It is evident to this court that the Legislature has abdicated its responsibility and passed to the executive branch … the unfettered discretion to determine all protocol and procedures, most notably the chemicals to be used, for a state execution.Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Jim Gunter • Writing the majority opinion in a ruling that struck down the Arkansas Legislature’s move in 2009 to allow the director of the Department of Corrections discretion over what chemicals are administered in lethal injections for death-row inmates. The confusion over who determines how the death sentence is carried out in Arkansas has held up executions of the state’s 40 current death row inmates; no executions have taken place since 2005. It’s worth noting that Arkansas’s constitution says if lethal injection is determined to be unconstitutional, executions are to be administered by electrocution. Ouch. source (via • follow)
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is taking to Twitter to urge Oklahoma’s Governor Mary Fallin to follow the recommendation of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board to grant clemency to Garry T. Allen:
It is very rare for the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board to recommend clemency for a person facing execution, but they did exactly that by a vote of 4 to 1 in the case of Garry T. Allen, who is scheduled to be executed by the State of Oklahoma on Thursday, April 12, 2012 for his murder of Gail Titsworth. The many reasons for granting clemency that attracted four votes of the pardon and parole board, including that of a former prosecutor who consistently votes to deny clemency in almost all cases, have only grown over time.
Governor Fallin has stated that she won’t grant clemency to Mr. Allen. NCADP is urging people to sign this petition that urges her to reconsider and then to tweet this to their Twitter followers:
#Oklahoma P&P Board rarely recommends mercy, but it did for 4/12 execution of Garry Allen. http://bit.ly/GZ4H2w 2 take action! #deathpenalty
More information about the case, along with the petition to Governor Fallin, can be found here.
Clemency has been recommended for Allen already; the governor doesn’t want to follow through however. Think this is a mistake on the governor’s part? Get involved.
» A decline in the overall numbers: According to the Death Penalty Information Center, the death sentence number is the smallest since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. And public support is starting to fade: According to stats from Gallup, support for the death penalty is at its lowest level in nearly 40 years. Opposition is at its highest level since 1972. Keep this in mind when Rick Perry leads a crowd to cheers during a discussion about the death penalty. Or when cases like Troy Davis’ widely-contested execution build support against the death penalty.
revolutiontrainee asks: In response to your post of my commentary on 'what happens tomorrow', I think you drastically misinterpreted my tone (common in textual form). I was hoping your response would respond to the sentiment that engagement, no matter how fleeting or brief, is engagement. We understand that not every citizen can spend a multitude of moments engaging, therefore some engagement is still better than none. This was my point, not aggravation. Additionally, Haiti is still much discussed, perhaps not on CNN..
» SFB says: First, regarding your point on Haiti: But that’s the thing — it should be discussed on CNN, which is probably showing a Jeannie Moos interview on the street right now. Anyway, I see your point, but … that’s the problem. Fleeting engagement is just that, fleeting. Little can be built from that. Sure, you can’t ask everyone to be engaged at all times, and we all have busy lives, but as a culture, we have a problem of not being able to focus on one thing for more than five minutes. Yes, we all have to start somewhere, but there’s something important about daring someone to be willing to stop thinking in such narrow terms — instead of getting people to focus on Troy Davis, let’s encourage them to look at the death penalty, to reach the bigger goal of getting them to prevent another Troy Davis. Let’s dare people to engage more! Not everything has to be fleeting! It creates a stronger society. And that’s what the goal should be. It’s not an insult to offer encouragement. (This is a response to her earlier post. Ultimately, we think Ari Kohen’s point stands.) — Ernie @ SFB
One of the perks of being an early employee...
Over the last 90 days, the Digg...
Thanks. I guess my thoughts are as follows:
1. I think...
heshallfromtimetotime said: Understatement of the year.
» SFB says: We’ve gotten a lot of responses about this — with many of you feeling that it perhaps didn’t hit the mark — and ultimately, while a lot of you are understandably angry about the case, I admit that it makes me numb. It is a bummer. And I’m bummed. Bummed about the justice system, about the way that it doesn’t feel like it serves everyone the same way, and in the process, never feels like the right decisions get made; and ultimately, I’m bummed about the way it makes me feel powerless in my own country. For every case like James Byrd, Jr.’s dragging — an open-and-shut case if there ever was one, no matter how you personally feel about the death penalty — there are tons of cases like Troy Davis’. I’m bummed because I’m livid. I’m bummed because I feel powerless, as a citizen of this country. So yes, it is a bummer. And a lot of other things. — Ernie @ SFB
Hopefully, today’s execution of Brewer can remind all of us that racial hatred and prejudice leads to terrible consequence for the victim, the victim’s family, for the perpetrator and for the perpetrator’s family.Clara Taylor, the sister of James Byrd, Jr. • Speaking of the execution of Lawrence Russell Brewer, one of the men responsible for the infamous hate crime that took her brother’s life. “We’re making progress,” she said. “I know he was guilty so I have no qualms about the death penalty.” This is in contrast to Taylor’s nephew, Ross Byrd, who felt it wasn’t the right move prior to the execution. Brewer was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m. local time — or 7:21 EDT. His final words: ”No. I have no final statement.” source (via • follow)