ACCR Participates in Philly HAT Mitigation Seminar
In this episode of Aider and Abettor, Avi and Sajid get back together with Marc Bookman from the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation. Marc talks about his work on behalf of Kareem Johnson. He gives an update on Ricky Olds (User-139217541 – 14-going-on-life-without-parole). They also get an update on Krasner’s work in Philadelphia.
The Atlantic Center put out video on Ricky Olds. See it here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XtySsPOP9w
Marc refers to this article: www.theatlantic.com/national/archiv…ent-men/278363/
Music in this episode is composed by @leeroservere, @omniboi, and @ryanperreault (fellow public defender)
States That Allow The Death Penalty Still Aren't Using It
This weekend we presented as faculty in the 16th National Seminar on the Development & Presentation of Mitigation in Capital Cases. Thanks to the Habeas Assistance & Training Counsel Project for hosting such an educational think-tank event!
Moratorium on California's Death Penalty
One third of U.S. states with the death penalty have not carried out an execution in at least ten years…sometimes much longer. Pennsylvania is no exception; the last execution occurred in June of 1999. Additionally, since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1979, 3 people have been executed. All three individuals, including the two who were executed in 1995, waived their rights to appeals and asked that their executions be carried out.
ACCR Files Amicus for King's Bench Petition on PA Death Penalty
"Our death penalty system has been — by any measure — a failure," Newsom said in a written statement. "It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent. It has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars. But most of all, the death penalty is absolute, irreversible and irreparable in the event of a human error."
The moratorium will suspend executions as long as Newsom is governor and the death chamber at San Quentin Prison will be closed. This executive order will bring relief for 737 individuals on death row, however no sentences or convictions will be changed.
PA Prosecutors Are Increasingly Reluctant to Pursue Capital Murder Charges
ACCR filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court arguing that the Pennsylvania Death Penalty is broken beyond repair. The brief details some of the most horrific examples of ineffective assistance of defense counsel and prosecutorial misconduct around the state.
Brief Filed in PA Supreme Court for Kareem Johnson Case
Due to the high cost of a capital prosecution, the lengthy legal battles and the likelihood that the sentence will not actually be carried out, prosecutors in Pennsylvania are seeking death sentences less often.
A Unanimous Life Verdict in PA Death Penalty Case
A red hat with the victim’s blood and the defendant’s sweat was key to the prosecution’s case against Kareem Johnson. Mr. Johnson was convicted and sentenced to death; he spent the next 9 years of his life on death row. Then, his defense team gained access to the original DNA report and learned that the red hat had no blood on it at all! The Prosecutor claimed that he (along with the lead investigators) “misread the report” and then made a series of “mistakes,” but such a series of calamitous errors seems unlikely. ACCR’s brief urges the Supreme Court to recognize the prosecution’s abhorrent misconduct as intentional and bar retrial for Mr. Johnson on double jeopardy grounds.
Philly Man's Second Conviction Overturned After 28 Years on Death Row
A death penalty case against Robert Anderson Jr. has resulted in a guilty verdict and a life sentence in Cumberland County. The judge imposed a sentence of life without parole after the jury deliberated for only approximately 90 minutes, returning 12 (unanimous) votes for life.
Philly DA Announces Changes in Policy for the Treatment of Juveniles
Orlando Maisonet must now be retried or set free after spending 28 years on death row following 2 homicide convictions. The judge in this case cited prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel when vacating the second conviction. Both convictions were secured by disgraced, and now deceased, ex-prosecutor Rodger King. As a result, criminal justice reform advocates are now calling for a review of all cases handled by King.
Cyntoia Brown Granted Clemency
"The children that these policies seek to help are those who have committed misdemeanor or low-level felony offenses and who are sent to placement or supervised for long periods of time for behavioral problems that could be better treated outside the justice system and closer to home," Krasner said at a news conference Wednesday.
Judge Considering Defense Motion to Bar Death Penalty in Pittsburgh Case
On December 12, 2018, ACCR worked with many other great organizations to file a clemency letter on Brown’s behalf. Brown, a sex trafficking victim, was sentenced to life for killing a man who bought her for sex and would have had to serve 51 years of her sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Now, she will be released on August 7, 2019, exactly 15 years from the date of her arrest. Check out our Twitter page to read the clemency letter.
Inside the Staircase
The judge in the case against two men accused of a mass slaying in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania said that he is "seriously" considering the motion filed by the defense to dismiss the state’s application of the death penalty. The stress placed on the jurors tasked with deciding the two defendants fate is one of the main factors he intends to consider.
First Person Arts Festival
Last night's Inside #TheStaircase Lies, Fake Science & The Owl Theory was an amazing show! Thanks to everyone who came out. We heard David Rudolf and Jerry Buting answer viewer questions and had a productive discussion with DA Larry Krasner about how to improve our justice system! All moderated by our fabulous Marc Bookman.
A Thoughtless Response to an Incomprehensible Crime
Felonious Munk has updated his smash-hit Second City performance and is bringing it to the First Person Arts stage. This is a hilarious yet harrowing first-person story of how one black man went from six years in a state prison to a six-figure job in corporate America. Felonious then transitions to a new life as an activist and satirist in his one-man show debuting at the First Person Arts Festival. Join us tonight at 7:00pm for the show and following discussion.
Witness to Innocence 15th Anniversary Celebration
Marc Bookman evaluates and compares Trump and Obama's totally different responses to eerily similar acts of gun violence. And how - though suggested by our current president - a combo of capital punishment and more guns, just doesn't seem like the best solution.
Inside The Staircase: Lies, Fake Science & The Owl Theory
Join us in Center City Philadelphia to toast with food and drink for Witness to Innocence’s 15th Anniversary! Special guests include @HelenPrejean, @Innocence Project co-founder @barryscheck, Philly DA Larry Krasner, and more. Purchase your tickets today.
Washington State Strikes Down Death Penalty, Citing Racial Bias
NOVEMBER 7TH! Inside the Staircase: Lies, Fake Science & The Owl Theory comes to the Keswick Theater in Glenside. Get your tickets to see David Rudolf, Jerry Buting, Larry Krasner and our co-director Marc Bookman before they sell out!
Our Happy Hour Was a Success!
Thursday's ruling makes Washington the 20th state to abolish capital punishment. According to the ACLU, this state supreme court is the third to do so citing concerns about racial disparities, along with Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Check Out This Bonus Episode of Undisclosed Podcast
Thank you to everyone who attended our happy hour event last week! More exciting networking events to come!
Shawn Nolan of the Philly Capital Habeas Unit joins host, Colin Miller, to discuss jury impeachment in the case of death row inmate, Charles Rhines.