Tag Archives: Death Penalty
Sign Repeal Death Penalty

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Updates on the Death Penalty

Just last month, the Reform Movement proudly participated in the launch of the 90 Million Strong Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty. Barbara Weinstein, Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism spoke on behalf of the Reform Movement, which has long advocated for the abolition of the death penalty and reform of the criminal justice system. Since joining the campaign, a lot has happened around the issue, some good news and other less inspiring news. Read more…

Why are you one of 90 million who think the death penalty is wrong?

Reform Movement on the Launch ofthe 90 Million Strong Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty

Earlier today at a press conference at the National Press Club, the 90 Million Strong Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty was launched. Barbara Weinstein, Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism spoke on behalf of the Reform Movement, which has long advocated for the abolition of the death penalty and reform of the criminal justice system. Here is Barbara’s statement from this morning: Read more…

RAC Submits Testimony for Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing

Tomorrow, Senator Durbin is holding a final hearing for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. The Senator’s goal for the hearing is to assess what has been accomplished in recent years and what still needs to be done on key civil and human rights issues. The RAC has submitted written testimony to show the strength of our community’s interest in the topics the subcommittee works on. Our testimony covers a number of the important issues including voting rights, criminal justice and sentencing reform, the death penalty, hate crimes, and more. Read more…

Death Penalty

Nevada Audit Shows Death Penalty Is Not Cost Effective

According to a state audit, murder cases in Nevada in which prosecutors seek the death penalty can cost nearly twice as much as those that seek a lesser punishment. The Nevada Legislature just released a 105 page audit focusing on the cost of death penalty and non-death penalty murder cases in two counties between 2000-2012. The audit was conducted as part of the Legislature’s oversight responsibility for public programs in order to improve state government. The audit took 18 months to conduct and looked at the price of trials, appeals and jail time for 28 Nevada cases. Read more…

Sign Repeal Death Penalty

Getting Rid of the Green Mile

Leading up to my first day at the RAC, I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the issues I wanted to work on. When our issue selection day finally came, I was thrilled to have the civil rights issue area in my portfolio. I had written my senior thesis about voting rights and been struggling with the criminal justice system ever since my binge-watching of The Wire. However, I never expected to spend so much time and energy engaging with the question of the death penalty. That same day, two half-brothers with mental disabilities in North Carolina, one of whom was on death row and the other of whom was serving a life sentence, were exonerated after over 30 years in prison. I was shocked and outraged. I could not even begin to imagine what it must be like to spend more than three decades in prison, waiting to be executed for a crime you did not commit. I soon found that this story is not uncommon. In fact, since 1973, over 140 people have been exonerated and freed from death row, and even more people have been executed despite serious doubts that they are innocent. The Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Law School studied 86 exonerations and found that the most common reason behind wrongful convictions were eyewitness error and government misconduct by both the police and the prosecution.

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Choosing Life over the Death Penalty  

Growing up as a Reform Jew in a liberal, socially active environment in Southern California, I always felt that capital punishment and the death penalty were morally wrong and never the right response to crime. Then, as a Reform Jew in the liberal, socially active environment of Boston University, I was faced with a moral dilemma.

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Cruel and Unusual Punishment? Not on Our Watch

By Rabbi Yair Robinson

Clayton Lockett went to his death knowing it was inevitable, an act of vengeance for the brutal murder of Stephanie Neiman in 1999.He had no final words before they filled his bloodstream with poison. Nothing to say about how they shot and buried Stephanie alive, nothing to say to her family, or his, or the media.

But he did speak. To alert the officials that he wasn’t unconscious. To writhe and groan in pain as the poison, rather than sending him off to a relatively painless death, one theoretically free of unnecessary cruelty. To cause the prison officials to lower the blinds from the viewing gallery so they couldn’t see his final moments. Read more…

Oklahoma Botches Execution: What’s Going On?

Last night, the state of Oklahoma effectively tortured one of its prisoners to death, after weeks of legal back-and-forth between the state’s courts about the legality of the execution. Clayton Lockett’s execution was halted after it was clear that the lethal injection procedure was botched, but he suffered significantly and ultimately died as a result of the botched procedure.

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