Friday, February 20, 2015
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Last night, an execution in Oklahoma went horribly wrong, with Clayton Lockett writhing on a gurney for 43 minutes before eventually dying of a heart attack, rather than the untested cocktail of drugs administered to him. Katie Fretland witnessed the execution, and Mother Jones reporter Stephanie Mencimer has been tracking the legal twists and turns of the case. They discuss the huge public response to this incident.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
There are currently 80,000 people being held in solitary confinement across America. Many of these prisoners have been there for years or decades without any human contact. In an effort to understand what these prisoners are feeling, Colorado Department of Corrections Executive Director Rick Raemisch submitted himself to 20 hours of “administration segregation,” more commonly known as solitary confinement. Three Oscar-winners also took action to explore how prisoners are feeling behind bars. Documentarian Alex Gibney, narrator Susan Sarandon, and producer Robert Redford, coalesced to create “Death Row Stories.”
Friday, August 23, 2013
Evan J. Mandery gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Supreme Court and capital punishment—a most politically complex, racially charged, and morally vexing issue. His book A Wild Justice: The Death and Resurrection of Capital Punishment in America looks at two Supreme Court 1970s cases—Furman v. Georgia, which struck down Georgia’s death penalty law, and Gregg v. Georgia, which reversed direction
Friday, April 06, 2012
More than 30 years ago, California voters passed a ballot initiative to broaden the reach of the state’s death penalty system. The law was intended to serve as a national model for how capital punishment should function in America. The expansion is called the Briggs Initiative, named after two of the architects of the law: Ron Briggs and his father, former State Senator John Briggs. The text of the law was written by attorney Don Heller. Decades later, Don Heller and Ron Briggs are again advocating for an initiative, but this time they want the state to repeal the death penalty.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
A last minute appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was not enough to save Troy Davis. The Georgia inmate was executed for the murder of a Savannah police officer, despite serious doubts about the evidence against the 42-year-old. Davis's case gained the support of hundreds of thousands of followers, including former President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Republican presidential candidate Bob Barr, and celebrities like Sean Combs and Cee-Lo Green.