The Death PenaltyIs a Cancer on our Nation’s Justice System
Steve Hanlon, attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of Holland & Knight, will speak on the death penalty from a national perspective.
Hanlon was Chair of the Death Penalty Moratorium Project of the American Bar Association and Chair of the Constitution Project. The Moratorium Project researched and reported on the death penalty in eight states, including Florida, and found serious flaws in every state.
“In determining who gets the death penalty,” Hanlon said, “all too frequently, it seems to be not the person who has committed the worst crime, but the person who has the worst lawyer.”
“We just do not have confidence in the capital justice system after studying it,” Hanlon, told ABC News. “Capital defense systems are being underfunded, and unqualified and under-resourced lawyers are defending death row inmates.”
Monday, October 29
St. Thomas More Co-Cathedral
900 West Tennessee St.
Tallahassee, FL 32304
Sponsored by Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty
We are very sorry to report that, in an unusual move and in a divided opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals has lifted the U.S. District Court’s stay of the execution of John Ferguson. The U.S. District Court had issued the stay in order to hear arguments on Friday that Ferguson is incompetent to be executed. It is now possible that the execution of John Ferguson could proceed as previously scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 6pm ET unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes.
We will send out an update as soon as more information comes in. Here is the latest news.
Please TAKE ACTION!!!
PLEASE contact Governor Rick Scott and ask him to convene the Board of Executive Clemency to commute the death sentence of John Ferguson to Life in Prison with No Parole, because he is incompetent to be executed.
Gov. Rick Scott – Phone: 850-488-7146
We got word from Mark Elliott of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty that the Governor has set the execution date
for John Ferguson for next week, Tuesday, October 23. The time is likely to be 6 p.m. A vigil will be held in front of the Governor’s mansion at that time. A Service of Remembrance will take place the following day, Wednesday, October 24 at 12 noon at the Capitol Rotunda.
Below is an editorial that appeared in the New York Times: “A Schizophrenic on Death Row.” Please read and share.
www.tcadp.net Read More
Steve Hanlon, attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of Holland & Knight, will speak on the death penalty from a national perspective. Read More
Editorial The Myth of Deterrence Published: April 27, 2012
One of the most frequently made claims about the death penalty is that
it deters potential murderers. That was the claim when the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. It is the claim today after a revival of research about the topic in the last decade.
But a distinguished committee of scholars working for the National Research Council has now reached the striking and convincing conclusion that all of the research about deterrence and the death penalty done in the past generation, including by some first-rank scholars at the most prestigious universities, should be ignored.
Read more in the NY Times
Connecticut is on the verge of repealing the state’s death penalty. The legislation passed in the Senate and will be voted on in the House next week. This action is expected to save Connecticut taxpayers $5 million a year. This will be the 5th state in 5 years to end the use of death penalty. In addition, Oregon’s governor has declared a moratorium. Other states are steadily moving closer to abolition.
In stark contrast, Florida has plans to kill David Gore next week. The following events are scheduled:
Tomorrow is Good Friday, a day when Pax Christi, the Catholic Conference, and TCADP unite in front of the Old Capitol at noon to say the Stations of the Cross. These are not the traditional prayers, but instead they are oriented to the execution of Jesus and how it relates to executions today
One week from today, on Thursday, April 12, the State of Florida will execute David Gore at 6 pm. We will gather in front of the Governor’s mansion at that time for a vigil.
On the following day, Friday, April 13, there will be a Service of Remembrance at 12 noon at the Rotunda of the Capitol to remember Mr. Gore and his victims.
Jerry Jackson was the 31st prisoner put to death in the US this year
The US state of Virginia has executed a convicted murderer and rapist by lethal injection, despite objections from the drug manufacturer. Read More
Op-Ed Contributor, New York Times
By DAVID R. DOW
Published: July 8, 2011, Houston
LAST week was the 35th anniversary of the return of the American death penalty. It remains as racist and as random as ever.
Several years after the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, a University of Iowa law professor, David C. Baldus (who died last month), along with two colleagues, published a study examining more than 2,000 homicides that took place in Georgia beginning in 1972. They found that black defendants were 1.7 times more likely to receive the death penalty than white defendants and that murderers of white victims were 4.3 times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who killed blacks. Read More
A commission established by the Florida Legislature almost 15 years ago to monitor the administration of justice in death penalty post-conviction proceedings has itself been sentenced to death.
The unintended consequences may be significant.
The Commission on Capital Cases, a relatively obscure entity, was abolished earlier this month purportedly to “save” $400,000 in related costs. Among its tasks was to receive public input, and advise and make recommendations to the governor, Legislature and Florida Supreme Court.
The current slate of commissioners, a Republican and a Democrat from the Senate and the House, a retired District Court of Appeal judge and a former county court judge, seemed poised to play a more active role than their immediate predecessors.
However, the Florida Senate adopted a relatively low-profile and late-emerging House conforming bill during the final hours of the 2011 regular legislative session without deliberation.
On December 21, the Death Penalty Information Center released its latest report, “The Death Penalty in 2010: Year End Report,” on statistics and trends in capital punishment in the past year. The report noted there was a 12% decrease in executions in 2010 compared to 2009 and a more than 50% drop compared to 1999. DPIC projected that the number of new death sentences will be 114 for 2010, near last year’s number of 112, which was the lowest number since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. Death sentences declined in all four regions of the country over the past ten years, with a 50 percent decrease nationwide when the current decade is compared to the 1990s. Only 12 states carried out executions in 2010, mostly in the South, and only seven states carried out more than one execution. Texas led the country with 17 executions, but that was a significant drop from last year. The number of new death sentences in Texas this year was 8, a dramatic decline from 1999 when 48 people were sentenced to death. Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 82% of the executions have been in the South. California has not had an execution in almost 5 years, and the same is true for North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and many other states that rarely carry out the death penalty. “Whether it’s concerns about the high costs of the death penalty at a time when budgets are being slashed, the risks of executing the innocent, unfairness, or other reasons, the nation continued to move away from the death penalty in 2010,” said Richard Dieter, DPIC’s Executive Director and the report’s author.
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