Trump Brags About Helping Wrongly Convict Central Park Killers


Back in 1989, a woman was raped and nearly killed in Central Park. Five teenage boys, four black and one Latino, were convicted of the crime and sent to prison. Before that happened, Donald Trump took out a full page ad in the New York Daily News demanding that the death penalty be brought back, pumping up the level of hatred already being spewed. All of them were later exonerated when the real rapist came forward and said he acted alone and DNA evidence proved that he was the rapist. So Ann … [Read more...]

Study: 4% of Executed Convicts Are Innocent

There has long been a debate over just how high a percentage of convicted criminals, especially those on death row, are wrongfully convicted. It's very difficult to properly measure, of course. But a new study that applies a new methodology concludes that at least 4% of those put to death are innocent. … [Read more...]

Florida Republicans Want to Speed Up Executions

The Florida legislature has passed a package of criminal justice reforms that include provisions to speed up the execution of those on death row. Gov. Rick Scott is almost certain to sign the bill. And one Republican callously declared that it's "not about guilt or innocence." … [Read more...]

Maryland to Eliminate the Death Penalty

Maryland is poised to become the 18th state to outlaw the death penalty after the state legislature voted by a strong margin to do so. The governor says he will sign the bill, which would commute the sentences of those on death row to life in prison without parole. … [Read more...]

The Death Penalty and Democracy

The Economist's Lexington blog has a post about democracy and the death penalty, pointing out that major strides have been made to eliminate the death penalty in many states despite strong public support of this ultimate punishment. Those achievements, then, go against public opinion: … [Read more...]

Goldberg Waxes Stupid on the Death Penalty

Jonah Goldberg has another one of his predictably trite and overly simplistic columns -- that is, after all, the only thing he has to offer -- about the Aurora shooter and the death penalty. He begins by beating up a rather silly straw man: … [Read more...]

How a Prosecutor Should Act

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins should be the DA in every county, or at least someone like him. Not only did he establish the first Conviction Integrity Unit in the country to look at wrongful convictions by his office, he's now asking that an execution be delayed so they can get the results of DNA testing back: … [Read more...]

Judge Exonerated Executed Man

You may remember the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas in 2004, for what a great many people believe was a crime he did not commit. The Huffington Post notes that a Texas state judge wrote a declaration exonerating him in 2010, but it was never released because the appeals courts overruled him. … [Read more...]

Texas Likely Executed an Innocent Man

A new report by a team of investigators concludes that the state of Texas likely executed an innocent man named Carlos DeLuna in 1989. He was convicted because he looked like the one who really committed the murder, and despite a good deal of evidence that he was innocent. … [Read more...]

The Conservative Argument Against the Death Penalty

California is going to have a referendum on the ballot this fall to abolish the death penalty in that state and Conor Friedersdorf makes the conservative argument against the death penalty, based on both economics and the inherent contradiction within conservative rhetoric about the government: … [Read more...]

Connecticut Outlaws Death Penalty

Three cheers for the state of Connecticut, which has repealed their death penalty law. Unfortunately, it doesn't apply to the 11 men currently on death row, only to future cases. That's 17 states that have done so, starting with my state, Michigan, which was the first in the country. More of this please. … [Read more...]

Oregon Governor Stops Executions

I found this on Stephen Bright's blog, Second Class Justice. It's about 3 months old, but I totally missed it at the time and I think it's very cool. The governor of Oregon has ended executions in his state through the rest of his term in office, becoming the second governor to do so (the other was George Ryan of Illinois). … [Read more...]