Reprieve delivers justice and saves lives, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.
Recently the New York Times reported that prosecutors are too often blocking access to DNA tests that could exonerate the innocent, even in states where legislatures have specifically passed laws allowing access to testing. It stated:
"Continued resistance by prosecutors is causing years of delay and, in some cases, eliminating the chance to try other suspects because the statute of limitations has passed by the time the test is granted.
A recent analysis of 225 DNA exonerations by Brandon L. Garrett, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, found that prosecutors opposed DNA testing in almost one ...
Another day, another crime. That’s how it seems to be going for the British government at the moment.
Late Tuesday afternoon, two High Court judges found that Britain had been “mixed up in wrongdoing”, and ruled that the government had a legal obligation to sort out another mess it had helped to create.
Again, it seems, the British government is conspiring with our American allies to cover up torture.
The case involves Shaker Aamer, the last acknowledged British resident in Guantánamo Bay. Shaker was cleared for release by the Bush Administration, many moons ago, and nobody cares to ...
Under a newly proposed bill - which appears to have strong public support - criminal penalties on homosexual acts in the East African nation would be made much harsher, and include the death penalty.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill features several provisions that are likely to spur a witch hunt of homosexuals in the country:
- Gays and lesbians convicted of having gay sex would be sentenced, at
minimum, to life in prison
- People who test positive for HIV may be executed
- Homosexuals who have sex with a minor, or engage in homosexual sex more than once, may also receive the death penalty
- Anyone who ...
Barring a last-minute appeal, Kenneth Biros will be subjected to an inhumane experiment later today; he’ll be the first person in the US executed using a new method of lethal injection traditionally used to put down pets.
At 3pm (GMT) today, the state of Ohio intends to test the controversial single-drug lethal injection on Mr Biros. He has been on death row for 18 years since 1991, having been convicted of first degree murder.
Until now, the standard method of execution in the 37 US States that retain the death penalty, has been by way of a triple-drug cocktail ...
53-year-old Cecil Johnson was executed yesterday after 29 years on Tennessee’s death row. He was 24 years old when he was given a death sentence for three counts of first degree murder at a convenience store.
His trial, back in July, 1981, was fraught with errors and the evidence questionable. Police reports which were uncertain about the killer’s identity were concealed and one of the main witnesses was only able to identify Johnson after seeing his photograph on a news report. A witness who was due to testify for Johnson ‘switched sides’ after being interrogated by the prosecutor ...
Great piece by the One Show this week.
Roger Gale MP admitted that if we have a death penalty we’ll kill innocent people, and based his support for capital punishment on the idea of it as a deterrent. As Matt Allright correctly pointed out, the evidence clearly shows that the death penalty does NOT deter crime, leaving the pro-death penalty camp apparently in favour of killing innocent people whilst achieving nothing.
Reprieve of course has the utmost sympathy for Andrew Barnes, and all of the relatives of murder victims, but evidence from America suggests that execution often doesn’t ...
In September this year Reprieve launched a three year EC-funded project, Engaging Europe in the Fight for US Abolition. The project seeks to identify and assist European nationals on death row in the US.
Foreign nationality is a significant issue in US death penalty litigation. When foreign nationals are arrested, the US authorities are required to notify the consulate of their native country, if they so request.
The obligation stems from the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), which requires such notification ‘without delay’.
There have been numerous instances where foreign nationals sentenced to death in the US were not ...
Willie Manning begins his 15th year facing execution in Mississippi on 11 December. It is a platitude to suggest that as the Christmas season approaches we should consider those less fortunate than ourselves, but if we did Willie would certainly qualify.
The prosecutor in his case managed to get juries to vote for no fewer than four death sentences on Willie, in two separate trials, just in case executing him once did not do the job. He was convicted of two double homicides, each allegedly committed during separate robberies.
For a decade, Willie sat on death row. At first he ...
Two people were executed in China this week for their role in the contaminated milk scandal which resulted in the deaths of six children and 300,000 falling ill, in another instance of the arbitrary application of the death penalty.
China is extremely unusual in having the death sentence for crimes other than murder and rape: 60 different offences merit the death penalty under Chinese law. Despite the six children who tragically died as a result of the contamination, Geng and Zhang were not convicted of homicide. Zhang was executed for the rather more innocuous sounding “endangering public safety by ...
Disappointed, but not surprised, was my first response to hearing President Barack Obama’s announcement on Wednesday that he would not make the January 22 deadline for closing the prison in Guantanamo Bay.
During attorney visits over the past few weeks, Reprieve’s clients in Guantanamo have expressed their doubts regarding whether President Obama can live up to his promise to close the prison within a year of assuming office. ‘What is he going to do,’ one man asked, “put 200 people on a plane on the 22nd?”
And it is true – the maths doesn’t work. Around 245 prisoners ...