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  1. Alex de la Harpe

    Pakistani torture video reminds Naheem Hussain of his ordeal

    Alex Harpe on 04 March 2010

    The men are stretched out on the ground and then repeatedly whipped by officers in turn. 

    It was not a stunning piece of investigative journalism, involving hidden cameras and inside informants. It took place in full public view, suggesting that these crimes are so endemic that police officers see no need to hide them.

    Here at Reprieve, we know that this video does not depict an isolated, or even rare, incident. Many of the prisoners we help in Pakistan have been subjected to varying degrees of mistreatment and torture. 

    Naheem Hussain (pictured, right) who has been in prison for over ...

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  2. Clemency Wells

    Posthumous Pardon: The tragedy of wrongful conviction.

    Clemency Wells on 04 March 2010

    A wrongly convicted man, who died while on death row in Texas in 1999, was given a posthumous pardon on Tuesday.

    The tragedy of wrongful convictions is highlighted once more in the Lone Star State.

    Governor Rick Perry gave Texas’ first posthumous pardon to former death row prisoner Tim Cole. Having languished in a cell for thirteen years Cole died of an asthma attack in 1999. He was sentenced to death in 1986 for the rape student Michelle Malin but had always proclaimed himself to be innocent.

    Mr Cole’s case offers a window into the shockingly lax and unjust ...

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  3. Clemency Wells

    A very Texan sex scandal: can an improper extramarital affair derail the execution of Charles Dean Hood?

    Clemency Wells on 02 March 2010

     Charles Dean Hood, sentenced to death by a Judge who was having an affair with the prosecuting attorney, has been granted a new trial by the US Supreme Court.

    Reality, we find on frequent occasions, is stranger than fiction. Often, too, the truly bizarre stories are those involving sex. Bang on trend, the Texas Legal system, not to be outdone by footballers and golfers, has thrown up a sex scandal of its own. And it is a story no self-respecting author would make up, for fear of being abandoned by their readers; an audience must be able to suspend disbelief ...

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  4. Emmanuelle Purdon 2009 BW

    Europeans increase pressure to abolish the death penalty

    Emmanuelle Purdon on 01 March 2010

    European countries on Wednesday stepped up pressure for a global halt to the death penalty, as opponents of capital punishment hailed the growing number of countries scrapping or suspending executions.

    More than 1,000 people attended the 4th World Congress Against the Death Penalty February 24-26, 2010, in Geneva. The Congress was organized by the French NGO Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort in partnership with the Swiss Confederation and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, with the objective to build strategies to help  abolish the death penalty.

    The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, created in Rome in ...

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  5. Death row - cell

    Reprieve launches Supreme Court Appeal to save British Grandmother Linda Carty

    Reprieve volunteer on 01 March 2010

    Linda Carty, a 51 year old British national will be executed by the state of Texas within the next few months unless her appeal to the Supreme Court for a retrial is successful.

    The plea was filed on Friday 26th February in Washington DC and announced via a press conference in London, in which Reprieve was delighted to have bestselling Crime writer Martina Cole and British filmmaker Steve Humphries give their support to the battle to save Linda from her terrible plight.

    Reprieve is appealing to the British Public and Government to do what they can to prevent Linda ...

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  6. Clemency Wells

    The dirty truth about the death penalty.

    Clemency Wells on 25 February 2010

     Time Magazine gave long-time death penalty attorney David Dow a platform to air his views on the capital punishment system this week.

    “I tell people that if you’re going to commit murder, you want to be white and you want to be wealthy – so that you can hire a first class lawyer – and you want to kill a black person.”

    This is Dow’s opinion on the US capital punishment system. It is a system in which he has been embroiled for the past twenty years.

    His is an assessment hard to refute, then. Dow’s statement highlights the ...

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  7. Steve Humphries

    Please help save Linda Carty, a British Grandmother on death row in Texas.

    Steve Humphries on 24 February 2010

     “Hi, I’m Linda” she says. “Hi, I’m Steve”. I tell her that her family, who I’d filmed the day before, all send their love. I’m trying to be casual and matter of fact. But I’m surrounded by prison guards and they are counting down my time there. I’m allowed 60 minutes.

    I have a camera crew with me. My aim is to get Linda’s story out to the world. Her execution will take place later this year unless there is a worldwide campaign to save her. She will die by lethal injection in ...

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  8. Tim Cooke Hurle BW

    Publish the UK torture rules

    Tim Cooke-Hurle on 23 February 2010

     

    All too often, in the torture chambers of the "war on terror", a prisoner's most desperate moment came when he discovered that the questions his torturers put to him came not merely from Pakistan or Morocco or even the US, but from his home country – the UK.

    Reprieve is back in court this week, demanding that the court investigate secret UK policies that might have allowed this – and worse – to happen. If our suspicions are correct, the court will find that government guidelines were unlawful, because they enabled systematic complicity in torture.

    It is nearly a year since Gordon ...

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  9. Linda Carty: Cartoon by Lewis Peake

    The trouble with Jerry

    Aimee Griffin on 22 February 2010

    Linda Carty has been described as the unluckiest woman on death row. Why? Because she was unfortunate enough to be appointed the notorious defence attorney Jerry Guerinot by the state of Texas.

    Carty's federal petition cites numerous examples of poor work by Guerinot in other capital murders, which reveal, it claims, a 'pattern'. Jerry Guerinot has acted for 39 capital murder defendants, of which twenty were sentenced to death. This is more than the entire death row population of New Mexico, South Dakota, Maryland and Montana combined.

    Michael Goldberg, of Baker Botts law firm who now represent Linda, has ...

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  10. Caroline Morten BW

    Help save lives

    Caroline Morten on 19 February 2010

    The most important factor in determining whether a defendant will receive the death penalty is not the nature of the crime they are alleged to have committed but rather whether they can afford a lawyer or not.

    It is a well-known fact that almost all prisoners on death row are impoverished and unable to pay for legal representation. The tragic truth is that all too often lawyers appointed to defend these cases are overworked, underpaid, lacking in experience or are simply downright incompetent. Take, for example, the case of Linda Carty: Linda’s court-appointed attorney Jerry Guerinot did almost no ...

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