Posts Tagged:criminal justice reform

Lawyers hope new evidence can stop Texas woman Melissa Lucio’s execution

During hours of relentless questioning, Melissa Lucio more than 100 times had denied fatally beating her 2-year-old daughter. But worn down from a lifetime of abuse and the grief of losing her daughter Mariah, her lawyers say, the Texas woman finally acquiesced to investigators. “I guess I did it,” Lucio responded when asked if she…Read More

Oklahoma governor commutes death sentence hours before execution

Oklahoma Gov. J. Kevin Stitt today commuted the death sentence of an inmate, hours before his scheduled execution. Julius Jones, who was scheduled to be executed today at 4 p.m. for a murder he says he did not commit, will have to serve a life imprisonment instead, without the possibility of parole. “After prayerful consideration…Read More

US Supreme Court to hear case of death row inmate requesting pastor’s touch at execution

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Ramirez v. Collier on Tuesday, Nov. 9, almost two months after the court delayed a scheduled execution over a question about the role of spiritual advisors in the death chamber. The court will consider the constitutionality of Texas’ prohibitions on a spiritual advisor touching a condemned prisoner…Read More

Archbishop Coakley of Oklahoma City: A culture of life means an end to the death penalty

If we mean to build a culture of life, we must commit anew to emptying death row and abolishing capital punishment. We are at a crossroads in the United States as we wrestle with the question of inherent human dignity—born and unborn, innocent and guilty, young and old, well and infirm. Amid the perennial debate…Read More

Reactions to State of Oklahoma’s execution of John Grant by lethal injection, the first since 2015

The Rev. Paul S. Coakley, archbishop of Oklahoma City, issued the following statement, sharply criticizing Gov. Kevin Stitt and Attorney General John O’Connor for hurrying to resume executions. “The unnecessary rush to restart executions in Oklahoma by the governor and attorney general is concerning and disappointing. Throughout our nation’s history we have justified the killing…Read More

Judge denies execution stays for Julius Jones, 4 other inmates

An Oklahoma City federal judge on Monday denied Julius Jones and four other inmates execution stays. The decision came just three days before the first execution is scheduled to be carried out. The inmates immediately appealed. “The Supreme Court has made it clear that the state’s interest in timely enforcement of its judgments cannot be ignored,” U.S.…Read More

Opinion: President Biden Must End the Federal Death Penalty

Those were the words of Carlos DeLuna, a young Latino man who Texas executed in 1989. At trial, DeLuna said that another man—Carlos Hernandez—murdered Wanda Lopez, a single mother stabbed to death while working at a convenience store in Corpus Christi. The prosecution told the jury that Carlos Hernandez was a “phantom” DeLuna made up.…Read More