The Death Penalty and Regret

For decades, individuals involved in executions—from prison wardens, to guards, to governors—have expressed regret over their participation and described deep sorrow about their role in executing people. In 2018, six former governors—all of whom halted executions in their own states—called on then-California Gov. Jerry Brown to grant clemency to the 740 people incarcerated on California’s death row. “We were compelled to act because we have come to believe the death penalty is an expensive, error-prone and racist system,” they wrote . “[A]nd also because our morality and our sense of decency demanded it.” Don Siegelman and Robert Bentley, who served as Governor of Alabama from 1999 to 2003 and 2011 to 2017, respectively, are the latest public figures to express regret over their roles in capital punishment.

Federal Appeals Court Temporarily Halts Execution of Ukrainian Man in Virginia

Ivan Teleguz
Ivan Teleguz
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has issued a temporary stay of execution for Ivan Teleguz, a Ukrainian national who was convicted of ordering the 2001 murder of his girlfriend, Stephanie Sipe. 

He was scheduled to be put to death on April 13.

Following his conviction, 2 witnesses recanted their testimony against him, with 1 of them saying he fabricated most of his testimony to avoid the death penalty himself. 

During the trial, the jury was told that Teleguz was involved in another murder that did not in fact occur as alleged.

"A man's life hangs in the balance based on the faulty testimony of witnesses, one of whom later claimed to have lied to avoid the death penalty" said James Clark, senior death penalty campaigner for Amnesty International USA. "This is clearly a broken system that must be ended entirely. Ivan Teleguz's sentence must be commuted permanently."

Source: Amnesty International USA, March 29, 2016

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