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Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

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In our Explainer series, Fair Punishment Project lawyers help unpackage some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines - like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine - so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by the criminal justice system to show how these laws and principles should work, and how they often fail. We will update our Explainers monthly to keep them current. Read our updated explainer here.
To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute 8 men over 1 days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture. Ledell Lee may have had an intellectual disability that rendered him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty, but he had a spate of bad lawyers who failed to timely present evidence of this claim -…

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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