Author: Fair Punishment Project

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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New Report: Prisoners on Arkansas’s Execution List Defined By Mental Illness, Intellectual Disability, and Bad Lawyering

Introduction Since the Supreme Court reinstituted the death penalty in 1976, Arkansas has executed just 27 people.[1] It has not sent an inmate to the death chamber since 2005.[2] But beginning on April 17, Arkansas intends to execute an unprecedented eight men in just ten days.[3] This report examines the cases of those condemned men, and what we found is devastating.[4] At least five of the eight cases cases involve a person who appears to suffer from a serious mental illness or intellectual impairment. One of these men was twenty at the time of the crime, suffered a serious...

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