Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

November 12, 2010

Innocence Project: Key DNA Sample Not a Match to Man Executed in Texas

The Innocence Project reported just today that the hair sample used to condemn Claude Jones to death was not a match. “(Houston – November 12, 2010) The Innocence Project today released DNA test results proving that crucial hair evidence found at the scene of a murder, the only physical evidence linking the accused Claude Jones […]

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November 8, 2010

Correcting the so called “Corrections” system

As of today, it should be clear to everyone in this country, that our system for dealing with criminals (I won’t call it a “criminal justice” system since justice has so little to do with it), is utterly broken, beyond any conventional concept of repair. At this point, again I say, it should be clear […]

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October 12, 2010

Aren’t You Glad To Be A Gamma?

I had a really interesting philosophical discussion with Brad Warbiany, our curator at The Liberty Papers, over a Facebook status I wrote. I had just re-listened to the CBS Radio Workshop rendition of Brave New World and had commented that it seemed like a far more livable situation than 1984. Warbiany added that California, if […]

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September 30, 2010

Nolan Exposes McCain’s Antipathy for Civil Liberties in Arizona Senate Debate

David Nolan, co-founder of the Libertarian Party and author of “The World’s Smallest Political Quiz” (to which the result is plotted on the “Nolan Chart”) is running against none other than the most recent Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain for his senate seat. KTVK-3TV hosted a debate last Sunday which included Sen. McCain along […]

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September 4, 2010

UPDATE: Despite Possible Political Implications, Gov. Strickland Stops Kevin Keith’s Execution; Commutes Sentence to Life

Bob Driehaus writing for The New York Times reports: CINCINNATI — A death row inmate convicted of murdering a child and two adults was spared the death penalty Thursday by Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio, who said there were possible problems with the evidence. A diverse group of Republicans and Democrats, attorneys general and federal […]

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August 26, 2010

Even Death Penalty Supporters Urge Ohio Gov. Strickland to Spare Kevin Keith

Its one thing when anti-death penalty activists petition a governor to pardon or commute a sentence of an individual scheduled for execution but quite another when death penalty supporters agree. Kevin Keith is scheduled to be executed by the state of Ohio on September 15th for the 1994 murders of 2 adults and 1 child; […]

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August 12, 2010

Obama: Judge, Jury, and Executioner in Chief

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject […]

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May 26, 2010

SCOTUS will Hear Hank Skinner’s Case but Might Not Make the Final Decision

Yesterday SCOTUS decided they will hear Hank Skinner’s case; arguments will likely be heard sometime next year. However, even if Skinner ‘wins,’ SCOTUS is unlikely to decide once and for all if convicts have a Constitutional right to challenge their convictions if exculpatory evidence becomes available post-conviction. Legal experts say that the most Skinner can […]

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May 17, 2010

Modern Jurisprudence is PROFOUNDLY Broken

Two contrasting stories out of the Supreme Court today, that bring home the fact that jurisprudence in this country is profoundly… hopefully not irreparably… broken. First, from the New York Times: NO MORE LIFE SENTENCES FOR MINORS WHO HAVEN’T MURDERED…. In yet another 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said this morning that incarcerated minors can’t […]

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March 24, 2010

SCOTUS, Not Gov. Perry, Grants Hank Skinner a Reprieve

Hank Skinner will not be executed today. With about an hour left before Skinner was to be taken to the death chamber, SCOTUS put an immediate halt to the process. Michael Graczyk of the Associated Press reports: The brief order grants him the delay but does not ensure he will get such [DNA] testing. Perry […]

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March 22, 2010

Hank Skinner Execution Update: Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles Deny DNA Test Request

All seven members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles Death Panel voted earlier today to deny Hank Skinner’s request to have DNA samples tested. Unless Gov. Rick Perry or the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, Hank Skinner will be executed this Wednesday as scheduled. The courts have rejected Skinner’s requests for the DNA tests […]

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March 19, 2010

ACTION ALERT: Tell Gov. Perry to Give Hank Skinner 30 More Days

With less than five days until the scheduled execution of Hank Skinner, a DNA testing laboratory in Phoenix, AZ has offered to test evidence that Skinner’s attorneys say will prove his innocence. Chromosomal Laboratories has told Texas Gov. Rick Perry that they will run the tests for free if Perry agrees to grant Skinner a […]

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March 11, 2010

Former Texas Prosecutor and Judge Both Believe the State Has Executed More Than One Innocent Man

Hank Skinner is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas on March 24th. Despite more than a decade of requests to have his DNA tested, Texas courts have denied him every step of the way. The Medill Innocence Project has even offered to pay for the testing to no avail. Skinner’s attorneys have […]

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August 20, 2009

Disturbing Quote of the Day

“This court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim […]

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July 13, 2009

Ronald Kitchen: The Latest Death Row Exoneree

Radley Balko made the following observation at his blog: “Illinois has sentenced 224 people to death since reinstating capital punishment in 1977. Since then, 20 have been exonerated. I’m not sure what an acceptable rate of error in death penalty cases would be, but nine percent seems awfully high, doesn’t it?” One wrongfully killed person […]

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May 7, 2009

Colorado Senate Defeats Death Penalty Repeal by 1 Vote

Like déjà vu but this time in reverse, the Colorado Senate voted down the bill which would repeal the death penalty and use the savings to fund cold case homicide investigations by a single vote*. Though the Senate stripped out the death penalty provision just 15 minutes before the scheduled vote on Monday, the conference […]

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May 5, 2009

Last Minute Senate Rewrite Jeopardizes Colorado Death Penalty Repeal

Only 2 weeks ago the Colorado House passed H.B. 1274, a bill which would repeal the death penalty and use the savings to solve homicide cold cases, by a single vote. Foes of the bill in the Senate stripped out the death penalty repeal provisions and added an alternative source of funding to satisfy those […]

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April 22, 2009

Colorado One Step Closer to Abolishing the Death Penalty

The Colorado House passed the bill which would eliminate the death penalty by 1 vote. The Denver Post reports on the dramatic moment: In the hushed state House chamber, all eyes Tuesday stared up at the vote board, which showed lawmakers deadlocked 32-32 on whether to repeal the death penalty in Colorado. All but Rep. […]

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March 19, 2009

Quote of the Day II: Gov. Bill Richardson on the Death Penalty

(CNN) — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill Wednesday repealing the death penalty in his state, his office confirmed. “Regardless of my personal opinion about the death penalty, I do not have confidence in the criminal justice system as it currently operates to be the final arbiter when it comes to who lives […]

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February 25, 2009

Colorado General Assembly to Consider Repealing Death Penalty; Savings to be Used to Solve Cold Cases

For reasons I have expressed in earlier posts, I am opposed to the death penalty. I simply do not trust our criminal justice system enough to make a life or death decision on the innocence or guilt of an individual (based on recent news concerning Dr. West and others, it seems my distrust in the […]

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