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