Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty

Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty Files Amicus Brief

This week, Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty filed an Amicus Brief in support of 26 men on Tennessee’s death row.

In their case, the men are seeking to prove that the state’s execution method rises to the level of torture and should be banned. But, due to other laws, they must also show that execution methods that would cause less pain are available.

Tennessee passed a secrecy law in 2011 that blocks public knowledge of the drugs and suppliers used in executions, and because of this the state was able to prevent the defendants from accessing information about the availability of alternative methods during the discovery phase of the trial. This is a violation of the due process rights of the defendants.

You can read the brief here.

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Washington State Supreme Court Overturns the Death Penalty

Last week, the Washington State Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state’s death penalty statute and commuted the sentences of all 8 men who were on death row. The court ruled that the law was unconstitutional “because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.”

Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst, writing for the court’s majority, cited a recent crime analysis produced by University of Washington sociologists that found significant variations across counties in the application of the death penalty, and that also found black offenders were four times more likely to receive a death sentence in the state than their white peers. Due to these findings, the court held that the death penalty lacked fundamental fairness and thereby violated the state’s constitutional prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

With Thursday’s ruling, Washington becomes the 20th state to overturn or abolish death as a legal punishment. Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who previously supported the death penalty before issuing a moratorium on executions in the state in 2014, said he expects this ruling to end the debate over capital punishment in t

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