James Clark: The dominoes are falling fast as more and more people in California are learning what a waste the death penalty has become.

The Death of Bin Laden

che guevara

Tom Hayden: While a triumph, the death of Bin Ladin is not likely to end the Long War on Terror, now spreading from Iraq to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and a dozen other theaters of counterterrorism.

Illinois Ends the Death Penalty: Wake-up Call for California

Aqeela Sherrills,

Natasha Minsker: It’s time to stop playing the killing game. Let’s use the hundreds of millions of dollars we’ll save to protect some of those essential services now threatened with death. Let’s stop asking people like me to lie to those victim’s family members.

ATF Gun Ops May Have Led To 1,800 Deaths

mexican-violence-wide

Andrea Nill: MSNBC reported that Mexican cartels are taking advantage of lax U.S. gun laws which the NRA has lobbied hard for. At that time, around 80 percent of the 90,000 weapons confiscated by Mexican authorities were purchased in the U.S.

Rape of the Woodland Children

planned_parenthood_wide

Steve Ybarra: If Republicants allow Planned Parenthood to go down, they and all those who remain quiet are responsible for the deaths of women from backstreet abortions and the millions of unwanted children who will end up on the streets homeless at age 15.

Death in a Bottle for a Handful of Haitian Coins

Market Fond Baptiste

Georgianne Nienaber: As the mystery unfolded the common consensus was that villagers had fallen prey to murderous merchants in the local markets who were selling methyl alcohol, an industrial solvent, disguised as the popular local drink called “Clairin.”

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