Tag Archives: Death Penalty

New Evidence Could Clear 14-year-old Executed by South Carolina

This is one of the saddest cases I’ve ever read about….and that’s saying a lot.

This case, alone, should make people realize how unjust the Death Penalty is and how we will never be able to separate it from racism.

And another word to my Republican “Friends”, you can’t be “pro-life” and “pro-death penalty”.  It’s a contradiction in terms….

From RawStory.com:

Over 67 years after 14-year-old George Junius Stinney Jr. was put to death by the state of South Carolina, he may soon be cleared of the crime that people familiar with the case say he never could have committed.

A lawyer and an activist both told Raw Story recently that new evidence will show that the black boy could not have possibly murdered two white girls, 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and seven-year-old Mary Emma Thames.

Stinney, the youngest person to receive the death penalty in the last 100 years, was executed on June 16, 1944. At five feet one inch and only 95 pounds, the straps of the electric chair did not fit the boy. His feet could not touch the floor. As he was hit with the first 2,400-volt surge of electricity, the mask covering his face slipped off, “revealing his wide-open, tearful eyes and saliva coming from his mouth,” according to author Joy James.

After two more jolts of electricity, the boy was dead.

MORE:   New evidence could clear 14-year-old executed by South Carolina | The Raw Story.

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Filed under Death Penalty, Race

Why Does the South Execute More People?

Fascinating story from the Institute for Southern Studies about racism, the death penalty and it’s roots in Slavery….


The regional disparity is striking. Since the Supreme Court lifted a ban on death sentences in 1976, 1,264 people have been executed in the U.S. And 921 of those executions — or 73 percent of the total — took place in 13 Southern states.

Its true that Texas — and what some call its death machine — skew the numbers: Its 474 executions account for nearly 38 percent of the U.S. total. But the fact remains: Of the many things you can call the death penalty, one fitting adjective is that its largely Southern.

What has made the South the home base of capital punishment? As you might suspect, executions have their roots in the history of slavery. As noted in A Short History of the American Death Penalty [pdf]:

“In contrast to capital punishment in the northern states, capital punishment in the South was not limited primarily to common law felonies. Rather, the death penalty was a powerful tool for keeping the slave population in submission. Crimes that interfered with the ownership of slaves were punished by death. In 1837, North Carolina, which lacked a penitentiary, had about 26 capital crimes including slave-stealing, concealing a slave with intent to free him, second conviction of inciting slaves to insurrection, and second conviction of circulating seditious literature among slaves.”

This racially-influenced law-and-order mentality spilled over into other crimes: In North Carolina, stealing bank notes, “crimes against nature” “buggery, sodomy, bestiality” and a second offense of forgery and statutory rape came to be considered capital offenses.

Racial disparity was literally written into the law with the Southern death penalty. After the Civil War, Black Codes created more crimes punishable by death for African-Americans than whites. In the 1830s, Virginia had five capital crimes for whites but an estimated 70 such crimes for black slaves.

Today, the well-documented racial disparity in death sentences has become one of the central arguments among opponents for ending capital punishment.

But less discussed is the racial divide in how people view the death penalty. For example, underneath the polls showing widespread support is one of the most well-documented facts in death penalty research: that it enjoys much higher support among whites than other racial groups, especially African-Americans.

For example, a 2005 Gallup poll was typical in finding that, while there was little difference in death penalty support among different age groups, and only a moderate 12-point gap between men and women, there was a 27-point difference between white 71% and black 44% support.

MORE:   ISS – Why does the South execute more people?.


Filed under Death Penalty, Justice System

Troy Davis Execution Stay Denied by Supreme Court

I’m sorry, but we should never take the chance we are killing an innocent man…

That is nothing more than state sanctioned murder.

That’s why I do not support the Death Penalty.  There is no way to rectify the situation if something goes wrong…

We should be giving life without parole as the sentence in these cases so there is always the chance to fix it if the system goes astray.

Texas has already executed a man who was probably innocent- at least once.  And Rick Perry has tried to cover it up….

We have to stop doing this….

If you are poor, Black and in The South, you already have three strikes against you before the system even begins to move…

There is just too much doubt here….

Davis was convicted of the 1989 murder of Savannah, Ga., policeman Mark MacPhail, and had his execution stayed four times over the course of his 22 years on death row, but multiple legal appeals during that time failed to prove his innocence.

Public support grew for Davis based on the recanted testimony of seven witnesses from his trial and the possible confession of another suspect, which his defense team claimed cast too much doubt on Davis’ guilt to follow through with an execution.

Several witnesses recanted their testimony that Davis fired the shot that killed MacPhail. His impending execution has brought those efforts to a head.

via Troy Davis Execution Stay Denied by Supreme Court – ABC News.

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