Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

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 -…

UK: Ceremony for Additional Three Stakes at the Shot at Dawn Memorial

The Shot at Dawn Memorial, Staffordshire, UK
The Shot at Dawn Memorial, Staffordshire, UK
On Saturday 29 October 2016, a bracing Autumnal morning, and with a light drizzle threatening, three additional stakes were added to the Shot at Dawn Memorial (created by Birmingham artist Andy deComyn) at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, England.

The date had been suggested to Andy deComyn by Lee Dent and Richard Pursehouse of the Chase Project military research group and members of the Wolverhampton branch of the Western Front Association. They explained that two of the three ‘mutineers’ that were pardoned in 2006 (six years after the memorial was finished) had been executed on that date exactly a century ago (the third mutineer being executed in 1917).

Andy checked the information provided by Lee and Richard and WFA NZ member Geoff McMillan, who on a visit in 2015 had first asked why the three men had seemingly been ‘omitted.’

Andy explained that originally the campaign for the soldiers to be pardoned did not include those executed for mutiny as it was not felt that they would be granted a pardon. However, when the pardons were finally granted six years after the installation of the memorial, it also included the mutineers. Andy felt that if the Government had pardoned the three mutineers, then they ought to be added to the memorial and he therefore added the extra posts himself and organised the dedication.

Andy set about seeking permission to alter his memorial from the National Memorial Arboretum, and he received a quick and positive response to his request. This left the tricky issue of tracking down the relatives of the three ‘mutineers’ and to invite them to the ceremony.

Geoff had meanwhile discovered that ten years ago New Zealander David Braithwaite (the nephew of Jack Braithwaite) had similarly enquired while visiting the N.M.A why his relative (Jack Braithwaite of the New Zealand Otago Regiment) was not included on the memorial, and fully supported Geoff. Geoff met with David and subsequently contacted Lee and Richard, whom he had met in 2015 (see Bulletin July 2015 issue ANZAC ceremony on Cannock Chase). They focussed on the relatives of the remaining two mutineers, Gunner William Lewis from Edinburgh and Jesse Robert Short from Newcastle upon Tyne (Short had been in the ‘Tyneside Irish’ Brigade, although he had been born in Wales).

Scottish newspaper The Sunday Mail was contacted and ran a short article on Gunner Lewis that featured an interview with his great nephew Bryan Ritchie, who knew nothing about his relative, yet alone what had happened to him.

Click here to read the full article

Source: staffordshiregreatwar.com, November 2016

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