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OADP's 2010 Year-End Letter

Click "Read More" to read OADP's 2010 year-end letter, hear why we MUST end the death penalty in Oregon, and learn how you can help.

Justice John Paul Stevens' Endorsement of Death Penalty Abolition

US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

Death penalty abolition is a growing movement in the United States. Former US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is the most recent former high court member to speak out publicly against the death penalty. The links below are to Justice Stevens' New York Times book review of sociologist David Garland's The Peculiar Institution: America's Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition, as well as two commentary pieces in response to Justice Stevens' review.

New Survey on Attitudes toward the Death Penalty

New Survey on Attitudes toward the Death Penalty

The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) has just released the results of its comprehensive study on Americans' opinions about the death penalty. Lake Research Partners of Washington, D.C. conducted the study. In death penalty states, most voters said it would make no difference in their vote if a representative supported death penalty repeal. Thirty-eight percent said that it would make no difference; 24% said they would be more likely to vote for such a representative. This 62% combined total suggests that politicians who look critically at the death penalty and support repeal might even have a slight advantage. The poll confirms that the public wants straight-talk, not "tough talk" about how lawmakers propose to keep families and communities safe from crime. It suggests that the public wants legislators who will devise policies that not only hold offenders accountable for the harm that they do, but will also provide more services and support for families of murder victims.

Oregonian Column: "Death for the Death Penalty"

The following column appeared in the Oregonian on November 8, 2010. It tells the story of Anthony Graves, a Texas capital inmate who was recently exonerated from death row. An investigation concluded that there was no evidence that tied him to the crime. He is the 138th former death row inmate to be released.

Death for the Death Penalty

By Leonard Pitts, Jr.

A few days ago, Anthony Graves called his mother and asked what she was cooking for dinner. She asked why he wanted to know. He said, "Because I'm coming home."

Did Texas Execute an Innocent Man?

Did Texas Execute an Innocent Man? Death by Fire on PBS' Frontline

“Death by Fire,” a very compelling documentary by PBS’ “Frontline” about wrongly convicted and executed Texas death row prisoner Cameron Todd Willingham. He was sentenced to death for killing his three children by arson, but as the program made clear once again, junk science and poor fire investigation methodology resulted in Willingham’s wrongful conviction. The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and The Innocence Project notes that evidence released in recent years, beginning before Todd Willingham was executed in 2004, lead to the “inescapable conclusion that Willingham did not set the fire for which he was executed.”

Oregonian Letter to Editor: Abolish Oregon's Death Penalty

Oregonian Letter to Editor: Abolish Oregon's Death Penalty

Regarding "Hard choices: Oregon's money crisis" (Sept. 29): In a time of extreme budget crisis within the state of Oregon and the country as a whole, simple ways to reduce budgetary deficits while continuing to provide the citizenry with necessary social services at an adequate level seem all the more important. One very simple way to accomplish this goal, as well as ensure that we have a criminal justice system for all Oregonians, is to abolish Oregon's capital punishment statute.

David Garland: Five Myths about the Death Penalty

On September 5, 2010, David Garland, professor of law and sociology at New York University wrote an oped article that appeared in the Oregonian on September 5, 2010. His book Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition is forthcoming this fall. The article centers around 5 points:

1. The United States is a death-penalty nation. In fact this country barely uses the death penalty.

Views from Around the World

Views from Around the World

From: THE WEEK MAGAZINE (commentary from newspapers around the world) July 2-9, 2010 edition.

Gerd Bruggemann….commentator for Neue Zurcher Zeitung, in Switzerland wrote……….

Death Penalty debate flares after firing squad execution

firing squad execution
Utah: The state has banned the method, saying it overshadows the crime and victim Nicholas Riccardi: McClatchy Tribune Commentary submitted by Jim Pavis, OADP member The following was excerpted from the Oregonian article (June 19, 2010 – A4):

Retiring Justice John Paul Stevens Pleas for Abolition of the Death Penalty

Retiring Justice John Paul Stevens Pleas for Abolition of the Death Penalty

Commentary by Ron Steiner OADP Outreach Chair -- Speaking at a large convention of judges and lawyers, in Columbus, Ohio, last night retiring Supreme Count Justice John Paul Stevens made a direct and emotional plea to abolish the death penalty. Among his comments before the assembled legal veterans, Stevens said, “The risk of an incorrect decision has increased”. Responding to a question about his 2008 assertion that the death penalty should be abolished, he said that “because of advances in DNA testing”, which have led to the freeing of some innocent convicts, “we’re more aware of the risk than we might have been before.”

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