December 6, 2011 |
In the decades since his conviction in the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, Mumia Abu-Jamal has become one of the most recognized inmates in the world. On Friday, supporters of the former radio reporter will hold a gathering at the National Constitution Center marking the 30th anniversary of his arrest in the slaying of Faulkner. They will also pay tribute to Troy Davis, who was executed in September for the 1989 killing of a police officer in Savannah, Ga. The free program - titled "We the People: Honor Troy Davis!
October 20, 2011 |
IT'S JUST NOT done - a public defender asking a prosecutor to talk with a criminal defendant out of a belief that the charge against him is unfair. Joanne Epps, then in the U.S. Attorney's Office, got such a call from federal defender Maureen Rowley in the '80s. Joanne's reaction: "I'm a federal prosecutor, no way," she said. But Maureen explained that the young man, who was about to enter the military and had his life ahead of him, would be ruined by a conviction on a gun charge.
October 14, 2011 |
At 7 p.m. on Sept. 21, Troy Anthony Davis, a 42-year-old black man, was scheduled to be executed in Jackson, Ga., for the 1989 murder of Mark Allen MacPhail, a white policeman, a crime of which he claimed innocence until the end. On the same day and at the same time, Lawrence Russell Brewer, 44, an avowed white supremacist, was scheduled to be put to death in Huntsville, Texas, for his role in the dragging death of James Byrd Jr., an unemployed black...
October 12, 2011 |
PROSECUTORS will have to pursue a second death-penalty sentence for convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal or accept a life sentence after the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday declined to review the racially charged case. Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, has spent nearly 30 years on death row after his July 1982 conviction for murdering Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, a white man. A federal appeals court this year upheld the conviction, but agreed that the death-penalty instructions were potentially misleading and ordered a new sentencing hearing.
October 2, 2011
An executed man is eulogized in Ga. SAVANNAH, Ga. - Sent to death row 20 years ago as a convicted cop killer, Troy Davis was celebrated as "martyr and foot soldier" Saturday by more than 1,000 people who packed the pews at his funeral and pledged to keep fighting the death penalty. Activists who spent years trying to convince judges and Georgia prison officials that Davis was innocent were unable to prevent his execution Sept. 21. The crowd that filled Savannah's Jonesville Baptist Church on Saturday seemed resolved to capitalize on the worldwide attention Davis' case brought to capital punishment.
September 30, 2011 |
In No Exit , Jean-Paul Sartre encapsulated the torment of existence in his line "hell is other people. " Unlike the central character Tony in Kash Goins' gripping Tonight? , Sartre never lingered 30 years on death row for murdering five women. Sartre also didn't suffer years of abuse from a drunken mother who locked him in a closet for days without food, or a priest who molested him from ages 7 to 10. Over a 50-minute one-act at Adrienne's 2d Stage Theater, Goins' memory play revisits each of these heinous events; in true existential fashion, what else would Tony do when all he can do is wait?
September 29, 2011 |
HARRISBURG - A man convicted of murdering 13 people in northeastern Pennsylvania nearly three decades ago is mentally incompetent to be executed, Pennsylvania's highest court ruled Wednesday. George Banks has been on death row since he turned a semi-automatic rifle on his victims, who included 11 members of his own family - five were his children - in Wilkes-Barre and Jenkins Township in September 1982. "It appears that Banks is in a different place mentally than he was nearly 30 years ago when he committed his crimes and when he was tried.
September 25, 2011 |
In every presidential campaign, a face in the crowd becomes a household name and makes a major impact on the race. Think Joe the Plumber or the Rev. Jeremiah Wright in 2008. Or Katherine Harris in 2000. Or Willie Horton in 1988. Rick Perry hopes that Cameron Todd Willingham is not that person in 2012. Recall that attendees at a GOP debate earlier this month at the Reagan library cheered the mere mention of executions carried out in Texas on the watch of Perry. The reaction came when moderator Brian Williams asked, "Gov.
August 20, 2011 |
JONESBORO, Ark. - Three men convicted in the nightmarish slayings of three Cub Scouts went free Friday, 18 years after they were sent to prison in a case so gruesome it raised suspicions the children had been sacrificed in a satanic ritual. Doubts about the evidence against the trio had persisted for years and threatened to force prosecutors to put on a second trial in 2012. Instead, the so-called West Memphis 3 were permitted to plead guilty to murder in exchange for time served, ending a long-running legal battle that had raised questions about DNA and key witnesses, and attracted support from celebrities such as singer Eddie Vedder.
August 1, 2011 |
ALLENTOWN - It has been 12 years since Pennsylvania executed a convicted killer. In that time, death row has cost taxpayers more than $27 million. Every year, the state Department of Corrections spends an estimated $10,000 more for each inmate on the country's fourth-largest death row compared with other prisoners. That's despite a de facto halt on capital punishment in Pennsylvania for all but prisoners who voluntarily go to their executions. The last person put to death against his will was in 1962, nearly half a century ago. The most recent to be executed, in 1999, was Philadelphia torture-murderer Gary Heidnik - and only because he waived his appeals.