Death Row

Salem-Journal: Sister Helen Prejean speaks out against the death penalty at Willamette

Roman Catholic Sister Helen Prejean talks at Willamette University’s Cone Chapel

Roman Catholic Sister Helen Prejean tours the nation to speak against capital punishment, experiences that culminated in a Pulitzer-nominated book, “Dead Man Walking.” Tuesday night’s talk in Willamette University’s Cone Chapel marked the sister’s fourth visit to Oregon.

INNOCENCE: Louisiana Death Row Inmate Exonerated Through DNA After 15 Years

Damon Thibodeaux was freed from death row in Louisiana

On September 28, Damon Thibodeaux was freed from death row in Louisiana after an extensive investigation, including DNA testing and the cooperation of Jefferson Parrish District Attorney Paul Connick. Thibodeaux was sentenced to death for the 1996 rape and murder of his cousin. He at first confessed to the attack after a nine-hour interrogation by detectives. He recanted a few hours later and claimed his confession was coerced.

Ohio: Another release from death row

Michael Keenan released from Ohio's death row

Another deadly mistake has been uncovered and corrected. Michael Keenan was released from Ohio’s death row today, after serving 24 year of imprisonment, for a crime he did not commit. This is Ohio’s second exoneration in nine months, the seventh since 1976 when the death penalty was resumed in the United States and the 141st nationally.

Judge rules inmate Gary Haugen, seeking execution, has right to reject governor's reprieve

Death row inmate Gary Haugen won a legal battle

Death row inmate Gary Haugen won a legal battle Friday against Gov. John Kitzhaber when a judge ruled he could reject the governor's reprieve of his execution and move forward in his efforts to die by lethal injection. The opinion by Senior Judge Timothy P. Alexander is expected to initiate new adversarial proceedings between the prisoner who volunteered to die and the governor who had a change of heart about capital punishment.

The wrong Carlos: how Texas sent an innocent man to his death

Carlos DeLuna was executed for a crime he did not commit

A few years ago, Antonin Scalia, one of the nine justices on the US supreme court, made a bold statement. There has not been, he said, "a single case – not one – in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an event had occurred … the innocent's name would be shouted from the rooftops."

Oregon Supreme Court Again Overturns Death Sentence

Oregon Supreme Court overturns death sentence

The Oregon Supreme Court, for the third time in two decades, has overturned a death sentence against Robert Paul Langley Jr. for a murder committed in 1987. The decision announced Thursday sent the case back to Marion County Circuit Court for further proceedings. District Attorney Walt Beglau has not announced whether he will seek the death penalty for Langley. Because four of the sitting justices have worked for the Oregon Department of Justice, which represents the state in death-penalty cases, they did not take part in Thursday’s decision. The three remaining justices were joined by a retired justice and a Court of Appeals judge to decide the case.

State Supreme Court overturns death sentence against Robert Langley for fourth time

State Supreme Court overturns death sentence against Robert Langley

The Oregon Supreme Court for the fourth time has overturned a death sentence for Robert Paul Langley Jr., finding that a judge should not have forced the convicted murderer to represent himself before jurors determining his punishment. The decision marks the latest setback for prosecutors who have pressed to execute Langley -- and persuaded four juries to hand down Oregon's harshest sentence -- over more than two decades.

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.”

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