Atlantic Center for Capital Representation


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Posts tagged Death Penalty
Op Ed: Victims Against the PA Death Penalty

Vicki Schieber lost her daughter Shannon in 1998 to a serial rapist and murderer. Prior to the trial, Vicki and her husband decided, based on their Catholic faith, that they didn’t want their daughter’s murderer to be executed. The prosecutor ignored them and pursued the death penalty.

“The case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court argues that Pennsylvania’s death penalty system is cruel. I have lived that truth. Victims deserve better than endless trials and appeals that expend countless dollars on death penalty cases. We deserve better than a system meting out the ultimate punishment in our name whether we want it or not.

Pennsylvania should abolish the death penalty and replace it with a system that truly honors victims and their surviving family members.”

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Krasner Argues Pennsylvania's Death Penalty is Unconstitutional

Last year, federal defenders filed briefs with the PA Supreme Court on behalf of two clients, Cox and Marinelli, asking the Court to examine Pennsylvania’s use of the death penalty, and ultimately find it unconstitutional. A number of other organizations, including ACCR, have filed amicus briefs in support of finding the death penalty unconstitutional. Support for the position was in large part due to the results of a bipartisan study that characterized PA’s death penalty as seriously problematic.

In a brief filed Monday night, reformist prosecutor Larry Krasner urged the Supreme Court to find that the current death penalty violates the state constitution. His position is based heavily on an internal study of 155 convictions. According to the findings within the brief, 72% of Philadelphia’s death penalty cases have been overturned, largely due to ineffective assistance. Furthermore, out of the 45 people currently on death row from Philadelphia, 37 are Black. The brief is the first of its kind filed by any prosecutor’s office in the U.S.

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