Thursday, July 29, 2004

According to this report from, the DNC has taken support for capital punishment out of the Democrats' party platform for 2004. John Kerry does not believe there should be a death penalty, and his opinion on the question has influenced the drafting of the platform. This is the first time since the 1980s that the DNC has endorsed a platform which does not contain a pro-death penalty program.

Taking the Ultimate Penalty Off the Table
Tune in to NBC at 8pm EDT (7CDT) Friday July 30th for Dateline's presentation of the 2 hour documentary "Deadline" which chronicles the transformation of formerly pro-death penalty Governor George Ryan of Illinois. Governor Ryan imposed a mortatorium on the death penalty in Illinois in 2000. Three years later, just before he left office, Gov. Ryan commuted the death sentences of 167 inmates to life sentences. He also freed four men entirely.

The film is supposed to be outstanding. It was purchased by NBC after its first showing at Sundance. Please tune in.

"Deadline" on NBC's Dateline

Larry Douglas Lucas

Time for me to get back in the saddle...I'll try to be more consistent about posting. Who needs my job anyway?

On to the task at hand...

The California Supreme Court has overturned its second death sentence in as many weeks. The Court unianimously vacated the death sentence of Larry Douglas Lucas who was sent to death row for the 1986 stabbings of his eldery neighbors. The Court held that the jury did not have enough information when it handed Lucas the death penalty because it had not been made aware of the abuse he endured as a child. The Court found that had the jury been aware of these mitigating circumstances they might not have given Lucas the death sentence. Faulting his attorneys for ill preparation, the Court stated that evidence of Lucas's childhood that not presented to the jury is exactly the type of evidence that juries find compelling in determining whether to sentence someone to death. 

Death penalty tossed for double murderer