Death Penalty Resources

This week, FoxNews provided detailed coverage on exactly how the current economic crisis is pushing the 35 states that still have the death penalty on their books to consider its repeal.  And yes, it’s all about the money.

New Reaction to an Well-Known Fact – Death Penalty Is Very Expensive on the State

Quoting Richard Dieter

Johnny Depp will appear this evening on CBS-TV’s 48 Hours, bringing attention to the West Memphis 3, fighting against the execution of Damion Echols. 

Please watch – it’s a major event for Mr. Depp to bring his celebrity power to this Death Penalty case, especially when everyone would expect Johnny Depp to be

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is the only fully-staffed national organization working to abolish capital punishment in the United States.  Its annual conference starts today and runs through the weekend.   Sister Helen Prejean is the keynote speaker this year, she’s always wonderful — and if I didn’t have courtroom commitments, I would

This Sunday, an interesting twist to the recent American Law Institute’s divorce from its prior recommendations regarding the death penalty occurred:  The Charlotte Observer published an editorial calling for abolishing capital punishment in North Carolina, based on the ALI’s recent determination. 

As added incentive, the Charlotte Observer did point to a Duke University study and

On Monday, over 1000 cities around the world will participate in “World Day of Cities for Life,” which honors the first time that the death penalty was abolished by a government — on November 30, 1786, by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.  Organized by the Catholic Community of Sant’Egidio of Rome, participation is growing steadily: in 2005, only 300 cities worldwide were participants and now, four years later, the total exceeds 1150. 

Cities for Life Day involves each community flooding lights upon a local monument that in some way symbolizes the effort to abolish the death penalty.  For example, in Rome the Colosseum is illuminated; in Barcelona they are lighting up the Cathedral Square. 
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People wonder why I am so adamently opposed to the death penalty, and then stories like this appear in the media and I, in turn, wonder how anyone can support capital punishment. 

Sam Milsap’s Mea Culpa

Sam Milsap is a seasoned criminal lawyer with over 30 years experience, and for a long while he served

Virginia executes more people in this country than any other state than Texas, so the statistics seem to sway us toward a prediction that Governor Tim Kaine will allow the upcoming execution of John Muhammad, the DC Sniper. 

And Kaine is the only barrier betweeen John Muhammad and death. 

That’s because the United States Supreme

Today’s news includes the story about the Death Penalty Information Center’s new study of capital punishment costs.  Released this week, and looking solely at the bottom line, the DPIC analysis demonstrates that significant monies can be saved by eliminating the death penalty.  Since 1976, $2,000,000,000 (that’s two billion dollars) has been spent on capital punishment

Sale of organs “illegal” in China after July 2006

In 2006, the government enacted the provisions on the “Entry and Exit of Cadavers,” which officially banned the commercial sale of human organs. [136] However, the 2006 provisions failed to address the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, leaving the 1984 order intact.[137]

The drafter of the 2006 provisions stated, “The guideline will specifically not mention the use of executed prisoners’ organs, even though it’s the main source of organs in China . . . . The executed prisoners’ organs will not be specifically banned in this guideline or in the coming Human Organ Transplant Rule.”[138]

This new legislation became effective July 1, 2006, banning the sale of human organs, requiring donors to provide written permission for the transplantation of their organs, limiting transplant surgery to certain institutions, compelling an ethics committee to review and approve all transplants in advance, and requiring institutions performing transplant surgery to verify that the organs are from legal sources. [139] The provisions attempt to regulate the transportation of cadavers.[140]

However, the provisions still provide the Chinese government with the ultimate authority on all decisions related to export matters. [141] For example, Article 8 of the provisions states, “It is strictly prohibited to trade in cadavers, and to make use of cadavers to engage in commercial activities.” [142] However, Article 7 states that if Chinese customs officials are presented with a valid certificate issued by the Chinese government to approve the transport of cadavers, the body is released.[143]

In China, enacting legislation does not mean enforcing it.[144]

In China today, the reality is that the abstract principle of law is often corrupted by the wish for personal gain or the interests of the Communist Party. [145] It has been reported that organs are still being sold following this 2006 legislation.[146]
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