This week, Terence Lenamon returns to teach at the annual "In Defense of the Damned" seminar presented by Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College.   Terry Lenamon Teaching This Week at Thunderhead Ranch Those attending are promised "an opportunity to step back, take a break from your busy life, and reconnect with the land and yourself" at the Thunderhead Ranch. View Full Post
Charles Rhines sits on the South Dakota Death Row waiting to hear if his Petition for Writ will be granted by the U.S. Supreme Court this week (conference of June 14, 2018). Mr. Rhines seeks review of his capital trial proceedings, arguing that there was an improper refusal  to consider evidence demonstrating that his sexual orientation was a factor in the imposition of the death penalty by the jury. View Full Post
Real People and Real Families: The Reality of Death Row   Recently, the Marshall Project published an article written by Death Row inmate Timothy White entitled, "Why We Can’t Have Nice Things on Death Row."  Mr. White resides on the North Carolina Death Row, located in Raleigh, North Carolina’s Central Prison.   It’s a good read and a well-written piece.   Documentary Series on Death Row However, for those interested in more details about how Death Row works, there is also a series of BBC documentary episodes being provided by National Geographic Channel and FoxCheck out the details here.   These are collected under the name "Life and Death Row," and they delve into different aspects of the realities of Death Row in this country. View Full Post
Right now,  17-year-old Dimitrios Pagoutzis sits in the Galveston County Jail after confessing to being the active shooter responsible for last week’s high school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. In Florida, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz sets in jail in Broward County, Florida, facing 17 counts of murder for the high school shooting on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  See, "Terence Lenamon’s Son At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting." In the Cruz case, prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.  In the Pagoutzis case, they don’t have that option.  That’s because the 17-year-old is not a legal adult, and juveniles are treated differently under the law. View Full Post
Do We Remember There is a Federal Death Penalty Statute?  There is such a focus these days on the various states in discussions on capital punishment, that many may not realize that there is an active federal death penalty process, and that the Department of Justice’s Office of the Attorney General can seek death in federal prosecutions all over the country.  Federal Death Penalty Law It will not matter if the state in which the federal court resides does not support capital punishment. Under federal law, if the defendant is being tried at the federal courthouse, then he or she may be sentenced to die. View Full Post
Florida Execution of Aileen Wuornos: Watch Bloomfield Documentary Now for Free Of course,Monster is the movie depicting the life of Aileen Carol Wuornos, who was executed by the State of Florida in 2002 for killing six men.  Maybe you’ve seen it.  Monster Was the Fictional Account of Florida Serial Killer Executed in 2002 Aileen Wuornos, one of the most notorious serial killers in our nation’s history, was portrayed by Charlize Theron.  The actress won an Academy Award for her work in the film, and Monster was named "Best Film of the Year" by the AFI.   From a death penalty perspective, no matter how good this movie may be, it’s probably better to spend your time watching the excellent 2-part documentary created by director Nick Broomfield.   Broomfield Documentary on Aileen Wuornos Combines 1992 and 2003 Work Entitled "Aileen" Life and Death of a Serial Killer," the documentary combines his earlier film, "Selling of a Serial Killer," with his later work.  It’s essentially two films combined into a single 1.5 hour biography. View Full Post
Amnesty International has released its annual report on the status of capital punishment around the world.  Entitled "Amnesty International Global Report: Death Sentences and Executions 2017," you can read it online in its pdf format.   2017 Report: Numbers Have to Be Higher than Reported The 48-page report covers "the judicial use of the death penalty" as best it can.  As we’ve discussed earlier, some countries — like China — consider state executions to be "state secrets" and there is no way to confirm the number of death penalty sentences carried out by these governments. View Full Post
Two more petitions for a writ of certiorari were denied on Monday by the Supreme Court of the United States in capital cases coming out of Florida.  They are dealing with review of current Florida Death Row inmates’ sentences where they were sentenced to die under a statutory scheme deemed unconstitutional by the High Court.  Florida Death Row Sentences Under Unconstitutional System Denied SCOTUS Review Without more, let us all consider the words of Justice Sotomayor in her dissent published in the cases of Guardado v. View Full Post