Tag Archives: capital punishment

Biden Admin Still Pushing Trump-Era Legal Positions After Two Years in White House

“As the previous administration violated legal and ethical norms at every turn, Attorney General Merrick Garland’s choice of continuity with the Trump DOJ’s positions erodes the integrity of the very institution he is determined to protect,” said one researcher.

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 1-20-2023 by Common Dreams

Merrick Garland and Chuck Schumer in 2016 Photo: Senate Democrats/flickr/CC

Two years after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, his administration continues to advance Trump-era legal positions in dozens of court cases, a progressive watchdog group revealed Friday.

Former President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) “consistently made a mockery of the law throughout his four years in power,” the Revolving Door Project (RDP) noted in the latest release of its long-running litigation tracker. Continue reading

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Despite US Opposition, UN Passes Resolution Condemning Death Penalty

“Joe Biden ran for president as an abolitionist… It is time for him to put this country on record as committed to ending the death penalty.”

By Julia Conley  Published 12-16-2022 by Common Dreams

Vigil for Corey Johnson at the Supreme Court on January 14, 2021. Photo: Felton Davis/flickr.CC

President Joe Biden’s stated opposition to the death penalty did not stop the United States from joining Saudi Arabia, Iran, and North Korea in voting against a United Nations resolution supporting a worldwide moratorium on the practice on Thursday, leading critics to question once again whether the president will make good on his campaign pledge to eliminate capital punishment in his own country.

The resolution passed in a vote of 125-37 with 22 abstensions, but as it has in the past when a proposed death penalty moratorium has come up for a vote at the U.N., the U.S. delegation did not aid its passage. Continue reading

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As Biden Mulls Trip to Saudi Arabia, Rights Group Spotlights Death Sentence of Child Defendant

U.N. experts urge the kingdom to release Abdullah al-Howaiti and “abolish the imposition of the death penalty for children for all crimes.”

By Jessica Corbett  Published 5-30-2022 by Common Dreams

Abdullah al-Howaiti, a Saudi Arabian man sentenced to death, is shown at age 14. (Photo: Human Rights Watch)

Following reports that U.S. President Joe Biden may visit Saudi Arabia during his trip to the Middle East next month, a human rights group on Monday highlighted global calls to release Abdullah al-Howaiti, a young man twice sentenced to death by the country’s courts.

Reprieve pointed out in a statement that United Nations experts have urged the Saudi government to annul his sentence “because he did not receive a fair trial, as credible reports that he was tortured into making a false confession when he was 14 years old were not investigated.” Continue reading

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‘Perverse’ Supreme Court Ruling ‘Effectively Ensures That Innocent People Will Remain Imprisoned’

“This is radical. This is horrifying. This is extremely scary,” said one public defender.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 5-23-2022 by Common Dreams

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion for Shinn v. Martinez Ramirez, announced May 23, 2022. Screenshot: ABC News

Legal experts responded with alarm Monday to a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing majority that could lead to the indefinite imprisonment and even execution of people who argue their lawyers didn’t provide adequate representation after convictions in state court.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor—joined by the other two liberals on the court—also blasted the majority opinion in Shinn v. Martinez Ramirez, writing in her scathing dissent that the decision is both “perverse” and “illogical.” Continue reading

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‘End… This Human Rights Atrocity,’ Says Amnesty After Biden Admin Signals Goal to Close Gitmo

Asked whether the president will shutter the prison, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “That certainly is our goal and our intention.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-12-2021

Witness Against Torture demonstrates for the closure of the Guantánamo Bay offshore prison. (Photo: Justin Norman/flickr/cc)

Human rights advocates on Friday welcomed reporting, confirmed by the White House, that President Joe Biden intends to close the Guantánamo Bay offshore military prison, which has long drawn global condemnation for torture and detention conditions.

“We are pleased to hear that the Biden administration wants to review the U.S. policy of almost 20 years of indefinite detention without charge of Muslim men at an offshore prison,” said Daphne Eviatar, director of the Security With Human Rights Program at Amnesty International USA, in a statement. Continue reading

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What If Jesus Had Been Born in the American Police State?

Today, Jesus’ anti-government views would certainly have resulted in him being labeled a domestic extremist by law enforcement agencies.

By John Whitehead. Published 12-22-2020 by MintPress News

A church is Southern California put up a nativity display that shows Jesus, Mary, and Joseph being detained at the border.

The Christmas story of a baby born in a manger is a familiar one. The Roman Empire, a police state in its own right, had ordered that a census be conducted. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary traveled to the little town of Bethlehem so that they could be counted. There being no room for the couple at any of the inns, they stayed in a stable (a barn), where Mary gave birth to a baby boy, Jesus. Warned that the government planned to kill the baby, Jesus’ family fled with him to Egypt until it was safe to return to their native land

Yet what if Jesus had been born 2,000 years later? Continue reading

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Stunning Critics, Oklahoma Turns to ‘Experimental’ Use of Nitrogen Gas to Kill People

“The suggestion by authorities that this new method is ‘more humane’…ignores the unavoidable truth that there is no humane way to kill a conscious, thinking human being, and that the entire apparatus of capital punishment is deeply flawed and deeply wounding to us all.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 3-15-2018

Anti-capital punishment advocates on Thursday condemned an announcement by Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter this week that the state would begin using nitrogen gas to execute death row inmates, after being unable to secure lethal injection drugs.

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Texas Readies to Kill Man—Who Killed No One—for Murder

Jeffery Wood on track to be the ‘least culpable person executed in the modern era of death penalty’

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-13-2016

Texas is about to execute Jeffery Wood for a murder he didn't commit. (Photo: Kurt and Sybilla/flickr/cc)

Texas is about to execute Jeffery Wood for a murder he didn’t commit. (Photo: Kurt and Sybilla/flickr/cc)

Texas—the state that leads the nation (pdf) in number of executions—is on the brink of killing Jeffery Wood.

His execution is scheduled for Aug. 24, which is “just five days after his 43rd birthday, for a crime that everyone, including prosecutors, admits he did not commit,”Jordan Smith wrote at The Intercept. Continue reading

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