Author: Fair Punishment Project

New Report Highlights How Local Criminal Justice Policies Undercut the Promise of “Sanctuary” Cities

Local criminal justice policies, such as vagrancy laws and cash bail requirements, endanger vulnerable immigrant populations and undercut the promise of “sanctuary” cities, according to a report released today by Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project, the Immigrant Defense Project, and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. The report urges city and county leaders who want to protect immigrants to act swiftly to end harmful criminal justice practices that criminalize poverty and send undocumented residents into the deportation pipeline. The report states, “Broken windows [policing] and other policies that harshly penalize low-level offenses have laid the groundwork for President Trump...

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Oklahoma Commission Recommends Extending Death Penalty Moratorium

The Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, a bipartisan commission of legal experts, along with community leaders and advocates, was convened in 2016 to comprehensively examine Oklahoma’s death penalty system. The commission recently concluded its investigation with the release of a report recommending that Oklahoma extend its moratorium on executions. Oklahoma’s Attorney General first imposed the moratorium in 2015 in order to investigate breaches in the state’s execution protocol that led to Charles Warner being administered the wrong execution drug. The mistake may have caused Warren to die in excruciating pain. His last words were “my body is on fire.”...

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Arkansas Poised to Execute Kenneth Williams

Kenneth Williams is scheduled for execution tonight. Five IQ scores place him within the intellectual disability range, but no Court has ever considered whether he is categorically barred from the death penalty. Unless this Court intervenes, he will be executed tonight. Read The Fair Punishment Project’s brief on behalf of Mr. Williams. Learn more about Mr. Williams in our...

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Arkansas Executes Ledell Lee Despite Disability, Innocence Questions

On Friday, April 21, the state of Arkansas executed Ledell Lee despite serious concerns about his intellectual functioning. It is possible Lee suffered from a disability that should have excluded him from the death penalty. There were also concerns raised about the fact that he had not been able to test crucial evidence which could have exonerated him. Read our Amicus Brief on the case here.  You can also see more about the egregiously ineffective assistance of counsel he received in our report...

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Five Criminal Justice Reforms the Louisiana Legislature Should Pass Immediately

  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Louisiana locks up more people per capita than anywhere else in the country — nearly double the national average. It sends people to prison for drug, property, and other low-level offenses at an alarming clip. This desire to lock people up and throw away the key has strained the state’s finances while failing to make communities safer. In just over a year’s span, credit agencies have downgraded Louisiana’s credit three times, and it is facing an over $300 million budget shortfall. But the state is not without a path forward. Several reforms currently before the Louisiana...

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